Sunday, June 24, 2012

Onions and Other Home Remedies

The value of onions were brought again to me in a article called "Home Remedies: 6 Timeless Home Remedies Doctors Still Love" by Stephanie Woodard on the on-line Yahoo Health net.

I remember my father, long passed now, picking onions and tomatoes from the garden and eating them raw for his lunch or dinner. Same with Cucumbers. He would pick on, slice it up, use a little salt and make it his dinner. He lives to be 84 years old active and working until his last day.

Here is the article, can go to the original article to see pictures of the plants:

During the past century, Americans have embraced modern pharmaceutical science and the lifesaving medicines it has produced. But in the process, we've relegated to folklore the cures our grandparents relied on.

As it turns out, that trove is rich with effective remedies. In fact, even modern medicine relies on plants more than many of us realize, says Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD, senior attending pharmacist at Massachusetts General Hospital and chief editor of publications for the Natural Standard Research Collaboration, which evaluates scientific data on herbs.

"Practically all of the most widely used drugs have an herbal origin," Ulbricht says. "The number one OTC medication, aspirin, is a synthetic version of a compound found in the willow tree. Many statins are based on fungi; and Tamiflu originated from Chinese star anise." Following, you'll find a host of age-old remedies whose remarkable effectiveness has been confirmed by new research. Because botanical medicines can interact with other drugs, consult your doctor before taking them. The exceptions are the common food items--onions, parsley, and cayenne--when consumed in natural form and conventional amounts.

Lemon Balm
Tradition says: Melissa officinalis, a lemon-scented member of the mint family, has long been used to banish anxiety, boost memory, and aid sleep and digestion. It is "good against the biting of venomous beasts, comforts the heart, and driveth away all melancholy and sadnesse," wrote Elizabethan-era herbalist John Gerard in 1597.

Research proves: Got a presentation or other stress-filled occasion? As in days of old, a tea made of lemon balm may help you sleep soundly the night before and keep you calm and focused, says a 2003 article in Neuropsychopharmacology. Research suggests this plant is effective in extreme situations too. Four weeks of lemon balm aromatherapy cut agitation in patients with severe dementia, reports a 2002 study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Lemon balm appears to calm an overactive thyroid (Graves' disease), according to Eric Yarnell, ND, an assistant professor of botanical medicine at Bastyr University. It also fights viruses; recent studies indicate that lemon balm cream speeds healing of oral herpes lesions and reduces the frequency of outbreaks.

Get the benefit: For lemon balm's calming effects, try a daily tea made with one-half to one full dropper of tincture or 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried herb steeped in 1 cup of hot water for 5 to 10 minutes, says herbalist Linda Different Cloud, a PhD candidate in ethnobotany at Montana State University. Ask your doctor first if you take thyroid medication, as the botanical may change the amount you need.

Tradition says: Onions are considered cure-alls in many cultures. In Middle Eastern traditional medicine, they were prescribed for diabetes. During the early 20th century in the United States, William Boericke, MD, recommended onions for respiratory and digestive problems in his influential medical treatise, Homeopathic Materia Medica. Believing that onions would help improve athletic performance, ancient Greek Olympians scarfed them down, drank their juice, and rubbed them on their bodies before competitions.

Research proves: A stack of new studies has confirmed many old-time uses of onions. Their thiosulfinates (sulfur compounds responsible for their smell) reduce diabetes symptoms and protect against cardiovascular disease. Quercetin, a flavonoid found in onions, prevents the inflammation associated with allergies and also protects against stomach ulcers and colon, esophageal, and breast cancers. And it looks like the ancient Olympians had it right: A 2010 study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that quercetin extract increased endurance by 13%.

Get the benefit: Onions may keep the doctor away even better than apples do. Your body absorbs quercetin from onions at least 3 times faster than it does from apples (or from tea, another top source), says a report for the Federation of European Biochemical Societies. To get the most thiosulfinates, choose red or yellow onions. "The more colorful, the better," says Michael Havey, PhD, a USDA geneticist and University of Wisconsin professor of horticulture. Heat diminishes the thiosulfinates, so eat onions raw or lightly cooked, Havey adds. "Make them a regular part of a vegetable- and fruitfilled diet."

Cayenne Peppers
Tradition says: Columbus is credited with transporting cayenne peppers--also called chiles, after their Aztec name, chil--from the New World to the Old. Consumed in the Americas for some 7,000 years, the fiery-flavored pods reminded the explorer of black pepper, a highly prized--and pricey--spice in Europe at the time. The easy-to-grow chile quickly assumed a central role in traditional cookery and remedies worldwide; folk medicine practitioners used it for everything from pain relief to aphrodisiacs.

Research proves: Capsaicin, the ingredient that gives cayenne its heat, is best known today for pain relief--easing muscle aches, postoperative discomfort, and arthritis. Studies show that it tamps down chemical messengers that transmit pain messages in the brain. The latest research indicates that the sizzling spice may also assist in weight control. A 2009 paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that capsaicin-related compounds helped people lose abdominal fat. Cayenne also appears to control blood sugar. Study participants who ate a lunch containing capsaicin had higher blood levels of a sugar-regulating hormone and less ghrelin, the "hunger hormone," than those who ate a bland meal, reported the European Journal of Nutrition last year.

Get the benefit: For pain relief, follow package instructions on OTC capsaicin ointments and creams, including Zostrix or Capzasin-HP Arthritis Pain Relief, available in drugstores or online. No dose has been established for weight control; however, cayenne peppers are on the FDA's Generally Recognized As Safe list, so add fresh chiles to taste in your favorite dishes (or, more conveniently, powdered cayenne, available in supermarkets). Chop finely, then cook them in soups and stews or add them uncooked to salad dressings.

Tradition says: Plantain, or Plantago major, a low-growing, oval-leafed plant found all over the globe, is a traditional remedy for skin ailments. Hildegard von Bingen, a 12th-century Benedictine abbess, healer, composer, and eventually saint, suggested applying it to insect bites in her renowned medical treatise, Physica. Native Americans apply plantain poultices to insect stings, wounds, burns, and more, says Different Cloud, who lives on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North and South Dakota. (Note: Do not confuse this leafy plant with a very different, banana-like tropical fruit that happens to have the same name.)

Research proves: The plant's antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties help heal breaks in the skin, researchers have found. Its soothing effects work internally too: Psyllium, the seed of one type of plantain, is the source of the fiber in some laxatives.

Get the benefit: Plantain is difficult to identify, so you're best off buying it from an herbalist. Different Cloud recommends steeping 1/2 cup of dried plantain in 2 cups of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Dip a clean cloth or compress in the warm liquid and place on skin for up to 30 minutes, changing cloths and repeating as necessary. For poison ivy, try Tecnu Rash Relief spray, which contains skin-calming plantain and the traditional itch-relieving herb Grindelia, available at drugstores or online.

Tradition says: Parsley root can be used for diseases of the urinary tract, wrote botanist and apothecary John Parkinson in a treatment recommendation he prepared for the Queen of England in 1629. Centuries later, Boericke's Homeopathic Materia Medica recommended parsley for urinary tract ailments, as did The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, a manual of the Eclectics, a group of US physicians who practiced from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s and were famous for their use of North American botanicals. Of course, after you've eaten all those onions, you'll also need this breath freshener of yore. "The strong smell of onions is quite taken away by the eating of parsley leaves," counseled Parkinson.

Research proves: According to Yarnell's 2002 World Journal of Urology review of several animal studies, parsley roots do increase urine output. The German Commission E, a regulatory body, has approved the plant for cystitis and other urinary tract disorders.

Get the benefit: If you have a urinary tract infection, try drinking three daily cups of tea, each made with 2 g of common parsley (you don't need just the roots), or taking 2 to 4 ml of tincture 3 times each day for the duration of the condition. To benefit the urinary tract long-term, eat parsley leaves regularly, advises Yarnell. Munch on the sprig decorating your restaurant meal; at home, add chopped leaves to omelets, salads, and hot dishes. One more benefit of eating it: Parkinson's breath-freshening advice will work as well for you as it did for the Queen of England, thanks to parsley's odor-zapping chlorophyll.

Tradition says: From China to Europe to Native America, herbalists have used hawthorn's green leaves, white or pink flowers, and tart red fall berries to strengthen cardiovascular health. "It acts on the muscle of the heart," explained Boericke in the early 20th century; he suggested prescribing it when "heart muscles seem flabby, worn out." Scientists date the use of this shrub to at least the first century, when Dioscorides, a famed Roman physician, wrote of it in De Materia Medica, which became the most influential medical treatise of the next 16 centuries.

Research proves: Recent studies back up the old-time uses, indicating that antioxidant compounds in hawthorn relax arterial-wall muscles, increasing blood flow to the heart and preventing or reducing symptoms of coronary artery disease. Studies also show that the flavonoids may both prevent and treat additional cardiac ailments, including congestive heart failure. An analysis of existing studies done in 2008 by Cochrane Researchers found that hawthorn extract increases the heart's strength and exercise tolerance, diminishes its oxygen needs, and reduces cardiac patients' shortness of breath.

Get the benefit: If you have a cardiac condition, such as CAD, high blood pressure, or congestive heart failure, you should be under the care of a health care professional, who can advise you what form to take--tea, tincture, or capsule. Studies showing benefits for the heart used 60 mg doses 3 times a day.

Where to find botanicals, Purchase dried herbs, tinctures, and other nonfood herbal items mentioned here:
Jean's Greens (518-479-0471; or
Starwest Botanicals (800- 800-4372;

To grow herbs, find seeds at Horizon Herbs (541-846-6704; And remember: When looking for a plant in the wild, bring along a field guide or other visual aid.

For Information on the Products I recommend, click here, to contact me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Obesity- An American Epidemic

From an article titled "Obesity: A Big Fat Problem For America’s Future" by Siemond Chan of The Exchange. The full article with more graphs and information can be found here.

On average an obese person pays $1,429 more in health care costs than normal weight people:

Medicare pays $1,723 more for obese beneficiaries than normal weight people.

Medicaid pays $1,021 more for obese beneficiaries than normal weight people.

Private insureres pay $1,140 for obese beneficiaries than normal weight people

In 2003, as much as $75 billion of the nation's public health costs, half of which are publically funded (read by tax payer dollars), was attributable to obesity. If obesity continues at it's epidemic pace, the projected health care costs will soar to $343 billion by 2018.

Comments from the article on Yahoo are interesting:

Laurie Foster · Ithaca College Americans are obese because we are sold and consume products that are not real food! Look at this country in the 70's before slick marketing execs and fat cat CEO's developed ways to sell you butter "flavored", cheese "food", and hydrogenated oils... no obese people! Look at your peanut butter! It contains no peanut oil! They take it out and sell it at profit and replace with less healthy and less expensive oils. Chains restaurants are poisoning you for $9.95 a meal! Anything in sealed plastic that does not expire until 2016 is poison. It just makes the companies who paid a CHEMIST to make the "food" rich! We are being poisoned day and night by plastics, fragrances, and fake food but our government does nothing because they are slave to super wealthy companies who can hire super expensive lobbyists. Did you know that the cost to make a Pringles package tube costs more than the Pringles inside? Wake up! Fight back! We need do something!

David Kinsey · Account Executive at Kinsey and Kinsey
You are all dummies. Businesses sell these things because the market dictates their sale. You can stop eating manufactured food products really easily, BY NOT BUYING THEM. Quit wasting your efforts on blaming the government and look at what you have in the cabinets and in your refrigerator. The longer Americans continue to purchase over processed food the more of it we are going to get. You can't demand the cheapest goods, then complain because you got fat, and whine about the ingredients in those goods. Who cares how much it costs to make Pringles, don't buy them! Spend a dollar more on healthy options and a thousand less in healthcare expenditures.

For Information on the Products I recommend, click here, to contact me.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

They Still Don't Get It

This past Sunday I was watching the cable news programs and tuned into a group of Doctors discussing why degenerative diseases, including arthritis, athrosceleosis, diabetes and other common ailments that, in the past, have been usually associated with older people are now turning up in epidemic porportion in much younger people today,..some times in teenagers.
As I watched the round table discussion I was amazed and perturbed at the same time to hear the Doctors make statements to the effect: "A sedentary lifestyle is causing a large porportion of these degenerative diseases," "One of the keys is to start getting medical screening as much younger ages," "People need to know the 'at risk' factors and be pro-active discussing this with your Doctors,".....

Not once did I hear any of the Doctors say anything about the importance of good nutrition.
Not once did I hear any of the Doctors talk about the importance of taking quality nutritional supplements to ensure you get the required nutrients in the required doses.
Nor did I hear any of the Doctors mention avoiding common toxins.

What this means is that each of us has to be responsible enough as individuals to cast about and search ernestly for the answers. Each of us has to be individually responsible for our health and well being.

Doctors,...God bless 'em, I know some dog gone good ones and Doctors in general certainly save many lives each and every day, but they are in the business of treating symptoms not the cause...most of them anyway.

Take charge of your health. Make today the first day in a Healthy Lifestyle for the rest of your life.

For Information on the Products I recommend, click here, to contact me.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Big Brother FDA

Message from Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky regarding Senate Bill, S. 3187, titled the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) User Fee Re-authorization Bill:  

Imagine gun toting agents from the Food and Drug Administration storming onto your property because you choose to sell raw milk. Think this can’t happen? Think again. FDA agents have been barging in to farms and natural food stores to crack down on individuals whose only crime is believing they know better than the government what was good for their health. 

Last week, I (Sen Rand Paul) offered an amendment to the Food and Drug re-authorization Bill. My amendment would curb the FDA’s abuse of power and overreach. It would disarm the FDA, terminate FDA raids on Amish farmers and natural food stores, and put an end to their censorship of dietary supplements. Watch Rand Paul on the video below. I believe his efforts are in the best interests of Americans who favor choice and self responsibility for their health and life styles. 

For Information on the Products I recommend, click here, to contact me.