More about the Herbal Chinese Heavyweight Part 2

Here, we have part two of our look at da huang (a.k.a. rhubarb), one of the pre-eminent herbal secrets in Chinese medicine. Here, we find out some of its amazing powers and the reasons for it-mostly, clearing heat and toxins away.

In part one, we looked at the first and second uses. Let’s move on to the rest of them: Continue reading

This Exercise Mistake Can Give You a Heart Attack

Many people wonder whether it is safe to exercise outdoors during cold weather, especially below freezing. Continue reading

Fabric Softeners Contain Toxic Chemicals

Fabric softener ads often portray an image of comfort, freshness and sweetness. Yet most fabric softeners contain a grim list of known toxins which can enter your body through the skin and by inhalation, causing a wide range of health problems, particularly for young children. Continue reading

Chili Pepper Component Shown To Relieve Sinus Discomfort

Capsaicin is the compound found in chili peppers that gives them their heat, and is commonly used in topical pain relievers. Recently, a team of scientists at the University of Cincinnati discovered that it may also be effective in alleviating sinus problems for individuals with non allergic rhinitis.

In a placebo-controlled study, researchers found that use of capsaicin nasal spray resulted in relief within 52 seconds of administration and significant alleviation of nasal congestion, sinus pain and headaches for up to one hour.

Moreover, participants used the spray for two weeks and experienced no side effects. Continue reading

Tips to Protect your Dog when Temperatures Soar

As many of us have been painfully aware, this summer has been abnormally hot in much of the country. There has been precious little rain or other relief and plenty of alerts advising us to stay indoors as much as possible. High heat can be dangerous and even deadly – and that goes for our pets too. As we head into August, often the hottest month of the summer, it is important to protect our beloved pets from these soaring temperatures.

Dogs should be kept indoors during times of excessive heat. When left outside, dogs should have proper protection from the heat and plenty of fresh, cool water. It is important to note that doghouses do not provide protection from heat, especially if they are exposed to the sun. Continue reading

Dishwashers and Washing Machines can Harbor Deadly Fungi

In many ways, modern home appliances have made life simpler by reducing the amount of time it takes to clean, cook, and perform other routine household activities. But some of these technological advances may be responsible for increasing the prevalence of harmful “super” pathogens that have grown resistant to stimuli that used to eliminate them, suggests a new report in the British Mycological Society journal Fungal Biology.

According to the report, household appliances that use water, which include dishwashers and washing machines, have become a new point of infestation for potentially deadly fungi like Exophiala dermatitidis and E. phaeomuriformis. These strains and others, which would normally be killed off by heat and detergents, have become tolerant to them, and are now being found in a majority of the household appliances tested.

Researchers from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia gathered samples from the dishwashers, washing machines,  Continue reading

Shamatha Meditation shows Pain Reduction on MRI

Focus, Zen, meditate and your pain may go away or diminish. A new MRI brain image study shows that just after a short period of meditation, pain intensity is weakened when subjected to unpleasant stimuli such as extreme heat.

The study participants were taught a meditation technique known as focused attention, which involves paying close attention to breathing patterns while acknowledging and letting go of thoughts that distract you.

Fadel Zeidan, PhD, who is a postdoctoral fellow at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, says:

“This is the first study to show that only a little over an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation.”

Prior to learning the meditation technique, brain imaging showed significant activity  Continue reading

Organic Nanoparticle Created that Uses Sound and Heat to Locate and Treat Tumors

A team of scientists from Princess Margaret Hospital have created an organic nanoparticle that is completely non-toxic, biodegradable and nimble in the way it uses light and heat to treat cancer and deliver drugs. (A nanoparticle is a minute molecule with novel properties).

The findings, published online in Nature Materials (DOI: 10.1038/NMAT2986) are significant because unlike other nanoparticles, the new nanoparticle has a unique and versatile structure that could potentially change the way tumors are treated, says principal investigator Dr. Gang Zheng, Senior Scientist, Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI), Princess Margaret Hospital at University Health Network.

Dr. Zheng says: “In the lab, we combined two naturally occurring molecules (chlorophyll and lipid)  Continue reading