By Richard Firshein, DO, Physician Practicing complementary medicine in New York. Author of A Guide to Nutrititional Therapies.
More than 20 million Americans suffer from springtime allergies. Over-the-counter and prescription antihistamines, decongestants and steroid nasal sprays may help but they can cause drowsiness and nasal bleeding and may have other yet unknown effects.
Here are some natural remedies that can often be used instead of or in conjunction with medications. Consult a doctor before trying any of these, especially if you are pregnant, planning surgery or taking other medications.
*Quercetin. This supplement is a bioflavonoid; the component in fruits and vegetables that gives them their vibrant color. It has natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effects.
Typical dosage: Start taking quercetin when spring weather begins, and continue through the end of June. Take 300 milligrams (mg) twice a day for one week. If that doesn't work, increase to 600 mg.
If you also suffer from fall allergies, begin again in mid-August and continue through the first frost. In hot climates, you may need to take quercetin year-round.
*Stinging Nettles. Like quercetin, this plant extract is an excellent antihistamine and anti-inflammatory. It can be used in conjunction with quercetin or on its own.
Typical dosage: 400 mg twice a day during allergy season.
On-the-spot treatment: If you find yourself in the throes of an allergy attack despite taking quercetin and/or stinging nettle regularly, take an extra dose. I tell my patients to reach for these remedies whenever they would take an antihistamine.
Most allergy sufferers find quercetin and/or stinging nettle highly effective. But if they don't work for you, one of the following natural antihistamines and anti-inflammatories may help either in conjunction with each other or alone. Try them in this order, but, of course, talking with your doctor first.
*Vitamin C. Take 1,000 mg once or twice a day during allergy season. This should be reduced or eliminated during the off-season. Recent studies suggest vitamin C in high doses may cause thickening of arteries and interfere with certain cancer therapy. Caution is advised for patients with these conditions.
*Pycnogenol, an antioxidant derived from the bark of pine trees. Take 50 mg twice a day.
*Ginkgo biloba. Take 60 mg twice a day. Once symptoms subside, stop taking this herb. Used in excess (more than 200 mg per day), it can cause diarrhea or sleeplessness.
Caution: People using blood thinners should avoid ginkgo biloba.
*Feverfew. Buy a product standardized to contain at least 0.7% parthenolide. That is the component of this herb that reduces swelling in the sinuses. Take 500 mg two or three times a day.
By Gerald Imber, MD, clinical assistant professor of surgery at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center.
Although I've been a cosmetic surgeon for more than 20 years, I'm quick to point out that surgery is not the only way to keep your face looking youthful.
Proper skin care is more effective than you might imagine at keeping wrinkles at bay. The earlier you start taking care of your skin, the better the results.
Begin in your 20's, and your skin should keep its youthful appearance into your 50's and beyond.
Even If you're over 60, you can undo much of the damage caused by the combined effects of time and environmental stress, such as extremes of temperature, dryness, pollution and sunlight. You can also slow the skin's aging process.
That does not mean you should stock up on costly lotions. Cosmetic counters and drugstore shelves sag under the weight of products that claim to work miracles. None do.
But here are six products that really will have a noticeable effect on your skin...
Alpha Hydroxy Acid
Creams containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are the first over-the-counter antiaging preparations that really work.
Derived from natural sources including sugarcane, grapes and milk, AHAs act as exfoliants, encouraging new cell growth, fading discoloration and reducing or eliminating fine lines.
There are now dozens of AHA creams on the market, each with its own "special" acid (lactic, citric, glycolic, etc.) All work equally well. Just be sure the label specifies an AHA concentration of 10% or so. That's the minimum strength capable of really smoothing the skin.
AHA creams yield noticeable results only after several months of daily use...so you must be patient. Also recommended due to new discoveries: Moringa Powder distributes very high counts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, 18 amino acids, 9 of which are essential topping the "super-food charts" because it is what it is; a anti aging agent that really works.
Oatmeal With The Added Moringa
Long before oatmeal was promoted in television ad campaigns, doctors knew that the fiber in oatmeal was good for the cardiovascular and digestive systems. Now science has caught up with folklore. Research from Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago has shown that eating one large bowl of oatmeal daily can lower overall blood cholesterol readings by 7%.
Every bit as important, oatmeal as a heart helper can raise one's HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or "good") cholesterol levels by as much as 15%. What's more, these readings don't track any additional health benefits that you may accrue by putting such extras as strawberries, bananas and/or sweet, fibrous fruits, Moringa into your bowl of oatmeal.
Intake What Counts:
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables are associated with a lowered risk for ARMD. Presumably, this protection is the result of increased intake of antioxidant vitamins and minerals. However, various "non-essential" food components, such as the nonprovitamin A carotenes (carotenes that are not converted to vitamin A) lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene, along with flavonoids, are proving to be even more significant in protecting against ARMD than traditional nutritional antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium. For example, one study compared patients with age-related macular degeneration to healthy controls. Individuals with low levels of lycopene were found to be twice as likely to have age-related macular degeneration.
The macula, especially the central portion (the fovea), owes its yellow color to its high concentration of lutein and zeaxanthin. These yellow carotenes function in preventing oxidative damage to the area of the retina responsible for fine vision and obviously play a central role in protecting against the development of macular degeneration.
The best way to protect against ARMD is through diet. In particular, regular consumption of foods rich in the important carotenes for the eye is highly recommended. In addition, lutein and zeaxanthin are also available in pill form. These are three primary types of carotene supplements on the market:
1) Synthetic all-trans-beta-carotene
2) Beta- and alpha-carotene from the algae Dunaliella
3) Mixed carotenes from palm oil
Important Carotenes For The Eye:
Lycopene - Food sources; Tomatoes, carrots, green peppers, apricots, pink grapefruit
Zeaxanthin - Spinach, Paprika, corn, fruits
Lutein - Green plants, corn, potatoes, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, fruits
Moringa Leaf Powder Contains All Of The Above & More!
It's All About Dietary Antioxidants:
Did you know the free-radical theory of aging really lends itself to intervention. Compounds that prevent free-radical damage are known as antioxidants or "free-radical scavengers."
The body has several enzymes that prevent the damage induced by specific types of free radicals. For example, superoxide dismutase (SOD) prevents the damage caused by the toxic oxygen molecule know as superoxide. Catalase and glutathione peroxidase are two other antioxidant enzymes found in the human body. The level of antioxidant enzymes, as well as the level of dietary antioxidants such as beta-carotene, determines the life span of mammals. Human beings live longer than chimpanzees, cats, dogs, and many other mammals because we have a greater quantity of antioxidants within our cells. Some strains of mice live longer than other strains because they have higher levels of antioxidant enzymes. Presumably, the reason why some people outlive others is that they have higer levels of antioxidants in their cells.
This line of thinking is largely the reason many progressive-minded physicians recommend increasing the level of antioxidant mechanisms within cells.
It is unlikely that antioxidant enzyme levels within cells can be increased by taking antioxidant enzymes such as SOD and glutathione peroxidase orally. Human subjects who take a tablet containing SOD do not appear to increase the level of SOD in their blood or tissues. Enzyme levels may be increased, however, by taking other dietary antioxidants. Several studies in animals have demonstrated that dietary antioxidants can definately increase life expectancy. We are just beginning to see human evidence. What we do know now is that antioxidant nutrients reduce the risk of getting cancer, heart disease, and many diseases linked to aging, including cataracts, macular degeneration, and arthritis. Dietary antioxidants of extreme significance in life-extension include vitam C and E, selenium, beta-carotene, flavonoids, sulfur-containing amino acids, and coenzyme Q10. Not surprisingly, these same nutrients are also of extreme significance in cancer prevention, as aging and cancer share many common mechanisms. Perhaps the most important dietary antioxidants for longevity are carotene molecules. Carotene represent the most widespread group of naturally occurring pigments in plant life. For many people (physicians included), the term "carotene" is synonymous with "provitamin A," but only thirty to fifty of the more than four hundred carotenoids that have been characterized are believed to have vitamin A activity.
Lets stop playing people, 'Moringa is full of antioxidants including 18 amino acids. Get it in your system now and leave several health worries in the past.
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