Lobelia (Lobelia inflata), also called Indian tobacco, has a long history of use as an herbal remedy for respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and cough. Historically, Native Americans smoked lobelia as a treatment for asthma. In the 19th century, American physicians prescribed lobelia to induce vomiting in order remove toxins from the body. Continue reading →
Homeopathy, established in the 1800s, is loaded with a wide variety of natural healers. Many have poisonous elements to them, but these pose no risk to humans. After all, only a tiny fraction of the plant is used, and even then it’s decocted. Today let’s take a peek at “Aconite,” which has multiple excellent uses. Continue reading →
Black pepper is probably the most common culinary spice in the world. Pepper, either ground or as whole peppercorns, is found in cuisines across the globe and has a centuries-long history of use and cultivation.
If you’re like millions of other people, you probably consume pepper in your food every day, without realizing that it is also an important medicinal spice. Pepper can be used Continue reading →
Raw honey is more than just a natural sweetener. Honey has a variety of uses in your beauty regimen and for medicinal purposes. Raw honey, which is not pasteurized or refined, can be especially useful because of its nutritional properties. Although you may have heard about the benefits of raw honey, you might be surprised at some of the creative ways Continue reading →
Once the temperature drops, cold and flu season looms over health like dark storm clouds. Our fast-paced lifestyles, holiday travels and festivities, along with seasonal changes lead most of us to believe that colds and flu are inevitable facts of winter. But a healthy diet, lifestyle choices and supplementation offers protection year-round with natural solutions that help strengthen your defenses and keep you vibrant and energized.
Cold or Flu? Know the Difference
As an integrative physician, my patients often come to me with an important question: “How can I tell whether I have a cold or the flu?”
Both colds and flu are respiratory illnesses, but each is caused by different viruses. Colds are usually milder and present symptoms that include nasal stuffiness, sneezing and a runny nose. Adults and older children generally have minimal or no fever, but infants and toddlers often run a fever in the 100-102 degrees Fahrenheit range. Depending on which virus is the offender, a cold may also produce a headache, cough, postnasal drip, burning eyes, muscle aches or a decreased appetite — but the most prominent cold symptoms are usually in the nasal passages. Continue reading →
Yohimbe is an evergreen tree that grows in western Africa in Nigeria, Cameroon, the Congo and Gabon.
The bark of the tree contains the active compounds called alkaloids. The principal alkaloid is called yohimbine.
Yohimbine is a prescription drug in the United States for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Its popularity has waned since the introduction of Viagra.
Yohimbe bark extracts are also sold in health food stores and online. In Germany, it is not approved for use. Yohimbe can cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure, as well as anxiety and other side effects.
Why Do People Use Yohimbe?
Traditionally, yohimbe was used in Africa for fever, coughs, leprosy, and as an aphrodisiac. Today, yohimbe is promoted for the following conditions:
* Erectile dysfunction
Yohimbe bark extracts are widely promoted online and in health food stores as a natural aphrodisiac to increase libido and treat erectile dysfunction. However, there is no evidence to show that the herbal supplements work. Most clinical studies have looked at the drug yohimbine and not the herbal extract yohimbe.
Yohimbine has been found to relax and dilate blood vessels in the penis, resulting in increased blood flow and erection. It may also stimulate areas in the brain involved in sexual desire.
Studies on the effectiveness of yohimbine have had conflicting findings. For organic erectile dysfunction (erectile dysfunction caused by a physical problem), one small uncontrolled study found that yohimbine was beneficial for men with organic erectile dysfunction. Another study found it was no more effective than a placebo.
Yohimbine appears to work better for erectile dysfunction not caused by a physical problem. A German study examined whether 30 mg/day of yohimbine for 4 weeks would help men with erectile dysfunction not due to a physical problem. Yohimbine was found to be more effective than placebo (71% vs 45%).
To date, there have been no studies comparing yohimbine to newer drugs such as Viagra.
* Weight Loss
Yohimbine has been found to increase lipolysis by increasing the release of norepinephrine available to fat cells and blocking alpha-2 receptor activation. However, a controlled study found that 43 mg/day yohimbe had no effect on body weight, body mass index, body fat, fat distribution, and cholesterol levels.
Yohimbe has been promoted as a herbal remedy for depression, because it blocks an enzyme called monoamine oxidase. However, this is only found in higher doses (over 50 mg/day), which is potentially unsafe.
In Germany, yohimbe is on the Commission E (the country’s herbal regulatory agency). list of unapproved herbs because of concerns about the herb’s safety and effectiveness. In the United States, the FDA has had a number of reports of seizures and kidney failure following the use of yohimbe.
Yohimbe is not recommended because it has a very narrow therapeutic index. There is a relatively small dosing range–below it, the herb doesn’t work and above it the herb is toxic. Side effects of normal dosages may include dizziness, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, and increased blood pressure. As little as 40 mg a day can cause severe side effects, such as dangerous changes in blood pressure, hallucinations, paralysis. Overdose can be fatal.
Because yohimbe blocks the enzyme monoamine oxidase, people taking yohimbe must avoid all tyramine-containing foods (e.g., liver, cheeses, red wine) and over-the-counter products that contain the ingredient phenylpropanolamine, such as nasal decongestants.
People with kidney or liver disease, stomach ulcers, heart disease, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, post-traumatic stress disorder, and panic disorder should not take yohimbe.
Yohimbe should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women, children, or elderly people.
Yohimbe should not be combined with antidepressant drugs unless under the supervision of a physician.
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 BellericMyroblan
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.
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.