Monday, October 29, 2007

Lowering High Blood Pressure Naturally

High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. It can be very dangerous because the heart works harder and pumps blood to the body at a faster rate. This can also lead to hardening of arteries.

A person is said to be suffering from high blood pressure if the blood pressure count is 140/90 or higher. High blood pressure increases the chances of heart disease and kidney disease. High blood pressure is known as the silent killer as it shows few symptoms or warning signs.

Serious symptoms of hypertension can be headaches, fatigue, nausea, visual disturbances. The greater your body mass index, more are the chances of pressure on your artery walls. Lack of exercise will lead to high blood pressure. Cut down sodium intake. Excessive sodium in the diet can result in fluid retention. Stress is a major factor that leads to high blood pressure. Calm down yourself and relax. Cut down smoking and alcohol intake. To keep High blood pressure in control, keep a check on your diet. Eat healthy food that is low in calories and fat. Use herbs, spices and salt-free seasoning in cooking instead of salt. There are also some natural home remedies that can be very effective in controlling high blood pressure

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Why Natural Treatments?

Why can natural health care practices be better in the long run than prescription drugs and medicines? We all know that many prescribed medicines have side effects that are at times extreme and can adversely affect our health in the long run. (Do you ever listen to any of those TV commercials when they start listing all of the bad things that might happen if you take the prescription medicine being advertised?) There are numerous natural health care alternatives that deliver promising health care solutions and you can also find communities' that offers free health consultancy. In this Internet world just browse online book stores for free health guides and other health related stuff; lots of health stuffs are available.
Suffering from anxiety, thyroid problems, nervous disorder, stone, hypertension, cancer, anger, anxiety, diabetes, epilepsy, hepatitis, stress, insomnia, weight issue, dietary, intoxication, acidity, the list is endless. Natural health practices are popular because of their short term and long term benefits.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Eating Disorders - A Sad Sign of the Times

Eating disorder is really a very common problem these days, thanks to the fast lifestyle that we are leading. It is a fact that people of any and all ages are susceptible to stomach problems. While there are many causes behind eating disorders, one of the main causes is stress. If you are suffering from high levels of anxiety and stress, then it is no surprise that you are having eating disorders. And even if you lead a stress-free life, it is important to know that even the most insignificant things can cause eating disorders. In this article I will tell you how to get rid of your eating disorders in two easy ways.

1. The first thing you need to know is that whether your stomach problem occurs before or after eating. If they occur before you have even eaten anything, then it doesn't have even any remote connection to your food habits. Do you experience eating disorders after long hours of fasting? If so, then the solution is in your hands. Simply start eating something and you will see that as your empty stomach gets filled up, the gas present within your empty stomach will be expelled out and you will get rid of eating disorders.

2. On the other hand, if your stomach problem occurs after eating something, then of course it is directly related to your food. In such a case, you need to take a different approach to cure eating disorders. A simple solution is to drink tea. By tea, I don't mean your regular tea; I mean, 'natural' tea. You can make natural tea using anything that is available in your kitchen, such as, mint, cinnamon, or chamomile tea, and add a little sugar, or honey to taste. Remember to drink this tea daily. In fact, it is one of the oldest methods of curing eating disorders. Our forefathers have used it for ages to cure upset stomach.

3. There is another remedy you can use to cure upset stomach. While this remedy doesn't taste good, it actually works. You can mix medical charcoal with hot water and drink it. In case you are wondering if it has really worked for anybody, let me tell you that I have used this treatment successfully on some of my patients.

There are many other home remedies that are even better than the ones I described above; however, the above solutions are very easy to make. Note that since different persons suffer from different types of stomach troubles, these home remedies may not work for everybody.

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What About Heartburn?

Heartburn and reflux affects approximately one in five people in the western world. That's fairly common knowledge. About the same number of people are affected by it at least once a week. If this is you, then there is probably not a lot to worry about. However, if heartburn and reflux become a factor in your life on at least two occasions a week and you haven't been to see a health physician yet, then what are you waiting for.

Heartburn is described as a burning sensation that rises up through the lower chest and to the throat. Depending on it's severity, it could last for several hours. On the other hand, reflux occurs when the acid in your stomach rises up into a tube called an oesophagus causing a lot of discomfort and in many cases, people have difficulty swallowing accompanied by excessive regurgitation.

Experiencing these symptoms at least twice a week should ring the alarm bells. Left untreated, there is a chance that it could cause further complications leading to other health related problems. Quite often people will suffer through these symptoms unnecessarily when a visit to the doctor would be all that's required. Proper management of heartburn and reflux in most cases will not only alleviate the uncomfortable and sometimes painful symptoms associated with it's occurrence but improve significantly a person's quality of life.

Management can include making some lifestyle changes combined with dietary adjustments. Quitting smoking is a good starting point as smoking and heartburn usually don't mix. If stress is a constant in your life then you need to find ways of reducing it and while this could mean a drastic re-think of your current lifestyle practices, give it serious consideration.

If you are overweight then consider losing some of those extra pounds. Fitting into your clothes more comfortably will be an obvious advantage of losing weight but did you know that tight fitting clothing, especially around the waistline, is a no no for heartburn sufferers?
Avoid Certain Foods

While it's true that chronic heartburn and reflux sufferers will suffer symptoms despite what they eat: this is usually because of further deep-rooted medical problems; there are certain foods that can aggravate heartburn and reflux symptoms in many people. One of the advantages of reviewing your situation with your doctor is that these foods can be identified and a plan can then be put into place to either avoid them completely or limit the number of times they are consumed.

Some people will suffer a heartburn or reflux attack by simply looking at some types of food. Some of the known "culprits" include spicy and fatty foods, alcohol and in some cases, coffee. There is also strong evidence supporting the fact that consuming food several hours before "hitting the pillow" should be avoided at all costs.
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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Can Sleeping Pills Help with Jet Lag?

Full credit for this article must be given to CNN who published it on their Health website in May 2006 but I have kept it saved on my computer and think it's very worthwhile advice to share.

Some may call it a cop-out, others a necessary evil, but sleeping pills such as Ambien, Sonata, Lunesta or benzo-diazapine are to many business travelers as essential as a tooth brush.

However, other people steer clear chemical solutions to sleeplessness, viewing pills with suspicion and sometimes fear.

Doctor Michael Breus, who studies how business travel impacts sleep believes there are many myths surrounding sleeping pills.

"The truth of the matter is that there are some very safe sleeping tablets that are on the market," he told CNN.

"But if you're flying for an hour and a half or two hours, I certainly would not recommend taking a sleeping pill during such a flight."

Although sleeping pills are effective for knocking-out weary travelers, there are always concerns about the quality of sleep achieved.

Benzo-diazapines are drugs that affect so-called sleep architecture -- meaning you don't get the appropriate amounts of each stage of sleep.

Newer non-benzo-diazapines, brands such as Sonata, Ambien and Lunesta, do not affect sleep architecture, offering a close substitute to natural sleep.

Diana Fairchild, a former air steward and now a travel author, says that while drug-induced sleep may be desirable, in other circumstances, such as air travel, it can be a hazard.

"This is not Disneyland, this is real flying where there is the potential of danger at all times," she said.

"So you want to be available if there is an announcement to get off the plane in a hurry if there is a decompression, a crash or a fire."

Herbal remedies

Says Breus, there are other viable alternatives to tablets that offer natural routes to sleep.
"The biggest cue you can give your internal biological clock actually turns out to be light.

"So what I often tell my patients to do is try to fly through the evening, arrive in the morning and then as soon as you can walk outside and get as much sunlight in your eyes as possible because that really helps reset your circadian rhythm or your internal biological clock, thereby allowing you to perform your best right out of the gate."

Other alternatives include herbal remedies like melatonin, a naturally occurring substance that has a large following among long-haul travelers.

"What they are finding is that melatonin certainly seems to help people when flying in an eastwardly direction, but does not seem to have a big an affect on somebody flying in a westwardly direction," added Breus.

Melatonin is available over the counter in the United States, so there are concerns over purity standards. In Europe a prescription is needed.

Experts' tips for recovering from jet lag:

Take cat-naps when you need to
Eat on local time
Get a good night's sleep before you travel
Go for walks in daytime and get plenty of sunlight

Try to sleep at take off when gravitational forces and a shortage of fresh oxygen make ideal conditions for dozing off.

CNN's Shantelle Stein contributed to this report.

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Natural Treatments for Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a condition generally caused by a myriad of viral infections, but is also often the result of bacterial toxins and sometimes even infection.

One of the most important treatments for diarrhea involves the patient consuming adequate amounts of water to replace that lost, preferably mixed with electrolytes to provide essential salts and some amount of nutrients.

Diarrhea may be either chronic or acute, depending on the cause. Stress, laxatives, drugs (usually antibiotics), intestinal parasites, flu viruses, food allergies, as well as food poisoning may cause diarrhea. Acute diarrhea is basically the result of the body's attempt to rid itself of toxins, irritants, or infections in the intestinal tract.

Common Causes Of Diarrhea

The most common causes of acute diarrhea are infections, which is the main cause of traveler's diarrhea, food poisoning, and medications. Medications are a frequent and often over-looked cause, particularly antibiotics and antacids. Sometimes, various sugar free foods, which often times contain poorly absorbable materials, cause diarrhea.

Top Herbal Remedies For Diarrhea

There are many historically-proven herbal treatments for common diarrhea, that can in fact be as effective, if not more potent than many over-the counter remedies. For many people, further treatment and formal medical advice is unnecessary, however, diarrhea can be a symptom of a more serious condition, and can be health threatening to high-risk persons such as the elderly or infants. Use common sense and, seek advice if the condition becomes persistent.

- Grapefruit seed extract. A good preventive and treatment herb for traveler's diarrhea is grapefruit seed extract. This extract is a potent all-around antimicrobial product, as well as an excellent disinfectant.

The seed's extract is extra bitter, so use tablets or capsules instead of the liquid, and take three times a day. If you do use the liquid, use five drops in a glass of water. Another helpful product to carry with you is activated charcoal which is explained in more detail below.

- Agrimony. Perhaps best-known as a wound herb used in medieval warfare to halt bleeding. Agrimony's astringency is effective against diarrhea, especially in small children, and because of its low toxicity, the herb is particularly suitable for children's illnesses. Agrimony stops irritation of the urinary tract that may increase a child's urge to urinate and, therefore, may be useful in the treatment of bladder leakage, bed-wetting and adult incontinence.

- Apple cider vinegar. For preventive measure, start taking a teaspoon of vinegar and a teaspoon of honey in a glass of water half an hour before each meal a few days before your trip. Continue this therapy during your trip.

- Lemon juice. Drinking the juice of a freshly-squeezed lemon in a large glass of water three to five times a day kills the pathogens causing the diarrhea. For prevention in case there is a stomach virus going around, take 1-2 tablespoons of juice before meals.

- A tea, tincture, or capsule of red raspberry leaf and/or meadowsweet can help in the treatment of diarrhea, since they all contain tannins, which have an astringent effect on the intestines. A common dose would be 1/2-1 teaspoon of tincture, 1 cup of tea, or two capsules two to three times daily.

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What Exactly are "Natural Remedies"?

The use of herbal supplements as alternative or complementary medications has increasingly become popular that by 1996, the annual sale of herbal treatments and medications in the United States had reached $2.5 billion.

Many herbal remedies are considered dietary supplements and thus are not subject to a strict evaluation by the FDA for effectiveness and safety. Although these are generally available without prescription, the information about their indications and uses is not readily available sometimes.

Most often, patients would need to rely on unverified reports or inaccurate information given to them regarding the use of herbal products. While many of these "natural" supplements are generally safe if taken as recommended, some are considered unsafe because they may produce toxic or damaging side effects.

Herbal treatments and medications are generally made from herbs or plants, and these supplements are added to the diet for health purposes. Although many of these medications have not yet been officially classified as drugs or medicines, some herbal supplements have been noted to work the same way as drugs and can have helpful, as well as harmful side effects.

The use of herbs to cure or alleviate diseases and infections is a universal practice among traditional societies. A lot of the established over-the-counter drugs available to doctors have a long history of use as herbal remedies, such as opium, aspirin and quinine.

Hundreds of herbal products and supplements are available. They are advertised to treat just about any symptom. However, trustworthy evidence usually doesn't exist to support these advertising claims. Among some of the most popular herbal products and supplements sold today include echinacea, ephedra, which is also called ma huang, chondroitin sulfate, garlic, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, glucosamine, kava, melatonin, phytoestrogens such as black cohosh, dong quai and soy, saw palmetto and St. John's wort

The terms "organic" and "natural" have found widespread acceptance in a wider variety of contexts. Organic gardening and natural foods come to mind at once. Advertisers frequently claim that their products are "totally organic or one hundred percent natural." What exactly do these terms actually mean? Most consumers are convinced through advertising that organic or natural products are intrinsically safer and more effective than synthetic or "chemical" products.

To the average consumer, organic means "good" because synthetic chemicals are "bad"; natural means "wholesome," and anything else is probably loaded with chemicals (i.e., bad). Some supplements are even labeled "chemical free." This assumption, however is impossible to ascertain since even an empty product container has air in it which is composed of chemicals.
Utilizing herbal medications is a major facet in all traditional medicine systems, and a common ingredient in homeopathic, Ayurvedic, traditional Chinese and Native American medicine. According to the World Health Organization, 74% of 119 modern plant-derived medicines are used in methods that are similar to their traditional uses. Major drug firms are currently conducting extensive research on plants and herbs collected from the rainforests and other places for possible new pharmaceuticals.

The use, and search for, drugs and dietary supplements that are derived from plants has increased in recent years. Pharmacologists, botanists, and chemists are searching and analyzing many plants and phytochemicals that could be developed for treatment of many types of diseases

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