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Archive for the ‘alternative medicine’ Category

2 ways to cut prostate cancer risk by 50% or more

Posted by naturalhealthmd on April 4, 2007

Prostate Cancer is among one of the leading problems facing men today. Not to mention it takes as much energy to get the courage for a prostate examination as it does to lift 500lbs on the bench press. We don’t like thinking about it and avoid it all together at times. However, it is a serious issue; if left unprevented or even untreated, it can lead to other problems and even death.

Here are two ways to be sure you can get the chance of getting prostate cancer by 50%, and you can feel better about knowing your are doing something to prevent this disease.

1. Eat Tomatoes. Eating two servings of tomatoe sauce per day can cut your risk of prostate cancer by 23% in one study.

Tomatoes contain a substance called lycopene. Lycopene is the part that actually helps with prostate cancer. So, add tomatoe sauce ( 2 servings) or tomatoe slices to your sandwich daily to help prevent prostate cancer.

2. Drink 1 glass of red wine per day. By drinking 1 glass of red wine daily, you can cut your chance of prostate cancer by 50%.

Red wine contains a substance called Resveratrol, which is the key ingredient in helping fight not only prostate cancer, but cancer in general. It must be noted that Red Wine is the key here; not white wine.

* Please note: Drinking red wine made with organic grapes is much better off for getting the resveratrol.

Drink your red wine and eat your tomatoe sauce for a better prostate. 

Posted in alternative medicine, Cancer | Leave a Comment »

Acupuncture To Help Allergies

Posted by naturalhealthmd on April 4, 2007

Fox News:

Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, was a firm believer in the body’s ability to heal itself, saying, “the natural healing force within each of us is the greatest force in getting well.”

But long before Hippocrates, the ancient Chinese were already practicing what he would later preach, through the art of acupuncture.

With seasonal allergies torturing one-third of Americans, ancient acupuncture can provide a new kind of relief. While over-the-counter medications often come with unwanted side-effects, acupuncture does not. This makes it a welcome alternative for people looking for a new way to combat allergies this season.

Acupuncture is defined as a method of preventing and treating disease, illness, injury or pain by allowing the body to heal naturally and improve the way it functions. This is done by stimulating biologically significant points on the surface of the body.

In traditional Chinese medicine, these strategic points are usually stimulated by the insertion of acupuncture needles. However, in the current Westernized version of acupuncture, they can be stimulated through non-invasive techniques such as lasers.

No matter what type of stimulation is used, there is never any introduction of chemical substances into the body.

Getting to Know Acupuncture

The traditional Chinese medicine approach to acupuncture treatment is predicated on eight principles:

• Qi (sometimes spelled “chi”) – This is the energy that gives life to all living matter. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qi typically refers to the functions of the internal organs as well as life force or energy.

• Yin and Yang – These two opposites make up the whole. To be healthy involves balancing Yin and Yang. Illness occurs when one of the two is either too strong or too weak.

• The Five Phases of Transformation (also known as the Five Elements) – The five elements are Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. They are related to the various organs in the body and to one another in a complex manner.

• Channels – Qi flows through a system of ducts. These ducts form a network of main channels, minor capillaries and collaterals. There are 14 main interconnected channels called “meridians” through which Qi flows. Each meridian is named for the organ it is related to e.g. Heart channel.

• Points (also known as acupuncture points) – More than 400 locations on the skin connect to the 14 main meridians or channels. The stimulation of different acupuncture points can influence the activity of the corresponding meridian in a specific manner.

• Diagnosis – It is believed that the pathological changes of the internal organs are reflected on the body surface. That is why a diagnosis is made by observation of the skin, eyes, tongue, and pulse.

• Zang-Fu Theory – This explains the physiological function, pathological changes, and inter-relationships of internal organs. The five Zang organs are the Lungs, Heart, Spleen, Liver, and Kidney. The six Fu organs are the Gall Bladder, Stomach, Large Intestine, Small Intestine, Urinary Bladder and “Triple Warmer” (three areas of the body cavity).

• Chinese Syndrome – There are eight general principles that are used to differentiate among syndromes:- Yin and Yang- Exterior (Biao) and Interior (Li)- Xu (deficiency) and Shi (excess)- Cold and Heat.

Acupuncture and Allergies

How do all of these elements fit together in the treatment of seasonal allergies? Kath Bartlett, owner of the Asheville Center for Chinese Medicine in Asheville, N.C., noted that they are used in a two pronged, “root and branch” approach. Kath has an M.S. in traditional Chinese medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, San Diego campus. She is also Board Certified in Oriental Medicine by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

She explained that during allergy season, when a patient comes in with a runny nose, watery eyes, and uncontrollable sneezing, the treatment emphasis is on the symptoms, or the “branch.” In between allergy seasons, the patient would continue to receive treatments, but this time the emphasis is on strengthening the immune system, or the “root,” also refered to as “The Righteous Qi.”

Diagnosing an allergy using traditional Chinese medicine is far more individualized than it would be with Western medicine. Allergies are analyzed by the pattern of symptoms seen in the specific patient, and the treatment is designed to relieve these particular symptoms.

The diagnosis begins with the basic belief that all allergies contain an element of dampness, which is a pathological accumulation of water. At this point, Kath explained, the acupuncturist looks at the symptoms to differentiate the nature of the allergy by determining heat and cold conditions.

In a heat condition, the phlegm or expectorant is green; there is a redness or yellow coat on the tongue, and the patient has a rapid pulse. In a cold condition, the phlegm or expectorant is white or clear and the tongue has a white coating. Once this determination has been made, the acupuncturist can target the specific acupuncture points that will alleviate symptoms.

Another technique used in addition to needle insertion is what’s known as “cupping.” This methodology is used to help Qi circulate. “In traditional Chinese medicine, a glass glass cup is usually used. There are also bamboo and plastic ones. A flame is put in and out of the cup, which causes the air inside to evaporate. This creates a vacuum effect. I put the cup on the lungs to pull out the phlegm,” described Kath.

Some acupuncturists also have herbal training, like Kath; and they incorporate herbs into the allergy treatment. She uses raw herbs or parts of the plants that are cut and dried and can be brewed into the strong-flavored teas that most people associated with herbal remedies. For patients who are turned off by the pungent flavors, granulated herbs can be mixed with water and drunk that way.

Is Acupuncture Effective?

How effective is traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of seasonal allergies? In a study published in the September 2004 issue of Allergy magazine, the researchers concluded that a combination of Chinese herbs and weekly acupuncture sessions showed promise as a treatment for relieving the symptoms of seasonal allergies. The authors of the study recommended that future research investigate the effectiveness of an acupuncture and herb combination in the treatment of other conditions.

The study was done with 52 participants, between ages 20 and 58. The first group received a 20-minute acupuncture treatment weekly for six weeks, with points on the Large Intestine, Gallbladder, Lung and Liver meridians stimulated. Additional points were selected based on each patient’s individual symptoms. They were also given an herbal blend of schizonepeta, chrysanthemum, cassia seed, plantago seed and tribulus.

Patients in the control group were given acupuncture, but at the same non-acupuncture points, which were away from meridians. They were treated with needles smaller than those used on the traditional Chinese medicine patients. Control patients also received a non-specific herbal formula comprised of coix seed, licorice, poria, hops, oryza, barley, hawthorn fruit, and medicated leaven.

At the end of the study period, participants in both groups were rated on their level of improvement. The first group treated with traditional Chinese medicine patients demonstrated improvements in allergy symptoms in the eyes and nose, higher levels of physical activity, and an improved psychological condition compared to patients in the control group.

For seasonal allergy sufferers still suffering with traditional Western medical treatments, or weighed down by unwanted side effects like drowsiness, may find relief in acupuncture. In fact, these patients may discover what Hippocrates learned centuries ago, the body has its own incredible power to heal.

Posted in Acupuncture, alternative medicine | Leave a Comment »

Gastrointestinal Problems Can Lead To Depression

Posted by naturalhealthmd on March 21, 2007

In a 2006 Boston University study from over 100,000 IBS ( Irratable Bowel Sydrome) patients, showed that people with IBS are 40% more likely to experience and get depression.  This can be also shown by the fact that woman are twice as likely to get depression and over twice as likely to get IBS as males. Not only is this, but over 60% of the body’s serotonin, which is the feel good part, inside the colon.  Many of you all may know that the “gut” is also considered the second brain. There are several neurotransmitters in the gut, the second most. This goes to show us that when our gut and colon are in good shape, the rest of our bodies will feel good.  

To combat IBS, one first and foremost needs to get the optimal amount of fiber/ day. This could be about 30 grams of fiber per day. I recommend about 40 grams per day for people that suffer from a gastrointestinal problem.   If anyone has suffered from IBS and Depression or knows of any solutions, please comment and let us know. If not, in about a week, I will have several natural solutions for IBS.  According to HIS institute of magazine, a product called Gasterol from The Natural Barn (www.thenaturalbarn.com) plays a major role in improving gastrointestinal problems).

Posted in alternative medicine, Depression | Leave a Comment »

Coconut Oil: The Amazing Health Benefits

Posted by naturalhealthmd on March 20, 2007

Below is an exert took from newsday.com about coconut oil. I truly believe coconut oil is one of the best kinds of oils to use and has some of the best health benefits. This article as released today and I find that it points out some great information that we all could use.

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Filipinos call coconut trees the “tree of life” for all the products derived from its leaves, husks, meat and milk. In America, the coconut tree has made new believers because of one product: coconut oil.

Converts to coconut oil are zealous in their claims. They say it aids in weight loss, can reduce the risk of heart disease and increases HDL, or “good” cholesterol levels. It is also said to improve digestion, reduce acid reflux and lessen symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Some take it to improve their skin tone and prevent wrinkles. Some even treat herpes and cancer with coconut oil.
Ernie Rudloff of Woodbury credits coconut oil with boosting his energy. He started taking the supplement in the fall after reading Kevin Trudeau’s bestselling book, “Natural Cures ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About.” In it, the author touts the curative powers of all-natural substances, saying drug companies suppress this information to increase sales of pharmaceuticals.

Claims by Trudeau, who has no medical training, have drawn fire from both the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration. Nonetheless, Trudeau’s book has sold millions of copies both in stores and via TV infomercials.

“I find a lot of Trudeau’s logic to be true,” Rudloff says. “The natural approach is something we should look at more. Everything seems to be drug, drug, drug. We go to the doctor or to the pharmacy, and we want a pill for everything.”

Rudloff, 63, helps about 120 youths – ages 16 to 21 – get their GED certificates at the Nassau County Correctional Center. He also officiates basketball games on the side, so he faces both emotional and physical challenges. Rudloff was taking about one tablespoon of coconut oil twice a day when he noticed the effect: “I felt energized.”

He says he doesn’t have an opinion about coconut oil’s wide-ranging claims because he’s basically in good health – weight in the 170s and total cholesterol about 200. He was treated for prostate cancer two years ago and now takes Flomax to reduce the urgency to urinate but says he is otherwise healthy. Rudloff sees himself as health-conscious, and as he heads toward his mid- and late-60s, he’s open to natural remedies.

“Natural cures are safer,” he says. “They come from the earth. They don’t have all the side effects of all these chemicals people take.”

Still, doctors and other health-care providers urge caution, because natural supplements don’t face the same rigorous approval process that’s imposed on pharmaceutical companies. In general, the medical community doesn’t consider coconut oil a heart-healthy food because it’s very high in saturated fat, which has been linked to high cholesterol and heart disease.

Dr. Walter C. Willett, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, offered insights on coconut oil last year in the Harvard Health Letter: A 2-ounce piece of fresh coconut contains more than 13 grams of saturated fat – nearly two-thirds of the recommended daily limit for the average person. Ounce for ounce, coconut oil delivers more saturated fat than butter, lard or margarine. Feeding studies in humans, monkeys and rabbits show that coconut oil substantially elevates LDL (bad) cholesterol.

In an e-mail interview, Willett agrees that the oil has a powerful effect in boosting HDL (good) cholesterol. But overall, Willett says, “I think it is OK to use it when the flavor is desired or when a little hard fat is needed, but I would not recommend it as a primary form of fat unless we have further research regarding its effect on heart disease.”

A unique kind of fat

Bruce Fife, a naturopath – a practitioner who treats patients with herbs, vitamins and other natural remedies – a nutritionist and the author of “The Coconut Oil Miracle,” opposes the detractors, arguing that the saturated fat found in plant foods is different than that found in animal products.

“Coconut oil is unique because it’s composed predominantly of medium-chain fatty acids,” Fife says, adding that most fats in the American diet are composed of long-chain fatty acids. He says the shorter chain makes coconut oil easier to digest, and it’s processed like a carbohydrate and not stored in the body as fat.

Fife tries to eat about three tablespoons of coconut oil a day. He encourages people to use it in cooking – in hot cereal, casseroles and soups. When Fife feels like he hasn’t had enough, he’ll take a spoonful right out of the jar and let it melt under his tongue. “A good coconut oil actually has a pleasant taste,” he says.

Fife has never had his cholesterol tested, so he can’t say what effect the oil has had on his blood levels. The main benefit he cites is on his immune system. “I believe it has made me healthier and more resistant to illnesses. I haven’t had an illness for years and years and years,” he says.

Since “The Coconut Oil Miracle” was published in 2000, Fife has written five other books on the subject, and he frequently speaks to audiences around the world on the topic. He believes his life’s work has helped build a market for the product.
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KEY NOTE: Saturated Fat is not the danger…trans fat is the danger.

Posted in alternative medicine, Health News, Healthy Fats | Leave a Comment »