7 Herbal Teas That Enhance Immunity, Boost Brain Function, Combat Exhaustion & More

Herbal tea is really just an infusion of leaves, seeds, roots or bark, extracted in hot water. In drinking a well-steeped herbal tea, we get all the plant’s benefits in an easily digestible form. Drinking herbal tea can also be a great source of vitamins and minerals. Herbal tea relieving insomnia, calming an upset stomach, to fighting viruses and infections, and more, herbal teas have so many powerful health benefits. Continue reading

15 Natural Remedies for the Treatment of Acid Reflux and Ulcers

Story at-a-glance 

Acid reflux affects an estimated 50 percent of Americans. The hallmark symptom of acid reflux is “heartburn”—a burning sensation behind your breastbone that sometimes travels up your throat Continue reading

15 Natural Remedies for the Treatment of Acid Reflux and Ulcers

Story at-a-glance 

Acid reflux affects an estimated 50 percent of Americans. The hallmark symptom of acid reflux is “heartburn”—a burning sensation behind your breastbone that sometimes travels up your throat Continue reading

Natural Remedies Help Lymphedema

The condition known as lymphedema is caused by the accumulation of fluid in the body’s interstitial tissues which surround the lymph glands. It occurs when lymph nodes are missing, removed or damaged – making it impossible for the lymphatic system to remove excess lymphatic fluid through the lymph vessels. Left untreated, lymphedema can cause serious complications including infection and interference with wound healing. However, there are natural lifestyle changes and remedies which can often offer substantial relief. Continue reading

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.

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.