Author Archive for Deb Augur – Page 3

Does St. John’s Wort Help With Depression?

St John's Wort helps treat depressionSt. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is an herb that’s sometimes used effectively for treatment of depression. It is believed to contain ingredients that may help the brain produce more serotonin, which produces feelings of well-being in the body.

The plant is named after St. John, the Baptist and produces yellow petals in groups of five that resemble a halo. Red sap runs from the plant and is said to be a symbol of the blood of St. John. Part of its scientific name, Hypericum, means “greatest health” in Greek.

For many centuries, St. John’s Wort has been used as a sedative and to treat wounds, burns and sleep disorders. Now, St. John’s Wort is believed to be valuable in treating anxiety, sleep disorders such as insomnia and depression.

St. John’s Wort can be purchased in capsules, extracts and teas. In the United States, it’s not sold as a prescription, but can be purchased over-the-counter. In Europe the herb is prescribed by physicians for depression and other illnesses.

Even though St. John’s Wort has been tested and scientifically researched it’s never safe for you to diagnose your own illness. Here are some things you need to consider BEFORE taking an herbal remedy – or any type of medication: Read More→

Alternative Therapies for Menopause

Alternative Menopause Therapy

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Menopause can be very disruptive in the lives of women who experience hot flashes, mood swings, and other symptoms. Hormone therapy scares have led many women to seek alternative treatments for menopausal symptoms such as osteoporosis and postmenopausal cardiovascular disease.

Alternative therapies for irritability and depression during menopause are also being explored. Below are some remedies that are believed to alleviate menopausal side effects:

  • Soy – Scientific tests show that bone density is increased and depression, irritability and hot flashes are lessened. Although soy can decrease some symptoms associated with menopause, large amounts must be ingested for it to be completely effective.
  • Natural Progesterone – Extracted from plant sources, “natural” progesterone has been widely used to treat menopausal symptoms, but no scientific evidence exists to prove its effectiveness.
  • Fish Oils – Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil can be a positive component in preventing cardiovascular disease in menopausal women. You can get it through the consumption of fish or via a fish oil capsule if it’s more convenient.
  • Magnesium – Studies have found that the use of magnesium significantly increases bone mineral density in both the elderly and menopausal women.
  • Evening Primrose Oil – Commonly used to treat symptoms associated with menopause, Evening Primrose Oil may reduce hot flashes and depression. Read More→

Herbal Remedies for Some Common Problems

Effective herbal remedies can help those that suffer from common ailments rather than an expensive trip to the doctor and resulting prescriptions. Specific herbs can be made into healing salves, tonics and teas not only to relieve irritating symptoms that accompany these ailments, but also to cure them. (Make your own herbal preparations >>) Or, you can buy these already ready!

Herbal remedies have innate benefits that can work for a variety of common ailments from acne to warts. Below are some herbal treatments for everyday ailments:

Acne – There are a number of conditions that can perpetuate acne, but the most common causes are hormonal imbalance (such as in adolescence), stress and some medications.  Effective herbal remedies include:

  • Enchinacea – Reduces inflammation and has healing qualities.
  • Witch Hazel – Used as a topical astringent.
  • Aloe Gel – Topically applied as an antibacterial (and astringent) agent.

Bladder infections – This type of infection occurs when bacteria enters the urinary tract — generally, in women. Some symptoms include constant or painful urination. Treat bladder infections with the following herbal remedies:

  • Barberry – Helps the immune system fight infection.
  • Cranberry juice – Inhibits bacterial growth by increasing acid in the urine.
  • Dandelion – Detoxifies the bladder. Read More→

Insomnia? Natural Ways To End Sleeplessness

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It’s very frustrating to even go through one sleepless night because you end up so tired the next morning that you may be disoriented and unable to function as you should. However, if you suffer from sleep loss on a regular basis, you most likely have insomnia. (Generally speaking, this is not a diagnosis.)

Hormonal changes, heart disease, depression and sleep apnea can all cause insomnia. Check with your doctor.

If you’re having trouble sleeping and you want to try some natural remedies here are some natural sleep tips.

  • Melatonin – One of the most popular natural remedies for insomnia, melatonin is actually a hormone produced naturally in the body. The brain makes serotonin which is then made into melatonin, which helps you fall asleep naturally. If your body isn’t producing enough melatonin, you may need to take a supplement before retiring each evening.
  • Meditation – Yoga practices of deep breathing and meditation before you go to bed have proven beneficial to help sufferers of insomnia fall asleep naturally.
  • Aromatherapy – The sedative qualities of inhaling lavender, ylang ylang and chamomile are found to be useful in treating insomnia.
  • Valerian – Non-addictive Valerian has been used for years as a remedy for insomnia. It has qualities that are believed to affect the brain’s calming neurotransmitters. Read More→

Top Selling Herbal Supplements

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Top selling herbs and supplements are being used for chronic conditions that are difficult to treat or manage with conventional medicine. Ailments such as mood disorders, heart disease, arthritis, women’s health conditions, and digestive disorders are among the most common reasons. Before taking any herbs it’s highly recommended to talk to your doctor. Also, be sure to see precautions and potential side effects for each herb, listed on the individual pages linked.

Below is a list of the top selling herbs based on the most recent information online:

  1. Ginkgo Biloba sold $147 million worth, commonly used to increase because of it’s antioxidant properties, which is believed to help improve memory, increase brain blood flow, and prevent dementia. It’s also thought to help prevent heart attacks and stroke.
  2. St. John’s Wort, nature’s anti-depressant (sold $104 million) is generally used for mild to moderate depression.
  3. Ginseng at $84 million, is used to help combat fatigue and weakness. (Primarily for men, Don Quai is for women.)
  4. Garlic, more than just a tasty addition to foods, it’s a natural antibiotic and has sold $84 million in a year. It’s also used to lower cholesterol levels.
  5. Echinacea, an herb I always keep around, sold $72 million in 2010. This herb while listed as a treatment for colds and respiratory infections, is best used to prevent these problems when taken at the change of seasons and/or the first signs to shorten duration. I take it instead of a flu shot!  If a cold or respiratory problem has already shown it’s nasty signs, I also take Elderberry and Zinc (formula) to expedite healing.
  6. Saw Palmetto, at $45 million in sales, is used primarily by men to prevent or help with prostate conditions. (In women it seems to make breasts perkier!)
  7. Kava Kava, $18 million in sales, is used to reduce or relieve stress and anxiety. The effect is similar to drinking a glass of wine. Read More→

Why I Turned On to Herbs and Natural Remedies

It was the spring of 1997 when I first became highly interested in the benefits and the power of herbs and natural remedies. Very rarely have I had beneficial experiences with western medicine. I’m allergic to a lot of the “stuff” they prescribe and seem to have far more toxic reactions than average. And, unfortunately, I’ve often been a “victim” of iatrogenics, which means “of or relating to illness [or death] caused by medical examination or treatment”).

5 Hospital Stays,
4 Near Death Experiences

It’s true. I have been admitted to the hospital five times in my life and 4 of those times they nearly killed me… and that’s not what I went in there for! Even giving birth resulted in a medical mishap that nearly cost my life.

Did you know that medical errors kill an average of 44,000 people every year? Wait. That’s not all. It’s really much bigger than that when you look at the whole picture.

Death by Medicine

According to the 2003 medical report “Death by Medicine,” (by Drs. Gary Null, Carolyn Deanh, Martin Feldman, Debora Rasio, and Dorthy Smith) 783,936 people in the United States die every year from conventional medicine.  Approximately 200,000 are from prescribed-taken-as-directed-drug reactions.

According to a 1995 U.S. iatrogenic report, “Over 1 million patients are injured in U.S. hospitals each year, and approximately 280,000 die annually as a result of these injuries. Therefore, the iatrogenic death rate dwarfs the annual automobile accident mortality rate of 45,000 and accounts for more deaths than all other accidents combined.”

Over the course of a 12 month study, more than 2 million patients suffered a serious adverse drug reaction (ADR). Worse still, studies reveal that 75% of these were from toxicity rather than allegic reactions. 100,000 of these patients died.

(And that was before the Vioxx recall and other such cases that have taken place since then.)

Americans are heavily reliant on western medicine and all it’s trimmings, particularly a drug for every conceivable disease, health problem, and (IMO) made up diagnosis. (Have you been paying attention to the advertisements by the pharmaceutical companies? Listen to the side-effects, adverse reactions, and such, too. Then, if you’re prescribed any of these medicines, I highly recommend that you research them as much as you can! )

According to the governmental “Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services” (CMS), national health spending is expected to reach $4.4 trillion and comprise just over one-fifth (20.3 percent) of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2018. Talk about gargantuan business!

Iatrogenic causes now ranks as the #3 killer Read More→

Got Bad Breath? Drink Tea!

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If you’re plagued with bad breath (halitosis), you can probably relate to how hard it is to get rid of it — and how embarrassing it can be. If you’ve tried over-the-counter remedies and found that they just didn’t work for you or just made your mouth feel like cotton, you need to know that TEA is your answer.

Tea is an all-natural way to banish bad breath!

What causes bad breath? It happens when bacteria grows rapidly on the surface of your tongue or hides in gum pockets. The bacteria gives off a sulfurous-like odor that gives you what’s known as halitosis or bad breath. Most over the counter products only attempt to cover up the smell, which is why they don’t work.

In order to rid yourself of the halitosis problem, the bacteria itself would need to be taken care of. Black tea is known to help control plaque within the mouth, which would normally cause the bacteria to grow.

Without the plaque, bacteria are kept under control, thereby keeping bad breath problems at bay.  Studies show that the polyphenols found in some teas helps keep the foul odor bacteria from forming.

By drinking some tea regularly, you can help keep bad breath and plaque under control AND reduce the amounts of colds, throat infections and even dental problems you endure.

What better way to do this than to do it with tea, which happens to be an all-natural product that has no harmful side effects linked to it? Not only that, but it assists with so many other things that help our body stay healthy longer. Read More→

Herbal Remedies Used to Help Treat ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that affects both children and adults. Learning disabilities such as forgetfulness, inability to organize thoughts and shortened attention span can make ADHD a very frustrating illness to live with.

Research has shown that the cause of ADHD is a failure of the brain to properly stimulate the neural network that rules such areas as how we react to outside stimulation and our emotions. The result can be extreme anxiety and aggressive behavior.

Diet is a component that should be addressed when attempting to treat ADHD — too much sugar or allergies to certain foods such as peanuts, tomatoes or milk – can have a huge impact on controlling adverse stimulation to the brain. Red, yellow and blue food dyes found in many foods can also cause undesirable reactions in children with ADHD.

Mainstream medicine often uses antidepressants or other stimulant-type drugs to treat ADHD, but they’re often ineffective and can cause a lack of interest in life and depression. More people who suffer from ADHD are turning to herbal remedies for positive results. Some helpful herbs include: Read More→

Complementary and Alternative Medicine: What It Can Do For You

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Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the combined use of medical practices and products that aren’t a part of conventional medicine. Many are using the CAM approach in hopes that they can prevent disease and live a more enhanced quality of life.

People often turn to CAM because conventional medical techniques aren’t always successful in treating chronic health conditions and psychological behaviors. The lack of proper insurance coverage is also a factor in more and more people turning to CAM.

CAM is based on both provider and non-provider therapies. The provider therapies include reflexology and acupuncture and the non-provider therapies include herbal remedies, certain types of exercise and meditation.

A complementary and alternative approach to your health can help you get in touch with your personal power and become the best person you can be, both in mind and body.

If you’re hurting physically or not mentally alert, life can begin to pass you by and you may find yourself in the proverbial rut. The ancient findings of Eastern medicine, combined with our modern technology, can lead the way back to physical fitness and mental alertness.

Some types of healing therapies and treatments that you might want to consider are: Read More→

Tea: Cancer Fighting Polyphenols

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Tea is rich in polyphenols, found in the camellia sinensis plants, which are crushed and then fermented into common teas (such as green tea, black tea and the oolong tea). These polyphenols have been extensively studied to determine the extent of their benefits.

The studies showed that they contain about 10 times the amount of antioxidants than what are found in our fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants are a powerful ally in the fight against ailments like cancer.

The ones found in the green and black teas are different than the antioxidants that are found in fruits and vegetables. Green and black teas contain flavonoids, such as the catechins, that can seek out and destroy chemicals that damage a body’s cells, and cause cancers to form.

Tea is also thought to defend against toxic chemicals that we see with inhaling tobacco smoke. They protect cells from these nasty enemies and prevent them from damaging our body’s cells.

Tea can defend against other ailments like blood clot formations, high cholesterol and it can possibly delay the onset of diseases like diabetes. Polyphenols are also known for their aid in weight loss programs and in the defense against halitosis and dental problems.

They can also improve skin conditions and they are possibly linked to aiding in the delay of Parkinson symptoms. The benefits don’t stop there, though. It’s reported that tea can help reduce your chances for skin cancer – and in some cases, by using the tea extract in lotion form, you may be able to block the damage from the sun.

Tea is known to slow the growth of already-formed tumors, it protects your bones from frailty, and even boosts your immune system so you can lessen your chances for colds, throat infections and flu symptoms. Read More→