Unique Way to Cure a Sore Throat

A sore throat, a condition known to us all, can stem from a viral infection, an allergy, or a simple irritation. It can be difficult to swallow and your throat and glands can swell uncomfortably. Most of us will experience it at least once or twice each year. Here is the first of a two-parter on the many great throat healers from the realm of homeopathic medicine. Today we look at the first four. Continue reading

Homeopathy for Pets – Safer and More Effective than Toxic Drugs

Homeopathy is a specific form of alternative (holistic) medicine which was developed by Samuel Hahnemann, M.D., a German physician, in the late eighteenth century. At that time, people were being treated with poisonous substances to get the “bad humours” out of them by making them vomit, have diarrhea, sweat, salivate, and bleed. Many patients died from these treatments which included Continue reading

Lower Levels of Sunlight Link to Allergy and Eczema

Sunshine may help to prevent allergies and eczema

Increased exposure to sunlight may reduce the risk of both food allergies and eczema in children, according to a new scientific study published this week.

Researchers from the European Centre for Environment & Human Health, along with several Australian institutions, have found that children living in areas with lower levels of sunlight are at greater risk of developing food allergies and the skin condition eczema, compared to those in areas with higher UV.

The research team used data from a study of Australian children and analysed how rates of food allergy, Continue reading

Do You Really Have a Food Allergy? Maybe Not

There has been a lot of debate about food allergies in recent years. In particular, medical professionals have been trying to classify reactions to certain foods by distinguishing between food allergy and food intolerance. The topic is usually broached with a little skepticism in the health news. After all, a food allergy is a lot more serious than mere food intolerance — or is it?

Of course an anaphylactic response to a certain food is a very serious health problem. But food intolerances can also cause you a lot of suffering. You can experience headaches, fatigue, stomach pains, breathing difficulties, achy joints and muscles — you name it. Whatever your symptoms and health issues, a food intolerance could potentially be the trigger.

While many doctors may consider a food intolerance as a psychosomatic problem — more based in the mind than on any real physiological change in the body — the concept has been around since the ancient Greeks. The Greeks recognized that some unpleasant symptoms could be specifically linked to the ingestion of certain foods. One of two things can happen to trigger these symptoms: either a message gets sent to your immune system to produce antibodies as a potential defense; or a much slower response takes place in the gastrointestinal system. The first is considered an allergy; the second, food intolerance. Continue reading

Dormant Malaria Parasites in Red Blood Cells May Contribute to Treatment Failure

Researchers at the University of South Florida (USF) College of Public College Health have shown for the first time in a rodent model that the earliest form of malaria parasites can lay dormant in red blood cells and “wake up,” or recover, following treatment with the antimalarial drug artesunate.

The study, which appears today in the online journal PLoS ONE, suggests that this early-stage dormancy phenomenon contributes to the failure of artesunate alone, or even combined with other drugs, to eliminate the mosquito-borne disease.  Alexis LaCrue, PhD, research associate in the USF Department of Global Health, is the lead author of the study, which was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

The emergence Continue reading

Hay Fever Symptoms Reduced with Pycnogenol

You might ward off and reduce allergy and hay fever symptoms if you take a pine bark supplement known as Pycnogenol® several weeks before allergy season starts, according to a study published in Phytotherapy Research. Pycnogenol appears to reduce hay fever symptoms such as itchy eyes and nasal congestion.

About 60 million people in the United States experience symptoms of hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. Symptoms typically include inflamed nasal passages, sneezing, mucus production, rash, hives, itchy mouth, and itching, burning, watering eyes as well as facial pain and decreased sense of smell and taste.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted by KGK Synergize, Inc., which recruited 60 individuals ages 18 to 65 who had all tested positive for birch pollen allergies. The participants began treatment three to eight weeks before onset of the birch allergy season in Ontario, Canada. Subjects were given instructions to take either one 50-mg Pycnogenol tablet or one placebo tablet twice daily throughout the allergy season (mid April to end of May). They were also allowed to take nonprescription antihistamines as needed, and they had to record use of these medications in treatment journals.

The participants were instructed to rate their nasal and eye symptoms each day using a questionnaire. All hay fever symptoms were rated on a scale ranging from zero (no symptoms) to three (severe symptoms completely prevented normal activities).

Throughout the entire allergy season, participants who took Pycnogenol scored lower on total average nasal and eye symptoms than those in the placebo group. A closer evaluation revealed that taking Pycnogenol was more effective the earlier the patients began taking it before allergy season started. The researchers speculated that for best results, individuals should begin taking Pycnogenol at least five weeks before pollen season starts.

In fact, only 12.5 percent of patients who began taking Pycnogenol seven weeks before the birch season began needed nonprescription antihistamines compared with 50 percent of patients who took placebo. Dr. Malkanthi Evans, scientific director of KGK Synergize Inc., noted that people with hay fever who want alternatives to medications that can cause side effects may find that Pycnogenol is “an effective and completely natural solution, void of any side-effects.”

Pycnogenol is an extract from the bark of the maritime pine tree that grows along the coast of southwest France. It contains a variety of phytochemicals, including procyanidins, bioflavonoids, and organic acids, which have been studied for their beneficial properties. Some studies have shown pycnogenol to be helpful in treating osteoarthritis, hemorrhoids, menopausal symptoms, and even attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

In an earlier study, researchers at Loma Linda University compared the use of Pycnogenol with placebo in a group of 60 individuals who had mild to moderate asthma. Subjects who took Pycnogenol experience a significant improvement in pulmonary function and asthma symptoms when compared with the placebo group. Pycnogenol users were also able to reduce or stop their use of rescue inhalers more often than those in the placebo group.

Although hay fever symptoms may seem trivial to people who do not suffer with this allergic condition, Dr. Evans notes that “people suffering from hay fever may disagree as they experience a dramatic impairment to their quality of life.” Pycnogenol offers an effective, natural alternative to medications to treat symptoms of hay fever.

Are You Allergic to Cheap Jewelry?

All that glitters is not gold – as everyone knows who gets a rash from cheap jewelry – and now German scientists have proven that there is such a thing as being allergic to costume jewelry.

Nobody owns “pure gold” jewelry – unless your name happens to be Tutankhamun. All modern-day “solid gold” jewelry is in fact an alloy of gold mixed with baser metals such as copper and nickel. The “carat” designation indicates the amount of gold. The higher the carat number, the more gold and less base metal there is in the piece of jewelry – and the higher the price.

In the past, it was generally assumed that the negligible amounts of base metals in “solid gold” jewelry could not possibly result in an allergic skin reaction. The new findings show that you can indeed be allergic to cheap jewelry.

For many people, wearing a pair of alloy earrings can produce a painful red swelling and blisters. Coins, belt buckles, and even mobile phones may also cause an unpleasant allergic reaction when they rub against the skin.

The reason is that they all contain nickel, the most common cause of skin contact allergies in the industrialized world. But few people realize that nickel is commonly used to make “gold” jewelry.

The researchers, led by Dr Matthias Goebeler from the University of Giessen in Germany, have shown that nickel binds to a particular immune-system protein normally involved in detecting harmful invaders. In susceptible people, this results in the body recognizing nickel as an infectious agent and triggering inflammation.

As the immune system goes into overdrive, it produces the classic symptoms of burning, itching, redness, swelling and blisters.

The scientists studied the nickel-immune response in genetically engineered mice. Only animals capable of producing the human protein TLR4 (toll-like receptor 4), developed “contact hypersensitivity” (CHS) when exposed to nickel.

Human TLR4 acts like a “switch” that triggers a cascade of biochemical reactions when certain substances bind to it. The molecular signals it gives off result in the increased blood flow, leaky tissue, and influx of immune-system cells that give rise to inflammation.

Although the reaction is due to the body defending itself, it often has undesirable side effects.

The scientists outline their findings in the journal Nature Immunology. Drugs that block specific TLR4 binding sites could provide a way of treating nickel allergy, the researchers suggest.

“Our data implicate site-specific human TLR4 inhibition as a potential strategy for therapeutic intervention in CHS that would not affect vital immune responses,” the scientists wrote.

In Europe alone, an estimated 65 million people are sensitized to nickel and develop contact dermatitis when atoms of the metal touch their skin.

Unmade Beds Could Keep Us Healthy

(London) Failing to make your bed in the morning may actually help keep you healthy, scientists believe.
Research suggests that while an unmade bed may look scruffy it is also unappealing to house dust mites thought to cause asthma and other allergies.

A Kingston University study discovered the bugs cannot survive in the warm, dry conditions found in an unmade bed.
The average bed could be home to up to 1.5 million house dust mites.

The bugs, which are less than a millimetre long, feed on scales of human skin and produce allergens which are easily inhaled during sleep.
The warm, damp conditions created in an occupied bed are ideal for the creatures, but they are less likely to thrive when moisture is in shorter supply.

‘Small glands’

The scientists developed a computer model to track how changes in the home can reduce numbers of dust mites in beds.
Something as simple as leaving a bed unmade during the day can remove moisture from the sheets and mattress so the mites will dehydrate and eventually die

Researcher Dr Stephen Pretlove said: “We know that mites can only survive by taking in water from the atmosphere using small glands on the outside of their body.
“Something as simple as leaving a bed unmade during the day can remove moisture from the sheets and mattress so the mites will dehydrate and eventually die.”
In the next stage of their research, the scientists are putting mite pockets into beds in 36 houses around the United Kingdom to test their computer model and will investigate how people’s daily routines affect mite populations.

Building features such as heating, ventilation and insulation will also be altered to monitor how the mites cope.

Dr Pretlove said the research had the potential to reduce the £700m spent treating mite-induced illnesses each year in the UK.
“Our findings could help building designers create healthy homes and healthcare workers point out environments most at risk from mites.”

Dr Matt Hallsworth, of the charity Asthma UK, said: ‘House-dust mite allergen can be an important trigger for many people with asthma, but is notoriously difficult to avoid.”

Professor Andrew Wardlaw, of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology, agreed.
He said: “Mites are very important in asthma and allergy and it would be good if ways were found to modifiy the home so that mite concentrations were reduced.
“It is true that mites need humid conditions to thrive and cannot survive in very dry (desert like) conditions.
“However, most homes in the UK are sufficiently humid for the mites to do well and I find it hard to believe that simply not making your bed would have any impact on the overall humidity.”

Is Marijuana a Medicine?

Charlene DeGidio never smoked marijuana in the 1960s, or afterward. But a year ago, after medications failed to relieve the pain in her legs and feet, a doctor suggested that the Adna, Wash., retiree try the drug.

Ms. DeGidio, 69 years old, bought candy with marijuana mixed in. It worked in easing her neuropathic pain, for which doctors haven’t been able to pinpoint a cause, she says. Now, Ms. DeGidio, who had previously tried without success other drugs including Neurontin and lidocaine patches, nibbles marijuana-laced peppermint bars before sleep, and keeps a bag in her refrigerator that she’s warned her grandchildren to avoid.

“It’s not like you’re out smoking pot for enjoyment or to get high,” says the former social worker, who won’t take the drug during the day because she doesn’t want to feel disoriented. “It’s a medicine.”

For many patients like Ms. DeGidio, it’s getting easier to access marijuana for medical use. The U.S. Department of Justice has said it will not generally prosecute ill people under doctors’ care whose use of the drug complies with state rules. New Jersey will become the 14th state to allow therapeutic use of marijuana, and the number is likely to grow. Illinois and New York, among others, are considering new laws.

As the legal landscape for patients clears somewhat, the medical one remains confusing, largely because of limited scientific studies. A recent American Medical Association review found fewer than 20 randomized, controlled clinical trials of smoked marijuana for all possible uses. These involved around 300 people in all—well short of the evidence typically required for a pharmaceutical to be marketed in the U.S.

Doctors say the studies that have been done suggest marijuana can benefit patients in the areas of managing neuropathic pain, which is caused by certain types of nerve injury, and in bolstering appetite and treating nausea, for instance in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. “The evidence is mounting” for those uses, says Igor Grant, director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego.

But in a range of other conditions for which marijuana has been considered, such as epilepsy and immune diseases like lupus, there’s scant and inconclusive research to show the drug’s effectiveness. Marijuana also has been tied to side effects including a racing heart and short-term memory loss and, in at least a few cases, anxiety and psychotic experiences such as hallucinations. The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate marijuana, so the quality and potency of the product available in medical-marijuana dispensaries can vary.

Though states have been legalizing medical use of marijuana since 1996, when California passed a ballot initiative, the idea remains controversial. Opponents say such laws can open a door to wider cultivation and use of the drug by people without serious medical conditions. That concern is heightened, they say, when broadly written statutes, such as California’s, allow wide leeway for doctors to decide when to write marijuana recommendations.

But advocates of medical-marijuana laws say certain seriously ill patients can benefit from the drug and should be able to access it with a doctor’s permission. They argue that some patients may get better results from marijuana than from available prescription drugs.

Glenn Osaki, 51, a technology consultant from Pleasanton, Calif., says he smokes marijuana to counter nausea and pain. Diagnosed in 2005 with advanced colon cancer, he has had his entire colon removed, creating digestive problems, and suffers neuropathic pain in his hands and feet from a chemotherapy drug. He says smoking marijuana was more effective and faster than prescription drugs he tried, including one that is a synthetic version of marijuana’s most active ingredient, known as THC.

The relatively limited research supporting medical marijuana poses practical challenges for doctors and patients who want to consider it as a therapeutic option. It’s often unclear when, or whether, it might work better than traditional drugs for particular people. Unlike prescription drugs it comes with no established dosing regimen.

“I don’t know what to recommend to patients about what to use, how much to use, where to get it,” says Scott Fishman, chief of pain medicine at the University of California, Davis medical school, who says he rarely writes marijuana recommendations, typically only at a patient’s request.

Researchers say it’s difficult to get funding and federal approval for marijuana research. In November, the AMA urged the federal government to review marijuana’s position in the most-restricted category of drugs, so it could be studied more easily.

Gregory T. Carter, a University of Washington professor of rehabilitation medicine, says he’s developed his own procedures for recommending marijuana, which he does for some patients with serious neuromuscular conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, to treat pain and other symptoms. He typically urges those who haven’t tried it before to start with a few puffs using a vaporizer, which heats the marijuana to release its active chemicals, then wait 10 minutes. He warns them to have family nearby and to avoid driving, and he checks back with them after a few days. Many are “surprised at how mild” the drug’s psychotropic effects are, he says.

States’ rules on growing and dispensing medical marijuana vary. Some states license specialized dispensaries. These can range from small storefronts to bigger operations that feel more like pharmacies. Typically, they have security procedures to limit walk-in visitors.

At least a few dispensaries say they inspect their suppliers and use labs to check the potency of their product, though states don’t generally require such measures. “It’s difficult to understand how we can call it medicine if we don’t know what’s in it,” says Stephen DeAngelo, executive director of the Harborside Health Center, a medical-marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif.

Some of the strongest research results support the idea of using marijuana to relieve neuropathic pain. For example, a trial of 50 AIDS patients published in the journal Neurology in 2007 found that 52% of those who smoked marijuana reported a 30% or greater reduction in pain. Just 24% of those who got placebo cigarettes reported the same lessening of pain.

Marijuana has also been shown to affect nausea and appetite. The AMA review said three controlled studies with 43 total participants showed a “modest” anti-nausea effect of smoked marijuana in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Studies of HIV-positive patients have suggested that smoked marijuana can improve appetite and trigger weight gain.

Donald Abrams, a doctor and professor at the University of California, San Francisco who has studied marijuana, says he recommends it to some cancer patients, including those who haven’t found standard anti-nausea drugs effective and some with loss of appetite.

Side effects can be a problem for some people. Thea Sagen, 62, an advanced neuroendocrine cancer patient in Seaside, Calif., says she expected something like a pharmacy when she went to a marijuana dispensary mentioned by her oncologist. She says she was disappointed to find that the staffers couldn’t say which of the products, with names like Pot ‘o Gold and Blockbuster, might boost her flagging appetite or soothe her anxiety. “They said, ‘it’s trial and error,’ “she says. “I was in there flying blind, looking at all this stuff.”

Ms. Sagen says she bought several items and tried one-eighth teaspoon of marijuana-infused honey. After a few hours, she was hallucinating , too dizzy and confused to dress herself for a doctor’s appointment. Then came vomiting far worse than her stomach upset before she took the drug. When she reported the side effects to her oncologist’s nurse and her primary-care physician, she got no guidance. She doesn’t take the drug now. But with advice from a nutritionist, her appetite and food intake have improved, she says.

Other marijuana users may experience the well-known reduction in ability to concentrate. At least a few users suffer troubling short-term psychiatric side effects, which can include anxiety and panic. More controversially, an analysis published in the journal Lancet in 2007 tied marijuana use to a higher rate of psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia. But the analysis noted that such a link doesn’t necessarily show marijuana is a cause of the conditions.

Long-term marijuana use can lead to physical dependence, though it is not as addictive as nicotine or alcohol, says Margaret Haney, a professor at Columbia University’s medical school. Smoked marijuana may also risk lung irritation, but a large 2006 study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, found no tie to lung cancer.

Some studies and reviews examining the possible medical uses, and side effects, of marijuana are being conducted by.

    * Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, University of California

    * American College of Physicians

    * Institute of Medicine

To read more on Marijuana and its effectiveness, the following periodicals have spent time reviewing certain aspects of medical marijuana.

To treat pain:

    * Neurology

    * Journal of Pain

    * Neuropsychopharmacology

To treat nausea:

    * Annals of Internal Medicine

    * Cancer

    * Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior

To restore appetite:

    * Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

    * Psychopharmacology

To treat spasticity:

    * Neurologist

Overviews of Potential Side Effects:

    * Canadian Medical Association Journal

    * Clinical Toxicology

Mental Effects:

    * Neuropsychology Review

    * Lancet

Withdrawal:

    * Current Psychiatry Reports

    * Current Opinion in Psychiatry

Effects on Lungs

    * Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention

 

 

Here Are Some Terms Used in Homeopathy – Easier to Understand

Here Are Some Terms Used in Homeopathy – Easier to Understand

Terms of homeopathy seem confusing sometimes particularly for them who never know about homeopathy before. Basically, homeopathy is formed from the word “Homeo” and “pathy”. “Homeo” means similar or same, while “pathy” means pain. The base of this alternative medication is concentrates on the use of natural substances to stimulate the mind and the body in order to heal the diseases. For detail knowledge of terms of homeopathy, you might need to read the information below.

Glossary of Terms

In the terms of homeopathy, you’ll find aggravation. It is a name for an obvious enhancement in the symptoms of the disease. Then there’s also an antidote for a material or a remedy that neutralizes the effects of homeopathy medication. Dose that is recommended might be given an antidote to counteract the effect when the patient is not responding well to the homeopathy.

Tissue salts termed as cell salts and biochemic remedies are several of the most important terms of homeopathy. According to homeopaths, use twelve dissimilar salts are significant for the functioning of the body. These cell salts are prepared in low potency and used under homeopathic signs.

Symptoms that are general to a specific sickness or disease like yellow skin in jaundice are known as a common symptom. In terms of homeopathy, symptom of concomitant refers to the symptom that happens at the same time as the main complaint. Those symptoms that refer to location etiology, concomitants sensation and modalities all together give what is known as complete symptom.

Centesimal is one of the three effectiveness scales used in the homeopathy pharmacy. It’s the process of repeated dilutions and successions. In terms of homeopathy and its standards, it’s notated by 10 or 100 scales.

Taking one part of the medicinal substance, tincture or dry blended with alcohol or 99 parts of lactose, and shaken will result 1c potency. In the other hand, taking 1 part of this potency and mixing it with 99 parts of lactose or alcohol and then shaken will yield 2c. A 300c has gone through this process 300 times. A 1M has gone through the process 1000 times.

Furthermore, the decimal scale is the other potency scale in terms of homeopathy. This is a process of taking one part of the medicinal element and blending it with 9 parts of diluents, and shaken well determines a 1X (D) potency.

One part of this potency and 9 parts of diluents, then successes, yields 2X (D) potency. This continuous till the desired potency is reached. The third potency scale is the LM(50 millesimal, Q) conceived by Hahnemann. Effectiveness refers to the strength of homeopathic remedy in terms of homeopathy.

If you’re keen on implementing homeopathy into your life, you are recommended to comprehend the terms of homeopathy. By knowing the terms of homeopathy before implementing homeopathy into life, it will make you easier to gain its advantage.

Using Glutathione Therapy For Parkinsons Symptoms

Anyone living with Parkinson’s disease knows that there are good and bad days. For days when there are challenges, a new treatment, one that is relatively inexpensive, effective, and safe has been discovered.

Not only is this a safe solution for treating Parkinson’s disease, it is also highly effective. This means people with this disease have a fighting chance for normalcy. While it does not cure the disease, IV Glutathione therapy does slow down the progression.

In clinical trials, results show that up to 90% of participants using Glutathione therapy experience significant improvement. In the case of Parkinson’s, the brain’s dopamine receptors lose their sensitivity but with Glutathione, the receptors are restored to normal function.

With this form of treatment, dopamine within the brain is able to function more effectively. This means dopamine sensitivity is improved, as well as the brain’s serotonin levels that can help decrease levels of depression.

In most cases of Glutathione therapy and Parkinson’s, the patient is given 1,400 milligrams on a daily basis with saline. Using an IV drip for ten minutes, three times each week grants the medication to enter the bloodstream so it can get to work swiftly.

 

Although there’s oral Glutathione medication, IV Glutathione therapy is the only way in which Parkinson’s disease should be treated, making it much more effective. Depending on the physician providing the treatment, some will also add various drugs and herbs such as milk thistle and amino acids.

The advances seen over the years pertaining to IV Glutathione therapy are incredible. This allows Parkinson’s patients to get off medications such as Levodopa that have harsh side effects. Anyone interested in this treatment option should remain on any prescribed drugs and then speak to their doctor about eliminating them and switching over to Glutathione therapy.

There are so many wonderful benefits associated with IV Glutathione therapy but the number one is the elimination of side effects, something no patient wants to deal with. Not only do many of the traditional medications have side effects but some also come with serious health risk factors to include stroke and heart attack.

Although the cost of Glutathione therapy is a little higher than other options, it works exceptionally well. The good news is that most insurance companies are now providing partial or full coverage of this substance because it has been approved by the FDA.

Within a short time of a person with Parkinsons Symptoms being put on IV Glutathione therapy, they start to respond to the treatment. This means the patient starts to take back some control over his or her life. As you can imagine, both patients and medical professionals are anxious to get this treatment option out to the public. Although IV Glutathione therapy is used commonly to Parkinson’s, physicians are finding that it also helps with other health problems such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and so on.

If you’ve Parkinson’s disease or another illness mentioned and find that current treatment is not providing you with the needed relief, then Glutathione therapy could be the perfect solution. More and more, this treatment option is becoming accepted among medical professionals and it might be the exact treatment you need.

US House Bill 3962 – Will Limit Alternative Health Care

US House Bill 3962 – Will Limit Alternative Health Care

House Bill 3962, in an effort to control costs, creates a new layer of government bureaucracy that inserts itself between the doctor and the patient.

A national health commissioner and task forces will evaluate and decide everything from what medications a physician will be allowed to prescribe for a patient, to what surgery will be approved, to what outcomes will be expected for a particular medical condition.

The ‘universal healthcare Czar’ along with the task forces will also decide whether or not hospitals will be reimbursed for care rendered based on predetermined outcomes. For example, if a patient is re-admitted within a prescribed number of days after discharge, the hospital will not be reimbursed for care given. It does not take into account factors such as how ill a patient may be.

This new layer of government effectively removes the power of the individual physician and patient to decide what is the best course of treatment.

Why should you care?

You should care because the application of evidence-based medicine can potentially limit health choices of both patients and physicians.  In the reformed healthcare system recommended by Congress, alternative treatments will be pressured to end, and physicians who practice alternative medicine in extreme cases will be criminalized. The money in the system will continue to flow to well funded studies underwritten by the pharmaceutical industry, and those companies without deep pockets will continue to be unable to afford the cost of  in depth studies to critically evaluate the efficacy of such treatments.

 Alternative treatments will fail to pass the standard of evidence-based medicine precisely because they lack the funds to enter the game, and thus the cycle will continue. In short, if alternative treatments are not evaluated by the guidelines of evidence based medicine, they will never be accepted as a valued treatment option.

It can also be argued that evidence-based medicine has exponentially increased the cost of health care. In theory, the essence of evidence-based medicine is science. However, in practice it has become more about money. The system has become one where the pharmaceutical industry has been given the edge. For example:

    * Many of the prescription drug trials are not independent

They are often funded by the very drug companies that stand to gain if their drug is found to be effective in trials and is approved

    * The relationship between medical societies and the pharmaceutical industry raises questions.

Over the past 10-15 years there has been a change in the parameters of our most common diseases (hypertension, obesity and high cholesterol ). For example, in the past normal blood pressure was 120/80, and now  it is 115/75.  In fact, those with a blood pressure of 120/80 are now considered to be pre-hypertensive and are eligible for medication.

The body mass index (BMI) number for obesity decreased from 40 to 30 while the parameters for being overweight have expanded from a BMI of 27.8 in 1995 to less than 25 today. High cholesterol (LDL) is now < 200 instead of the old parameter of  < 250.

The change in parameters have meant both a dramatic increase in the number of people who meet criteria for treatment with prescription drugs along with a resultant rise in the cost of healthcare. The question that has yet to be answered – why are we less healthy despite taking ever increasing amounts of prescription medication?

    * There is a tight financial relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and the medical industry.

The AMA, medical education and the underwriting of medical research has given the pharmaceutical industry a great advantage in the shaping of medical opinion and by extension evidence-based medicine.

    * There is a revolving door between those who work for the FDA and those who have worked in the pharmaceutical industry.

This cozy relationship raises the importance of Big Pharma and relegates natural/alternative methods to junk science. Inherently, this should make those of us who are critical thinkers question the statements that summarily denigrate the supplement industry which makes products, that in many cases are in direct competition with the drugs that are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies, but don’t need patents.

A more balanced approach to our healthcare system is necessary. If the same standard is applied to both alternative and conventional treatments, each will be given a level playing field to determine efficacy. This change would go a long way towards accomplishing the task of improving the health of Americans without bankrupting them.

Let’s try something new like  promoting prevention and wellness instead of just talking about it or actually giving  doctors and patients the freedom to choose how they approach health choices. No one can argue with the fact that a healthier population, will lead to a significant decrease in healthcare costs.  The current system clearly is not working.

What Types of Eggs Are Best For You and How to Eat Them

True free-range eggs are far more nutritious than commercially raised eggs.

Compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain:

    * 1/3 less cholesterol

    * 1/4 less saturated fat

    * 2/3 more vitamin A

    * 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids

    * 3 times more vitamin E

    * 7 times more beta carotene

These dramatically differing nutrient levels are most likely the result of the differences in diet between free-range pastured hens, vs. commercially farmed hens.

Without citing any research of their own, most egg industry advocates hold fast to their claim that commercially farmed eggs are no different from pastured eggs, and that hens’ diets do not alter their eggs nutritional value in any significant way.

Eggs are one of the healthiest foods in the world, and at their very best if you eat them raw. But the quality of your eggs is also important.

The REAL Definition of Free-Range Eggs

As this article clearly states, the nutritional difference between true free-range eggs and commercially farmed eggs is not an occasional fluke or misprint, as these findings are being backed up with a mounting body of evidence.    

The fact that the USDA and other organizations (which are often funded or influenced by industry) refuse to acknowledge that there is a direct link between the diet of the bird and the nutritional value of their eggs, is a clear indicator that there are strong financial incentives at work – not nutritional science. Because clearly, “garbage in, garbage out” applies here as well. This general rule will never change – it applies equally to hens, beef cattle, dairy cows, and your own body.

And don’t be fooled by the egg industry’s double-speak definitions of what free-range really is. True free-range eggs are from hens that range freely outdoors on a pasture where they can forage for their natural diet, which includes seeds, green plants, insects, and worms. A hen that is let outside into a barren lot for a few minutes a day but is fed a diet of corn, soy, and cottonseed meals, plus synthetic additives, is NOT a free-range hen, and will not produce the same quality eggs as its foraging counterpart.

An additional issue that is important, but not discussed here, is the fact that the main ingredients of commercially raised hens’ diets are genetically modified (GM). 

The three main GM ingredients in the United States’ food supply are corn, soy, and cottonseed. All the more reason to stay away from commercial eggs, even if they state “free-range” on their label.

Which Eggs to Buy, and Which You Should Avoid

Additionally, I would STRONGLY encourage you to AVOID ALL omega-3 eggs, as they are actually LESS healthy for you. Typically, the animals are fed poor-quality sources of omega-3 fats that are already oxidized. Also, omega-3 eggs do not last anywhere near as long as non-omega-3 eggs. Remember, omega- 3 eggs are highly perishable and should be avoided.

If you have to purchase your eggs from a commercial grocery store, I would advise getting free-range organic. Ideally, if at all possible  it would be far preferable to purchase your eggs directly from your local farmer, because this way you can be certain of the quality. This may not be as hard as you think. In my experience, this is one of the easiest foods to find from local farmers. To find free-range pasture farms you can try you local health food store or  try:

     www.eatwild.com

    www.localharvest.org 

If you cannot find a farmer to sell you eggs directly, and you’re not interested in raising your own, then organic eggs from the store would be your next best option. 

It is also wise to NOT refrigerate your eggs. If you have ever been to Europe or South America and gone into the grocery stores, you will know that this practice of non-refrigeration is common in those countries.

How to Eat Your Eggs for Maximum Health Benefits

Eggs are often one of your most allergenic foods, but I believe this is because they are cooked. If you consume your eggs in their raw state, the incidence of egg allergy virtually disappears. Heating the egg protein actually changes its chemical shape, and the distortion can easily lead to allergies.

It is my belief that eating eggs raw helps preserve many of the highly perishable nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are powerful prevention elements of the most common cause of blindness: age-related macular degeneration.

Fresh raw egg yolk tastes like vanilla. It can be eaten “Rocky style,” combined with avocado or in a shake with whey protein powder, raw kefir, or a small amount of berries. However, egg protein is easily damaged on a molecular level, even by mixing/blending. If you choose not to eat your eggs raw, cooking them soft-boiled would be your next best option.

Scrambling your eggs is one of the worst ways to eat eggs as it actually oxidizes the cholesterol in the egg yolk. If you have high cholesterol this may actually be a problem for you as the oxidized cholesterol may cause some damage in your body.

If you are not used to eating fresh raw eggs, you should start by eating just a tiny bit of it on a daily basis, and then gradually increase the portions. 

For example, start by consuming only a few drops of raw egg yolk a day for the first three days. Gradually increase the amount that you consume in three-day increments. Try half a teaspoon for three days, then one teaspoon, then two teaspoons. When you are accustomed to that amount, increase it to one raw egg per day and subsequently to two raw eggs per day or more. 

One should not consume raw egg whites without the yolks as raw egg whites contain avidin, which can bind to biotin. If you cook the egg white the avidin is not an issue.  However if you consume them with raw egg yolk (whole egg) there is more than enough biotin in the yolk to compensate for the avidin binding.

There is a potential problem with using the entire raw egg if you are pregnant. Biotin deficiency is a common concern in pregnancy and it is possible that consuming whole raw eggs would make it worse. If you are pregnant you have two options. The first is to actually measure for a biotin deficiency. This is best done through urinary excretion of 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid (3-HIA), which increases as a result of the decreased activity of the biotin-dependent enzyme methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase.

Alternatively, you could take a biotin supplement, or consume only the yolk raw (and cook the whites).

If you choose not to eat your eggs raw, cooking them soft-boiled would be the next best option.

Relieving Pediatric Respiratory Disease Symptoms By Hypnosis

SYRACUSE – Hypnosis has potential therapeutic value in children with respiratory disorders for alleviating symptoms such as habit cough or unexplained sensations of difficulty breathing and for lessening a child’s discomfort during medical procedures. Proper utilization of hypnosis as an adjunct to conventional treatment and its ability to use the mind-body connection to bring about physiological changes are explored in a provocative paper in Pediatric Asthma, Allergy & Immunology, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The paper is available free online.

Ran D. Anbar, MD, Professor of Pediatrics at SUNY Upstate Medical University, in Syracuse, NY, recommends hypnosis as a treatment option when a child’s respiratory symptoms appear to have a psychological component. In his paper, “Adding Hypnosis to the Therapeutic Toolbox of Pediatric Respiratory Care,” Dr. Anbar points to symptoms such as difficulty taking a breath, a disruptive cough, hyperventilation, noise on inspiration such as a gasp or squeak, and difficulty swallowing despite normal lung function as possible indications for the use of hypnosis to supplement medical therapy. Symptoms that are absent during sleep, can be associated with a particular activity or location, or are linked to or triggered by an emotional response may be particularly responsive to hypnosis.

Published data support the benefit of hypnosis in children with respiratory disorders with a large mind-body component such as vocal cord dysfunction and habit cough. Hypnosis can also help lessen sensations of difficulty breathing and anxiety in other respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis and asthma. Hypnosis is also a valuable tool for easing a child’s anxiety and helping patients control their response to discomfort.

Dr. Anbar cautions that hypnosis should not be attempted or considered for use by someone who is not a health care provider and has not received appropriate training in the technique.

Dr. Anbar has added hypnosis to our therapeutic toolbox. When breathing problems have a large mind-body component, resolution with hypnosis can dramatically reduce the need for expensive testing and medications,” says Harold Farber, MD, MSPH, Editor of Pediatric Asthma, Allergy Immunology, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Section of Pulmonology, at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.

US TELE-MEDICINE RECOMMENDS BARRY EISEN FOR HYPNOTHERAPY HELP: WWW.BARRYEISEN.COM

Introducing – Goji Berries

Introducing – Goji Berries

Other Names: Lycium barbarum, wolfberry, gou qi zi, Fructus lycii

Goji berries grow on an evergreen shrub found in temperate and subtropical regions in China, Mongolia and in the Himalayas in Tibet. They are in the nightshade (Solonaceae) family.

Goji berries are usually found dried. They are shriveled red berries that look like red raisins.

Why do people use goji berries?

Goji berries have been used for 6,000 years by herbalists in China, Tibet and India to:

    * protect the liver

    * help eyesight

    * improve sexual function and fertility

    * strengthen the legs

    * boost immune function

    * improve circulation

    * promote longevity

Goji berries are rich in antioxidants, particularly carotenoids such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. One of zeaxanthin’s key roles is to protect the retina of the eye by absorbing blue light and acting as an antioxidant. In fact, increased intake of foods containing zeathanthin may decrease the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people over the age of 65.

In recent years, goji juice has become popular as a health beverage. Companies marketing goji juice often mention the unsupported claim that a man named Li Qing Yuen consumed goji berries daily and lived to be 252 years old. Marketers also list extensive health benefits of goji juice, even though there are few published clinical trials in humans.

What research has been done on goji berries?

Goji has only been tested on humans in two published studies. A Chinese study published in the Chinese Journal of Oncology in 1994 found that 79 people with cancer responded better to treatment when goji was added to their regimen.

There have been several test tube studies that show that goji berry contains antioxidants and that goji extracts may prevent the growth of cancer cells, reduce blood glucose, and lower cholesterol levels. However, that doesn’t necessary mean that goji will have the same benefits when taken as a juice or tea.

Although goji berries like the ones used in traditional Chinese medicine aren’t very expensive, goji juice is very pricey. Considering that a 32-ounce bottle of goji juice (about an 18-day supply) can run as high as $50 USD, the evidence isn’t compelling enough at this time to justify the cost of goji juice.

Also, we don’t know the side effects of regular goji consumption, or whether it will interfere with treatments or medications.

What do goji berries taste like?

Goji berries have a mild tangy taste that is slightly sweet and sour. They have a similar shape and chewy texture as raisins.

In traditional Chinese medicine, goji berries are eaten raw, brewed into a tea, added to Chinese soups, or made into liquid extracts.

Goji juice is also available, usually in 32-ounce bottles.

Goji berries have appeared in snack foods in North America. For example, the health food store Trader Joe’s sells a goji berry trail mix.

Possible drug interactions

Goji berries may interact with anticoagulant drugs (commonly called “blood-thinners”), such as warfarin (Coumadin®). There was one case report published in the journal Annals of Pharmacotherapy of a 61-year old woman who had an increased risk of bleeding, indicated by an elevated international normalized ratio (INR). She had been drinking 3-4 cups daily of goji berry tea. Her blood work returned to normal after discontinuing the goji berry tea.

Where to find goji berries

Whole goji berries are available at Chinese herbal shops.

Goji juice can be found in some health food stores, online stores, and through network marketers.