This information comes from Asthma Society of Canada"Doctors define asthma as a "chronic inflammatory disease of the airways" . It is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions affecting Canadians. Asthma can be diagnosed at any age, but often starts in childhood. Its prevalence in Canada has been increasing over the last 20 years and it is estimated that currently over 3 million Canadians have asthma."The three strongest risk factors for developing asthma are family history, exposure in infancy to high levels of antigens such as house dust mites, and exposure to tobacco smoke and/or chemical irritants."We're all pretty familiar with allergic triggers of asthmatic symptoms, such as mould, animal dander, pollen, dust mites, etc., but perhaps less familiar with non-allergic triggers such as certain drugs, chemicals, fumes and odours, respiratory viral infections, certain weather conditions, strenuous physical exercise, tobacco smoke, and air pollution."Urbanization appears to be correlated with an increase in asthma. The nature of the risk is unclear because studies have not taken into account indoor allergens although these have been identified as significant risk factors."Experts are struggling to understand why prevalence rates world-wide are, on average, rising by 50% every decade."At first reading, there isn't much extremely shocking in this report. But with a little research, in my opinion it becomes alarming.First of all, the report was updated in April of 2005, yet most of the footnoted references are from the mid to late 90's. So the report is about "Canadians" in general; children are still not identified as a unique segment of the population, their needs, habits and susceptibilities are not taken into special consideration, even though the studies all concur that asthma often starts in childhood.Next, approximately 3 million Canadians have asthma. You have to put that into the context of how many Canadians there are, which in the year 2000 was about 31 million, with an annual growth rate of approximately 1%. So about 9.6% of all Canadians have asthma. Almost one out of 10. If one out of 10 Canadians were in a wheelchair, or wearing a cast, we would take notice. Alarming, since we treat it so casually. It's a chronic disease, which means lifelong constant management and medication.The world's current (overall as well as natural) growth rate is about 1.3% per year, while prevalence rates of asthma world-wide are, on average, rising by 50% every decade. So asthma is occuring over 3 times more than can be accounted for by population growth. These are rough figures, just to give us an idea of what we're looking at.And this is only about asthma. It isn't about illness from chemical poisoning, or deaths from poisoning, or lung cancer, or...So it's time to take steps to prevent asthma and other illnesses and diseases. At the very least, search for and buy the least toxic cleansers for household use. Get educated! Then, store all chemicals safely and securely away from children and pets.Don't allow smoking in your home, and be aware of and avoid air pollution, both inside and out. Air out your home completely three times a day. Did you know that cigarette smoke contains about 4,000 chemical agents, including over 60 carcinogens? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences National Toxicology Program, and the World Health Organizations International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have all classified secondhand smoke as a known human carcinogena category reserved for agents for which there is sufficient scientific evidence that they cause cancer.The U.S. EPA has estimated that exposure to secondhand smoke causes about 3,000 lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers and is responsible for up to 300,000 cases of lower respiratory tract infections in children up to 18 months of age in the United States each year. If you have to smoke, just dig your own grave, don't drag others with you!
I've been around several people that use the word Migraine, when they talk about having a headeache. Do these people actually have migraines? What is a migraine, and are there ways to relieve them? These are some of the questions I will answer.The word "migraine" comes from the Greek word "hemikranion" which translates to "pain affectin one side of the head". A Migraine is a headache in a form, that is usually very strong and can almost be disabling, when intense. Unlike commong headache's which everyone is prone to, migraines are a neurologic disease, and the most common type of vascular headache. Although everyone individual affected by migraines will characterize the symptoms differently, the book says: severe pain on one or more sides of the head, an upset stomach, and at times disturbed vision. The difference between a headache and migraine is summed up in the word "Aura", which refers to the migraine features that are non-headache like. Migraines have been present throughout history, and it is known that family history and genetic factors are important in the likelyhood of migraines. Many doctors deal with migraines, and will have several recommended treatment for migraines. It is in my experience that over the counter pain killers, and other drugs have their part in reducing the pain migraines cause, but are never actually able to cure them. Along with these drugs come several unfriendly side-effects, which are not enjoyable to say the least. Of course these side effects and effectiveness of the drugs are different on an invidual basis. The treatment that I have seen to be the most effective is the use of Chinese medicine, in particular accupuncture. Accupuncture is a natural medicine in that you are not injecting any drugs or anything inside of your body. You are simply just working with what is already there. Talk to your physician, and others that have experienced migraines, to find out what steps might be right for you.
Heart disease is the number one killer of women. If you are a women, and even if your not, here is what you need to start doing.The food you eat is critical in determining if you will have high blood pressure and if you can lower it. Eating less meat and eating more fruits and vegetables can lower your "blood pressure" . High blood pressure occurs when fats, cholesterol, and nutrients in the food you eat start to accumulate along your artery walls. This narrowing of your arteries restricts the flow of your blood, increases your blood pressure and making you more susceptible to heart attacks and strokes.If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or high trigylcerides, grapefruit has been found to reduce the effects of these conditions.So which is better yellow or red grapefruit? Well, in a study made where people who had a history of high cholesterol, those that ate the red grapefruit had the most effect in lower their blood pressure. The yellow also lowered blood pressure but not as much as the red grapefruit.It was found in this study that grapefruit had a better effect in lowering blood pressure than statin drugs.Red grapefruit are extra high in anti-oxidants and these nutrients are able to reduce your trigylcerides: the yellow are not.Eat the red grapefruit when available and when it is not eat the yellow. Eat at least one - two per day. If you eat just before your meal or drink a glass of fresh grapefruit, you can expect to lose 1 or 2 lbs during the month. By eating 2 grapefruits a day expect to lose more weight.Eating grapefruit has many health benefits, but one other is in controlling your insulin level. Studies have shown that those that eat grapefruits have lower insulin and glucose levels in their blood.It is believed by researchers that grapefruit enzymes help to control insulin increases that happen after you eat. These enzymes help digest your food better and this results in less nutrients being stored as fat.Grapefruit has also been found to be caner preventative. It's the phytonutrients - antioxidants - and especially lycopene that has been found helpful in preventing cancer.Grapefruits are high in fiber, vitamin C, Vitamin A, and antioxidants - carotenoids, limonoid glucosides, flavonones.You can buy red and yellow grapefruits from November to May here in the US. If you don't have any in your area go online and order some.CAUTION: If you are on any drugs, do not eat grapefruits in combination with taking drugs. Grapefruit enhances the effect of drugs and can cause symptoms of overdose.
Its that time of year again where virus and bacterias run a-muck and play havoc on our bodies. The best time to start is now to prepare for the cold and flu season.There is no magic bullet in creating a healthy immune system. The best place to start is eliminating junk foods and beverages from the diet. Adequate rest and moderate exercise are also important. There are certain supplements that are known for preventing sickness or taken during sickness to speed up recovery. Some of these are echinacea, goldenseal, elderberry, ginseng, astragalus, mullein leaves, yerba santa leaves, parthenium root, capsicum fruit, yarrow, pau darco bark, and colloidal or ionized silver.There are many immune building multiples that contain many of the supplements mentioned above. The trick is to start taking 2 a day in September and continue till spring. Those with severely compromised immune systems may need more. There are homeopathics that are popular this time of year such as, oscillococcinum. It is natures # 1 flu medicine. Silver water is a natural antibiotic. Wild Mediterranean oregano oil is famous for knocking out virus, bacteria and fungus. 60% of our immune system is in our gut, therefore it is important to maintain an adequate amount of friendly bacteria. Most people supplement with acidophilus and bifidophilus to achieve this, for the typical American diet, antibiotics and other prescription medications destroy these good bacteria. Essential oils can also be used to enhance immunity. A disinfecting room mist can be made by taking a glass 4 oz. glass bottle with a sprayer and adding a total of 90 drops of each; rosemary, tea tree and peppermint essential oils and fill the rest with spring or distilled water. Shake 100 times and let it sit for 24 hrs before use. It does take a substantial effort to build immunity and achieve optimum health but.you and your family are worth it!!! In closing I would suggest to anyone that you take your time, do your research, analyze your health status or needs and then find the natural products to meet your needs. It something you can do for yourself, which leaves you with a very good understanding of your health care needs. Many people go through life relying solely on other people when it comes to their nutrition or health care needs. Their are many good articles on the web, which can be very helpful and informative to you. This Article provided by Mike Comeau, is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always consult your doctor when seeking medical advice.
Once upon a time, healing was considered an art. Healing was understood by all to be a complex interaction between the patient, the healer, the community of living people, the communities of the plants and animals (and insects and rocks and fish), the communities of the non-living people (such as ancestors, spirit guides, and archetypes) and that mysterious movement known by so many names: Creator, God/dess, All High.The healing arts included a keen knowledge of human behavior, a thorough knowledge of plants, a flair for the dramatic arts, especially singing/chanting and costuming/body painting, and a comprehensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry. (If you think these areas are not arts, look at the system used by Traditional Chinese Practitioners, which includes such "organs" as the triple heater and a dozen different pulses.)Art does not preclude or oppose science. Science is, after all, only the honest testing of ideas and the ability to observe clearly the confusing relationship of cause and effect. The best of science is deeply indebted to art. Art understands that science is left-brained and art is right-brained, and a whole brain includes both. Science, however, is not so easy with art. Science believes art is superstition. Science believes art is fuzzy, soft, not replicable, and therefore untrustworthy. (It is interesting to me that the Liberal Arts University I attended - UCLA - required students to take a variety of science courses, but the Science College I turned down - MIT - did not require students to study the arts.) Science defines itself as factual and art as fantastical.Truly great scientists understand the need to honor intuition along with information. But the world is rarely run by the truly great. So bit by bit, the art of healing is denigrated and the science of healing is venerated. The healer spends more and more time interacting with machines and drugs and technology, and less and less time with the patient; more and more time studying books and less and less time learning about the strange, symbolic, provocative powers of the psyche. The healer focuses more and more on fixing the sick individual and less and less on the patient's need for wholeness in self, family, and community. The herbalist becomes a biochemist. The pharmacist no longer needs to know botany. Herbs are presented as drugs in green coats. And the active ingredient is the only one worth mentioning.Is this what I want? Is this what drew me to herbs? Is this what fascinates me about herbal medicine? My answer to all these questions is absolutely NOT. While acknowledging the usefulness of science, I maintain the right-brain's superior abilities in the art of healing. I defend the rights of the miracle-workers, the shamans, the witch doctors, the old-wife herbalists, the wise women, those who have the skill, the personal power, and the courage to midwife the changes - large and small, from birth to death and in between - in the lives of those around them.Herbal medicine. Magical plants. Psycho-active plants. There is a thread here, and it goes a long way back. At least 40,000 years. The plants say they spoke with us all until recently. Forty thousand years ago we know our ancestors were genetically manipulating, hybridizing, and crossbreeding specific psychedelic plants. And using them in healing. Maria Sabina, one of the 20th Century's most renowned shamanic healers, went into the forest as a small child and ate psilocybin mushrooms because they spoke to her. She healed only with the aid of the "little people" (mushrooms) and she healed not just body but soul. In the Amazon, the students of herbalism, of healing, are apprenticed to psychoactive plants as well as to human teachers. There is a lot of talk lately about the active ingredients in plants. I've had many a chuckle as product ads claim to have the most of this or that only to be superseded by the announcement that a new, better, more active, active ingredient has been found. For example, when Kyolic Garlic was shown by Consumer Reports to have virtually no allicin (the "active" ingredient), Kyolic countered with an ad campaign claiming superiority because it contained a different, stronger, active ingredient. For instance, most standardized St. John's/Joan's Wort tinctures are standardized for hypericin. But the latest research shows that hyperforin is the real active ingredient! To illustrate: an article several years ago in JAMA on use of Ginkgo biloba to counter dementia explained that no active ingredient from among the several hundred constituents present had been determined and it was, in fact, likely that the effect resulted from a complex, synergistic interplay of the parts. An article in the New York Times, however, cautioned readers not to use ginkgo until an active ingredient had been established.It happened to me: An MD on a menopause panel with me told the audience that no herb was safe to use unless its active ingredient was measured and standardized. What can I say? To me the active ingredient of a plant is the very part that cannot be measured: the energy, the life force, the chi, the fairy of the plant, not a "poisonous" constituent. To the healer/artist/herbalist, the active part of the plant is that part that can be used by the right brain to actively, chaotically, naturally, "jump the octave" and work a miracle. This active part is refined away in standardized products, for the real active part is the messy part, the changeable part, the subtle part, and the invisible part.Does science have anything to do with it? Certainly! The process of identifying specific compounds in plants, replicating them in the laboratory and mass-producing them as drugs cannot be replicated by or superseded by any healer or herbalist. Preparation of standardized drugs protects the consumer (usually) and protects the plants from over-harvesting (although the net effect on the environment may be detrimental). If we put into the lap of science anything having to do with measuring and certifying, then surely I beg science to be the guardian of the purity of the herbs we trade in our commerce, knowing that art is the guardian of the purity of the herbs we gather ourselves. (A tip from the apprentice book: When harvesting, put only one kind of plant in a basket. This allows one to quickly and easily notice if an interloper has been mistakenly introduced.)This story doesn't have an ending, for it is ongoing. The dance of health and illness, of art and science (and don't forget commerce) has no pause. So the ending of our tale is not happy, but neither is it sad. Take a look; the real ending of the rainbow is in your own heart.Susun WeedPO Box 64Woodstock, NY 12498Fax: 1-845-246-8081