Drug Rehabilitation Blog

treatments for acne

Holistic Treatments for Acne

Treatments for Acne

There can be considerable psychological torment associated with acne. For a teenager, it can generate embarrassment, insecurity, depression, withdrawal from peers – as well as ridicule or bullying in school. This is all in addition to physical discomfort and even pain. Adolescence is tough enough as it is – who needs this? And it’s not just kids; adult acne is a very real problem and can be just as disheartening. Treatments for acne can help reduce the mental and physical pain associated with this common problem.

Acne indicates inflamed or infected oil glands in the skin, characterized by red, white, or black pimples – commonly on the face, shoulders, and back. Pores in the skin lead down to oil glands. Also called sebaceous glands (sebaceous refers to oil or fat), these are microscopic glands which secrete an oily or waxy substance called sebum. Pores become clogged or jammed with excess sebum, at which point bacteria can form, causing the swellings and redness we observe as acne.

What causes acne?

What causes this buildup in the first place? One theory is that it is the skin’s attempt to get rid of toxins. These toxins can originate from your diet or can be environmental – such as pollutants or atomized grease. Certain skin products, like oil-based make-up, can also be a factor.  Things like inflammation or acne could be the result of the body attempting to expel or kick out unneeded or poisonous elements. If you are putting the wrong things into it, you’re body may be telling you to knock it off.

Teenagers – as they wander an urban zone or skateboard through suburbia – are continuously given opportunities to eat junk food, fast food, greasy food, and products stuffed with artificial ingredients. Depending on their upbringing, they may not be prone to paying much attention to what they eat. Add to this the fact that their bodies are undergoing serious hormonal changes and you have some components of “teenage angst.” Perhaps the pain and torment connected with acne will be enough motivation to do something about it. Maybe parents will say “enough is enough” or have emotional (or physical) scars of their own. Or better yet, child and parent will decide to tackle the problem together. Foods and factors that can contribute to acne include:

  • Fast food, junk food, fried and greasy food – high in saturated fats, trans fats, and chemicals
  • Sugar
  • Soda
  • Allergies
  • Meats that have been shot with hormones or steroids
  • Produce that is laced with pesticides
  • Reactions or allergies to skin products (like oil-based make-up)
  • Certain medications
  • Milk and dairy can also be a factor.

This is where the adolescent and the parent (or guardian) really need to team up. It is way too easy to grab fast food when you’re in a hurry and it’s on the cheap. But you’ll find the eventual costs – in terms of the physical and emotional toll – are not worth the convenience. Some natural or holistic ways to prevent or treat acne:

  • Avoid consuming the sugars and processed foods noted above.
  • Use lean, organic meats, fish, and poultry.
  • Eat organic fruits and vegetables, such as raw carrots, leafy greens and berries.
  • Find foods that you LIKE TO EAT that are not processed or full of chemicals. Make lunches out of these instead of the processed junk. You can pack them in the backpack so they’re handy when hunger strikes. Try nuts, yogurt, fruit, or snacks sweetened with honey or fruit juice. Check the ingredients – if it contains artificial sweetener like aspartame, don’t get it.
  • Take multivitamins: vitamins A, C, E and Zinc help.
  • Drink lots of water!
  • Exercise!
  • Sunlight (not excessive)
  • Practice good hygiene: wash face, hands, and hair often.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals on the skin. For girls, use oil-free foundation or mineral-based make-up.

If you are doing the above and acne is still a problem, you may need to consult a dermatologist, but keep in mind that the basics of nutrition is a powerful weapon against acne and other conditions. With a lifestyle change could come healthier skin, a rejuvenated body, improved mental outlook and a more vibrant life for youth and adult.

Holistic Methods of Dealing with Acid Reflux

Holistic Methods of Dealing with Acid Reflux

Acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a common, chronic disorder in which stomach acid or bile enters the esophagus. This causes heartburn and can even destroy your esophagus if left untreated. Holistic treatments can offer significant relief by addressing the underlying cause of GERD, rather than just treating the symptoms. As a result, they don’t come with the unwelcome side effects of common GERD medications, including vomiting, stomach pain, or even seizures.

Lifestyle Choices

Your lifestyle can cause or exacerbate the symptoms of acid reflux. Avoiding some key upset areas can do wonders in clearing up the problem. A few activities that can make acid reflux worse include:

  • Overeating. Overeating causes the lower esophageal sphincter valve (LES) to loosen.
  • Eating too much fat. Fatty foods weaken the LES over time.
  • Smoking cigarettes. Smoking also weakens the LES.
  • Lying down after a meal. Remaining upright aids digestion and avoids GERD symptoms.
  • Eating before exercise. Aim to eat after you work out. Eating before exercising can exacerbate your acid reflux.
  • Trigger foods. Some people have specific trigger foods, such as tomatoes or oranges. If you know which foods trigger your GERD symptoms, you can avoid them.

Know your body and its specific needs. If you can treat the problem with lifestyle changes, this is always the easiest and safest way to address it. Many of these tips are common sense for a healthy lifestyle.

Supplements

Supplementing your diet with the right nutrients can help your body combat GERD holistically. Rather than suppressing your body’s manufacture of stomach acid, as most medications do, these supplements address the root cause of GERD:

  • Digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes decrease distension in the stomach, which in turn makes the LES tighter. You can get enzymes at just about any health food store—just make sure they’re acid-resistant so that they go to work in your stomach, rather than the intestine.
  • Calcium. You can tighten up your LES with some extra calcium. Make sure that you take your calcium in powder form, not pill, as the powder form begins digestion instantly.
  • Vitamin D. Abundant and freely available from sunlight, vitamin D helps your body produce antimicrobial peptides.

If you obtain all of these in powder form, you can easily combine them into a single drink.

Quick Relief

Lifestyle changes and supplements can take a while to bring about noticeable changes in your GERD. Fortunately, there are holistic methods you can use right now to alleviate your GERD symptoms and provide immediate relief:

  • Apple cider vinegar. Drinking apple cider vinegar seems counterintuitive, as it actually increases acid in the stomach. No one knows why precisely this works, but there are numerous testimonials to its effectiveness.
  • Baking soda. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with half a cup of water for immediate relief. Increase the effects by using aloe water.
  • Deglycyrrhizinated licorice. A favorite recommendation of Dr. Andrew Weil, deglycyrrhizinated licorice can be found in either tablets or powder.
  • Cayenne pepper. Another surprising treatment, cayenne pepper appears to relieve symptoms of GERD. John Christopher, a master herbalist, believes that it cured his stomach ulcer.

All of the above can be found in most regular supermarkets or health food stores. Combined with long-term solutions, these short-term holistic treatments can help you live life to the fullest again.

Beating Acid Reflux

While many people turn to medication for GERD—a great deal of which has potentially harmful side effects—there are other holistic, practical, safe alternatives. The natural world provides a number of ways for you to treat the disorder without resorting to pharmaceutical medication. Try out some of the above cures and see what works for you. Lifestyle changes, short-term treatments, and long-term fixes can help free you from the burdens of GERD.

skin allergies treatment

Holistic Methods of Dealing with Skin Allergies

Holistic medicine seeks to treat the body as a whole, rather than just the symptoms of a disorder. This makes it a powerful and effective method of combating illness. Skin allergies in particular are ideal for treatment with holistic methods. For people who have “tried everything” but are still dealing with unsightly or uncomfortable skin allergies, holistic approaches are an indispensible alternative.

Targeting the Cause of Skin Allergies

In treating a skin allergy holistically, you should first determine what is causing the allergic reaction. The ten most common factors that cause skin allergies are:

  • Quaternium 15. A common cosmetic preservative in nail polish, sunscreen, and tanners.
  • Bacitracin. An over-the-counter topical anesthetic.
  • Cobalt Chloride. A metal in everything from snaps to hair dye.
  • Formaldehyde. A preservative found in cleaners and cosmetics.
  • Fragrances. Artificial fragrances such as perfumes, a common cause of skin allergies.
  • Neomycin Sulfate. Topical antibiotic also found in dog food and soap.
  • Thimerosal. The mercury found in vaccines, but also local antiseptics.
  • Balsam of Peru. Tree resin used to scent skin lotions.
  • Gold. The common gold used in jewelry.
  • Nickel. One of the most common metals for buttons and clasps.

Exploring these common substances is a good first place to start. Avoiding them or switching to more organic products can help alleviate skin allergies significantly.

Vitamins

Vitamin deficiencies are a common cause of skin allergies, especially eczema, one of the most rampant forms of skin irritation. If you’re suffering from eczema or other skin irritations, try to consume more essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6. Vitamins A and E are proven to moisturize the skin, making them ideal for people with dry, flaky skin. Other supplements for people with skin allergies include zinc, black currant oil, cod liver oil, quercetin and other bioflavonoids, and vitamin B. Supplementing your diet with these vitamins can have a noticeable effect on skin irritation.

Treatments

In addition to removing allergens and changing your diet, you can also treat your skin allergy directly in a variety of ways. Treatments for skin allergies include:

  • Chamomile. Chamomile contains levomenol, a healing moisturizer. Those with ragweed, chrysanthemum or aster allergies, however, should avoid chamomile.
  • Oatmeal. Just as you might have soaked in an oatmeal bath as a kid with chickenpox, oatmeal applied to skin irritations can provide relief.
  • Aloe Vera. This anti-inflammatory treats both the cause and symptoms of many common skin allergies.
  • Witch hazel. An astringent and anti-inflammatory that soothes and cures skin allergies and hemorrhoids.
  • Cucumber. This common vegetable has approximately the same moisture as human skin, relieving both the itchiness and irritation caused by rashes.

Free Yourself From Skin Allergies

Many people use treatments for skin allergies with potentially harmful or unpleasant side effects — but now there are a number of safe, holistic alternatives. Mother nature gives us a wide array of medicines to treat common disorders of the skin. Controlling your environment and treating outbreaks can bring you relief from skin allergies without having to see a specialist.

Holistic Cures for Allergies

Holistic Cures for Allergies

Millions and millions of people have allergies – inexplicable reactions to otherwise harmless substances. From pollen and animal fur to dairy and peanuts, allergies are a fact of life for many of us and can be a serious irritation – and for some even life-threatening. Holistic cures for allergies help reduce these symptoms.

You would think that the allergen – the substance, food, etc. to which a person is allergic – is to blame for the condition, when in fact an allergy is the result of a problem with the body’s immune system. What underlies this disorder of the immune system appears to be a mystery in the field of medical science – and it gets even more nebulous when it comes to all the allergic peculiarities from person to person. Considerable science exists when it comes to “managing” allergies – testing to establish what allergies exist and precautions for avoidance.

The immune system can mistake an innocuous substance as a threat and launch an attack against it – this is what brings about the allergic reaction. These reactions can range from wheezing, vomiting, and hives to a severe reaction known as anaphylaxis – a potentially fatal shock to the system brought about by specific allergies such as peanuts, milk, eggs, or bee stings.

Anyone with allergies – particularly of a severe nature – should consult a medical professional and take the necessary precautions. Since we know that allergic reactions are connected with our immune system, the question arises, are there any natural or holistic means that contribute to a balanced and properly functioning immune system?

There are many factors believed to adversely affect the immune system – including but not limited to:

  • Pesticides
  • Chemicals in household cleaners
  • Food additives
  • Environmental pollutants
  • Stress
  • Improper nutrition
  • Vitamin & mineral deficiencies

None of this comes as any surprise. When reviewing all manner of ailments and disorders, the factor of what is and is not taken into the body is a common thread. Our bodies are what we eat and breathe! Diet and lifestyle changes are called for if one wishes to begin gaining control over what is happening to the body. Some recommendations:

  • Eliminate from your diet highly processed foods, fast foods, and foods high in fat
  • Try cutting down or going without dairy and wheat and see if that helps your condition
  • Adopt a diet of organic or whole foods, lean organic meats, fruits, and vegetables
  • Consume phytonutrients (plant-based)
  • Drink lots of water
  • Get regular exercise
  • Reduce stress (doesn’t mean “don’t work hard” but could be as simple as avoiding things that upset you)

In addition to these basic steps, there are herbs, vitamins, and minerals found to assist in proper immune function:

  • Calcium & Magnesium
  • MSM (organic sulfur, a naturally occurring compound in the human body)
  • Digestive enzymes
  • Selenium (mineral acting as an antioxidant, needed for proper immune and heart function)
  • Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)
  • Echinacea
  • Nettle
  • Turmeric
  • Astragalus
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Spirulina

While it would be a bold statement if anyone said they could cure all allergies, it is possible to take some fundamental steps towards greater health and happiness.

Holistic drug withdrawal

Holistic Methods For Drug Withdrawal

A Huge Problem Across the US

Substance abuse is a huge problem in the US. As of 2010, nearly 22 million Americans age 12 or older use illegal drugs each month, and over 13 million Americans have an alcohol problem. The largest culprit of addiction? Painkillers. The United States alone absorbs over 70% of the world’s Oxycodone and nearly 100% of the world’s Hydrocodone (an ingredient in Vicodin). Every year, American doctors write over 60 million prescriptions for tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax.

With this level of access to highly addictive substances, it’s not surprising that at any given moment a friend, family member, neighbor, or co-worker might be going through the painful withdrawal symptoms of detoxification. Understanding how to manage detox responsibly is a critical part of the recovery process.

Cold Turkey vs. Tapering Off

To an addict with an all-or-nothing mentality, it might be more appealing to quit an addictive substance “cold turkey” — that is, completely and all at once — in order to avoid the substance entirely. This can pose significant risks, however, if the addict has been using large amounts of the substance for a long period of time, creating extreme withdrawal symptoms.

Additional risks to quitting cold turkey include:

  • Relapse, due to extreme withdrawal symptoms and taking on too much mental and physical pain at once
  • Seizures, due to a pattern of acute substance abuse followed by a period of acute detoxification
  • Heart failure or a heart attack, due to system’s shutting down as drugs leave the system
  • Overdose, if a person relapses after losing the tolerance he or she had built up before initially quitting

The second option to recovery is a tapering-off method, in which addicts consume the substance in moderation, slowly weaning themselves off over a period of weeks or months. This option has its own set of risks:

  • In some cases, staying on the substance poses a greater risk than the withdrawal symptoms, and so continuing the substance can actually be more harmful than quitting cold turkey
  • Drugs with a shorter half-life (the amount of time it takes to metabolize the drug) are significantly more challenging to quit using this method and can require more time to taper off use
  • This method requires a great deal of self-control, as the substance is still a prominent part of the addict’s daily life

In either case, medical supervision is recommended. While neither option is easy, and both come with risks, the benefits of becoming substance-free far outweigh the short period of discomfort spent in detoxification.

Holistic Withdrawal Symptoms and Treatments

While patients with severe addiction may have the greatest chance of success by checking into a rehabilitation facility for a short detoxification period, many patients can do a detox at home with the supervision of a physician and regular doctor visits. Many doctors recommend working holistic methods into this treatment plan.

Here are a number of holistic remedies that can help manage and relieve common symptoms of drug withdrawal:

  • Dehydration
    • Half an ounce of water per pound of body weight per day, which helps flush the system of drugs and keep the patient hydrated.
  • Cravings
    • Narcotics Anonymous, which has hotlines in most areas in the United States
    • Productive or entertaining activities, such as books, movies, video games, or any other type of entertainment that can engage the addict during detoxification
  • Stomach pains (cramps, bloating, nausea)
    • Ginger, in tea or capsules
    • Lemon balm, which settles the stomach
    • Chamomile, green, or valerian tea, which can help ease nerves and tension in the body
    • Peppermint
  • Diarrhea
    • Apple juice (or any non-acidic fruit juice)
    • Soup, like chicken noodle, which can provide sustenance without digestion issues
  • Heart Palpitations
    • Lemon balm, which calms the nerves and helps reduce heart palpitations
  • Restlessness and insomnia
    • Antihistamines
    • Chamomile, passionflower, or valerian tea, which helps the body relax and prepare for sleep
    • A full stomach, which addicts can achieve by eating small amounts of food throughout the day, especially if stomach pains accompany their withdrawal symptoms
  • General pain and fatigue
    • Warm baths/showers, taken every few hours, to help relax the muscles
    • Walking and any sort of exercise, which produces endorphins that mimic the effect of pain medication on the body. This is a great natural remedy that can keep addicts from further abuse of medications
    • Korean ginseng, which helps boost energy levels and prevents adrenal fatigue
    • White willow bark or cayenne, both of which offer pain relief
  • Depression and anxiety
    • Chamomile, green, or valerian tea, which can help ease nerves and tension in the body
    • B6, which increases serotonin levels and decreases stress
    • St. John’s Wort, which, according to NaturalNews.com, is as effective at relieving mild depression as commonly prescribed antidepressants
    • Kava, which is a root used in the Pacific Islands to “take the edge off”
    • Yerba mate, a popular South American tea, which has mild MAOI properties that elevate low mood
  • Hot/cold flashes
    • Layers of clothing or blankets, which can be easily removed or adjusted to regulate body temperature

    Meet the Challenge Head On

    Detoxification is a challenging, arduous obstacle to sobriety, but these holistic methods can make the process easier by addressing all aspects of a patient’s recovery. With the help and support of friends, family, and a physician, addicts can conquer their addiction and end their substance abuse.

Holistic Cures for Insomnia

Holistic Cures for Insomnia

You Are Not Alone

 Holistic Cures for InsomniaChronic insomnia and other sleep disorders are a serious matter. Insufficient sleep results in slowed thinking, impaired reaction time, and weakened immune system. When one is extremely tired and drives a car or attempts to operate machinery, the chances of having an accident greatly increase. Trying to get through the day in a state of total exhaustion is like wading through molasses – and as the nights of low sleep stack up, the cumulative effect can put one’s whole life on hold.

Sleeping pills (sedatives) can have side effects such as dizziness, headaches, digestive problems, and stomach pain. Someone with chronic insomnia would do well to look into any natural or holistic solutions to the problem. Some recommended remedies include:

  • Walk. Get out; get some fresh air and look around your environment. Many with office jobs do virtually no walking on a daily basis. The point of taking a walk is to get “out of your own head” and put your attention out into the world at large.
  • Exercise. Vital – in fact, indispensable – not just for sleep but overall health. You want to get your cardiovascular and respiratory systems working. If you are lying in bed and cannot sleep, your body may be telling you it has not gotten enough activity and needs a workout. Exercise also releases endorphins – hormones that calm the body and mind.
  • Hydrate. You’ve got to drink plenty of water no matter what.
  • Avoid caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and tobacco. All these can act as stimulant or depressant depending on how much you take and your tolerance. They can affect your sleep/wake cycle – particularly in the 3 hours before you go to bed – and are addictive to one degree or another.    
  • Tryptophan and melatonin. Our bodies operate on 24-hour cycles (some say 25-hour) called circadian rhythms, which are regulated by the hormone melatonin. These rhythms could also be described as your “biological clock.” Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that the body ultimately converts to melatonin. Both tryptophan and melatonin are available as supplements and are known for their relaxing effects.
  • Calcium and magnesium. These are available in powder form. You make a hot drink that relaxes muscles and soothes joints.
  • B-Vitamins. In addition to the physiological benefits, the full gamut of B-vitamins is known to reduce such things as anxiety and depression that may be influencing your sleep.  
  • Proper diet. In addition to laying off the java, doughnuts, booze, and cigarettes, try eating right. Avoid fast food, fried food, and heavily processed foods. Eat whole grains, organic meats, fish, poultry, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Overloading your body with chemicals and additives is like powering your car with the lowest grade fuel known to man. Eventually, your engine sputters and stops. This may not immediately affect your sleep, but is an excellent base to cover no matter the circumstance.
  • “Sleep foods.” There are foods known to contain tryptophan and other compounds that induce relaxation. These include bananas, grapefruit, dates, figs, almonds, herbal tea, raw honey, yogurt, oatmeal, rice, flax seeds, tuna, and turkey.Barring allergies, give them a try.    

 Life Outlook

Many people suffering from insomnia lay in bed with their minds racing about all sorts of things. They can’t really relax due to the thoughts rolling around in their heads. To change your mental outlook, a good place to start is to write down all your incomplete tasks. Write them all down – from the smallest job to the most formidable barrier you have yet to overcome. Once you have the list, start getting jobs DONE. You can start with the small easy ones and work your way up. This has the effect of grabbing all those “airborne ideas” and pulling them down into physical form. From there you can pursue all manner of methods to improve your lot in life and go to bed in a better state of mind.

References:

 

 

Holistic treatment for anxiety

Holistic Treatments for Anxiety

Anxiety Defined

Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Since the future hasn’t happened yet, anyone can feel anxiety about the uncertainty of future events – from your next job interview to the fate of the economy. Our mass media plays a significant role, relying as it does on the commodities of fear, anxiety, chaos, and an uncertain future. Anxiety also gets clinical names like General Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, or Social Anxiety Disorder. Prescribed for these are psychoactive medications to “manage” anxiety, numb real emotions, and subject individuals to an overabundance of alarming side effects. Natural and holistic solutions to this problem do exist, and none of them involve questionable psycho-pharmaceuticals. You can break down these remedies into the general categories of physical, mental, and spiritual:

Physical

  • Nutrition. Consuming only foods that have little nutrition can put your body and mind in a state of agitation or anxiety. Heavily processed foods high in starches, fats, and sugars can contribute to this negative effect. You need unprocessed or organic proteins, fresh fruits, and vegetables in order to function properly. Your body may be undernourished and calling out to you to do something about it.
  • Vitamins. Taking a multivitamin with meals is an excellent way to assist the natural balance between body and mind. B-vitamins in particular have calming effects and promote improved function of the endocrine system (system of hormonal glands). Other helpful supplements are the electrolytes calcium and magnesium – available as a hot, soothing drink.
  • Herbs and phytonutrients. Certain herbs have been found to act as a natural remedy for anxiety. Specifically recommended are kava root, passion flower, and lemon balm. Phytonutrients are plant-based and are increasingly used to increase energy and improve physical and mental well-being.
  • Exercise. Insufficient exercise (or no exercise) can have a disastrous effect on your state of mind. Many people drive to work, promptly sit down for their office job, and eight hours later drive home. Get outside, take walks, run, work out – whatever you prefer, but do it.

Mental and Spiritual

  • Media and television. Some people spend way too many hours per day glued to the screen – the TV and the computer. Watching the news can be informative, but it can and does fuel anxiety on a personal and societal level. This can have a gradual effect where the person is continually introverted or internalized. To remedy this, simply turn off the machines for a while and do things you enjoy, pursue a hobby, take up a musical instrument – the possibilities are endless.
  • Plan a future. One way to ease the stress of an uncertain future is to create your own. Make plans as to where you want to be in one year, five, or ten years. Then back that up to what you’ll be getting done this month, this week, and today. Just setting goals and planning for their attainment is therapeutic in itself. Making progress – big and small – further augments your positive state of mind.
  • Broaden your scope. Some say if you want to help yourself, start helping others. You can start with your family, your community, and work your way out into society. Just doing something that others appreciate can help “flip your view” outwards and empower you as a proactive member of the human race.
  • Spirituality. Many find solace in faith, religion, or spirituality. Pursue whatever path is right for you. Other avenues are self-help techniques, yoga, or martial art philosophies (like Tai Chi or Aikido).Look around and you’ll find ways to increase your energy and channel those energies into positive results.

Those are just a few of the methods you can employ to calm your nerves and improve your outlook. Hopefully, you found some of these suggestions helpful. For some, just reading a good book is enough. Ultimately, it is up to you to find what works best for you.

Holistic treatment for Arthritis

Holistic Treatments for Arthritis:

Holistic treatments for ArthritisIn researching holistic and natural treatments, what comes up repeatedly is the subject of the food we eat – what your body is essentially made up of. Consume processed or fried foods, sugars, soda, heavy carbohydrates – do this repeatedly over years and you invite disaster. Use lean, organic meats, fish, poultry, fresh fruits and vegetables, take vitamin and mineral supplements, drink plenty of water, and EXERCISE regularly – keep this up over time and you increase your chances of health and longevity. Read books and surf internet sites all you want, but don’t abandon common sense.

Visit your doctor, but no matter the concern or ailment, preventative measures would include supporting your body with real nutrition as your basic building block. Take arthritis as an example.

Arthritis refers to a breakdown of the cartilage between joints causing the bones to rub together – resulting in swelling (inflammation), stiffness, and pain in the joints. The word is from Greek arthro- “joint” + itis “inflammation”.

There are over 100 types of arthritis, but the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis involves degeneration of the cartilage and underlying bone.

Rheumatoid arthritis (rheumatism) is a chronic progressive disease characterized by inflammation, pain, deformity, and immobility.

Common causes can include age, weight (pressure on joints), genetics (heredity), previous injury, infection, and occupational hazards (such as extensive use of heavy equipment).  

The usual prescription for arthritis is NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). These include such drugs as aspirin and ibuprofen and can be over-the-counter or prescribed. But are there any holistic or natural answers to arthritis?

Inflammatory foods

There are foods and substances that can exacerbate inflammation – and lead to a slew of other physical problems. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Processed sugar (candy, donuts, soda)
  • Fatty foods (fried food, fast food, junk food)
  • Chemicals (MSG) and preservatives added to food
  • Artificial sweeteners (aspartame)
  • Pesticides in produce
  • Hormones in meats

 

Any of the above can profoundly worsen the situation. You can probably rattle off the list of drugs or chemicals you wouldn’t take. Start putting artificial additives, greasy food, and sugar on your list of “don’ts.”

Anti-inflammatory foods

As far as the “do’s” go, there are foods and supplements that have been found to be beneficial and have anti-inflammatory effects:

  • Green leafy vegetablesHolistic treatments for Arthritis
  • Kale
  • Collard
  • Chard
  • Turmeric
  • Grapefruit
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fish oil
  • Calcium & magnesium (can be taken as a hot soothing drink)
  • Vitamin D

 

Complementary Treatments for Arthritis

People take prescription drugs for arthritis and an endless array of conditions. Recently it has come to light that abuse of prescription drugs is at an all-time high. Preventative methods are worth looking into, and you don’t have to wait until you are sick or in pain. Talk to traditional medical practitioners, but also talk to nutritionists and those involved in holistic or alternative medicine. Think for yourself and make up your own mind. You’ve only your health to gain.

Holistic Methods to Reduce Cholesterol

Holistic Methods to Reduce Cholesterol

 

Reduce Cholesterol

Ask someone about cholesterol and they may tell you it’s something they have to “reduce” or “bring down.” There are heartmany ways to reduce cholesterol. It is an often misunderstood subject. Maybe you know all about it – maybe not. Simple definitions related to cholesterol:

Cholesterol: A fat-like substance that is used in nearly every cell of the body. It is produced by the liver, circulated through the bloodstream, and is necessary for the body to function properly.

Endogenous: Originating from within an organism. Endogenous cholesterol is produced within your body by the liver.

Exogenous: Originating from outside an organism. Exogenous cholesterol is the kind that comes from outside sources – from things that you eat.

Your body needs cholesterol, but too much of it can be detrimental to your cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels). There are varying schools of thought when it comes to cholesterol, but it is pretty much unanimous that diet and exercise play a vital role. There are drugs called statins designed to reduce oils and fats in the bloodstream. Like any drug, they can have side effects. The subject of drugs seems to be the pivotal point where the mind-sets diverge. While anyone should at some point see a doctor and get their cholesterol checked out, it would be beneficial to know how to prevent your cholesterol from skyrocketing.

As an analogy, take the subject of drug abuse: If we educate youth as to what drugs consist of, and what they do to a person – physiologically and mentally – we are empowering them with knowledge and many would choose a more sensible path of refraining from abusing drugs. They’d say “no” because they knew better. Likewise, it is sensible to educate oneself on diet and nutrition. Views on diets vary widely, but some of the foods generally thought to bump up your cholesterol:

  • Sugar
  • Egg yolks
  • Organ meats (like liver)
  • Heavy intake of dairy, milk, butter, cheese
  • Breads, pasta, heavy starches
  • Junk food
  • Fried foods

There is such ahealth thing as a more holistic or natural way of eating. Examples of this are avoiding refined sugars and heavily processed foods, using organic ingredients and leaning towards food in its raw or natural state. It also includes liberal intake of phytonutrients (plant-based). Of course you want to cook your meat (if you eat meat) and don’t include something you are allergic to (common sense). Try to use lean meat that hasn’t been hopped up on hormones (organic would be your best bet). Vitamins and minerals are great because that’s what’s in the food that your body uses. If all this sounds elementary, it’s because it is. Some foods and supplements that could help keep your cholesterol at a normal level:

  • Hawthorn Berry
  • Asparagus
  • Cayenne
  • Garlic
  • Spirulina
  • Dandelion
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Psyllium
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
  • B Vitamins

It goes without saying that being of acceptable weight and regular exercise play a huge role in you being healthy. Additionally, nothing replaces doing your own independent research into this and other related areas.

Holistic Methods to Increase Hair Growth

hair growth

Androgenic Alopecia

For many women, “hair” is more than a four-letter word, but a rather serious beauty issue that requires strict attention and care. Men, on the other hand, are infamous for all but ignoring their hair until it turns gray or some goes missing. Androgenic Alopecia is looked upon as the cause of around 95% of hair loss. Androgenic refers to androgens, which are “masculine hormones” present in both men and women – dominant in males but vital to both – and alopecia means simply “baldness.” In men, we call it male pattern baldness – hair loss on the crown of the head. The female version of thinning hair is sometimes referred to as female pattern baldness. In order to take a holistic stance on hair, we’ll need to expand our vision to include overall health. Hair loss – or unhealthy hair in general – can be brought about due to the following factors:

  • Heredity
  • Age
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Drugs and medications
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Other factors, like stress or lack of sleep

We can’t change who our parents were, and we can’t turn back the clock, but everything else we can do something about. Some suggestions for promoting healthy hair:

  • Avoid meat and poultry that has been injected/fed hormones. If you stick to items marked “organic” you should be in the clear.
  • The same foods that make people break out (acne) can affect the scalp. If it’s fried or greasy and you know isn’t good for you skin, skip it.
  • Exercise regularly. Vital for your overall health.
  • Certain supplements (and foods) known to promote healthy hair growth:Vitamin C (citrus fruits, oranges, lemons, green peppers)
  • B Vitamins (bananas, avocadoes, tuna)
  • Iron (apricots, raisins)
  • Vitamin E (sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, cantaloupe)
  • Vitamin A (eggs, kale, squash, carrots)
  • Omega-3(fish and fish oil)
  • Drink lots of water
  • Get enough sleep
  • Reduce stress

Other Methods

Of course, using quality shampoos and conditioners is a must for healthy looking hair, and if you blow dry, use very low heat. If you really want to go all out, specialized treatments exist to rejuvenate hair, including topical niacin and menthol formulas. Holistic means “characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease or problem.” Time and time again – from healthy hair to increasing energy, from allergies to depression – the holistic answer requires some lifestyle changes. Eating whole, organic or natural foods, regular exercise, a positive outlook, paying attention to your spiritual side – all these things play a part in what we term the holistic approach. We’ve all heard the complaint, “you’re making my hair gray,” and the role stress can play in one’s appearance. Rather than give in to the impulse to retreat, we instead strengthen our bodies and minds so we can deal with our lives effectively. This means a healthier and happier YOU – from head to toe!

 

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