Scientists Developing Probiotics to Ambush Disease-Causing Gut Bacteria

Scientists Developing Probiotics to Ambush Disease-Causing Gut Bacteria

ADELAIDE – Scientists from University of Adelaide are working on developing diversionary tactics in a bid to fool disease-causing gut bacteria that often lead to infections, such as cholera.

According to Professor James Paton, bacteria produce toxins that damage human tissues when they bind to complex sugar receptors displayed on the surface of cells in the host’s intestine.

In the new study, researchers have shown how they had added molecular mimics of these host cell receptors onto the surface of harmless bacteria capable of surviving in the human gut.

If given during an infection caused by a toxin-producing bacterium, these “receptor-mimic probiotics” will bind the toxins in the gut very strongly, thereby preventing the toxins from interacting with receptors on host intestinal cells and causing disease.

An advantage of this approach to treatment is that the pathogenic bacteria are unlikely to develop a resistance to it, as that would destroy the basic mechanism by which they cause disease.

Moreover, receptor-mimic bacteria bind toxins more strongly than previous technologies.

They are also more cost effective, as the bacteria can be grown cheaply in large-scale fermenters.

“We initially developed this technology to prevent disease caused by strains of E. coli bacteria that produce Shiga toxin. These include the infamous E. coli O157 strain, which causes outbreaks of severe bloody diarrhoea and the potentially fatal haemolytic uraemic syndrome,” said Paton.

“Our prototype receptor mimic probiotic provided 100% protection against otherwise fatal E. coli disease in an animal model. We have also developed similar receptor mimic probiotics that are capable of preventing cholera and travellers’ diarrhoea.

“As well as being able to treat disease, these probiotics could be given to vulnerable populations following natural disasters to help prevent outbreaks of diseases like cholera,” he added.

The findings were presented at the Society for General Microbiology’s meeting at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

Home Remedies Series – Cough

A person who is going to cough first draws a deep breath in. This action causes his glottis to close and his muscles to contract, thus building up pressure in the chest. Then suddenly, the glottis opens, an explosive discharge of air sweeps through the air passages and carries with it the excess secretions or, in some cases, foreign matter, which has irritated the larynx, trachea, or bronchi.

Causes of Cough

A cough may be caused by inflammation of the larynx or the pharynx. A cough can develop in the chest due to change in weather or seasonal changes.

Clogging of the bronchial tubes with waste matter

The real cause of this disorder, however, is clogging of the bronchial tubes with waste matter. This is due to wrong feeding habits. The reason for higher incidence of cough during winter than in other seasons is that an average person usually eats more of catarrh-forming foods such as white bread, meat, sugar, porridge, puddings, and pies during the colder months of the year. Being overclothed with heavy undergarments and other garments during this period also prevents proper aeration of the skin.

Cough treatment using Grapes

Grapes are one of the most effective home remedies for the treatment of a cough. Grapes tone up the lungs and act as an expectorant, relieving a simple cold and cough in a couple of days. A cup of grape juice mixed with a teaspoon of honey is advised for cough relief.

Cough treatment using Almonds

Almonds are useful for dry coughs. Seven kernels should be soaked in water overnight and the brown skin removed. They should then be ground well to form a fine paste. A quantity of twenty grams each of butter and sugar should then be added to the paste. This paste should be taken in the morning and evening.

Cough treatment using Onion

The use of raw onion is valuable in a cough. This vegetable should be chopped fine and the juice extracted from it. One teaspoon of the juice should then be mixed with one teaspoon of honey and kept for four or five hours-it will make an excellent cough syrup and should be taken twice daily. Onions are also useful in removing phelgm. A medium-sized onion should be crushed, the juice of one lemon added to it, and then one cup of boiling water poured on it. A teaspoon of honey can be added for taste. This remedy should be taken two or three times a day.

Cough treatment using Turmeric

The root of the turmeric plant is useful in a dry cough. The root should he roasted and powdered. This powder should be taken in three gram doses twice daily, in the morning and evening.

Cough treatment using Belleric Myroblan

The herb belleric myroblan is a household remedy for a cough. A mixture comprising two grams of the pulp of the fruit, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of long pepper, and 2 teaspoons of honey should be administered for the treatment of this condition twice daily. The dried fruit covered with wheat flour and roasted , is another popular remedy for cough condition.

Cough treatment using Raisins

A sauce prepared from raisins is also useful in a cough. This sauce is prepared by grinding 100 gm of raisins with water. About 100 gm of sugar should be mixed with it and the mixture heated. When the mixture acquires a sauce-like consistency, it should be preserved. Twenty grams should be taken at bedtime daily.

Cough treatment using Aniseed

Aniseed is another effective remedy for a hard dry cough with difficult expectoration. It breaks up the mucus. A tea made from this spice should be taken regularly for treating this condition.

Dietaries for Cough

Orange juice and water

In the case of a severe cough, the patient should fast on orange juice and water till the severity is reduced. The procedure is to take the juice of an orange diluted in a cup of warm water, every two hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

All-fruit diet

After the juice fast, the patient should adopt an all-fruit diet for two or three days. In case of a mild cough, the patient can begin with an all-fruit diet for five to seven days, taking three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits such as apples, pears, grapes, grape-fruit, oranges, pineapples, peaches, and melons. For drinks, unsweetened lemon water, or cold or hot plain water may be given.

Well-balanced diet with emphasis on wholegrain cereals, lightly cooked vegetables

After the all-fruit diet, the patient should follow a well-balanced diet, with emphasis on wholegrain cereals, raw or lightly cooked vegetables, and fresh fruits.

Avoid tea, coffee, refined and processed foods

The patient should avoid meats, sugar, tea, coffee, condiments, pickles, refined and processed foods. He should also avoid soft drinks, candies, ice-cream, and all products made from sugar and while flour.

Introducing – Garlic

Garlic (Allium sativum) is a plant closely related to onions, leeks, and chives. Extracts of the bulb and clove are sometimes used medicinally.

In herbal medicine, garlic is typically used to treat or prevent these conditions:

 Heart disease

 Cancer

 Infections

 Colds

 

Research suggests that garlic may help fight the following health problems:

1) High Cholesterol

A number of studies have shown that regular intake of garlic may lead to moderate changes in cholesterol levels. In a 2009 review that analyzed the results of 29 clinical trials, for instance, researchers found that garlic appears to reduce total cholesterol to a modest extent. A study published in 2000, however, indicates that although garlic is superior to a placebo in lowering total cholesterol levels, the use of garlic in treatment of high cholesterol is of “questionable value.”

2) High Blood Pressure

Garlic preparations are more effective than a placebo when it comes to reducing blood pressure in people with hypertension, according to a 2008 review and analysis of 25 studies. However, another review (published in 2009) concluded that garlic should not be recommended as a blood pressure-lowering remedy for hypertensive patients.

3) The Common Cold

Garlic may help fend off colds, suggests a 2001 study. For 12 weeks during cold season, 146 volunteers took either a daily garlic supplement or a placebo. By the end of the study period, 24 colds were reported in the garlic group, compared to 65 in the placebo group.

4) Colorectal and Stomach Cancer

In a 2001 review of 19 studies on garlic consumption and cancer incidence, researchers found that regular intake of garlic (in raw, cooked, or supplement form) may help prevent stomach and colorectal cancers.

While garlic is generally considered safe, possible adverse effects include:

 Upset stomach

 Headache

 Fatigue

 Diarrhea

 

Since garlic thins the blood, it’s important to discontinue use at least seven days before undergoing surgery. Garlic may also interact with a number of medications, including insulin, anticoagulants, immunosuppressive agents, and protease inhibitors.

How to Use Garlic

Garlic supplements (as well as topically applied garlic oils, often used in treatment of ear infections) are sold in many health food stores and drugstores. Eating chopped or crushed raw garlic may also offer medicinal benefits.

FOR HIGH CHOLESTEROL ISSUES  

PLEASE SEE THE POST ON “POLICOSANOL” – NATURE’S STATIN

Could This Forbidden Medicine Eliminate the Need for Drugs?

By: Amy Lansky, PhD    www.impossiblecure.com

    Perhaps the most derided of alternative medicines is my own favorite – homeopathy. Over the past few years, detractors have focused their efforts in the United Kingdom and have succeeded in crippling homeopathic hospitals and clinics funded by the National Health Service, as well as the practices of many homeopaths.

    A few well-placed editorials in prominent newspapers have done the trick, despite the fact that Prince Charles and the rest of the royal family are ardent supporters of homeopathy.

    It now seems that some of these folks are taking their show on the road. Two key UK players, Michael Baum and Edzard Ernst have published a commentary in the November 2009 issue of the American Journal of Medicine [1] in which they state, “a belief in homeopathy exceeds the tolerance of an open mind. We should start from the premise that homeopathy cannot work and that positive evidence reflects publication bias or design flaws until proved otherwise.”

    Not surprisingly, their commentary also reflects a complete ignorance of homeopathy and the range of studies that support its effectiveness. For example, their article incorrectly uses the term “potentation” instead of “potentization” for the method used to create homeopathic remedies (more on this later). The authors also insist on citing a single negative meta-analysis study that has already been shown to be methodologically flawed [2], while ignoring many positive studies in respected publications, including two other meta-analyses that showed positive results [3—8].

    So why do the skeptics love to hate homeopathy? Perhaps because it is one of the most threatening alternative modalities – financially, philosophically, and therapeutically. Actually, homeopathy has been a threat to allopathy ever since the 1800s, when German physician Samuel Hahnemann developed the homeopathic system.

Founder of Homeopathy

    Hahnemann, a respected doctor and chemist who helped to pioneer the importance of hygiene as well as homeopathy, was forced to move frequently during his life because the local German apothecaries objected to the fact that he created his own medicines rather than use theirs.

    A fierce battle was also waged against homeopathy in the United States during the 1800s, where homeopathy had achieved a strong presence by 1840. In fact, in 1847, the American Medical Association (AMA) was formed specifically to fight the battle against homeopathy.

    Most homeopaths of the 1800s were former allopaths who had abandoned their brethren because they found Hahnemann’s system to be more successful in battling cholera, typhus, yellow fever, diptheria, influenza, and other epidemics of the 1800s. In retaliation, the preamble to the AMA’s charter forbade its members to associate with homeopaths or to use their medicines, and many doctors were expelled for failing to comply.

    But does homeopathy really pose such a threat to conventional medicine today? To see how the little David of homeopathy could take down the Goliath of big pharma, we need to take a closer look at what homeopathy is all about.

Like Cures Like – – Law of Similars

    Homeopathic practice is based on a single law of therapeutics called the Law of Similars. This law states that a substance that can cause the symptoms of a disease can also cure it. In fact, that’s exactly what word “homeopathy” means: similar (“homeo”) suffering (“pathy”). For example, one reason that the remedy Coffea Cruda (made from coffee) can be curative for insomnia is that coffee can cause sleeplessness. Interestingly, allopaths sometimes utilize the Law of Similars, but are unaware of it when they do and are perplexed by the phenomenon.

    Ask any conventional doctor why Ritalin (a substance that would normally cause hyperactivity) can treat hyperactivity in children, and they’ll scratch their heads in confusion. Ask a homeopath, and it’s a no-brainer: the Law of Similars.

    The reason why homeopaths run into trouble with the skeptics, though, revolves around how homeopathic remedies are prepared. Obviously, many of the substances that can cause the symptoms of disease are toxic. This inherent toxicity poses a challenge if you want to administer these substances safely.

    In an effort to deal with this problem, Hahnemann tried various methods of diluting his medicines so that they would become less harmful to his patients. This proved unsuccessful until he also incorporated vigorous shaking or succussion into the process. The result was a method that he called potentization, in which a substance is serially diluted and succussed over and over.

    Much to Hahnemann’s own surprise, these ultradilutions – so dilute that they cannot possibly contain a single molecule of the original substance – were still potent therapeutically. In fact, they were even more potent than low levels of dilution.

    Of course, this was and still is too much for the skeptics to bear. It turns much of accepted science on its head!

    What the skeptics keep ignoring, however, are an increasing number of scientific studies that indicate that some kind of signature of the original substance is embedded in a potentized ultradilution. In a 2007 paper by Professor Rustom Roy, the founding director of the Materials Research Laboratory at Penn State and one of the world’s leading experts on the structure of water, it was demonstrated that lab instruments could pick up energetic signatures in ultradilutions that were not only specific to individual homeopathic remedies, but to specific potencies of these remedies [9, 10].

    Indeed, science has backed up the phenomenon of potentization for over 20 years. In 1988, Nobel Prize nominee and medical researcher Jacques Benveniste turned the course of his life upside down when he discovered that ultradilutions could retain substance-specific properties. In particular, he found that a certain antibody could be serially diluted and succussed beyond the point where a single molecule could remain, but still cause the same effects [11].

    Naturally, the skeptics quickly attacked Benveniste. But he continued his work and further demonstrated that the electromagnetic signature of an ultradilution could be recorded electronically, transmitted via Email, replayed into water, and still achieve the same substance-specific effects in the laboratory [12]. Eventually, Benveniste’s results were replicated [13]. Most recently, a 2009 paper by Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier underscored the power of ultradilutions too [14].

Drug Companies are Running Scared

 Now think about it. This is what big pharma is scared of.

    What if an expensive drug could be potentized to create billions of effective doses at essentially no cost? It would destroy big pharma entirely. Medicines that cost essentially nothing? Nontoxic ultradiluted medicines that cause fewer side effects? How could the coffers of big pharma be sustained? Forget about the Law of Similars. It’s potentization – the process of creating effective ultradilutions – that big pharma is scared of! No wonder Baum and Ernst got the word “potentization” wrong. This one word is the small stone that could take Goliath down.

    Of course, homeopaths add fuel to the fire. The fundamental philosophy of homeopathy implies that the primary tools of allopathy are harmful. In particular, homeopaths believe that suppressing symptoms with anti-pathic drugs – drugs that oppose the symptoms of a disease rather than mimic them – cannot cure and can even do harm. If a symptom is suppressed – for example, if a seasonal allergy is suppressed by an antihistamine – it is only temporarily palliated.

    A patient still has allergic tendencies and his or her symptoms will eventually return. That’s why suppressive drugs must be taken again and again. And of course, big pharma loves that! It’s good for business.

Deceptive Cures

    Unfortunately, if a substance succeeds in completely suppressing a symptom, there may be an illusion of “cure,” but the real result is more sinister. Another key tenet of homeopathy is that the true result of suppression is a deepening of the underlying disease state – because the energy of the disease is now forced to manifest in a more serious way.

    That’s why repeated application of cortisone cream to eczema can lead to asthma. That’s why the suppression of arthritis pain can lead to heart disease. That’s why teenagers who take acne drugs sometimes develop suicidal depression.

    Doctors call this phenomenon a “side effect” or a “natural disease progression.” But that’s because they don’t understand the effects of suppression or the signs of true cure.

    Over the past two hundred years, homeopaths have discovered that homeopathic medicines – drugs that mimic a person’s symptoms rather than oppose them – can lead to genuine cure of chronic disease, not mere palliation or suppression. Rather than creating a deeper disease, a homeopathic medicine that is similar to a patient’s disease can not only cure it, but reveal previously suppressed layers of disease that can be treated too.

    That’s why good homeopathic treatment can often cure asthma – and also reveal and treat previously suppressed eczema. That’s why it has the potential to cure arthritis and chronic bladder infections, not simply palliate them with endless medications. Indeed, homeopathy can effectively treat acute diseases like influenza and bacterial infections too. With its ability to successfully treat both chronic and acute disease with low-cost medicines, homeopathy really could be a threat to big pharma, given half a chance.

Ideal for Poor Countries or Rich Ones with Declining Economies

    Poor countries with less access to expensive drugs have already discovered this. That’s why homeopathy is the second most widespread form of medicine in the world. In India, homeopathy is a full-fledged medical system with its own medical schools and hospitals. Homeopaths in India successfully treat the full range of diseases, including AIDS, cancer, and malaria.

    In Cuba, a poor country with a health care system that often does better than our own, homeopathy is being used more and more. In 2008, 2.5 million Cubans were given a homeopathic remedy to prevent Leptospirosis, an infectious disease also known as swamp fever.

    This disease has plagued the country for several years in the aftermath of flooding, but the year in which homeopathy was used, in contrast to previous years, there were no fatalities and very few cases of the disease [15].

    But here’s the rub. Homeopathy is harder to practice than allopathy. There are no cookie-cutter cures, especially for chronic disease. (Luckily, however, effective treatment of epidemic diseases like the flu is easier; see Resources.) Each patient’s health pattern is unique, so each patient must be treated as an individual.

    A homeopath must find a single remedy (among thousands of possible homeopathic remedies) whose associated symptoms match those of the patient – not just their main complaint, but their entire symptom picture that includes emotional, mental, behavioral, as well as the physical symptoms of the entire body. It’s a daunting task. A practitioner who practices classical homeopathy (the kind of homeopathy I advocate) typically needs at least two hours for an initial case interview and may spend just as long deciding upon a remedy.

    And sometimes it takes a homeopath several tries to find just the right remedy – the one that homeopaths call the simillimum. This process also requires patients to engage in their own treatment, because symptoms are gathered not by machines or by using tests, but through direct communication between patient and homeopath.

    Of course, this is not something big pharma, conventional doctors, or insurance companies would be happy about. No expensive medicines or tests or equipment needed? No five-minute appointments reimbursed at $300 a shot? A medical system that requires long appointments, time for case analysis, and patients who must participate in the healing process? Not very lucrative.

How I Broke Out of the Mold and Reliance on Failed Medical Therapies

    Of course, I used to be a lover of conventional medicine like most people. Back in the early 1990s, my husband Steve Rubin and I were both computer researchers in Silicon Valley and followed our doctors’ instructions obediently, loading our kids up with every recommended vaccine on schedule. Our allopathic trance began to break in 1994 when our 3-year-old son Max began to show signs of autism.

    I first read about homeopathy in the January 1995 issue of Mothering Magazine, which contained an article about the successful homeopathic treatment of ADD and other children’s behavioral problems [16]. Steve and I decided to give it a try and found a practitioner in our area. Within a week we began to see small and subtle improvement in Max – improvement that became a slow and steady trend. After two years of treatment, he was testing normally and was released from eligibility for special education benefits.

    His speech and language therapist told the county representative that she had never seen an autistic child recover like Max had, and she fully credited homeopathy for his recovery. By the time he was eight, nearly all signs of Max’s autism were gone. Today he is 18, a freshman at a leading university, completely autism free, and without restrictions of any kind.

    Needless to say, this experience was both mind-boggling and life-transforming. I began to study homeopathy myself and ultimately wrote what became the best-selling patient education book in the USA – Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy [17] – a comprehensive introduction to homeopathic history, philosophy, science, and experience, sprinkled with dozens first-person cure stories for a variety of ailments, along with a chapter about Max’s cure.

    In the end, I left my work in computer science and devoted myself to letting others know about the healing powers of homeopathy. I got involved in the successful campaign for health freedom legislation in California too [18]. Steve also got involved and developed the National Vaccine Information Center’s online interface to the VAERS database [19] (the CDC’s public record of vaccine injuries). I guess Max’s healing led us both to become alternative medicine activists, and we haven’t looked back.

Conclusion

    So why not take a look at homeopathy for yourself? Make it your New Year’s resolution to find a good classical practitioner and to learn more about this amazing medical modality. The skeptics manage to create a lot of smoke in an effort to hide homeopathy from public view. But where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Find out about how this powerful healing system – a system that packs a lot of firepower into an infinitesimal punch – can help you and your family.

Resources

    (1) Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy – www.impossiblecure.com.

    This website includes: book ordering information; autism help page; free archive of Amy’s show on AutismOne Radio – There’s Hope with Homeopathy; Cure Stories Database; helpful links.

    (2) National Center for Homeopathy – www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org.

    Leading open-membership organization for homeopathy in the USA that organizes the yearly national conference. Membership buys a quarterly magazine, Homeopathy Today, monthly eNewsetter, online chats with leading experts, extensive online resources and social network. Website includes many free resources, including practitioner and resource referrals lists and flu treatment information.

Statin Use Reduces Heart Attacks, Deaths After Surgery on Blood Vessels

ROTTERDAM – Score another victory for the cheap, cholesterol-lowering wonder drugs known as statins. People getting an artery unclogged or repaired were much less likely to die or have a heart attack afterward if they took preventive doses of the pills before and after their operations, a Dutch study showed.

Patients given Lescol had half the risk of having a heart attack or dying of a heart problem in the following month compared to those given dummy pills, the study found.

“You get a bonus with the treatment of statins,” said Dr. Don Poldermans, who led the study at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The results are in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine.

Statins are widely prescribed to reduce cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Doctors wanted to see if statins could also protect against heart problems that are a common complication of blood vessel surgery — operations like repairing a bulging abdominal artery or unclogging arteries in the neck.

The stress of surgery on arteries can destabilize plaque buildup, causing it to rupture and blood clots to form, particularly in heart arteries. Statins are thought to help by reducing inflammation and stabilizing the plaque.

The researchers enrolled nearly 500 patients who were not on statins and were going to have operations on their aorta or leg or neck arteries. For about a month before and a month after their surgery, half the patients took a statin; the rest got a dummy pill.

Within a month of the operation, 12 patients in the statin group, about 5 percent, had died or had heart attacks, compared to 25 patients, or 10 percent, of those who took a dummy pill. Other signs of heart damage also were less common among those who had taken statins. There was no difference in side effects between the two groups.

When the study began in 2004, Poldermans said, statins were not as widely recommended as they are today for people with peripheral artery disease — stiff and narrow arteries, often in the legs. The patients in the study probably weren’t on statins before their surgery because their cholesterol levels were normal or near normal, he said.

“There’s no reason whatsoever to withhold statins anymore” from these patients,” Poldermans said.

Current guidelines recommend the drugs for everyone with peripheral artery disease, regardless of the need for surgery.

The Dutch study was partially funded by Swiss drug maker Novartis, which makes and supplied Lescol, also known as fluvastatin. Poldermans has received grants and consulting fees from Novartis; two other researchers have received fees and grants from medical companies.

Other statins on the market would likely achieve a comparable effect, said Dr. Alan T. Hirsch, director of the vascular medicine program at the Minneapolis Heart Institute and a spokesman for the American Heart Association. He said statins aren’t being used enough in people with peripheral artery disease, and he hopes the study draws attention to their benefits at the time of surgery, as well as throughout the lifetime of the patient.

“A statin is a seat belt when you drive a damaged artery,” he said.

US TELEMEDICINE RECOMMENDS “POLICOSANOL” AS A NATURAL STATIN.

SEE THIS BLOG FOR POSTING ON “POLICOSANOL”.

Males Experience Loss of Libido During Hepatitis-C Therapy

WASHINGTON – Loss of libido and impaired sex is common among those undergoing antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C, according to a new study.

This is the first time a study evaluating the combination therapy, peginterferon and ribavirin, has identified sexual dysfunction (inability to fully enjoy sexual intercourse) as a side effect.

The therapy has the potential to affect all three components of sexual health: desire, function and satisfaction.

Before therapy, 37 percent of men reported at least some degree of diminished desire, while 44 percent reported dissatisfaction with their sexual life. Besides, 22 percent reported poor erection and 26 percent reported poor ejaculation.

The average onset of sexual dysfunction appeared to be within four weeks of starting antiviral therapy, and many patients reported a gradual worsening over time.

At the end of therapy (24 or 48 weeks), an estimated 38 percent to 48 percent of men reported that overall sexual function was worse than before treatment.

As part of the Study of Viral Resistance to Antiviral Therapy of Chronic Hepatitis C (VIRAHEP-C), 260 men treated with peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin completed self-administered questionnaires concerning sexual desire, sexual function – including erectile and ejaculatory function – and sexual satisfaction before, during and after treatment.

These findings were presented in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute.

Reduce the Side Effects of Antibiotics

If you’ve got a bacterial infection, taking a course of antibiotics should help restore you to health. But these powerful drugs (which include penicillin, amoxicillin, and tetracycline, to name a few) can cause some unpleasant side effects, such as yeast overgrowth and gastrointestinal trouble.

The first step in protecting yourself from these adverse effects is to avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics. Since antibiotics can only treat bacterial infections (like strep throat, urinary tract infections, and severe sinus infections), they won’t be effective against viral infections that cause the common cold, flu, or bronchitis. In addition to the risk of unnecessary side effects, inappropriate use of antibiotics can promote the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and leave you vulnerable to incurable infections later on.

If you find yourself in need of antibiotics, however, you might want to consider ways to reduce your risk of side effects.

Complementary Care for Antibiotics Users

Here are three ways to support your system while you’re on antibiotics.

1) Probiotic Supplements

Antibiotics don’t just kill the bacteria causing your sickness; they also wipe out beneficial bacteria (called probiotics) that contribute to a healthy digestive system. Taking a probiotic supplement could help prevent gastrointestinal problems resulting from antibiotic use, according to a research review published in 2008. Probiotics, also found in fermented foods like yogurt and kefir, can help stave off yeast infections as well.

2) Herbal Tea

If you experience nausea while taking antibiotics, try sipping ginger tea to soothe your stomach. Another common complaint among patients on antibiotics? Loose stools, which may be relieved by drinking raspberry leaf tea.

3) Milk Thistle

Taking antibiotics can tax your liver, which is responsible for breaking down the medications you ingest. The herb milk thistle has been associated with protective antioxidant effects on the liver.

Prevent Bacterial Infection

To reduce your risk of bacterial infections and lower your chances of having to use antibiotics, strengthen your immune system by following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and managing your stress with the help of relaxation techniques.

Iodine Must for Developing Kids’ Intellect

SYDNEY – Intake of iodine is a must for developing the full intellectual potential of children, a new study has revealed.

Otago University (O-U) researchers have shown that iodine supplementation to correct the mild deficiency common in children improves their performance in cognitive tests. Fish and seafood are rich sources of iodine.

Principal Investigator and O-U nutritionist Sheila Skeaff says that while moderate to severe deficiency of iodine sometimes has disastrous effects on children’s brain development, it had previously been thought that mild deficiency had no significant cognitive consequences.

O-U researchers in nutrition and psychology undertook a 28-week trial involving 184 Dunedin children aged between 10 and 13.

The children, who were found to be mildly iodine deficient at the outset, were randomly assigned to groups which either received daily iodine tablets or a placebo.

By the trial’s end, the researchers found that the children taking the iodine supplement had achieved adequate iodine status, while the placebo group remained mildly deficient.

“In the initial round of cognitive testing, there were no significant differences between the two groups’ scores. When tested again at the end of the trial, in two sub-tests measuring perceptual reasoning, the iodine group showed a significantly improved performance relative to the placebo group,” Skeaff said.

The findings have been published online by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Home Remedies Series – Constipation

Constipation is a common disturbance of the digestive tract. In this condition, the bowels do not move regularly, or are not completely emptied when they move. This condition is the chief cause of many diseases as it produces toxins which find their way into the bloodstream and are carried to all parts of the body. Appendicitis, rheumatism, arthritis, high blood pressure, cataract., and cancer are only a few of the diseases in which chronic constipation is an important predisposing factor.

Constipation Symptoms

Infrequency, irregularity in elimination of hard faecal matter

The most common symptoms of constipation are infrequency, irregularity or difficulty in elimination of the hard faecal matter.

Coated tongue, Foul breath, headache, depression , insomnia etc

The other symptoms include a coated tongue, foul breath, loss of appetite, headache, dizziness, dark circles under the eyes, depression, nausea, pimples on the face, ulcer in the mouth, constant fullness in the abdomen, diarrhoea alternating with constipation, varicose veins, pain in the lumbar region, acidity, heart burn, and insomnia.

Causes of Constipation

Constipation Symptoms, Causes, Remedy and Diet

Faulty diet and style of living

The most important causes of chronic constipation are a faulty diet and style of living.

Insufficient intake of water, strong tea and coffee etc

Intake of refined and rich foods lacking in vitamins and minerals, insufficient intake of water, consumption of meat in large quantities, excessive use of strong tea and coffee, insufficient chewing, overeating and wrong combination of foods, irregular habits of eating and drinking may all contribute to poor bowel function.

Irregular habit of defecation, lack of physical activity

Other causes include faulty and irregular habit of defecation, frequent use of purgatives, weakness of abdominal muscles due to sedentary habits, lack of physical activity, and emotional stress and strain.

Constipation treatment using Bael fruit.

Generally all fruits, except banana and jack fruit, are beneficial in the treatment of constipation. Certain fruits are, however, more effective. Bael fruit is regarded as the best of all laxatives. It cleans and tones up the intestines. Its regular use for two or three months throws out even the old accumulated faecal matter. It should be preferably taken in its original form and before dinner. About sixty grams of the fruit are sufficient for an adult.

Constipation treatment using Pear

Pears are beneficial in the treatment of constipation. Patients suffering from chronic constipation should adopt an exclusive diet of this fruit or it’s juice for a few days, but in ordinary cases, a medium-sized pear taken after dinner or with breakfast will have the desired effect.

Constipation treatment using Guava

Guava is another effective remedy for constipation. When eaten with seeds, it provides roughage to the diet and helps in the normal evacuation of the bowels. One or two guavas should be taken everyday.

Constipation treatment using Grapes

Grapes have proved very beneficial in overcoming constipation. The combination of the properties of the cellulose, sugar, and organic acid in grapes make them a laxative food. Their field of action is not limited to clearing the bowels only. They also tone up the stomach and intestines and relieve the most chronic constipation. One should take at least 350 gm of this fruit daily to achieve the desired results. When fresh grapes are not available, raisins, soaked in water, can be used. Raisins should be soaked for twenty-four to forty-eight hours. This will make them swell to the original size of the grapes. They should be eaten early in the morning, along with the water in which they have been soaked.

Constipation treatment using Orange

Orange is also beneficial in the treatment of constipation. Taking one or two oranges at bedtime and again on rising in the morning is an excellent way of stimulating the bowels. The general stimulating influence of orange juice excites peristaltic activity and helps prevent the accumulation of food residue in the colon.

Constipation treatment using Papaya and Figs

Other fruits specific for constipation are papaya and figs. Half a medium-sized papaya should be eaten at breakfast for it to act as a laxative. Both fresh and dry figs have a laxative effect. Four or five dry figs should be soaked overnight in a little water and eaten in the morning.

Constipation treatment using Spinach

Among the vegetables, spinach has been considered to be the most vital food for the entire digestive tract from time immemorial. Raw spinach contains the finest organic material for the cleansing, reconstruction, and regeneration of the intestinal tract. Raw spinach juice-100 ml, mixed with an equal quantity of water and taken twice daily, will cure the most aggravated cases of constipation within a few days.

Constipation treatment using Other Remedies

Half a lime, squeezed is a glass of hot water, with half a teaspoon of salt is also an effective remedy for constipation. Drinking water which has been kept overnight in a copper vessel, first thing in the morning, brings good results. Linseed (alse) is extremely useful in difficult cases of constipation. A teaspoon of linseed swallowed with water before each meal provides both roughage and lubrication.

Constipation diet

Natural and simple diet consisting of unrefined foods

The most important factor in curing constipation is a natural and simple diet. This should consist of unrefined foods such as wholegrain cereals, bran, honey, lentils, green and leafy vegetables, fresh and dry fruits, and milk products in the form of butter, clarified butter, and cream. The diet alone is not enough.

Chew food properly, Avoid hurried meals and irregular meals

Food should be properly chewed. Hurried meals and meals at odd times should be avoided. Sugar and sugary foods should be strictly avoided. Foods which constipate are all products made of white flour, rice, bread, pulses, cakes, pastries, biscuits, cheese, fleshy foods, preserves, white sugar, and hard-boiled eggs.

Flower Essence Therapy

BEVERLY HILLS – Flower essences are the blossoms of plants prepared from a sun infusion in a bowl of water, then further diluted, potentized, and then preserved with brandy. These preparations embody the distinct imprint, or energetic pattern of each flower species. In holistic healing flower essence therapy is categorized under vibrational medicine. Vibrational medicine incorporates the use of chi energies within living organisms such as plants, gemstones and crystals, water, sunlight, and even the foods we eat.

Flower Essence Therapy Origins

The founder of flower essence therapy was an English surgeon named Dr. Edward Bach. He was a pioneer in understanding the connection of our emotional bodies to our physical health. The 38 original flower remedies, known as Bach Healing Herbs were used to treat the underlying emotional causes of diseases.

Ill health (physical imbalances and dis-eases) results when we are in imbalance or when we lose our awareness, are disassociated from others, or disconnected from our life purpose. The living forces of nature collected from the blooms of our flowering plants, prepared, and placed in liquid stock. and dosage bottles are used in healing our physical, etheric, astral, and spiritual bodies.

How Flower Essences Are Applied

Flower essences enjoy a reputation of being highly effective and very safe to use. Flower essences, or flower drops as I like to call them, can be taken directly from the stock bottle. A few drops are typically applied under the tongue. Alternately, three to four drops of stock essences are mixed into a liter of purified water that is sipped throughout the day.

Specialized combinations of essences are commonly prepared in one ounce dosage bottles. A dosage bottle will normally last ten to fourteen days.

The medical community is not convinced that there is enough evidence to support the effectiveness of flower essences. This is fair, admittedly, vibrational energy is very difficult to measure by scientific means. Yet, in the holistic community, flower essences are favored by practitioners to address emotional and spiritual imbalances. People suffering from clinical depression or other mental health issues should contact a licensed mental health professional for treatment.

Intuitively Selecting Flower Essences

Selecting essences can in itself be a process of inner growth and awareness. Through quiet reflection, meditation, self observation, and consulting and conversation with others, it is possible to become aware of issues in our lives that demand our attention. These may be related to any area of our lives, our work, our relationships, or our personal selves. I tend to see the flowers visually with my third eye, yet when I cross reference my visuals in my flower essence resource books. I am always amazed at how accurate intuitive-chosen flowers are. Kinesiology testing is another way that people can use to select the appropriate essences for themselves.

 

Home Remedies Series – Depression

Depression treatment using Apple

Apple is one of the most valuable remedies for mental depression. The various chemical substances present in this fruit such as vitamin B, phosphorus, and potassium help the synthesis of glutamic acid, which controls the wear and tear of nerve cells. The fruit should be taken with milk and honey. This remedy will act as a very effective nerve tonic and recharge the nerves with new energy and life.

Depression treatment using Cashewnut

The cashewnut is another valuable remedy for general depression and nervous weakness. It is rich in vitamins of the B group, especially thiamine, and is therefore useful in stimulating the appetite and the nervous system. It is also rich in riboflavin which keeps the body active, cheerful, and energetic.

Depression treatment using Asparagus

The root of asparagus has been found beneficial in the treatment of depression. It is highly nutritious and is used as a herbal medicine for mental disorders. It is a good tonic for the brain and nerves. One or two grams of the powder of the dry root of the plant can be taken once daily.

Depression treatment using Cardamom

The use of cardamom has proved valuable in depression. Powdered seeds should be boiled in water and tea prepared in the usual way. A very pleasing aroma is added to the tea, which can be used as a medicine in the treatment of this condition.

Depression treatment using Lemon Balm

The herb lemon balm has been used successfully in the treatment of mental depression. It alleviates brain fatigue, lifts the heart from depression, and raises the spirits. A cold infusion of the balm taken freely is reputed to be excellent for its calming influence on the nerves. About thirty grams of the herb should be placed in half a litre of cold water and allowed to stand for twelve hours. The infusion should then be strained and taken in small doses throughout the day.

Depression treatment using Rose

An infusion of rose petals should be prepared by mixing 15 gm of rose petals in 250 ml of boiling water. If drunk occasionally, instead of the usual tea and coffee, it is beneficial for treating this condition.

Depression treatment using Vitamin B

Diet has a profound effect on the mental health of a person. Even a single nutritional deficiency can cause depression in susceptible people. Nutritional therapy builds up brain chemicals, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, that affect the mood and are often lacking in depressed people. Eating foods rich in vitamin B, such as wholegrains, green vegetables, eggs, and fish helps restore vitality and cheer in an individual.

Diet for Depression

Depression : Home Remedies suggested by users

Exclude tea, coffee, alcohol, strong condiments

The diet of a person suffering from depression should completely exclude tea, coffee, alcohol, chocolate, colas, all white flour products, sugar, food colorings, chemical additives, white rice, and strong condiments.

Take three meals a day

The diet should be restricted to three meals. Fruits can be taken in the morning for breakfast with milk and a handful of nuts or seeds. Lunch may consist of steamed vegetables, wholewheat wheat tortilla and a glass of buttermilk. For dinner, green vegetable salad and all the available sprouts such as alfalfa seeds, green gram beans, cottage cheese, or a glass of buttermilk would be ideal.

Chilling Brains Aids in Cardiac Care


ORLANDO — Chilling the brains of cardiac- arrest patients as they are raced to the hospital may help reduce neurological damage, a study found. The device used is expected to be sold in Europe in March.

 

The trial of 182 patients showed that 37 percent treated with the device, which pumps coolant through prongs inserted in the nose, were in good neurological condition when discharged from the hospital, compared with 21 percent with standard care. The research was presented yesterday at the American Heart Association meeting in Orlando, Florida.

 

Cardiac arrest shuts off blood flow to the brain, and death can start within 4 to 6 minutes if circulation isn’t restored. Resuscitated patients may have brain injuries from lack of oxygen and because restored blood flow can cause inflammation in damaged tissues. Cooling the body slows the brain so it needs less oxygen, and is thought to limit the damage.

 

“The earlier you can do the cooling, the better,” Maaret Castren, a lead author of the study and professor of emergency medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said in a statement. “We now have a method that is safe and can be started within minutes of cardiac arrest to minimize damage during this very critical period.”

 

The device, made by closely held BeneChill Inc. of San Diego, is designed for use during resuscitation instead of after, working to limit brain damage faster. The company-funded study was done in medical centers across Europe.

 

No Refrigeration Needed

The device, called RhinoChill, is battery powered and doesn’t require refrigeration, which means emergency responders such as ambulance personnel can use it in the field.

 

Two prongs that run up through the nostrils are attached to a bottle full of liquid coolant. Oxygen bubbles through the bottle, pumping the coolant through the prongs. Each bottle holds enough to chill a person’s brain for 30 minutes, and bottles can be exchanged until a patient reaches the hospital.

 

Doctors now use methods such as cooling blankets and pads or catheters to reduce the body temperature of cardiac-arrest patients. Those methods are bulky and difficult to use outside a hospital, and don’t directly cool the brain, said Denise Barbut, chairman of BeneChill and senior author of the study.

 

“The brain really is the target organ, not the heart,” Barbut said in an interview. While cooling the brain limits neurological damage, it also makes it easier to get the heart beating again, she said. “The brain is the organ that controls the heart, like a puppet on a string.”

 

Saving Dying Brain

It’s also important to lower the brain’s temperature because it’s the organ that starts dying fastest, Barbut said. RhinoChill is the first device that enables direct access to the brain, as cooling blankets and catheters depend on chilled blood to circulate through it, she said.

 

While guidelines established in 2005 by the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation, or ILCOR, suggest cardiac- arrest patients be cooled, the practice isn’t widely done, Barbut said. In Finland, with the highest adherence rates in the world, 61 percent of cardiac-arrest patients receive cooling therapy, while in the U.S., 25 percent do, she said.

 

In the RhinoChill study, 47 percent of patients survived to hospital discharge after having their brain temperatures reduced using the device during resuscitation, compared with 31 percent who were resuscitated without cooling.

 

Body Temperature

Patients who received the cooling treatment during resuscitation had an average body temperature of 34.2 degrees Celsius (93.6 degrees Fahrenheit) on arrival at the hospital, while patients given standard care had temperatures on average of 35.5 degrees Celsius (95.9 degrees Fahrenheit). Temperatures were measured at the eardrum, the report said.

 

Side effects included three nosebleeds and 13 nasal discolorations, according to the report.

 

RhinoChill received marketing approval in Europe and BeneChill expects to start selling it there in March 2010. The company isn’t currently conducting clinical trials in the U.S., Barbut said.

Preservation of Antibiotics

 

WASHINGTONThe Preservation of Antibiotics for Medi-cal Treatment Act (PAMTA, S. 619/H.R. 1549) was reintroduced in the Senate and House. Its purpose is to preserve the effectiveness of medically- important antibiotics used in the treatment of human and animal diseases by reviewing the safety of certain antibiotics for non-therapeutic purposes in food-producing animals.

 

The end result: Drugs that are important for humans and used in animal feed for non-therapeutic purposes will be re-moved from the market unless the manufacturer can prove, within two years’ time, “reasonable certainty of no harm to human health due to the development of antimicrobial resistance that is attributable in whole or in part to the non-therapeutic use of the drug…”

Homeopathic Remedies -1

Homeopathy is a holistic approach to treatment and its origins can be traced back to the late eighteenth century.

The main principle upon which the discipline is founded is that the administering of substances that can cause symptoms in healthy people will be able to alleviate those very same symptoms in sick patients if administered in very dilute quantities. This approach has been found to have some merit and has become increasingly popular because of the lack of side effects. It is believed that homeopathy treatment act as a stimulant for the body’s own healing mechanism.  Homeopathy is therefore a holistic medicine that is closely related to many of the natural and alternative treatments like herbal medicine and naturopathic medicine.

To give you a better perspective of homeopathy medicine we can say that it rests on three basic principles.

Cold Kills Cold: This is a philosophy similar to the treatment of certain allergies today. According to this belief, if the symptoms of your sickness, whether a flu or a cold, are similar to the symptoms manifested from mercury poisoning, then it would serve as your homeopathic remedy.

Infinitesimal Dose: According to this principle the potency of homeopathic remedies increases, the more diluted it is. Homeopathy remedies are therefore almost always highly diluted to the extent that the average proportion would be 1: 1,000,000,000,000.

Medical Monotheism: It is always a single remedy that is administered, even in the presence of multiple symptoms, and this single remedy is aimed at all the symptoms.

These principles are in fact displayed in conventional treatments today for allergies and a number of vaccines as well, where the allergen is administered in a miniscule dose or an impotent sample of the virus is administered to strengthen and prepare the immune system against that very same virus. Homeopathic cures therefore have a firm scientific basis that has been tested.

The second principle also lends a great deal of merit to the discipline and adds to the notion of homeopathic natural remedies and homeopathic home remedies.

This is because no matter how toxic the remedy might be the remedy administered is in so diluted a form that it may leave no chemical trace whatsoever. According to practitioners of homeopathic therapy the remedy is still so potent because of the retention of the original substance’s electromagnetic energy alone. This means that while the toxic side effects are eliminated the healing effects are still present as these electromagnetic forces alone are enough to stimulate natural healing.

An important aspect of the single remedy principle is that every illness is regarded as individual specific, which means that the remedy for the same illness may not necessarily prescribed to both patients experiencing the same condition. This aspect of homeopathy is a lot more important than it appears to be. It requires intense investigation and research on the part of the doctor, so that he can profile the patient’s lifestyle, diet and character traits, as well as gather illness and symptom specific information.

This is therefore tedious and time consuming and requires great attention to detail, for any thorough case building. This is what makes homeopathic treatment so challenging – an inaccurate profile, results in an inaccurate diagnosis and improper treatment, while meticulous profiling and the appropriate prescription can work like a miracle.

There are a number of homeopathic herbal remedies that have been found to be quite effective, like Chamomilla, which is an extract from chamomile, and Allium cepa, a red onion extract, among many others. Some of the other effective alternative homeopathy treatments include Apis, made from bees, and Arsenicum album, an arsenic derivative, to name a few.