Early Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis: Difficult But Important

November 14th, 2005

The principal dilemma in current management of multiple sclerosis is that while early diagnosis enables damage-sparing treatment to begin, diagnosing MS too early increases the likelihood of treating people who don’t actually have the disease. Current disease-modifying drugs are all given by injection and cost about $14,000 per year. Apart from being inconvenient and expensive, there is some risk of harm from them which, if the patient doesn’t actually have MS, occurs without any offsetting benefit.

The dilemma would not be great if multiple sclerosis was easy to diagnose, but unfortunately MS is among the most difficult diagnoses in all of medicine to make, at least while still in its early stages. Early in the course of symptoms, MS can resemble other conditions; moreover, other conditions can resemble MS.

Affecting 2.5 million people worldwide and 350,000 people in the U.S. alone, multiple sclerosis is not exactly a rare disease. It affects women at least twice as often as men and begins early in adulthood with most cases starting between the ages of 20 and 40.

MS is a so-called autoimmune disease, meaning that a person’s Immune System–ordinarily useful and essential in fighting off infections–becomes overactive and attacks the individual’s own bodily tissues. Rheumatoid Arthritis is another example of an autoimmune disease, but in MS the immune attack is not directed against joints as it is in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Instead, the Immune System attacks large clusters of nerve-fibers generally deep within the central Nervous system which includes the brain and spinal cord.

These attacks can produce a wide variety of symptoms depending on what the usual function was of the nerve-fibers that are under attack. When the attacked nerve-fibers have to do with vision, the symptoms are visual, like loss of visual clarity or even doubling of vision. When the nerve-fibers are involved with the process of bodily sensation, then the symptoms can be numbness or tingling. In fact, visual or sensory symptoms are the most common initial symptoms in multiple sclerosis. But initial symptoms might instead consist of dizziness, weakness, clumsiness or difficulty with urination. The sheer diversity of early symptoms that can be due to multiple sclerosis is one of the chief difficulties in recognizing it for what it is and properly diagnosing it.

It’s useful in this regard to consider the twin issues of “false-positives” and “false-negatives.” In short, every medical test and every diagnosis is subject to these errors. False-positive means that a test or a doctor indicates that a disease is present when it is, in fact, absent. A false-negative error occurs when a test or a doctor indicates that a disease is absent when it is, in fact, present. Despite the increased confidence that expanding medical knowledge and ever-more sophisticated tests provide, false-positives and false-negatives are a fact of life and still apply to every test and every diagnosis.

In multiple sclerosis there are three cornerstones to the diagnostic process. In usual descending order of importance they are the clinical evaluation, magnetic Resonance imaging (MRI) scanning and examination of the cerebrospinal fluid. Each of these is important in its own way, but one component almost never stands on its own merits, requiring one or both of the other components for corroboration.

The clinical evaluation refers to the time-honored process in which the physician elicits the history of the symptoms and performs a physical examination. The physical examination consists mainly of the neurological examination, which is a battery of mini-tests that inventories the performance of different components of the Nervous system.

Even a test as high-tech and powerful as the MRI scan can lead to diagnostic errors. False-positives often occur when a patient has a scan for a totally unrelated reason–like Headaches, for example–and has pockets of increased signal within the brain for which the radiologist raises the possibility of multiple sclerosis. When the abnormal scan leads to consultation with a neurologist, the neurologist often determines that multiple sclerosis is out of the question, and the areas of increased signal are either benign or due to another problem entirely. MRIs less frequently produce false-negatives for multiple sclerosis, but even so, this imaging test is believed to show just the tip of the iceberg in this disease, failing to demonstrate important changes that occur at the microscopic level.

Examining the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is another valuable tool in diagnosing MS. The CSF bathes the inside and the outside of the brain and the outside of the spinal cord, so its cellular and chemical composition often reflects what’s going on within those structures. CSF is obtained by means of lumbar puncture, also known as spinal tap, a safe procedure in which a needle is inserted through the lower back and into the CSF space. The fluid is collected as it drips out the back of the needle. In cases of active MS there are usually abnormal Proteins produced by the Immune System that can be detected and measured in the CSF. However, here too there are false-positives and false-negatives, so that some people with abnormal Proteins don’t have MS and other people with normal Proteins still do have the disease.

So the diagnostic process–including clinical evaluation, MRI scanning and CSF examination–is fraught with the possibility of error at each step of the way. Yet there is considerable incentive to make the diagnosis as early in the disease as possible (which is also when the risk of diagnostic errors is greatest) in order to initiate treatment that tames the out-of-control Immune System. Sifting through the diagnostic information to make a timely and accurate diagnosis almost always requires the assistance of a neurologist, and even with the help of these specialists in disorders of the Nervous system, sometimes the diagnosis gets revised as time passes and clues become more definite.

About the author

Gary Cordingley, MD, PhD, is a clinical neurologist, teacher and researcher who works in Athens, Ohio. For more health-related articles see his website at: http://www.cordingleyneurology.com

Therapeutic Teas and Mixtures

November 11th, 2005

We have tried to select a nice group of Teas here for your consumption and use. First, we will begin with single Teas and bring to you many blends that you can prepare on your own.

Whether you are interested in brewing Teas for medicinal effects or simply because it is your beverage of choice, the following Herbs are the ones that are most commonly used in Teas. The herb name is followed by the parts that are to be used for brewing.

Angelica

Angelica archangelica

leaves

Bee balm

Monarda didyma

leaves

Catnip

Nepeta cataria

leaves

Chamomile

Chamaemelum nobile

flowers

Costmary

Chrysanthemum balsamita

leaves

Elderberry

Sambucus spp.

flowers

Lemon Balm

Melissa officinalis

leaves

Mints

Mentha spp.

leaves

Roses

Rosa spp.

hips& Petals

Rosemary

Rosmarinus officinalis

leaves

Sage

Salvia officinalis

leaves

Scented geraniums

Pelargonium spp.

leaves

You can make herb Teas with dried or fresh leaves, flowers, or other plant parts. In general, to make an herb tea, places the herb parts into a pot. Usually, you’ll start with 1 tablespoon of dried Herbs or 2 tablespoons of fresh Herbs per cup ( adjust the quantity to suit your own taste). Then add boiling water and steep for 5 10 minutes before straining. Be sure to use a ceramic coated or earthenware or glass pot, and never use Teflon-coated or aluminum. Use pure fresh water that is free of chemicals and heavy water.

Remember these two simple rules when making your tea:Steep like a tea: leaves, flowers, grasses and powdered Spices. Simmer 20 minutes or longer: Herbs that are solid ie., roots, twigs, bark, pods, rocks, bones, fungus, seeds, animal product. Always research the tea before making an herb tea as not all Herbs are suitable to ingest and can make you quite ill.

Calendula TEA Calendula, also known as “pot marigold,” was recognized for its medicinal value as early as the Middle Ages. Throughout history, it has been used to treat abdominal pain, liver and gallbladder wounds. The plant’s numerous medicinal components make Calendula tea one of the most popular fold remedies; plus, it is generally well tolerated by people with Allergies.

Medicinal Uses: promotes healing and the formation of new skin cells, provides relieve from Colds, used in treating corns, beneficial for menstrual pain, stimulates circulation and strengthens vascular walls.

Therapeutic Effect: Saponin, mucins and flavonoids give the Calendula flower its wound-healing properties. Calendula’s Essential Oils contain antibacterial properties, which is anther reason why this plant is a good treatment for wounds.

Preparation of the tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 tsp. Of dried, crushed marigold flowers and steep for 10 minutes. When you make the tea from fresh flowers, check the flower heads to be sure no insects are hiding in them; you can also just pull out the Petals. Use 1 tsp. Of the Petals in 1 cup of water.

Chamomile TEA Chamomile has also been very important in alleviating pain and discomfort throughout history. Even today, Chamomile tea is one of the most effective medicinal Teas known. The gentle action of this herb makes it suitable for both children and adults. Matricaria recutita or German Chamomile contains the highest concentration of the Essential Oils responsible for giving Chamomile its healing power.

Medicinal Uses: eye problems, inflammation, Restlessness and Insomnia, menstrual Cramps, Flu and cough, intestinal Cramps and treatment of gastric problems.

Therapeutic Effect: The healing effect of Chamomile is due to the chamazulene and alpha-bisabolol in its Essential Oil. Chamomile has analgesic, Anti-Inflammatory, antispasmodic and antibacterial effects. It also helps calm the nerves and induces sleep.

Preparation of the tea: In a teapot, place 1 tsp. Of Chamomile flowers per cup of water. Boil the water, then let it cool slightly. For best results, steep the tea less than 5 minutes.

Dandelion TEA The word Dandelion comes from the French “dent de lion,” meaning lion’s tooth, which is an allusion to the plant’s sharply pointed leaves. Despite its fearsome name, Dandelion is actually a friend to the body and is used in many medicinal tea mixtures. In fact, the entire plant, including its strong taproot, can be used to make tea. The root of the Dandelion is known to contain countless active ingredients, including potassium and calcium. Both the leaves and roots contain bitter constituents, which have a stimulating effect on the body.

Medicinal Uses: helps to stimulate glandular activity, lowers blood pressures and cholesterol levels, promotes proper digestion and eliminates small kidney and urethral stones.

Therapeutic Effect: The invigorating effect of Dandelion is due to its bitter constituents. The root also contains fermenting agents, enzymes and abundant Vitamins and minerals. This combination of ingredients can help purify the blood, act as a Diuretic and help combat Arthritis.

Preparation of the tea: Because it grows wild in most parts of the world, Dandelion is easy to collect yourself. Harvest plants growing as far as possible from high-traffic streets and avoid those growing in lawns treated with herbicides. Small, early spring leaves make a less bitter tea. Steep 1 2 tsp. Of dried, crushed leaves in 1 cup of water for about 10 minutes. Drink 1 cup of the tea twice daily.

Fennel TEA Fennel is native to the Mediterranean region, where it grow wild in fields and on hillsides. When the flowers are mature, the seeds are harvested and dried and can then be crushed and brewed to produce a highly potent medicinal tea.

Medicinal Uses: antispasmodic and anti-cramping properties, stimulates appetite, promotes good digestion and is great for gas. Is often used as an expectorant for the treatment of whopping cough, asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory infections. Use it to treat eye inflammations and to promote lactation.

Therapeutic Effect: Fennel seeds contain an Essential Oil with the important active ingredients anethole, fenchone and estragole. The tea, made from the crushed seeds, acts as an expectorant.

Preparation of the tea: Pour ¾ cup of boiling water over 1 2 tsp. Of freshly crushed Fennel seeds. Allow this mixture to steep on a hot stove for 5 10 minutes, but do not allow it to boil again. Lemon-Balm TEA Lemon Balm, as known as Melissa officinalis, is a tonic that raises the spirits. The plant emits a fresh, lemony aroma when you rub it between your fingers. The Essential Oil in Lemon Balm A.D.H.D. (commonly known as Citronella) is responsible for the plant’s characteristic lemony aroma as well as its many medicinal properties.

Medicinal Uses: reduces menstrual Cramps and calms Tension Headaches, Migraines and gastrointestinal Cramps. It is also beneficial for improving concentration and lifting Depression.

Therapeutic Effect: The effect of Lemon-Balm tea is calming and relaxing. Its flavonoids strengthen the heart and circulatory system while the bitter constituents and tannins contained in Lemon Balm can soothe Nausea, diarrhea and flatulence.

Preparation of the tea: The leaves of this herb have long been appreciated for their flavor. Pour a generous cup of freshly boiled water over 1 2 tsp. Of dried Lemon-Balm leaves and steep, covered, for 10 minutes. Keep the leaves covered to prevent most of the Essential Oils from escaping. Drink a total of 3 4 cups over the course of a day. Linden-FLOWER TEA The Linden tree or Tilia Americana is said to store the warming rays of the sun in its honey-sweet blooms. When the tea is drunk, it instills the sun’s warmth in the body, causing one to break out in perspiration. The tea is given to induce sweating, the body’s way of cooling itself, to help reduce fevers. In fact, in folk medicine it is often referred to as “Fever tea.”

Medicinal Uses: alleviates coughs and Colds, reduces Anxiety, relieves Insomnia, eases Cramps and reduces fevers.

Therapeutic Effect: Linden flowers contain the curative plant fiber mucilage, as well as many Vitamins and the Essential Oil farnesol. When ingested as a hot tea,this medley of compounds reduces fevers. It is safe to drink up to two cups of the tea every day.

Preparation of the tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tsp. Of Linden flowers, and then steep for 10 minutes. Sip the tea as hot as you can stand it 3 times per day to reduce Fever and to promote perspiration.

MALVA TEA Malva or Althea officinalis grows all over the world and has light pink to purple flowers. The leaves of malva are harvested in the spring, and its blossoms are gathered in the summer and early fall. While both plant parts can be used to make Teas, the preparations made with flowers are more common in the United States. The word “malva” is derived from malakos, from the Greek, which means “soothing“.

Medicinal Uses: cough and Sore Throat, skin soother, vaginal inflammation, breast inflammation, soothe an earache, relieve the pain of hemorrhoids and relieve gastrointestinal complaints.

Therapeutic Effect: Because of its high mucilage content, malva tea helps to alleviate inflammation and irritation. The plant is also useful for aiding respiratory illnesses because of its expectorant and cough-suppressing action. In addition, the malva plant contains tannins in the leaves and blossoms, itcan relieve the pain of stomach upset, Relax intestinal spasms and soothe irritated skin.

Preparation of the tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1-2 tsp. Of a combination of malva leaves and flowers. Cover the cup or teapot and steep for 10-15 minutes; strain. Drink up to 3 cups per day. To use the tea as a compress, add 2 4 tsp. Of the herb per cup of boiling water; allow to cool. Tea prepared from a mixture of leaves and flowers should be a golden brown color.

MATE TEA The slightly bitter tea is a good thirst quencher and contains many valuable Vitamins, trace elements and enzymes. Caffeine gives the tea an energizing effect, which is beneficial for mental or physical fatigue. Because the caffeine is partially bound to tannins, it is mild and well tolerated.

Medicinal Uses: Appetite Suppressant, promotes the elimination of intestinal flora, promotes wound healing, helps Bladder Infections, strengthens the nerves and detoxifies.

Therapeutic Effect: the main component of mate leaves is caffeine, half of which is bound to tannins. It gently stimulates the brain and promotes Metabolism and intestinal activity. Saponins, another ingredient, flushes out water that has accumulated in tissues. When applied externally, it has a germicidal effect and promotes wound healing. Mate tea contains Vitamins A, B and C, whichstrengthen the body’s ability to fight infection.

Preparation of the tea: Pour 1 cup of hot water over 1 tsp. Of dried mate leaves. Allow the tea to steep for 5 15 minutes. If the tea is too bitter, discardthe water after 30 seconds and pour more water over the leaves. The second cupwill contain less caffeine and not taste as strong. Peppermint TEA Many people plant Peppermint in their gardens simply to enjoy its spicy fragrance on hot summer days. If you plan to grow Peppermint for other reasons, be sure to choose the variety with the greatest medicinal effect. True Peppermint, Mentha piperita, has the highest number of active agents, including the Essential Oil menthol, which gives the herb its healing powers.

Medicinal Uses: helps to prevent convulsions and flatulence, useful remedy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, alleviates Headaches, stimulates liver and gallbladder functions, counteracts Motion Sickness, freshens breath and helps prevent Sore Throat.

Therapeutic Effect: menthol is the primary active ingredient in Peppermint. This Essential Oil eases Nausea, Colic, diarrhea, Headaches, Gastritis and menstrual Cramps. In addition, Peppermint is rich in the enzymes peroxidase and catalase, which help strengthen the Immune System. I t also contains potassium, calcium and B Vitamins to combat bone loss.

Preparation of the tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tbsp. Of dried Peppermint leaves picked from your garden, or use a commercially available Peppermint tea bag. Steep for 10 minutes. RASPBERRY-LEAF TEA The common garden raspberry Rubus idaeus - is part of the Rose family and grows from late spring to midsummer. Often people choose to cultivate the shrub for its berries, but you can also find it growing wild in woodland areas. While there is no doubt that the sweet berries are the most popular part of the raspberry plant, many herb experts know that the leaves are valuable as well.

Medicinal Uses: helps various intestinal problems, diarrhea, alleviates menstrual complaints and bronchitis. Has also been used to treat wounds, purify the blood and to aid Nausea and stomach upset. The tea also helps to Eliminate Toxins and aide vaginal discharge.

Therapeutic Effect: the tannins in raspberry-leaf tea have an astringent effect, which gives the tea its anti-diarrheal and Anti-Inflammatory capabilities. It also helps stop bleeding.

Preparation of the tea: In order to take full advantage of the healing components in raspberry leaves, it is best to steep the dried, crushed leaves in cold water for a few hours, then boil the mixture for 10 minutes before straining. Use 1 tsp. Per cup of water. Sage TEA Sage, also known as, Salvia officinalis,is derived from the Latin word salvus, which means “healthy,” and refers to the plant’s curative powers. Sages strong scent is particularly noticeable on sunny days, because its Essential Oils are drawn out by the sun and evaporated into the air. The high levels of these Essential Oils-its bitters, which stimulate digestive secretions, and its tannins, which improve resistance to infection-give Sage its antiseptic and astringent properties. Sage tea has broad medicinal applications.

Medicinal Uses: ideal for stomach and intestinal ailments, Menopausal symptoms and irregular bleeding; it makes an excellent gargle for Sore Throats and gums, a great breath freshener, reduces secretions of the sweat glands and milk production in the mammary glands.

Therapeutic Effect: Sage contains abundant Essential Oils with thujone, cineole and camphor. These provide it with the mucus thinning and antiseptic properties that make it ideal for a gargle, wound dressing and vaginal rinse. Sage alsocontains estrogen-like substances that help ease menstrual and Menopausal complaints.

Preparation of the tea: Pour 1 cup of hot water over 2 tsp. Of fresh Sage leaves or 1 tsp. Of dried Sage leaves. Cover and steep for about 10 minutes. Strain. Make sure the water is not boiling when you pour it over the leaves; otherwise, the potent Essential Oils contained in the Sage will vaporize.

TEA MIXTURES Cinnamon HERB TEA (Kuei Chih Tang) 1.Cinnamon 4 grams 2.Ginger 4 grams 3.Peony alba 4 grams 4.Jujube 4 grams 5.Licorice 4 grams

This tea is used for people with Headaches, shoulder stiffness and sweating. It is good for people with low blood pressure and weakened digestion. Ephedra HERB TEA (Mao Huang Tang) 1.Ephedra 5 grams 2.Apricot Kernel 5 grams 3.Cinnamon 4 grams 4.Licorice 1.5 grams

This tea helps to relieve the symptoms of the Common Cold, asthma, congestion and lower back pain. EARLY MORNING HERB TEA 1.Dried Powered Rosehips 30 grams 2.Dried Hibiscus 30 grams 3.Dried Lemon Balm 15 grams 4.Dried Peppermint 15 grams 5.Dried Dried Meadowsweet 7 grams

Mix and store in a dark, air tight tin.

Coltsfoot HERB TEA 1.Coltsfoot Leaves 45 grams 2.Marsh-mallow Root 22 grams 3.Narrow-leaf Plantain 22 grams 4.Aniseed 22 grams

This tea is great for dry coughs. Prepare a tea from this blend to coat the mucous membranes of the throat and bronchial passages with a healing, soothing film.

LADY’S MANTLE TEA 1.Lady’s-mantle Herb 45 grams 2.Marsh-mallow Root 22 grams 3.Fennel Seeds 22 grams

Make this tea for a tonic to strengthen and balance the female reproductive system. Lady’s mantle is a hormone regulator, while the other Herbs serve as nutrients.

HAWTHORN TEA 1.Hawthorn Flowers 22 grams 2.Valerian Root 22 grams 3.Lemon-Balm Leaves 22 grams

Use 1 tsp. Of the herb mixture per cup of boiling water. Allow the tea to steep for 10 minutes and then strain. This tea mixture lowers blood pressure and also has a calming effect on the nerves.

Fennel TEA 1.Fennel Seeds 45 grams 2. Caraway Seeds 30 grams 3. Anise Seeds 30 grams

Use 1 2 tsp. Of the Herbs per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, strain. Good for flatulence in adults and Colic in infants. ST. JOHN’S WORT TEA 1.St. John’s Wort 40 grams 2.Lemon-balm Leaves 30 grams 3.Valerian 30 grams

Use 1 tsp. Of the herb mixture per cup of boiling water. Drink a cup of this tea before going to bed each night for several weeks to calm overwrought nerves, lift Depression and help you Fall Asleep more easily. Steep for 10 minutes, strain.

RASPBERRY-LEAF TEA 1.Raspberry Leaves 25 grams 2.Elder Flowers 25 grams 3.Chamomile Flowers 25 grams 4.Linden Flowers 25 grams

Use 1 tsp. Of the herb mixture per cup of hot water; strain. This herbal tea will strengthen the bladder muscles and also calm Anxiety. For Bedwetting, give your child 1 2 cups in the early evening. Lemon-Balm TEA 1.Lemon-Balm Leaves - 30 grams 2.Passionflower Green Parts 30 grams 3.Chamomile Flowers 25 grams 4.St. John’s Wort 25 grams

This tea has a calming effect and is helpful for difficulties in concentration or Falling Asleep. Mix Herbs well. Steep 1 2 tsp. Of the tea mixture in 1 cup of boiled water, covered, for 10 minutes. Strain. Calming tea for children.

Dandelion TEA 1.Dandelion Root 30 grams 2.Dandelion Leaves 30 grams 3.Nettle Leaves 25 grams 4.Spearmint Leaves 25 grams

Steep in 1 cup of water for 10 minutes. This tea promotes the Metabolism and stimulates the activity of the kidneys, thereby reducing Bloating and Fluid Retention. Linden FLOWER TEA 1.Linden Flowers 45 grams 2.Sage 25 grams 3.Thyme 25 grams 4.Lemon Balm 25 grams

Add 1 tsp. Of the herb mixture to 1 cup of boiling water; steep for 10 minutes and strain. This tea is best drunk in the evening before bedtime. Drink it to relieve Nervous Tension and promote Relaxation.

How To Get The Most From Your Home Workouts

November 10th, 2005

A recent study found that home workouts may do even more good than workouts at a gym. This is good news for people who are time crunched and find it’s too much trouble to make it to a health club.

So how do you get the most from your home workouts? Follow these suggestions:

  1. Have A Plan. Know exactly what it is you want to accomplish and how you intend to get there. Plan out the exercises and the amount of reps and weight you will use. If time is a factor, make sure the volume of your workout fits the alloted time. If you can only squeeze in 10-15 minutes, then make the most of it. Use compound moves for the large muscle groups. Use an Exercise log and refer back to it. It’s a great way to track your progress.

  2. Have What You Need. Make sure you have available any equipment you intend to use and that you know how to use it. If you have never used resistance tubes, then practice with them in advance so you get a sense of the Tension they provide. If you plan to use a stability ball, make sure you have the right size for your height. See a chart here.

  3. Know How to Do Things Right. Make sure you are familiar with the exercises you plan to include in your home workout. Do some research and completely understand any new exercises you intend to do. Form is very important. Proper form will keep you from injuring yourself.

  4. Mix Things Up. Don’t stick with one workout for ever. Your body will quickly adapt to any form of Exercise if you stay with it for too long. Make sure in your planning stage that you build in variety through new exercises, a different Exercise order, different rep scheme or try supersets or a circuit.

  5. Get Support. Work with a personal trainer to learn what you should do and how you should do it. A recent study showed that people who worked with a trainer worked harder and met their Goals faster than those who did not.

Just because you are doing a home workout does not mean that it can’t be as tough or tougher than people who travel to a gym. Once you know where you are going and how you intend to get there, the rest is up to you. Follow your plan, give it 100% effort, eat right, and you’ll be on your way to a fit body.

About the author

Rick DeToma is a Fitness coach, and trainer who specializes in home workouts. Contact Rick for a no obligation telephone Fitness assessment.

Get more tips like these and a bonus too, by subscribing to Tailored Fitness News Here

Enhance Your Flexibility

November 9th, 2005

Tips for Making Yourself Far More Flexible in the Next 30 Days

When it comes to the Big Three of Exercise - cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training - it’s pretty clear which one can get overlooked. After all, while we prize cardiovascular and strength training for their role in helping us Lose Weight, build muscle and get fit, the benefits of flexibility training are less immediately alluring.

As the population ages, however, more of us are learning to appreciate the rewards of stretching. Staying limber can offset age-related stiffness, improve Athletic Performance, and optimize functional movement in daily life. Research shows that flexibility training can develop and maintain range of motion and may help prevent and treat injury. In fact, the American College of Sports Medicine has added flexibility training to its general Exercise recommendations, advising that stretching exercises for the major muscle groups be performed two to three days per week.

How can you include an effective flexibility workout in your Fitness program? Here are some guidelines:

Think in Terms of Serious Flexibility Training, Not Just Brief Stretching.

Squeezing in one or two quick stretches before or after a workout is better that nothing, but this approach will yield limited results. What’s more, generic stretches may not be effective for your particular body. The more time and attention you give to your flexibility training, the more benefits you’ll experience. A qualified personal trainer, physical therapist or health professional can design a functional flexibility program specifically for you.

Consider Your Activities.

Are you a golfer? Do you ski, run or play tennis? Do your daily home or work routines include bending, lifting or sitting for long periods? Functional flexibility improves the stability and mobility of the whole person in his or her specific environment. An individualized stretching program is best to improve both stability (the ability to maintain ideal body alignment during all activities) and mobility (the ability to use full, normal range of motion).

Pay Special Attention to Tight Areas.

Often the shoulder, chest, hamstrings and hips are particularly tight, but you may hold Tension in other areas, depending on your history of Injuries and the existing imbalances in your muscle groups. Unless you tailor your flexibility training to your strengths and weaknesses, you may stretch already overstretched muscles and miss areas that need training.

Listen to Your Body.

Stretching is an individual thing. Pay attention to your body’s signals and don’t push too far. Avoid bouncing or jerking movements to gain momentum; this approach can be dangerous.

Instead, slowly stretch your muscles to the end point of movement and hold the stretch for about 10 to 30 seconds. Older adults, Pregnant women and people with Injuries will need to take special precautions.

Get Creative.

Varying your flexibility training can help you stick with it. You can use towels, resistance balls and other accessories to add diversity and effectiveness to your stretching.

Warm Up First.

Don’t forget to warm up your muscles before you begin. Walking briskly for 10 to15 minutes is a simple way to do this.

Find a Flexibility Class That Works for You.

Classes that include stretching are becoming more popular and more diverse. Some combine cardiovascular and strength components with the flexibility training; others Focus exclusively on stretching.

Stretch Your Mind and Body.

Did you know that your emotional state may affect your flexibility? If your body is relaxed, it will be more responsive to flexibility training. Listening to music and focusing on your breath can help you Relax as you stretch. You may also want to explore Yoga or Pilates. In addition to stretching, classes in these disciplines may include Relaxation, visualization and other mind-body techniques designed to reduce Stress and increase mindfulness.

It’s Not Just for Wimps.

Forget the idea that stretching is just for elderly, injured or unconditioned people. Many Olympic and professional athletes rely on flexibility training for peak performance.

Do It Consistently.

It doesn’t help to stretch for a few weeks and then forget about it. Integrate regular stretching into your permanent Fitness program. For inspiration, look to cats and dogs - they’re dedicated practitioners of regular stretching and you rarely see them getting the kind of joint or muscular Injuries that humans get!

Shoulder and Trapezius Stretch

* Stand upright with shoulders back, chest out, and feet hip-width apart.
* Clasp your hands behind your buttocks.
* Slowly lift your hands up and away from your body until they have reached the furthest comfortable position.
* Keep your chest out and your chin in without hunching over.
* Once you feel a comfortable stretch in your chest and anterior shoulders, hold this position for at least 15-30 seconds.

Lying Quadriceps Stretch

* Lie face down on a mat.
* Lift your right leg up towards your buttocks.
* Reach around with your right hand and grasp your foot. Slowly pull downwards, stretching your quadriceps to the furthest comfortable position.
* Hold this position for at least 15-30 seconds.

Shin Stretch

* Using a wall or chair as support, place your left foot behind your right foot, with the top of your left foot on the ground.
* Extend the bottom of your left shin as far forward as possible. Slowly lower yourself by bending both legs.
* Once you have stretched your anterior tibialis to the furthest comfortable position, hold for at least 15-30 seconds.
* Switch legs and repeat.

Hip, Gluteus and Back Stretch

* Sit on the floor with both of your legs extended in front of you.
* Bend your right leg over your left leg, keeping your right foot flat on the floor outside the left knee.
* Place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee, and extend your right arm behind you with your palm flat on the floor for support.
* Slowly twist your upper body to the right while looking over your right shoulder.
* Lightly apply pressure with your left elbow on the outside of your right knee as you twist. Be sure to keep your upper body straight.
* Once you feel a comfortable stretch in your hips, buttocks, and lower back, hold this position for at least 15-30 seconds.
* Switch sides and repeat.

Calf Stretch

* Put the sole of the top half of your right foot against the wall. Slide your right heel as close towards the wall as possible.
* Slowly lean forward towards the wall stretching your calves. Once you have stretched your calf to the furthest comfortable position, hold for at least 15-30 seconds.
* Switch legs and repeat.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christopher Guerriero, is the founder of the National Metabolic & Longevity Research Center and a best-selling author, speaker, and coach to millions. He is creator of the award-winning ‘Maximize Your Metabolism’ system. To learn more about this step-by-step program, and to sign up for FREE how-to articles and FREE teleseminars, visit: www.MaximizeYourMetabolism.com

Dealing With Anxiety In Children

November 7th, 2005

What problems does K-OK Kiddie Calmer address?

Children are also vulnerable to Stress. Some children suffer from Anxiety and Shyness and may struggle to adjust to new situations like school and friendships.

Others experience worries about their safety or have intense fear of the dark, insects, animals or other creatures.

How can K-OK Kiddie Calmer help?

K-OK is a safe, natural, homeopathic remedy especially formulated by a Clinical Psychologist to Soothe and Calm Anxious and Fearful Children. K-OK is manufactured in pillule form in a safe Lactose base.

The small pillules can be sucked in the mouth and are easily accepted by children.

K-OK can be used in three ways:

  • Reduce Anxiety and help your child to feel more secure and confident
  • Assists children who are Clingy and who Cry Easily
  • Help your child overcome specific fears like fear of the dark, insects, etc.
  • K-OK can also be used in cases of acute shock or distress to calm and soothe your child safely and naturally.

Children’s remedies

Children have problems too! Many medicines for children contain additives, artificial color and preservatives. Some are addictive and others may cause side effects which end up being worse than the condition that they are supposed to treat.

Even some of the more natural, herbal medicines should not be given to children under the age of 12, unless supervised by a health care practitioner! Parents are understandably concerned and may feel confused about what they can and can not give their children.

As a Psychologist and as a parent, I have seen a need for safe, effective and healthy Natural Remedies especially formulated for children’s health. Together with Native Remedies, I have spent a lot of time in researching and formulating a range of Natural Remedies especially for young children.

All remedies are herbal or homeopathic and carefully chosen for maximum effect and maximum safety, to safely heal and solve your child’s problem - naturally. While Herbal Remedies help to heal and promote health, Homeopathic Remedies work by strengthening the child’s own body to heal itself.

The remedies are non-addictive and presented in child-safe doses. No artificial colors or preservatives are used and manufacturing is in accordance with the highest pharmaceutical standards. - Michele Carelse, Clinical Psychologist

How has K-OK Kiddie Calmer helped others?

“Thank you for your reply….we have a very long and complex story behind our seven yr. old - the short of it is that in just 24 hrs, we noticed a very positive change in him from both of these products. Unbelievable to both my husband and myself. At this point, in the very initial stages of the products’ use, I cannot even begin to explain how pleased we are with the results - you have NO IDEA from whence we came! Thank you more than you’ll ever know.” - Rebecca G.

“My 5 year old daughter is a very Nervous child always clinging to my skirts. When she started pre-school her teacher said that she was not settling in because she was shy and cried easily. I did not want to give her any strong medication, but nothing I did helped her. My sister told me about ‘Kiddie Calmer’ and I liked the idea of something natural. Well things have changed for my daughter. I think she will always be shy, but she is playing with the other children and is much happier at pre-school now.” Phoebe, USA

“Dear Michelle, I have given my son the Kiddie Calmer and BrightSpark and have seen a great difference. His marks have improved overall from his first report to his second report. He actually said to me that he can Concentrate better. Just to give you an idea, the school he attends has a marking system of 1 to 5 on the report cards, meaning 1 = is excellent; 2 = is good 3 = is fine/average; 4 = is weak/needs attention and 5 = is very weak/failure. On his first report card he received on his developmental scores (which is broken into may categories like fine, gross, audio, visual etc,) only on 2, some 3’s and quite a few 4’s and was quite shy still, did isolate himself sometimes from the class and could not grasp the rules of the phonics. On his second report card he did not get a single 4 only mainly 2’s and some 3’s had improved with his Self Confidence and now new the rules of the phonics. Now isn’t this fantastic. He still needs work on his Self-Esteem but my mom has also noticed and improvement. He has had a speech assessment and the therapist concluded that he needs some help to improve his expressive language. As you know he has been diagnosed with sensible integration dysfunction, he is receiving occupational therapy for this. He has shown an improvement with his tactile defensiveness but whilst the schools were out for a 3 week holiday recently and I was not giving him the BrightSpark and Kiddie Calmer, I certainly noticed that he had become more tactile again, crying and becoming upset with children (and his brother) irritating him (as he calls it).

I am so grateful for your product and have told my friends about it, hopefully they will give it a try.

Kindest Regards and thank you for your dedication to thousand of people who have similar problems. SM (Johannesburg)”

“I have been having my son use Kiddie Calmer and it has been very successful for him. He has said other things we have tried haven’t worked. He is in a gifted program and his mind is always racing, he said it is like a CD that he can’t turn off. When he takes the K-OK, he is able to Relax.” - Alesia, USA

K-OK has been a real blessing to my son. He is the Anxious type who cried every morning before kindergarten, but he is really settling in well now. I am so grateful for your help!” - Melissa Carstens, USA

“It is wonderful to know that my child does not have to take prescription drugs anymore after three years. She sucks her K-OK Kiddie Calmer and likes the taste and it has really calmed her a lot as it promised. She feels much better and behaves more like a normal kid now, rather than clutching onto my skirt for deal life every time someone speaks to her!” - Thanks from a happy mother.

“My little girl was so scared of the dark that she woke up screaming every night and we always had to sit with her. She was also scared of bugs so that she wouldn’t go outside alone. All that is much better now, thanks to K-OK!” - Nolene , USA

“My 8 year old son has had major separation Anxiety since kindergarten. Nothing at all worked to help him get over this misery he was feeling. He would vomit, have diarrhea each morning before school from being so Nervous and upset. At wits end, I got online and found K-OK Kiddie Calmer. It has been unbelievable. I know it is supposed to take about 3-4 weeks to show the calming effect but after two days of taking the K-OK, my son has not shed a tear, gotten Nervous or sick from Anxiety. It has been amazing. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t found you! My son is a happy, confident, calm child and I thank you!” - Cindy, TN, USA

K-OK Kiddie Calmer contains the following proven Homeopathic Remedies in child-safe strengths:

Silica (6C) - a proven homeopathic remedy for Nervous exhaustion, Shyness and Anxiety

Aconite (6C) - used to alleviate fears and phobias, Anxiety and Restlessness

How do I use K-OK Kiddie Calmer?

For Anxious, shy or fearful children: Suck five pillules twice a day in a clean mouth.

For shock: Suck five pillules every half hour in a clean mouth until child is calm.

Use on an empty stomach.

Cautions: Avoid strong mint flavored candies.

If necessary, K-OK Kiddie Calmer can be taken together with PureCalm for maximum effectiveness against Anxiety

How long until I see results?

In the case of shock and extreme distress, improvement is noted almost immediately.

When used to treat Shyness, phobias and general Anxiety, a gradual improvement will be noted over a period of 3 - 6 weeks.

Continue for up to 12 weeks and then stop treatment to see whether symptoms return. If symptoms do not return, then only use if needed for shock.

The Beauty Foods

November 5th, 2005

What you eat affects your looks - there’s no question about it. Foods affect your appearance in the very same way they nourish your body. Why sabotage your health AND your looks at the same time with unwise food choices? You’ve got to eat, so why not eat to look and feel better?

When I see a woman who looks absolutely radiant, I know that she is doing more than spending lots of money on cosmetics. What we put inside of our bodies is even more important than what we put on the outside.

Good Old Water Keep hydrated by drinking lots of water. Hydration can definitely improve the skin and it also regulates body temperature, removes waste, protects our organs, helps convert food to energy and cushions our joints. Too little water causes the skin to become dry and flaky. Water can also help you diet. It cleanses the system while filling you up AND the body burns up to 25 calories just by turning up its Metabolism in order to warm a glass of water.

Apple Cider Vinegar Besides having amazing healing properties, apple cider vinegar keeps skin supple. Its heavy concentration of enzymes helps peel off Dead Skin Cells, breaks down fat and helps food digest properly.

Carrots Maintain the outer layer of the skin to prevent premature aging. What you’ll find in carrots is the same as you’ll get in Retin A. If you’re into Herbs…there’s NO better skin treatment than Carrot powder - used as a “wash”, a Mask or made into a Lotion.

Cheese To ensure a happy smile, add a slice or two of hard cheese to your diet. Choose Swiss, cheddar or gouda to block bacteria in the mouth and prevent cavities.

Citrus Fruits Hold the skin cells together by forming collagen. Collagen cannot be added to the skin topically, which is why fruits and fruit juices are such an important part of the daily diet. Using a half of a lemon smoothed over your face will also help minimize and prevent skin discoloration.

Cranberries Helps combat Wrinkles and restore tissue. Used externally, a Clove of Garlic applied to Pimples is a great Acne treatment.

Nonfat Yogurt High in calcium, which keeps your smile white and your teeth cavity-free.

Tomatoes These “love apples” will keep you loving your skin. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium.

Face Life’s Challenges with Resilience and Mental Fortitude

November 3rd, 2005

Discover the secret to remaining focused and resilient even in the face of the most challenging circumstances.

As you know, life is not all smooth sailing. Successful people are able to face set backs, get back up and try again. You can experience that feeling that nothing is going to stop you no matter what your Goals are.

Using powerful Hypnosis techniques, this program will help you:

  • Finish difficult projects
  • Remain calm even in the face of major setbacks
  • Stick to your Goals
  • Create Resilience
  • Develop Effortless Problem-Solving Skills

You might think you’re the kind of person who can’t stick to your Goals, or you just aren’t Mentally Tough enough, but the truth is: This isn’t who you are. This is only what you’ve been doing.

You can be the kind of person who sticks to your Goals no matter what obstacles are in your way. This program isn’t going to give you anything. What it will do is help you access the inner toughness that has been there all along. Then, with practice, you will be able to decide on your own terms how you are going to act in any situation.

Isn’t it time to experience true Resilience through Mental Toughness?

This Hypnosis program is truly on the cutting edge. Developed by Dr. Neil Fiore, a licensed psychologist and productivity expert with more than 30 years of research and testing experience. (Read more about Dr. Fiore). All of the therapists with The Hypnosis Network have to meet stringent guidelines. And, as with all our associates, Dr. Fiore is an exceptional therapist and Hypnosis practitioner.

By using Dr. Fiore’s Hypnosis program, you’ll find it natural to get things done effortlessly and without hesitation. Powerful Hypnosis techniques help you release the fears and excuses that have been holding you back. While in a Hypnotic State, you will be introduced to proven techniques and exercises that help you create an unstoppable inner drive.

Once you’ve experienced the effects of being Mentally Tough, and find the inner strength to reach your Goals Stress-free, you’ll wish you had listened to this program much earlier.

We are still going to offer you our unconditional 1-year money back guarantee. We hope that by eliminating all risk, you will give yourself the best tools and resources currently available to meet your Goals and stay Mentally Tough.

Mental Toughness is a 1-CD Program:

CD1
Mental Toughness
Resilience
Commitment to Your Goals

Check Out Mental Toughness Now!

Yoga For The Beginner

November 2nd, 2005

One of the amazing things about Yoga is that despite the great benefits that it produces, it requires no costs. There is not specific Yoga training equipment that one has to use in order to obtain the desired results and there is no such thing as the perfect environment required for practicing Yoga.

All this is a direct consequence of the fact that Yoga is, more than a practice, a state of mind and a life style. That is why your will, as well as your believes and attitudes towards this philosophical path are all that actually matter. Moreover, a balanced and healthy diet, based on natural food, is a key issue for preparing yourself for your first Yoga session. What we eat can strongly affect both our mind and our soul, so it is crucial to mind what we eat.

Even though you do not need a specially designed place for performing your Yoga class, make sure, when electing the room where you will be holding the class, to choose a place as far away from distractions - such as radio, street noise, TV - as possible. The place also needs to be clean and quite and, if possible, ventilated. A blanket is the accessory that you absolutely need in order to gain comfort when carrying out the exercises and the Meditation, as they are performed in either sitting or lying positions, but, however, a towel or a mat, could work, as well.

In what concerns the clothes you are supposed to wear, try to select something very comfortable and loose, such as training suits, sweat pants and a t-shirt, shorts or loose pajamas. Some people would rather wear no clothes at all, but, nevertheless, most practitioners put something on, especially if the Yoga session is not private.

It is also highly recommended to have an empty stomach, before starting your Yoga exercises. As a general rule, one or two hours after a main meal is the ideal time for practicing Yoga. As Breathing is a key element in Yoga training, do not forget to also clean your nostrils and your throat.

In case you have not decided which could represent the best moment of the day for carrying out your Yoga session, you have to know that both morning and evening practices can result very beneficial to your body and mind. Thus, performing the exercises in the morning can contribute to your good shape for the whole day, as it improves your Vitality level. On the other hand, evening Yoga practices helps inducing a restful and peaceful sleep.

Your Yoga session should not exhaust you. Do not hesitate to take a break, when you feel tired. Actually, short breaks are common, between difficult exercises. Keep in mind that as little as 15 minutes of correct Yoga practice can produce marvelous results on your body and mind.

As a final idea, try to remember that the most important thing, when practicing Yoga, is your attitude and your desire to discover the incredible sensations and experiences this ancient philosophy can provide.

About the Author

Sandra is a certified Yoga instructor who teaches 6 classes in the greater San Francisco area. Her blog can be read HERE.

Top Ten Best Researched Herbs

November 1st, 2005

Garlic

“If we were to design a drug that had perfect properties according to what we know about Heart Disease and associated risk factors, we couldn’t improve on Garlic,” says Amanda McQuade-Crawford, herbalist and director of the Ojai Center of Phytotherapy in Ojai, Calif. Regular use of Garlic is associated with the prevention of cardiovascular disease, she explains. Garlic raises protective HDLs (high-density lipoproteins), while it lowers harmful LDLs (low-density lipoproteins) and triglycerides (blood fats). Garlic is also known to help lower High Blood Pressure, she says.

Garlic AIDS in cancer prevention by raising the body’s level of glutathione transferase, a liver enzyme known to Detoxify the body of carcinogens, says McQuade-Crawford. In China, researchers found gastric cancer was reduced where Garlic intake was high.

Other researchers have noted improved helper/suppressor ratios of T-cells in AIDS patients who take Garlic. Proven to work against various micro-organisms including bacteria resistant to antibiotics, Garlic is known to be antifungal and antiviral, she adds.

Hawthorn

The berries of this flowering shrub are best used for the heart, says McQuade-Crawford. Hawthorn AIDS the heart’s pumping action by opening the coronary arteries to nourish the heart muscle. The herb can also slow a rapid heart rate and strengthen a failing heart.

Hawthorn usually lowers High Blood Pressure, especially a raised Diastolic High Blood Pressure, and it benefits low blood pressure due to weak heart muscles with arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm).

“Hawthorn takes a long time to do its best — six months or longer. In the style of a true herbal tonic, it can be taken safely and effectively over time for its best effects,” notes McQuade-Crawford.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba extract from the ginkgo tree has been shown to benefit visual function by improving microcirculation to the eyes especially among patients suffering from senile Macular Degeneration, a common condition thought to involve free radical damage, says Steven Schechter, N.D., author of Fighting Radiation & Chemical Pollutants With Foods, Herbs &Vitamins (Vitality, Ink).

More than 280 scientific studies indicate standardized ginkgo extract prevents and/or benefits ailments such as vertigo, tinnitus, inner ear disturbances, memory impairment, ability to Concentrate, Anxiety, Depression, neurological disorders, senility, circulatory disorders, edema and Raynaud’s disease (a vascular disorder).

Ginkgo extract improves the quality and increases the quantity of capillary circulation, thus increasing blood flow to the brain, heart and tissues in organs and glands, Schechter says. In addition, he notes, the flavonoids in ginkgo are potent free radical scavengers.

Ephedra

Also known in Chinese as ma huang, Ephedra may be the world’s oldest herb cultivated for medicinal purposes, dating back nearly 5,000 years, says McQuade-Crawford. It’s commonly used in cold formulas as a decongestant.

Ephedra is a great bronchial dilator,” McQuade-Crawford says. It helps asthma sufferers by opening the sinus passages and has an Antihistamine effect which AIDS chronic and acute Allergies. Ephedra also acts as a circulatory stimulant to blood pressure and heart function; it elevates blood pressure.

Ephedra’s main constituent is ephedrine, which increases adrenaline secretion in our bodies. The boost you get from Ephedra stimulates certain glands, muscles and tissue functions, while it suppresses others.

“In the long term, Ephedra’s adrenaline overdrive can lead to chronic Stress and even to degenerative disease,” warns McQuade-Crawford. She notes this is important for people using Ephedra for dietary weight loss or “pep pill” purposes because the effects of Ephedra linger in the body long after the herb is gone.

Ephedra shouldn’t be used with drugs for the heart or for the lungs and never with Antidepressant drugs. It’s not for use with the weak or the ill and when used long term, dosages should be conservative,” McQuade-Crawford cautions.

Licorice

Licorice has been most recently researched as an antiviral and in the treatment of gastrointestinal ulceration, explains McQuade-Crawford. Its soothing, Anti-Inflammatory and relaxing actions help smooth muscles in the gastrointestinal tract on contact. “Licorice gets into a painful, contracted, tight digestive tract and coats the raw places, relaxes the clenched-up muscles and acts as a local Anti-Inflammatory,” she says. Licorice also increases bile secretion. Licorice is indicated for any gastrointestinal ulcers, including mouth ulcers. The root is indicated for chronic coughs and bronchitis as a soothing decongestant. It’s also indicated in small amounts to reduce Sugar Cravings.

The Chinese often use Licorice to improve the taste and the effects of other Herbs in complex formulas. Japanese research has shown Licorice to decrease high Testosterone Levels in women with ovarian cysts and to increase their Fertility. Large amounts of Licorice or long-term use raises blood pressure in some people.

Bilberry

A strong antioxidant, Bilberry benefits your circulatory system, eyes, heart and brain, and helps generate overall good health, says Schechter. Bilberry fruit contains a type of flavonoid called anthocyanosides, which are responsible for increasing flexibility of capillaries and increasing blood flow.

Research shows that standardized extract of Bilberry can enlarge range of vision and improve sharpness of images, enhance ability to Focus, and improve blurred vision, eyestrain and nearsightedness. Bilberry extract also helps strengthen coronary arteries and helps prevent Atherosclerosis and venous insufficiency, which causes swollen ankles and feet.

“Since adding Bilberry to my own health program, I’ve noticed my muscles seem to recover slightly faster, I experience less muscular pain and my vision has improved from 20/100 to approximately 20/50,” says Schechter.

Echinacea

Decades of research prove Echinacea’s value for aiding the Immune System, Schechter explains. Studies have determined Echinacea’s ability to activate white blood cells and stimulate the regeneration of the cellular connective tissue and the epidermis. Schechter notes that Echinacea’s infection-fighting properties stem from its ability to neutralize a harmful enzyme involved in the infection process. Echinacea also increases two vital components of your Immune System that consume and eliminate invading organisms and foreign particles.

German studies have shown Echinacea extract contains Proteins that help protect noninfected cells against viral infections, one reason why Echinacea is regarded as an Influenza preventor. Another German study found Echinacea effective in Allergy treatment because it helps prevent tissue inflammation due to harmful foreign toxins.

Milk Thistle

“I consider standardized milk thistle seed extract the most beneficial herbal product for liver Detoxification, regeneration and protection, and, in general, one of the most universally necessary herbal products for the 1990s,” says Schechter. He notes that the Stress of toxins from chemical pollutants, pharmaceuticals, alcohol, tobacco smoke, drugs and different forms of radiation have cumulative side effects that need to be addressed.

More than 120 scientific studies have shown that milk thistle extract regenerates, regulates and strengthens Liver Functions. Because free radicals attack the liver, primarily the fat tissue in the liver, the antioxidant qualities of milk thistle are extremely beneficial. Milk thistle stimulates your body to produce superoxide dismutase, which is one of two primary Antioxidants the body can manufacture.

Astragalus

Astragalus has been used as an immunity booster in China for nearly 4,000 years, according to Rob McCaleb, founder of the Herb Research Foundation in Boulder, Colo. Astragalus extracts can increase Immune System efficiency by increasing immune activity. One study found that Astragalus extracts could increase the impaired Immune Function of blood cells up to and sometimes beyond normal cell ability.

According to Planetary Herbology (Lotus Press) by Michael Tierra, N.D., Astragalus helps strengthen digestion, raise Metabolism, strengthen the Immune System and promote wound healing. It can also treat chronic weakness of the lungs, Shortness of Breath, low energy, prolapse of internal organs, spontaneous sweating, chronic lesions and deficiency edema.

Ginseng

Ginseng is one of the most widely studied Herbs, having been the subject of more than 3,000 scientific studies to investigate how Ginseng helps improve a person’s physical and/or mental performance, notes McCaleb. Studies have shown Ginseng helps increase memory and learning by improving circulation. It’s also been shown to reduce cholesterol and protect the liver from toxins.

Ginseng, according to Tierra, is known to strengthen the lungs, nourish body fluids and calm the spirit. It may be used for shock, collapse and heart weakness, as well as for promoting longevity and increasing resistance to disease.

A Japanese study showed cancerous liver cells could be reverted to normal cells in a Petri dish culture when treated with Panax Ginseng extract. Siberian Ginseng has also been shown to stimulate the Immune System.



TrafficMetro Banner Exchange