Many of us have a few herbs in our garden - or wilting in a pot on the kitchen windowsill - that we use to add flavour to a sauce or roast dinner, writes Jill Foster. But these inauspicious plants may have far more significant uses when it comes to pepping up our health.
It is estimated £126million is spent on herbal medicine in Britain each year, and a poll in 2008 revealed that 35 per cent of Britons have tried shop-bought natural remedies.
So could the answer to common illnesses be as simple as a trip to the supermarket? We spoke to Philip Weeks, an expert in natural medicine, about the everyday herbs with healing properties. Read more
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Herbal remedies for common ailments are available at your local supermarket, says Philip Weeks, an expert in natural medicine.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Many women shy away from weight training. But Naomi Alderman says it has transformed her body.
There's a weightlifting area in my gym – not just the rows of dinky handweights by the stretching mats, but the bit with the squat cage, the bench press and the machine where, with both hands, you pull down weights the size of hefty toddlers. I haven't used it – yet – but I'm going to. I've been weight training since last year and every session takes me a bit closer to the end of the handweights and the start of serious lifting. I'm looking forward to it in a way I've never looked forward to exercise before.
Personal trainers, however nice, give me PE teacher flashbacks. I'm not co-ordinated so the group classes that others seem to find fun and sociable – "step up, touch down, change legs, grapevine, step change and shimmy" – just leave me feeling clumsy and frustrated. But I can pick up an easily graspable heavy metal object, lift it slowly and then put it down again. Not only can I do it: I find I love it. Read more
Friday, June 24, 2011
Cyclists who drank a low-fat chocolate milkshake after exercise rode faster with more power compared to those who had sports drinks, said University of Texas scientists.
After an exhausting session on the treadmill, many athletes reach for an isotonic sports drink or good old-fashioned water.
But two new studies from The University of Texas at Austin show that a chocolate milkshake is the ideal post-workout recovery drink. Read more
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Could improving your meditation technique cure chronic pain? It's may be worth contemplating.
Chronic pain is estimated to affect over 76 million people, more than diabetes and heart disease combined, and back pain is our country's leading cause of disability for people under 45. And though the pharmaceutical industry seems very adept at introducing one new painkiller after another, the pills don't always help. A new study in the Journal of Neuroscience, however, suggests something else might: meditation. It seems that improving your meditation technique could very well be more effective than painkillers at cutting down on pain, and that could save you hundreds in prescription drug costs. Read more
Monday, June 20, 2011
Apple cider vinegar can be used to make a delicious and healthful pick-me-up drink. The brand shown in the video, which can be found in any health food store, is the best to use.
Friday, June 17, 2011
What are electrolytes and why are they so good for us? Dr. Edward Groups explains and tells how to get them naturally.
Electrolytes are ionic solutions (salts), existing in nature in the form of minerals. Electrolytes are responsible for keeping the body properly hydrated so the muscles and nerves can function properly.
Since the human body is composed mostly of water, it is important that we take in adequate amounts of these minerals. What is more, when we are well-hydrated, we are able to release toxic internal wastes such as harmful chemicals, urea and ammonia.
The essential electrolytes most commonly found in the human body are sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, chloride, calcium, and phosphates.
Why Are Electrolytes So Important?
When the kidneys are functioning properly, they are able to regulate concentrations of these vital minerals, in conjunction with fluid levels in the body. As we go about the day, and particularly when we exercise, much of the body’s precious fluid (and mineral electrolytes) are lost. We can also lose these vital salts through our lungs when we breath, as well as through urination, vomiting, going to the bathroom (especially diarrhea), and through the liquid content of wounds. Read more
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Scientists say that a pill made of olive leaves could be a powerful weapon against heart disease. However, you don't need to wait for years of clinical trials to be completed to benefit. Olive leaf extract is available in health food stores right now.
A pill made from the leaves of the olive tree could be a powerful weapon in the fight against heart disease, scientists say.
According to research, the olive pill is as effective as some prescription medicines at reducing high blood pressure.
And it also appears to lower levels of harmful blood fats, called triglycerides, known to raise the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Read more
Monday, June 13, 2011
Want to prevent diabetes? Take more omega-3 fatty acids, say two recent studies..
Consuming omega-3 fatty acids may help lower your risk of diabetes, according to two recent studies. The studies, one based in the US, the other in Singapore, found adults with higher levels of omega-3 fats were less likely to develop diabetes.
Researchers suggest people avoid interpreting the study as evidence of omega-3's as a "magic bullet" health solution. They note that omega-3 fats may only be markers for some other dietary or lifestyle aspect which helps protect against the diabetes. Rather than stocking up on fish oil tablets, they suggest a better way to avoid this disease is a diet based on whole foods. "Approaching your dietary intake with this 'big picture' approach should take care of the small things, like essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids," notes Andrew Odegaard of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, one of the researchers on the Singapore study. Read more
Friday, June 10, 2011
Talk about playing doctor! The health benefits of sex extend well beyond the bedroom. It turns out that sex is good for you in ways you may never have imagined.
"Having sex regularly can do more than make you feel closer to your partner—it can actually make you physically healthier," says Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University and author of Pleasure: A Woman's Guide to Getting the Sex You Want, Need, and Deserve. Check out a few of the surprising perks you can reap from great sex. Read more
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The jury is still out about these substances' effects on human health, but if you want to reduce your family's exposure, this is how.
1. Use fresh or frozen foods instead of canned, when possible.
2. Use soy infant formula only if there is a medical reason for it, such as lactose intolerance or milk allergy, says Heather Patisaul, Ph.D. Genistein — a natural estrogen found in soy plants — is present in large amounts in soy-based baby formulas. (Some countries require a prescription for it.)
3. Don't microwave food in plastic containers or covered with plastic wrap. When plastic is heated, the chemicals in it can more easily migrate to food. Read more
Monday, June 6, 2011
Menstrual cramps are pains in the abdominal and pelvic areas that are experienced by a woman as a result of her menstrual period. Menstrual cramps of some degree affect more than an estimated 50% of women. Learn how to use a home remedy for menstrual cramps.
Friday, June 3, 2011
A new study found that acupuncture can benefit patients with medically unexplained symptoms.
Attending frequently with medically unexplained symptoms is distressing for both patient and doctor and effective treatment or management options are limited: one in five patients have symptoms that remain unexplained by conventional medicine. Studies have shown that the cost to the NHS of managing the treatment of a patient with medically unexplained symptoms can be twice that of a patient with a diagnosis.
A research team from the Institute of Health Services Research, Peninsula Medical School, University of Exeter, has carried out a randomised control trial and a linked interview study regarding 80 such patients from GP practices across London, to investigate their experiences of having five-element acupuncture added to their usual care. This is the first trial of traditional acupuncture for people with unexplained symptoms.
The results of the research are published in the British Journal of General Practice. They reveal that acupuncture had a significant and sustained benefit for these patients and consequently acupuncture could be safely added to the therapies used by practitioners when treating frequently attending patients with medically unexplained symptoms. Read more
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Barbara Hannah Grufferman says kitchen staples that you already have can serve as health and beauty substitutes for expensive, manufactured products.
Your kitchen is a veritable treasure trove of health and beauty staples. Have some plain yogurt with a "sell date" that was two weeks ago? Don't throw it out! It's the perfect treatment for a common skin condition. Is there an extra sprig or two of parsley leftover from your stew recipe? Chew on a few leaves to handle a social faux pas. These items are probably in your home already ... so why not use them for better health and beauty without spending any extra money?
For years, my mother-in-law has used Crisco -- a lard-like vegetable shortening that my German grandmother used for the perfect pie crust and lovingly referred to as "fat in the can" -- as a makeup remover. "Why not just use Pond's Cold Cream or soap and water?" I ask her every now and then. "Because it works," she says. Even though my dermatologist gasped during a recent exam when I blurted out this bit of family lore, my mother-in-law never uses anything else. For her, it does the trick -- and for a lot less money than the "real thing." Read more