I think it's an appropriate time to write about a herb that is useful for the prevention and treatment viral infections.
We all know about echinacea and the fantastic benefits in the prevention of cold and flu, but one of the most underrated herbs that can also be used grows right in our forests and marshes.
Eupatorium perfoliatum (Boneset) is a beautiful three-branched, white flowered plant that grows along creeks and marshes and can grow up to 5 feet tall.
This plant is native to North America and flowers and matures from the mid-summer to fall.
It is one of the most coveted cold and flu remedy by Native medicine has been used extensively throughout Europe for these properties.
Parts Used: Aerial parts, tops and flowers. Best to harvest when it first blooms.
Uses for Boneset
Boneset is very bitter (due to the constituents, sesquiterpene lactones), and has a strong profile of medicinal constituents so is not typically eaten as food.
Colds, Flus and Fevers:
Boneset is considered a panacea for treating acute and viral infections by traditional native medicine.
It was historically used to treat bone-break fevers, fevers caused by Dengue fever so intense that it was described like pain as if your bones are breaking, hence the common name.
Since then it has been traditionally used to treat any fever-inducing infection - this property is called a diaphoretic, in which it makes a person sweat during a fever, allowing the fever to break.
This is a great remedy for those with intermittent fevers where the fever produced is never strong enough to actually kill off the infection and break, causing the a person to stay ill for longer periods of time.
Boneset is thought to induce a fever by activating the immune system through stimulating white blood cells to fight off the infection. This herb also exhibits anti-microbial and anti-malarial properties, but more research is needed to confirm these effects.
Despite the presence of only preliminary evidence, Boneset is considered one of the best treatments for cold and flu by traditional herbalists, with many case reports revealing the powerful activity of this herb against cold and flus.
This warrants better and more detailed investigation of this herb by researchers interested in herbal remedies in infections.
Boneset is a good alternative to the herb Echinacea as Echinacea only tends to be strongly effective when taken at the beginning stages of the flu, while Boneset works well for beginning stages as well as during the active, mid-flu stages.
Boneset has also been traditionally used to treat arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
A number of constituents present in Eupatorium perfoliatum have been found to exhibit strong anti-inflammatory activity by inhibiting the formation of a inflammatory factor, NF-Kappa-.
Boneset is taken in both tincture and tea/infusion forms.
Traditionally, hot infusions are taken for acute conditions when the patient needs to increase their body temperature for the fever to break and kill off the infection.
Then a cold infusion is taken as a tonic when the body needs to heal after the fever has broken.
The cold infusion in general is taken when the body is weak, making it a more suitable form for those feeling fatigued and pained.
As mentioned the book Medical Herbalism: Materia Medica and Pharmacy, this very dichotomy ofadministration represents the signature what the herb is meant to treat - dual symptoms (ie fevers and chills from infection).
The tincture is administered by drops as this herb is considered very strong and does not need to be given in high doses.
This herb is to be taken in small amounts - it has a powerful emetic effect, which makes a person vomit and does have laxative effect.
These effects were actually used medicinally by traditional herbalists to help a sick person detoxify, but is considered undesirable effect in modern medicine.
For this reason, never take this herb unless you're being monitored and treated by a healthcare professional who is familiar with the specific dosing of this herb.
If you're interested in learning more about how to use this effective herb during the upcoming cold and flu season, feel free to book an appointment.
If you're curious to learn more about this subject or would like to consult with one of our NDs feel free to book a visit or contact us.
Results Are In: First-Ever AIP Medical Study
After a year of waiting, the results of the first-ever medical study of the Autoimmune Protocol are out! And they are even better than we hoped. Read our summary here.Sneak peek: this proportion of participants with active IBD achieving clinical remission by week 6 [of the study] rivals that of most drug therapies for IBD.
All-New AIP Resources Page
We've been working hard on revamping our Resources page so we can better direct you to the books, resources and tools that have madeour AIP journeys easier. We're soexcited to unveil it!
Check out our list of the best kitchen tools, AIP cookbooks, podcasts, food purveyors, Hashi's resources, and so much more! Click here.
AIP Meetup Groups
Find a local networking group centered around the Autoimmune Protocol! Be advised that these are not disease-specific support groups, but are to facilitate in-person networking and support for those on or considering the Autoimmune Protocol. Each group has their own moderation and rules for membership, but generally they are private and supportive of those on their healing journeys. Know that this listing does not imply endorsement by Autoimmune Paleo, groups are not run by us, and your request to join and any information you may encounter in these groups is at your own risk.
If possible, please request membership in a group local to where you live - after all, the whole idea is to get together with others in your community who are facing similar challenges! Health coaches, practitioners, online marketers, and others trying to sell their products, know that many of these groups are well moderated and solicitation will not be tolerated. If there isn't a group near you, consider starting your own and letting us know about it on our contact page!
In the U.S., when people hear the word asbestos, the first thing that comes to mind is cancer. So, it may surprise you that this way of thinking is not universal, particularly in Russia where the asbestos industry is not only alive, but thriving. The term asbestos is used to describe six types of asbestos minerals: chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite and actinolite - all of which are carcinogenic to humans.1
Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral used worldwide in a variety of commercial products, is so toxic that even low-level exposure can cause lung cancer and other terminal diseases, including mesothelioma, a rare but aggressive form of cancer that can develop in the lungs, stomach or heart. Victims who contract this disease have a very low survival rate.2
Although many believe asbestos production is a thing of the past, the world's asbestos industry remains profitable in many nations including in the U.S., Russia, China and India. The featured film, an episode of VICE Reports titled, Why the Deadly Asbestos Industry Is Still Alive and Well, reveals that despite the health dangers, 2 million tons of asbestos are exported every year to the developing world, where it's highly unregulated and poses serious health risks.
In the film, VICE correspondent Milne Larsson travels to the world's largest asbestos mine in Asbest, Russia. Asbest, which is Russian for asbestos, lies on the eastern slopes of the Ural Mountains and is home to 70,000 people - nearly all of whom are financially dependent on the asbestos mine.
Russian Mining Town Showcases Its Pride for Asbestos
Asbestos, which occurs as a long thin fiber in the environment, kills more than 100,00 people each year and is banned in 60 countries.3 Yet, Russia remains the world's largest producer, exporting more than half of the world's asbestos supply. If asbestos is so toxic, why is it still being used? What health effects are workers and residents living near asbestos mines experiencing?
VICE reporter Larsson set out to answer these questions and more by traveling to Asbest, Russia, where she observed firsthand the mining industry's powerful influence over the city and its citizens. Seventy percent of the income in Asbest is dependent on the mine, she reports, which is owned by the Russian mining company Uralasbest. In Asbest, the asbestos industry is king.
The city's pride for the industry can be seen in large asbestos-promoting banners hung all over town. Asbest even has an asbestos-themed anthem and a monument made of asbestos, symbolizing the city's strange admiration for the deadly carcinogen. The first place Larsson visits is the asbestos mine, where half a million tons of asbestos are mined each year.
She is seen standing at the edge of the mine, which is about half the size of the island of Manhattan,4 wearing head-to-toe protective gear - what's legally required in the U.S. and Europe when exposed to asbestos.
Locals, on the other hand, are seen in plain clothes, marveling at the view of the mine as if it's their favorite pastime. The locals point and laugh at Larsson's hazmat suit, making light of what they perceive to be overly cautious attire. Are you not worried about the dust and asbestos fibers coming out of the mine? she asks. No, we're not worried about anything in general, they reply. Things happen to you only when you are afraid of them.
Russia Embraces Asbestos Despite Health Risks
Despite their remarks, the scientific literature overwhelmingly states that all levels of asbestos exposure may cause asbestos-related disease, and there is no safe level of exposure according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.5 It's clear that the people of Asbest are not afraid of the mine, however. In fact, it's viewed as a popular tourist attraction and a hot spot for taking wedding photos.
To showcase its long history with asbestos, the city has an asbestos history museum, which the VICE reporter visits to get a better handle on the community's relationship with the asbestos industry.
The historian tells Larsson that Russia's first asbestos depository was discovered in 1720 by a peasant named Safron Sagra, whose wife is said to have made mittens out of the mineral after he brought it home one night. According to the legend, the couple discovered the fireproof properties of asbestos after the mittens caught fire but did not burn.
News of the mineral's value quickly spread, and by 1918, all of the mines were nationalized and owned by the Russian government. Entire economies were soon built around the asbestos industry, which employs 38,500 Russians. Another 400,000 depend on the asbestos mines for their livelihood, according to The New York Times, which adds:6
Asbest is a legacy of the philosophy known as gigantism in Soviet industrial planning. Many cities wound up with only one, huge factory like this town's sprawling asbestos plant. The cities, known as monotowns, were an important engine of the economy.
A Russian government study counted 467 cities and 332 smaller towns that depend on a single factory or mine. A total of 25 million people out of Russia's population of 142 million people live in towns with only one main industry that cannot close, even if it is polluting.
Today, locals describe a layer of asbestos dust that covers everything from their homes to their vegetable gardens. Yet, many seem unafraid of the health risks of asbestos and instead have accepted the contamination as a way of life.
Good Luck Finding the Truth: Locals in Asbest Are Reluctant to Discuss Health Effects
Determined to speak with someone about the true health effects of asbestos, Larsson meets with a retired mine worker who says he is skeptical of the mineral, but admits it's impossible to know how many workers have been sickened by the mine. Factories are too proud to admit that, he says.
Discouraged by the locals' refusal to talk candidly about the dangers of asbestos, Larsson wonders whether physicians and officials in Russia are aware of the health risks posed to workers and residents living near asbestos mines. So, she visits the Ural Oncology Center in Yekaterinburg, Russia, to meet with oncologist Dr. Sergey Berezin.
Berezin says the most common types of cancer he sees are lung cancer in men and breast cancer in women, but he denies having patients sickened from asbestos. As if that weren't shocking enough, the oncologist admits that he completed his medical residency in the asbestos mining town and found the air to be quite satisfying.
He then leads Larsson to his office where he shows her decorations made from asbestos before stating that his sauna roof in the summer home he's owned for 30 years is made from asbestos. Larsson, whose face is frozen in shock, asks to speak to some of Berezin's patients, but he refuses. So, she heads to the local hospital in Asbest, but getting patients to talk negatively about asbestos proves difficult.
However, one women is heard saying: You won't find the real truth anywhere. Who will say? Everyone is afraid. It quickly becomes clear that no one in Asbest is willing to speak negatively about the mine. The whole town relies on the industry, says Larsson, adding that the mining company owns everything down to the schools, churches and even the soccer team.
World Health Organization Asbestos Researcher Has Industry Ties
Hoping to escape the industry's influence in Asbest, Larsson travels to Moscow to meet with the head of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Dr. Evgeny Kovalevskiy, who is researching worker health in Asbest on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO). When asked if it's dangerous to live next to an asbestos mine, he replies, Life is dangerous. It is hard to measure asbestos' role because the Sverdlovsk Region is nearby and is very industrial. They have serious ecological problems.
Larsson asks Kovalevskiy what his eight years of research has found about the health effects of asbestos, but he again dodges the question saying that like any epidemiological study, the final results will take years. Larsson wonders whether his reluctance to answer is a result of his alleged industry ties. In March 2013, a group of acclaimed scientists petitioned the WHO to end their relationship with Kovalevskiy over ethical questions surrounding his ties to the asbestos industry.
We call on you to terminate IARC's collaboration with the Scientific Research Institute of Occupational Health of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences (RAMS) and with Dr. Evgeny Kovalevskiy because of unethical and improper scientific conduct on their part - conduct which is incompatible with the standards expected of IARC or any reputable scientific agency.7
Developing World Faces an Epidemic of Asbestos-Related Disease
Russia is so protective of its asbestos industry that it has stopped recording mesothelioma as a separate type of cancer and is instead lumping it in with other diseases so that it's no longer identifiable, says Dr. Arthur Frank, professor and chair emeritus of environmental and occupational health at Drexel University. But the absence of data doesn't mean the absence of disease, he says, adding that the asbestos industry is using similar tactics as Big Tobacco in terms of concealing the industry's health risks.
These tactics seem to be working in countries like China and India, which rely heavily on asbestos for building insulation and materials and automotive parts. In India, the asbestos industry provides 300,000 jobs and is worth $2 billion.8 The nation is also the world's largest importer of asbestos, the majority of which it buys from Russia.
Frank predicts that the developing world is on the brink of an epidemic caused by asbestos-related diseases. While the U.S. is not immune to the dangers of asbestos, as it too has seen an epidemic of asbestos-related diseases, it's nothing like what we will see in the developing world, he says.
Thousands of American Products Made With Asbestos
Similar to Russia today, the U.S. once had a booming asbestos industry, mining 137,000 tons at its peak in 1973.9 Deemed the magic mineral, asbestos was used in thousands of American products. It was heavily used by the military to insulate and fireproof ships, tanks, aircrafts and vehicles. The military relied on the mineral so extensively that 33 percent of mesothelioma victims in the U.S. are military veterans.10
However, no one was more affected by the deadly mineral than the residents of Libby, Montana, where asbestos killed hundreds and sickened thousands. The city is home to one of America's worst man-made environmental disasters, notes the film. In 1919, companies began pulling vermiculite, which is often found alongside tremolite - a form of asbestos - from the mine in Libby, Montana. Known commercially as zonolite, vermiculite was used in a variety of construction materials including as insulation for homes and buildings.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that vermiculite was installed in more than 35 million American homes. Decades of mining vermiculite exposed workers and residents to toxic asbestos dust. The film shows Larsson traveling to Libby to speak with victims sickened by asbestos. I just think I've been cheated.
They should've warned the people in this town about the seriousness of it. They got away with murder, says Libby resident Don Munsel, who never worked in the mine but was exposed to asbestos dust carried in from his stepfather who worked in the mine.
Libby Residents Describe the Horror Caused by Asbestos
Larsson also talks with former mine workers Dean and Marilyn Norton who express anger and frustration with W.R. Grace, the company that owned the mine. As beautiful as this country is, it killed us, says Marilyn. I know it's going to kill me, and it's probably going to kill my kids and my husband too, she says, adding that it's really W.R Grace that's responsible. They knew.
The asbestos mined in Libby is a different kind than what's mined in Russia. However, studies show conclusively that all types of asbestos cause cancer. Asbestos is a criminal industry, says Nicholas Ashford, a professor at MIT and former chair of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health.
Fifteen epidemiological societies say the asbestos industry should have been regarded as a hazard, he tells Larsson in the film. When you disregard worker and public health, you're committing murder, says Ashford. You can argue you don't know which worker you're murdering, but as a whole, the statistics are very clear.
Many American Products Still Contain Asbestos
Asbestos is banned in many countries, but the U.S. isn't one of them. While it's not as widely used as it once was, asbestos is permitted in many American products as long as it consists of less than 1 percent asbestos.11 Some of these products include gaskets, roofing and fireproofing materials.
In 1973, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency started banning asbestos-containing products. In 1989, the agency banned most asbestos-containing products under Section 6 of Toxic Substances Control Act. But in 1991, the rule was vacated by the courts. As a result, most of the original ban on the manufacture, importation, processing or distribution of asbestos products was overturned.
Asbestos-containing products that are still legal in the U.S. include clothing, pipeline wrap, vinyl floor tire, friction materials, roof coatings and brake blocks. Asbestos-containing products that are now banned in the U.S. include corrugated paper, rollboard, commercial paper, specialty paper and flooring felt.12 While the last asbestos mine closed in 2002, the U.S. still imports about 1,000 tons of asbestos, most of which comes from Brazil.13
Asbestos' Useful Properties Captivates Humans Throughout History
Throughout history, asbestos and its unique properties has captivated the attention of humans. Its original use dates back to the ancient Greeks, who valued the mineral for its fireproof properties. The word asbestos actually means indistinguishable in ancient Greek. The Greeks used the mineral in the wicks of their eternal flames, and wove the material into garments, napkins and table cloths, which they would throw into the fire and marvel at its unique ability to emerge clean and unburned.14
Despite its harmful properties, the mineral is still used all over the world. American homes built before 1980 still contain asbestos, which can be found in floor tiles, roofs, furnaces, plumbing, appliances, fireplaces and window caulking. People are often exposed when the fibers become dislodged over time due to normal wear and tear.
The U.S. is one of the only developed nations that has not completely banned asbestos. The mineral is prohibited in the EU, U.K. and Australia - with Canada next on the list to phase the mineral out completely by 2018. Attempts to ban asbestos in America have been squashed by the asbestos industry, which cites job losses and negative economic effects as reasons to keep the industry alive.
How to Protect Yourself Against Asbestos
Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself against asbestos exposure. Those most often exposed to asbestos are construction workers who come across the material when working in homes or buildings where it was installed prior to today's regulations. If you suspect you've encountered asbestos, stop working and notify professionals. The safest way to handle asbestos is through a licensed contractor. However, if this isn't possible, taking the following steps can reduce your exposure:15
Wear protective gear including a suitable face mask
Use hand tools instead of power tools to reduce dust
Clean up as you go to prevent waste buildup
Use a Type H vacuum or wet rags to clean up; do not sweep up dust and debris
Walking into the supplement section of any grocery, health food or drug store can be overwhelming to say the least.
The options are endless and the prices are ever increasing.
It's hard to keep track of what Dr. Oz or Dr. Google recommended.
Internet searches often give us expansive lists of contradictory information.
The Nutraceutical industry is rapidly growing and just as profit driven as pharmaceutical industry.
The following article will shed some light on how to approach supplementation in a critical and informed manner.
What are supplements?
In the true sense of the word, supplements are an addition of a macronutrient (protein, fat, carbohydrate) or micronutrient (vitamin or mineral) normally found in the diet.
Supplements can also be pharmaceutically synthesized molecules that are naturally occurring or built in the body (like GABA- a neurotransmitter or melatonin- a molecule involved in sleep).
Unlike drugs, whose components are synthesized and not found in the diet or naturally occurring within the body, supplements contain molecules which the body inherently knows how to absorb, metabolize and incorporate into physiological processes.
Drugs often change or inhibit a naturally occurring process, whereas supplementation corrects for deficiencies and optimizes inherent function.
What supplements should I actually be taking?
It depends. Each person has unique requirements based on individual factors and intended effect.
Most commonly, supplementation is indicated in cases of deficiency (common deficiencies include: iron, B12, vitamin D).
Symptoms vary depending on which nutrients are deficient. Deficiency can be caused by inadequate dietary sources or decreased absorption due to digestive dysfunction.
Many medications also deplete certain nutrients (the birth control pill for example, depletes vitamin B6). Many vitamins act as cofactors: molecules that make reactions happen- analogous to a catalyst in an engine.
As such, supplementation can also be used to up-regulate processes in the body.
For example, vitamin B6 is required for the synthesis of serotonin from the amino acid tryptophan.
Continuing with the car analogy, if we supplement with tryptophan, the gas, and B6, the catalyst, theoretically we should have increased serotonin- or a smoothly running car.
On the other (pharmaceutical) hand, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs/antidepressants) work by altering receptors so that more serotonin remains available.
How do I know how much to take?
Like pharmaceuticals, you need to take specific dosages of supplements in order for them to have their intended therapeutic effect.
Furthermore, many supplements have misleading dosing information on their labels.
For example, the therapeutic value fish oil lies in its omega-3 content (EPA and DHA). A 1000 mg Jameson fish oil has 180 mg EPA and 120 DHA mg in one capsule where as a professional line has 600 mg and 400 mg respectively.
You would need to take at least 3 capsules of Jameson brand fish oil to equal 1 capsule of the professional line.
Are all supplements safe and free of side effects?
No. High doses of certain supplements can be toxic and dangerous.
For example, high doses of supplemental vitamin D can cause kidney damage, niacin (vitamin B3) even at low doses can cause significant vasodilation (flushing), magnesium and vitamin C can cause diarrhoea, iron often causes constipation and zinc can induce nausea and vomiting.
Can I get everything I need from a healthy diet?
Assuming that a healthy diet is rich in fruits and vegetable, healthy fats (nuts and fish), and proteins (grains, legumes and meats) you may still fall short of certain nutrients due to inherent nutrient depletion in soil and decreased availability of certain foods.
Additionally, when supplements are prescribed at high dosages to enhance a specific function, it would be near impossible to achieve equal intake of that constituent through food alone.
For example, a dose of 4000 mg of vitamin C would require consumption of 80 oranges.
Does Vitamin D comes from the Sun?
Vitamin D doesn't actually come from the sun.
However, exposure to the sun (specifically UVB light radiation) converts a precursor molecule to the active form of vitamin D.
This conversion happens subcutaneously (just underneath the skin) and requires sunlight.
The amount of skin exposed to the sun is proportional to how much vitamin D our skin makes. How much skin do Canadians expose to the sun in the winter?
Most supplementation should be individualized and supervised to have true therapeutic value.
Self prescribing can be ineffective and dangerous.
All supplements are not created equal.
When comparing brands, look at the amount of content in milligrams in each capsule.
For Canadians, supplementing vitamin D in the winter is appropriate in almost all circumstances
If you're curious to learn more about this subject or would like to consult with one of our NDs feel free to book a visit or contact us.
A woman does not get her period. Lack of menstrual cycles can be the result of various mechanisms.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome. Periods are infrequent, often spaced out longer than one month apart. A combination of factors which includes elevated testosterone and high blood sugar and high insulin which reduces ovulation (egg release) and frequency of menstruation.
Dysmenorrhea: painful periods which may be caused by a general inflamed state and a relative excess of estrogen.
Differentiating contraceptive methods
The Oral Contraceptive Pill. Most are estrogen and progestin containing. Ovulation is inhibited because of the synthetic hormones. The pill also allows for thicker cervical mucus which makes the the uterus impenetrable to sperm. The placebo pills (at the end of the pill pack) cause uterine lining to shed due to drop in hormones in the body.
Transdermal Patch: Same mechanism as pill. The patch is worn for 3 weeks and taken off for one week.
Nuva Ring. Same mechanism as the oral contraceptive pill. The ring is put in for 3 weeks, removed for one week.
Mirena IUS/ Jaydess IUD (Intaruterine Device/System). This device sits in the uterus, and a low continuous dose of progestin is secreted. Ovulation may or may not occur. The progestin thickens the cervical mucus (which makes the uterus impenetrable to sperm), and the presence of the IUD makes the uterus inhospitable to fertilization and implantation.
Copper IUD. There are no hormones secreted by this IUD. It works by making the uterus inhospitable to fertilization and implantation.
Barrier methods. Prevent entry or sperm.
Fertility awareness. This involves consciously tracking the timing of the menstrual cycle combined with temperature and cervical mucous monitoring.
Factors that affect your cycle and contraceptive methods
Gastrointestinal disturbances. Estrogen is recycled back into circulation in the gut by healthy gut bacteria. When there is a significant change in gut flora- which can happen because of antibiotic use, or gastrointestinal infection- the hormone balance can shift and the menstrual cycle may to.
REMEMBER: The best contraceptive method
Is the one you use consistently.
Encourages enjoyable sex and reduces stress.
Resonates with you and has minimal side affects.
For any reason you have concerns regarding your menstrual cycle, birth control methods or fertility, come see one of the NDs atour clinic.
If you're curious to learn more about this subject or would like to consult with one of our NDs feel free to book a visit or contact us.
Stuffed vegetables are popular because they pack essential nutrients into one enticing package, with bell peppers being the most commonly used base ingredient. However, using bell peppers all the time can become mundane, which is why it's important to mix things up every now and then to keep discovering new flavors.
This recipe, which was submitted by Craig Clarke of Rule.Me, uses zucchini as the base vegetable. This results in a crunchy texture that manages to hold all the ingredients together, and is a great counterpart to the melted cheese. It's a mouthwatering dish that anyone will surely enjoy.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cut the zucchinis in half, lengthwise.
Using a spoon, scoop out most of the zucchinis until you're left with shells that are about 1/2 to 1 centimeter thick.
Pour 1 tablespoon of melted butter into each zucchini boat, season with salt and pepper, and place them in the oven for about 20 minutes.
While the zucchinis are cooking, shred your chicken and use 6 ounces only, leaving the rest for other recipes. Cut up the broccoli florets into small pieces and combine both with the sour cream. Season with salt and pepper.
Once the zucchinis are done, take them out and add your chicken and broccoli filling.
Sprinkle cheddar cheese and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is melting and browning.
Garnish with chopped green onion and enjoy with more sour cream or mayo!
Zucchini Is a Healthy Hull for the 'Boat'
Zucchini serves as the boat for this recipe. It's a great foundation ingredient because it retains its crunchiness and shape, even after baking. It makes the dish easier to eat, too. Furthermore, zucchini is a healthy vegetable on its own right because of the following nutrients:
When Eating Chicken, Always Purchase Organic and Free-Range
Chicken is one of the most popular meats consumed around the world. From soups to sandwiches, chicken can be used in just about any meal you can think of.
According to research, chicken can play an important role in your diet, particularly in meeting your daily requirements for protein, the building block for your muscles. Aside from this, chicken meat is rich in vitamin D, which can help optimize calcium absorption and bone strength.
When purchasing chicken, always choose cuts that are both organic and free-range. Chickens raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are typically injected with large amounts of antibiotics. Over time, this causes the bacteria in the poultry to develop resistance to the drugs, creating a haven for foodborne illnesses.
Free-range, on the other hand, refers to a farming method that allows chickens to roam freely throughout the land to forage for their own food. This results in healthier chickens and eggs because they don't eat manufactured feeds.
Add Broccoli to Your Foods to Increase the Nutritional Profile
Ruled.Me was created by Craig Clarke, a blogger who originally struggled with weight problems. The website not only focuses on the ketogenic diet as a way to lose weight, but as a lifestyle that can improve your quality of life. It contains dieting tips, strength and endurance exercises and various recipes for people who are struggling with their weight and nutritional deficiencies.
To discover additional ideas about health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here:goo.gl/3x2LuI-
Brussels sprouts: Love 'em or hate 'em, there is no in-between. At least, that's how it seems. Every time I mention them, I'm met with cries of disgust. And yet they're one of the most nutritious vegetables out there. Isn't that always how it goes? The better something is for you, the less appetizing it is. Well, after many years of force-feeding myself Brussels ... The post Citrus-Bacon Brussels Sprouts Salad appeared first on Autoimmune Wellness.
PCOS is a syndrome which is different than a disease. A disease is a pathological process that is well defined by what is causing it and the symptoms it causes.
On the other hand, a syndrome is a collection of symptoms we see together that are not necessarily caused by the same problem.
PCOShas symptoms relating to hormonal imbalances and problems with metabolism (how our body uses it's fuel).
PCOS is very common in women of child bearing years. As many as 1 in 10 women fit the criteria for diagnosis.
Women with PCOS will have a varying degree of symptoms.
Symptoms of PCOS
1. Irregular periods. Few or no menstrual periods over a the span of a year.
2. Changes in hair growth. Excess hair on the face, chest, back, stomach. Thinning head hair.
3. Breakouts that become inflamed.
4. Women who have PCOS may have difficulty getting pregnant.
5. Weight gain. Difficulty achieving ideal weight, even with diet and exercise.
Why does PCOS happen?
These are a few of the factors that influence the development of PCOS.
1. There is several genes associated with PCOS. If a pregnant mother had PCOS, her daughters have a significantly higher risk of developing PCOS.
2. Insulin resistance and obesity. When blood sugar is high, insulin (the hormone responsible for helping the body use and store sugar) doesn't work well.
The ovaries are very sensitive to insulin resistance and in response they don't produce the appropriate amount of hormones necessary for ovulation and the body has too much testosterone circulating.
3. Exposure to Endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Chemicals like BPA found in plastics alter the activity of sex hormones.
BPA is know to interact with estrogen receptors which will decrease the bodies ability to ovulate.
Treatment of PCOS
Conventional Approaches include regulating the cycle through use of oral contraceptives, regulating blood sugar with medications like metformin and fertility treatment if the individual is having difficulty conceiving.
How Annex Naturopathic Clinic approach PCOS
Naturopathic doctors look at addressing the root causes of PCOS and treatment is revolved around naturally restoring hormonal balance through:
Dietary and exercise recommendations that reduce insulin sensitivity and exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals.
Nutritional supplementation that encourages insulin sensitivity and hormone balance.
Herbal medicine that gently and effectively balances hormones and metabolism.
Bioindentical hormones therapy if appropriate.
If you're concerned with hormonal irregularities, come see us at Annex Naturopathic Clinic for a comprehensive assessment and treatment plan to help your body get back in balance.
If you're curious to learn more about this subject or would like to consult with one of our NDs feel free to book a visit or contact us.
Promilless Takes the Guess Work Out of Gauging Sobriety in 2 Minutes
A Finnish company, Goodwiller, has developed an alcohol test which tests blood alcohol levels using saliva, in collaboration with VTT. The test is compact, fitting into a wallet or pocket and easy to use; it can indicate whether an individual is legally able to drive in a matter of minutes. Driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol is a serious and concerning safety hazard for self and others, and often times use of alcohol changes perception of one's capabilities. Having a test which one can depend on takes the guess work out of it.
How the Intelligent Paper Test Works
The test, Promilless was created from biochemical ingredients and is conducted on intelligent paper. It's somewhat similar in design as an at home pregnancy test, or a urine dipstick, with a long strip to hold onto and 2 areas for the saliva sample to come into contact with at one end. The 2 collection areas are demarcated by 2 green lines, and 2 yellow lines. When saliva comes into contact with the collection areas the area in between the two green lines will turn green, and if blood alcohol level is above 0.2% the area in yellow will also turn green. If there is no change in the yellow zone then blood alcohol level is below 0.2%. It takes about 2 minutes.
Test Indicates Blood Alcohol Levels at 0.2%
It is very interesting that the test indicates blood alcohol levels at 0.2%, a level of intoxication which even in Finland, where the test was developed, is far above the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle (0.05% is the legal limit in Finland). The legal limits for most places in the world range from 0% to .08%, so the test, while it would certainly indicate that you were unsafe to drive if both areas were activated, may give a false sense of security. However, it could certainly have its utility for gauging level of sobriety up to this point, and deterring individuals from driving when they clearly are not safe to do so.
Node Smith, associate editor for NDNR, is a fifth year naturopathic medical student at NUNM, where he has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine among the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend camp-out where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Three years ago he helped found the non-profit,Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR),for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision.
St. John's Wort is a common plant that has been naturalized in North America, and can be found in Ontario (easier to find North of Toronto).
Hypericum perforatum displays beautiful yellow flowers from June to August. It grows up to 1 meter high and has small, oval leaves which may have small black dots.
The fresh flowers contain glands that when crushed, will stain a dark vibrant red-purple colour, representing one of the key chemical ingredients of the plant, hypericin.
This colour is greatly represented in tincture and oil extracts of St. John's Wort. I saw an abundance of this gorgeous plant on a relaxing camping trip in the Lake Superior region, and is one of the most common herbal remedies I use in practice.
Parts Used: Aerial parts, bud and flowers (dried and fresh)
Uses of St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort is not typically eaten but is used for medicine. Ithas a number of different medicinal uses and has a strong affinity to the nervous system.
Traditionally, when taking internally, St. John's Wort has been used as a sedative to treat nervous anxiety, and also is used to treat neuralgic pain.
Externally it's used as an anti-inflammatory to treat sunburns, promote wound healing, treat bruises, and viral skin eruptions (ie Shingles).
Hypercum perforatum has been traditionally used to clear liver heat making it a useful remedy for liver inflammation (hepatitis).
There has been extensive research on the anti-depressant properties of St. John's Wort, with many clinical trails exhibiting the benefit of this herb in the treatment for depression.
This plant has been found to provide anti-depressant actions, and though hypericin, pseudohypericin, and hyperformin are the most-studied chemical constituents of St. John's Wort, many other constituents in this herb have also been found to have this property.
Isolating and administrating one constituent alone does not seem to provide the same anti-depressant effect as using the whole plant. It is possible the combined (synergistic) action of many chemical constituents in this plant is what is responsible for the strong influence on the neurological system.
Flavonols and xanthines are other constituents found to have anti-depressant activity. This is a beautiful representation of the importance of wholism where the entire plant is the of value, not only one microscopic ingredient of the plant.
St. John's wort has been found to affect neurotransmitter activity by inhibiting reuptake of serotonin, GABA, noradrenaline, dopamine and L-glutamate. Hypericum perforatum also inhibits binding of these neurotransmitters to their receptors.
This is a similar mechanism to how prescription anti-depressants work - inhibiting reuptake and binding of neurotransmitters. Hypericum perforatum also appears to inhibit the activity of enzymes important in mood regulation, such as monoamine oxidase (MAO-A and MAO-B), and catechol-O- methyltransferase (COMT), both involved in neurotransmitter processing and elimination.
St John's Wort also is considered an anti-inflammatory - increased levels inflammation have been strongly associated with depression, and the anti-inflammatory action of St. John's Wort presents another reason for the strong anti-depressant property of this herb.
Hypericum perforatum has been found to be active against a number of bacterial microorganisms, but it's most powerful effect appears to be against viruses.
The anti-viral action is specific to enveloped viruses, possibly through preventing the fusing of the viral envelope to the host cell.
Enveloped viruses include herpes viruses, varicella zoster (chicken pox and shinges) virus, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-bar (mononucleosis, kissing) virus, hepatitis virus, HIV and many other viruses.
Ways to take St. John's Wort
Hypericum perforatum is commercially available to take in a standardize capsule containing an alcohol extract of the herb, typically with a specific dose of the constituent hypericin.
This is the form that has been used in many clinical trials that have shown great benefit of this herb in the treatment of depression.
It is also efficacious in tincture form. This is my preferred method as less processing of the herb preserves the essence and energy of the plant.
An oil can be made fresh flowers and leaves to be used topically as an anti-inflammatory and anti-viral.
Teas and decoctions are also made from this plant and may be best used for its anti-inflammatory, astringent and pain-relieving effects.
Clinical trails have shown alcoholic extracts of St. John's Wort being most efficacious for treating depression, so the tea may not be the best choice if being used for this condition.
Do not use St. John's Wort without consulting a physician who is familiar with herbal medicine.
Never combine St. John's Wort with anti-depressant medication as this can potentiate the effect of the medication, potentially leading to overdose symptoms. Anti-depressants medications are not just used for depression, but can be used to treat migraines, vertigo, and sleep disordersso it's important not to combine herbal medicine with any medication without consulting a professional.
This plant increases the activity of a liver enzyme called CYP3A4, involved with phase 1 liver detoxication, therefore should not be taken if on medication that is metabolized by this enzymes as it can reduce the efficacy of the medication.
Hypericum perforatum can potentially (though rarely) cause photosensitivity in susceptible individuals, causing skin redness, so be cautious of this effect and discontinue if it occurs.