Global Health Problems Reflect Our Disconnection from the Earth

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Story at-a-glance −

The film “Origins” shows how our modern lifestyle has caused us to lose our connection with the earth, resulting in so many of our global problems from environmental destruction to hunger and disease Continue reading

Common Cold Medicine Could Boost Birth Defects

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Of all the great gifts our Creator has given us, there is nothing that compares to the miracle of childbirth. Watching your child open his eyes and draw his first breath in this world is a magical and life-affirming experience that will bring you to tears. Continue reading

Placenta Encapsulation – Benefits of Placenta Encapsulation

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Why On Earth Would You Eat The Placenta?!

“I had it done for my 4th [birth]. Best thing ever. Great milk supply, Less stress. More energy. Best thing I have done to aid in post birth recovery. Look into it especially if you suffer from post natal depression.” — Claire Continue reading

Low Vitamin D Levels During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding May Not Be Associated With Multiple Sclerosis Relapse

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A small study suggests women with multiple sclerosis have lower vitamin D levels during pregnancy and breastfeeding, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the March 2011 print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. However, these vitamin D levels were not associated with a greater risk of multiple sclerosis relapse after childbirth.

“During the last decade, low level of vitamin D, a potent immunomodulator, has emerged as an important risk factor for multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as other autoimmune diseases and certain cancers,” the authors write as background information in the article. “The observation that healthy pregnant and lactating women are at particularly high risk of vitamin D insufficiency, regardless of race, suggests that pregnant and nursing mothers with MS may have a higher risk of relapses. However, it has already been well established that the risk of MS relapse decreases during pregnancy and increases in the postpartum period and that breastfeeding does not increase the risk of relapses.”

Annette Langer-Gould, M.D., Ph.D., then of Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif., and now of Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s Department of Research and Evaluation, Pasadena, and colleagues studied 28 pregnant women with MS from Kaiser Permanente Northern California and the Stanford University outpatient neurology clinics. Participants donated blood and completed questionnaires at the beginning of the study, during their remaining trimesters of pregnancy and regularly during the first year after birth.

Of the 28 women, half (14) breastfed exclusively and 43 percent (12) relapsed within six months after giving birth. During pregnancy, average blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin (25[OH]D, a common measure of vitamin D) were 25.4 nanograms per milliliter, and were associated with the season. After birth, levels remained low among women who were exclusively breastfeeding. By four and six months after childbirth, 25(OH)D levels were an average of 5 nanograms per milliliter lower among women who breastfed exclusively than among women who did not.

However, these low postpartum vitamin D levels were not associated with risk of MS relapse. “If anything, by three to six months after childbirth, 25(OH)D levels were marginally higher among the women who relapsed within the first six months after childbirth compared with women who were relapse-free during the corresponding period,” the authors write. “We do not believe that higher vitamin D levels increase the risk of postpartum relapses, as the rise we observed did not appear to occur prior to the onset of symptoms and the findings were of marginal statistical significance after accounting for season. Instead, we think this apparent inverse association is a reflection of the fact that most of the women who relapsed in the study also did not breastfeed or did so only briefly.”

The findings imply that the recommended dose of vitamin D supplementation for women with MS during pregnancy and breastfeeding should be the same as for women who do not have MS, the authors conclude. “Our results suggest that future studies aimed at identifying and unraveling the relationship between vitamin D, pregnancy/lactation-related hormones and regulation of MS inflammation may reveal novel insights into MS path physiology,” they write.

Don’t Watch Your Wife Give Birth or You May Get Divorced

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LONDON – A medical expert has warned all fathers-to-be to stay away from the pregnancy ward as seeing their wives giving birth could lead them to divorce.

According to childbirth specialist Michael Odent, watching a woman give birth can lessen or end a man’s sexual attraction towards her and lead to a split, reports the Daily Express.

Not just that, Odent says a man’s presence can create other problems for the woman.

He points out that a man’s company extends the labor, making it more painful and stressful for the mother.

Odent believes a woman about to give birth can get distracted by her partner’s presence and might eventually need a caesarean.

Oden suggests that even male doctors should be avoided and only midwives should be present at childbirth.

He says that the more focused a woman is, easier would be the childbirth.

He will tell the Royal College of Midwives conference next month: “The ideal birth environment involved no men in general.

“Having been involved for more than 50 years in childbirths, the best environment is when there is nobody around the woman apart from an experienced midwife – and no doctors and no husband.”

Too Many Chocolates- Mental Problems Linked to Acne in Teens

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OSLO – High intake of chocolate and potato chips along with mental health issues is linked to the development of zits, pimples, bumps and blemishes in young people, says a Norwegian study.

Researcher Jon Anders Halvorsen, University of Oslo, along with co-authors from Lhasa (Tibet) and Boston (US) looked into the possible causes of the common skin condition affecting millions of adolescents.

The team investigated the links between acne, diet and mental health issues in both males and females.

The researchers found a significant connection between acne and low intake of raw and fresh vegetables in girls, leading to probable indication that a low-glycemic index could have a protective role in the development of acne.

Dr. Halvorsen said: “Our study shows a possible link between diet and acne. However, when we introduced symptoms of depression and anxiety in our statistical model, the role of diet became less clear. On the other hand the association between acne and mental health problems was still strong when diet was introduced. This underscores mental health problems as an important aspect of young people’s acne”.

He concluded, “It is too early to give evidence based diet advice to teenagers with acne. Further studies are needed. Luckily, acne is rarely associated with serious morbidity. However, it does cause problems for a high number of young people. I hope that this study will encourage doctors to help adolescents to treat their acne and researchers to find preventive factors. Young people deserve better!”

The study has been published in the open access journal BMC Public Health.

 

The Immunity Herb – Echinacea Purpurea

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Echinacea is a mainstay in any holistic health kit of essential remedies. We have found nothing better than echinacea extract for treating the onset of a sore throat. Also, echinacea is especially beneficial if taken at the first signs of flu and cold symptoms rather than waiting until you are in the full-bloom of the nastys.  This healing herb is found to be a benefit to inflammatory distress.

Echinacea Purpurea, commonly known as the purple cone flower is extremely easy to grow.  Every part of the plant (roots, stems, folige, and blossom) have a medicinal use. All the parts of this plant can be used in teas and herbal remedies. The blossom is used in the making of flower essences. Because of its antibiotic properties one can incorporate the echinacea blossom in a special blend of flower essences used in healing practices of Exhaustion and Fatigue.

A web search on the keyword Echinacea will bring you a mother-load of links, (mostly markets for Echinacea products). We do not recommend or approve of using Echinacea on a daily basis.  Echinacea is nature’s antibiotic meant to boost your immune system. It is not intended to be taken as a constant. Our recommendation is to take Echinacea for a week to ten days. After a lapse of 5-6 days if your symptoms persist then take it for a second period of 7-10 days.

We prefer the liquid tinctures that are available at natural food stores. Echinacea is also available in capsule or tablet form for anyone who cannot tolerate the somewhat unpleasant taste of echinacea extract.

Note: Using echinacea as a treatment for for anyone with compromised immune systems, such as HIV/AIDS patients has become controversial among the healing community. Although some studies have suggested that echinacea may have beneficial effects for people with AIDS/HIV, further research on the subject is needed. If you have AIDS/HIV or are a caregiver for someone with AIDS/HIV, do not initiate echinacea therapy without consulting with a qualified health provider.

Native American Herbal Remedies No. 1

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Asthma

Skunk Cabbage – Used by the Winnebago and Dakota tribes to stimulate the removal of phlegm in asthma. The rootstock was official in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1882 when it was used in respiratory and nervous disorders and in rheumatism and dropsy.

Mullein – Introduced by Europeans. The Menominees smoked the pulverized, dried root for respiratory complaints while the Forest Potawatomis, the Mohegans, and the Penobscots smoked the dried leaves to relieve asthma. The Catawba Indians used a sweetened syrup from the boiled root, which they gave to their children for coughs.

 Backache

Arnica – The Catawba Indians used a tea of arnica roots for treating back pains. The Dispensary of the United States (22nd edition) states this drug can be dangerous if taken internally and that it has caused severe and even fatal poisoning. Also used as a wash to treat sprains and bruises.

Gentian – The Catawba Indians steeped the roots in hot water and applied the hot fluid on aching backs.

Horsemint – The Catawba tribe crushed and steeped fresh horsemint leaves in cold water and drank the infusion to allay back pain. Other tribes used horsemint for fever, inflammation, and chills.

Bronchitis

Creosote Bush – A tea of the leaves was used for bronchial and other respiratory problems.

Pleurisy Root The Natchez drank a tea of the boiled roots as a remedy for pneumonia and was later used to promote the expulsion of phlegm,

Wormwood  The Yokia Indians of Mendocino County used a tea of the boiled leaves of a local species of wormwood to cure bronchitis.

Burns

Yellow-Spined Thistle – The Kiowa Indians boiled yellow-spined thistle blossoms and applied the resulting liquid to burns and skin sores.

Childbirth

To Speed Childbirth:  

Partridgeberry The Cherokee used a tea of the boiled leaves. Frequent doses of the tea were taken in the few weeks preceding the expected date of delivery.

Blue Cohosh – To promote a rapid delivery, an infusion of the root in warm water was drunk as a tea for several weeks prior to the expected delivery date.

To Speed Delivery of the Placenta:

American Licorice – A tea was made from the boiled roots.

Broom Snakeweed – Navajo women drank a tea of the whole plant to promote the expulsion of the placenta.

To Stop Post-Partum Hemorrhage:

Buckwheat – Hopi women were given an infusion of the entire buckwheat plant to stop bleeding.

Black Western Chokecherry – Arikara women were given a drink of the berry juice to stop bleeding.

Smooth Upland Sumac The Omahas boiled the smooth upland sumac fruits and applied the liquid as an external wash to stop bleeding.

To relieve the Pain of Childbirth:

Wild Black Cherry – Cherokee women were given a tea of the inner bark to relieve pain in the early stages.

Cotton – The Alabama and Koasati tribes made a tea of the roots of the plant to relieve the pains of labor.

Colds

Boneset – Boneset tea was one of the most frequently used home remedies during the last century. The Menominees used it to reduce fever; the Alabamas, to relive stomachache; the Creeks, for body pain; the Iroquois and the Mohegans, for fever and colds.

Colic

Catnip The Mohegans made a tea of catnip leaves for infant colic.

Contraceptives

Ragleaf Bahia The Navajos, who called the Ragleaf bahia herb twisted medicine, drank a tea of the roots boiled in water for thirty minutes for contraception purposes.

Indian Paintbrush Hopi women drank a tea of the whole Indian paintbrush to “Dry up the menstrual flow.”

Blue Cohosh Chippewa women drank a strong decoction of the powdered blue cohosh root to promote parturition and menstruation.

Dogbane – Generally used by many tribes, a tea from the boiled roots of the plant was drunk once a week.

Milkweed – Navajo women drank a tea prepared of the whole plant after childbirth.

American Mistletoe – Indians of Mendocino County drank a tea of the leaves to induce abortion or to prevent conception.

Antelope Sage – To prevent conception, Navajo women drank one cup of a decoction of boiled antelope sage root during menstruation.

Stoneseed – Shoshoni women of Nevada reportedly drank a cold water infusion of stoneseed roots everyday for six months to ensure permanent sterility.

Coughs

Aspen – The Cree Indians used an infusion of the inner bark as a remedy for coughs.

Wild Cherry – The Flambeau Ojibwa prepared a tea of the bark of wild cherry for coughs and colds, while other tribes used a bark for diarrhea or for lung troubles.

White Pine – The inner bark was used by Indian people as a tea for colds and coughs.

Sarsaparilla – The Penobscots pulverized dried sarsaparilla roots and combined them with sweet flag roots in warm water and used the dark liquid as a cough remedy.