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Treatment

Herbal Medicine

An herb is a plant or plant part used for its scent, flavor or therapeutic properties.

Plants have the ability to synthesize a wide variety of chemical compounds that are used to perform important biological functions, and to defend against attack from predators such as insects, fungi and herbivorous mammals.

Many of these phytochemicals have beneficial effects on long-term health when consumed by people, and can be used to effectively treat diseases. At least 12,000 such compounds have been isolated; a number estimated to be less than 10% of the total.

How it Works

Chemical compounds in plants mediate their effects on the human body through processes identical to those already well understood for the chemical compounds in conventional drugs; thus herbal medicines do not differ greatly from conventional drugs in terms of how they work. This enables herbal medicines to be as effective as conventional medicines, but also gives them the same potential to cause harmful side effects.

Benefits

The use of herbs to treat disease is almost universal among non-industrialized societies, and is often more affordable than purchasing expensive modern pharmaceuticals. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80 percent of the population of some Asian and African countries presently use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care.

Studies in the United States and Europe have shown that their use is less common in clinical settings, but has become increasingly more in recent years as scientific evidence about the effectiveness of herbal medicine has become more widely available.

Precautions

Chemical compounds in plants mediate their effects on the human body through processes identical to those already well understood for the chemical compounds in conventional drugs; thus herbal medicines do not differ greatly from conventional drugs in terms of how they work. This enables herbal medicines to be as effective as conventional medicines, but also gives them the same potential to cause harmful side effects.

To use an herbal product as safely as possible:

  • Consult your doctor first
  • Do not take a bigger dose than the label recommends
  • Take it under the guidance of a trained medical professional
  • Be especially cautious if you are pregnant or nursing

Summary

Herbal medicine products are dietary supplements taken to improve one's health. Many herbs have been used for a long time for claimed health benefits. They are sold as tablets, capsules, powders, teas, extracts and fresh or dried plants.

Source:

  • Wikipedia contributors. Herbalism. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. November 26, 2012, 22:12 UTC.
    en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Herbalism&oldid=525028532. Accessed November 27, 2012.
  • NIH: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
    nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/herbalmedicine.html
Categories
Treatment

Homeopathy

Homeopathy as a treatment has existed for more than 200 years and is gaining greater acceptance in many countries, particularly the United States. It was developed and put into practice by a German physician – Samuel Hahnemann. Since the days of Queen Victoria of Great Britain and till today an attending physician of the royal family is traditionally a homeopath.

The difference of homeopathic remedies from traditional drugs is incorporated in the name of “homeopathy” (homois – like, pathos – sickness, suffering). The basic principle of homeopathy is the similarity between a cure and an illness.

The treatment of a disease requires application of small amounts of substances that in large doses cause a healthy person to suffer phenomena with similar clinical presentation (i.e., complaints and symptoms) of a patient.

Here is a simple example: when people cut onions, their eyes tear and suffer a running nose – in short, it is the same effect as a cold or an allergic reaction. By deriving medicines from onions, homeopaths successfully treat a common cold, allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis. This is the principle of similarity.

Homeopathy does not seek to replace conventional antibiotics, sulfonamides and other anti-inflammatory drugs, but offer a complementary approach to preventing and healing illness.

How It Works

A specially trained pharmacist is responsible for preparing homeopathic medicines. They combine one part of a starting material and 99 parts of solvent – distilled water or alocohol. This is the first dilution. Then, one part of the first dilution is combined with 99 parts of a new solvent. Such a process is repeated multiple times. Homeopathic medicines are issued in dilution (potency) in the form of granules, drops or tablets. A dose is assigned individually and may change during treatment.

As supplements, they are usually taken 15-20 minutes before a meal or 1 hour after a meal. In acute conditions, a frequent intake (every 10-30 minutes) may be prescribed. Treatment duration, frequency and amount depend on the dynamics of the condition being treated.

A homeopath usually learns a history of a patient, conducts examination and communication with a patient to determine constitutional and personal traits. Only after this, a tactic of homeopathic treatment is produced. The raw materials for traditional homeopathic medicines are substances of plant, animal and mineral origin.

Benefits

The main advantages of homeopathy are:

  • Friendliness and safety
  • An individual approach to a patient
  • The use of medicine in small doses
  • The absence of addiction and withdrawal syndrome
  • The ability to use multiple medicines at the same time
  • The possibility of a combination of traditional and other treatments
  • Treatment of all age groups, ranging from fetal and neonatal period

Precautions

Homeopathy can be used for many types of conditions, but is difficult to treat people intoxicated with chemicals and people who are sick with serious illnesses: cancer, multiple sclerosis, etc. In such cases, homeopathy can only reduce a disease. Sometimes homeopathic medicines can exacerbate the symptoms one is experiencing. In such cases, the dose or frequency of administration should be reduced or temporarily discontinued.

Summary

Homeopathy is based in two primary theories:

  1. “Like cures Like” – a disease can be cured by a substance that produces similar symptoms in healthy people.
  2. “Law of Minimum Dose”- the lower the dose of the medication, the greater its effectiveness. Some homeopathic remedies are so diluted that no molecules of the original substance remain.

References

  • Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 9(6), 949-57., Aickin, M. (2003).
  • Integrative Cancer Therapies, 5(4), 293-307., Bell, I., Koithan, M. (2006).
  • Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 10(2), 269-83., Bell, I., Lewis, D., Brooks, A. et al. (2004).
  • Evidence-based Complement Alternate Medicine, 3(1), 13-24., Bellavite, P, Conforti, A., Pontarollo, F. et al. (2006).
Categories
Condition

Memory Problems Natural Treatments

Memory problems affect the ability to think, concentrate, formulate ideas, reason and remember. It is distinct from a learning disability insofar as it may have been acquired later in life as a result of an accident or related to an illness such as a stroke that affects a certain area of the brain.

Self-Care Natural Therapies

  • Nutrition: Eat brain food. This involves eliminating all processed foods from your diet.  It is also a wise idea to eliminate or reduce sugar as well. A sugared brain is an unhappy brain. Replace what you have let go of with an abundance of whole grains, lots of fish and vegetables.

  • Supplements: Zinc picolinate is necessary for a happy, functioning brain. Consider taking 50 mg once a day with food. Fish oil, specifically Cod liver oil. This can raise the necessary catecholamines in your brain to wake it up and help with cognition and focus quickly.

  • Herbal Remedies: Gotu Kola and Ginko Biloba are both well researched herbs that have been proven to assist in memory function. Take at least 120mg per day of Ginko biloba and 50 -250 mg of Gotu Kola for maximum cognitive benefit.

  • Logic Puzzles: Doing logic games like crosswords or Sudoku can train the brain and keep the neural pathways sharp. Consider doing one at least on a daily basis to keep your brain happily stimulated in a natural manner.

  • Homeopathy: Consider taking Bioplasma which is a combination of all 12 cell salts. This can assist in the assimilation of cellular nutrition, thus benefitting cognitive and memory function.

Professional Holistic Therapies

  • Kinesiology: An evaluation by an experienced kinesiologist may be able to identify hidden allergies or other concerns that may be contributing to cognition issues.

References

Categories
Treatment

Applied Kinesiology

Applied Kinesiology is an interdisciplinary approach to health care which draws together the core elements of different complementary therapies, such as osteopathy, chiropractic, and Chinese medicine blended harmoniously to create a truly wonderful system for healing on all levels.

It was formally brought into existence in 1964 by Dr. George Goodheart. He believed that if structural imbalances were corrected in the body, then the body would be in the best position for healing to occur. After much trial and experimentation, he finally created this wonderful system that we call Applied Kinesiology today.

How It Works

Applied Kinesiology works by manually testing certain muscles all of which all have a corresponding meridian associated with it. When a muscle is found to either be “weak” or “strong” on testing, it will alert the A.K. practitioner as to what meridian system to focus the correction technique on to bring balance back to that meridian and muscle, therefore harmonizing an individual’s whole energetic system and restoring physical health.

If a muscle is turned off in the system then abnormal structure and function may occur. Applied kinesiology provides us the ability to evaluate function of the body system non-invasively, economically, and thoroughly.

Benefits

The corrections, when needed, are non invasive stimulation of certain neurovascular, neurolymphatic, and acupressure point holding to strengthen or sedate the associated meridian.

This modality is wonderful to use with anyone, but particularly helpful for children as it is relatively painless and very effective in relieving a wide variety of physical imbalances.

Precautions

When done properly by a trained doctor or practitioner there are no precautions when using this healing modality. If a person has any pain or weakness in a certain area, they should alert their practitioner of the situation.

Summary

Applied Kinesiology is a very safe, effective, non-invasive natural healing modality to consider when one desires to restore balance to their physical and emotional systems.

References

  • Your Body Doesn’t Lie by John Diamond
  • Touch for Health by John and Matthew Thie
  • Applied Kinesiology: A Training Manual and Reference Book of Basic Principles and Practices by Robert Frost
  • Power vs. Force by Dr. David Hawkins
Categories
Treatment

Supplements

We all know how important a varied diet is to our overall health but sometimes even good eating habits can use a little boost. Fortunately that’s where supplements come in.

Supplements exist in a variety of shapes and sizes from pills and powders to beverages and bars. Contents run the gamut from vitamins and minerals to herbs and enzymes to fish oils, probiotics and more.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, use of dietary supplements increased by over ten percent from 42 percent in the late 1980s to mid 1990s to 53 percent by 2003-2006.

How It Works

Different supplements provide different benefits. Folic acid, for example, is important for pregnant women to take as it can lessen the chance of birth defects while calcium and vitamin D can help encourage bone health. Multivitamins which contain at least three vitamins are the most commonly taken supplement though many vitamins and minerals can also be purchased individually.

Supplements are not strictly limited to vitamins and minerals, however. Echinacea is an herb many swear by to help lessen cold symptoms and duration of illness. Fish oil can usually be found in a softgel tablet and may help with heart health. Probiotics may assist in improving digestive issues.

Benefits

Benefits of supplements vary depending on the type and its designated purpose. It is important to note that the best way to meet daily nutritional needs is through a healthy diet featuring a variety of foods. When eating habits fall short, however, supplements can provide a useful nutritional edge.

Precautions

Just because supplements can be purchased over the counter doesn’t mean buyers shouldn’t do their homework. Some can interfere with medications or increase the chance of bleeding.

Many are water soluble with extra amounts simply being excreted but a few exist that are not and can build up in the body to dangerously high levels. In addition, some foods like cereals and breads are fortified with extra vitamins and minerals so beware how much is being ingested through the daily diet before beginning supplementation.

Also, it’s important to keep in mind supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration in the same way over-the-counter medications are and are not intended to actually prevent or treat diseases. To ensure the supplement contains what it says it contains (and not harmful contaminants), look for the seals of approval from U.S. Pharmacopeia, NSF International or ConsumerLab.com.

If in doubt be sure to discuss use of supplements with a medical professional.

Summary

While there is no substitute for a healthy diet, supplements can be useful for a variety of purposes including providing a nutritional benefit and addressing a specific issue like building stronger bones or fighting a cold.

References

  • Dietary Supplements: What you Need to Know from the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements
    ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/DS_WhatYouNeedToKnow.aspx
  • Dietary Supplements: What You Need to Know from the FDA
    fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm109760.htm