Herbal Medicines- How they work

The medical use of herbs is widespread. In a multi-ethnic group of patients attending an emergency department in New York 22% reported that they used herbal medicines; use was highest among Asians, 37%. It is important therefore for clinicians to document use of herbal medicines as part of the patient’s drug profile. Plants synthesize complex (organic) molecules for their structure and function, and therefore are a rich source of chemicals. Active chemicals purified from plants are accepted effective medications e.g. digoxin, and morphine. When parts of plants or crude extracts of plants are used for medicinal purposes they are called herbal medicines.

What is the active ingredient in herbal medicines?

Most herbal medicines contain hundreds of chemicals and there is often no agreement as to which is potentially active. An example is garlic, comprised of many sulfur compounds, several of which are candidates for possible therapeutic activity.

How can one be sure that herbal medicines contain what is on the label?

The only regulatory requirement in The US markets is that all products intended for medicinal use, including natural health products, are issued a Drug Identification Number. However, these numbers are not required for raw materials such as bulk herbs. Herbal medicines are not required to pass any regulatory analysis to be sold as a health food supplement. There are many examples of herbal medicines that have been adulterated with other (more toxic) herbs, potent drugs (e.g. phenylbutazone, synthetic corticosteroids and other prescription drugs), or heavy metals.

How are herbal medicines standardized?

The chemical constituents of plants vary depending on the species, variety and part of the plant, with conditions of growth (soil, water and temperature), and with the age of the plant. These complexities and variations of chemical content make standardization essential. In some cases standardization is attempted, but it is difficult and seldom accomplished.

Plants are rich sources of chemicals and potential sources of effective herbal medicines. However, more research, regulation, and standardization are required before herbal medicines can be recommended as effective and safe therapies.


Elliptical Trainers Vs. Treadmills

They are many reasons why people prefer to workout on a elliptical trainer more than they would on a treadmill. Along with keeping the body in shape and toning up the muscles, they are low impact cardio vascular workout machines. This means that they go easy on the joints of the legs and the knees. Especially helpful for those who are in the sixties and seventies, or those who have a had a leg or a knee injury. They also provide a variety of resistance levels, incline levels and programs for the beginner as well as the advanced.

Thus treadmills and fitness rowers are high impact cardio vascular machines. This means that it puts pressure on the knees as well as on the lower part of the legs. Not recommended for those with knee and foot injuries as well as the older people. It’s a very safe machine to use unlike a treadmill machine, where you might fall off if the speed is increased suddenly. Thus it provides a complete workout and the more expensive elliptical exercise trainer come with many additional features. The more expensive versions of the elliptical trainers are meant for gym use and those who are into the advanced state of exercising.

It’s important to ask the advice of the doctor before starting of any exercise. Thus ensure that before you are ready to join a gym or even climb on top of the elliptical exercise trainer, a doctor’s advice is heeded. Before you begin to use one, ask a personal trainer or the gym instructor to show you how to use the elliptical trainers, this will help you better in the workout. During your workout, you can change the incline and the program levels by using the control panel. Ensure that all electrical and mechanical fittings are in place to save you from injury.

BOTOX – The Temporary Wrinkle Solution

Botox has made a huge splash in the health and beauty market because of its ability to erase and minimize wrinkles. The stunning success of the BOTOX solution has had beauty enthusiasts lining up to receive their wrinkle treatments. Are botox treatments safe? After all BoTOX is a protein toxin produced by clostridium botulinum bacteria. … Continue reading BOTOX – The Temporary Wrinkle Solution

Botox has made a huge splash in the health and beauty market because of its ability to erase and minimize wrinkles. The stunning success of the BOTOX solution has had beauty enthusiasts lining up to receive their wrinkle treatments. Are botox treatments safe? After all BoTOX is a protein toxin produced by clostridium botulinum bacteria. This is the first cousin to the deadly botulism bacteria.

Botox has been safely used by opthamoligists for over a decade without any serious side effects being reported. This drug has actually been around since the early 1960s. Originally it was used as a treatment for crossed eyes. The manner in which botox works is that it is injected into the muscle where the wrinkles appear. When the botox is injected into the muscle the frown lines, crows feet and laugh lines temporarily disappear. I stress the use of the word temporary because a botox treatment normally lasts about 3 to 6 months. Botox treatments were approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment of muscles that produce frown lines.

Botox injections have quickly become the fastest growing cosmetic procedure and are anticipated to be used on over 4.5 million patients in 2006. They are more popular than breast augmentation. Current botox patients report that after several treatments that the effects of this wrinkle cure last much longer. It is important to note that Botox is ineffective for fine wrinkles because fine wrinkles do not appear because of facial expression caused by facial muscles.
On the flipside, the one negative of botox treatments is a slight and temporary drooping of the eyelid. At the present time this appears to be the most important side effect of botox treatment.

While botox has been safely used by millions of patients, it is recommended that pregnant women, or women who are breastfeeding their babies as well as patients suffering from neurologic disease should never use botox.

Botox treatments do not work for everyone. However, over 90% of patients who have been surveyed are extremely happy with this procedure. This temporary cure for wrinkles has created quite a bit of excitement in the health and beauty field. This procedure is administered by qualified plastic surgeons. The average cost for a simple botox treatment is about $200 – $400 for each area that it is applied to.

Cleanness In Excess Can Cause Allergy

About two billion people have allergic complications, according to estimates of the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology. Not any other illness, at any moment of history, affected as much people. Specialists start to face it as an epidemic. Only in the United States, each year 5 000 people die suffocated during asthma crises, and 90 million Americans deal daily with the discomfort of rhinitis and dermatitis, the more common allergic varieties. Finding the cure or the causes for this became, thus, a challenge that involves more than interests of public health.

An allergic person that takes remedy against his type of allergy will be able to prevent the misfortunes of the reactions of his immunological system to an allergenic (examples of allergenics: dust, milk, peanut, insects, pets hair, etc.). However, the organism will continue producing defensive substances that can create an allergic reaction later on, by getting stronger than the medicine or generating unknown effects to the person who takes it. This is extremely related to the causes of the allergies, another shady area recently illuminated by new researches.

During a lot of time, allergies were thought as hereditary, given that evidences show that the probability of children who have allergic parents to develop the illness is of 70%. However, the advance of the allergic processes in the rhythm of the technological development and the improvement of the life conditions made the scientists consider other hypotheses. The underprivileged populations of the East of Russia, India, Indonesia and Africa register 50% less incidence of cases of allergies than rich countries – over all when compared to the inhabitants of the great European and American metropolises, where there is more asepsis and medical care. This leads to a hypothetical explanation to the causes of the allergies, the so called “hygienical hypothesis”. When observing children who live in farms of Germany and Austria, where they drink raw milk and have contact with the land and fertilizers, it was proved that the incidence of allergic complications among them is 75% less than in the boys who live in the cities. Another research, involving 480 cadets of the Italian Air Force disclosed that the respiratory allergies are less frequent between military that in their childhood had been exposed to microbes transmitted through dirty water and meals cooked with this water. Its unusual, but dealing with these facts, scientists are tempted to conclude that the suppression of illnesses as measles, mumps and even diseases caused mostly in children by viruses and worms, – all practically eradicated in the developed countries – can also have its harmful side, since this makes the immunologic system idle.

The acceptance of the “hygienical hypothesis” is growing in the medical community and this can lead to adjustments in the way parents raise their children. Even children who have flues with more frequency in the first years of their life seem to tend less to develop allergies.

Super protective parents that do not allow the children to walk bare-footed, have contact with animals or that only bathe their babies in mineral or boiled water would be, therefore, producing negative and contrary consequences to their children.

This thesis is based on the hypothesis that the exposure to the microbes in infancy strengthens the lymphocytes – white cells of the blood that act in the defence against parasites, embryos, etc.

Obviously, this doesnt mean that you must give in when your son refuses to take a bath. But it is probable that the human body is not changing so quickly as the civilization. For millenniums we have coexisted with viruses and bacteria, and suddenly we become highly aseptic. Also, our alimentary habits had never been modified so radically, nor had we as much access to chemical remedies and other products as we have now. Probably, in the future, people will try to treat allergies with a healthy diet and less drug prescriptions.