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


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

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 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

  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]

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


  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.


  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.


  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.


Follow dosing instructions on the label.


  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


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

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


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



Natural Health News and Articles

Why Taking Care of Your Teeth Is Crucial for Your Eyes

Did you know that the health of your teeth and gums can affect your vision?

Tooth decay, mercury fillings and gum disease often lead to deterioration in vision, according to Dr. Andy Rosenfarb, clinical director and founder of Acupuncture Health Associates in Westfield, New Jersey. Dr. Rosenfarb suggests rinsing your mouth daily with hydrogen peroxide to better control the germs in your mouth.

What Do Your Teeth Have to Do with Your Eyes?
The health of your teeth and gums can dramatically affect your vision. I am seeing this more and more in clinic with varying eye conditions, from ocular lymphoma to glaucoma, and retinitis pigmentosa to uveitis. Increasing numbers of people are developing eye conditions that may result from tooth decay, mercury fillings and gum diseases. It’s no coincidence that for many, the vision starts to go around the same that the teeth start falling and/or become problematic. Mercury fillings is a hot topic these days and I recommend you watch this video. There is no way that the fumes from mercury fillings cannot directly impact the health of the brain, eyes and rest of the body. I advise everyone with mercury fillings to consider getting them safely removed.

In addition to the toxic effects of mercury fillings, fungal and bacterial infections from root canals and other periodontal infections may directly contribute to vision loss. These microbes are neuro-toxic and can destroy healthy nerve tissue in the eyes and brain. I recently learned about these factors because of a case that is close to home.

This past September, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with brain lymphoma. Scary? Yes!!! Fortunately, we had a great neurosurgeon and she is responding very well to chemo and a specific regiment of supplements. In reviewing her health history, we found that this all started with a dental surgeon who did poor work causing severe and repeated bacterial infections in her gums for months.

Six months after the infections were “gone,” my mother-in-law developed some vision loss (no one could figure out why at the time), and a few months later she had brain cancer. Because we were able to trace the primary cause back to severe gum infections, we will save her vision and more importantly, her life.

Basically, the infection spread from the gums to the eyes, and eventually to the brain via the lymphatic system. The festering bacteria and fungus resulted in lymphoma in this case. This is not a minor factor here folks! These oral infections can affect your vision, brain function and be potentially fatal. I suspect that they may be a factor in many chronic, degenerative eye conditions.

Do you have any root canals? If you do, consider this information as it relates to not only your eyes and brain, but the overall health of your entire body. Rinsing your mouth daily with hydrogen peroxide is a great way to help keep the germs in your mouth from getting out of control. At first, dilute to a 50-50 solution with water and build up to full strength. If you have root canals consider getting those teeth removed. Practice good dental hygiene!

Dr. Rosenfarb’s offices are located in Westfield and Watchung, New Jersey. Contact information is available on his website at

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.

Natural Health News and Articles

5 Essential Oils to Keep on Hand

Are you looking for a natural way to fight common illnesses? Essential oils might be the answer.

Nandini Weitzman, a licensed clinical nutritionist in the state of New York and an alternative health practitioner who has been using Young Living essential oils and oil-based products for 13 years, recommends that you keep five essential oils on hand to help ward off or reduce the severity of a cold, cough, virus, fever or flu.

These oils are oregano, lemon, peppermint, a respiratory blend and Thieves. A respiratory blend is a mix of myrtle, spruce, peppermint, pine, lavender and marjoram oils and three varieties of eucalyptus oil. Thieves is a blend of clove, cinnamon bark, rosemary, lemon and eucalyptus radiata oils.

While all five oils work to ease common illnesses, they have their specialties.

  • Thieves and oregano are best for the flu.
  • Lemon oil is most effective in warding off or reducing the severity of a virus.
  • Thieves and oregano can be good at controlling a virus, too.
  • Peppermint is best known for reducing or preventing a cold, cough or fever.
  • RC works well when it’s applied to the chest or back or when it’s diffused or inhaled for sinus or chest relief.
  • Thieves works well to combat a cough. The essential oil can ward off the illness if you act quickly as soon as you feel the first signs of getting sick. The oil helps reduce the severity of the sickness if you act after you’re sick.

How to Use These Oils
You can breathe in these oils so they enter the body through the nose and lungs, rub them on the skin for quick absorption, or consume the oils in a capsule or lozenge. Nandini recommends using a cold air essential oil diffuser to diffuse the oil into the air and breathe it in. She says this method is especially effective because smelling is our most direct sense, sending the oil directly to the amygdala, the part of the brain where the seat of emotions is located.

Breathing the oil into your sinuses and lungs can help prevent or alleviate the mucus buildup from a cold or a cough. Cold air diffusers also protect the oil quality, unlike heat, which can damage the oil and make it less effective.

You also can boil any size pot of water, add four or five drops of oil to the boiled water, cover your head with a towel and, while holding your head over the liquid, let the steam enter your sinuses and lungs. The oils, carried by the steam water molecules, will start to release and neutralize the pathogens that have taken residence in these areas.

Applying Oil Directly on the Skin
For flu you can apply the oil in strokes to the back, right next to the spine. The skin absorbs the oil quickly as essential oils naturally penetrate the cell wall and work inside the cell. Nandini also suggests putting a drop or two of oil on a warm washcloth and then placing the washcloth on your chest to help ease chest colds. She recommends rubbing some oil directly on your chest or back to fight a cold or a virus.

Naturally Reduce Your Baby’s Fever
An easy way to reduce a fever in a baby is to put a drop of peppermint oil on the tip of your finger and then run your finger along the bottom of the baby’s foot. Let the oil sit on the baby’s foot for a short time and the fever should decrease. You can let the baby smell the remaining oil on your hand. This method also can work on older children. If a child complains about the scent, simply put a sock on the child’s foot to mask the smell.

Lozenges for a Cough
For coughs, you can try a Thieves oil-based throat lozenge, spray or mouthwash. If you take a lozenge, Nandini recommends keeping it between the back teeth and cheek to allow the juice of the lozenge to drip along the back of your throat. So, the next time you feel like you’re getting sick, perhaps consider one of these essential oils for a natural road to recovery.

Nandini Weitzman can be reached at

– By Jessica Braun
Jessica Braun is a writer and an editor at WholesomeONE. She can be reached at jessica.braun[at]wholesomeone[dot]com.


Natural Health News and Articles Video

3 Exercises for Shoulder Bursitis

Bursitis may make joints feel achy or stiff, and there may be pain when one moves or presses on these areas. Dr. Mandell exhibits three simple exercises that can help in recovering specifically from shoulder bursitis.

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Food Scores

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. Their mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.

EWG has introduced a new online tool, Food Scores, that scores food on three factors: 1.) Nutrition, 2.) Ingredient Concerns, and the 3.) Degree of Processing. Details on the methodology can be found here.

Food Scores includes 80,000 foods, 5,000 ingredients and 1,500 brands, and has taken more than 3-years to produce. Foods are rated on a 1 to 10 scale, with the best foods scoring 1 and the worst foods scoring 10.

This video explains how consumers are now empowered to make healthier food choices.

[themedy_media type=”youtube” url=””]

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Hawthorn for High Cholesterol

Reviewed & edited by Dr Jeffrey Lederman

Cholesterol is an essential fat needed for the brain and nervous system to function properly. The body’s cell walls, or membranes, need cholesterol to produce hormones, vitamin D, and the bile acids that help to digest fat. Manufactured in the liver, cholesterol is also important for the creation of sex hormones.

While each person needs some cholesterol to function properly, high levels may cause health problems. Eating too many cholesterol-laden fats can lead to serious complications like heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular complications. In cases of high cholesterol, plaque may build up and cause the arterial walls to harden and thicken—a condition known as atherosclerosis. Furthermore, it is important to know that there are different types of cholesterol in the body.

The leaves, berries, and flowers of the hawthorn plant have been used to treat various diseases of the heart and blood vessels, such as chest pain, irregular heartbeat, high and low blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and high cholesteroli.

Due to hawthorn berry’s ability to break down fats, hawthorn is useful in bringing down high cholesterol levels and reducing fat deposits in the bodyii.

Research shows that hawthorn can lower cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad cholesterol”), and triglycerides in the blood. In an eight-week study conducted in Australia, patients with abnormal amounts of lipids in the blood were treated with hawthorn fruit. The results of the study showed that, due to hawthorn berry’s ability to simultaneously increase serum levels of HDL cholesterol and decrease the ratios of LDL cholesterol to HDL cholesterol, hawthorn may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Furthermore, hawthorn berries contain a wide range of flavonoids—such as hyperoside, rutin, quercetin, vitexin, epicatechin, catechin, and proanthocyanidins—which gives the berries antioxidant activity and equips them with diverse mechanisms of operationiii.

In addition, hawthorn fruit extract may lower cholesterol by increasing the excretion of bile, reducing the formation of cholesterol, and enhancing the receptors for LDLsiv.

You can chew fresh or dried hawthorn berries daily, or you can take them in capsules or tinctures. Methanol or alcohol extracts of hawthorn berries, leaves, and flowers also exist. Common doses used in hawthorn studies range from 160-1800 mg, with the most common doses tested in the range of 600-900 mg per dayv.

To use hawthorn as a natural therapy, consult a herbalist and speak to your local healthcare provider.

Written by Nicole Kagan


  • i HAWTHORN: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings – WebMD. (n.d.). WebMD. Retrieved August 10, 2014, from
  • ii Rost, A. (2009). Homeopathy. Natural healing wisdom & know-how: useful practices, recipes, and formulas for a lifetime of health (p. 106). New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers.
  • iii Richards, B. J. (n.d.). Hawthorn for Your Heart. Wellness Resources. Retrieved August 12, 2014, from
  • iv HAWTHORN: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings – WebMD. (n.d.). WebMD. Retrieved August 10, 2014, from
  • v Richards, B. J. (n.d.). Hawthorn for Your Heart. Wellness Resources. Retrieved August 12, 2014, from

Additional references

  • Cholesterol Basics: Types, Risk Factors, Levels, and Treatment. (n.d.). Retrieved August 10, 2014, from
  • Rosenson, R. (n.d.). Patient information: High cholesterol treatment options (Beyond the Basics). Retrieved August 8, 2014, from
  • Rost, A. (2009). Homeopathy. Natural healing wisdom & know-how: useful practices, recipes, and formulas for a lifetime of health (p. 106). New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers.
  • Trivieri, L., & Anderson, J. W. (2002). Gastrointestinal Disorders. Alternative medicine: the definitive guide (2nd ed., p. 718). Berkeley: Celestial Arts.


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Secrets from a 70-year old Super Model [video]

Hear from Sunny Griffin about fasting, yoga, veganism, and raw food.