Herbal Remedies for Common Aches and Pains

24 11 2010

Herbal Remedies for Common Aches and Pains

They have been around for hundreds of years, but researchers have only recently begun to rediscover their value. Herbs – natural remedies – can provide relief for many common ailments such as arthritis, skin problems, stings, sinuses, sore throats, bruises, nervousness, etc., and you can grow many of them in your own backyard.

Here is a list of some of the more well-known herbs that many researchers think might become popular remedies:

Horseradish

It is usually thought of of as a sauce or spice, but herb specialists claim that it is useful in helping your digestion. This member of the mustard family can also be used as a pain-relieving remedy for neck and back pain. Or you can use a gargle mixture of grated horseradish, honey and water as a way to ease hoarseness.

Rosemary

It is a member of the mint family, and the oil from this herb can be rubbed on the skin to help ease the pain of arthritis, bruises, cuts, sores and skin problems like eczema.

 

Peppermint

It is known far and wide for its minty smell, but few people know of its ability to relieve indigestion, upset stomach, colic, flatulence and even soothe aching muscles and joints, and a cup of warm peppermint tea will help clear your sinuses.

 

Garlic

It is also a well-known herb that many chefs refuse to cook without. Keep up the good work,chefs – garlic seems to be helpful in lowering high blood pressure, lowering blood cholesterol levels, and helping to unclog arteries that are coated with atherosclerotic plaques. Garlic can also be applied directly onto the skin to get relief from insect stings.

Chamomile

It is one of the oldest known herbs with an age-old ability to relieve inflammation of the skin. Applying the ground-up leaves directly to the inflamed area helps reduce swelling and tenderness. Tea made form the oil of the chamomile plant id helpful in treating digestion problems, colic and menstrual cramps. You can even add the oil to your bath water if you want a natural relaxer, or you can use chamomile oil as a natural insect repellent.

Sage

It is a member of the mint family that is unbeatable in its relief of sore throats, mouth and gum problems, cuts and sores, bruises and skin problems. Sage tea is even used to bring relief for nervousness and irritability – its relaxant effects can help you settle down after a long day at work.





Apple Cider Vinegar: 7 Health Benefits: Lymph Nodes, Joint Pain and More

24 11 2010

Apples have been known for their amazing health benefits for centuries. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) contains these same health benefits multiplied many times over.

Here are 7 ways Apple Cider Vinegar is effective in improving health:

1) Weight loss – There have been many claims about apple cider vinegar’s ability to promote weight loss. Although these claims have been exaggerated they are not far from the truth. There is no magic pill for weight loss because healthy and effective, long term weight loss requires the consumption of healthy foods, the avoidance of toxic foods and regular exercise. Without these healthy practices the body is ineffective at promoting and maintaining ideal body weight. That being said apple cider vinegar has been found to support healthy, sustainable weight loss in several ways:

One important key to weight control is stable and balanced blood sugar levels. Studies show that apple cider vinegar helps to balance blood sugar levels, possibly by its ability to lower the glycemic index of foods consumed. Another study found that consuming a small amount of ACV before meals allowed subjects to be satisfied on less food. Although ACV is acidic it makes the body more alkaline, which some health experts believe contributes to weight loss. Apple cider vinegar also seems to have the ability to help break down excess fat and remove it from the body.

2) Liver and body detoxification – Apple cider vinegar is known to improve circulation and aid in the detoxification of the liver by supplying key vitamins, minerals and enzymes. The unique acids found in the vinegar bind to toxins to help carry them from the body. ACV also aids detoxification by breaking up mucus and by cleansing lymph nodes, which improves circulation. A healthy lymph node system is effective in removing toxins and at boosting the immune system.

3) Digestion and gastric health – Taking ACV before meals improves digestion and increases the speed at which toxins are removed from the body, allowing them no time to do any damage.

4) Joint pain – The body has a buffering system which is designed to prevent the body from become too acidic. Unfortunately, the highly acidic western diet overwhelms this buffering system causing the buildup of acidic crystals in tissue. Once tissues reach the point of maximum crystal precipitation, these crystals begin to form in the joints and bursae, which leads to arthritis and bursitis. Taking a couple of teaspoons of ACV with a couple teaspoons of raw honey will gradually relieve stiff, aching joints. The acidic nature of ACV acts as a strong solvent to dissolve crystal deposits. ACV consumption helps make the body less acidic over time which will slow the formation of acidic crystals. Restoring proper pH balance through a healthy diet supplemented with ACV is the key to preventing the formation of acidic crystals.

5) Candida – natural methods are by far the most effective way treat and prevent candida. APV contains natural enzymes which are highly effective at treating the disorder. It encourages the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria needed to prevent the overgrowth of candida. One to two tablespoons should be taken daily.

6) Thick Blood – A diet high in protein and saturated fats tends to thicken the blood which can lead to high blood pressure. The thicker the blood, the more difficult it is to pump through blood vessels. The natural acids in ACV have the ability to thin the blood and ease transport through blood vessels.

7) Respiratory conditions – ACV has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties which may improve symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes caused by food, pet and pollen allergies.

Not all apple cider vinegar products are created equal. Many ACVs have been refined, filtered or pasteurized in order to make the product look more appealing. Unfortunately, these processes remove most of the nutrition. To receive maximum health benefits from ACV look for a product that has been organically grown, cold pressed, unfiltered and raw without added chemicals and preservatives.





BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids)

24 11 2010

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) are Essential for Athletes

Do you know that branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) are of a special importance to athletes and body builders? Why? Because they can provide optimal energy levels, enhance sports performance by building protein and muscle tissues, reduce fatigue, and much more. Besides, BCAA has found its application in the treatment of such serious diseases as muscular dystrophy, cancer and cirrhosis.

What is bcaa?

BCAA is a combination of essential branched chain amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine that are of special importance for bodybuilders and athletes because these amino acids are used by the body to build up protein.

Because BCAA’s are essential amino acids, they are not produced by the body in the same way as non-essential amino acids, but are rather obtained from our diet and nutrition. That is why, it is suggested that bcaa supplementation is of significant importance to athletes because they can alleviate any deficiencies that the body alone cannot synthetize.

Due to the way of BCAA’s metabolism, which occurs in the muscle rather than the liver, the effect of these branched chain amino acids is much quicker and efficient than of any other amino acid. After bcaa are digested, protein breaks down into individual amino acids that can either be used to build new proteins or become some sort of a fuel that produces energy for the body, thus enhances sports performance in a natural way. If your diet is balanced, branched chain amino acids will be used for protein synthesis, essential for endurance athlets and strenuous workouts.

BCAA’s are also used to reduce fatigue in both anaerobic and endurance sports. Because of its anticatabolic properties and vital role in protein synthesis, leucine is considered to one of the most critical BCAA.

What is bcaa used for?

Numerous studies on BCAA’s were done in the past several years, demonstrating practical and theoretical use for these amino acids. Although there are a few reseaches showing mixed results, in most cases BCAA supplements have shown quite favorable results both in animals and humans.

Increase protein synthesis. Several studies demonstrated the ability of BCAA’s to provide beneficial results on protein synthesis, which resulted in bigger muscles. In addition, BCAA supplements increase the level of such hormones as growth hormone, testosterone, and insulin, which adds to the benefits of these amino acids.

Under certan conditions, including extreme stress (e.g. strenuous long-term exercise in mountains), 10 grams per day of BCAA supplements demonstrated the ability to increase muschel mass.

Endurance. BCAA’s ability to serve as a donor of nitrogen in the formation of l-alanine, shows benefits for the whole body. It provides the tissues with glucose after glycogen stores are depleted, which may enable you to train at higher intensities for longer periods of time. BCAA supplementation may also keep your energy at higher levels, even when you are on a low carbohydrates diet.

Faster recovery. Studies show that BCAA supplementation results in the increase of metabolic recovery, meaning that the recovery period between workouts is much faster.

Fat Loss. At least two studies demonstrate the ability of BCAAs to significantly promote visceral body fat loss, which is usually hard to lose under normal circumstances. 25 wrestlers participated in this study. After 19 days of BCAA supplementation, the group with a high dosage of BCAAs lost the most body fat (mostly in the abdominal region), about 17% in average. This may give credence to BCAAs effectiveness at fat loss in the abs part. The second study showed that when in extreme stress (e.g. hiking) , people saw muscle mass gain as well as fat loss.

Immune System Boost. When your body experience strenuous workouts, stress, or illness, your immune system suffers and you become more prone to infections and strength loss. BCAA’s cam help reverse glutamine loss, which is very important for the immune system. In addition, these amino acids can help prevent  the body’s catabolic state, and this also improves faster recovery and less damages to your body cells. With the help of BCAAs, muscle proteins aren’t burned for fuel, thereby this supplement spares breaddown of muscular protein. This helps the body train more hard and increase protein synthesis, which means more muscles for you. A study done on obese patients, who were put on a starvation type diet, the administration of BCAA helped induce anabolism and nitrogen sparing, which made the body burn fat instead of lean muscle mass, thus sparing muscle protein.





Thyroxine – Side Effects and Benefits

24 11 2010

Thyroxine — Side Effects and Benefits

Thyroxine — Side Effects and Benefits

Thyroxine is the main hormone that’s produced by the thyroid gland in the brain.  Thyroxine side effects and benefits vary from case to case because of the fact that thyroxine plays such a complex role in the body, namely of regulating the metabolism.  Metabolic rate refers to the total number of chemical processed going on inside a person’s body at any given time.  These chemical processed yield both heat and energy, which is why it’s said that person’s with a faster metabolism generally have more energy and burn more fat.  The thyroid gland produces the hormone thyroxine, which is a compound that widely stimulates more metabolic chemical processes in the body.  This is consistent with other glands in the brain such as the pituitary gland which produces and releases growth hormone that flows throughout the body, greatly increasing the metabolism by causing the body to create more bone mass, muscle, and other things.  When a body is deficient in a hormone like thyroxine, many side effects ensue, such as fatigue, weight gain, and lack of motivation.

That’s why many people are opting to use thyroxine supplements, to make up for the lack that’s not being produced and released by the thyroid gland.  This is known as hyperthyroidism, which is simply an underproduction of thyroxine in the thyroid gland.  Sometimes hyperthyroidism happens simply because the thyroid is just naturally under-active, and sometimes it’s the result of an ailment or surgery.  Whatever the reason, when low levels of thyroxine are in the bloodstream, the entire metabolism begins to slow down.

Specific Thyroxine Side Effects

Now that we’ve discussed exactly what thyroxine is, where it comes from, and what it does, let’s discuss some of the potential thyroxine side effects.  It’s important to first have a good understanding of thyroxine because, as a hormone replacement therapy, thyroxine is generally catered specifically to the needs of each patient, depending on their specific needs.  Thyroxine hormone replacement isn’t like a normal deficiency, where a person just takes a standard 500mg pill everyday.  For that reason, if the thyroxine therapy is doing it’s job correctly, there shouldn’t be any side effects.  If however, the dosage isn’t perfectly suited for the individual, some thyroxine side effects might ensue.  Since thyroxine is involved in stimulating the metabolic rate, the potential side effects generally have to do with allowing too much thyroxine into the system and experiencing increased metabolic symptoms such as:

  • Increased Heart Rate and Palpitations
  • Muscle Cramps and Trembling
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Chest Pain
  • Rare Allergic Reactions that can Manifest in Skin Conditions

Since thyroxine is a natural body hormone, there shouldn’t be any side effects when taken at the correct dosage.  The problem comes in that it’s often difficult to get to the right exact dosage.  Until a person finds out exactly what that dosage is, they may experience thyroxine side effects that occur both from having too much thyroxine in their system, such as the ones mentioned above, and if they cut back too far on their dosage, they might experience hyperthyroidism symptoms of a low metabolic rate.  If a person experiences an allergic reaction as a thyroxine side effect, it’s most likely due to something else in the supplement other than the thyroxine.  Some recommend switching brands in an attempt to avoid the allergic reaction.  But it is always a good idea to seek medical attention when experiencing an allergic reaction to a supplement.

Thyroxine side effects and hormone replacement therapy can sometimes be avoided altogether through healthier habits and thyroid boosting natural supplements like this one.

Natural Thyroid Support

The metabolism is a very complex set of chemical processes. The body produces and uses many tens of thousands of chemicals. Controlling all those metabolic reactions is a very difficult job for the brain and different hormones like thyroxine. Many people, instead of going straight to a hormone replacement therapy, try ways of boosting and supporting the glands first to see if that can make any kind of difference. There are a number of ways to do this, diet being the largest. In Western diets, things like refined sugar and soy products are in great abundance. These foods are known to suppress thyroid function. Soy has an estrogen-like quality that has been shown to interfere with the delicate balance of hormones in the body, including thyroxine. Refined sugar is something that everyone should try and eat less of, not just for thyroid support, but because the Standard American Diet contains far too much sugar that has been shown to lead to a host of health conditions.

Foods that are known to boost thyroid function are seaweed and coconut. Coconut oil was once widely used in the modern world but was demonized heavily once cheaper vegetables oils started becoming mass produced. But in recent years, coconut oil has begun receiving praise as a cooking oil for its wide range of health benefits, including thyroid support.

Something else that a person should consider are natural thyroid boosting supplements, like the one pictured to the right. These supplements generally take the benefits of seaweed, such as iodine and other nutrients, and synthesize them into natural supplements to help support the thyroid. The one pictured to the right has all natural ingredients and will help give the thyroid gland the building blocks it needs in order to produce normal levels of hormones. I’ve left you a link below.





Glutamine

24 11 2010

Glutamine Powder

What Is Glutamine Powder And Why Supplement Your Diet With It

L-Glutamine powder is often taken by bodybuilders and other athletes to help the body recover from strenuous workouts. It has also been shown to help in the recovery speed of patients after medical surgeries.

What Is Glutamine?

Glutamine is one of the twenty non-essential amino acids in the human body. An amino acid is simply a molecule of protein. Muscle in the human body is composed of over sixty percent glutamine.

During a workout that consists of weighlifting or other strenous exercise glutamine levels are are lowered during and after the workout, which in turn slows recovery time from the workout. Supplementing with L-glutamine powder has been shown to increase protein synethesis allowing the muscles to recover faster than with no glutamine supplementation.

Sources of Glutamine

Glutamine is found in many foods that we eat everyday. These foods include high protein foods like eggs, chicken, red meat, and fish. Small amounts are also found in some fruits and vegetables. L-glutamine powder can also be found in synthetic form and is produced by many nutritional supplement companies.

Glutamine Supplementation

L-glutamine powder supplementation is most often used by bodybuilders who exercise with heavy weights to build bigger muscles. Commonly L-glutamine is found in a powder or sometimes capsule form. Bodybuilders who supplement their diet with l-glutamine use the supplement to help recover from workouts faster and some studies have shown it can also increase human growth hormone in the body.

When taking as a nutritional supplement l-glutamine powder is recommended to be taken in five gram doeses, two to three times a day for a total of ten to fifteen grams of l-glutamine daily. The body will also take in glutamine with its daily diet also.

The largest producer’s of l-glutamine powder are bodybuilding supplement companies. As l-glutamine powder is classified as a dietary supplement it is not reviewed by the Food And Drug Administration. For this reason it is recommended if you are going to supplement your diet with l-glutamine to stick with reputable companies that produce the powder.





Creatine – All about it!

24 11 2010

How to use Creatine for maximum effect

What is Creatine

Immediate results is what we all seek, especially when it comes to working on one’s physique. If you’re on a weight loss program, you would yearn to make shed all that extra fat as quickly as possible.

Just like the newly discovered Acai Berries are for weight loss fanatics, the Creatine is for those seeking to gain muscle mass. Fast. Immediate. And the best part of it all, no side effects.

Creatine works as a steroid, but lacks all those harmful side effects of steroids. It’s a naturally occurring compound generated by our kidneys. Red meat and tuna have small amounts of Creatine in them. Doctors and fitness experts alike are discouraging the use of artificial drugs and supplements. That one strong adrenaline rush might make you win the game, but ultimately you lose. However, the upside of Creatine is that it has been in use by athletes since the 1993 Olympics, and till date has not been banned by any medical authority.

There are different types of Creatine present in the market. From monohydrate Creatine to ester Ethyl Creatine, the only difference is the amount of Creatine in them. The different amount of Creatine implies that the usage of every type of Creatine present in the market varies. In such circumstances, it is good to take advice from your trainer or a medical expert, and read the directions by the manufacturers before starting.

Following directions is imperative to achieve long lasting results. Even though Creatine has been deemed safe by the majority of the fitness sphere, it still lacks an FDA approval, which implies that the purity and hygiene of the supplement is debatable. However, if the proper procedure for the intake of Creatine is followed, side effects are eliminated automatically.

How to use Creatine

The use of Creatine is classified into three steps. If this cycle is followed staunchly, you can get the results that you want and steer away from all possible harm from over consumption. The Creatine intake cycle is as follows:

1. Loading Phase:

The most important stage in the intake of Creatine. This is the stage where the human body becomes accustomed to the intake of this supplement. This is identical to setting up a strong base for further development. This phase usually comprises of a week. Within the time frame of these seven days a 140 gram intake of Creatine is prescribed. The intake is phased and timed. Punctuality and regularity is a must in the Creatine cycle. The 20 grams per day intake is phased out in four times throughout the day, at uniform intervals. Incase you have missed out on morning’s dose, do not try to compensate for it by taking in a double dose at a later time during the day. This will greatly disrupt the cycle. Just like with diet plans, there is a strict time code to follow.

2. Maintenance Phase:

The maintenance phase comes right after your body is accustomed to the intake of the highly beneficial supplement, Creatine. As the name implies, the work of this phase, which lasts from week 2 to week 4, is to maintain the increment in muscle mass. The heavy dose of 20 grams per day is reduced to 10 grams per day. However, the same phased approach is adopted with a heavy reliance of punctuality and regularity. If the cycle is broken or disturbed, the effects may not reach the desired goals. Just like in a normal aerobic exercise routine. The first week is spent trying to make your body accustomed to working out. And the proceeding weeks are spent on maintaining the routine to work off that extra fat. In the Creatine cycle, you maintain the routine to work on gaining the healthy mass muscle.

3. Rest phase:

From week 4 to 8 is the last phase of the cycle, the resting phase. This is perhaps the most important phase out of all three, for during this time frame the body takes a break from the intake of Creatine. During the preceding weeks, the body has become accustomed to the intake of Creatine. It has become almost immune to it. Now is the time to break the routine and bring the body behavior back to square one, while maintaining the muscle you have put on. Once the routine breaks, the impact of the retake of Creatine is maximized when you once again proceed forward with the Creatine Cycle.

Creatine is a great supplement for the body and just like any other drug out there, the abuse of its use can do you more harm than good. However, on the staunch reliance on the aforementioned Creatine Cycle, not only can harm be kept away, but strength retained and healthy mass muscle increased.





Krill Oil Omega 3

24 11 2010

All you need to Know about Krill Oil

Krill are crustaceans that look like the shrimps, feed on phytoplankton and are source of food to squids, fish as well as seals and penguins. These creatures are small in size and measure about 1-5cm though they make the largest biomass in the world. Krill are found in the North Pacific and AntarcticOceans. They have also been used for aquarium feeds, aquaculture, as sports fishing bait and as food. Pure Krill oil is naturally generated in these creatures and has been extracted to be sold as nutritional supplements in various food stores as well as online stores.

Krill Oil Contents

This oil contains a number of nutritive ingredients. One of the major ingredients is the Omega 3 fats especially the EPA and DHA but intertwined in a different manner to make them more absorbable and make them to transport themselves easily, across the membranes of the mitochondria and the nucleus of the cells. In addition to these compositions, Krill oil also contains a complex form of phospholipids profile, which is a great source of choline that reduces stress, as well as acts as a natural emulsifier.

Krill oil also contains a number of vitamins such as vitamin E, vitamin D, Vitamin A. In addition to this they also contain canthaxathin which has a high potency of anti oxidant. As compared to the omega three oils in terms of Oxygen Radical Absorbency capacity (ORAC), this potency is 48 times more potent. The astaxanthin is helpful in protecting the body against harmful ultraviolet rays as well as its induced damage on the skin.

Benefits of Krill Oil

Users can enjoy quite a number of Krill oil benefits once they have started taking it. For starters, it helps in the regulation of cells that cause different types of cancer especially prostate cancer as well as to alleviate the different symptoms that come with it. In relation to this, the continuous consumption of pure krill oils, people are able to benefit from great brain health. This means that the supplement reduces the chances of having a brain tumor and the person is able to have better vision as the supplement protects the eyes from degeneration. It also helps in the delay of Alzheimer’s disease and in addition, reduces the symptoms of depression, personality disorders and mood disorders that are associated with brain imbalances.

Another krill oil benefits is associated with weight loss. Pure krill oil comes with the capability of reducing the LDL cholesterol in the body while at the same time increasing the HDL cholesterol. This means that the body sugars are regulated and the chances of adding more weight and retaining fat is reduced. The other benefits of pure Krill oil are also seen in the treatment of pain and inflammations in patients with Rheumatoid arthritis as well as in different forms of pains. It has also been seen to be effective in the treatment of adult ADHD.

Comparison with Fish Oils

The rapid absorption rate of pure Krill oils in the body has led to the elimination of the after taste as well as burping often associated with omega 3 oils. Additionally, pure Krill oils are much more expensive as compared to omega 3 oils and the dosage is quite smaller.

Krill Oil Dangers

One of the krill oil dangers is that it cannot be used by people with allergies to sea foods as it can cause different problems. The other thing is that people who have bleeding disorders should only use pure Krill oil under the supervision of the doctor. The same applies to people who are taking other forms of drugs such as Blood thinners, non steroid anti-inflammatory drugs. Those taking herbs and supplements that are prone to increasing chances of bleeding should use the supplements with caution.








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