This is for information only, and is not medical advice. The informtion is not intended to replace medical advice offered by medical physicians.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Preventive Health Care: Does it Exist?

Preventive Health Care: Does it Exist? by Barbara Morris, R.Ph.

True preventive health care is nonexistent for most Americans. That's because traditional medicine focuses on treatment of symptoms, and that's not prevention. Our health care system operates like the old barn door – it's left open and then the farmer tries to figure out why the horses ran off.

Preventive or "alternative" medicine is available, but it's not the norm. You have to be informed enough, open minded enough and have enough money to get it. If you find a traditionally trained physician who integrates alternative medicine into his or her practice, and still takes your insurance, you are in luck.

Most often you will not be in luck because alternative practitioners are usually fed up with the traditional system. Part of their gripe is dealing with insurance providers who dictate what medications the insurer will pay for. So doctors stop taking insurance. The result is that patients seeking alternative medicine must either pay the entire cost of care or do without.

Our overburdened health care system is controlled by the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. The pharmaceutical industry holds the "solution" (prescription drugs) to medical problems. That prescription drugs usually don't cure a condition doesn't matter. Drug companies are not interested in finding cures. A cured condition does not require medication. No profit it that!

However, it is profitable just to manage symptoms (high blood pressure for example) with medication for years, or until the patient changes lifestyle habits or the patient dies.

If you think about how long it is taking to find a cure for cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and other devastating diseases, you must conclude that something doesn't add up. We are the most technologically and scientifically advanced country on the planet and it still takes forever to find cures.

Take the amount of time and money spent over the years to find a cure for cancer. Yes, there are cures (which often become relapses), but treatments that poison the entire body in an effort to get at the cancer and usually end up killing the patient are barbaric. There has to be a better way.

Look how long we have been dallying with Alzheimer's disease. Research money provided by corporations and advocacy organizations continues to fund the same unproductive "plaques and tangles" theory as the cause of AD.

At the same time, credible Alzheimer's research at universities (with the help of government funding – not usually the pharmaceutical industry) clearly shows there is a probable answer to AD but more research needs to confirm preliminary findings. Why isn't promising research followed up by the entities that claim to want prevent or cure AD?

This brings me to a true story. The husband of a close friend, Mary, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. In the early stage, he had some hand tremor but what was most disturbing to Mary was evidence of cognitive decline. A math whiz, her husband now had difficulty with simple arithmetic.

The doctor said medication was not yet indicated. He could offer nothing to help the cognitive problem. Mary asked if I knew anything that might help.

I had recently seen research that showed progression of Parkinson's could be slowed a staggering 44 percent by taking 1,200 mg. of CoQ10 a day. (Normal daily dose is 50-150 mg). The Life Extension Foundation protocol for treatment of Parkinson's indicates up to 3,000 mg daily. There are no known side effects or contraindications for high doses of CoQ10.

Mary started her husband on 1,200 mg a day and about two weeks later bumped up the dose up to 2,400 mg.

Within a month, her husband's cognition was almost back to normal. Was it luck? Was it a "miracle" that would have occurred without the CoQ10, or was it the CoQ10 that produced the benefit? Will the improvement last?

Shall we wait for Alzheimer's advocates or the pharmaceutical industry to fund adequate trials of CoQ10? We should not hold our breath. CoQ10 is not patentable.

When the traditional health care system fails us all we can do is take personal responsibility and act on our own behalf to the best of our ability.

Taking personal responsibility includes developing a prevention-oriented mindset – learning how to stay well without reliance on a health care system that talks a lot about prevention but doesn't seem to know how to provide it.

Barbara Morris is a pharmacist and author of Put Old on Hold. Visit her web site, http://www.PutOldonHold.com and sign up for her free newsletter and receive a complimentary copy of special report, "Twelve Diva Tested Tips for Fabulous Skin."

Article Source: ArticleBazaar.net

Friday, May 4, 2007

A Guide to Common Herbs

A Guide to Common Herbs by Jacky

Herbs are nutritional foundation nutrients and good alternative medicine to nourish the body's deepest and most basic elements. Medicinal herbs have been used safely and effectively since the time of recorded history for an endless list of reasons from health, healing, weight loss/gain/maintenance, to survival and more. Herbs can offer the body nutrients it does not always receive, either from a poor diet, or environmental deficiencies in the soil and air. They are great body balancers that help regulate body functions.

The benefits of herbs are many and varied. Even the once skeptical traditional medical community is starting to embrace alternative medicine practices using herbal remedies and healing philosophies and practices incorporating herbal medicine and medicinal herbs. Chinese herbs have been used by the Chinese for over 4,000 years to promote health and as healing agents.

Chinese Herbs are taken as tonics to enhance physical and mental well being. Since the dawn of man, herbs have been used for healing purposes and to promote wellness. Today, herbs are still the alternative medicine and primary source of health care for 80% of the world.

Here are some of the more well-known herbs and plant products and their modern uses.

Herbs Modern Uses

Bilberry Fruit Extract, Vaccinium myrtillus Various microcirculatory conditions. Night blindness and poor ability to adapt to bright light.

Cascara Sagrada Aged Bark, Rhamnus purshiana Constipation.

Cayenne Pepper Fruit, Capsicum annuum Carminative, diaphoretic, counter-irritant.

Cranberry Fruit, Vaccinium macrocarpon Prevention of urinary tract infections.

Dong Quai Root, Angelica sinensis Various menstrual disorders.

Echinacea Herb, Echinacea purpurea As supportive therapy for colds and chronic infections of the respiratory tract.

Evening Primrose Oil, Oenothera biennis Conditions related to deficiency of essential fatty acids (e.g., chronic fatigue syndrome) and alcoholism.

Feverfew Leaf, Tanacetum parthenium Treatment of migraines, fever, menstrual disorders..

Garlic Cloves, Allium sativum Elevated levels of cholesterol in blood and as a preventative measure for age dependent vascular changes.

Ginger Root, Zingiber officinale Modern Use: Prevention of the nausea and vomiting of motion sickness, dyspepsia, stomachic.

Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Ginkgo biloba Memory deficits, dementia syndromes. Improvement of distance and pain-free walking in peripheral arterial occlusive disease. Vertigo and tinnitus.

Asian Ginseng Root, Panax ginseng Tonic for invigoration and fortification in times of fatigue and debility, physical or mental exhaustion, stress, inadequate resistance to infections.

Siberian Ginseng Root, Eleutherococcus senticosus Tonic for invigoration and fortification in times of fatigue and debility, also during convalescence.

Goldenseal Root, Hydrastis canadensis Catarrhal conditions of the upper respiratory tract associated with colds and flus. Mucosal inflammations.

Gotu Kola Herb, Centella asiatica Improved memory. Venous insufficiency.

Grape Seed Extract, Vitis vinifera Microcirculatory maldistribution of blood flow. Altered capillary fragility and permeability. Anti-inflammatory.

Green Tea Leaf Extract, Camellia sinensis Chemopreventative. Hypercholesterolemia.

Kava Kava Root Extract, Piper methysticum Conditions of nervous anxiety, stress, and restlessness. Sedative and sleep enhancement.

Licorice Root, Glycyrrhiza glabra For catarrhal conditions of the upper respiratory tract and gastric/duodenal ulcers. Bronchitis. Adrenocorticoid insufficiency.

Milk Thistle Seed Extract, Silybum marianum Toxic liver damage, and for supportive treatment in chronic inflammatory liver disease and hepatic cirrhosis.

Saw Palmetto Berry Extract, Serenoa repens Urination problems in benign prostate hyperplasia stages 1 and 2.

St. John's Wort Herb Extract, Hypericum perforatum Mild to moderate depressive states.

Valerian Root, Valeriana officinalis Restlessness, sleeping disorders based on nervous conditions.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007

Rhinitis – Natural Remedies To End The Misery Of Rhinitis

Rhinitis – Natural Remedies To End The Misery Of Rhinitis by Alvin Toh

Rhinitis is a general term to categorize irritation or inflammation in the nose. The main symptom of rhinitis is a runny nose. Other symptoms that may be present are nasal congestion and post nasal drip.

Rhinitis is caused by an inflammation or irritation of the mucous membranes in the nasal passages. One of the most frequent causes of rhinitis is the common cold. A cold causes the mucous membranes to produce more mucus and swelling of the nasal passages. Other causes of rhinitis include allergies or environmental irritants. The discomfort of rhinitis can interfere with daily activities.

There are some natural remedies that can put an end to the misery of rhinitis. Natural cures are often favored because they are not habit-forming and generally do not have side effects associated with conventional drug medications. Natural rhinitis remedies are useful for treating children as well as adults.

A nasal wash or irrigation can be particularly helpful in reducing the amount of mucus in the nasal passages. Saline solution is used to irrigate the nose. There are two methods for using a nasal wash. Lean over the sink, with the head down. Cup some saline solution in your hand and inhale the solution into the nose, one nostril at a time. Spit the excess into the sink and gently blow the nose. The other method uses a syringe or nasal irrigation device to insert the saline into the nose.

Acupuncture has had positive effects on allergic rhinitis symptoms. A qualified acupuncturist can treat congestion and excess mucus associated with chronic rhinitis.

Drink plenty of water every day. Water helps the body flush out germs and bacteria so it acts as a natural body cleanser. Water also keeps the mucus thin and more able to be flushed away. Cut back on the intake of mucus producing foods such as dairy products as well as processed foods. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables that are high in nutrients and vitamins.

There are a number of herbal cures that are effective in treating rhinitis. Taken as a tea, a tincture or in capsule form, these herbs help treat and prevent rhinitis. You should be able to find these herbal remedies at your local health food store.

Butterbar possesses the same properties as antihistamine but without the drowsiness associated with the latter. It is useful for treating seasonal allergies and stopping excess mucus production.

Grapeseed extract is also known as a natural anti-histamine. It inhibits the release of histamine in the body. For allergy sufferers, grape seed extract provides relief from a various allergic reactions, including rhinitis caused by irritants.

Reishi is an ancient Chinese healing herb that enhances the immune system and promotes overall good health. It contains ganoderic acids that inhibit histamine release, thus helpful in treating rhinitis caused by allergies. It can be taken daily with no ill side effects.

Collodial silver is a natural antibiotic that is effective against bacteria, virus and fungi. Unlike prescription antibiotics, the body develops no tolerance towards it.

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Article Source: ArticleBazaar.net