Monday, July 2, 2018

Do YOU suffer from insomnia? You may be lacking in MAGNESIUM


Consuming too much caffeine after 3pm, not enough exercise or an overload of stress hormones are most often the culprits of insomnia. But an array of recent trials have pointed the blame at a magnesium deficiency for thousands of people who toss and turn at night.

Studies have shown magnesium supplements can increases sleep time, efficiency and natural melatonin levels - a hormone critical for the regulation of normal sleep. 

Now, new research has found magnesium applied directly to the skin can deliver the mineral to the body quicker and more efficiently than ingested supplements - and help improve sleep quality in 92 per cent of deficient people. 

What is insomnia? 

Insomnia is a huge global problem, affecting around a third of men and women in their 30s and 40s and nearly half of women over 65.

There are two types, Type 1 insomnia where you can't get to sleep and Type 2, where you can get to sleep okay, but tend to wake at least once during the night.

And if you have either type, the chances are you have heard a million and one remedies: get black out blinds, eat some peanut butter before bed, get a sleep mantra, take a Valium. Actually don't. The latter is addictive and the formers, well, they're hit and miss at best.  

Magnesium: The facts 

Indeed, waking in the small hours is often associated with stress, anxiety or depression and these are conditions that can be exacerbated by magnesium deficiency, said nutrition expert Greg Weatherhead. But there are many more.

'Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body and all our cells rely on adequate levels being maintained,' said Mr Weatherhead. 

'It's responsible for over 300 biochemical functions in the body and sufficient amounts allow us to be more flexible, develop stronger bones, produce energy more efficiently and be better able to resist disease.'

While magnesium is predominantly found in nuts, wholegrain seeds and green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, decreasing levels in our Western diets have long been reported and amounts in our most common foods have declined by about 20 per cent since the 1950s, Mr Weatherhead added.

In fact, the most recent government funded UK Diet and Nutrition Report updated in March this year, showed more and more of us have below optimal intakes of magnesium, with teenage girls and the over 60's being at particular risk of deficiency.

Moreover, diets that include an excess of processed foods and bad fats such as those found in takeaways, donuts and commercial vegetable oils as well as refined sugars can all decrease our magnesium levels.

How does magnesium help sleep?

So, how can supplementing with a drug free mineral help people sleep, when so many other sleep remedies rarely make the cut?

'Magnesium is critical to many physiological and psychological processes that are essential for staying asleep,' Mr Weatherhead said. These include calming the mind and also helping muscles relax.

Along with helping to reduce levels of cortisol and adrenaline that could be waking us during sleep or causing erratic slumber, magnesium also works on a lesser known hormone essential to sleep.

'It helps improve sleep quality through its interaction with a neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid),' Mr Weatherhead said.

'GABA is an amino acid responsible for reducing anxiety, promoting relaxation and preparing our bodies for sleep.'

Magnesium sensitises GABA receptors in the brain, increasing the positive effect of this molecule.

Why is magnesium on the skin better for insomnia than tablets?

'Unfortunately, our intake of magnesium has declined dramatically due to intensified farming methods, food processing and negative interactions with an increasing number of prescribable mediations,' said Mr Weatherhead.

'Magnesium is a mineral we evolved to have little and often and our digestive systems are not well equipped to absorb large single doses of magnesium such as those found in tablets and capsules.

'Either, much of the dose is simply not broken down and absorbed or it is lost through a loosening of the bowels, a common effect seen with a high intake of ingested magnesium tablets.'

There are a number of clinical studies published showing that magnesium delivered via the skin is an effective alternative to traditional tablet supplementation, said Mr Weatherhead.

In 2017, a study published in PLOS One, found that magnesium absorbed through skin significantly boosted magnesium levels in the blood.

A pilot study published in 2010 showed that BetterYou Magnesium could elevate cellular magnesium levels faster than traditional tablets or capsules.

Topical magnesium specialists BetterYou have worked with the Cardiff University academics on absorption testing for magnesium.

They are now in the final stages of the world's first clinical study with St Mark's Hospital London, investigating how magnesium applied to the skin can replace intravenous drips and subcutaneous injections for patients with severe bowel and digestive disorders. 

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF A MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY? 

  • Poor quality sleep
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Restless legs
  • Joint discomfort
  • Muscle tension and pain
  • Muscle or eye twitching
  • Weak bones
  • Low mood
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Poor concentration


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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

CBD Oil Shows Remarkable Health Benefits


The use of medical marijuana continues to be an emotionally and politically charged issue. Although cannabis oil preparations have been used in medicine for millennia, the concern over the dangers of abuse led to the banning of the medicinal use of marijuana in the 1930s.

Only recently, marijuana and chemically related compounds have come back to being considered of therapeutic value. A prominent compound found in marijuana or cannabis, CBD, or cannabidiol, has shown to treat numerous diseases. Researchers believe that in view of the very low toxicity and the generally benign side effects of CBD, neglecting or denying CBD benefits and its clinical potential is simply unacceptable.

What Is CBD?

CBD is one of over 60 compounds found in cannabis that belong to a class of ingredients called cannabinoids. Until recently, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) was getting most of the attention because it’s the ingredient in cannabis that produces mind-altering effects in users.

Does CBD Oil Create a High?

The short answer is: No. (Though oils with THC can also contain CBD).

Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. This means that it does not change the state of mind of the person who uses it. However, it does appear to produce significant changes in the body and has been found to have medical benefits.

Most of the CBD used medicinally is found in the least processed form of the cannabis plant, known as hemp.

Hemp and marijuana come from the same plant, cannabis sativa, but they are very different.

Over the years, marijuana farmers have selectively bred their plants to be very high in THC and other compounds that interested them, either for a smell or an effect they had on the plant's flowers.

On the other hand, hemp farmers have not tended to modify the plant. It is these hemp plants that are used to create CBD oil.

Marijuana CBD vs. Hemp CBD: Which One is Best?

As mentioned, the main difference when thinking about marijuana-derived CBD vs hemp-derived CBD come down to the plant differences more than the CBD oil/CBD extract. It's kinda like clover honey vs. orange blossom honey - there's a slight different in taste but they're both honey when it comes down to it. So what becomes the tie breaker? Legality.

To use medical marijuana, it has to be legal in the state that you live in as well as for the condition you have. As mentioned above, hemp-derived CBD is far more accessible and can be bought from many different places. 

CBD Oil Benefits:

Relieves Pain and Inflammation

Among common CBD benefits, natural pain relief tops the list for many. Evidence suggests that cannabinoids may prove useful in pain modulation by inhibiting neuronal transmission in pain pathways. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD significantly suppressed chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain in rodents without causing analgesic tolerance. Researchers suggest that CBD and other nonpsychoactive components of marijuana may represent a novel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain. 

Has Antipsychotic Effects

Research shows that CBD benefits include producing antipsychotic effects. It appears to have a pharmacological profile similar to that of atypical antipsychotic drugs as seen using behavioral and neurochemical techniques in animal studies. Additionally, studies show that CBD prevents human experimental psychosis and is effective in open case reports and clinical trials in patients with schizophrenia, with a remarkable safety profile.

Reduces Anxiety

Studies using animal models of anxiety and involving healthy volunteers clearly suggest an anxiolytic-like effect of CBD. Cannabidiol has shown to reduce anxiety in patients with social anxiety disorder and researchers suggest that it may also be effective for panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

A 2011 study aimed to compare the effects of a simulation public speaking test on healthy control patients and treatment-native patients with social anxiety disorder. A total of 24 never-treated patients with social anxiety disorder were given either CBD or placebo 1.5 hours before the test. Researchers found that pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alertness in anticipation of their speech. The placebo group presented higher anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort. 

Helps to Fight Cancer

Several scientific reports demonstrate that CBD benefits include possessing antiproliferative, pro-apoptotic effects that inhibit cancer cell migration, adhesion and invasion. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics found for the first time that CBD potently and selectively inhibited the growth of different breast tumor cell lines and exhibited significantly less potency in non-cancer cells. 

In 2011, researchers added light on the cellular mechanism through which CBD induces cell death in breast cancer cells. They showed that CBD induced a concentration-dependent cell death of both oestrogen receptor-positive and oestrogen receptor-negative breast cancer cells. They also found that the effective concentrations of CBD in tumor cells have little effect on non-tumorigenic, mammary cells.

CBD behaves as a non-toxic compound and studies show that doses of 700 milligrams per day for 6 weeks did not show any overt toxicity in humans, suggesting that it can be used for prolonged treatment. Not only does the research show that CBD benefits including being effective in fighting breast cancer cells, data also suggests that it can be used to inhibit the invasion of lung and colon cancer, plus it possesses anti-tumor properties in gliomas and has been used to treat leukemia. 

Relieves Nausea

Cannabis has been used for centuries for the suppression of nausea and vomiting. Research has revealed that among more than 80 cannabinoid compounds found in marijuana, both the intoxicant THC and the non-intoxicant CBD helps to get rid of nausea and vomiting in animal studies. A 2012 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that CBD benefits including possessing anti-nausea and antiemetic effects when it was administered to rats. 

Might Have Neuroprotective Properties

Researchers believe that CBD’s ability to act on the endocannabinoid system and other brain signaling systems may provide benefits for those with neurological disorders.

In fact, one of the most studied uses for CBD is in treating neurological disorders like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Though research in this area is still relatively new, several studies have shown promising results.

Sativex, an oral spray consisting of CBD and THC, has been proven to be a safe and effective way to reduce muscle spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis.

One study found that Sativex reduced spasms in 75% of 276 people with multiple sclerosis who were experiencing muscle spasticity that was resistant to medications.

Another study gave 214 people with severe epilepsy 0.9–2.3 grams of CBD oil per pound (2–5 g/kg) of body weight. Their seizures reduced by a median of 36.5%.

One more study found that CBD oil significantly reduced seizure activity in children with Dravet syndrome, a complex childhood epilepsy disorder, compared to a placebo.

However, it’s important to note that some people in both these studies experienced adverse reactions associated with CBD treatment, such as drowsiness, fatigue, fever and diarrhea.

CBD has also been researched for its potential effectiveness in treating several other neurological diseases.

For example, several studies have shown that treatment with CBD improved quality of life and sleep quality for people with Parkinson’s disease.

Additionally, animal and test-tube studies have shown that CBD may decrease inflammation and help prevent the neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

In one long-term study, researchers gave CBD to mice genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease, finding that it helped prevent cognitive decline.

Lowers Incidence of Diabetes

A 2006 study found that CBD treatment significantly reduced the incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice from an incidence of 86 percent in non-treated mice to an incidence of 30 percent in CBD-treated mice. CBD benefits also showed a significant reduction of plasma levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. A histological examination of the pancreatic islets of the CBD-treated mice revealed significantly reduced insulitis. 

In 2013, the American Journal of Medicine published a study that highlighted the impact of marijuana use on glucose, insulin and insulin resistance among U.S. adults. The study included 4,657 adult men and women from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey from 2005 to 2010. Of the participants, 579 were current marijuana users and 1,975 were past users. The researchers found that current marijuana use was associated with 16 percent lower fasting insulin levels. They also found significant associations between marijuana use and smaller waist circumferences, a factor connected to the onset of diabetes symptoms. 

Promotes Cardiovascular Health

A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology reports that CBD protects against the vascular damage caused by a high glucose environment, inflammation or the induction of type 2 diabetes in animal models; plus, CBD proved to reduce the vascular hyperpermeability (which causes leaky gut) associated with such environments.

CBD May Be Beneficial for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Due to its anti-inflammatory effect, cannabinoids may provide relief of joint pain and swelling, and decrease joint destruction and disease progression.

Administration of CBD protected joints against severe damage, decreased progression, and produced improvement of arthritis in animal models.

The first controlled trial showed that administration of Sativex over 5 weeks produced significant improvements in the intensity of pain on movement and at rest, quality of sleep, and inflammation. No serious adverse effects were observed.

Cannabidiol May Help with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Studies confirmed that CBD prevents colitis in animal models of IBD.

The combination of CBD and THC may reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms of IBD, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and reduced appetite.

Studies also showed that CBD may be a good candidate to normalize gut motility in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

CBD may reduce gut inflammation severity through activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma).

Fights Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria

Researchers discovered that cannabinoids (including CBD) have an unusual ability to destroy bacteria (especially drug-resistant strains). More research is needed to find out how and why it works.

A 2011 study found that CBD can also slow the progression of tuberculosis in rats. Researchers concluded that CBD likely does this by inhibiting T-cell proliferation, rather than possessing antibacterial properties.

Whatever the mechanism is for destroying bacteria, CBD seems to be a potent weapon against the antibiotic resistant “superbugs” that are becoming more and more of a problem today.

Reduces Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress is responsible for many ailments today. Oxidative stress is when the body has too many free radicals and can’t keep up with neutralizing them (with antioxidants). This is more of a problem now than in the past because our environment is so much more toxic than it once was. A 2010 study shows that CBD oil acts as an antioxidant and another study found CBD has neuroprotective qualities. So CBD can reduce neurological damage caused by free radicals.

Cannabidiol May Treat Depression

According to researchers, CBD has antidepressant-like effects in mice.

Studies found that antidepressant effects of CBD were fast, continuous over time, and comparable to a common tricyclic medication imipramine, also known as Tofranil.

Promotes Healthy Weight

Cannabidiol can help maintain healthy blood sugar, stimulates genes and proteins that helps break down fat, and increase mitochondria that helps burn calories.

CBD also encourages the body to convert white fat to brown fat. White fat is the kind of fat we typically think of when we think about body fat. Brown fat is fat that is in small deposits that behaves differently than white fat. Brown fat is said to improve health by enhancing the bodies ability to burn white fat, create heat, and even regulate blood sugar.


Cannabidiol May Help with Insomnia

Research suggests taking CBD before bed improves sleep in people with insomnia.

Can’t fall asleep at night and wake up feeling more tired in the morning than you did the night before? Biohacking Insomnia is the only sleep resource guide that looks at all the possible factors you’re missing out on restorative sleep and works to get you sleeping better from a holistic viewpoint so you can finally get your nights-and your days-back the way they should be.

Improves Skin Conditions

CBD oil can be used topically to treat skin conditions. Studies show CBD oil has a high potential for treating skin conditions like eczema by encouraging abnormal cell death. It can also help regulate the skin’s oil production, reducing acne. CBD also contains many nutrients like vitamin E that help improve and protect the skin.

CBD Reverse the Signs of Aging

Science has shown that not only is CBD a powerful antioxidant, it might actually be a more powerful antioxidant than both vitamins C and E. In fact, a study released in 1998 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America expressed that “cannabidiol was more protective against glutamate neurotoxicity than either ascorbate or α-tocopherol, indicating it to be a potent antioxidant”.

May Reduce Acne

Acne is a common skin condition that affects more than 9% of the population. It is thought to be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, bacteria, underlying inflammation and the overproduction of sebum, an oily secretion made by sebaceous glands in the skin.

Based on recent scientific studies, CBD oil may help treat acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to reduce sebum production.

One test-tube study found that CBD oil prevented sebaceous gland cells from secreting excessive sebum, exerted anti-inflammatory actions and prevented the activation of “pro-acne” agents like inflammatory cytokines.

Another study had similar findings, concluding that CBD may be an efficient and safe way to treat acne, thanks in part to its remarkable anti-inflammatory qualities.

Though these results are promising, human studies exploring the effects of CBD on acne are needed.

Other Potential Benefits:

Antipsychotic effects: Studies suggest that CBD may help people with schizophrenia and other mental disorders by reducing psychotic symptoms.

Substance abuse treatment: CBD has been shown to modify circuits in the brain related to drug addiction. In rats, CBD has been shown to reduce morphine dependence and heroin-seeking behavior.

Cannabidiol Promotes Bone Growth
Rodents with broken limbs healed much faster when treated with CBD.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Feeding the Narcissist


We all know people who require constant attention and affirmation--so much so that supporting and propping them up can even feel like a second job.

And no one's talking about restaurant food here. What narcissists really need is something psychologists call "emotional supplies." People who feel defective or empty are everywhere - and they suffer deeply. Most spend their days attempting to shore themselves up, maintain self-esteem, and garner enough external emotional support to make it through the day without feeling they will fall apart. This self-focus and preoccupation is what makes narcissists seem selfish, even arrogant.

But appearances do not tell the whole story. What looks like bravado or conceit often masks an underlying insecurity.

Everyone loves a compliment. Who doesn’t like to be praised and adored. Who doesn’t want to be honoured.

Your self esteem is very much important. Feeling good about yourself is a wonderful experience. In fact, compliments have been known to aid a healthy lifestyle. So having other people voice out how wonderful, beautiful and awesome you are is even a big plus.

However, things become interesting when you begin to fish for compliments. 

Do you know that your crave for praise and compliment, though genuine,  can cause a drastic effect and shape your world in ways you never imagined?

You are hurting your relationships:

The more you keep fishing for compliments, the more you appear to be old and needy.

When you constantly seek the validation of others to feel worthy and happy, you constantly put pressure on your family, friends, colleagues and loved ones to make you feel happy. 

Too much of everything isn’t good so what turns out to be be sweet and awesome, turns into hatred and disdain.

Love is never forceful. Happiness isn’t external. You don’t need the validation of others to be significant. You don’t need the permission of others to feel worthy.

You are hurting your self esteem:

If you can’t be happy or feel good about yourself without hearing from others.  You can’t do the best at work without someone saying that you did a good job or you need the compliments of others to feel loved, then you are hurting your self esteem.

When you hurt your self esteem, you are hurting your existence. You are making your thoughts lie about you.

Each time you seek for validation, you give power to others to define your existence. You give them permission to write your own story.

You are special because you have so much inside to make a difference. Your existence lights your world and you matter to your generation.

By being you, there are people whose lives you will definitely change for the better. 

Do you know that fishing for more compliments doesn’t make you feel better about yourself?

Think about it! That is the more reason why you seek more compliments.

The more compliments you seek, the more you become addicted to hearing more compliments.

Standing on the shoulders of compliments to make a difference in your life is limiting yourself plus your existence.

You are powerful beyond measure which is why compliments should never replace your inner drivers (passion, purpose and God-given gifts)

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Remarkable Benefits of Astragalus Root


Astragalus root is a herb that’s tremendously important in traditional Chinese medicine. It is known for its many health benefits, especially its potential to slow the aging process. The herb was hailed as a protector against stresses, both mental and physical. Astragalus provides health benefits to a number of body systems and ailments. Because of the tremendous success of so many research studies and trials, new information about astragalus is coming to light all the time. In general, its greatest strength is preventing and protecting cells against cell death and other harmful elements, such as free radicals and oxidation.

According to continuing research, astragalus health benefits include:

Acts as an Anti-Inflammatory
Inflammation is at the root of most diseases. From arthritis to heart disease, it’s often the culprit of the damage. Many studies show that thanks to its saponins and polysaccharides, astragalus can reduce inflammatory response in connection to a number of illnesses and conditions, from helping to heal wounds and lesions to reducing inflammation in diabetic kidney disease.

Boosts the Immune System
In terms of reputation, boosting the immune system is astragalus’ claim to fame. It’s been used in this capacity for thousands of years. A study out of Beijing displayed its ability to control t-helper cells 1 and 2, essentially regulating the body’s immune responses.

Contains Antioxidative, Anti-Aging, and Longevity Capabilities
Astragalus is well-known for its anti-aging effect. New and exciting research is currently being conducted that shows that Astragalus does, indeed, have powerful anti-aging properties, slowing the aging process at a cellular level.

Oxidation due to free radical damage is the main component in disease and aging, and many elements found in astragalus fight free radical damage and prevent of oxidative stress. 

It has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine for longevity, to invigorate qi (vital energy) and to strengthen the body. It seems to have solid scientific basis too, since a component of Astragalus called cycloastragenol is found to increase telomerase, an enzyme that promotes telomere health. Telomeres are the end portions of DNA; they get shortened every time the cell undergoes division. Hence, telomere length is a more reliable indicator of biological age and longevity than the chronological age of a person.

Slows or Prevents the Growth of Tumors
Many recent screenings have shown the success of astragalus saponins, flavonoids and polysaccharides in decreasing or eliminating tumors. In instances of chemoresistance treating liver cancer, astragalus has shown potential in reversing multidrug resistance and as an addition to conventional chemotherapy, according to a study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology.

Protects the Cardiovascular System
The flavonoids present in astragalus are antioxidants that help prevent plaque buildup in arteries and narrowing of vessel walls by protecting the inner wall of the vessel. In addition, a 2014 study published in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine suggests injection of astragalus, combined with conventional treatment for viral myocarditis (inflammation of the middle layer of the heart wall), makes treatment more successful in heart conditions.

Other studies have shown its ability to reduce blood pressure and level of triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides put individuals at risk for many forms of heart disease, such as stroke, heart attack and hardening of artery walls.

During a heart attack, heart muscle damage occurs when there is a lack of blood supply and oxygen. At that time, calcium overload creates secondary damage. Astragalus may prevent additional heart muscle damage by regulating calcium homeostasis in the heart.

Regulates and Prevents Diabetes and Illnesses Related to Diabetes
Astragalus has been studied progressively as an antidiabetic. Studies show its ability to relieve insulin resistance and treat diabetes naturally. The herb’s collection of saponins, flavonoids and polysaccharides all are effective in treating and regulating type 1 and 2 diabetes. They’re able to increase insulin sensitivity, protect pancreatic beta cells (the cells in the pancreas that produce and release insulin) and also act as anti-inflammatories in areas related to diabetes symptoms. 

Kidney disease in diabetics is also a common problem, and astragalus has been used to treat kidney illness for many years. More recent studies in humans and animals have shown astragalus can slow the progress of kidney problems in diabetics and protect the renal system.

Aids in Wound Healing and Minimizes Scarring
Because of its anti-inflammatory qualities, astragalus has a long history of treating wounds. Radix astragali, another name for the dried root of astragalus, has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for the repair and regeneration of injured organs and tissues.

In a 2012 study by the Institute of Pharmaceutics at Zhejiang University, wounds treated with astragaloside IV (the active ingredient in dried astragalus root) showed recovery rates increase two- to threefold over 48–96 hours. It was concluded that astragalus is a promising natural product for anti-scarring and healing in wounds.

Alleviates Symptoms of Chemotherapy
Astragalus has been shown to help patients receiving chemotherapy to recover more quickly and extend their life spans. In cases of severe chemotherapy symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and bone marrow suppression, astragalus has been given intravenously and in combination with other Chinese herbal mixtures. Early research suggests its ability to reduce these symptoms and increase the efficacy of the chemotherapy treatments.

Treats Colds and Flu
Because of astragalus’ antiviral capabilities, it has long been used to treat common colds and the flu. It’s commonly combined with other herbs like ginseng, angelica and licorice. As with many other natural cold remedies, it seems to work better when used when healthy individuals use the supplement regularly in order to prevent the illness before it happens. A regimen of astragalus before the colder months of winter may help to prevent or decrease the number of colds and upper respiratory illnesses individuals will have throughout the season.

Provides Supplemental Therapy for Chronic Asthma
Astragalus has been used to treat chronic asthma and determined to be a successful supplemental therapy and asthma natural remedy. After being treated, hypersensitivity in airways decreased substantially and mucus production and inflammation were reduced in studies. By preventing or reducing asthma attacks, individuals could be relieved of chronic asthma issues.

Sexual Health
Traditionally prescribed in Chinese Medicine for male infertility, Astragalus has now been scientifically proven to increase sperm motility in a study conducted by the Institutes of Traditional Medicine and Clinical Medicine. It is extremely supportive of male hormones, by balancing glucose levels it can optimise testosterone and growth hormone levels. 


There is also evidence to suggest astragalus can successfully:

  • prevent collagen degradation 
  • help heal lung tissue affected by bronchopulmonary dysplasia in newborns
  • inhibit herpes simplex virus 1 
  • prevent the replication of viruses like Coxsackie B-3, a virus that triggers illnesses ranging from mild stomach issues to major heart complications
  • treat inflammation in allergic dermatitis (an allergic reaction of the skin) 
  • help treat hepatitis by inhibiting hepatitis B virus cells in the liver
  • treat HIV by protecting t-helper cells fight the virus for much longer
  • be used as a mild diuretic 


Typical Use
Astragalus Tincture: 3 - 5 ml, three times a day. Powdered Astragalus root: 1/2g - 1g, three or four times per day.

Precautions
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use Astragalus.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

People who fret over minor things for more than a day have a much higher risk of chronic disease


It's time to let go of the minor upsets. People who get easily agitated by a family argument or flat tire have a much higher risk of developing chronic diseases years later, new research has found.

A study of more than 1,000 people found those who dwelled for more than 24 hours on mundane stressors had much weaker immune systems and more heart problems 10 years down the line. By contrast, those who could 'let it go' did not experience significant health changes over the decade-long study. 

The findings, published today in the journal Psychological Science, provide some of the clearest evidence to date that negative emotions can impact physical health. More importantly, the researchers at the University of California, Irvine said, the study hammers home that everyday upsets can be just as damaging to our minds and bodies as major traumatic events like divorce or death.

'Our research shows negative emotions that linger after even minor, daily stressors have important implications for our long term physical health,' said Kate Leger, a graduate teaching assistant at UC Irvine.

'When most people think of the types of stressors that impact health, they think of the big things, major life events that severely impact their lives, such as the death of a loved one or getting divorced.

'But accumulating findings suggest it is not just the big events, but minor, everyday stressors that can impact our health as well.' 

Leger and her team analyzed 1,155 people in the Midlife in the United States Survey, a nationally representative study of adults. In the survey, the participants answered questions about the daily stressors they had experienced across eight consecutive days - and the effect they had on them. Each day they reported how much of the time over the previous 24 hours they had felt a variety of emotions, such as being lonely, afraid, irritable and angry. 

The subsequent part of the study took place a decade later, when they completed surveys that assessed their chronic illnesses and functional limitations.

All together, Leger found a simple flat tire, bad grade or argument has an effect on an individual's health when the bad feeling it generates spills over into the following day. 

Critically, this revealed a link between lingering bad feelings in response to a stressor and a greater number of health problems. These included chronic illnesses, functional impairments and difficulties with everyday tasks. The associations remained regardless of individuals' gender, education and health at the outset. And they held even after the researchers took their same day emotional responses and average number of stressors into account. 

Leger said: 'This means health outcomes don't just reflect how people react to daily stressors, or the number of stressors they are exposed to.

'There is something unique about how negative they feel the next day that has important consequences for physical health.'

The researchers suggest the phenomenon could play out through activation of stress-related systems or through health behaviors - two potential mechanisms that offer avenues for future research. 

Leger added: 'Stress is common in our everyday lives. It happens at work, it happens at school, it happens at home and in our relationships.

'Our research shows the strategy to 'just let it go' could be beneficial to our long term physical health.' 



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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Watching birds near your home is good for your mental health


According to this study, people living in neighborhoods with more birds, shrubs, and trees are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress.

The study conducted at the University of Exeter, involving hundreds of people, found benefits for mental health of being able to see birds, shrubs and trees around the home, whether people lived in urban or more leafy suburban neighborhoods.

The study, which surveyed mental health in over 270 people from different ages, incomes and ethnicities, also found that those who spent less time out of doors than usual in the previous week were more likely to report they were anxious or depressed.

After conducting extensive surveys of the number of birds in the morning and afternoon in Milton Keynes, Bedford, and Luton, the study found that lower levels of depression, anxiety and stress were associated with the number of birds people could see in the afternoon. The academics studied afternoon bird numbers – which tend to be lower than birds generally seen in the morning – because are more in keeping with the number of birds that people are likely to see in their neighborhood on a daily basis.

In the study, common types of birds including blackbirds, robins, blue tits and crows were seen. But the study did not find a relationship between the species of birds and mental health, but rather the number of birds they could see from their windows, in the garden or in their neighborhood.

Previous studies have found that the ability of most people to identify different species is low, suggesting that for most people it is interacting with birds, not just specific birds, that provides well-being.

University of Exeter research fellow Dr. Daniel Cox, who led the study, said: “This study starts to unpick the role that some key components of nature play for our mental well-being.

“Birds around the home, and nature in general, show great promise in preventative health care, making cities healthier, happier places to live.”

The positive association between birds, shrubs and trees and better mental health applied, even after controlling for variation in neighborhood deprivation, household income, age and a wide range of other socio-demographic factors.


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Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Silent Treatment Is Emotional Abuse


"Emotional abuse is any type of abuse that is not physical in nature. It can include anything from verbal abuse to the silent treatment, domination to subtle manipulation"— Beverly Engel

Origin of term

The term originated from "treatment" through silence, which was fashionable in prisons in the 19th century. In use since the prison reforms of 1835, the silent treatment was used in prisons as an alternative to physical punishment, as it was believed that forbidding prisoners from speaking, calling them by a number rather than their name, and making them cover their faces so they couldn’t see each other would encourage reflection on their crimes.

In personal relationships

Silent treatment is refusal to communicate verbally with someone who desires the communication. We see it in all types of relationship: couples, friends, parents and children, relatives, etc. Use of the silent treatment implies a prior conflict. Sometimes, however, the victim of this type of behavior is not aware of the conflict, precisely because the other party has not expressed it openly.

The silent treatment is a form of attention, power, and control over another person and is a passive-aggressive approach in communication. Someone might use the silent treatment as a way to avoid conflict or deflect responsibility. At times, people use the silent treatment as a way to punish another person. Ultimately, the person lacks the ability to communicate their feelings appropriately.

For example, a person may want to shift blame onto you instead of owning their faults. Or, they want to magnify your faults instead of recognizing their own. Whatever it is, the silent treatment makes you feel guilty or at fault instead of them.

Abusers punish their victims by refusing to speak to them or even acknowledge their presence. Through silence, the abusers loudly communicate their displeasure, anger and frustration. The consequences of this behavior on the person isolated by silence are feelings of incompetence and worthlessness.

The silent treatment is sometimes used as a control mechanism. Sometimes the goal of the silent treatment is simply to communicate displeasure and once the message has been received and understood the silent treatment ends.

What is really going on though is the more they ignore you, the more you want to fix it. And that is what they get such satisfaction out of, which is watching you squirm and "Jump through hoops" to try to get them to pay attention to you and to communicate with you. It is a real EGO BOOST for them and they actually get a rush from the entire experience. It also puts them in control and gives them tons of attention, from you.

The silent treatment is nothing more than the adult version of a childhood temper tantrum. It’s juvenile and to be blunt, incredibly narcissistic. In most cases, the person who has “gone silent” will internalize their emotions and regresses to an earlier point in life. In many ways, this is a learned behavior that was likely picked up during early childhood.

These types of behavior are quite harmful. Not only do they demonstrate immaturity, meanness, and a lack of emotional intelligence, but they can have serious consequences for the other person. Engaging in this behavior is an attempt to control and harass and it doesn’t represent anything positive for a relationship.


The silent treatment can cause stress and emotional trauma

The effects of emotional abuse are frequently underestimated. Just because you cannot see the damage being done, does not mean that it does not exist. 

A person who is the target of the silent treatment can feel very intense negative emotions. Ignoring a person means that they are worth nothing, that they don’t matter. Things become even more unhealthy when all this is happening in a cruel and cold silence, which the victim doesn’t know how to interpret.

People who are ignored eventually become overwhelmed by feelings of sadness that can sometimes lead to depression. They also feel anger, fear, and guilt. Ignoring someone is a way of accusing or pointing the finger at them in an indirect way. This is exactly what makes this strategy an unhealthy way to deal with conflict.

Victims of this type of behavior tend to feel extremely distressed. They can’t understand what they are doing wrong or why exactly the other person is treating them in this way. It’s as if they are losing control and this causes a lot of stress. This is why this it is considered a form of abuse. There is no shouting or hitting, but there is plenty of violence.

The silent treatment can damage your health

Victims of psychological abuse are more likely to suffer from the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), than victims of physical abuse. This is because the pain of social-exclusion, such as being ignored and ostracised, can be relived far more easily than the pain suffered by a physical injury.

Psychologically abused women, in particular, are likely to encounter poor mental health, with 70% experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Furthermore, sufferers of emotional abuse are more likely to go on and form other unhealthy relationships. They also have greater difficulty trusting a new partner.

The silent treatment has physical effects as well

Studies have been done that show that feeling excluded or ignored can cause changes in the brain. A zone of the human brain called the “anterior cingulate cortex” is responsible for detecting different levels of pain. Scientists have proven that this zone is activated when something receives the silent treatment.

Activation in this zone means that physical symptoms also start to appear. Some very common symptoms are headaches and digestive problems. Fatigue and insomnia are also frequent complaints. If the situation is severe and prolonged, serious problems can arise, such as an increase in blood pressure, diabetes, or even illnesses like cancer.

The autoimmune system is also affected, primarily because of the high levels of stress that the situation causes. The consequences are even more serious if the person giving the silent treatment is an authority figure such as a teacher, parent, or boss.

Difference between a cooling-off period and the silent treatment

Following a disagreement or awkward episode, silence can be a good thing. Silence can be healthy when tempers are high and a pause is needed before something exacerbates the situation. 

A cooling-off period works best if both parties can agree to a time when they will come together to resolve the issue. However, do note that the silent treatment differs from a cooling-off period in that its duration is extended and unknown.

And if silence is used as a method of control or punishment, it becomes abuse.

How to handle silent treatment

Sometimes the silent treatment is used by two people who love each other, such as romantic partners, good friends, siblings, etc. Sometimes people think that if they use the silent treatment, the other person will change their behavior or do what the other person wants them to do. They think of it almost as an educational tool. They are, however, very wrong. Ignoring another person as a form of punishment only destroys relationships.

If someone is purposefully trying to hurt you through the silent treatment and acting out of malice, don’t keep begging them to talk to you. Just don’t contact them. Don’t return the silent treatment in this situation either, but don’t let the situation get to you.

You can’t change the other person, no matter how hard you try to make things better. People who have long histories of this behavior aren't likely to be "fixed" for your friendship or relationship. If the relationship is abusive and harmful for you, consider walking away. Your well-being is more important than spending time around someone who has no qualms about emotionally abusing you. Know that you are worthy of a healthy relationship with someone who can communicate in a mature, emotionally healthy manner. 

The silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse that no one deserves nor should tolerate. If an individual experiences this absence of communication, it is a sure sign that he or she needs to move on and heal.

No one should try to resolve a conflict using the silent treatment. When there is a problem between two people, the only healthy thing is to engage in dialogue to find solutions. Silence and distance only generate more problems and, in the end, solve absolutely nothing.