COMMON CURES VI
COMMON CURES VI: Updates 2011/2012
BACTERIA CONTRIBUTE TO HARDENING OF THE ARTERIES:
Dr. Emil Kozarov and a team of researchers at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine have identified specific bacteria that may have a key role in vascular pathogenesis, specifically atherosclerosis, or what is commonly referred to as “hardening of the arteries” – the number one cause of death in the United States. The data suggests that a chronic infection may underlie the process of atherosclerosis, an infection that can be initiated by the systemic dissemination of bacteria though different “gates” in the vascular wall – as in the case of a septic patient, through intestinal infection.
Bacteria can gain access to the circulation through different avenues, and then penetrate the vascular walls where they can create secondary infections that have been shown to lead to atherosclerotic plaque formation, the researchers continued. “In order to test the idea that bacteria are involved in vascular pathogenesis, we must be able not only to detect bacterial DNA, but first of all to isolate the bacterial strains from the vascular wall from the patient,” Dr. Kozarov said.
One specific avenue of infection the researchers studied involved bacteria getting access to the circulatory system via internalization in white blood cells (phagocytes) designed to ingest harmful foreign particles. This can lead to multitude of problems for the patients and for the clinicians: failure of antibiotic treatment, vascular tissue colonization and initiation of an inflammatory process, or atherosclerosis, which ultimately can lead to heart attack or stroke.
• Contributing factors for stroke, heart attack and dementia are INFLAMMATIONS in the body through
1. food intolerances
2. dental problems
3. Bacterial infections
4. Sugar consumption, sugar being that most powerful inflammatory agent
NOTE: Research finds that daily doses of aspirin lower by 30% the incidence of heart attack, stroke, dementia – inflammation in general.
METABOLIC BENEFITS OF BIRCH BARK INGREDIENT: An ingredient found in abundance in birch bark appears to have an array of metabolic benefits, according to new studies in animals that are reported in the January issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication. In mice, the compound known as Betulin lowered cholesterol, helped prevent diet-induced obesity and improved insulin sensitivity. Betulin-treated mice were also more resistant to developing atherosclerotic plaques in their arteries. It also has an anti-viral effect, possibly helpful with the Herpes Virus and Epstein-Barr Virus. It is being tested with lowering Cholesterol.
LOOK MORE ATTRACTIVE WITHIN MONTHS: Eat Carotenoid-rich foods!
Carotenoids belong to a group of compounds that include alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta- cryptoxanthin. They are converted to vitamin A and are referred to as provitamin A carotenoids. Carotenoids are an important source of dietary vitamin A, and are mainly found in fruits and vegetables, such as:
Carots, Plums, Mangoes, Apricots, Cantaloupe, Sweet Potatoes, Kale, Spinach, Coriander/Cilantro, Collard Greens, Fresh Thyme, Turnip Greens, Winter Squash
NATURAL SLEEP REMEDIES: A few natural remedies may help when you can’t sleep
What’s your ploy for getting a decent night’s sleep? Doctors say it’s important to look at your lifestyle — whether too much caffeine, too little exercise, or too much late-night work or TV is the problem. If lifestyle changes aren’t enough, medications can help. Supplements may also have a place in providing a peaceful night’s sleep.
For advice on sleep supplements, WebMD turned to Sharon Plank, MD, an integrative medicine physician with the University of Pittsburgh Medical School Center for Integrative Medicine. We also spoke with Alon Avidan, MD, a sleep researcher and professor of neurology at UCLA School of Medicine.
Supplements for Natural Good Sleep
1) Most over-the-counter sleep aids contain antihistamine — and should only be taken short-term because they are not helpful for long-term sleep problems. NOTE: They also dry out the sinus passages and, during the cold, flu and bronchitis seasons, bacteria is attracted to this dry area. Use a humidifier or keep the nasal passages lubricated.
• Chamomile tea
• Kava (this supplement can cause heart palpitations, if you are prone to this)
For optimal nerve health (to help you relax), she also advises 100 to 400 milligrams of magnesium. “I don’t know of studies of magnesium for sleep, but in my experience it helps,” she tells WebMD.
Chamomile Tea for Sleep
For thousands of years, people have used chamomile tea medicinally. The tea and essential oil have been used for their calming effects and for insomnia relief. One Japanese study of sleep-disturbed rats found that chamomile extract helped the rats drift off to sleep more quickly — just as quickly as rats that got a dose of benzodiazepine (a tranquilizing medication). Better research of chamomile is needed, experts agree. The FDA considers chamomile to be safe with usually no side effects.
“Chamomile is safe as a tea,” Plank says. “But the trick is to make sure you are brewing it properly. Use two or three teabags. Then put a lid on the pot to keep oils in the water — so you get the medicinal effects of the tea.”
A few cautions: If you have an allergy to ragweed, don’t use chamomile. Also, don’t take chamomile tea if you are pregnant as chamomile may act as a uterine stimulant. Plank also suggests you avoid chamomile when breastfeeding because its effect on nursing babies hasn’t been well studied. And, obviously, you shouldn’t use chamomile when driving as it may cause drowsiness.
Melatonin for Sleep
Melatonin is a natural hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle (circadian cycles). Diseases, medications and advancing age can reduce our natural melatonin levels — and jet lag, shift work, stress, and medications can upset the body’s internal clock. It’s a complex interaction that is not fully understood. However, melatonin is known to play a key role in keeping our sleep cycles regulated.
“Melatonin supplements can be effective in treating certain sleep disorders, including jet lag,” says Avidan. Several studies have suggested that careful timing is necessary to prevent jet lag. Take melatonin on your day of departure — but close to the bedtime at your destination. Continue taking it for several days. It works best when traveling eastward — and when crossing four or more time zones.
Numerous studies have shown that melatonin helps with insomnia — whether the trouble is falling asleep or staying asleep. Studies also show that melatonin enhances the quality of sleep, and may help people sleep longer.
“Melatonin comes in two forms — extended release and immediate release,” says Plank. “If you tend to wake up in the middle of the night, you may want to take extended release before you go to bed. If you have trouble falling asleep, try immediate release.”
A few cautions: Melatonin is considered generally safe for short-term use. However, there have been concerns about risks of bleeding (especially in people taking blood-thinners like warfarin). There also is increased risk of seizure, particularly in children with brain disorders.
Valerian for Sleep
For more than 2,000 years, valerian root has been used as a sedative and anti-anxiety treatment. Although it is not a pleasant-smelling herb, valerian can be taken in capsules.
A review of 16 studies showed evidence suggesting that valerian may help sleep come more quickly — and that it improves the quality of sleep. Valerian becomes more effective over time, so taking it nightly works best, rather than taking valerian only on random rough nights. The flaw with most studies that have found benefit in valerian: they have been small and not very scientific in measuring sleep improvements.
Since there are few adverse effects from valerian, it’s safe to try as a sleep aid, says Plank. Some people experience stomach upset, headache, or morning grogginess with valerian. It may add to the effect of other sedative medications or supplements. Start with the lowest dose, then increase over several days’ time. It is considered safe to take for four to six weeks.
Kava for Sleep
Kava is a member of the pepper family and is native to many Pacific Ocean islands. The root is most often used for herbal remedies.
Kava has been shown to help relieve anxiety. One review of six studies showed a significant reduction in anxiety among patients who took kava, compared with those who got a placebo. For them, kava showed only rare, mild side effects. Another small study showed that both kava and valerian improved sleep in people with stress-related insomnia.
The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that short-term use of kava is recommended for patients with mild to moderate anxiety — but only for people not using alcohol or medicines metabolized in the liver, including many cholesterol medicines. In fact, the FDA has issued a warning that using kava supplements has been linked to a risk for severe liver damage.
“I tell patients this is a potential problem,” says Avidan. “If they have a history of liver disease, they have to be careful.” Before taking kava, check with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you.
Lifestyle Tips for Better Sleep
What’s best, experts agree, is taking steps to reduce stress and create a good sleep environment.
Some tips for a good night’s sleep:
• Keep noise and light to a minimum. Use earplugs, window blinds, heavy curtains, or an eye mask. Small night-lights in your bedroom and bathroom are a good idea.
• Avoid large meals two hours before bedtime. A light snack is fine.
• Don’t drink caffeine (including tea and soft drinks) four to six hours before bedtime.
• Regular exercise like walking will reduce stress hormones and help you sleep better. But don’t exercise within two hours of bedtime. You may have more difficulty falling asleep.
• Don’t nap late in the afternoon.
• Stop working on any task an hour before bedtime to calm your brain.
• Don’t discuss emotional issues right before bedtime.
• Keep pets outside your sleeping area if you can.
• Make sure your bedroom is well ventilated and at a comfortable temperature.
• Learn a relaxation technique like meditation or progressive relaxation.
CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME: I have written about this syndrome as being connected with the Epstein-Barr Virus and an under-active thyroid and stressed adrenals. Even a small dose of Armour Thyroid (30mgs) can dramatically improve this condition. Remember, blood tests are USELESS! You must get a HORMONE SALIVA TEST to determine thyroid function. Even testing your own body temperature can show this better than a blood test. Many gynecologists can order these tests.
☼ ARMOUR THYROID CRISIS:
I have been telling everyone to take Armour Thyroid for thyroid issues and low body temperature. I learned that the US pharmaceutical companies stopped making Armour Thyroid for a time. A woman sent me this information and she tells me that she now has to order this medication from www.CanadaDrugs.com It is called simply Thyroid Hormone. You need your doctor to Fax the prescription.
NOTE: Some compounding pharmacies are now producing this product themselves.
IMPORTANT: Armour is being replaced by the chemical form of thyroid, Levothyroxine. Personally, until I can obtain a Canadian prescription, I am taking RAW THYROID as a supplement. I take about 5 pills plus 2 Raw Adrenal (in waves, a week on and a week off) to stave off CFS.
NOTE: My acupuncturist told me that Armour was pulled because of a disease affecting the swine liver. The substitute did not work. And, I saw that the Thyroid and Adrenal supplements at the Vitamin Stores no longer contained raw glandular. I am still using Nutri-Meds.
ATTENTION: When purchasing Raw Thyroid and Raw Adrenal, make sure that the product contains ONLY thyroid and adrenal. Natural Sources, a brand that I used to endorse, has changed their formula and these no longer contain the specific glandular extract.
CURRENTLY: I found a product online from Nutri-Meds and they have a raw thyroid product with 138mgs of raw thyroid. You can choose cow or pork. I chose pork, since it is better assimilated.
I do not feeel a surge of energy but my body temperature is up to 98.4 and this is a miracle! Even the old Armour did not do this!
I take Solar Ray Raw Adrenal as it is the least expensive but I tell everyone that Adrenal supplements must be taken in waves, not everyday.
CFS & WEAK HEART MUSCLE: There is a new type of CFS, a syndrome whereby the body becomes fatigued into order to protect itself against a heart attack. Most heart tests, EKG etc, do not give correct information. Symptoms are basically the only clue to this condition – spikes in blood pressure, unable to build muscle through strength exercises, sensitivity to temperature, respiratory problems (breathing), and thyroid issues. Many doctors are now examining this new type of heart condition. There is a free book for downloading:http://drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/CFS_-_CFS_Book_published_by_Dr_Sarah_Myhill ATTENTION: Friends with this have obtained miraculous improvement in their health using Steven Sinatra’s remedies. The first sign was overcoming the Chronic Fatigue.
NEW COLD & FLU IMMUNE SUPPLEMENT:
The US immune health segment has a new entrant, as Frutarom USA announces the launch of a standardized Pelargonium root extract, for use as a stand-alone or in more extensive immune health formulations. The extract, called EFLA956, is said to reduce the severity and duration of the common cold and associated symptoms, including sore throat, stuffy nose, cough and mucus build-up. The study also notes that the extract has been used against infectious diseases of the respiratory tract – conditions that affect adults between two and four times a year, and children up to 10 times per year. The extract is said to act in three ways: As an antimicrobial, antiviral and as a mediator of the body’s own immune-defense mechanisms. According to Frutarom, the ingredient is standardized on Umckalin, a constituent unique to Pelargonium sidoides. It can be formulated into syrups, softgels, OTC preparations and tablets, said the company, and it comes as a powder.
NUTRITION & AUTISM: Research has shown that women who take pre-natal type vitamins 3 months before conception and follow through after conception have a greatly reduced change of having the baby develop autism. See Life Extension articles.
YEAST & PARASITES: From Jenna Henderson (listed in My Favorite Professionals) – “With yeast problems, I think it is important to change the internal environment, to make it less hospitable to yeast. Long term antifungals can be damaging. I think the missing aspect with yeast is temperature. Yeast tends to grow where it’s cooler than normal body temperature – toenails and vaginal areas.
In Traditional Chinese medicine, a white tongue of oral thrush is considered internal coldness. A lot of people with candida also have thyroid/low body temperature issues. So that’s what I’d look at first.
NOTE: I have postings on Low Body Temperature/Wilson’s Syndrome all through my Common Cures.
PLATLETTE INCREASE (due to radiation) – a personal testimonial: I was able to increase my levels by taking higher amounts of CHLOROPHYLL. There are many ways to get chlorophyll — by eating a lot of green leafy vegetables and high amounts of blue green algae. In addition, I ate a lot of papaya leaf juice
Two of my friends were admitted to the hospital last year and we helped out by making for them, fresh juices from papaya leaves. Papaya leaf is known to contain very high amounts of vitamins A, C, E, K, B Complex and especially high in B17 (laetrile, which is used for the treatment of cancer).
After taking the papaya leaf juice, my friend’s blood platelets count increased rapidly and they were out of the hospital within days. One of them reported their platelets count at a dangerous level of only 8 (normal count is 150 and above). One week after she was discharged, her platelets count shot up to above 300.
I was able to increase mine after having radiation from proton beam for melanoma eye cancer in six months to normal so it worked for me! My Traditional Doctor said that nothing could be done.
• A National Cancer Institute-funded study reported online in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research shows that sulforaphane, a compound that occurs in cruciferous vegetables including broccoli and cauliflower, targets cancer cells by inhibiting a family of enzymes known as histone deacetylases (HDACs) while leaving healthy cells alone. Histone deacetylase inhibitors help turn on tumor suppressor genes that are silenced in cancer cells, restoring normal function.
• CANCER & SELINIUM: A doctor appearing on The Today Show said that Brazil nuts have a lot of selenium and selenium protects the body against many forms of cancer.
LITHIUM: Lithium, used to treat bipolar disorder, prevents the buildup of toxic proteins and cell loss associated with Parkinson’s disease, U.S. researchers say. Lead author Julie Andersen of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging says preclinical research is under way to determine correct dosages for the drug and the Buck Institute is working toward initiating Phase IIa clinical studies of lithium in humans in conjunction with standard Parkinson’s disease drug therapy.
“This is the first time lithium has been tested in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease,” Andersen says in a statement. “The fact that lithium’s safety profile in humans is well understood greatly reduces trial risk and lowers a significant hurdle to getting it into the clinic.”
“The possibility that lithium could be effective in Parkinson’s disease patients at subclinical levels is exciting, because it would avoid many side effects associated at the higher dose range,” Anderson says. “Overuse of lithium has been linked to hyperthyroidism and kidney toxicity.”
According to Edgar Cayce, Lithia Water (purchase from the Heritage Store in Virginia Beach VA) is helpful with depression. Others have commented that carrying Lepidolite (the mineral Lithium) around the neck or in their pocket is very helpful with some types of depression. Here, we are seeing that research also connects this product with Parkinson’s Disease, as a remedy. Parkinson’s Disease is associated with the Frontal Lobe of the Brain.
N-ACETYLCYSTEINE & RESPIRATORY HEALTH: N-acetylcysteine is an antioxidant1 sold in supplement form. Also referred to as N-Acetyl Cysteine (or NAC), N-acetyl-cysteine is converted by the body into an amino acid called cysteine. In turn, cysteine helps produce glutathione, an antioxidant that plays a key role in regulating many cellular functions and helps keep the immune system2 in check. Proponents claim that taking N-acetylcysteine supplements can protect against a wide range of health problems.
• chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)
• cystic fibrosis
• high cholesterol4
• HIV and AIDS
• Lou Gehrig’s disease
Additionally, some proponents claim that N-acetylcysteine can help prevent cancer.
Health Benefits of N-Acetylcysteine
Here’s a look at some key research findings:
1) N-Acetylcysteine and Chronic Bronchitis
N-Acetylcysteine may help keep chronic bronchitis in check, according to a 2000 report in Clinical Therapeutics. Looking at data from eight clinical trials, the report’s authors found that long-term use of N-acetylcysteine may help prevent acute flare-ups of chronic bronchitis and, in turn, lower healthcare costs.
2) N-Acetylcysteine and Diabetes
N-Acetylcysteine may aid in diabetes5 management, suggests a 2006 study from the Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology. Involving 32 patients with type 2 diabetes and 15 healthy controls, the study found that three months of treatment with N-acetylcysteine helped regulate glutathione levels in diabetes patients. The study’s authors suggest that regulating glutathione levels may help protect against diabetic complications brought on by free radical-induced6 damage.
3) N-Acetylcysteine and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
N-Acetylcysteine may help treat polycystic ovary syndrome7 (PCOS), according to a 2007 study in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica. For one menstrual cycle, 573 PCOS patients were treated with clomiphene citrate (a drug commonly used to induce ovulation). Next, 470 of these patients took a combination of N-acetylcysteine and clomiphene citrate for another menstrual cycle. Study results revealed that ovulation rates improved significantly after the addition of N-acetylcysteine.
RESPIRATORY AILMENTS & BRONCHITIS:
There is an herb that grows wild called Lamb’s Ear. I grow the European version called MagentaSpreen. Made as a tea, it is a very old fashioned European cure for these problems.
HEPATITIS C: Hepatitis C is an insidious viral disease because most people are unaware of their initial infection. Instead, the acute phase usually passes with minimal symptoms before turning into chronic hepatitis C infection. Many people have the disease for decades before it is diagnosed. Often people are diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C as a result of blood work performed for other medical conditions.
Chronic hepatitis C is dangerous because the virus causes high levels of free radicals to form in the liver. These free radicals put serious oxidative stress on the liver, which depletes protective antioxidants in the liver and eventually kills the liver cells. The disease is characterized by periods of fluctuating liver damage, with flare-ups of acute hepatitis over the course of the infection. Over time, this steady attack on the liver causes scar tissue (fibrosis), which can lead to cirrhosis if left untreated. The following supplements have been shown to reduce liver oxidative damage, lower iron, and boost the effectiveness of conventional drugs:
• Calcium citrate—1000 to 2000 milligrams (mg) daily with iron-containing foods to block iron absorption
• Lactoferrin—900 mg daily, to block iron, in divided doses
• Lipoic acid—750 mg in three divided doses daily
• NAC—600 mg daily
• Whey protein isolate—20 to 40 grams (g) daily
• Glutathione—500 mg daily, on an empty stomach
• Silibinin extract—900 mg daily, in two divided doses
• SAMe—1200 mg daily, in three divided doses
• PPC—1800 to 3600 mg daily
• Green tea extract (93 percent polyphenols)—750 mg daily
• Garlic (high allicin)—900 mg daily
• Aged garlic extract (Kyolic®)—1200 mg daily
• Selenium—200 to 600 micrograms (mcg) daily
• Vitamin E—400 international units (IU) daily with at least 200 mg gamma tocopherol
• Vitamin C—2000 mg daily (on an empty stomach to minimize the increased iron absorption)
NOTE: This information comes from the Life Extension Foundation. In their research, it has been found that Omega-3, Selenium and SAMe prevent Liver Cancer and the growth of these cells.
EDGAR CAYCE & THE CASTOR OIL PACKS: These were often recommended for cysts, to detox the liver and to stimulate the lymphatic system. Information can be obtained from this link: http://home.earthlink.net/~jimrharris/tecr.html
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS-SCLERODERMA-SKIN DISEASES: There is a famous Alternative Medical doctor in Bethesda MD. For such diseases, he strongly recommends Food Elimination Diet. His diet is brown rice and vegetables. There are other Food Elimination Diets. For me, it takes 2 weeks for the symptoms to improve. Here are other links for similar diets:
• email@example.com (this outline of reactive foods can be found on my Medical Forum)
ADRENAL/THYROID SUPPLEMENTATION: I have written in the various Common Cures posts that, after Armour Thyroid was taken off the market, it was replaced with an Armour Thyroid that is not the same at all. With so many complaints, Armour has returned to his original formula.
I Googled for a Raw Thyroid and Adrenal and I found a company, NutriMeds (www.nutri-meds.com), that sells these products from either swine (more readily absorbable) and bovine/cow. I took 4 Raw Thyroid and, while I did not feel the surge of energy that I experienced the first time I took the original Armour Thyroid, my body temperature is normal – something that I did not achieve on Armour.
REMEMBER: Adrenal should be taken in waves a few days on and a few days off. If you take it every day forever, it just will not work any more.
CHOLESTEROL LOWERING SUPPLEMENTS THAT WORK:
Milk Thistle – repairs and detoxifies the liver; Red Yeast Rice – cleans cholesterol out; Omega-3 – lubricates arteries
NATURAL CURES FOR PHOBIAS, ANXIETY DISORDERS & PANIC ATTACKS:
Dr. Jamison Starbuck listed her recommendations. I am very familiar with these techniques and I highly endorse what she says –
• EMDR Technique – Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing, a mental reprocessing of a phobia reinforced by eye movements. This is done by a health professional. It is the “mother” of the tapping technique known as EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique. I had a friend with severe agoraphobia and she was completely cured of this life-long disorder within 6 weeks.
• GABA – this is a supplement which can be purchased at most health food stores. It calms the brain and gives a sense of well-being while maintaining mental alertness. It is not absorbed well as a pill. Buy it as an under-the-tongue supplement. Take 200 mgs 3 times a day. GABA is also a remedy for the Drama Queen Dysfunction – Drama Queens have too little GABA and too much Dopamine.
• RESCUE REMEDY – This is a Bach Flower essence that can also be purchased at health food stores. It even works on stressed animals. Take 4 drops under the tongue 15 minutes before starting a fear-inducing event. Repeat every 15 minutes.
• Strength Training and Aerobic Exercise – Becoming physically strong helps the individual to become mentally strong and these give a sense of control in the life.
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM – WEST NILE VIRUS – LYME and other bacterial/viral protections: Natural references I’ve seen online for West Nile Virus are: Olive leaf extract (immune protection and heart issues), organic Oregano oil, organic Virgin Coconut oil. Also recommended are mega doses of Vitamin C, Grapefruit Seed Extract , Colloidal Silver, Garlic and Glutathione.
A medical doctor in New Mexico has recommended the supplement, IMMUPLEX, for a friend with a highly compromised immune system. When I looked up this product, which is available at AMAZOM.com, it contains raw Thymus (anti-viral/anti-bacterial gland) and Spleen (blood/immune system). Some only take 1 daily but, for the severely compromised, 6 daily is recommended