Categories
Image Natural Health News and Articles

How to Spot Skin Cancer

The American Academy of Dermatology produced this ‘How to Spot Skin Cancer’ infographic published on Dr. Bailey’s skin care blog.

1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer. Anyone can get skin cancer regardless of skin color.

See how to do a skin cancer self-examination.

How to Spot Skin Cancer


Categories
Natural Health News and Articles

Herbal Tinctures – A New Way of Looking at Supplements

First developed thousands of years ago, precisely derived liquid extracts called tinctures have recently grown in popularity. Tinctures’ ability to preserve the active components of plants, their lengthy shelf life, and their vitalizing effects on health make them an excellent way to treat a range of symptoms.

It is now known that many conventional drugs are derived from plant sources, including aspirin from willow bark, digoxin from foxglove, quinine from cinchona bark, and morphine from the opium poppy.i Each has healing value. What is unique about tinctures, though, is their ability to deliver the health benefits of plants in liquid form.

While both fluid extracts and tinctures are technically “extracts”, or herbal preparations, the difference between the two lies in their herb strength ratios or concentrations. Herbal tinctures are alcohol/water preparations made with dry herbs and have an herb strength ratio of 1:5 or weaker. Liquid extracts, on the other hand, use an alcohol/water base with a dry herb strength ratio of 1:4 or stronger (sometimes even as strong as 1:1).ii This indicates that the dosage of fluid extracts is usually much smaller, often given in drops, whereas dosages of tinctures are mostly given in milliliters.iii

While it’s true that many tinctures are dissolved in alcohol, they can also be extracted in distilled water, vegetable glycerin, apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar. If making a tincture without the use of alcohol, make sure to use 100% vegetable glycerin or food grade distilled white vinegar. Never use rubbing alcohol or wood alcohol, as this would create a highly poisonous substance.iv

It is recommended that one consults a physician prior to the purchase of a desired tincture. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended dosage and directions for its application.

Tinctures are often added to water, tea, or juice, but they may also be taken directly by mouth. If a tincture is alcohol-based, drop it into a cup of boiled water and wait a few minutes—this will help the alcohol evaporate before consumption.

Popular herbal tinctures are:

  • Herb Pharm’s Valerian Root Extract for Relaxation and Restful Sleep
  • David Winston’s Lung Relief™ Cold/Damp (made by Herbalist and Alchemist)
  • Terra Firma Botanical’s Aller-Eaze-Herbal Allergy Relief
  • Herb Pharm’s Stone Breaker (Chanca Piedra) Compound for Urinary System Support
  • Herb Pharm’s Mullein/Garlic Herbal Ear Drop Oil

Different than traditional supplements in pill form, tinctures are a new way of treating one’s body with essential vitamins and minerals. Full of organic material from nature’s wide array of plants, tinctures have the potential of treating a variety of symptoms. As always, be sure to consult a physician before use.

Written by Nicole Kagan

Reviewed & edited by Dr. Jeffrey C. Lederman, DO, MPH and Julie A. Cerrato, PhD, AP, CYT, CAP

References

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1071505/
  2. http://www.gaiaherbs.com/pages/detail/175/Ask-the-Herbalist
  3. https://www.richters.com/show.cgi?page=QandA/Medicinal/20041219-2.html
  4. http://stealthsurvival.blogspot.com/2008/12/making-non-alcoholic-herbal-tinctures.html

Categories
Image Natural Health News and Articles

Chlorella – a Protein and Nutrient-dense Algae

Chlorella is a freshwater single-cell green algae.

It can be consumed as a supplement and potential food source since it is high in protein and other nutrients – 45% protein, 20% fat, 20% carbohydrate, 5% fibre, and 10% minerals and vitamins.

This infographic points out some of the functional benefits and features of chlorella.

It was originally published on NewHope360.com by DeliciousLiving and Sun Chlorella USA.

Chlorella - a Protein and Nutrient-dense Algae

Categories
Image Natural Health News and Articles

Maca Infographic

Maca is grown at high elevations in the Andes region of central Peru. It is a complex, nutrient-dense whole food source of vitamins, amino acids, plant sterols, essential minerals and essential fatty acids.

It has been used for centuries by indigenous Peruvians as a food source, as well as for increasing stamina and energy.

Maca powder can be blended into smoothies, drinks, baked goods, chocolates and cereal. It can also be taken as a supplement in capsule form.

Delicious Living and MegaFood teamed-up to produce this Maca infographic originally published on DeliciousLiving.com

Maca

Categories
Image Natural Health News and Articles

Massage Therapy Benefits

The benefits of massage therapy are powerful when it comes to stress reduction, relaxation, easing pain, managing migraines, insomnia, and muscle recovery.

Fix.com’s massage therapy infographic found here will help you find the most appropriate type of massage to meet your needs and lifestyle.

Massage Therapy Benefits

Categories
Natural Health News and Articles

Magnesium for Menstrual Cramps

Dysmenorrhea, the medical term for painful menstruation, is a common problem experienced by women in their reproductive years. Symptoms of pain can interfere with daily activities so much so that they may also be a factor in absenteeism at school and at work.

The condition of dysmenorrhea may be characterized into two types: primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea. While primary dysmenorrhea is the presence of cramps and lower abdominal pain that occurs during a female’s menstrual cycle when no other cause for those symptoms exists, secondary dysmenorrhea is the presence of the same symptoms, but is caused by other medical problems such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids. It is thought that for both primary and secondary dysmenorrhea, hormone-like substances released during a woman’s menstrual cycle called prostaglandins play an active role. The information in this article focuses on primary dysmenorrhea and resulting lower abdominal cramps.

Common treatment for primary dysmenorrhea involves nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) or oral contraceptive pills (OCPs), both of which work to reduce myometrial activity (contractions of the uterus). While these treatments have the potential to be effective, the failure rate is still often 20-25%.1 Research into the menstrual cycle shows that nutritional intake and metabolism can have an impact on the cause and treatment of menstrual disorders. That being said, herbal and dietary therapies now rate among the most common complementary medicines to be used by sufferers of dysmenorrhea, and supplementation with magnesium for menstrual cramps is gaining popularity.

To begin, magnesium is a vital mineral that has been shown to reduce key cell compounds in the body’s inflammatory processes. Preliminary research with magnesium supplements has shown some efficacy in reducing dysmenorrhea by decreasing prostaglandin F 2 alpha 2, a hormone-like substance involved in pain and inflammation 3. In general, prostaglandins are chemicals in the body involved in inflammation and pain, and higher levels of these tend to create more menstrual pain.

But magnesium has the potential to reduce menstrual cramps in women who take it. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, to use magnesium as a complementary therapy, take 360 mg daily for three days starting on the day before menstruation begins. 4

Keep in mind that excess magnesium can induce diarrhea and lower blood pressure, so if suffering from digestive problems or heart disease, consult a physician first. Furthermore, magnesium can interact with many medications such as antibiotics like ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin (Levaquin), and tetracycline; bone-building drugs such as alendronate (Fosamax), and risedronate (Actonel); diuretics (water pills); and other drugs. 4

As always, consult a healthcare provider before taking any supplements, including magnesium. When used with care, magnesium has the potential of decreasing symptoms of dysmenorrhea and working as a preventative agent.

Written by Nicole Kagan

Reviewed & edited by Dr. Jeffrey C. Lederman, DO, MPH and Julie A. Cerrato, PhD, AP, CYT, CAP

References

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0011414/
  2. Penland J, Johnson P, et al. Dietary calcium and manganese effects on menstrual cycle symptoms. Am J Obstet Gynecol . 1993;168:1417-1424.
  3. http://www.askdrmao.com/questions-and-answers/magnesium-for-dysmenorrhea/
  4. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/menstrual-pain

Categories
Natural Health News and Articles

Acupuncture for Bursitis

A bursa is a fluid-filled, saclike structure that provides cushioning between bones, tendons, and muscles around joints in the body. Lined by synovial membrane and containing an inner capillary layer of viscous fluid, bursae help reduce friction and allow free movement of the body.

When bursae become inflamed, a condition called bursitis arises. Joints may feel achy or stiff, look swollen and red, and there may be pain when one moves or presses on these areas. Bursitis may involve disabling joint pain, pain that lasts for more than 1-2 weeks, excessive swelling, redness, bruising, a rash in the affected area, sharp or shooting pain, or a fever. 1

Symptoms of bursitis may be caused by direct injury to a part of the body, prolonged pressure (such as when one prolongs kneeling or leaning on an elbow), overuse or strenuous activity, inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis or spondyloarthritis, infection (septic bursitis), or crystal-induced arthropathy (such as in cases of longstanding or tophaceous gout). Common areas for bursitis are the shoulder, elbow, buttocks, hip, knee, and ankle. 2

In most cases, isolated bursitis is a self-limited condition that is reversible. Unlike cartilage, bursa has the ability to heal, which makes typical treatments for bursitis focus on relieving immediate symptoms to avoid secondary complications related to immobilization such as muscle atrophy or joint contracture,and to maintain range of motion. 3

While conventional treatments of bursitis involve icing affected areas and analgesia in the form of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen, acupuncture can also be used as a natural therapy. 4

A part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture supports the idea that our bodies, out of balance due to years of stress and unhealthy lifestyle choices, can be brought back to equilibrium through the practice of needling points on energy channels (located throughout the body) called meridians. When certain points on these meridians are stimulated, several things happen: acupuncture activates anti-inflammatory chemicals, releases particular hormones, and inhibits cell receptors – some of which may control the pain experience.

In addition, early researchers believed that the benefits of acupuncture resulted from the release of endorphins that caused the “feel good” sensation. However, recent research is demonstrating that there are possibly several mechanisms of action that occur with acupuncture that include an enhancement of blood flow, stretching of connective tissue, and nerve signals that reboot the autonomic nervous system. Some theories about how acupuncture works include the release of neurotransmitters, effects on the stress response system (or the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis), and gate control theory in which stimulation of certain pain nerves creates a competing pain sensation in the body which results in a decrease of pain. 5

Like any medical treatment, acupuncture needs to be administered by a highly and properly trained acupuncturist. Most states require acupuncturists to be licensed and the FDA requires all needles to be new and sterile. 6

That being said, the acupuncture treatment one receives depends on the locality of bursitis in the body. Acupuncture is not a treatment that can be performed at home or on oneself, so one must first consult with their physician to see if acupuncture is safe for them. If so, one can then contact a licensed acupuncturist and commence treatment.

Written by Nicole Kagan

Reviewed & edited by Dr. Jeffrey C. Lederman, DO, MPH and Julie A. Cerrato, PhD, AP, CYT, CAP

  1. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bursitis/basics/symptoms/con-20015102
  2. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00325/Bursitis.html
  3. http://www.uptodate.com/contents/bursitis-an-overview-of-clinical-manifestations-diagnosis-and-management?source=search_result&search=bursitis&selectedTitle=1~131
  4. http://www.uptodate.com/contents/bursitis-an-overview-of-clinical-manifestations-diagnosis-and-management?source=search_result&search=bursitis&selectedTitle=1~131
  5. https://wholesomeone.com/article/science-behind-acupuncture-treatment-osteoarthritis
  6. https://wholesomeone.com/article/science-behind-acupuncture-treatment-osteoarthritis

Categories
Natural Health News and Articles

How to Use Habits to Lose Weight

Why do we always fail to lose weight? You might think that existing weight loss methods aren’t good enough, or there’s too much unhealthy food available, or any number of other, entirely valid, reasons. 

But these reasons miss the heart of the problem.

We fail to lose weight because we don’t change our habits. Habits determine our long-term behavior, and our long-term behavior determines our success. If your habit is to grab a bag of chips every time you watch TV, no weight loss program in the world can help you in the long-term, unless it addresses that habit.

How do we change our habits?

The recipe for changing a habit is simple, but you have to do it right.

Step 1 – Determine the habit that you’re going to build. For the sake of example, let’s use the habit of eating more vegetables (one which we would all do well to practice).

Step 2 – Start off small and easy. We know that we should eat five vegetable servings per day, but let’s start off with two.

Step 3 – Practice your new, easy habit every day. That means we eat two vegetable servings every day.

Step 4 – Once Step 3 starts to feel second nature, up the ante. In our case, that means eating three vegetable servings per day.

Step 5 – Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until you have reached your goal with the habit. That means eating five vegetable servings per day without difficulty.

All we did here was break down the goal so that one huge, difficult step (eating five additional vegetable servings per day) became a series of small, easy steps (eating one additional vegetable serving per day).

Putting habit change into action

Now that we have the recipe for habit change, we just need to know how to use it. Apply this recipe to 1 – 2 habits at a time. For example, if you know that your diet and exercise routine could both use some love, then you could start developing the habit of eating more vegetables and walking more.

You can increase your walking target slowly, just as with vegetables (ex: 10 minutes per day, then 15, and so on…all the way up to 30 minutes per day).

This means that your lifestyle won’t change overnight, but that’s the entire point. Habits take weeks (sometimes months) to build, which is why programs that change your entire lifestyle right away are so difficult to stick to in the long-term.

Looking at the bigger picture

It’s normal to want results immediately, but you need to avoid the trap of sacrificing long-term results for short-term gratification. You can do this by focusing on making small lifestyle changes that will build on each other over time.

This slow but steady approach takes some patience and determination, but it is far better than losing 10 lbs right away and then gaining it back again.

Ready to get started? Choose a habit that you want to develop. Decide what your target is with that habit, then reduce that target (dividing by a factor of 4 often works). Start hitting that reduced target today, and just refer to the steps above as you go.

And remember – slow and steady wins the race!

Written by Kevin Packer of SimpliFit, offering Personalized Weight-loss Programs.

Photo “tortoise-hare” by matea2506 used under creative commons by attribution

Categories
Natural Health News and Articles

Natural Treatments for Motion Sickness – Acupressure, Aromatherapy, and Nutrition

Motion sickness is a condition where one’s brain confuses visual and sensory stimuli, resulting in feelings of nausea and imbalance. Feelings of nausea may be caused by acceleration and deceleration while traveling by car, train, sea, air, or by other means.

When suffering from motion sickness, one’s inner ear (vestibular system) senses motion, but the eyes inform the brain that things are stationary. The resulting discordance causes one’s brain to conclude that one of the senses is hallucinating and that this hallucination is a result of ingesting poison. In response, the brain responds by inducing vomiting, to clear the supposed toxin.

Common initial symptoms associated with motion sickness are nausea, headache, and general uneasiness. Symptoms may progress in severity and include vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, excessive yawning, inability to concentrate, excessive sweating and salivation, pallor (when one turns white), and severe distress.

Conventional treatments include over-the-counter or prescription medication, and natural remedies include dietary and herbal treatments. Common over-the-counter products used to treat and prevent symptoms associated with motion sickness include antihistamines like dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), and meclizine (Antivert and Bonine, for example).

While there are various ways to alleviate symptoms like nausea and dizziness, natural treatments may have fewer side effects and can work preventatively. Acupuncture, aromatherapy, and ginger supplements are gentle and effective ways of treating motion sickness.

Acupressure for Motion Sickness

As a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture supports the idea that our bodies, out of balance due to years of stress and unhealthy lifestyle choices, can be brought back to equilibrium through the practice of needling points on energy channels (located throughout the body) called meridians. Acupressure, or shiatsu, works with the same system of meridians and points but does not use needles. A shiatsu practitioner uses his or her fingers to hold down acupressure points on the body, therefore rebalancing one’s chi, or life force, to promote health.

Sufferers of motion sickness can self-apply acupressure to key areas of the body. Use the point below to combat any symptoms of motion sickness.

  • P6 – Nei Guan – Inner Pass (Pericardium Meridian)
    Location: On the palmar side of the forearm, about two finger-breadths above (away from the hand) the wrist crease.
    Purpose: Treats stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. Helps with clarity of thought and suppressing pain.

To implement a self-treatment at home, hold down the Nei Guan acupressure point and massage gently for several minutes. Alternate so that both arms have been treated.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy uses the medicinal properties of essential oils drawn from plants and herbs to combat a variety of conditions ranging from skin disorders and infections to stress and immune deficiencies. Each essential oil emits a biofrequency that is sensed by the body. Imbalances in the body and symptoms associated with motion sickness can be “tuned” as the body responds to the oils with respect to its own biofrequency. Because of this specificity, each individual responds differently to an essential oil. Therapy is best when customized by testing essential oils and gauging the body’s response, however, some key essential oils universally assist in relieving motion sickness, one of which is peppermint oil.

Peppermint Oil
At the onset of nausea or motion sickness, open a bottle of peppermint essential oil and inhale the odor. Breathe deeply until symptoms have subsided.

Diet & Nutrition

Ginger is often recommended for preventing seasickness 2, and is found to be better than dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) or placebo at combatting symptoms of motion sickness (Mowrey and Clayson 1982).3 With the benefit of not causing drowsiness like other motion sickness medications, ginger helps to alleviate symptoms of nausea.

To use ginger to avoid motion sickness while traveling, take the following steps.

To combat motion sickness while at home, you can also make ginger drinks at home.

  • Make fresh ginger juice or a fresh infusion of ginger tea. Ginger tea can be made by putting one teaspoon of ground culinary ginger into a cup of boiling water, letting it steep for 5-10 minutes, and drinking as often as needed.

The wonderful thing about these therapies is that they are preventative and can be used while traveling anywhere. As always, before implementing any natural treatments, please consult a physician for safety information.

Written by Nicole Kagan

Reviewed & edited by Dr. Jeffrey C. Lederman, DO, MPH and Julie A. Cerrato, PhD, AP, CYT, CAP

  1. https://wholesomeone.com/condition/motion-sickness
  2. Schmid R, Schick T, Steffen R, Tschopp A, Wilk T. Comparison of seven commonly used agents for prophylaxis of seasickness. J Travel Med. 1994;1(4):203–6. [PubMed]
  3. Mowrey D. B, Clayson D. E. Motion sickness, ginger, and psychophysics. Lancet. 1982;1(8273):655–7. [PubMed]

Categories
Natural Health News and Articles

Rosemary Oil and Boswellia for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Reviewed & edited by Dr. Jeffrey C. Lederman, DO, MPH and Julie A. Cerrato, PhD, AP, CYT, CAP

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, autoimmune inflammatory disorder that results in persistent inflammation of joints in the body. It affects the synovium, the thin tissue that lines and covers synovial joints.

Of an unknown etiology, rheumatoid arthritis causes the immune system to attack the synovium. As a result of the immune system‘s attack, white blood cells travel to the protective thin tissue and cause cell chemical signals, known as cytokines, to initiate the painful inflammatory response that is characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis.

While the onset of rheumatoid arthritis most often begins in individuals after the age of 40, and historically affects women more often than men, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) can also occur in teenagers and young adults.

Common symptoms of RA include pain, swelling, morning stiffness, and limited movement of the affected joints. The severity of pain and longevity of symptoms can vary, as RA is a chronic condition, which means there is no true “cure” and symptoms come and go frequently, however most individuals suffer a progression of disease over time. Symptoms of RA are most often experienced at joint extremities such as the fingers and toes, but can affect larger joints such as the wrists, elbows, knees, ankles and hips. 1

While conventional treatments for rheumatoid arthritis involve Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), COX-2 inhibitors, steroids, and Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), patients often seek alternative options because of the potential side effect profile of these medications. 2

One natural way to help combat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is by using rosemary oil. The rosmarinic acid in rosemary is a phytochemical that exists in a variety of herbs. In fact, a 2003 study published in “Journal of Rheumatology” reported that rosmarinic acid subdued the progression of arthritis in laboratory mice. In addition, rosemary oil applied to the skin has already been approved as an arthritis treatment in Germany. 3

Rosemary oil’s health benefits come from the fact that it is antinociceptive 4 —pain inhibiting—and analgesic in nature. For arthritic pain in the joints caused by rheumatoid arthritis, add 6 – 8 drops of rosemary oil to a carrier oil that is powerful and anti-inflammatory, like olive oil (30 ml). 5  Carrier oils such as organic unrefined almond, sunflower, or sesame oil will also work well. Apply liberally to painful areas, cover with a cloth to prevent from rubbing off, and allow the oil to soak into the skin. Massage the affected area gently to promote blood flow.

In addition to topical applications of rosemary oil, the tree resin boswellia (Boswellia serrata), otherwise known as Indian Frankincense, can be helpful for treating chronic inflammatory illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis. Used for centuries in Asian and African folk medicine, boswellia may be an effective painkiller and can prevent the loss of cartilage. 6 It has been traditionally used to treat all forms of arthritis in Ayurvedic medicine and most recently was shown to be effective in reducing pain, stiffness and physical function in an Osteoarthritis (OA) trial of 358 patients 7 with similar benefits for RA patients in a previous trial. 8

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, boswellia can be used as a supplement for rheumatoid arthritis treatment in doses of 400 mg-800 mg in capsule form three times daily. 9 While taking boswellia, be mindful that one potential side effect may include an upset stomach. 10

So, individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis who are seeking natural healing treatments may wish to try rosemary oil and boswellia extract. Used in combination, these two natural therapies can have immense benefits for treating symptoms of pain, swelling, morning stiffness, and limited movement of the affected joints.

As always, consult a physician before trying any herbal remedies and be mindful to take care and implement positive lifestyle changes such as eating healthy, getting plenty of rest, and exercising. 11

Written by Nicole Kagan

References

Reviewed & edited by Dr. Jeffrey C. Lederman, DO, MPH and Julie A. Cerrato, PhD, AP, CYT, CAP

  1. http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/Rheumatic_Disease/default.asp
  2. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/rheumatoid-arthritis-natural-treatments
  3. http://www.livestrong.com/news-articles/426883-rosemary-for-inflammation-arthritis/
  4. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/antinociceptive
  5. http://oilhealthbenefits.com/rosemary-oil/
  6. http://www.healthline.com/health/boswellia
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17043520
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23194870
  9. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/rheumatoid-arthritis-natural-treatments#ixzz3JiIWnQ7k
  10. http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/guide/rheumatoid-arthritis-best-worst-supplements-herbs?page=3
  11. https://wholesomeone.com/condition/rheumatoid-arthritis-natural-treatments

 

Categories
Natural Health News and Articles

Slippery Elm for GERD

Reviewed & edited by Dr. Jeffrey C. Lederman, DO, MPH and Julie A. Cerrato, PhD, AP, CYT, CAP

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic condition that involves the incorrect closing of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), resulting in acid reflux and additional symptoms like heartburn.

While the term GERD is often used interchangeably with those of acid reflux or heartburn, it is important to note that the conditions have distinct differences. Where heartburn is a single or infrequent solitary event of stomach acid leaking back into the esophagus and creating a burning sensation, GERD is a chronic condition that presents with symptoms such as acid leaking into the esophagus, regurgitation of refluxed liquid or food into the mouth, heartburn, coughing, wheezing, nausea and/or vomiting.

Holistic dietary modifications play an important role in the prevention and treatment of GERD. Simple, manageable changes like limiting or avoiding foods that can trigger GERD such as fatty or fried foods, coffee, tea, alcohol, spicy foods, oranges and other citrus fruits, tomatoes, onions, carbonated beverages, chocolate and mint, can all help reduce the onset of GERD.

Along with making dietary changes to reduce GERD, certain natural supplements can help offset GERD flare-ups and restore balanced digestion.

Slippery elm (Ulmus fulva), a species of elm native to North America, can be implemented as a natural remedy for GERD. Used by Native Americans for centuries, the inner bark is made into medicine and is used to treat a host of symptoms in GERD patients.

First and foremost, slippery elm bark contains the ingredient mucilage—a substance that turns into a slick gel when mixed with water. Incredibly important, mucilage calms and coats the stomach and intestines, as well as the mouth and throat in GERD-induced coughs and other respiratory conditions.

While mucilage moistens and soothes, the tannins in slippery elm are astringent, which makes this herb an ideal remedy for both soothing inflammations and healing damaged tissues. 1

Even though mucilage is the most prevalent ingredient of slippery elm, the bark also contains amino acids, iodine, bromine, calcium, starch, sugar, and trace amounts of manganese and zinc. All of these work together to manifest a substance which is nourishing and restorative for the body.

In terms of treatment, one can take slippery elm in tea, tincture, capsule, lozenge, or powder form. 2

Tea

  1. Make slippery elm tea by placing two tablespoons (4 grams) of powdered bark into a mug.
  2. Pour two cups of boiling water over the powder, stir, and let steep for 3-5 minutes.

Drink this healing tea three times per day.

Tincture

  1. Take 5 mL of slippery elm tincture in water three times per day.
  2. Stir the formula before drinking.

Keep in mind that many tinctures contain alcohol.

Capsule

  1. In capsule form, take 400-500 milligrams 3 to 4 times daily for 4-8 weeks.
  2. Take capsules with a full glass of water.

Lozenge

Follow dosing instructions on the label.

Formula

  1. First mix one teaspoonful of powdered slippery elm into a thin, smooth paste with a small amount of cold water.
  2. Then pour a pint of boiling water over the paste, stirring steadily.
  3. You can flavor this formula with cinnamon, nutmeg, or lemon rind.

This formula is excellent for treating the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines, and if taken at night, it will induce sleep.

Slippery Elm “Food”

  1. Beat up an egg with a teaspoonful of powdered slippery elm bark.
  2. Pour boiling milk over the mixture and sweeten it.

In conclusion, slippery elm bark is useful as a healing agent for patients with GERD. Symptoms of acid reflux, heartburn, coughing, wheezing, nausea, and vomiting can be lessened with this natural alternative, and GERD may become less chronic over time. That being said, make sure to consult a physician to make sure that slippery elm is safe for you.

Written by Nicole Kagan

  1. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/herbal-remedies/slippery-elm-herbal-remedies.htm
  2. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/slippery-elm#ixzz3It4EIJGC

Reviewed & edited by Dr. Jeffrey C. Lederman, DO, MPH and Julie A. Cerrato, PhD, AP, CYT, CAP

Categories
Audio Natural Health News and Articles

Exercise is Medicine

The WSJ This Morning‘s Gordon Deal and Laura Landro talk about Exercise is Medicine, a global health initiative from the American College of Sports Medicine, that encourages primary care physicians and other health care providers to include physical activity when designing treatment plans for patients.