• Health

    Strawberries, highly “infected” with more than 20 pesticides for the fourth year in a row

    Strawberries are one of the top 20 fruits consumed worldwide, although their popularity has also a dark side. According to the Environmental Working Group (EMG), strawberries contain the highest amount of pesticide residue, more than 20 “toxic” artificial chemicals. EMG annually publishes a report called “Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen”, with a breakdown of fruits and vegetables with the highest and lowest load of pesticides. Strawberries and spinach were the worst offenders for the fourth straight year. One sample of strawberries, for example, contained more than 20 different pesticides. Spinach experienced the same situation, it contained nearly twice the pesticide residue by weight than any other fruit or vegetable. EMG…

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    EVENING PRIMROSE

    Uses? Fatty acids deficiencies Premenstrual tension Atopic Eczema Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding How long? Up to 6 months Side effects? Abdominal discomfort Headache Nausea   Available forms? Capsules, tinctures and cosmetic creams Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Seed oil Comes from? Native to easter North America and widely naturalised in Europe and western North America, most seeds for oil production are grown commercially Other names? Foeniculum Vulgare Evening star            

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    Probiotics reduce fever symptoms in elderly people

    Probiotics or “friendly bacteria” reduce the impact of winter infections in elderly people. A study (1) developed for Italian investigators highlighted that a variety of probiotics regimens can improve white blood cell counts in older people. It means that the whole immune system responds quicker and faster to any infection in the body. Investigators recruited adults over the age of 60 for a research to see if friendly bacteria could minimise the impact of winter infections. Half of the participants were randomly assigned to receive a milk drink supplemented with Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus and L. casei DN-144 001. The rest drank a similar beverage without the probiotics. Neither group…

  • Health

    DONG QUAI

    Uses? Menopausal symptoms Premenstrual tension Tonic for the liver Menstrual cramps Hot flashes Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding How long? Up to 8 weeks appears to be safe for most people Side effect? Skin becomes extra sensitive Greater risk for sunburn Skin cancer   Available forms? Capsules, tablets, tinctures and teas Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Root Comes from? Cool mountain woods of southern and western China Other names? Angelica Sinensis Chinese angelica Dong quai Tang kuei      

  • Health

    EPHEDRA

      Uses? Long-term asthma Nasal congestion Sinusitis Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes anorexia, bulimia, or glaucoma People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding How long? Up to 16 weeks appears to be safe for most people Side effects? Loss of consciousness High blood pressure Irregular heartbeat Muscle disorders Heart attacks Headache Seizures Nausea Strokes Death   Available forms? Teas, tinctures, tablets and capsules Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Stem Comes from? Native to the steppes of north and north-western China Other names? Ephedra Intermedia Ephedra Equisetina Ephedra Sinica  …

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    Zinc bioavailability and benefits

    After Covid-19 exploded worldwide and before countries decided to impose the quarantine, people “suffered” a panic attack by excessively buying everything for a couple of weeks. Pasta, rice, milk, frozen food, toilet paper and immunity supplements literally flew off the shelves. Zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, propolis and echinacea disappeared from every pharmacy or health store. Many news highlighted how beneficial it could be to take some supplements, to strengthen the immune system, especially during the active viral pandemic. However, many people felt totally lost with different forms, brands and an endless variety of them. I focused on some of the most common forms of magnesium two weeks ago. And now,…

  • Health

    ELECAMPANE

    Uses? Antibacterial properties Bronchial coughs Tuberculosis Emphysema Asthma Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding How long? Up to 4 weeks appears to be safe for most people Side effect? Diarrhoea Vomiting Paralysis Spasms   Available forms? Teas, tincture and dried root Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Root Comes from? Native to Europe and temperate Asia, cultivated in Europe and China, naturalised in the eastern United States Other names? Yellow starwort Inula helenium Horseheal Scabwort      

  • Health

    Magnesium bioavailability and benefits

    You have probably heard that magnesium plays a key role as it is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It includes blood pressure regulation, energy production, maintenance of normal nerve and muscle function, it also supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heartbeat steady and helps bones remain strong, among other functions. Unfortunately, these days many people lack magnesium due to stress and, when the body feels under pressure, magnesium is the first mineral to be depleted. Some people understand or believe in supplements and they opt to take a pill to ensure a decent daily amount of magnesium. However, as soon as someone looks for magnesium supplements, several options come up and…

  • Health

    Elder (Sambucus)

    Uses? Bronchitis Fevers Colds Flu Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding How long? Up to 12 weeks appears to be safe for most people Side effects? Sever diarrhoea Vomiting Nausea   Available forms? Capsules, tablets, tinctures, teas and combination products Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Ripe fruit Flower Comes from? Europe, western Asia and northern Africa. North America from British Columbia east to Nova Scotia, south to the mountains of North Carolina and west to Arizona Other names? American elder European elder Common elder Black elder          …

  • Health

    SOS detox for heavy nights

    Before Covid-19, face masks and social distancing changed our lifestyle, people used to socialize more often than now, at least face to face. Friday drinks with colleagues from work or with friends, company dinners, work mates’ birthday parties, Christmas events, San Valentine or just simply a precious bank holiday were an opportunity, for most to let their hair down. The “next day symptoms”: hangover and feeling totally wasted. Fortunately, the pandemic has driven most people to a self-detox program. With bars, restaurants, pubs and clubs closed and without going out, many people have voluntarily given up on alcohol, smoking and drugs. Yes, many of them did, but unfortunately some others…

  • Health

    ECHINACEA

      Uses? Stimulate body defenses Cold Flu Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding People with tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis or HIV How long? Up to 8 weeks appears to be safe for most people Side effects? Numbness of the tongue Stomach pain Sore throat Dry mouth Dizziness Bad taste Insomnia Vomiting Nausea Fever   Available forms? Capsules, tablets, tinctures and juice of fresh flowering plant Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Root, above-ground parts Comes from? Echinacea Angustifolia and Pallida: midwestern United States Echinacea Purpurea: American Midwest Other names? Purple coneflower Black sampson…

  • Health

    Farmed fish fed with grains “may” worsen inflammatory diseases

    Fish farming doesn’t seem like a bad idea as it may prevent a progressive ocean destruction. But fish farming is not seen positively and, slowly, it gains more detractors than supporters. Why is there this negative view about fish farming? There are many factors that feed this idea. Firstly, stocking rates in sea cages can be too high. A small space for too many fish can easily become a breeding ground of infectious diseases. Secondly, in order to prevent an epidemic, manufactures have to “poison” breeding fish with chemicals. The most popular are antibiotics and biocides, because they keep fish alive. However, the environment in which fish is kept also…

  • Health

    DANDELION

    Uses? Water retention Bile secretion Appetite loss Rheumatism Indigestion Gallstones Flatulence Bloating Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding People with have obstructed bile ducts How long? There is insufficient reliable evidence available to determine time Side effects? Stomach discomfort Allergic reactions Diarrhoea Heartburn   Available forms? Teas, capsules, tablets and tinctures Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Root and leaf Comes from? Almost everywhere, but mainly in Europe and the United States Other names? Lion’s tooth Cankerwort Wild endive      

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    Beta-carotene supplements don’t protect against cancer

    From time to time some foods, brands, exotic herbs, supplements or just simple vitamins become a trend. Beta-carotene supplements experienced this tendency a few years ago when they were touted as a powerful antioxidant and anti-cancer vitamin. As you can imagine, the demand of beta-carotene increased dramatically within days. However, there is always a scary part in every fashionable tendency. Trends usually skew a big part of reality and facts. In order words, manipulation. Why did beta-carotene become so popular? Some researchers discovered that populations with high levels of beta-carotene in their bloodstream had exceedingly low rates of cancer (1). Thus, a myth and a trend have just been born.…

  • Health

    CRANBERRY

    Uses? Prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding How long? There are no restrictions on length of use, so long as it is having the desire effect Side effect? No known risks associated with use   Available forms? Tea, capsules, whole fruit, raw or jellied, juice, fruit concentrate, capsules Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Fruit Comes from? Bogs from Newfoundland west to Manitoba in Canada, south to Virginia and into the Midwest in the United States. Other names? Vaccinium Macrocarpon Vaccinium oxycoccos Oxycoccus palustris  …

  • Health

    Cow’s milk doesn’t prevent osteoporosis

    Having a diet without dairy products may seem as an unhealthy lifestyle for many people. And of course, if someone tries to prevent or treat “osteoporosis”, to consume milk is a must. These indoctrinated ideas imposed by the health authorities and the dairy lobby industry appear obsolete and rather harmful. Many researches have appeared, giving a scary version for the equation bone health and dairy. As a summary, all of them came to the following conclusion: consumption of milk doesn’t protect against osteoporosis or fracture (1). And on top of that, diets high in dairy products increase mortality (2). One of the first and large research projects was the twelve-year…

  • Health

    CHAMOMILE

    Uses? Wound healing Inflammation Indigestion Insomnia Nausea Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding People allergic to other member of the aster family. How long? There is insufficient reliable evidence available to determine time Side effects? Hypersensitivity reactions Skin reactions Eye irritation Vomiting Available forms? Tea, salves, tinctures and essential oils Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Flower Comes from? Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Argentina and Egypt Other names? German camomile Wild camomile True camomile  

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    The “incomplete truth” about vegan protein

    Proteins play a key role for human health, but a debate about which source is better always comes up: vegan or animal protein. Many people believe that only animal products contain all essential amino acids and they devalue plant proteins. They also argue that vegan is an incomplete protein. However, their thoughts may be far from reality. They consider the animal source superior to the plant protein too. But again, the facts may tell a different story. Why does the vegan protein receive such bad press? Many factors contribute to undermine the plant protein, but where does the misleading exactly start? Plant foods usually lack one or more of essential…

  • Health

    CAYENNE

    Uses? Internally: – Colds and congestion – Antioxidant action – Aid digestion Externally: – Rheumatoid arthritis – Diabetic Neuropathy – Wound healing – Osteoarthritis – Shingles Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding How long? There is insufficient reliable evidence available to determine time Side effect? Excessive internal use may irritate the intestinal tract Creams can cause a burning sensation. Try a patch test on a small area of skin first.     Available forms? Ground spice, tea, capsules, tables and tinctures Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Fruit Comes from? Native to…

  • Health

    Pets “prevent” heart attacks

    Captopril, Enalapril, Fosinopril, Lisinopril, Perindopril or Ramipril are just some of the most popular medications to treat cardiovascular diseases. Doctors prescribe these drugs daily, to keep alive thousands of lives worldwide. Health professionals know well these medications as their patients too. However, Ricky, Georgia, Spider, Toby, Bella or Luna, apart from being names for persons, are also used for pets and clearly not for drugs. Although this thought can easily below to the past, because pets may “prevent” cardiovascular diseases, especially dogs. So, if that is the case, those unpronounceable drugs names may disappear from pharmacies in the near future. Or maybe doctors will prescribe a friend with 4 legs,…