Archive for January, 2009

Climate Change Could Affect Food Production

January 13, 2009

Climate-change alarmism runs into a reality check
Kampala — FOLLOWING the recent climate change talks in Poznan Poland, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for global solidarity on Climate Change but this happens not to be a situation in Uganda since we have failed to recognise climate change as a priority, yet we are vulnerable due the fact that we depend on natural resources.

Looking at the current status of Uganda, there is no weather and climate policy. There are low levels of awareness of weather and climate among population, no adequate determination of adaptation and mitigation options to control green house gas emissions.

Uganda has actively participated in international fora on climate change, including being a vice president of the Conference of Parties, which is a member of Clean Development Mechanism and being signatory to most of the environmental conventions and protocols but has lagged behind in management and conservation of the environment.

Uganda is especially vulnerable, as evidenced by the impacts of the current climate variability and weather extremes such as floods, droughts and food security.

According to climate risk management and adaptation strategy – approach paper 2008, climate change could result in economic losses of the order of 5% to 20% of global domestic product and in the coming few decades, 1% to 2% of the domestic product in Africa, with some sectors much more exposed than others.

The aspects of climate change has silently been considered in Uganda basing on the fact that, it is a human induced change in the earth’s climate caused by the release of huge amounts of green house gases into the atmosphere.

Currently, the situation in Uganda is alarming, over 90,000 hectares of Uganda’s forest cover disappear per year yet deforestation is responsible for up to 20% green house gases, high rapid rate of urbanisation and un professional urban planning with low sound eco-housing guidelines and wide spread wetland degradation.

A recent International Climate Risk Report labels Uganda as one of the most unprepared and most vulnerable countries in the world yet vulnerability is a key concept for appraising effective interventions and responses to climate change. Ultimately, the economic crisis and losses of climate change will prevent Uganda from reaching the internationally agreed development goals including the millennium development goals.

While mitigation of green house gas emissions is crucial to limit long time climate change, in the short to medium term, adaptation to climate change is the only option to manage the adverse impacts of climate change and maximise development outcomes.

To maximise development impacts the most promising approach and a logical 1st step is to link disaster risk reduction and climate risk management and adaptation approach by addressing both current climate variability and extremes and future climate risks. The Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation at Makerere University and other forestry related institutions should be involved in the guidance and planning when addressing forestry programmes in the mitigation and adaptation for climate change.

Implement and strengthen “Article 6” of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that calls on governments to provide education, training, and public awareness on climate change.

Ultimately, the need for establishment of an environment fund to cater for implementation and adaptation plans, ratifying national adaptation programme of action into local adaptation plans of action and the need for the diligent participation of civil society and stakeholders to inform the government on appropriate methods. We must act to show that climate change is at Uganda’s focal point since it is the greatest thing hanging over humanity. Together, we can combat climate change.


Stevia – The Natural, Herbal Sweetener

January 12, 2009

Stevia – The Natural, Herbal Sweetener
If you are tired of the overly processed sugar you are currently adding to your coffee, or tea, to sweeten it up, you might want to try a more natural alternative: stevia. It’s 300 times more sweet than sugar, and requires very little processing. People are fond of it for its natural state, as well as the fact you can grow it yourself.Stevia extract comes from about 150 different species of herbs, in the genus Stevia. It’s a group of plants related to asters, daisies and sunflowers. The compound that give stevia its sweet taste is found in the leaves and is chemically known as stevioside.

Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? Well, unfortunately there have been many studies on the safety of stevia as a sweetener, and the results are quite mixed. Currently, the FDA does not approve of stevia as a food additive in the USA or Canada, only as a dietary supplement (meaning companies can’t use it as an ingredient in their products).

Well, stevia has been used in Japan for decades in many food products and is almost as popular as regular sugar. I guess it can’t be all that dangerous after all.

Science and politics aside, I thought I would give stevia a try. I purchased a bottle of liquid stevia and was a bit surprised by the cost. A small dropper bottle (60 mL) and it was about $14.00 Canadian. Quite a bit more expensive than plain sugar. Granted, you only need a few drops per cup of coffee. The bottle claimed that only 1-4 drops is necessary in a cup of beverage, but I used around 6.

It was pure sweetness, with no aftertaste or other flavour at all. I do prefer brown sugar for the taste, but the stevia certainly did the trick for sweetening.

You likely won’t find it in your regular grocery store, but most large bulk or natural food stores carry it. There are many sources online as well

Conventional Prostate Cancer Treatment Contributes to Cognitive Decline

January 10, 2009

Conventional Prostate Cancer Treatment Contributes to Cognitive Decline

Through many cancer regiments, the results of the treatments leave the patients with debilitating and most of time deadly side effects such as hair loss, vomiting, weight loss, edema, immune dysfunction, etc. For prostate cancer, another consequence of the treatment can be added to the list: the degeneration of cognitive abilities.

Typically, prostate cancer patients go through a treatment known as androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) or hormone deprivation therapy that blocks testosterone production and can slow the growth of the tumor.

Though a recent MSNBC article presents the type of cognitive decline as miniscule and limited to functions such as spatial ability and the ability to multitask (and other such actions), can we be certain that the effects of this treatment are as minimal as the mainstrem media make it out to be? I do not think anyone can accurately know the answer to that question, unless there are those who know these effects to be more serious than what is reported here; however, what is sure is that these cognitive decline effects can certainly be avoided through natural means.

One way to treat prostate cancer is to cut out low-fat dairy products. Low-fat dairy products are callously promoted under the misconception that saturated fat is unhealthy and “bad” for you. A study conducted by the Cancer Research Center of Honolulu last year found that, after collecting data from 1993-2002 of 82,483 male participants forty-five years old and over, there was a twelve percent decrease in the risk of developing prostate cancer for the whole milk drinkers: there was a sixteen percent increased chance for developing the illness for those who drank 2% milk or skim milk.

Another way to treat prostate cancer is to increase the intake of broccoli and tomatoes together. Sheryl Waters of Natural News wrote, when quoting Professor John Erdman of University of Illinois food science and human nutrition, that, “When tomatoes and broccoli are eaten together, we see an additive effect. We think it’s because different bioactive compounds in each food work on different anti-cancer pathways,” These documented effects demonstrate the wonderful, yet simple, solution to better health that broccoli and tomatoes provide.

Unfortunately, there is another added side effect to the purported treatment for prostate cancer; however, that does not have to be the undue fate of the illness’s sufferers. There are natural treatments that can help to restore the physical and mental health of the afflicted.


Health book summaries

January 8, 2009

Optimal Levels of Cortisol, Insulin and Thyroid are Essential to Vibrant Health

January 6, 2009

Optimal Levels of Cortisol, Insulin and Thyroid are Essential to Vibrant Health

People of today are seeking quality of life, in the midst of a polluted world, an onslaught of chemicals, and a medical establishment educated to reflect corporate interests rather than the interests of patients. They live in a country where the number one gross national product is stress. On top of that, they are the generation whose future is being diminished by the implementation globalism and the move toward one world government. Now more than ever, it is imperative for people to keep themselves at the peak of health, a peak that is based on a foundation of optimal and balanced hormone levels. It’s this hormonal foundation that is the bedrock of support for people trying to live the life they want in today’s world.

All the stress and chemicals in the environment along with poor diet choices have caused people to experience hormonal decline at an earlier and earlier age. Hormonal imbalance is showing up in men and women as early as the late 20’s. Many people in their 30’s are in unrecognized hormonal decline that saps their energy, causes weight gain, and makes their thinking foggy, rendering them into a state where they are unable to act in their own best interests. They are experiencing record levels of depression and sleeplessness. Their traditional physicians answer their symptoms with the prescription pad, adding even more chemicals to the pile without addressing the causes of these symptoms. This failure to address hormonal imbalance by the traditional medical establishment means that people who want to live a long, happy, disease-free life will need to intervene on their own.

Each of the hormones oversees an area of bodily processes, and each person is only as healthy as his or her weakest hormone. The hormonal orchestra requires optimal levels of each player. When one hormone is in decline, the imbalance means the rest will soon follow, causing a downward cascade of all bodily processes. Low levels of estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone lead to erratic production of thyroid, insulin, and cortisol. High cortisol levels and low thyroid levels cause weight gain even when you are eating less and exercising. When cortisol levels are high, sleep is impossible, but heart attack is a real possibililty. Knowing what the major hormones do in the body and what happens when you start to lose them will make you aware of how critical they are to your overall health and well being. These hormones are called major because you can’t live without them. When they fall out of balance, the risk of death is increased.

Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone

Everybody has seen people with high cortisol levels. They are the ones who run around like maniacs trying to achieve. The super woman and the power executive are stereotypes of the high cortisol person. Cortisol is also the hormone of road rage.

Cortisol production increases in response to any stress in the body. It is the body’s survival mechanism, pouring hormone when the fight or flight mechanism is engaged. Cortisol is what allows a mother to lift up a car to save her child. Or what powers a person running away from an attacker. It’s cortisol that gives us the clarity of mind, swiftness and co-ordination of movement, enhanced strength and courage we need to see our way out of threatening situations. These threats can be physical, or psychological.

Cortisol is a steroid hormone made in the adrenal glands. It regulates blood pressure and cardiovascular function as well as the body’s use of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. When cortisol is secreted, it causes a breakdown of muscle protein, leading to release of amino acids into the blood stream. These amino acids are used by the liver to synthesize glucose for energy. Cortisol leads to the release of energy from fat cells to be used by the muscles. These actions ensure that the brain and body have the energy resources they need for defense.

The problem comes when stress becomes chronic, causing the adrenal glands to continuously produce cortisol. This can lead to overtaxed adrenals that eventually become unable to function. High cortisol levels prevent sleep. When you don’t sleep, more hormonal imbalance will follow and the stage becomes set for the onset of degenerative disease. One of the primary causes of continuous physiological stress in women is declining hormone levels. Low estrogen level in the body puts it under a tremendous and continuous stress load. When female hormones are replaced, the ability to sleep returns even in the face of continuing exogenous stress.

There are people who seem to seek out stressful situations and like living on the edge. The continuous flow of cortisol becomes addictive when it translates into feelings of power and euphoria. These people are on their way to adrenal exhaustion. If adrenal exhaustion gets to be severe, it can result in death. Signs of overtaxed adrenal glands are exhaustion, hair falling out, weight gain, irritability, and probably the most telltale sign of all, skin rashes and acne.

When cortisol is doing its job, life seems easy. Stress doesn’t get you down or keep you awake. If cortisol levels are too low, the mood becomes affected. Anxiety begins its downward pull, and you are upset by things you normally would just ignore. Feeling paralyzed between confrontation and escape is a sign of low cortisol as is inability to think clearly in a stressful situation.

Cortisol levels decline with age making it easier for older people to end up with adrenal fatigue. It becomes particularly important at this stage to be able to manage stress effectively. People who are unable to manage their stress for long periods of time are subject to heart attack, stroke and cancer. When stress levels are continuously high as they are in modern life, there is little extra cortisol left to use in your defense when you really need it. If you are unable to bounce back after a particularly stressful physical or psychological encounter, a time out period or a vacation is needed.

Lupus, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, sugar or salt cravings, digestive problems and allergies may indicate high cortisol. Other symptoms are feeling overly stressed, confusion, skin problems, respiratory difficulties, difficulty concentrating, and indifference toward sex.

Weight gain is a problem of low cortisol. People with fatigued adrenal glands from excessive production of cortisol tend to overeat as a way to bolster sagging energy levels. They frequently crave high calorie processed foods because those will prompt a quick energy release. Unfortunately, that quick energy boost is then followed by an even greater energy sag.

Cortisol secretion is promoted by the presence of even the tiniest bit of light. This is why it is so important to sleep in a room that is completely dark with no ‘glow in the dark’ alarm clock. Researchers did a study of one hundred subjects who were placed in a completely dark room with the exception of a pin point of light on the back of their knees. Cortisol levels rose in each subject as a result.

Bio-identical cortisol is available by prescription as a last resort for adrenal exhaustion. It needs to be taken religiously four times every day to be effective.

Insulin has a profound effect on aging

Everybody’s heard about insulin as it relates to diabetes. Even so, many Americans continue to push their bodies closer to the brink of this disease by overeating processed carbohydrates. They are so addicted to these foods that they refused to admit to themselves that these foods cause diabetes. They prefer to see it as a disease that just happened to single them out for no reason.

Insulin and low blood sugar problems are often the cause of fatigue, irritability, depression, mood swings, poor memory, poor co-ordination, dizziness, and the craving for sweets. Extremely low blood sugar makes you feel like a wet noodle, as though your legs are about to collapse and hurl you to the floor. If blood sugar gets low enough, you will pass and be at risk of death.

Blood sugar (glucose) is the fuel for the body. Balanced blood sugar levels generate mental clarity and ease of physical activity. Excessive intake of grains and other carbohydrates, particularly processed carbohydrates, can create havoc with this balance. All carbohydrates break down into sugar in the body and cause a roller-coaster reaction, destabilizing blood sugar levels.

Insulin is secreted by the pancreas to control the sugar level in the blood. It moves sugar into the cells for use in energy production. When the body is flooded with sugar, the pancreas responds with high insulin production, driving so much sugar into the cells that the levels in the blood become too low, resulting in plummeting energy levels and mood swings. In time, this constant overproduction of insulin creates serious metabolic disturbances throughout the body, including insulin resistance and diabetes.

Elevated insulin levels cause the body to have difficulty breaking down fat, promoting weight gain. Increased blood pressure and free radical activity follow, accelerating aging and the development of disease. Insulin resistance and pre-diabetes have finally been linked to the onset of menopause in journals such as the Journal of Metabolism and Endocrinology, and the Journal of Reproductive Medicine.

The bedrock of protection against the high tide of insulin in the body is hormonal balance. After hormones have become balanced, diet becomes another important part of the health regimen with its emphasis on eating whole foods rather than foods that are processed. Carbohydrates should never be eaten alone, but always in conjunction with protein foods. A good rule of thumb is that grams of carbohydrates in any form should not exceed grams of protein at any meal. This makes a chocolate bar with nuts a much better choice than a plain chocolate bar. It seems to go against common sense that a cookie eaten alone will cause greater weight gain that a cookie eaten with a chicken leg, but the chicken leg slows the insulin response to a more normal level. Five minutes of moderate exercise following a meal will also significantly reduce the insulin response.

Foods in their raw state do not product the high level of insulin response that is produced from cooked foods. Anyone who eats carbohydrates unbalanced by protein will probably not achieve the best results from their hormone balancing efforts. Keeping the body well mineralized with supplements such as alfalfa also helps to slow the insulin response.

The thyroid is the master gland of metabolism

Thyroid is the most important hormone since it stimulates cellular energy production. The production of the all other hormones will be impacted when thyroid hormone declines. Every aspect of health will be affected by a poorly functioning thyroid including weight, mental outlook, body temperature, energy level, and the quality of hair and skin. Symptoms of low thyroid hormone are unexplained weight gain, fatigue, dry skin, irregular heartbeat, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, chronic pain, constipation, frequent infections, brittle nails, muscle weakness, low blood pressure, head congestion and sinus problems, joint or muscle pain, hoarseness, and more. Low thyroid levels slow metabolism and energy production. This is why people with low thyroid hormone are always cold, constipated and gain weight without increasing the amount of food they eat.

Selenium is needed for the proper conversion of thyroid hormone. Unbalanced estrogen suppresses thyroid function. Unbalanced estrogen also suppresses thyroid function. Mercury is a thyroid gland contaminate. Stress causes decreased adrenal gland function and prevents the thyroid from functioning optimally.

At the center of each cell is the mitochondria, often referred to as the cellular furnace. It is in this furnace that cellular energy is produced, and it is thyroid hormone that stokes the furnace. Without enough thyroid hormone, the fire begins to go out. This is why old people seem so listless and their simplest movement seems like such a chore. It is as though they have run out of energy and come to a standstill. Younger people also frequently show symptoms of low cellular energy. These are the people who fall asleep in meeting and while reading a book. When cellular energy gets low enough, you literally cannot stay awake and will eventually die.

Thyroid problems develop at any age and usually go so slowly as to remain unnoticed in the beginning. At least 27 million Americans are estimated to have an undiagnosed thyroid problem, and most of them are females. Depression and panic attacks are additional symptoms of thyroid problems that seem to plague only women. If you are tired when you get up after a good night’s sleep or need a nap or two to get through the day, you may have a thyroid problem. Hair falls out and beauty suffers when thyroid hormone is low. The wisdom of the body redirects the hormone away from hair, nails and skin for use in more critical processes.

Most traditional physicians are reluctant to consider thyroid functioning at all. When they do, the standard of care for people with symptoms is to be administered a thyroid hormone stimulating test (TSH). The thinking is that a low score on the TSH usually means the body is isn’t trying to stimulate thyroid production so therefore thyroid production must be OK. A high score on the TSH usually means the thyroid is not functioning well and that’s why the body is trying to stimulate it. Needless to say, this approach misses a lot. They best way to see what your thyroid is up to is to insist on blood testing of TSH, and T3 and T4, the thyroid hormones.

Low thyroid can easily be corrected by adding natural, bio-identical thyroid hormone to the amount being produced by the body. Armour Thyroid is available by prescription. It is thyroid from pigs which is the exact bio-equivalent of thyroid produced by humans. It will be recognized by the body as a natural substance and no side effects will be produced. Most traditional physicians try to convince their patients to use synthetic thyroid replacements, so be prepared to be assertive if you want to use only natural substances.


Statins Raise Prostate Cancer Risk of Obese Men

January 4, 2009

Statins Raise Prostate Cancer Risk of Obese Men

A study conducted earlier this year at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research in Seattle found that the use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, especially when used long-term, seems to raise the risk of prostate cancer among obese men.


Statin drugs inhibits the enzyme which controls the conversion of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A to mevalonate; mevalonate is an essential precursor of cholesterol. Thus, statins are used extensively to treat high cholesterol.

In some studies, statin drugs have been shown to lower the incidence and mortality rates of cardiovascular disease. This has contributed to the skyrocketing use of statins over the last decade or so.

With specific regard to prostate cancer, the use of statins has also recently raised interest. Without being too technical, it suffices to say that, by inhibiting certain processes and chemicals, statin drugs directly or indirectly influence cell signaling pathways, cell growth, cell apoptosis, cell proliferation, inflammation, oxidative stress, angiogenesis and metastasis. These factors all influence cancer in some way.

Some observational studies had previously shown that statin use lowers prostate cancer risk, while others have not found any connection. In fact, in two studies, statin use was linked to an increase in overall risk of getting prostate cancer. The Fred Hutchinson study, which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, thus sought to further examine the relationship between statin use and prostate cancer risk.

Details and Findings of Study

In the study, which was population-based and case-controlled, 1,001 men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2002 and 2005 were compared with 942 cancer-free controls from King County in Washington. The two groups of men were matched for age.

Overall, there was no connection observed between current or previous use of statin drugs and the risk of prostate cancer. Duration of statin use also did not seem to affect prostate cancer risk.

In an interview with Reuters Health, Dr Janet L. Stanford, who led the study, said, “We also found no evidence that use of a statin was associated with risk of developing more aggressive subtypes of prostate cancer. Overall we found no support for the current hypothesis that statin use may reduce risk of prostate cancer.”

However, the findings of the study also indicate a significant increase in prostate cancer risk for obese men who currently use statins. Longer durations of use of the drugs also increased risk. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index of 30 or more.

“Among obese men, current use of a statin was associated with a 50 percent increase in risk of prostate cancer; and use for 5 or more years was associated with an 80 percent increase in risk of the disease; both of these risk estimates were statistically significant,” said Dr Stanford.

Bottom Line

With obesity on the rise and statin drugs routinely prescribed, there is probably a greater need for the medical community and the public at large to take note and take action. At least this study helps to debunk the theory that statin drugs may actually lower prostate cancer risk.

“Given the epidemic of obesity in the US and the frequent use of statins, the positive association we observed raises substantial concern as to the safety of these widely prescribed agents,” added Dr Stanford.

High cholesterol sufferers on statin drugs may want to start exploring natural and safe solutions.


Natural Remedies for Laryingitis

January 3, 2009

Natural Remedies for Laryingitis
Laryngitis leaves a person speechless. At best, the person speaks in a raspy tone or in a whisper. Severe cases lead to a complete loss of the voice. It is inconvenient, especially if your occupation involves a great deal of vocal communication. Acute laryngitis lasts just a few days, but chronic cases can last weeks or even longer. Sometimes it is painful.

The larynx is located in the throat. It is commonly known as vocal chords or vocal folds. It becomes inflamed (the ‘itis’ part of laryngitis) for a number of reasons. A virus, as in a cold, is the most common cause. Bacteria and fungal infections can also cause hoarseness. The coughing which comes with respiratory illness may lead to laryngitis. Over use or abuse of the vocal chords through excessive shouting or incorrect singing habits stress the voice, causing inflammation. Smokers may find themselves with a case of laryngitis. A heavy bout of alcohol intake irritates the throat as well. The throat may erode due to acid reflux. Occasionally, the vocal chords may be disturbed by the presence of a tumor, leading to loss of vocal power.

We cannot claim to cure or treat laryngitis. Natural healing does not necessarily offer specialized recommendations. Instead, illness or disease is seen as an indication that the body is over loaded with issues which cause stress. Issues range from improper care for your body to toxic pollutants.

In our hectic lives, we often neglect the proper care and feeding of our bodies. Insufficient rest, junk food (and drinks), and exposure to environmental toxins take their toll.

At the first sign of a sickness, one needs to realize that the body has been under more stress than it can handle. Too often, we want to take a cup of tea or some pills and continue doing what we have been doing all along. Think again.

Many natural healers recommend beginning intervention for particular ailments with the simplest remedies.

So, let us begin with a common recommendation: get rest and drink plenty of fluids.

Sleep is underrated as a healing modality. True, many ills need a bit more than extra sleep for their resolution, but resting in bed (or on the sofa during the daytime) allows the body to pour its energy more effectively into the immune system.

In addition, while you sleep, in the dark of night, melatonin is produced. Melatonin is important in regulating the body’s daily (circadian) rhythm. It is a powerful antioxidant, which can cross cell membranes and the blood brain barrier. Even the products of melatonin’s attack on free radicals have antioxidant activity. Longevity is one of the side effects of melatonin’s action in the body as it seems to generate a powerful response from the immune system. It may assist in fighting viral and bacterial infections, including those which may be implicated in laryngitis.

So, get plenty of rest, especially in a dark room at night. If you need to get up, do not turn on a light. And when you wake up, be sure to drink plenty of water.

Water is essential to life. The body is at least seventy percent water. The body counts on blood and lymph fluids as transportation systems. They carry nutrients and immune system components to where they are needed and cart off waste products. Too many people stumble through their day to day lives depriving their bodies of necessary fluids or consuming substances which decrease the available fluids. So, it is essential that one increase fluid intake during times of stress.

Certainly, the first choice of fluids is good quality water. Much has been written about pure water so we need not cover that topic here. Suffice to say that if you drink contaminated water, it will be more difficult for the body to focus on cleaning up the vocal chords.

Eliminate dairy products. While that dish of ice cream may sound appealing when your throat is hot and sore, its effect will be extremely short lived. Milk products tend to increase mucus production in the body, which tends to muck things up. In the end, mucus accumulation makes it more difficult for the immune system to send in the troops.

Other helpful liquids are available which can assist in clearing the mess which has led to the laryngitis.

Honey has been shown to be as effective as patent cough syrup. It is astringent, clearing away inflammation and some of its causes. Raw honey has enough sugar in it to give that little boost of energy and many of the enzymes to help the body effectively use that sugar. The little bit of nutrition in honey also helps in healing.

Add freshly squeezed lemon juice (or raw apple cider vinegar) in equal parts with the honey. This can provide vitamin C and some of the electrolytes which help to bring the acid/alkaline balance back to unhealthy tissues.

Squeeze the juice from half a lemon, mix it with a tablespoon or two of honey. Add this mixture to a cup of water. It does not matter if the water is warm or cool. Now, stir in one tenth teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Yes, you read that right – cayenne pepper. The cayenne helps to break up mucus accumulation in and around the inflamed tissue.

A similar recipe, substituting grade B maple syrup for the honey constitutes the Master Cleanse. During the cleanse, drink ten to twelve cups of this lemonade throughout the day. Generally the Master Cleanse is presented as a form of fasting. You probably don’t feel much like eating when your throat is so sore and swollen.

If the concept of hot pepper intimidates you, try mixing honey and lemon in sage tea. Steep a tablespoon of dried sage leaves in three cups of boiling water. Do not boil the sage leaves, just pour the boiling water over the leaves and cover for fifteen minutes. Strain and add lemon and honey as above.

Another remedy recommended by the old herbalists is garlic syrup. Peel and chop the cloves of several garlic heads and place them in a jar. Cover with equal parts apple cider vinegar and distilled water. Shake well and allow to sit for four hours. Strain and add an equal amount of honey. Shake together. Cap. Store in the refrigerator. Take a teaspoon to a tablespoon every six to eight hours.

We cannot leave this subject without mentioning Grandma’s favorite remedy for what ails you: Chicken soup. Any soup, for that matter, which is made with lots of herbs and vegetables provides easily digestible nutrition. Our fore-mothers knew, perhaps intuitively, that herbs are for much more that taste. Many of them have antibiotic properties and can be a strong ally in repairing the damage we do to our bodies from day to day.

When you have laryngitis, realize that your body is telling you that you have not given it the care it deserves. Slow down, and get extra rest. You will find that you don’t have much appetite, so don’t be afraid to cut back on your food intake (especially those junk foods that we are all so fond of). Drink plenty of fluids. Honey, lemon, sage, and garlic are primary tools for getting back in communication with your world.


Nature’s Candida Cure: Coconut Oil Solves Yeast Problems

January 2, 2009

Nature’s Candida Cure: Coconut Oil Solves Yeast Problems
Often mis-diagnosed and even dismissed, candida is culprit behind numerous health problems. The symptoms associated with candida include fatigue, poor memory, mood swings, chronic coughs, frequent sinus infections, reoccurring fungal infections, blurred vision, sugar cravings and abdominal pain, to name a few.

As many as 40 million people in the United States suffer from candida, most without realizing the core issue. Many people who have candida overgrowth will end up treating the symptoms instead of the root of the problem, causing an endless spiral downward, sometimes for many years.

Even those who realize their symptoms are linked to candida find conventional drugs are not a permanent or effective solution. Not to mention medical treatments are often accompanied by side effects worse than the original symptoms. It’s no wonder candida patients are seeking an alternative natural treatment. And fortunately, coconut oil can provide the answer.

In countries where coconuts are regularly consumed, candida occurrences are surprisingly low, as noted by Dr. Bruce Fife, a strong believer in the healing power of coconut oil. Although many people in these regions live in conditions that typically promote candida overgrowth, they rarely suffer from candida.

This is because coconut oil is high in both lauric acid and caprylic acid, which both have antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. These components of coconut oil target harmful bacteria but leave friendly bacteria alone, which helps balances the flora in the digestive system. They also kill off excess yeast and other fungal overgrowth in the body. Studies in Iceland and Nigeria show coconut oil is an effective agent for killing off candida yeast.

If you’ve heard conflicting reports and are concerned about whether or not coconut oil is healthy, keep in mind the natural, unrefined fats in coconut oil are medium-chain saturated fats–the kind that are more easily converted into energy instead of being stored. Adding a moderate amount of coconut oil to your diet should be considered safe. In fact, the saturated fat content in coconut oil makes it an excellent choice for cooking, because the oil is not damaged at high temperatures like other cooking oils.

Be sure not to buy coconut oil that has been hydrogenated. This destroys the beneficial attributes of coconut oil and makes it high in dangerous trans-fatty acids. The best kind of coconut oil is organic virgin coconut oil, which is closest to its natural state and will provide the most health benefits.

Both Dr. William G. Crook and Dr. Bruce Fife suggest working up to consuming about three tablespoons of coconut oil daily. It’s best to start with one teaspoon per day and then work up to the full amount. The more severe the candida, the slower you should work up to this number to prevent overwhelming die-off symptoms as excess yeast is killed off. These symptoms are flu-like and include headaches, chills and fatigue. They will normally last about 3-5 days, depending on the severity of your candida.

Adding coconut oil to your diet is not difficult to do. Depending on the brand you buy, coconut oil has a very light flavor suitable for almost any purpose. You can easily substitute coconut oil for butter on toast or cooking oil in recipes. Try adding a tablespoon to coffee, or stir some into your oatmeal.

You can use coconut oil topically if you have a breakout of athlete’s foot or yeast rash. Coconut oil can also be used for localized treatment of jock itch and yeast infections. For any topical treatment, apply a small amount of coconut oil to the affected area 3-4 times each day. This treatment is most effective if you are also taking the oil internally.