Archived Articles - January 2016

Marijuana can literally replace five prescription drugs

In recent times, there has been a growing demand to legalize the use of marijuana or cannabis. In fact, in the 21st century, a section of people have been shifting from prescription drugs to cannabis to treat a number of health conditions. Aside from this using marijuana as a better substitute for chemical drugs, an increasing number of people are opting for cannabis for recreational purposes too.

A survey undertaken by the Berkeley Patients Group recently discovered that 66 percent of the organization's medical marijuana clients stated that they have been using cannabis as a substitute for chemical prescription drugs. In fact, majority of the patients confirmed of having used marijuana since it was more useful compared to the prescription drugs they have been taking. At the same time, use of marijuana had fewer as well as less serious side effects than prescription drugs.

It is worth mentioning here that Big Pharma earns several million dollars by marketing prescription drugs. In most cases, these drugs do not cure the health condition people taking them are suffering from. On the other hand, they lead to serious side effects.

Below is a brief discussion on five prescription drugs that may effectively be replaced by medical marijuana.

Adderall (Stimulant)

Like any tranquilizer or sedative, replacing a stimulant prescription drug with medical marijuana differs subject to the strain. People wanting to use marijuana in place of these stimulant drugs will be required to take sativa strains, because they have been found to be very effectual in treating ADHD as well as ADD.

Ambien (Sleeping Aid)

One reason why the medical use of marijuana has become very popular in recent times is because of its usefulness in treating insomnia. Although debatable, it is said to be more effectual compared to drugs like Ambien. Moreover, the use of marijuana for this purpose does not make it as addictive or dangerous as Ambien.

Vicodin (Pain Killer)

Findings of many studies have shown that marijuana is useful in treating people suffering from any type of chronic pain. Additionally, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has documented that as many as 44 Americans die untimely every day owing to painkiller drug overdose.

Xanax (Anti-anxiety)

It is not possible for everyone to cure their anxiety using marijuana. Some people experience serious anxiety as well as paranoia when they smoke pot, but often this effect is related to the type of cannabis the person is consuming. On the other hand, sometimes sativas that are related to cerebral highs may bring about anxiety, particularly in the case of people who do not use them often. In such cases, it has been found that the indica strains of cannabis help to decrease anxiety.

Zoloft (Anti-Depressant)

Aside from the findings of numerous studies, many patients using medical marijuana have noted that cannabis can in fact be a useful means to treat depression. While the effects of such treatment differ from one patient to another, studies have discovered that smoking marijuana certainly has much less adverse effects compared to chemical anti-depressants used by many patients.

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Breastfeeding helps develop babies' digestive systems to prepare for solid food

Contrary to the earlier days, now people are more aware of the benefits of breastfeeding. In fact, the body of a female has been developed in a manner so that it is able to produce the most excellent as well as nutritious food for an infant. Precisely speaking, the mother as well as the baby both gain from this natural behaviour, which not only forms a close bond, but also results in advantages that last lifelong.

When a mother breast feeds her baby, it enables the latter to become healthier and also protects the infant with lasting protection. It has been found that infants who have been breastfed for long face lesser problems vis-à-vis their weight. In addition, they also have roughly 50 percent lesser chances of sudden infant death syndrome, which is also known as SID. Moreover, they face lower risks of developing childhood cancers.

It is also said that breastfeeding also helps to boost the IQ levels of the child, besides lowering their chances of developing asthma.

If able, all mothers should breastfeed their babies

Interestingly enough, the close association between breastfeeding and an infant's digestive system development is perhaps one of the most important, but least discussed issues. In fact, breastfeeding also promotes the composition as well as the constancy of the gut micro biome of a baby's digestive system.

It is worth mentioning here that the human body carries thrice more microbial cells compared to other animal species. The "human micro biome" comprises trillions of microbes - minute micro organisms counting bacteria, fungi, viruses, archaea, and protists. All these microbes have their individual set of exceptional genetic materials and they dwell in the human body and comprise the "human micro biome".

Several beneficial microbe communities survive on our skin, in the lungs, the nasal passages, and the digestive system as well as in our urogenital tracts. While the variety of these microbes are not random, they have evolved perfectly during several million years with a view to make the vital life processes much easier.

Inside the gut, the composition of these microbes is diverse, but they are closely related with the health of humans as well as diseases. Any imbalance in the flora in the gut has been associated with allergies, asthma, obesity, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) as well as several other health issues.

Breastfeeding and gut micro biome development

Latest findings of scientific researches hint that when a woman breastfeeds her child during the initial few months of the infant's life, it intensely influences the composition, diversity as well as the stability of the gut micro biome. This finding of a study undertaken recently was published in the medical journal Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.

During their course of study, researchers at the UNC College of Arts and Sciences as well as the UNC School of Medicine discovered that the early diet in a baby's life has a great influence on his/ her ability to process solid foods later on.

According to Andrea Azcarate-Peril, PhD, senior study author and an assistant professor at the university's cell biology and physiology department, the researchers discovered that babies that were only fed with breast milk possess microbial communities that appear to be additionally prepared for solid food introduction in their diet.

Andrea Azcarate-Peril further stated that the changeover from liquid to solid foods is more remarkable for the micro biomes in babies who were not exclusively fed on breast milk earlier. The researchers are of the view that the micro biomes in the guts of babies who were not exclusively breastfed may be vulnerable to more incidences of stomach aches as well as colic later in life.

Infants who are breastfed are actually supplied with probiotics as well as prebiotics - compounds that not only support the development of beneficial microbes, but also aid in their establishment.

Aside from the beneficial bacteria, breast milk also encloses several types of complex carbohydrates as well as glycosylated proteins, which infants are unable to digest.

Nevertheless, these are easily consumed by the bacteria belonging to Bifidobacterium genus, which are dominant in the micro biome of infants and are thought to play a crucial role in swathing the surface of the intestines, thereby putting off the pathogens from binding to the intestines. This was reported by The American Academy of Microbiology.

The findings of the study undertaken by the UNC College of Arts and Sciences as well as the UNC School of Medicine confirm the notion that a healthy gut flora helps to protect us from specific pathogens and, at the same time, also helps in digesting the ingested foods. It also explains the benefits of one's exposure to beneficial microbes early in their life.

During the study it was found the micro biomes of babies who were only breastfed during their infancy had a propensity to be less diverse and, at the same time, were controlled by the helpful bacteria belonging to the Bifidobacterium genus. In fact, babies who were fed on breast milk as well as a formula were found to have a lesser percentage of Bifidobacterium.

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8 common practices that wreck the immune system

The immune system is our body's first line of defense. In fact, its role is vital as it helps to protect our body from various micro organisms that may lead to infections as well as diseases. When our immune system becomes weak, it may lead to acute health problems, as our body cannot deal with the bacteria and other germs that we come in contact in our daily life.

8 common habits that destroy our immune system

There is a great difference between the stress we experience day-to-day and the persistent tension over some issue or thing. A particular bad day in one's life may not be as stressful as the worries over one's job or concerning a relative that may continue for weeks. The latter, can actually burden our immune system and wreck it. Practicing yoga or doing meditation can help to lessen our daily stress.

Anyone who is suffering from alcoholism is actually ruining his/ her immune system. Findings of several studies have revealed the consequences of consuming excessive alcohol and the way it can actually destroy the antibody cells of our body. The antibody cells are essential to neutralize the cells that are virus infected. Similar to smokers, people affected by alcoholism are also very likely to be affected by diseases and infections, such as tuberculosis.

Bad hygiene
Good hygiene may not have any direct influence on your immune system, but it can certainly be effective in preventing infections as well as ailments by getting rid of bacteria and other germs from our body. On the other hand, in the absence of proper hygiene, one will only make the work of his/ her immune system further difficult, as they are indirectly inviting more harmful micro organisms or pathogens to their body. At some stage or the other, these micro organisms may overpower your immune system, thereby causing various infections or diseases.

Exposure to sun
It is advisable that whenever you go out in the sun you should always use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or even higher. This is all the more important if you are going outdoors between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Exposure to the sun without any protection for over 15 minutes, even during the winter months, is associated with immune suppression. For instance, you may develop cold sores after being exposed to the sun for long.

Being a night-owl
The functioning of our immune system may be affected negatively due to poor sleep habits. In fact, the ability of the immune system to combat germs is greatly reduced when you do not have good sleep. Findings of several studies have shown that men who only sleep for four hours every night had half of the flu antibodies compared to those who had uninterrupted sleep for anything between 7.5 hours and 8.5 hours every night.

Using more antibiotics
If you take antibiotics at the very first hint of a sniffle, it is possible that you will gradually become resistant to drugs and your immune system may become suppressed, as it lowers the cytokines level in your body. It is advisable that you should only use antibiotics for infections attributed to bacteria and complete the entire course of the medication. Never stop the course even if you think you have been cured.

Too much fat may result your immune system to become depressed. In fact, the white blood cells' (leukocytes) ability to multiply, generate antibodies and dash to the infection site is greatly reduced in obese people.

Excessive sugar consumption
Consuming excessive sugar has the potential to diminish the ability of the immune system to combat germs by as much as 40 percent. Findings of various studies have shown that sugar affects our body about 5 minutes of consuming it and the consequences continue for about 5 hours. If you consume excessive sugar, it is essential for you to take adequate amounts of vitamin C for the immune system to continue functioning properly. In fact, when one consumes excessive sugar, it starts depleting the levels of vitamin C reserves in your body. At the same time, too much sugar also wrecks the immune system's cell structure.

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Three top foods for protecting cervical health

Often when you talk about vaccinations, it causes surprise or mild disapproval in several people. While a section of people speak strongly in support of their safety, there are others who are of firm belief that vaccinations are not effective for improving our health. In fact, the second group of people may be indicating something. The vaccine industry, in any case, has been responsible for various vaccine related injuries, making many wonder why either their or the health of someone close to them was severely compromised after being administered a vaccine. In fact, this was very true till recently when healthy people had to suffer after they received a vaccination or a sequence of inoculations.

For instance, especially as far as cervical health is concerned, there is general disapproval of the supposed supportive measures that are meant to maintain the health of a woman's body. While the fact is that every woman should be concerned about their cervical health, it should certainly be a priority for women who are suffering due to human papilloma virus (HPV). If you are wondering why, the reason is not difficult to understand. HPV may possibly result in cervical cancer if the condition is not detected and treated properly.

According to researcher Diane Harper from the Kentucky-based University of Louisville, approximately 80 percent of sexually active women will have HPV at some point in their life. She elucidated that generally this condition does not produce any symptoms and in about 98 percent cases, the problem disappears by itself. However, in the few cases where this does not happen and if the affected women do not get timely and proper treatment, it may result in pre-cancerous cells that may eventually grow to become cervical cancer.

Avoid vaccinations, opt for healthy foods

HPV vaccinations are said to aid in preventing diagnosis of the condition or even cervical cancer, you need to bear in mind that taking these vaccinations may have a number of severe outcomes. Actually, according to an article carried in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), on average, for every 100,000 persons administered HPV vaccinations, there are 3.4 severe cases of adverse effects, including death. Simultaneously, it was found that this article actually under-reported the hazards associated with vaccines by about five-fold. Incidentally, this kind of under-reporting is quite frequent in the medical as well as medical journal industries, as both risks losing much when any fault is detected with advocated benefits of assorted medical advancements.

In addition, there have been several other appalling stories related to vaccines. For instance, in 2008, 28 women, who received the Gardasil vaccination and soon after they had miscarriages. In another instance, a 12-year-old girl from Wisconsin died after receiving the Gardasil vaccination. There are several such horror instances and they are in droves.

Hence, the best thing is to avoid vaccinations as far as possible. In fact, very less is known about the benefits and risks of vaccinations. Till date, there are numerous instances of people suffering from incapacitating health reactions after being vaccinated.

Therefore, instead of taking vaccinations, it is advisable that you resort to healthy foods to help resolve your health issues.

Top 3 foods for protecting cervical health

An active component of turmeric, curcumin can work wonders for enhancing the health of your cervix. Findings of a study undertaken by researchers at India's Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology (ICPO) have shown that curcumin possesses the ability to protect our body from being affected by HPV. As a result, it may also be helpful in avoiding cervical cancer.

Turkey tail
Specific types of mushrooms like chaga, maitake and reishi are excellent for boosting the immune system, which is vital for protecting us against viruses. One particular mushroom called the turkey tail has drawn a lot of attention for its ability to especially protect us from HPV. Several studies have associated this mushroom with exhibiting unbelievable potential in enhancing the activity of the natural killer cell. It has been found that turkey tail mycelium particularly discharges potent anti-viral chemicals, which have proved to be exceptionally active against human papilloma virus (HPV). Hence, it is advisable that you take supplements containing turkey tail to protect your cervical health. Preferably, you should use the liquid form or extract of this mushroom.

Foods containing vitamin B17
Also referred to as amygdalin, vitamin B17 is known to possess anti-carcinogenic properties. It is always worth trying this vitamin, especially when you are endeavouring to enhance your cervical health. In fact, use of this particular vitamin is also beneficial for improving your overall health. Some foods that contain moderate to elevated amounts of vitamin B17 include apricot seeds, raw macadamia, wheatgrass, mung beans and fava beans.

Moreover, like on any other occasion, ensure that you stay away from junk foods and eat fresh foods whenever possible. In fact, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts are some healthy fruits, while kiwi and cantaloupe are some fruits that are beneficial for your overall health.

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Lemon juice: A natural cure for asthma

A common respiratory problem, asthma is not only widespread in the United States, but worldwide. According to rough estimates, there are about 300 million asthma patients worldwide. This respiratory condition is more common in children and it is the number one reason why children visit the emergency room in the United States every year.

Asthma is distinguished by intermittent spells of inflammation, which are known as exacerbations or flare ups. If the patient is exposed to any irritant or allergen such as a strong perfume or smoke during one such episode, it may result in immune response inside the respiratory tract, which may cause excess mucous and inflammation inside the air passages making it difficult to breathe. Many prescription drugs, including pills and inhalers, are available for treating asthma. These medications may help to cure the condition, but there are other natural substitutes that have no adverse side effects unlike most prescription drugs. Lemon juice is one such effective natural alternative for treating asthma.

Why asthmatics should use lemon juice

Before discussing the reasons why drinking lemon juice is a perfect natural treatment for asthma, we need to bear in mind that the flare-ups or exacerbations usually occur owing to an immune response. Lemon juice possesses the aptitude to not only reinforce the immunity, but also make the immune system not as much of hypersensitive. These effects of lemon juice are attributed to its rich vitamin C content as well as the fact that it contains potent antioxidants. Both these have been associated with a healthy immune system. This is the main reason why people have been traditionally using lemon juice to treat various infections for several thousands of years.

In addition to vitamin C and antioxidants, lemon juice also contains citric acid, which is very useful for treating asthma. In fact, citric acid possesses potent detoxifying properties and, hence, it helps the body in getting rid of all allergens, toxins and waste substances that may set of an asthma attack. In addition, citric acid also possesses antioxidant properties, which may be useful for strengthening the immune system in the same way as vitamin C. Findings of a recent study showed that when asthma patients inhaled limonene, an active element of lemons, it helped them to reduce the inflammations in the airways and also the damage caused by an asthma flare-up.

Incorporating lemons in your diet

Consumption of lemons will only be effective if they are taken regularly. However, the good news is that you can incorporate lemons in your diet in several ways. Some of the common ways are discussed below.

Drinking water with fresh lemon juice on an empty stomach every morning is an excellent way of consuming lemons. You can continue to drink this at regular intervals all through the day. Alternatively, you can blend lemon juice with olive oil and use the mixture as a dressing for salads as well as other raw vegetables. In addition, you can squeeze a fresh lemon and add its juice to a glass of iced tea or cup of hot tea. You may also add lemon juice to different fish recipes.

Before concluding, it is worth reiterating that people suffering from asthma will benefit if they consume lemon juice on a regular basis. You can add lemon to your diet in various ways and obtain its health benefits, especially in protecting and improving the health of your respiratory system.