Introducing – Passion Flower

The dried aerial parts of passion flower ( Passiflora incarnata ) have historically been used as a sedative and hypnotic (for insomnia) and for “nervous” gastrointestinal complaints. However, clinical evidence supporting any therapeutic use in humans is lacking. Early evidence suggests that passion flower may have a benzodiazepine-like calming action.

Evidence for significant side effects is also unclear, and is complicated by the variety of poorly classified, potentially active constituents in different  Passiflora  species.

Passion fruit ( Passiflora  edulis  Sims), a related species, is used to flavor food.

Apigenin, apricot vine, banana passion fruit ( Passiflora  mollissima ), Calmanervin® (combination product), chrysin, Compoz® (combination product), corona de cristo, coumarin, cyanogenic glycosides, EUP, Euphytose® (combination product), fleischfarbige, fleur de la passion, flor de passion, granadilla, grenadille, harmala alkaloids, harmaline, harmalol, harman, harmine, Jamaican honeysuckle ( Passiflora  laurifolia ), madre selva, maypops, Naturest,  Passiflora  incarnata ,  Passiflora  laurifolia ,  Passiflora  mollissima , pasipay,  Passiflora , passionflower, passion vine, Passionsblume (German), purple passion flower, Sedacalm®, umbeliferone, Valverde® (combination product), vitexin, water lemon, wild passion flower.

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Congestive heart failure

An extract containing passion flower and hawthorn has been studied as a possible treatment for shortness of breath and difficulty exercising in patients with congestive heart failure. Although the results are promising, the effects of passion flower alone are unclear. High quality human research of passion flower alone compared to prescription drugs used for this condition is needed before a strong recommendation can be made. C

Sedation (agitation, anxiety, insomnia)

Passion flower has a long history of use for symptoms of restlessness, anxiety, and agitation. Early evidence from animal studies and weak human trials supports these uses. Better research is needed before a firm conclusion can be drawn. C

Uses based on tradition or theory

The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Alcohol withdrawal, antibacterial, anti-seizure, anti-spasm, aphrodisiac, asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), burns (skin), cancer, chronic pain, cough, drug addiction, Epstein-Barr virus, fungal infections, gastrointestinal discomfort (nervous stomach), Helicobacter pylori infection, hemorrhoids, high blood pressure, menopausal symptoms (hot flashes), nerve pain, pain (general), skin inflammation, tension, wrinkle prevention.

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

Adults (18 years and older)

Safety and effectiveness have not been established for any dose. Standard or well-studied doses of passion flower are currently lacking. Different preparations and doses have been used traditionally. Doses of 0.5-2 grams of dried herb have been taken 3-4 times daily by mouth. Doses of 1-4 milliliters of tincture (1:8) have been taken 3-4 times daily by mouth. Tea made from dried herb (four to eight grams) has been taken daily. A dose of 2.5 grams in an infusion has been used 3-4 times daily.

Children (younger than 18 years)

There is not enough scientific data to recommend passion flower for use in children at any dose.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

Few reports of allergic reactions, asthma, irritated sinuses, skin rashes, and skin blood vessel inflammation (vasculitis) have been reported in the available literature with the use of passion flower products. It is believed that some reactions may have been caused by impurities in combination products, not by passion flower itself.

Side Effects and Warnings

Passion flower is generally considered to be a safe herb with few reported serious side effects. In cases of side effects, the products being used have rarely been tested for contamination, which may have been the cause. Cyanide poisoning has been associated with passiflora fruit, but this has not been proven in human studies.

Rapid heart rhythm, nausea, and vomiting have been reported. Side effects may also include drowsiness/sedation and mental slowing. Patients should use caution if driving or operating heavy machinery.

Passion flower may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding and affect blood tests that measure blood clotting (international normalized ratio or “INR”).

There is a case report of liver failure and death of a patient taking a preparation of passion flower with kava. Use cautiously with any kava-containing products, as kava has been associated with liver damage. It has been suggested that the cause of the liver damage is less likely related to the presence of passion flower.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

There is not enough scientific evidence to recommend the safe use of passion flower in any dose during pregnancy or breastfeeding. During the 1930s, animal studies found uterine stimulant action in components of  Passiflora .

Many tinctures contain high levels of alcohol and should be avoided during pregnancy.

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

Interactions with Drugs

Certain substances (harmala alkaloids) with monoamine oxidase inhibitory (MAOI) action have been found in small amounts in some species of  Passiflora . Although levels of these substances may be too low to cause noticeable effects, passion flower may theoretically increase the effects of MAOI drugs, such asisocarboxazid (Marplan®), phenelzine (Nardil®), and tranylcypromine (Parnate®). Increased sedation or low blood pressure could also result from taking passion flower with tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil®), and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac®).

Based on animal research, use of passion flower with alcohol or other sedatives may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some drugs. Examples include benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam (Ativan®) or diazepam (Valium®); barbiturates, such as phenobarbital; narcotics, such as codeine; some antidepressants; and alcohol. Caution is advised while driving or operating machinery.

In theory, passion flower may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogel (Plavix®), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).

Many tinctures contain high levels of alcohol and may cause nausea or vomiting when taken with metronidazole (Flagyl®) or disulfiram (Antabuse®).

Passion flower may also interact with anti-anxiety drugs, antibiotics, anticonvulsants, antifungals, antihistamines, anti-cancer drugs, antispasmodics, antitussives, caffeine, CNS depressants, drugs broken down by the liver, flumazenil, naloxone, and other neurologic agents.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Certain substances (harmala alkaloids) with monoamine oxidase inhibitory (MAOI) action have been found in small amounts in some species of  Passiflora . Although levels of these substances may be too low to cause noticeable effects, in theory, use of passion flower with herbs or supplements with MAOI activity may cause additive effects. Kava ( Piper methysticum ) is believed to have weak monoamine oxidase inhibitor effects and may thus interact with passion flower. In addition, tricyclic antidepressants or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may lead to increased sedation or low blood pressure when taken with passion flower.

Based on animal research, use of passion flower may increase the amount of drowsiness caused by some herbs or supplements, such as valerian and kava.

 

Passion flower may have additive effects when taken with herbs or supplements that increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of ginkgo ( Ginkgo biloba ), and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.

When taken with caffeine or herbs containing caffeine or caffeine-like compounds, passion flower may increase blood pressure.

Passion flower contains lycopene and may have additive effects when taken with lycopene supplements.

Passion flower may also interact with herbs or supplements taken for pain, anxiety, seizures, fungal infections, bacterial infections, or cancer. In addition, interactions with antihistamines, antispasmodics, antitussives, CNS depressants, herbs and supplements broken down by the liver, and other neurologic agents are possible.

Scientists Scratching Heads Over Mega Boobs Mystery

LONDON – Scientists in the UK are trying to figure out why women’s breasts are getting bigger.

While some scientists blame expanding waistlines for the increase in bust sizeS, others say pollution from pesticides is causing the ‘outburst’.

But others feel there’s an as yet uncovered real reason as to why boobs are growing, reports The Daily Star.

A scientific source said: “It’s the big question and it’s got a lot of people baffled.”

In the recent years, the demand for super-size bras has been rocketing in the UK.

Some experts reckon the reason for the chest expansion is an increase in man-made chemicals in the environment.

Agricultural pesticides and plastics are known to upset hormonal development if they get into the food chain.

Dr Marilyn Glenville, who is a nutritionist specializing in women’s health, said: “Estrogen gives women their characteristic shape as they go through puberty.

“It’s what causes the stimulation in breast tissue, so if we’ve got extra estrogen coming in from the environment that’s going to have an effect on breast size.

“It might be a better way of getting bigger boobs than a breast implant but there is a trade-off.

“It shows that breasts are being stimulated but that’s not good if cells start to mutate.

“It will get worse if something’s not done about it. Breasts, in theory, could get even bigger.”

Dr Joanna Scurr, lecturer in bio-mechanics at the University of Portsmouth, said: “Breasts are getting bigger but it’s not just because we’re getting heavier.

“We looked at 300 British women over four years and found an increase in the size of the average bosom, not just in women who are fat.”

Home Remedies Series – Heat Stroke

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Signs And Symptoms of Heat Stroke

Indications of heat stroke can at times impersonate those of heart attack or other conditions. Different people possibly will have different symptoms and indicators of heat stroke. However familiar symptoms and signs of heat stroke include the following:

1. Elevated body temperature

2. The lack of sweating, with burning red or flushed dehydrated skin

3. Trouble in breathing

4. Bizarre activities

5. Hallucinations and illusions

6. Nervousness and Anxiety

7. Convulsions

8. Loss of consciousness

Heat stroke can happen unexpectedly, without any symptoms of heat exhaustion. If someone is experiencing symptoms of heat stroke, it is important to seek medical attention at once.

Causes of Heat Stroke

High temperature is the main cause of heat stroke

Heat related conditions like heat stroke may arise when your body cannot remain cool. As the atmospheric temperature increases, your body stays cool as you sweat. On hot, sticky days, the loss of sweat is measured by the increased humidity in the air. Dehydration too is a major worry, as too much fluid loss can lead to heart and brain damage.

Chronic medical conditions like diabetes, nausea; vomiting or diarrhea can put children and adults at threat for a heat stroke in dreadfully hot climates. The other common causes of heat strokes could be as follows:

1. High temperatures or humidity

2. Extended and excessive exercise

3. Excess clothing

4. Too much use of alcohol

5. Cardiovascular ailments

6. Sweat gland dysfunction

7. Medications that weaken the body’s ability to sweat may have an effect on people to this problem

8. Pregnancy

9. Obesity

Remedies for Heat Stroke

Heat Stroke home remedies and natural cures, Questions and answers

Victims of heat stroke should be moved to a cool area and clothing should be removed.

Heat stroke is a medical crisis involving hospitalization, and the local emergency system must be turned on as soon as possible.

1. The body temperature ought to be lowered instantly.

2. The sufferer should be moved to a cool area and clothing should be removed to encourage inactive cooling. Energetic cooling methods can be used.

3. The victim should be positioned into the revival pose to make sure that their airway remains open.

4. Cool the person by sponging with damp towel.

5. Water containing electrolyte, juices and glucose should be given to the victim.

Diet for Heat Stroke

Heat Stroke : Home Remedies suggested by users

Stay hydrated and minimize sun exposure.

Drink plenty of water, stay away from the sun, and avoid taxing activity during hot weather conditions. If you start experiencing the warning signs, shift to a cool, sheltered area and gulp something cool.

Suggestions for Heat Stroke

Try chamomile flowers to get relief from heatstroke

If you start experiencing the warning signs, move to a sheltered area and drink something cool. A few people also use chamomile flowers to alleviate the symptoms of heatstroke, though the effectiveness of this therapy is not assured.

After a complete recovery from heatstroke, a slight follow-up care is considered necessary. Improving patients may possibly desire to relax and reside in cool areas for some days. Patients should also implement aggressive prevention policies to keep heat stroke from returning.

Introducing – MSM

Other names: methyl sulfonyl methane

MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane) is a compound found naturally in foods such as cow’s milk, meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables.

MSM is thought to work by contributing sulfur. It’s found in capsule or tablet forms. MSM is also available as a cream or lotion, although evidence suggests it can’t be absorbed through skin.

Why Do People Use MSM

Osteoarthritis

Two small studies suggest MSM may reduce osteoarthritis pain. MSM is often combined with glucosamine in commercial arthritis products. It’s thought to work because of the sulfur, which is believed to strengthen collagen. More evidence is needed.

Interstitial cystitis

MSM has been proposed as a treatment for interstitial cystitis, although human studies are needed.

Snoring

One small, preliminary study found that MSM resulted in quieter snoring.

MSM has been explored for cancer prevention, scleroderma, allergies and constipation.

Side Effects and Safety

Side effects with MSM are rare but may include stomach upset, headache and diarrhea. One study suggested MSM was safe for up to 12 weeks.

The safety of MSM in pregnant or nursining women, children, or people with liver or kidney disease, however, isn’t known.

Use Exercise To Reduce Cellulite

If you have excess cellulite then you no doubt have tried to find the best exercise to reduce cellulite. If you have been unsuccessful than this article is here to help. In order to find the best exercise to reduce cellulite you first need to understand a little bit of what cellulite is and how it forms.

How does Cellulite Form and What is It Exactly?

Cellulite is a condition where the skin, usually in the lower body, becomes dimpled and lumpy. This condition is most common in post pubescent females, although it can occur in just about anyone. Primarily the reason thought for this is that there is some kind of a hormonal component that causes its formation. Estrogen seems to be the primary culprit from a hormonal level, but exercise to reduce cellulite is effective.

The first step before you begin exercise to reduce cellulite is to control your diet. Start by trying to eliminate excess fats and replace those with more fruits and vegetables. Drinking more water may or may not help you depending on your situation. For some people drinking large amounts of water has helped to get rid of the fat that has built up around their legs. Taking these initial steps will help so that when you exercise to reduce cellulite it will be much more effective.

Different Cellulite Reduction Exercises You can Do

The key to reducing the amount of cellulite that is built up in your lower body is to find good cardio exercises that you can do for long periods of time. In addition it is important that these exercises work your legs. Treadmills, Elipiticals, and just jogging are all great ways to lose excess pounds and melt away the cellulite.

By finding an activity you enjoy you will be able to do the cardio for longer, thereby increasing the effectiveness of your exercise to reduce cellulite. Stretching before starting is also important as you want to avoid hurting yourself while exercising.

The other key is to make sure before you start exercising that you are hydrated and have eaten or drank some kind of carbohydrates. By having something in your system you will be able to exercise longer with more energy and actually burn more calories than if you had nothing at all. Take and follow these steps in order to find exercise to reduce cellulite that will not only keep you healthy, but make you healthy looking as well.

Is Weight Loss Surgery A Good Option?

Weight loss is often a must for individuals who are obese. You can find numerous remedies for shedding the particular fat. This surgical procedure is one of the finest selections for those those people who are too heavy. The folks in whose physique mass catalog tend to be as compared to thirty five and have well being complications due to their extra pounds are usually advised with regard to this surgical procedure.

This surgery is the only choices at times, while we have a medical crisis in which one needs to relieve weight at the same time. Obviously you can find handful of problems and risks that are involved in this surgical procedure; even so this surgical procedure is extremely efficient as well as basic.

A single needs to be little mindful after the weight loss surgical procedure to be able to prevent achievable complication. However by far the particular weight loss surgery could be the quickest way of reducing your weight. The person must keep to the advices with the surgeon towards the primary or else he is able to grow to be obese or too heavy after some time.

As far as this surgical procedure is concerned the main thing is that one should have the total in creation concerning the almost all feasible surgical alternatives. one do not need to to go everywhere because he can get almost all relevant details in the physician himself concerning the various medical options, the treatments of the chosen weight loss surgical treatment, the merits and demerits of the weight loss surgery as well as the post operative care required.

A single you could have decided to go for weight loss surgery, please obtain cleared all of the doubts simply by asking yourself the surgeon. Never think twice to ask the query even though it appears thus ridiculous to you.

There’s nothing incorrect within getting opinion from your other medical doctor who’s very experienced like the physician who will work an individual. Attempt to discover the bands and also address with the patients that got gone through this surgical procedure, to be able to reveal their own experience, whether it is bad or even excellent.

As well as getting in development in the doctor as well as a man, one will also have information concerning this surgical treatment from internet. Another excellent source to obtain information about this surgical treatment is actually ASBS (American modern society with regard to bariatric surgical treatment).Obviously the actual weight loss surgical procedure brings about instant weight loss you will find various issues and dangers required.

The important thing in this surgery is ahead of taking or opting for surgery the individual must be perfectly knowledgeable in regards to the this surgical treatment as he needs to signal “informed consent”.

“Informed consent” is definitely an important insurance plan to be brought in from the patient ahead of this surgery. According to this permission the particular parents concurs for the surgical procedure right after knowing the actual achievable dangers as well as problems.

If your individual has complete information regarding the particular weight loss surgical procedure, he can not have unwanted concerns whenever he encounters the actual signs and symptoms from the feasible publish operative problems in which happen because of weight loss surgery and may speak to the actual medical doctor the moment he or she updates the warning signs. Therefore there’s nothing wrong within deciding on weight loss surgical treatment if the physician guidelines one to choose one.

Muscle Imbalances May Cause Back Pain

What I have discovered in practice is that there are usually only one or two main groups of muscles, setting up the imbalances that cause the joint to move or the pressure to build up in a muscle making the joint stiff or tight and painful to use.

If the muscles that set up the imbalances (usually the deeper structural muscles) are worked on correctly, the pressure that causes the twist, tilt or tightness is released, along with the pain.

When a back develops problems it is not normally something that has just happened but rather the result of a buildup of imbalances over time. It tends to involve the whole body in some way and therefore requires a holistic approach to get a lasting cure.

To demonstrate, reach to the right to pick something up and you’ll notice it is not just your shoulder and arm that moves, you will feel every muscle in your body adjust in some way to support that movement.

Any therapist who doesn’t get their hands onto the muscles and body regularly, which lets face it is most of them including a doctor, physiotherapist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, Pilates or yoga instructor, personal trainer etc, is severely handicapped right from the start when it comes to successfully treating back pain.

There is no way, without the vital information you get from the feel of the body, they could devise the best way of approaching a particular person’s back problem, or diagnose it correctly for that matter. In one hour you can significantly change how a person feels within themselves, simply by making a significant change to the muscle imbalances in their body and how those muscles feel to the touch.

The body will respond to the right touch as if it knows what is good for it, just as it will freeze up and resist the wrong treatment as a way of protecting itself. Have you ever gone for an adjustment from a chiropractor and had trouble relaxing?

When seeking out treatment for your back pain you need to tune into your body and instinctively you will know what is helping you and what isn’t.

A large number of people can’t afford to spend several hundred dollars on the medical merry go round hoping they would find someone who could help them.

I felt that if people were well educated on diagnosing their own problem and had effective techniques they could use daily at home to make progress on their own, they would get much better value from the therapy appointments they had and more importantly, they’d be able to recognize very quickly when a therapist they saw was going to be a waste of their money and time.

Consider Kinesiology for Stress Relief

Stress is one of the biggest problems in the western world and may be caused by a variety of different things. Conventional medicine can offer little help to deal with stress and so many people may turn to alternative therapies. On alternative therapy that could be of great help is kinesiology and so in this article we will look at what both stress and kinesiology and also how kinesiology can help treat stress.

What is Stress?

Stress is a general term that can cover pressure put on the emotional, mental or physical aspects of a person. However usually when we think of stress as an illness we consider the mental and emotional problems that people suffer from. People who suffer from stress usually have a large number of symptoms including insomnia, irritability, restlessness, headaches, digestive problems, reduced self-esteem as well as many others. It can have a significant impact on a person’s life and prevent them from fulfilling their true potential.

In addition if suffered for a long time without treatment it can lead to a number of other health problems that include alcoholism, obesity, suicide, drug addiction, cigarette addiction, and other harmful behaviours. As well as that it is thought that stress can contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes, as well as a lowered immune system. For these reasons it is important to seek treatment as quickly as possible to help you deal with the problems.

What is Kinesiology?

Kinesiology is a therapy system that identifies the problems in a person’s life by assessing their ability to hold their muscles against light pressure. It is believed that each muscle is linked in a part of the body and to an energy meridian that runs along the body. A therapist will normally test the muscles in the body to see just where imbalances are occurring. The therapist will then test the muscles to get feedback and determine what the cause of the problem is.

This means that every person’s treatment is unique as one person’s physical response to a problem will be different to another. The therapist will then devise a treatment plan that will suit the patient and their exact needs. The treatments used will vary from patient to patient and may include things like flower essences, massage, acupuncture, nutritional advice to name just a few. This makes it a truly holistic therapy as it considers the person as a whole and each person is treated differently.

Kinesiology and Stress

If you suffer from stress then a visit to a kinesiology therapist could really help you. The therapist will carefully test your body and identify just which part of your body is responding to and causing the stress. Each person will hold their stress in a different part of the body so this individual treatment can be a great advantage. Once the therapist has identified where you are holding the stress in your body they will be able to devise a treatment plan that will help you to overcome your stress and improve your overall health. In addition to that the actual therapy sessions may help to relax you in themselves and this can help to reduce the stress that you are feeling.

Kinesiology is definitely an option for people who are suffering from stress. However it is important to say that there are a lot of potential treatments for people to try. For that reason it is important to do a detailed research of what is available to you and make sure a particular therapy will be right for you. If you have decided to use kinesiology then it is important to find a reputable therapist who has good references to ensure you get the best possible treatment.

Organic Food Is The Right Choice – Financially As Well

The term “organic” has been in the limelight recently and a lot of “organic” products have been appearing on grocery store shelves across North America. However, humans have been farming and eating “organically” throughout our evolutionary history. It was only during the 20th century where farmers were hard pressed to supply food for a rapidly growing human population. The 20th century was the start of the industrial revolution and marked a paradigm shift in how business would be done. The goals of all titans of industry were to deliver as many products to the consumer at the most efficient low cost way possible while contributing heavily to a companies bottom line.

This notion carried over to the agriculture sector and farmers and companies were trying to find a way to produce more for less. This resulted in science being manipulated to grow food. Synthetic chemicals were used to increase the production and shelf life of food to meet the growing demand of consumers. This involved the use of various chemicals, synthetic fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, genetically engineered organisms, irradiation, and nanotechnology being manipulated to mimic nature. However, with the onset of diseases, it is very clear that the synthetic trade off does not make economic sense in the grand scheme of things. This article will demystify what organic foods are and why we should all make the switch.

Organic vs. Natural: “Organic” and “natural” are sometimes used interchangeably; however their literal meaning and regulation are quite different. Organic foods are produced without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, growth hormones, and antibiotics – they are usually grown using renewable resources. Instead of chemical fertilizers, organic farmers use insects called “beneficial insects” as a method of pest control. In dairy, organic means that no antibiotics or hormones were given to cows the land is used for grazing and the feed has been certified. The feed also cannot contain animal by products. In fashion, organic clothing means that the materials are raised or grown in compliance with organic agricultural standards.

When a product is labeled “organic” it is normally followed by a seal of certification normally issued by third party government agencies such as USDA. Needless to say, true “organic” products are highly regulated and the companies that sell these types of products usually offer complete disclosure and transparency.

“Natural” products, on the other hand, are products that are made from substances found in nature but the products themselves are not regulated. A product can be considered “natural” even if it is prepared synthetically like in a laboratory. Any product derived from plants, animals or elements found on earth can earn the “natural” label. In the food industry today, there is no official definition of “natural.” A food labeled “natural” may contain pesticides, herbicides, toxic heavy metals, P.C.B.’s, fluorides, MSG, high-temperature cooking by products, synthetic chemical vitamins, and other unnatural substances. Consumers should be weary of products labeled “natural” and the companies who manufacture them. Sometimes, however, companies temporarily label their products as “natural” while they wait to obtain the organic seal.

Why organic food is better: Organic food is a better choice than inorganic food for numerous reasons, most importantly for human health. First off, organic food is richer in essential vitamins and minerals. Consumers would need to eat a lot more inorganic food to even come close to the nutritional content of an organic food item. The reason for this has to do with how organic and inorganic items are farmed and the type of minerals the plants are absorbing.

Minerals are elements that originate in the soil and cannot be created by living things. Plants absorb minerals from the soil, and animals get their minerals from the plants or other animals they consume. Most of the minerals in our diets come directly from plants, such as fruits and vegetables, or indirectly from animal sources. Inorganic food farming is practice on large commercial scale and normally involves the use of synthetic fertilizers that contain minerals such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. These are the main minerals that a plant needs to survive and thrive and the ones found in most commercial fertilizers.

With these three minerals, plants look better and the fruit lasts longer. However, unlike plants, humans and animals need a lot of other minerals in order to live healthy. Organic farmers use non-commercial fertilizers such as mineral rich chicken and cow manure mixed in with compost. This so called “green maturing” practice is more sustainable and results in a more nutritional plant.

Where to buy organic food: Aside from niche supermarkets and farmer markets, the best place to find certified organic products would be over the internet. Most independent organic food vendors have a website set up where they showcase their organic food and dairy products. However, unless you know exactly what and who you are looking for, most consumers will rarely find a shop that is truly “certified organic”.

To save time, a great alternative would be to visit the largest vendor driven eco marketplace on the internet called eco3P.com. eco3P strives to consolidate all eco friendly, organic, fair trade, vegan, and related vendors onto one easy to use marketplace. Vendors set up shop and tell the story behind who they are and the type of products that they sell. The “3P’s” stand for “people, planet, and profitshare” as the company shares a portion of their proceeds to help various environmental causes and conserve rainforest.

Conclusion: As you can see, organic food is the most prudent choice. Although organic products are more expensive on a nominal basis, they are also more nutritious and contain more vitamins and minerals that your body needs. The intangible savings of going organic are manifold – you will actually consume less since you are getting a more nutritious fulfilling product, you do not need to compliment your diet with vitamins, and eating healthy means less time spent in bed being sick while ingesting costly medications.

Simply look for the USDA certified organic seal and keep an eye out for where the products are made. Remember that in order to be certified organic, products must be grown and manufactured in a manner that adheres to standards set by the country they are sold in. Only a few countries (Australia, Canada, Sweden, U.K., Norway, India, Japan, and the USA) currently have policies in place that producers must adhere to in order to get the certified organic seal. Recently, in many food shops such as Whole Foods, organic products have been coming from China, a country notorious for loose policies and poor environmental standards.

Do Not Use Expired Cosmetic Products

After the survey of 1,000 women aged 18 to 70, a department store found that the cosmetic products women used often expired four years on average. Some cosmetics even expired more than 15 years. As usual, eyebrow pencil’s shelf life is a year and a half, but in fact the time it stay in the cosmetic bag is 8 years on average, the shelf life of lipstick and lip gloss are 1 year to 2 years, but some people would save them for 10 years, perfume’s shelf life is 3 years, many people have saved for 8 years.

Sarah Stern, head buyer of this cosmetics department survey, said: “We will not hesitate to throw away the deteriorated or expired foods, we should take the same approach to skin care. Beautiful lasts forever, but the cosmetic products are not. Women have very high loyalty for cosmetic brand and product, but health risks would be buried if they not to decline throw out expired products.  Paul Salmon’s words were quoted on New Zealand Herald, which reported a large number of bacteria could be bred in delayed cosmetic products.  All in all, cosmetic bag is a dangerous place for filth.

The survey found that 68% of women neglect whether cosmetics or skin care products had expired, they usually do not throw them away until they are run out. Investigators said expired eye cosmetic product is particularly harmful because the eye is more prone to infections. Redness, itching,  swelling and other symptoms would last for a long time.

Expiration balm would result in dry mouth, sensitive, and blisters. Once Mascara opened, it should normally be used up in 4 to 6 months while high-gloss powder should be used within 6 months. Eye shadow should be run out in a year and a half to two years. The survey also found that about two-thirds of women would share cosmetics or skin care products with others, which increase the risk of infection.

Five years ago, European Union required cosmetics manufacturers to mark shelf life for the products, but near 90% women ignored this information, some people said they didn’t know this information, other say they couldn’t understand clearly the text identity. In addition, some women may think it is a pity to throw away expired cosmetics which are not used up. Response to such opinion, specialist suggested that cosmetics manufacturers produce small packaging products which enable consumers to be able to run out before the end of shelf life.

Why Have a Healthy Breakfast?

You will hear a lot of things said about your diet and what you should and shouldn’t eat. We are looking at what to eat for breakfast in this article but why is breakfast just so important? Well breakfast is the first meal of the day and it is what gets us started. That is not only a figure of speech but it will actually get our digestive system moving and if you are looking to control your weight will really help. Having a healthy breakfast is vital as it will make sure we start of the day the right way. Also if you eat well for breakfast it will help to keep you satisfied until lunch and so reduce the chance of you snacking. This is important for all people but if you are trying to lose weight it is even more vital and can really help you with your weight loss program.

Five of the Best Breakfasts

Often people don’t know what to eat for breakfast or what to choose. Below we will split the possible breakfast items into five categories and give you the best thing you can eat out of each. This will not only give you options for your breakfast but also make sure you are on the right track.

1. Cereal – the best cereal that you can eat is granola this is a combination of wholegrain oats that are packed full of fibre and nuts and seeds that are a great source of omega 3. It is important to be careful when buying it though as many have a lot of added sugar. Look for varieties with no added sugar. If you want sweetness you can look for varieties that include berries.

2. Fruit Juice – the best fruit juice to go for is tomato. Firstly it contains less sugar than many other fruit juices like orange however it also contains a disease fighting antioxidant that many studies have shown reduce your chance of getting breast cancer. As with so many juices it is much better if you can make your own at home with fresh tomatoes.

3. Toast – if you are going to have toast then the best bread to use is whole meal sourdough. This type of bread does not use commercial yeast so reduces the chance of making your feel bloated and sluggish. In addition it has a low GI and so will help to keep you going until lunch especially if you spread it with peanut butter.

4. Yogurt – the best yogurt to go for is plain live yogurt. This is high in protein, calcium and vitamin B2 as well as probiotics that can help with a healthy digestive system. It will also not have the sugar that you get in many yogurts. Good alternatives are fromage frais and 0% fat Greek yogurt.

5. Fruit – the best fruit to have for breakfast are berries,  particularly if you combine them with your granola and 0% fat Greek yogurt. These are great as they have the largest amount of antioxidants of all fruit. They will also help to fight free radicals and to aid cell renewal. Being very low in calories also makes them a great snack throughout the day.

How Long Can I Keep Food Before It Becomes Bad?

Foods vary in freshness and quality over time.  There are difference for meats, fruits and even packaged products.  We found this web site, which allows you to enter any food type, or select from a robust list of foods, and it will show you how long the food product can be stored on a counter, in the fridge or frozen.

This is an excellent resource, and remember, 18% of all food poisonings happen because someone eats old food, full of bacteria and decay.  Protect yourselves and your family by using this guide.

http://www.stilltasty.com  

Scientists Find How Relaxed Minds Remember Better

LOS ANGELES – Stronger and more lasting memories are likely to be formed when a person is relaxed and the memory-related neurons in the brain fire in sync with certain brain waves, scientists said on Wednesday.

Researchers from the United States said their findings could help develop new therapies for people with learning disabilities and some types of dementia.

“This study establishes a direct relationship between events at the circuit level of the brain…and their effects on human behavior,” said Ueli Rutishauser of the California Institute of Technology, who worked on the study.

Synchronization in the brain is influenced by “theta waves” which are associated with relaxation, daydreaming and drowsiness, but also with learning and memory formation, the scientists explained in the study in the journal Nature.

While scientists already know that relaxed minds are better at receiving new information, this study pinpoints a mechanism by which relaxation neurons work together to improve memory.

“Our research shows that when memory-related neurons are well coordinated to theta waves during the learning process, memories are stronger,” said Adam Mamelak, a neurosurgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Erin Schuman of the California Institute of Technology, who also worked on the study, said many learning disabilities appear to be linked to deficiencies in sensory processing and timing.

“These results provide a potential explanation for these deficits,” she said in an email to Reuters.

The findings suggest that if doctors were able to optimize the state of the brain, by ensuring it was relaxed, and then synchronize the delivery of the things it needed to learn, the outcome, or memory, might be better, she said.

The research team studied eight volunteers who were shown 100 photos of a range of objects and allowed to view each for one second. Fifteen to 30 minutes later they were shown another 100 photos — 50 new ones and 50 from the first set — and asked to recall which ones they had seen before and say how confident they were in their answers.

Using electroencephalogram (EEG) electrodes, the researchers recorded neuron activity and the “background” electrical signals in regions of the brain where memories are formed. They found that recognition was stronger when the learning took place while neurons were firing in sync with theta waves.

Most studies of theta waves are conducted in rats, with only a few in humans, partly because EEG electrodes need to be placed directly on the brain’s surface to get precise measurements.

This study was conducted with volunteers with epilepsy and who were undergoing EEGs, which are often used to find the source of epileptic seizure activity. The researchers said steps were taken to ensure the patients’ underlying medical condition did not affect the outcome of the study.

Gene Research Reveals Fourth Human Species

LEIPZIG – fourth type of hominid, besides Neanderthals, modern humans and the tiny “hobbit”, was living as recently as 40,000 years ago, according to research published in the journal Nature.

The discovery by Svante Pääbo and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, is based on DNA sequences from a finger bone fragment discovered in a Siberian cave.

It further enriches the scientific picture of human life in the recent geological past. “Forty thousand years ago the planet was more crowded than we thought,” said Terry Brown, an expert in ancient DNA at Manchester University.

Until recently scientists believed there were just two members of the genus Homo alive at the time: Neanderthals whose ancestors left Africa 400,000 years ago, and modern humans, who left about 50,000 years ago. The picture changed in 2003 when archaeologists found remains of a third species, the tiny “hobbit”, which had survived on the Indonesian island of Flores until 14,000 years ago.

The identification of a fourth species is potentially more significant because it was not an isolated population but lived in the centre of the Eurasian continent, where Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens were also present.

The Leipzig team extracted DNA from a child’s finger bone, which Russian archaeologists discovered with other hominid bone fragments in Denisova Cave, a well known Neanderthal site in Russia’s Altai Mountains.

The site’s exceptional cold helped preserve enough DNA to be read with the latest gene sequencing technology.

The scientists first decoded the “mitochondrial” DNA. It was human but, to their astonishment, very different from Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals.

The differences imply that the ancestors of the still unnamed Siberian hominid diverged from the human family tree about 1m years ago, well before the split between Neanderthals and modern hominids about 500,000 years ago. The results also suggest a previously unsuspected migration out of Africa about 1m years ago, said Prof Pääbo.

He expects within months to decode the hominid’s “nuclear” DNA. That will be compared with the modern human and Neanderthal genomes.

Until more of the new hominid’s DNA has been analysed – or larger pieces of bone discovered – it will not be possible to say much about its physical or cultural characteristics, or how it interacted with other human species.

But one thing is clear: it must have clothed itself in thick furs to withstand the Siberian winter, said Prof Pääbo: “It would have been a bit colder 40,000 years ago than today, and it was -40°C when we went there this January.”

1 in 10 Chinese Adults Are Diabetics, Study Finds

BEIJING – After working overtime to catch up to life in the West, China now faces a whole new problem: the world’s biggest diabetes epidemic.

One in 10 Chinese adults already have the disease and another 16 percent are on the verge of developing it, according to a new study. The finding nearly equals the U.S. rate of 11 percent and surpasses other Western nations, including Germany and Canada.

The survey results, published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, found much higher rates of diabetes than previous studies, largely due to more rigorous testing measures. With 92 million diabetics, China is now home to the most cases worldwide, overtaking India.

“The change is happening very rapidly both in terms of their economy and in terms of their health effects,” said David Whiting, an epidemiologist at the International Diabetes Federation, who was not involved in the study.

“The rate of increase is much faster than we’ve seen in Europe and in the U.S.”

Chronic ailments, such as high blood pressure and heart disease, have been steadily climbing in rapidly developing countries like China, where many people are moving out of farms and into cities where they have more sedentary lifestyles.

Greater wealth has led to sweeping diet changes, including eating heavily salted foods, fatty meats and sugary snacks—boosting obesity rates, a major risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90 percent to 95 percent of all diabetes cases among adults.

“As people eat more high-calorie and processed foods combined with less exercise, we see an increase of diabetes patients,” said Huang Jun, a cardiovascular professor at the Jiangsu People’s Hospital in Nanjing, capital of northern China’s Jiangsu province, who did not participate in the study.

“Whereas 20 years ago, people took naps during the work week, people are now faced with the stress of making more money to support a family and a buy a house.”

Previous studies over three decades have shown a gradual climb in China’s diabetes rates. The sharp rise in the latest study, conducted from 2007-2008, is largely explained by more rigorous testing methods, said lead author Dr. Wenying Yang from the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing.

Earlier nationwide studies relied only on one blood sugar tolerance test, while this survey of nearly 50,000 people caught many more cases by checking levels again two hours later, an approach recommended by the World Health Organization. More than half of the people with diabetes didn’t know they had it, the study found.

The study did have some limitations, sampling more women and city residents—152 urban districts compared to 112 rural villages. Yang said she was alarmed by the findings, and China’s Ministry of Health has been alerted. She said there are plans to promote a national prevention strategy.

Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to regulate blood sugar. It is a major risk factor for heart disease, which remains the biggest killer in the world’s most populous nation.

“I don’t think it’s unique to China, but it’s certainly a concern that the rates are high,” said Colin Bell, a chronic disease expert at WHO’s regional office in Manila. “It emphasizes the need for strong prevention and treatment programs.”

The Asia-Pacific, the world’s most populous region, was highlighted in another study last year estimating that by 2025, it would be home to more than 60 percent of the 380 million diabetes cases globally.

And while the world’s giants, China and India, already have the highest number of cases worldwide, the per capita rate is higher in several other countries—up to 30 percent of all people living on the tiny Pacific Island of Nauru have the disease, according to estimates from the International Diabetes Federation.

The Chinese study sampled people from June 2007 to May 2008 across 14 cities and provinces. It revealed that men were slightly more affected and there were more diabetes cases in cities than in the countryside—one in 11 city dwellers were diabetics, compared with one in eight in rural areas.

However, the number of people on the verge of developing diabetes was higher in rural areas.

The WHO estimates that diabetes, heart disease and stroke will cost China $558 billion between 2006-2015