• Health

    GOLDENSEAL

      Uses? Cold remedy (for inflamed mucous membranes) Stomach infections Antiseptic Gastritis Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor Pregnant or breast feeding How long? Up to 6 weeks appears to be safe for most people Side effects? Swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat Difficulty breathing Hives Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Root Comes from? Native to Canada and the eastern and midwestern United States Other names? Hydrastis Canadensis Ground raspberry Yellow puccoon Orangeroot    

  • Health

    Chromium, a possible alternative to diabetes drugs

    One of the most common prescribed medication for diabetes Types 2 in UK is metformin. As any drug, it may cause some undesirable and dangerous side effects. However, there is a great mineral that does the same thing like diabetic drugs, it increases sensitivity to insulin, but with no significant downsides. It’s called chromium and insulin cannot work properly without it. Chromium does two things. Firstly, insulin has to dock onto cells, to open them up, for the next delivery of glucose. Chromium is a part of the docking port, or receptor, for insulin. It also helps stop insulin from being changed in a way that stops it working. Both…

  • Health

    GINSENG

    Uses? Athletic performance Mental dullness Convalescence Aphrodisiac Fatigue Tonic Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People with high pressure, heart palpitations, asthma or high fever 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 effects? Stomach upset Headaches Dizziness Insomnia Available forms? Teas, capsules, extracts, tablets, tinctures Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Root Comes from? Asian ginseng is cultivated in China, Korea and Japan. America ginseng is wild harvested in eastern North America Other names? P Quinquefolius (American ginseng ) Ginseng root ( P. ginseng )…

  • Health

    Tips for increasing your physical activity

    I wrote an article about the 10000 steps strategy which has as a goal to improve people’s health. It was a few weeks ago under the title: The 10000 daily steps campaign “hardly” improves health. This healthy idea seems to respond to a great marketing campaign for selling millions of pedometers or smartphones. Health looks like a secondary goal. However, I highlighted how important was to keep an active life without stressing out with measurements and numbers. And I did remark people’s eating habits too. No excuses “I don’t have time”, “I am super busy this week”, “It is too cold to go outside” are just some of the most common…

  • Health

    GINKGO

    Uses? Short-term memory loss Alzheimer’s disease Impotence Dizziness Tinnitus 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 effects? Fast or pounding heartbeats Mouth irritation Upset stomach Constipation Headache Skin rash Available forms? Teas, capsules, liquid extracts Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Leaf Comes from? Commercial production takes place mainly in France, China and south Carolina Other names? Maidenhair tree Ginkgo Biloba Memory tree    

  • Health

    Cinnamon may prevent amputations in diabetics

    If I list names such as metformin, pioglitazone, glimepiride or vildagliptin, you probably won’t know what they are for unless you suffer from diabetes. Yes, they belong to diabetic drugs list. However, there are some other simple names such as cinnamon and chromium which are not pharmaceutical drugs, but they may work as a medicine for diabetic people. And of course, with fewer or no side effects. A teaspoon of cinnamon a day significantly reduces blood sugar levels in diabetics (1) according to a study conducted in the Department de Human Nutrition, NWFP Agricultural University, Peshawar, Pakistan. On top of that, millions of non-diabetic people who have blood sugar problem…

  • Health

    GINGER

    Uses? May reduce cholesterol and narrowing of the arteries Prevention and relief of headaches Tendonitis and sports injuries Intestinal parasites Motion sickness Colds and flu Indigestion Bursitis Nausea Hive 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 effects? Stomach discomfort Heartburn diarrhoea Available forms? Teas, capsules, tinctures, capsules, tablets, fresh root, liquid extract or crystallised slices Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Root Comes from? Native to south-eastern Asia, cultivated for millennia in China…

  • Health

    The 10,000 daily steps campaign “hardly” improves health

    The 10,000-step campaign has become very popular recently. Its popularity grew almost at the same time with “healthy” apps, smartwatches and smartphones. Apparently, completing 10,000 steps on a daily basis should improve your health by reducing risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases, among others health conditions. But the reality and science offer a different view. So far, there isn’t any scientific basis to prove what apps, watch and phone companies promote with the 10,000-step goal. But where does this idea come from? This round number concept was invented by the Japanese pedometer company just before the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, to stop people being lazy. At that time, a marketing…

  • Health

    GENTIAN

    Uses? Loss of appetite Digestive tonic Flatulence Dyspepsia Bloating Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication. Check with doctor People with stomach or duodenal ulcers Pregnant or breast feeding How long? There are no restrictions on length of use, so long as it is having the desire effect Side effects? Stomach discomfort Headaches Skin rash   Available forms? Teas, capsules, tinctures, liquid extracts, combination products Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Root Comes from? Native to the mountains of central and southern Europe, it is both cultivated and wild-harvested Other names? Yellow Gentian Gentiana Lutea      

  • Health

    Packaging labels fatting the world

    Confusion! That seems to be the best marketing strategy for some food companies, to increase their profits and to make people sicker at the same time. Packaging labels regulation lacks the unique, unified and common message, code or symbiology, to assist the population to buy healthy products. It varies from one country to another and, as a result of this mess, consumers ignore it or simply go for the most striking packaging, not necessarily the healthiest one. One of the most popular symbols is the traffic light, which simplifies food in 3 categories: green, amber and red. It was designed to give people an immediate idea as to whether something…

  • Health

    GARLIC

    Uses? Stimulating the immune system and fighting cancer Fighting infections and reducing blood pressure Lowering cholesterol and triglycerides Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication, especially anticoagulant. 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 effects? Some people experience heartburn or flatulence Rare cases of allergic reactions are known May interact with anticoagulant drugs   Available forms? Capsules, tablets, tinctures, aged extracts, fresh, powder, dried cloves Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Bulb Comes from? The bulb is unknown in the…

  • Health

    Thanks to Megatheriums and Glyptodons, the whole world enjoys avocados

    Avocados have gained enormous popularity for being an excellent source of monounsaturated fat (good fat) and obviously for their health benefits. They have always been a delicatessen for everyone, including our ancestors. But not our forefathers from 100 years ago. Neither 200 years ago. Nor 300 years ago. We need to look back to the Pleistocene epoch when mammals Megatheriums and Glyptodons were around. In fact, thanks to them the entire world can enjoy avocados today. The avocado tree, originally from Mexico, evolved as a delicatessen for those prehistoric animals. They used to eat the whole fruit, including the hard seed. However, their digestive system couldn’t break it down. So,…

  • Health

    FLAXSEED

    Uses? Reduce risk of breast and colon cancer Irritable bowel syndrome Ovarian dysfunction Constipation Who? Almost everyone Who can’t? People on any type of medication, especially anticoagulant. 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 effects? Do not take flaxseed if you have a painful bowel condition or if you suspect you may have bowel obstruction May interact with anticoagulant drugs. Mucilage from seeds may affect absorption of other drugs Available forms? Capsules, tinctures, oils, grounded or powder Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Seed…

  • Health

    Prevent antibiotics side effects with probiotics

    One of the most common questions that my clients ask in practise is if antibiotics and probiotics can be taken together. Answer: yes and no. But it seems more relevant how and when to use them. Many people chose to take probiotics when they start a course of antibiotics in order to prevent side effects and protect their gut flora. The side effects go from diarrhoea, vomiting, indigestion, nausea, abdominal pain to bloating. However, taking a good quantity of friendly bacteria doesn’t guarantee that you will be 100% free of undesired troubles. That’s why it’s important to know when to utilise them. Anticipating. If someone knows beforehand that they are…

  • Health

    FEVERFEW

    Uses? Menstrual problems Migraine Arthritis Fever 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 effects? Some people who chewed the fresh leaves reported experiencing mouth ulcers, tongue inflammation, lip swelling and occasional loss of taste   Available forms? Capsules, tablets, tinctures and fresh/dried leaves Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Leaf Comes from? Naturalised in Europe and North and South America Other names? Chrysanthemum parthenium        

  • Health

    Himalayan salt, placebo or real health benefits?

    Salt is salt, no matter which name it has. Kosher, sea, table or Himalayan salt are the most common types of salt available in supermarkets. However, the Himalayan one has gained some popularity due to its “apparent” health benefits. Nevertheless, there are no studies with enough scientific evidence supporting that Himalayan salt provides more health benefits than common salt. Therefore, this article will try to bring some clarity in the salty darkness. It will distinguish between the myth and reality. Salt is a mineral with the main ingredient: sodium chlorine, up to 98%. So, for this reason we can indistinctly use any of the names. One of the reasons why…

  • Health

    FENUGREEK

    Uses? Stimulate flow of breast milk Loos of appetite Blood sugar Cholesterol Gastritis 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? Intestinal wind Diarrhoea   Available forms? Capsules, tablets, seeds for cooking, powdered seeds for poultices Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Seed Comes from? Ancient herb native to southern Europe and south-western Asia, cultivated in warm regions throughout the world Other names? Trigonella foenum-graecum      

  • Health

    Avocados, the cleanest fruit for the third year in a row

    Avocados are one of the top 20 fruits consumed worldwide (1) due to their health benefits. Apparently, their healthy monounsaturated fat reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases. And apart from that, avocados contain the lowest load of pesticides for the third year in a row according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) list 2020. EWG publishes annually a report called “Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen”, with a breakdown of fruits and vegetables with the highest and lowest load of pesticides. Surprisingly, “tainted” fruit and vegetables contain more than 20 “toxic” artificial chemicals. However, the clean list contains four or fewer types of pesticide. Around 70% of samples used for the EWG…

  • Health

    FENNEL

    Uses? Mild digestive spasms Flatulence Bloating Coughs Catarrh 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? Allergic skin     Available forms? Capsules, tinctures, lozenges and teas. Dose? Follow health professional advice or directions on the package Part used? Fruit (seeds) Comes from? Native to the Mediterranean and widely naturalised throughout the world Other names? Foeniculum Vulgare      

  • 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…