Archived Articles - September 2014

Five effective home remedies for acid reflux

At some time or other, we all suffer from acid reflex, which may turn from mild to chronic quite quickly. However, there is a number of medications like antacids that can aid in dealing with symptoms related to this condition. Nevertheless, it is advisable to avoid them, as many easy-to-use simple natural remedies are available. The remedies listed below can be used for managing acid reflux and also its symptom - heartburn. In addition, avoiding trigger foods also aids in preventing acid reflux. Sometimes stress may also trigger acid reflux, so you need to slow down and be relaxed while eating.

The natural remedies helpful for treating acid reflux are as below.

Apple cider vinegar
Excessive acid formation in the stomach caused by consuming foods rich in sugar content is one reason why we suffer from acid reflux. In fact, sugar promotes acid formation. Taking one to three tablespoonfuls raw apple cider vinegar may help in lessening stomach acidity. While you may think that it is quite absurd to drink something acidic when you already have excessive acid in the stomach, you should know that apple cider vinegar actually helps it alkalizing.  Drinking apple cider vinegar prevents the body from producing stomach acid as there is already too much of it. In other words, apple cider vinegar counteracts acidity. Ingestion of apple cider vinegar prior to meals is also beneficial, as it facilitates the commencement of digestive process, thereby helping the body in breaking down and absorbing foods better. Last, but not least important, enzymes contained by apple cider vinegar facilitate digestion and when digestion is better, it puts off acid reflux.

Apart from other benefits, lemon also helps to prevent acid reflux. Similar to apple cider vinegar, lemon also promotes alkalizing, thereby neutralizing acidity. However, lemon has a sour taste. Therefore, it is advisable that your drink just one tablespoonful of fresh lemon juice 10 minutes prior to a meal, as this will help to put off acid reflux. Even existing acid reflux can be treated by drinking just one tablespoon of lemon juice after waking in the morning, once prior to lunch and again before dinner.

Ginger is a wonderful stimulating root effective for treating acid reflux. It can be used in various ways - chewing peeled ginger, using lozenges containing ginger and drinking a ginger tea. Ginger encourages our digestive system to make additional enzymes as well as secrete more bile for enhanced digestion. If the ingested foods are not broken down properly, it may lead to indigestion and, hence, enzymes are important for preventing acid reflux.

Consuming plenty of foods with high enzyme content helps to manage acid reflux and, at the same time, improves digestion and promotes weight loss healthfully. Basically, enzymes are amalgams that facilitate breaking down ingested foods to enable the body to take up and use the nutrients. The human body makes several types of enzymes, but health problems and organ deficiencies may result in poor enzyme production. Thus, consumption of enzyme-rich foods helps to prevent acid reflux. Raw vegetables, raw fruits, raw nuts, pineapple, papaya, and ginger are some foods that are rich in enzyme content.

Aloe vera
A versatile herb, aloe vera is used for a wide range of purposes and is highly preferred by most herbalists. Aloe vera is also effective in treating acid reflux, as ingesting this herb alleviates irritation and inflammation of the stomach tissues. At the same time, aloe vera is useful in combating acid reflux. You may drink a blend of aloe vera juice, the translucent flesh of the leaf with orange juice at breakfast. This blend is not only healthy, but can also put off acid reflux, as it calms the symptoms of the condition like inflamed and irritated oesophagus. The external part of this herb's leaf encloses a potent laxative. Be careful to leave out that part of the leaf.

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Agrimony - A wonder plant that offers multiple health benefits

The plant agrimony is a close cousin of the rose family and is native to the places having temperate climatic conditions in Asia, North America as well as Europe. Perhaps the ancient Greeks were the first to identify the medicinal properties of this plant and since then it has been used by people of various cultures to cure an assortment of diseases. The Greeks used this plant to reinforce the liver as well as cure a number of ailments including jaundice.

Much later, in the 17th century, prominent herbalists like John Gerard claimed that agrimony not only strengthened the liver, but also helped the gastrointestinal tract to absorb the ingested foods. Later, Dr. Hill wrote about the herb's therapeutic properties making it a popular remedy for above mentioned conditions.

By and large, all through history agrimony has proved to be a dependable and versatile herb. Currently, scientists studying the herb have found that it possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and neuroprotective properties, which are equally potent like its hepatoprotective attributes. Moreover, recently scientists from a Guangzhou-based Chinese college were successful in isolating precise chemicals from agrimony and confirming that the herb possesses natural ability to reduce blood sugar levels.

Agrimony effective for raising HDL levels

Scientists at Bulgaria's Medical University of Varna examined the action of drinking agrimony tea on humans and found that the herb not only helped to augment the antioxidant levels, but also those of high density lipoproteins (HDL or good cholesterol).

A study undertaken by scientists at the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology revealed the potential of the agrimony extracts to inhibit the actions of hepatitis B virus.

Another research team in South Korea undertook studies to examine the effects of agrimony extracts on rats induced with ethanol and having impaired livers. It was found that agrimony extracts were effective in lessening the unrelieved effects on their livers by means of holding back inflammation and oxidative stress. These findings have strengthened the belief that agrimony possesses specific hepatoprotective attributes.

The Journal of Ethnopharmacology carried a report in 2012 detailing the manner in which studies undertaken in South Korea showed that extracts of agrimonia pilosa may be considered when one is suffering from various inflammatory conditions.

Scientists in China used an extract of agrimonia pilosa on different tumour forms and found that it had recurring inhibitory actions. The efficiency of the herb's extract ranged between 36 percent and 65 percent subject to the nature of the tumour and its position in the body.

Although agrimony is safe for most people, one should not use it for prolonged periods at a stretch. People with diabetes should be particularly cautious while using the herb in conjunction with other prescription drugs, as agrimony too works to lower the levels of blood sugar. Hence, ideally it should be taken occasionally in the form of an herbal tea.

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Use Natural Compounds to Treat Thyroid Problems

Hypothyroidism is one health condition that is rising alarmingly in the United States. The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism include exhaustion, depression and weight gain. According to latest reports, as high as 15% to 30% people in the US may be suffering from thyroid problems. Hence, it is advisable that you use natural compounds that promote the health of the pituitary, hypothalamus, thyroid and adrenals.

It is believed that about 80% of hypothyroid problems in the US are actually autoimmune conditions. Actually, doctors seldom test for thyroid antibodies and, therefore, proper diagnosis is not done in most cases. Medically, the same medication, called synthetic T4, is used to treat a sluggish thyroid and autoimmune condition.

As the treatment for both is identical, majority of the physicians do not care to undertake thyroid antibodies test. However, from the viewpoint of natural health, it is crucial to identify whether the patient is suffering from a sluggish thyroid, a slothful pituitary gland or liver, higher sex hormones or an autoimmune condition.

Hypothalamic- thyroid-pituitary-adrenal axis

A chain of feedback loops is essential for our body to function properly. The hypothalamus in the brain is a key chemical sensory area of our body and it checks the bloodstream all the time to detect the presence of sufficient thyroid hormone and other things.

Chemical signals are transmitted from the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland, which, in return, releases different quantities of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to instruct the thyroid gland to make as well as release thyroid hormone (also called T4). The pituitary also directs the adrenal glands to release cortisol when the level of sugar drops in the bloodstream or when we are under stress.

A few chemical compounds that support the health of the thyroid gland are noted below.

This chemical is vital for the body to produce thyroid hormone. Any deficiency of iodine will result in hypothyroidism. In the West, it is often found that sub clinical iodine deficiencies result in hypothyroidism.

A vital amino acid, L-tyrosine is necessary to produce thyroid hormones. In fact, this amino acid supplies the body with the raw materials that form the basis of thyroid hormone.

Zinc and Copper
Deficiency of zinc in the body often results in poor production of T3, as zinc is essential for immune modulation, which helps to lessen the levels of thyroid antibodies. Moreover, zinc has a vital role in 5'deiodinase activity. Similarly, copper too is essential for proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Copper invigorates the thyroid gland, while ensuring that the blood does not contain excessive thyroxine. This mineral also regulates the calcium levels in the bloodstream, which is essential to enable the body to absorb various minerals and ensure the cell membranes' permeability.

When chromium is deficient, it may result in blood sugar imbalances, which actually overburdens the HPA axis, thereby affecting the HPT axis as well as the functioning of the thyroid gland. Providing nutrient support for stabilizing the blood sugar levels and normalizing the functioning of the adrenal glands is essential to ensure the health of the thyroid gland.
Findings of several studies have revealed that chromium picolinate has the potential to hinder levothyroxine absorption. Hypothyroidism patients taking artificially made thyroid hormone should ensure that they do not take chromium picolinate four hours before or after taking the thyroid hormone.

Bladderwrack extract
A type of kelp, bladderwrack has been used therapeutically for several centuries. The herb has been mainly used for invigorating the thyroid gland for treating obesity as well as cellulite. This herb encloses elevated amounts of iodine that helps to promote thyroid functioning, thereby augmenting metabolism.

Irish moss
Also called sea moss, Irish moss is found growing on rocks near the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea shores. This plant contains high levels of iodine as well as other trace minerals that promote healthy functioning of the thyroid gland.

This metallic compound helps in the transportation of tyrosine to the thyroid gland for facilitating thyroxine production. Rubidium is essential for production of sufficient thyroid hormone.

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New findings suggest red wine can reduce high blood pressure

It is well known that consuming red wine in moderation offers several important health benefits. Findings of latest studies show that red wine encloses certain compounds that have the potential to shield membranes from oxidation, put off many forms of cancer and also cure low moods and depression. In fact, findings of earlier studies too suggested that this favourite alcoholic drink, which is prepared from different varieties of deep-hued grapes, has the potential to promote the cardiovascular health and also put off heart diseases.

Nevertheless, findings of a latest study carried in the European Journal of Nutrition have provided us with another reason to adore red wine. Scientists are of the view that red grapes used to make red wine also possess the aptitude to alleviate hypertension (high blood pressure) - one of the major "silent killers" in contemporary Western world.

Positive effects

During the course of the study, researchers daily fed 40 male rates with a high-fructose diet for five weeks or given a high fructose diet during the last two weeks, which was enhanced with various measures of cultured cells of red grape berry (200, 400 or 800 mg/ kg body weight). Scientists checked the blood pressure, adiponectin plasma triglycerides and insulin levels of the rats before the study began and after three and five weeks after they were given the special diet. The affect of the red grape cells on vasodilatation (enlargement of the blood vessels) was also examined.

Scientists found significant augmentation in the levels of blood pressure, plasma triglycerides, insulin and adiponectin in the rats after they were given the high-fructose diet. These levels were also found to be augmented in rats belonging to a separate group and supplementing their diet with red grape cell aided in stabilizing these levels. Moreover, the supplement also affected the vasodilatation positively. In conclusion, the researchers said that the red grape cell supplement lowered the blood pressure and, at the same time augmented metabolism. They noted that such beneficial consequences may possibly be negotiated by the constituents of the cells, which are extremely rich in polyphenols as well as resveratrol that are found in their normal condition.

Resveratrol and its health benefits

In their concluding statement, scientists mentioned about resveratrol, a compound found in red grape cells. In fact, it has been found that resveratrol is responsible for many of the health benefits of red wine. Resveratrol is a natural phenol that is usually marketed separately as a health supplement is useful in lowering LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels, set off the death of cancer cells, put off insulin resistance and also lessen inflammation. A number of researchers are even of the view that resveratrol is important to extending our life span. In fact, people in the Mediterranean drink red wine and also live longer compared to people in other European regions. So, give it a try, you will definitely benefit from it.

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Fortify your immune system to avoid cold forever

If you use the correct blend of supplements it is possible that you will not catch the next flu or at least minimize the harshness of the infection radically. In fact, if an ailment is diagnosed in its initial stage, it is possible for even people eating very poor diets to treat it with appropriate supplements and avoid becoming too sick.

Actually, bacteria, viruses, fungi and nearly all parasites are responsible for infections, resulting in ailments. For instance, fungi variety called Candida may produce symptoms similar to those caused by infections by bacteria and viruses and, on many occasions, people develop several infections simultaneously giving rise to symptoms akin to those of flu.

In such conditions, taking an appropriate diet with the aim of fortifying the immune system to the best of one's ability is the only way to deal with viruses and other pathogens that are responsible for various infections. Fortunately, there are several herbs and foods that are effective in neutralizing these microbes.

Foods, diets and herbs to fortify immune system

Infections prefer an easy host, which does not take a healthy diet complete with plenty of fresh, raw, organic products, and packed with vitamins and enzymes. In order to remain healthy, consume raw garlic along with salad daily. Avoid or drastically cut down on processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, trans fat or GMO foods. Also avoid foods containing synthetic colors, preservatives, flavourings or MSG. Also take a genuinely healthy whole food multi-vitamin having plenty of vitamin C that can be assimilated easily.

At the same time, consume lots of fluids. Drinking a blend of stevia syrupy cranberry lemonade and cayenne will not only detoxify the body by flushing the system, thereby making the body really hostile to infections. In fact, cranberry, cayenne and lemonade are effective in combating ailments.

If you suspect that you may get an infection or cold soon, never use cough drops, nasal spray or any other non-prescription drug. Avoid all things that are sweet, including fruits, but excluding green apples, watermelon, berries and stevia.

This basically forms the foundation of building a strong immune system. If you combine a healthy diet and good sleep habits, be sure that you won't fall sick easily.

Make your immune system invincible with potent herbs

In most instances, using unadulterated and clean Echinacea will alone drive away all viral infections. Using a blend of Echinacea and vitamin C will help to protect you from cold and flu. While Echinacea is effective for reinforcing the complete immune system, never take this herb for over a week at a stretch. If you take it for more than seven successive days, the herb becomes less effective. However, you may resume using the herb after a break of five days.

Another potent herb, goldenseal possesses antiviral and anti-parasitic attributes and also cleanses the blood effectively. While this herb may have some adverse effects on the liver, the problem can be counterbalanced using black radish, which possesses antiviral, antibacterial and anti-parasitic properties and also promotes the health of the gallbladder, ensuring adequate bile flow. Coptis chinensis or goldenthread is also a potent herb for detoxifying the system, as it cleanses the lymph glands and ensures their normal functioning. This herb also possesses antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitic properties.

Some people never take proper care of themselves. For them, falling sick is a wonderful way to detoxify their system. In fact, people who don't eat a healthy diet or have sufficient sleep often get rid of the toxins and wastes accumulated in their body when they fall sick. Weak cells are ideal for bacteria, viruses, parasites and Candida, which host as well as feed these pathogens. Lack of sleep, poor diet and bad habits like smoking and drinking usually cause the cells to malfunction. It is worth mentioning here that repeatedly using methods to prevent infections without looking after one properly may often result in serious ailments like autoimmune disease and even cancer.

Suppressing any disease can eventually prove to be dangerous even if you use completely safe natural remedies. Keeping this in view, you would be enduring a taxing situation when the weather changes and you don't get sufficient sleep and even the situation vis-à-vis foods is not ideal for a while and still not fall sick no matter what happens. In such situations, you need to adopt the precautionary methods discussed above.

You may also use this protocol while undergoing a detoxifying process, as it would reinforce the detox and, at the same time, reduce the side effects as well as the possibility of a debilitated immune system, thereby protecting you from becoming sick.

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