Yoga reduces pain in people with chronic non-specific lower back pain


Image: Yoga reduces pain in people with chronic non-specific lower back pain

Chronic non-specific lower back pain, a condition affecting thousands of people, is often treated using over-the-counter medicines that can do more harm than good. But did you know that there are safer and more effective natural treatments available for this condition? Studies have suggested that yoga is an effective way to treat chronic non-specific lower back pain.

To evaluate the effects of yoga on chronic lower back pain, researchers from Cochrane conducted a review of yoga and chronic non-specific lower back pain studies. The studies included in the review involved 1,080 participants aged between 24 and 48 who had chronic non-specific lower back pain. The trials were carried out in various parts of the world, including India, the U.K., and the U.S. The researchers also compared the effects of yoga classes that involve back exercises to non-back exercises.

The findings of the review showed that yoga practice may improve symptoms of lower back pain and enhance back-related function compared to other exercises. The researchers also noted that practicing yoga for three months may reduce pain and practicing it for over six months may improve back-related function.

“Our findings suggest that yoga exercise may lead to reducing the symptoms of lower back pain by a small amount, but the results have come from studies with a short follow-up,” said Susan Wieland, lead author of the study from the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

The researchers concluded that practicing yoga may help reduce pain and improve back function in people with chronic non-specific lower back pain. They added that their findings will help people make better choices about their treatment options in the future. (Related: Treating chronic lower back pain with yoga and physical therapy.)

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Other natural treatments for lower back pain that you may have overlooked

There are many natural treatments for lower back pain. However, some of them, like the following, are often overlooked:

  • Release your feel-good hormones: Endorphins, one of the feel-good hormones, can be as effective as any synthetic pain medication. When the body releases these hormones, pain signals are blocked from registering with the brain. They also help relieve stress, anxiety, and depression – all of which are associated with chronic back pain and which often worsen the pain. Aerobic exercise, massage therapy, and meditation are some ways to promote the release of endorphins in the body.
  • Get adequate sleep: Although most people with chronic back pain suffer from sleeping problems, the lack of quality sleep also makes the pain worse. Thus, it is important to address sleeping problems, too.
  • Use cold therapy: Applying cold compress can help reduce lower back pain. It works by reducing inflammation, which is a common cause of back pain. It also acts as a local anesthetic by decelerating nerve impulses, which prevents the nerves from causing pain and spasms.
  • Use heat therapy: Like cold therapy, heat therapy can relieve lower back pain. It works by stimulating blood flow and inhibiting the pain messages being sent to the brain. You can take a hot bath or shower or use a heating pad or hot water bottle.
  • Stretch your hamstrings: Tight hamstrings also contribute to lower back pain as they stress the lower back and sacroiliac joints which, in turn, cause more pain. Try to gently stretch your hamstrings at least twice a day to relieve lower back pain.

 

Sources include:

Cochrane.org

Spine-Health.com

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A potential remedy for rheumatoid arthritis may be found in this Ayurvedic medicine


Image: A potential remedy for rheumatoid arthritis may be found in this Ayurvedic medicine

The classical Ayurveda medicinal system offers a potential remedy for the often crippling pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Indian researchers recently tested the efficacy of two Ayurvedic medicines – Bhallatakadi Churna with guda and Bhallatak guggulu – in relieving the painful symptoms of the chronic autoimmune disease.

Ayurveda describes rheumatoid arthritis as “Amavata.” Over the centuries, many herbal remedies have been devised to treat this disease.

Ama is a slimy substance similar to mucus. It is produced by digestive and metabolic problems and clogs the channels of the body. Ama combines with the harmful substance vata to create amavata, an agonizing disease that can cause deformities.

The Ayurveda’s description of amavata matches etiopathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Modern medicine traces the disease to inflammatory mediators that injure the micro blood vessels in the joints.

Researchers from the Government Ayurvedic College – Burhanpur (GAC Burhanpur) and the National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA) tested an Ayurvedic medicine prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis. Bhallatak guggulu yoga is made from four herbs that prevent inflammation, control immune response, scavenge free radicals, protect cartilage, and exhibit anti-arthritic activity.

Furthermore, the researchers hoped to improve the management of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, thereby allowing the latter to enjoy higher quality of life. (Related: Natural remedy for rheumatoid arthritis found in this traditional Chinese ethnomedicine.)

The power of the elements: Discover Colloidal Silver Mouthwash with quality, natural ingredients like Sangre de Drago sap, black walnut hulls, menthol crystals and more. Zero artificial sweeteners, colors or alcohol. Learn more at the Health Ranger Store and help support this news site.

Two Ayurvedic medicines tested on rheumatoid arthritis patients

The clinical trial involved 60 patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the age range of 20 to 60 years, with many of them being 41 to 50 years of age. The majority of them (85 percent) were female. They were randomly divided into two groups of 30 participants.

The first group received daily doses of 2.5 grams of Bhallatakadi churna with guda, another Ayurvedic medicine recommended for treating Amavata. The second group was given 500 milligrams of Bhallatak guggul medicine, the primary target of this study.

The intervention period lasted for three months. Every 15 days, the researchers performed follow-ups on the participants.

At the end of the trial, the researchers analyzed the results of the Ayurvedic therapy based on the following criteria: body ache, loss of appetite, listlessness, heaviness of body and joint, thirst, fever, indigestion, and pain.

Participants also rated the pain, swelling, stiffness, and tenderness of their joints. Finally, the researchers measured the effects of either substance on the rheumatoid arthritis factor, the antiseptrolysin O titer, and C-reactive protein level of the patient.

Effects of Bhallatak guggul on Amavata considered to be statistically significant

The researchers found that Bhallatakadi churna with guda and Bhallatak guggul were both able to improve the primary symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Statistics-wise, the effect of the two Ayurvedic treatments were considered to be very significant.

The results on general symptoms – which included pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the joints – were also regarded as statistically significant. So were the effects of the trial medicines on the rheumatoid arthritis factor, the antiseptrolysin O titer, and C-reactive protein of patients.

The data matched the etiology of Amavata as described in the Ayurvedic classics. This supported the similarities between the description of this disease and the etiology of rheumatoid arthritis.

Bhallatak Guggulu is made up of four herbs: Haritaki, Bhallatak, Tila and Guda. Each herb played important roles in stopping the pathogenesis of Amavata, thereby alleviating the symptoms of the disease.

The researchers concluded that both Ayurvedic regimens were able to provide significant relief for patients with Amavata. However, patients who received Bhallatak Guggulu enjoyed faster and greater improvement of their symptoms when compared to the Bhallatakadi churna with guda treatment group.

Therefore, Bhallatak Gugguli was considered to be the superior Ayurvedic remedy for reducing the painful effects of rheumatoid arthritis.

Additional articles about Ayurveda-based natural remedies that can alleviate rheumatoid arthritis can be found at AlternativeMedicine.news.

Sources include:

Science.news

EasyAyurveda.com

IJRAP.net [PDF]

IJAM.co.in

Dramatically reduce your breast cancer risk by simply eating more cruciferous vegetables


Image: Dramatically reduce your breast cancer risk by simply eating more cruciferous vegetables

The odds of a woman developing breast cancer are downright frightening, with one out of every eight women expected to develop invasive breast cancer at some time in her life. Although there’s no way to guarantee you won’t be one of them, there are quite a few things you can do to stack the odds in your favor.

As the second leading cause of death in the U.S., cancer has been the subject of a lot of research. One thing that scientists have consistently found to reduce a person’s chances of developing breast cancer is consuming cruciferous vegetables. Epidemiological studies have found that women who eat cruciferous vegetables each day can reduce their breast cancer risk by as much as 50 percent.

Experts believe that cruciferous vegetables have this effect because they are high in an organosulfate compound known as sulforaphane. Studies have shown that sulforaphane can not only lower your risk of getting cancer and reduce the inflammation that can trigger the disease, but it also kills cancer cells outright. This overachieving compound can also prevent the DNA changes that lead to cancer and deactivate enzymes that transform pro-carcinogens into active carcinogens.

A 2007 Johns Hopkins University study found that sulforaphane inhibits the growth of four different types of breast cancer cells. It’s not just women who can benefit; it has also been shown in studies to significantly slow the development of prostate cancer in men. For example, one study showed that consuming just 60 milligrams of sulforaphane per day in the form of broccoli sprouts was enough to slow the doubling rate of prostate cancer by 86 percent.

In addition to reducing breast cancer and prostate cancer risk, studies haves demonstrated that sulforaphane supports gut health, helping people to maintain a healthy digestive system. It can also help enhance your body’s natural detox process, and it has even been shown to reduce muscle pain after exercise. Another study found that it helps prevent the type of oxidative damage seen in the body that leads to immune system decline as people age.

The best way to get sulforaphane

If you’d like to get these benefits for yourself, there are lots of cruciferous vegetables to choose from, including broccoli, cabbage, kale, mustard greens, Broccoli sprouts, bok choy, and watercress. It’s easy to incorporate these vegetables into your diet, and there are enough different options that you won’t have to worry about getting tired of eating the same thing all the time.

However, if you want to get the most bang for your buck, experts say you should turn to broccoli sprouts. Just 140 grams of the raw sprouts are enough to give you the amounts of sulforaphane seen in many of these studies. If you can’t find organic broccoli sprouts in your local farmer’s market or grocery store, you can make them yourself easily with broccoli sprouting seeds and a glass jar.

Although it’s better to eat cruciferous vegetables raw if you’re looking for their cancer-fighting benefits, it is okay to cook them as long as you don’t overdo it. Avoid boiling them as this inactivates the enzyme that transforms the glucoraphanin in the vegetables into sulforaphane. Instead, steam them lightly for no longer than four minutes.

As more information comes to light about simple dietary changes that can reduce our risk of disease, one can only hope that breast cancer will be far less common in the future than it is now. Consuming the foods that lower your cancer risk should be part of an overall healthy diet and lifestyle, but it’s safe to say that eating cruciferous vegetables requires such a small effort for such a great potential reward.

Sources for this article include:

NaturalHealth365.com

NaturalNews.com

How to Inhale Himalayan Pink Salt to Help Remove Mucus, Bacteria and Toxins from your Lungs


How to Inhale Himalayan Pink Salt to Help Remove Mucus, Bacteria and Toxins from your Lungs

 

There’s a lot of information on the internet about the benefits of Himalayan salt. Many people don’t realize that unlike table salt, Himalayan salt contains the same 84 natural elements and minerals that are found in the human body, minerals which contribute to your overall health and vitality.

Its minerals are in an ionic state, which means that they are tiny enough for our cells to absorb easily.

 

Although it’s relatively new to the United States, salt rooms have been used for therapeutic purposes in Eastern Europe for more than 200 years. Years ago it was common practice for people with lung conditions to visit salt mines for their healing benefits. Ancient Greeks also used Halotherapy (salt therapy) for respiratory problems.

In the United States, salt therapy is becoming more widely known and appreciated with the introduction of salt rooms in spas and other wellness businesses. Salt is known for its antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties.

While many people visit salt mines around the world to help rid themselves of respiratory ailments of all kinds including allergies, asthma, congestion, and hay fever, others flock to salt rooms popping up in cities like New York, Orlando, and London.

But you don’t have to travel far to reap the benefits of Himalayan salt. You can enjoy the health benefits by adding Himalayan salt to your diet, routine or home. Himalayan salt is available in numerous forms such as blocks, slabs, lamps, rocks, ground salt for culinary purposes, coarse salt for baths, or you can make your own Sole.

Benefits of Salt Inhalers

Modern salt inhalers combine the best of old-world and modern technology. The small Himalayan salt rocks rest at the bottom of the inhaler. When you inhale, the natural moisture in the air absorbs the salt particles into the lungs.

This will help to reduce inflammation in the lungs and can help with other conditions such as asthma, allergies, colds, congestion, hay fever and sinus congestion. Unlike traditional inhalers, this therapeutic technique offers no negative side effects.

  • Salt is a natural expectorant and may help in reducing excess mucous.
  • Reducing mucus, may eliminate night time coughing and post nasal drip, allowing you to sleep better.
  • Himalayan salt contains 84 natural elements and minerals that are found in the human body.
  • Salt inhalation therapy can reduce redness and swelling of nasal passages.
  • Himalayan salt inhalers can reduce irritation and inflammation from pollutants and smoke.
  • Salt is known for its antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties. Using a salt inhaler can be used to cleanse the body of harmful organisms.

How to Use a Salt Inhaler

  1. Place Himalayan rocks inside your ceramic inhaler, (don’t use plastic inhalers) according to the package directions.
  2. Place the inhaler mouthpiece in your mouth.
  3. Breathe in normally through the mouth, and exhale through the nose.
  4. Do not add water, the inhaler is for dry therapy only.
  5. When you inhale with long slow deep breaths this will bring the salt ions to the lungs. Because the ions are so small they bypass the nasal filtering system we have and go directly into the lungs. The lungs then absorb the ions and bring them into the bloodstream. This will help to reduce inflammation and can also reduce pain in lungs from various conditions such as asthma, bronchitis or pneumonia.

NOTE: Following the cleaning directions on your inhaler package, and remember inhalers should not be shared, they are recommended for one person only. Each family member should have their own inhaler.

Although many people have seen immediate and drastic results within a few days, in general, the effects of using a Himalayan salt inhaler are more subtle than immediately dramatic and are usually noticed with regular and consistent use.

How to Refill Your Himalayan Salt Inhaler

If you need to refill the salt in the inhaler, simply open the round plastic stopper and empty out the used salt and refill with the fresh coarse Himalayan crystal salt. Plug the stopper back in.

Never refill your inhaler with anything other than Himalayan salt.

According to science, curcumin removes fluoride from the brain


According to science, curcumin removes fluoride from the brain

We’ve discussed the dangers of fluoride many times here at Health Nut News. And while far too many local governments have bought the lie that fluoride is a necessary part of a healthy set of teeth, the truth is that the hazardous effects of the chemical greatly outweigh any purported benefits. Bottom line, fluoride is not safe.

 

 

To date, over three hundred studies have reiterated that fluoride is a dangerous neurotoxin (something that can damage the brain) and three studies were able to link exposure to fluoride with impaired fetal brain development. And the information continues to roll in.

 

 

However, curcumin has been found to reduce the effects of neurotoxicity induced by fluoride. A team of researchers from the Department of Zoology, at University College of Science, M.L. Sukhadia University, spent almost a decade investigating the ways in which fluoride induces neurodegenerative changes in the brains of mammals:

“They focused for the most part on the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. In order to assess the neurotoxic effects and prove curcumin as a protectant at least on some level, these researchers randomly divided up mice into 4 different groups for thirty days. The groups being: control (no fluoride), fluoride (120 ppm), fluoride (120 ppm/3m mg/kg body weight plus curcumin), and curcumin (30 mg/kg body weight).

As expected the fluoride only treatment group showed elevated MDA levels as opposed to the non-fluoride treated control. The fluoride with curcumin group saw reduced MDA levels when compared to the fluoride only group this demonstrating the protective effects one can attain from curcumin.”1

If you’ve never used the spice before don’t be afraid- it’s quite versatile and one of my favorite ways to use it, and get in a good serving of the superfood, is by making golden milk. Check out the recipe below. YUM!

 

THC Makes Cannabis Ideal for Treating Asthma, Study Shows


 

For many , the idea of cannabis being used as an asthma treatment can feel a bit backwards. After all, one of the most common ways cannabis is ingested is by smoking, a method that would seem to be detrimental to those with asthma. However, recent studies have found that cannabis in any form (even smoked) can greatly benefit those suffering from the symptoms of asthma.

Can Marijuana Treat Asthma?

First let’s take a closer look at asthma and what it actually means to have it. Asthma is a fairly common lung disease that results in the narrowing of the airway passage. Due to this narrowing, those suffering from asthma frequently experience feeling out of breath, wheezing or uncontrollable coughing.

While treatment can be used to reduce the effects patients with asthma experience, there is currently no cure for the condition. Asthma attacks can come in many forms and can be triggered by a number of factors including allergies or exercise. While asthma doesn’t reduce your life expectancy, being caught in an intense asthma attack without the proper treatment can be fatal.

So how does a substance that can be smoked help treat asthma? The explanation can be found by examining where asthma begins. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease, while cannabis is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory effects. This means cannabis works in an opposite effect to other substances like tobacco and can actually help expand the lungs instead of constricting them. 

Editor’s Note: A 2015 animal study in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics identified THC specifically as the active compound in cannabis that could benefit people suffering from asthma. They found that THC had anti-inflammatory and bronchodilator effects on airways (very similar to the effect Ventolin has on the lungs during an asthma attack). This is great news! 

So how powerful can a cannabis treatment actually be? For those suffering from an asthma attack the results are practically instantaneous and are similar to the results found with some of the more common name brand inhalers. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from asthma and would like to seek cannabis as a treatment option, be sure to check out your state’s list of qualifying medical conditions for medicinal cannabis to see if you are eligible for such a treatment option.

Other Ways to Treat Asthma Naturally

If you’re looking for more natural forms of asthma treatment, talk to your doctor about the following options:

The Amazing Benefits of Papaya Seeds


Papaya Seeds

Papaya is not only delicious, but it’s also an incredibly healthy fruit. Papaya is the fruit of the Carica papaya plant. Originated in Central America, it is now grown in many other parts of the world and available at most times of the year. The nutrients found in papaya, and particularly in papaya seeds, are thought to have a wide range of health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer. They have also been known to aid in digestion, improve blood glucose control in people with diabetes, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation. So don’t throw those seeds away! Papaya seeds are edible and in small amounts can be very good for you.

Nutritional Profile of Papaya Seeds

Nutrition

Papayas are an excellent source of vitamin C, and one single medium fruit provides 224 percent of the recommended daily intake.

One medium papaya has approximately:

  • 120 calories
  • 30 grams of carbohydrate, including 5 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar and 2 grams of protein

Papayas are also a good source of:

  • folate
  • vitamin A
  • magnesium
  • copper
  • pantothenic acid
  • fiber

They also have B vitamins, alpha and beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, vitamin K, and lycopene, the powerful antioxidant most commonly associated with tomatoes.

Papaya Seeds Kill Worms and Other Parasitic Infections

Parasitic Infections

The seeds of papaya fruit contain high levels of the proteolytic enzyme called papain, which breaks down undigested protein waste, therefore creating a hostile environment in the gastrointestinal tract for parasites to breed. The seeds also contain carpaine, a unique anthelmintic alkaloid that has been shown to be very effective at killing parasitic worms and amoebas. The seeds of papaya have a strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect on your digestive system. Studies have shown that an extract made from papaya seeds is effective at killing E. coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and other dangerous bacteria.

2. Papaya Seeds Help Treat Liver Cirrhosis

Liver Cirrhosis

Liver cirrhosis is a disease wherein the liver shrinks and becomes hardened. In this state, it is ineffective at removing toxins from the body, leading to a variety of serious health problems. Papaya seeds are often reported as an effective treatment for the overall detoxification of the liver. The recommended method is to grind up about ten dried seeds and mix them with a tablespoon of squeezed lemon or lime juice in a glass of water. Many cirrhosis sufferers have seen dramatic improvements with this natural remedy after 30 days.

Papaya Seeds Protect Your Kidneys

Kidneys

Oxidative stress is the most common factor in chronic kidney disease, particularly in patients with diabetes, and can lead to renal failure. Early research suggests that consuming fermented papaya daily for two months can reduce blood sugar levels in people affected by diabetes. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the seeds help detoxify the kidneys and protect them from inflammation.

Papaya Seeds Help Prevent Cancer

Cancer

Papaya seeds contain agents such as phenolic and flavonoids, both powerful compounds that have high antioxidant activities to diminish tumor cell growth. Also, according to a study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Biomarkers, diets rich in beta-carotene, which is found in papayas, may reduce cancer risk and play a protective role against prostate cancer.

Papaya Seeds Fight Heart Disease

Heart Disease

The high content of fiber, potassium, and vitamins in papaya all help to fight heart disease. In fact, a diet rich in potassium and low in sodium is the most effective change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.

Papaya Seeds Reduce Inflammation

Inflammatory Diseases

Papaya fruit and its seeds help fight inflammation in the body, such as arthritis, joint pains, gout, and asthma. Two very important enzymes in papaya seeds (papain and chymopapain) are the key to reducing the inflammation that is associated with these conditions.

Papaya Seeds Help Treat Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Related: Top 9 Fruits That Help Lower Uric Acid

There are reports of papaya seeds being used to successfully treat viral infections such as dengue fever in parts of Central America and Asia. In Costa Rica, in addition to the seeds, they also use the juice from boiling papaya leaves to effectively treat dengue fever. Obviously, this is a serious disease, so consult a doctor if you contract dengue to monitor your condition.

Can Sandalwood Oil Treat Baldness?


Story at-a-glance

  • A small body of European research cosponsored by an Italian pharmaceutical company indicates a synthetic derivative of sandalwood oil can help regrow scalp hair
  • The man-made solution was applied successfully in lab tests and later to a pilot group of 20 women, resulting in an increase in growth hormone and keratin levels, which signaled skin regeneration and hair growth
  • Although the preliminary results sound promising, I recommend you avoid chemical-based hair growth solutions like this one due to the potential toxicity and side effects involved
  • I’ll take this opportunity to remind you of the benefits of sandalwood essential oil, as well as share some of the most common reasons for hair loss

By Dr. Mercola

If you struggle with hair loss, at first glance, research out of Europe demonstrating the effectiveness of a sandalwood preparation to support hair growth may seem promising. After all, the smell of natural sandalwood is a pleasing woody scent to which you have very likely been exposed.

Before you get too excited though, be advised the research was cosponsored by an Italian pharmaceutical company and was completed using a synthetic derivative of sandalwood oil that is used in the company’s haircare products.

While I cannot recommend you try a chemical-based hair growth solution like Sandalore®, I will comment on the research. I’ll also take this opportunity to remind you of the benefits of sandalwood essential oil, as well as share some of the most common reasons for hair loss.

Synthetic Sandalwood Chemical Shown to Promote Hair Growth

A 2018 study published in the journal Nature Communications1 suggests the woody, floral scent of a synthetic sandalwood-containing product has been shown to stimulate hair growth in both lab tests and a small pilot study involving 20 females. The product — Sandalore® — is associated with Giuliani Pharma, the pharmaceutical company that cosponsored the research.2,3

Lead researcher Ralf Paus, professor of cutaneous medicine at the U.K.’s University of Manchester and director of research and deputy of the university’s center for dermatology research, and his team sought to uncover the role of cutaneous olfactory receptor OR2AT4 in the process of growing new hair.4 One source notes Paus acts as a consultant for Giuliani Pharma.5

As noted in the video above, some of the same scientists previously showed that the OR2AT4 receptor plays a positive role in wound healing.6 In the current body of work, Paus and company bathed patches of human scalp tissue (taken from people getting facelifts) for six days in Sandalore® to see if the OR2AT4 receptors might possibly affect hair formation. Notably, the group observed:7,8

  • A 25 to 30 percent increase in a growth hormone released in the Sandalore®-infused scalps
  • The delay of natural death in cells linked to hair production
  • An increase in keratin levels, which signaled skin regeneration and hair growth9

Along with the synthetic sandalwood chemical, the researchers coadministered an OR2AT4 antagonist called Phenirat®, which was shown to silence OR2AT4 and inhibit hair growth. About the results, the researchers stated:10

“Here, we show the epithelium of human hair follicles, particularly the outer root sheath, expresses OR2AT4, and specific stimulation of OR2AT4 by a synthetic sandalwood odorant (Sandalore®) prolongs human hair growth ex vivo by decreasing apoptosis and increasing production of the anagen-prolonging growth factor IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1).

[O]ur study identifies that human hair follicles can engage in olfactory receptor-dependent chemosensation and require OR2AT4-mediated signaling to sustain their growth, suggesting olfactory receptors may serve as a target in hair-loss therapy.”

“This is actually a rather amazing finding,” Paus told The Independent.11 “This is the first time ever it has been shown that the remodeling of a normal human miniorgan [a hair] can be regulated by a simple, cosmetically, widely used odorant.”

What Are Odorants and Olfactory Receptors and How Do They Work?

If you’re not familiar with “odorants,” Newsweek defines them as “an ingredient used to give a particular smell to a product.”12 While you may not realize it, your body is covered with olfactory receptors, which work to boost your sense of smell. Besides the ones found in your nose, your body has a few hundred of these “chemoreceptors” scattered throughout its tissues.

In fact, a review of more than 200 studies, published by the American Physiological Society (APS),13 asserts olfactory receptors, which can be described as “proteins that bind to odors that aid the sense of smell,”14 perform a variety of functions outside the nose. Many of these functions are still being identified.

According to Medical News Today, in the APS study researchers used DNA tools to determine each type of bodily tissue has five to 80 olfactory receptors. They also noted distinct types of olfactory receptors — different from the ones housed in healthy cells — are found in abundance in cancer cells.15 The study authors stated:16

“Olfactory receptors (ORs) are not exclusively expressed in the olfactory sensory neurons; they are also observed outside of the olfactory system in all other human tissues tested to date, including the testis, lung, intestine, skin, heart and blood.

Within these tissues, certain ORs have been determined to be exclusively expressed in only one tissue, whereas other ORs are more widely distributed in many different tissues throughout the human body.

For most of the ectopically expressed ORs, limited data are available for their functional roles. They have been shown to be involved in the modulation of cell-cell recognition, migration, proliferation, the apoptotic cycle, exocytosis and pathfinding processes.”

Identifying the olfactory receptors is just one part of the equation, says study author Dr. Hanns Hatt, head of the department of cell physiology at Germany’s Ruhr University Bochum. He suggests scientists also must identify and analyze the large number of odorants that trigger them, which is a huge undertaking.

“Unfortunately, the activating odorants of only about 50 of the 350 human olfactory receptors have been identified to date,” says Hatt.17

Why You Don’t Want to Put Toxic Chemicals on Your Face, Hair or Skin

With respect to the current study, Paus and his team indicated the scalp tissue needed to be continuously stimulated by OR2AT4 olfactory receptors to achieve maximum hair growth. They suggest their technique, which is likely to move on to clinical trials, may one day emerge as a complementary treatment for baldness.18

In my opinion, unless you want to slather your skin with toxic chemicals, you’d be wise to look elsewhere for hair growth solutions. After all, the PubChem website suggests Sandalore® is, at the least, a potential irritant and also an environmental concern related to “aquatic toxicity.”19

For certain, it contains neither natural sandalwood nor sandalwood essential oil. In fact, Paus says a natural sandalwood product would not have the same effect on hair loss because “it does not bind to OR2AT4.”20

Unfortunately, just because a product is sold over-the-counter does not make it safe for use. Of the nearly 13,000 chemicals used in American cosmetics, only 10 percent have been tested for safety. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the authority to regulate ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products, they often do not exercise it.

The reality is, personal care products are allowed to reach store shelves without prior approval by a regulating agency. Only after a product has demonstrated harm, has been misbranded or adulterated, may the FDA take action. According to the FDA’s description of their authority over cosmetics:21

“The law does not require cosmetic products and ingredients, other than color additives, to have FDA approval before they go on the market, but there are laws and regulations that apply to cosmetics on the market in interstate commerce.

FDA’s legal authority over cosmetics is different from our authority over other products we regulate, such as drugs, biologics and medical devices. Under the law, cosmetic products and ingredients do not need FDA premarket approval, with the exception of color additives.

However, FDA can pursue enforcement action against products on the market that are not in compliance with the law, or against firms or individuals who violate the law.”

For more information on how to keep yourself safe with respect to the products you use on your face, hair and skin, check out my Hidden Dangers in Personal Care Products Infographic. For now, let’s turn our attention to a natural product you can use without hesitation, although not necessarily for hair loss: sandalwood essential oil.

What Is Sandalwood Oil?

Sandalwood essential oil is derived from the heartwood of the East Indian sandalwood (Santalum album), a hemiparasitic evergreen that grows by joining the root system of other trees. The sandalwood tree belongs to the Santalaceae family.

Sandalwood oil has been around for millennia and factors prominently in many cosmetics, fragrances and personal care products. It also is used for meditative and spiritual practices, particularly in India.

India and Indonesia are the largest producers and exporters of sandalwood oil.22 The oil is extracted through steam distillation using pieces of wood from mature sandalwood trees. Some suggest trees at least 80 years old are preferred because, the older the tree, the more oil available and the stronger the aroma.23

The oil has a woody, exotic smell that’s subtle and lingering. Its color ranges from pale yellow to pale gold. Although expensive, it has many wonderful characteristics that make it useful and beneficial for health and wellness, making it worth every penny.

Some of the Uses of Sandalwood Oil

Sandalwood oil is well-known for the calming, harmonizing effect it has on your mind. Simply inhaling it will help you reduce confusion and tension. Sandalwood oil has long been used in Ayurveda, India’s holistic health practice, for the treatment of mental and somatic disorders.24 About this oil, one group of researchers stated:25

“Compared to either an odorless placebo or alpha-santalol (the main active compound in sandalwood oil), sandalwood oil elevated pulse rate, skin conductance level and systolic blood pressure. Alpha-santalol, however, elicited higher ratings of attentiveness and mood than did sandalwood oil or the placebo.

Correlation analyses revealed these effects are mainly due to perceived odor quality. The results suggest a relation[ship] between differences in perceived odor quality and differences in arousal level.”

Sandalwood also is in demand as incense, often being used in various types of yoga and a number of Hindu ceremonies and rituals. Regardless of your religious affiliation, you may find sandalwood oil useful during periods of anxiety, chronic illness, depression, fear and stress.

Beyond that, sandalwood oil is beneficial in skincare given its ability to relieve inflammation and itching, as well as soothe dehydrated skin. Furthermore, sandalwood oil is well-known as a remedy for acne, dandruff, eczema, psoriasis, rashes and scar tissue. Sandalwood oil can be found in consumer products such as creams, deodorants, incense, lotions, perfumes and soaps.

Be advised you should not apply sandalwood oil directly to your skin. For topical application, be sure to mix sandalwood essential oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or jojoba oil. Also, for your safety, I recommend you perform a skin test on the underside of your arm to ensure you are not allergic before applying this oil over a large area.

Health Benefits of Sandalwood Oil

According to Organic Facts, the many health benefits of sandalwood essential oil can be attributed to “its properties as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, astringent, cicatrizant, carminative, diuretic, disinfectant, emollient, expectorant, hypotensive, memory booster, sedative and a tonic substance.”26

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology validated its “biological activity as an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antiproliferative agent.”27 The study authors asserted:28

“Sandalwood album oil has also shown promise in clinical trials for treatment of acne, psoriasis, eczema, common warts and [the skin infection] molluscum contagiosum.

The favorable safety profile, ease of topical use and recent availability of pharmaceutical-grade sandalwood album oil support its broader use as the basis of novel therapies in dermatology.”

For aromatherapy, you might try blending sandalwood oil with bergamot, geranium, lavender, myrrh, rose, vetiver or ylang-ylang.29 Below is a summary of the top health benefits associated with sandalwood essential oil:30

Anti-inflammatory — While beneficial for all types of inflammation, sandalwood oil is known to be particularly beneficial with respect to circulatory and nervous system-based inflammation31
Antiseptic — Soothes boils, pimples, sores and wounds, ensuring the affected areas remain infection free32,33
Antispasmodic — Given its nature as a relaxant and sedative, you may find sandalwood oil to be useful to counteract spasms by relaxing your blood vessels, muscles and nerves; apply it when you have aches, coughs or cramps34
Astringent — While mild compared to other natural compounds, sandalwood oil is said to possess astringent properties beneficial for tightening your skin; for this reason, it is commonly found in aftershaves and facial toners35
Disinfectant — The distinctive fragrance of sandalwood oil has been shown to repel insects and resist germs, which is why it is a popular ingredient in disinfectants, fumigants, incense sticks and sprays36
Expectorant It is specifically effective in treating coughs, but it also helps fight the infections that cause coughs, colds, the flu or mumps37
Memory booster — Sandalwood oil has been noted for its ability to boost your memory and support concentration, thereby reducing anxiety and stress38
Sedative effect — This oil is well-known for inducing calmness, positivity and relaxation, driving away anxiety, fear, restlessness and stress39

Possible Reasons for Hair Loss and Steps You Can Take to Troubleshoot the Issue

If you are losing your hair, be assured I am someone who understands what that is like. Hair loss is a common condition that affects most people — including me — at some time in their lives. Regardless of your age and health, hair loss can be an embarrassing, emotional and psychologically damaging ordeal that can affect your mood, self-esteem and relationships.

In many cases, hair loss has genetic ties, but that is just one of the possible causes. You may be losing your hair due to:40

An autoimmune condition such as alopecia areata Medication side effects
Chemotherapy Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) if you are a woman
Chronic illness such as anemia or thyroid disease Stress
Hormone imbalance, such as producing too much testosterone if you are a woman Vitamin or mineral deficiency, including a lack of B vitamins, vitamin D, iron, magnesium and zinc, to name a few

While there are many commercially available medications and treatment options for hair loss, I advise you to consider the natural remedies first. As a first step, work with your doctor to rule out an underlying illness, hormone imbalance, medication issue or vitamin or mineral deficiency. If it’s been awhile since your last physical and complete blood count, schedule it as soon as possible.

If stress might be a factor in your hair loss, you might consider using the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to reduce your stress level, as demonstrated in the video above.

Only as a last resort should you consider applying a synthetic chemical compound, like the one mentioned earlier, to your scalp. As disappointing as it may seem, the potential adverse side effects of Sandalore® and other conventional hair-loss treatments almost always outweigh any potential benefits.

Is homeopathy a proven science?


Answered: Is homeopathy proven?

The words you are looking for is “Is homeopathy backed by evidence?”

You do not prove things in the real world, you back them by evidence. Proving things is something done in the world of mathematics and logic.

Now about the question. Is it backed by evidence?

No.

It has been around for 200 years and it has not performed better than placebo under controlled double blind conditions. But it is not expected to either, since none of its underpinnings are scientific either.

Homeopathy is based on the idea of like cures like. For example: If you are sleepless, you take a substance known as a stimulant like caffeine. You then take a solvent, usually water, and dissolve the active ingredient and dilute it.

You then do some process of shaking and diluting repeating the process. In when repeated often enough the homeopathic brew is diluted beyond a point where it is even unlikely that a single molecule of active ingredient left. The proposed mechanism is that water has memory and the more you dilute the homeopathy remedy, the more potent it becomes.

Packed in there are two claims.

  1. Water has memory. This claim is not backed by evidence, and is selectively applied. There for example is no reason why it works on the active ingredient perfectly but not at all for any minerals present in the solvent.
  2. A substance gets more potent the more diluted it is. This has never been demonstrated and goes against verified chemistry, physics and biology.

So why was it proposed this way? Because 200 years ago people did not know about atomic theory, germ theory of disease, Avogadro’s number and a host of other pieces of verified science that directly contradict it.

It is not backed by evidence, it has never been backed by it, and it would violate a lot of verified science for it to work.

 

800 Reasons Turmeric Threatens Big Pharma


No single herb threatens the pharmaceutical industry’s global monopoly as much as turmeric. Here’s why…

Turmeric has received a lot of attention in the past few years. The reason has everything to do with the power of social media to undercut traditional pharmaceutical industry controlled media channels, along with the reality that the available published literature that has accumulated on turmeric’s health benefits is astoundingly vast. The open access database MEDLINE, for instance, now contains over 10,000 study abstracts on turmeric and/or its components, such as the polyphenol known as curcumin. Our intention at GreenMedInfo.com is to save you time looking through these thousands of studies by putting all the relevant ones to natural and integrative medicine in one spot. In the case of the burgeoning volume of turmeric and curcumin literature, that spot is our Turmeric Research dashboard.

Previously, we wrote an article titled “600 Reasons Turmeric May Be The World’s Most Important Herb,” which received a quarter of a million social media shares and many more views. Since then, the Greenmedinfo database on turmeric has grown to encompass 800 distinct potential health benefits linked to this ancient Indian spice. This is all the more amazing when you consider the fact that most pharmaceutical drugs are marketed for one major health benefit, but come with about 75 known side effects. Take a look at our article showing curcumin as effective as 14 conventional pharmaceuticals. Clearly natural substances are superior to synthetic ones in this regard, and in a very real, embody physically a form of inter-kingdom compassion between plant and animal. And yet, you can not patent natural substances, which precludes turmeric or any of its extracts from ever receiving FDA approval for the prevention or treatment of disease, even though it is capable of doing exactly this

The purpose of this article is to help bring turmeric back into the forefront by introducing our newly refashioned and retooled Turmeric database, which we believe will provide the tools necessary to spread the truth about its unparalleled healing properties.

We also encourage those who believe in our mission to support the continued growth of our Turmeric database (our goal is to reach 1,000+ documented health benefits by the end of 2016), along with the 10,000+ other health topics on our website, by becoming a member. Or, lacking the resources to do so, to share it widely with others. This should help us to realize the three primary objectives of our mission:

1) To generate a greater awareness of Medline as the invaluable resource and much overlooked National Treasure that it is.

2) To contribute to the democratization of the information on Medline by acting as a liaison in its dissemination to the public.

3) To simplify the task of finding data relevant to alternative & complementary medicine.

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