This blog brings you information on different holistic wellness topics, including: healthy eating, herbal products and your health, scientific research, as well as how to live a happy and healthy lifestyle.
12th December 2019
The Secret of Chilli
So many people like it hot! Yes, chilli is popular as ever. Spice fans frequently use chili as a cooking ingredient for a variety of foods. However, the humble chilli is a complementary food for treating a variety of ailments.
11th July 2017
Paracetamol has no effect on Back pain
University of Sydney researchers have shown that Paracetamol is no more effective than placebo in relieving acute lower back pain. This was the first placebo-controlled trial looking specifically back pain. Associate Professor Christine Lin, of the George Institute, said “We were also surprised with the results, as we expected to see a difference, compared to placebo …
26th March 2017
Women’s diet prior to conception associated with preterm births
University of Adelaide research has for the first time confirmed that women who eat a poor diet before they become pregnant are around 50% more likely to have a preterm birth than those on a healthy diet.
5th Feb 2017
How to Beat Depression using an Integrated Healthcare approach
Depression and anxiety is a sad and all too common state in today’s society. A large percentage of the population today, including children, are on antidepressants. Today we are led to believe that we should be happy all the time and everything should be perfect. These expectations lead to emotional crashes when they don’t live up to reality and have us reaching for the quick fix of a pill. So how do we combat this dilemma? The answer may lie with Integrated healthcare.
29th Jan 2017
Ashwagandha Lowers Stress Markers in the Body
Researchers concluded that daily use of Ashwagandha (Withania) would benefit people suffering from degenerative stress and emotional strain without any adverse effects.
7th Jan 2017
Regular intake of high caffeine energy drinks can be dangerous
Commonly sold caffeine-based energy drinks contain large doses of caffeine and other legal stimulants like guarana and ginseng. The amount of caffeine in an energy drink can range from 75 milligrams to over 200 milligrams per serving. This compares to 34 milligrams in Coke and 55 milligrams in Mountain Dew. If energy-drinks advertises no caffeine, then the energy comes from guarana. Guarana, an extract from the plant Paullinia cupana, contains caffeine, theobromine and theophylline.
27th Dec 2016
What is Evidenced-based medicine?
Evidence-based medicine is about making use of the best available information to answer questions in clinical practice. We use evidence-based studies to verify the effectiveness of all pharmaceuticals. In addition, we can also ask simple questions like does adding Turmeric to your diet helps or improve your health. Traditional medicine systems such as Ayurveda have always advocated that Turmeric is required for good health, but modern medicine wants to see the evidence demonstrated through scientific experiments and clinical trials.
16th Aug 2016
Why would you prescribe a sedating anti-histamine for children when there are safe alternatives?
Cancer has surpassed heart disease as the biggest killer in Australia
16th May 2016
Cancer has surpassed heart disease as the biggest killer in Australia, according to a new report from the World Health Organisation (WHO). The WHO’s World Cancer Report found 8.2 million people died from cancer globally in 2012, including 40,000 Australians.
ω3-PUFAs reduces cardio vascular risks
18 April 2016
Increased consumption of fish oil (such as from eating fish) may help slow the progression of atherosclerosis, thereby preventing heart attacks, and reduce the risk of sudden death due to cardiac arrhythmias.
Crusty Foods May Worsen Heart Problems
10 April 2016
A study from the University of Illinois has confirmed that one should avoid cooking methods that produce the kind of crusty bits you’d find on a grilled hamburger. These crusty foods produce advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which are associated with plaque formation in cardiovascular disease
Adenosine important is Sleep
7 March 2016
Research data suggests that adenosine is an important endogenous, homeostatic sleep factor. It may act as a homeostatic regulator of sleep and to be a link between the humoral and neural mechanisms of sleep-wake regulation.
Fatty Acid supplement important in pre-conception
3 March 2016
A 2011 research study by Kohlboeck et al in Group. Am J Clin Nutr showed that an appropriate Fatty acid supply to the developing fetus may be essential for optimal long-term behavioral outcomes in children.
Low levels of Zinc found in children with ADHD
27 Feb 2016
Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder had lower levels of zinc, ferritin and magnesium than healthy controls but had normal copper levels.
MEDITERRANEAN DIET MAY REVERSE METABOLIC SYNDROME
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of 3 or more related cardiometabolic risk factors: central obesity determined by waist circumference), hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, low plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels and hyperglycemia. Having the syndrome increases a person’s risk for type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
WHAT EVERY WOULD-BE PARENT SHOULD KNOW
15 Feb 2016
Preconception health refers to the health of women and men during their reproductive years preparing to have a baby. It aims to identify risks to a woman’s health or pregnancy outcome through a set of prevention and management strategies usually through diet, vitamin supplementation and lifestyle modifications.
Brahmi may be a possible treatment for ADHD in pre-school children
1 Feb 2016
Bacopa Monniera, more commonly known as Brahmi has been traditionally used in Ayurveda for cognitive enhancement specifically in relation to memory. learning , and concentration.
It may be of use in mild cases of ADHD in children.
HEALTH HAZARD FOR SUGAR SWEETENED BEVERAGES
27 Jan 2016
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a build up of extra fat in the liver cells, but not from alcohol. NAFLD is common and is often linked to being overweight. In some people, the build-up of fat in the liver can lead to serious liver disease, and all people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
A recent research study from the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, USA has shown that a daily sugar-sweetened beverage habit may increase the risk for NAFLD.
TURMERIC MAY BE USEFUL IN TREATING ALZHEIMER’S
24 Jan 2016
Turmeric has been used in Ayurveda to treat numerous diseases for over 5,000 years. It possesses anti-amyloidogenic, anti-oxidative, and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcuma is a polyphenolic compound derived from the plant Curcuma Long Lin that has been demonstrated to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects as well as effects on reducing beta-amyloid aggregation. It reduces pathology in transgenic models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and is a promising candidate for treating human AD.
Lavender oil has neuroprotective activity
20 Jan 2016
The effect of lavender oil against brain edema and its possible mechanisms in an experimental model of stroke was tested in rats. The results indicated that lavender oil has neuroprotective activity against cerebral ischemia and alleviated neurological function .....
Low levels of Zinc, Ferritin, Magnesium and Copper found in children with ADHD
19 Jan 2016
Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder had lower levels of zinc, ferritin and magnesium than healthy controls but had normal copper levels. This could be an important clue in the treatment of ADHD.
Brahmi for Stress
17 Jan 2016
Bacopa or Brahmi has been used for thousands of years in “Ayurvedic” medicine as a brain tonic to improve brain activity. In an increasingly stressful world, Brahmi has rapidly become popular.It further enhances nerve impulse activity and neurotransmission within the brain .....
Fatty acid intake
30 April 2014
A 2011 research study by Kohlboeck et al in Group. Am J Clin Nutr showed that an appropriate Fatty acid supply to the developing fetus may be essential for optimal long-term behavioural outcomes in children.
Herbs alter genetic material
30 Nov 2013
Genetics researchers from Taiwan's National Central University have determined that over a third of herbal medicines used in Traditional Chinese Medicine - and nearly all leading therapeutic - alter our genes or alter enzymes that alter our genetic material.
Green Tea May Be Alzheimer's Disease
1 August 2013
Compounds known as polyphenols that are found in both black and green tea were found to have neuro-protective properties. The polyphenols bind with toxic compounds like beta-amyloid plaque and protect brain cells. Green tea is digested in the gut by enzymes and this study showed that it became even more powerful than just the undigested green tea in protecting the brain from Alzheimer's disease.
Fatty Acid intake important in pre-conception
14 April 2013
A recent 2011 research study by Kohlboeck et al in Group. Am J Clin Nutr showed that an appropriate Fatthy acid supply to the developing fetus may be essential for optimal long-term behavioral outcomes in children
Adenosine important is Sleep
8 Jan 2013
Research data suggests that adenosine is indeed an important endogenous, homeostatic sleep factor and it is likely to be mediating the sleepiness that follows prolonged wakefulness because it acts as a direct negative feed-back inhibitor of neuronal activity. Adenosine is proposed to act as a homeostatic regulator of sleep and to be a link between the humoral and neural mechanisms of sleep-wake regulation. Both the adenosine A(1) receptor (A(1)R) and A(2A)R are involved in sleep induction.
Ashwagandha Lowers Stress Markers in the Body
3 Jan 2013
Researchers concluded that daily use of Ashwagandha would benefit people suffering from degenerative stress and emotional strain without any adverse effects. Ashwagandha demonstrated a 62% reduction in emotional strain, Cortisol, which is a degenerative hormone released during times of stress, was also reduced by 14.5%. DHEA, which is a supportive hormone for cushioning the stress response in the body, increased by 13.2%. JANA. 2008;11(1):50-6.
Importance of Gut Microorganisms
8 Nov, 2012
Recent animal studies have unveiled a previously unknown mechanism by which intestinal microbiota actually induce blood vessel formation in the small intestine. It is this process that underpins the growth and health of the intestinal villi, increasing the intestinal ability to absorb nutrients . Gut microbiota promotes Tissue Factor (TF) glycosylation associated with localization of TF on the cell surface, the activation of coagulation proteases, and phosphorylation of theTFcytoplasmic domain in the small intestine. This research study further supports the importance of maintaining healthy microbiota balance.
The Powerful Protection of Spice Oils
1 Nov, 2012
Components of Thyme and Oregano essential oils have been shown to actually protect human DNA strands from breaking when exposed to extreme oxidative stress. DNA damage is a leading cause of cancer development, as this can lead to an abnormal cell life cycle, essentially turning off the process of natural cell death. Carvacrol and Thymol were singled out in a study by Slovakian researchers in 2007, though they also note that other components of these oils may have chemoprotective effects as well. Other spice essential oils that have demonstrated cancer preventative effects include Ginger, Tumeric, Basil, Garlic and Sage.
Crusty Foods May Worsen Heart Problems Associated With Diabetes
22 Oct, 2012,
For years nutrition experts have advised people with diabetes to bake, broil, or grill their food instead of frying.A University of Illinois study suggests avoiding cooking methods that produce the kind of crusty bits you'd find on a grilled hamburger, especially if you have diabetes and know you're at increased risk for cardiovascular disease because of your diagnosis. These crusty foods produce advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which are associated with plaque formation in cardiovascular disease.
Grape consumption is linked to healthier diet habits
14 Oct, 2012
Grape consumption is linked to healthier diet habits and higher intake of nutrients, according to a study presented at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Exposition in Philadelphia, PA.Diets of over 21,800 children and adults were examined by the researchers using the 2003-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES). They discovered that individuals who consume products made with grapes also have higher intake of dietary fibre,potassium,calcium,magnesium,vitamin A,vitamin C, and vitamin B6
Changes in blood flow and cellular metabolism at a myofascial trigger point with trigger point release
3 Oct, 2012
Study shows of interstitial fluid from an MTrP before and after intervention can be accomplished using microdialysis, thus providing methodological insight toward treatment mechanism and pain resolution. Of the biomarkers measured in this study, lactate may be the most relevant for detection and treatment of abnormalities in the MTrP. Source : Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Sep 10.
Vitamin/mineral treatment study produces exciting results for Autistic children
28 Sept, 2012
A survey of 539 American that 49% give vitamin/mineral supplementation to children with Autism. A recent study carried out by Adams et al in BMC Paediatrics. 2011;11(111):1-30 showed that vitamin supplementation resulted in marked improvements in glutathione levels providing greater defense to oxidative stress
Herbs for Acid Refux
Acid reflux is a common occurrence in most people and can affect just about anyone. Early treatment will prevent other conditions like GERD that can be a lot more persistent and also pose higher risk of complications. While there are a lot of over the counter medications available to treat this condition, the use of natural herbs is known to be more beneficial. Licorice, milk thistle and Chamomile are particularly effective in the treatment of acid reflux and can help reduce the severity and frequency of symptom. It is advisable to consult your health practitioner for any drug interactions and the daily dosage and frequency required.
Potential prophylactic properties of Curcumin and Resveratrol for Osteoarthritis (OA)
12 Sept, 2012
COX-2, a matrix degrading enzyme is implicated in OA and RA. Recent research of Resveratrol has demonstrated COX-2 inhibitory effects, as well as inhibiting the production of prostaglandin E2. Using both Curcumin and Resveratol could provide a synergistic and effective treatment option for OA or RA.
Peace quote - Mahatma Gandhi
4 Sept, 2012
"Each one has to find peace from within. And peace - to be real - must be unaffected by outside circumstances."
Vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy
Women who receive vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy had reduced likelihood of delivering a low birth weight baby (<2500 g) than women not receiving supplementation or placebo.
Early Exposure to Antibiotics May Impact Development, Obesity
2 August, 2012
Researchers at NYU School of Medicine have made a novel discovery that exposure to antibiotics in could have widespread clinical implications, potentially affecting everything from nutrient metabolism to obesity in children.
Testosterone Metabolite Linked to Arterial Stiffness
The decline in dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) due to ageing may be one reason behind increased cardiovascular disease risk in ageing populations, and this in turn may be mediated through inflammatory processes. Research studies suggest that DHEA plays a role in arterial stiffness, and may do so through anti-inflammatory mechanisms. This hypothesis has several implications: initial considerations are given to hormone support in ageing individuals – the impact of menopause and andropause on the physiology of every system cannot be underestimated; indeed supporting healthy hormone production may prove to be a very efficacious preventative strategy in the elderly.
Yoga Therapy can be an important adjunct in treating Schizophrenia
20 July, 2012
Yoga as a therapy in psychosis, specifically schizophrenia, has been demonstrated to be feasible and effective as an add-on therapy. Most of the research studies have used a combination of asanas and pranayama, avoiding meditation. The effects are multifaceted, including reduction of psychotic symptoms and depression, improving cognition, increasing quality of life, and producing neurobiological changes, such as increased oxytocin levels.
Natural Intestinal Flora Strengthens the Immune System
5 July, 2012
Signals from natural intestinal bacteria are necessary for an effective immune response to various viral or bacterial populations. This was the result of from the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene of the Freiburg University Medical Center. The lead researcher stated “This is the first time anyone has shown that changes in the natural intestinal flora resulting from antibiotics, hygiene, or lifestyle can have substantial consequences for the entire immune system".
A recent study finds CoQ10 supplementation to improve aerobic capacity in trained and untrained individuals
28 June, 2012
Various studies have examined the effect of CoQ10 supplementation on athletic performance, finding varied results. Cooke and colleagues noticed this disparity in these trials, and reasoned that it may be due to variability in CoQ10 uptake and muscle distribution. The study, published in Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, recruited 41 male and female participants with varying degrees of athletic history; 22 participants had regularly participated in exercise, whilst 19 had not. Despite their different exercise histories, the participants did not significantly differ in baseline anthropometric characteristics. The present study demonstrated that a fast-melt CoQ10 formulation appears to be a safe dietary supplement that tended to increase the duration of exercise to exhaustion in healthy untrained and trained individuals.
Health benefits of Turmeric
20 June, 2012
Turmeric (Curcumin) is widely used in cooking and gives Indian curry its flavor and yellow color. Turmeric has been used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory, to treat digestive and liver problems, skin diseases, and wounds. Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant safe anti-inflammatory agent that has been scientifically proven to treat a wide variety of conditions, including flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest pain, colic and other ailments.
Study finds that Religious, Spiritual Support Benefits Men and Women Facing Chronic Illness
14 June, 2012
Individuals who practice religion and spirituality report better physical and mental health than those who do not. To better understand this relationship and how spirituality/religion can be used for coping with significant health issues, University of Missouri researchers are examining what aspects of religion are most beneficial and for what populations. A 2011 report from MU health psychology researchers have found that religious and spiritual support improves health outcomes for both men and women who face chronic health conditions. They commented “Our findings reinforce the idea that religion/spirituality may help buffer the negative consequences of chronic health conditions,"
Clinical evaluation of Boswellia serrata (Shallaki) resin in the management of Osteoarthritis (OA)
7 June, 2012
Patients' mobility was improved significantly in treatment of OA using Boswellia resin. There was also a reduction in serum triglycerides which confirms that Shallaki has hypolipidemic effect.
Cell Phone Use in Pregnancy May Cause Behavioral Disorders in Offspring
29 May, 2012
Exposure to radiation from cell phones during pregnancy affects the brain development of offspring, potentially leading to hyperactivity, Yale School of Medicine researchers have determined. The results, based on studies in mice, were published in the Nature publication. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is a developmental disorder associated with neuropathology localized primarily to the same brain region, and is characterized by inattention and hyperactivity. The researchers commented that behavioural problems in mice that resemble ADHD are caused by cell phone exposure in the womb and that the rise in behavioural disorders in human children may be in part due to foetal cellular telephone irradiation exposure.
How Nanotechnology Can Help Detect Disease Earlier
23 May, 2012
Single molecule detection will facilitate the early detection of disease such as cancer, so as to facilitate earlier treatment. This is vital in disease diagnosis where the production of an unusual metabolic product is a feature of disease, but in early stages, the concentration of this product is very low. Recent developments in nanotechnology have brought closer techniques to precisely detect a single chemical at extremely low concentrations and high contamination. This has been demonstrated in the use of nanosensors to measure and detect cancer biomarkers.
Sleep Apnea linked to increase cancer risk
21 May, 2012
Sleep apnea has already been linked to a host of adverse health problems, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Now, new research suggests that in people who already have cancer, the sleep disorder may raise their risk of dying from cancer. People with the most severe sleep apnea -- those who have 30 or more episodes of low or no oxygen in an hour of sleep -- had almost five times the risk of cancer death compared to someone without sleep apnea. Researchers reviewed data from more than 1,500 people included in the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort. This study included 22 years of mortality data, as well as information from sleep studies.
International Research prize fosters collaboration between conventional and complementary medicine
The European Society for Integrative Medicine (ESIM), with support from Heel, announced a new international research prize for innovative and outstanding scientific papers in the field of integrative medicine in integrative medicine.
Comparison of nutrient intake by sleep status
12 May, 2012
A recent study, published in Nutrition Research and Practice shows that Iron, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B1 may play a role in supporting sleep, and therefore may serve as simple considerations in clients presenting with insomnia.
Positive Feelings May Help Protect Cardiovascular Health
18 April, 2012
Over the last few decades numerous studies have shown negative states, such as depression, anger, anxiety, and hostility, to be detrimental to cardiovascular health. Less is known about how positive psychological characteristics are related to heart health. In the first and largest systematic review on this topic to date, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers found that positive psychological well-being appears to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events. Julia Boehm, research fellow in the Department of Society, Human Development, and Health at HSPH stated that the most optimistic individuals had an approximately 50% reduced risk of experiencing an initial cardiovascular event compared to their less optimistic peers.
Shilajit can help High-altitude cerebral edema (HACE)
11 April, 2012
HACE is the result of swelling in the brain tissue due to low atmospheric pressure. Symptoms include headache, loss of coordination, weakness, and decreased level of consciousness, including disorientation, loss of memory, hallucination, psychotic behaviour, and coma. It generally occurs after staying for a week or more at high altitudes. Severe instances can lead to death if not treated quickly. Shilajit can be very useful in the treatment of HACE-like conditions of the brain as it maintains the extracellular volume in the body through its diuretic action, and removes the excess fluid and toxins from the brain as well as the body.
Ayurveda And Your Mind – Part 3 of 3 (excerpt from article by Dr David Frawley)
4 April, 2012
The nature of our chitta or core consciousness is sensitivity of all types, and the capacity to feel in any manner. The ability to feel underlies all mental functions and develops into specific operations of thought, emotion and sensation. All that our minds do is a kind of feeling. Even reason is a kind of feeling, sensing or comparing. Such feeling is every response of our consciousness to stimuli, external or internal.Consciousness is the capacity to relate, without which no feeling is possible. It allows us to feel things in our selves and to feel ourselves in things. Our consciousness is a product of our deepest relationships, which determine how we feel about life. Association is a key factor determining the nature of our consciousness.Consciousness registers everything that comes into the mental field on a level deeper than the outer mind. Without first being able to note things, other mental operations are not possible. Our deeper consciousness holds the memories of all that we experience, not only from birth but also from previous lives. It carries the seeds that keep us involved in the cycle of rebirth, which are nothing but our deepest thoughts and impressions.Our deeper consciousness contains the higher levels of the mind in which we can contact God and our inner Self. In it, we retain knowledge of worlds more subtle than the physical. Consciousness extends beyond all realms of form into the realms of pure feeling and clear awareness.
Ayurveda And Your Mind – Part 2 of 3 (excerpt from article by Dr David Frawley)
March 28, 2012
Centre Of Pure Feeling
In Ayurvedic psychology, Chitta refers to the greater mind or consciousness. It specifically refers to the internal core of the mind, our centre of pure feeling and direct knowing. Most of chitta is unconscious to the ordinary mind.What modern psychology calls the unconscious is but a corner of this greater consciousness or chitta. Modern psychology has penetrated into the personal unconscious, and, to some extent, the collective unconscious. Our potential field of consciousness extends to all consciousness in the universe, individual and collective, personal and impersonal, including God. It goes beyond all conditioned consciousness to pure consciousness, which is the absolute or supreme truth. This is the field of yogic psychology, which is the psychology of the higher Self. The physical body consists mainly of the heavy elements of water and earth and is a creation of gravity, which moves downward. Consciousness, on the other hand, is composed of the lighter elements of ether and air, and is a creation of our thoughts, which like a vapour move upward. While the heavy matters of our nature descend to the form of the physical body, the essence of our experience ascends to form our consciousness. We have a gross or gravity body (the physical) and a refined or essence body (consciousness). We are not usually aware of our internal organs and tissues of the physical body, which are beyond the field of the senses. Similarly, we are seldom aware of our greater internal consciousness, which is not revealed by the outer functions of the mind. Our internal bodily processes function automatically, apart from our ordinary awareness. In the same way, our deeper consciousness maintains this process on a level deeper than the outer mind. However, we can become aware of this deeper consciousness. Meditation awakens us to its higher potentials.
Ayurveda And Your Mind – Part 1 of 3 (excerpt from article by Dr David Frawley)
March 22, 2012
Ayurvedic psychology works to calm the conditioned mind, removing its negative patterns that lead to disease and sorrow. However, the conditioned mind is not merely personal, but connects to all conditioned consciousness, all thought that exists within the universe, and the minds of all beings.We cannot examine our own mind without looking at the whole of life. What is consciousness? Through what do we think, feel and perceive? How is it that we can be aware of anything? Consciousness is our inner world. Learning to observe the contents of our consciousness is the most important part of mental and spiritual development. Ayurveda provides specific disciplines and meditation techniques for this purpose. When consciousness is illumined, we transcend all external limitations. We no longer need to experience the external world, because we have learnt its lesson — that all is within.Ayurvedic psychology works to calm the conditioned mind, removing its negative patterns that lead to disease and sorrow. However, the conditioned mind is not merely personal, but connects to all conditioned consciousness, all thought that exists within the universe, and the minds of all beings.We cannot examine our own mind without looking at the whole of life. What is consciousness? Through what do we think, feel and perceive? How is it that we can be aware of anything? Consciousness is our inner world.Learning to observe the contents of our consciousness is the most important part of mental and spiritual development. Ayurveda provides specific disciplines and meditation techniques for this purpose. When consciousness is illumined, we transcend all external limitations. We no longer need to experience the external world, because we have learnt its lesson — that all is within.
Potential target for therapies against inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease and food allergies
March 15, 2012
With every meal, immune cells in the intestine stand like sentries at a citadel, turning away harmful bacteria but allowing vitamins and nutrients to pass. Rearchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified that Goblet cells found in the intestine chaperone food antigens, or proteins, so that the immune system doesn't mount an attack. This provides scientists with a potential target for therapies against inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease and food allergies -- disorders caused by an overactive immune system.
Physical violence in Film and TV can increase aggression in adults and children
March 7, 2012
Research over the past few decades has shown that viewing physical violence in the media can increase aggression in adults and children. But a new study published in Journal Aggressive Behaviour, co-authored by an Iowa State University psychology professor, has also found that onscreen relational aggression -- including social exclusion, gossip and emotional bullying -- may prime the brain for aggression. Researchers assessed physiological arousal, finding that all three films produced similar levels of excitement. They then measured reaction times when aggressive or neutral words flashed on a screen. Participants who had watched either aggressive film clip ascribed more meaning to words connected with aggression. Douglas Gentile, an associate professor of psychology at Iowa State, was one of four authors of the study Gentile sees the study having significance to today's societal norms."This matters because relational aggression tends to be considered more socially acceptable -- it's often portrayed on television as funny and how friends treat each other," he said. "Yet, several studies are starting to show that relational aggression can cause long-term harm."
Parkinson’s Drug May Help With Brain Injuries
March 1, 2012
Daily doses of a drug amantadine hydrochloride used to treat Parkinson’s disease significantly improved function in severely brain-injured people thought to be beyond the reach of treatment. Doctors. Previous studies suggested some benefit, but the clinical trials were small with no definitive outcome. Latest research, appearing in The New England Journal of Medicine, gives doctors a solid basis to address such injuries, if not yet a predictable outcome. Among other effects, amantadine increases the activity of dopamine, a chemical messenger that is highly active in the frontal areas of the brain behind the forehead. Those areas control attention and help plan and execute deliberate actions and responses, and are at least partly damaged or offline in people with severe brain injuries.
Amalakayas Rasayana shown to have antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity
Amalakayas Rasayana is a polyherbal formulation used in Ayurveda to treat aging and age-associated diseases. An in vitro study carried out jointly by Ayurveda, Gujarat Ayurveda and University University of Kelaniya to examine the antioxidants and free radical scavenging activity of Amalakayas Rasayana . The results of this study suggest that the antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity of AR may explain its rasayana effect and justify its use as a medicine for age associated diseases.
“Nadi Vigyan” Pressure Therapy / Indian Neurotherapy (Part 4 of 4)
Feburary 16 ,2012
Indian Neurotherapy is often confused with Chavutti Thirumal. Chavutti Thirumal is to massage the body. This massage system is indigenous to Kerela, South India, where it is used to great effect. A Chavutti Thirumal practitioner massages the whole body from head to toe often using long, sweeping strokes that concentrate on the muscoskeletal system so promoting suppleness and flexibility. Neurotherapy concentrates on stimulating the prana in specific nadis related to the specific organs of the body, thereby regulating the doshas. For example if the Liver is under functioning, then the therapist will stimulate the nadis linked to the Liver or if the patient has a Hypo Adrenal disorder, then we stimulate the nadis linked to the Adrenal gland etc. However the countings, pressure and technique of application are fundamental in this therapy. For this reason it is important that the therapist has a good knowledge of anatomy and physiology.Dr Lajpatrai Mehra blended scripts of ancient Indian philosophy with the knowledge of western anatomy and physiology, pioneered this physical therapy which is known in India as Neurotherapy. There are over 200 Neurotherapy centeres in India which, successfully treats patients with ailments as severe as cancer, Down’s Syndrome, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, polio cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s Disease. The advances made in the last 10 years have been phenomenal with many miraculous cures have been performed using this therapy. When one looks at the scientific underpinning knowledge of Neurotherapy one can only marvel at the effect this therapy has. Skeptics should not dismiss its value, but instead investigate the results to date, and attempt to enter the dialogue regarding the the rationale behind the unique treatment plans that Dr Mehra and his team have developed in successfully treating very serious ailments that many other conventional therapies have yet to conquer.
“Nadi Vigyan” Pressure Therapy / Indian Neurotherapy (Part 3 of 4)
Feburary 8 ,2012
The massage technique itself involves the application of pressure on the respective nadi(s). This pressure is skillfully applied to the limbs of the body with feet and hands concentrating on the relevant nadi(s) with depth, rhythm and precision. Pressure is adjusted according to the age, sex and tolerance of the patient who experiences a pleasant sensation. The Varatopanishad tells us that the nadis extend from the bottom of the feet to the top of the head and it is through them that Prana flows. Henceforth, the therapy commences with pre-stimulation of the nadis in the toes.In the remote villages it was commonplace to see the house nurse relieve ailments like stomach cramps by standing on the arms and legs of the patient. According to Sankhya philosophy the seat of the spirit is in the thalamus or ajna chakra, in ancient times this pure (sattvic) element was regarded as the key force in spirituality and healing. Conversely, the rationale of using the feet is to add the earth grounding energy as a component of healing. The combination of both these energies results in a potent healing force.
“Nadi Vigyan” Pressure Therapy / Indian Neurotherapy (Part 2 of 4)
“Nadi Vigyan” Pressure Therapy / Indian Neurotherapy (Part 1 of 4)
Januray 26. 2012
“Nadi Vigyan” Pressure Therapy is an old forgotten therapy that originates from the Vedas. There are 72,000 nãdis in the human body, of which some are gross and some are subtle. The idea of nãdis first appeared in the earliest Upanishads (7th-8th century b.c.e.). The concept was developed in the later Upanishads - from 2nd century b.c.e. to the 2nd century c.e. and later - and the nascent Yoga and Tantric schools. The Kshurika-Upanishad and later the Hathayogapradikpa mention the 72,000 nãdis, [The main three nadis are the Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna channels]. Other schools have been proposed - 80,000 (Trisikhibramanopanishad), 200,000, or 300,000.
Ayurveda & Panic Attacks - Case Study
January 18, 2012
Janet, a 32-year-old woman had suffered acute severe panic attacks on being promoted to a management position. Symptoms included unexpected, sudden, discrete periods of intense anxiety, mounting psychological arousal, fear, abdominal distress, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, heart palpitations, and dizziness. These symptoms only presented on days of important business meetings and the stress of project deadlines. Ayurvedic pulse diagnosis revealed that the Air/Vata bio-energy was deranged. A Vata pacifying diet, Yoga asanas, Pranayams, Meditation, and Spiritual-self examination through reading which would help her comprehend how her root fears. Janet responded very quickly; the combination of simple Ayurvedic dietary changes along with Yoga and Meditation resulted in the disappearance of her Panic Attack after only 3 weeks. Thereafter she joined a regular Yoga class and maintained her Vata pacifying Ayurvedic diet plan.
Ayurveda & Epi-Gastric Pain - Case Study
A 62-year-old Australian female presented with occasional pains in the chest and epigastric pain. Her medical doctor suspected a heart disorder, but extensive cardiovascular tests and scans proved to be inconclusive and her medical consultant could not help her further. Ayurvedic pulse diagnosis showed that her Vata was elevated, and her pain worsened at around 4 p.m., further indicating that Vata was the aggravating factor. Further nabhi examination revealed mis-aligned nabhi and accumulation of Gas in the epi-gastric region. Through Abhyanga, Ayurvedic herbs, Vata pacifying diet and specific yoga sequence Vata was significantly reduced and her pain disappeared after 4- weeks and she has continued to enjoy good health.
Effects of Centella asiatica extract on mucopolysaccharide metabolism in subjects with varicose veins
December 17, 2011
The effects were studied of the total triterphenic fraction of Centella asiatica on serum levels of the uronic acids and lysosomal enzymes involved in mucopolysaccharide metabolism (beta-glycyronidase, beta-glycuronidase, beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase, arylsulfatase) in patients with varicose veins. The basal levels of uronic acids (467.7 +/69.3 micrograms/ml) and of lysosomal enzymes (beta-glycuronidase 1.8+/0.4 microM/min/l, beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase 23.1+/-0.4 microM/min/l, arysulfatase 0.078+/-0.003 microM/min/l) were elevated, indicating an increased mucopolysaccharide turnover in subjects with varicose veins. During treatment with Centella asiatica extract (60 mg/day for three months), these levels fell progressively. At the end of treatment the serum uronic acid (231.8+/-51.5 micrograms/ ml), beta-glycuronidase (1.2+/-0.05 microM/min/l), beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase (17.7+/-0.7 microM/min/land arysulfatase (0.042+/-0.003 microM/min/l) levels were highly significantly lower than the basal levels (p less than 0.01). The results of this trial provide an indirect confirmation of regulatory effects of the extract ofCentella asiatica on metabolism in the connective tissue of the vascular wall.
Ayurveda & Adenocarcinoma - Case Study
December 7, 2011
Doreen a 59-year-old Canadian woman Holistic therapist, with metastatic adenocarcinoma of unknown primary.
How Anger Hurts You by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Part 3 of 3)
November 30, 2011
The Secret of the Breath
Breathing techniques and meditation are very effective in calming the mind. Learning something about our breath is very important. Our breath has a great lesson to teach us, which we have forgotten. For every rhythm in the mind, there is a corresponding rhythm in the breath and for every rhythm in the breath there is a corresponding emotion. So, when you cannot handle your mind directly, you can handle it through breath. Meditation is letting go of anger from the past and the events of the past. Meditation is accepting this moment and living every moment totally with depth. Often anger comes because you do not accept the present moment. Anger comes when one seeks too much of perfection. When you are joyful, you don't look for perfection. If you are always looking for perfection then you are not at the source of joy.The world appears imperfect on the surface but, underneath, all is perfect. Perfection hides; imperfection shows off. The wise will not remain merely on the surface but will probe into the depth. Things are not blurred; your vision is blurred. Infinite actions prevail in the wholeness of consciousness, and yet the consciousness remains perfect, untouched. Realise this now and be natural.
How Anger Hurts You by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Part 2 of 3)
November 22, 2011
Being in the Present Moment
How Anger Hurts You by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Part 1 of 3)
November 17, 2011
You may remind yourself a hundred times that you shouldn't get angry, but when the emotion comes, you are unable to control it. It comes like a thunderstorm. Emotions are much more powerful than your thoughts. What can you do when anger rises in you? Anger is a distortion of your true nature and it doesn't allow the self to shine forth fully. The structure of human consciousness or the mind is very similar to that of an atom. The positively charged protons and neutrons are in the center of the atom while the negatively charged particles are only on the circumference. Similarly, even in human consciousness, mind and life, all the negativities and vices are only in the periphery. Your true nature is peace and love. Showing anger itself is not wrong, but being unaware of your anger only hurts you. Sometimes you can show anger purposefully. For example, a mother gets angry at her children and can act tough or shout at them if they put themselves in danger. There are situations that warrant showing anger, but when you get angry, have you observed what happens to you? You are shaken completely. Look at the consequences of getting angry. Are you happy with the decisions you have made or the words you have spoken in a state of anger? No, because you lose your total awareness. But if you are completely aware and are acting angry, that is fine.
Mediterranean Diet and Exercise Can Reduce Sleep Apnea Symptoms
November 9, 2011
ScienceDaily (Nov. 2, 2011) -- Eating a Mediterranean diet combined with physical activity can help to improve some of the symptoms of sleep apnea, according to new research. The study, which is published online in the European Respiratory Journal, looked at the impact a Mediterranean diet can have on obese people with sleep apnea, compared to those on a prudent diet
Double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical evaluation of an Ayurvedic formulation (GlucoCare capsules) in non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
November 3, 2011
Results of this clinical study by R. K. Sharma and Pralhad S. Patki on 50 patients of pitta-kapha prakriti suffering from NIDDM, indicate that GlucoCare Capsules have beneficial effects in relieving symptoms and bringing about overall improvement. 19 of the 25 patients on GlucoCare felt that they showed adequate response to treatment. The present clinical study indicates significant clinical efficacy of GlucoCare Capsules in management of NIDDM. The formulation was well tolerated and appeared to be safe in the dosage used.
Brahmi for Stress
October 27, 2011
Bacopa or Brahmi has been used for thousands of years in "Ayurvedic" medicine as a brain tonic to improve brain activity. In an increasingly stressful world, Brahmi has rapidly become popular. Stress and anxiety affects learning and memory. Brahmi reduces these negative effects while providing benefits in learning and memory. It further enhances nerve impulse activity and neurotransmission within the brain. It also aids neuron repair, supports new neuron growth and regulates memory processes. In addition to these qualities, bacopa is neuroprotective, and reduces oxidative stress through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. With the growing scientific evidence behind its mode of action, it is now commonly used in many supplements either in its entirety or as a constituent.
Liquorice extract could reduce hot flushes in menopausal women
October 19, 2011
Early research suggests that women who took a daily pill based on the plant root for a year experienced up to 80 per cent fewer hot flushes. They were far less likely to have their sleep disturbed by night sweats strong enough to wake them up.Experts believe chemicals in liquorice mimic the effect of the female hormone, oestrogen, that is lost in older women. Dr Marsha Baker from the University of Southern California, who presented this recent paper on the study at the annual conference of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Florida on Monday, said: "We are not going to draw any definitive conclusions from this but even though it's preliminary it's still promising information that we can use to direct some further, larger-scale studies."
The ultimate goal for practitioners of Ayurveda and Yoga
October 12, 2011
Most of our actions and activities today are related to materialism and our physical body; we rarely pay attention to the mind and the spirit. Problems like depression, anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia originate mainly from imbalances in the mind and weakness of the spirit. The spirit is not an esoteric connotation; it is so much more. The more you know about the divinity of your body, mind, and their connection with soul and the universe, the more healthier and happier your life is. As Ayurvedic practitioners our purpose is to inspire our patients/clients to awaken to a higher sense of divine self and keep continuing to work and strengthen our own spirit. The ultimate goal for all is not health, but peace. As Charaka who was one of the principal contributors to the ancient art and science of Ayurved stated "The healer who regards kindness to humanity as his supreme religion and treats his patients accordingly, succeeds best in achieving his aims of life and obtains the greatest pleasure."
Pilot Study shows the benefit of yoga therapy in a retirement community
October 5, 2011
An 8-week therapeutic yoga program on postural control, mobility, rising from the floor, and gait speed was carried out in a continuing care retirement community in Connecticut, USA. Eight research participants, all women, with a mean age of 84 (4.6) years, 8 control participants, 5 women and 3 men, aged 81.3 (4.9) years took part in this program and these participants were naive to yoga. An 8-week, 80-minute, biweekly Kripalu yoga class was designed specifically for these participants. Improvements in postural control as measured by the Berg Balance Scale and gait as measured by fast gait speed indicate that research subjects benefited from the yoga intervention. The yoga program designed for this study included the activities of standing, sitting, and lying on the floor. Therefore, subjects perform activities during yoga that can improve postural control, mobility, and gait speed. This study was published in J Geriatr Phys Ther. 2011 Apr-Jun;34(2):88-94. This is further evidence demonstrating how yoga therapy is beneficial in the elderly and in the aged care setting.
Eating fruits, veggies help reduce risk of some colorectal cancers but drinking too much fruit juice can increase the risk of rectal cancer
September 28, 2011
Researchers from the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research, University of Western Australia and Deakin University found people who eat apples are at a lower risk of distal colon cancer. But they also found there is an increased risk of rectal cancer for people drink too much fruit juice. The study says eating brassica vegetables -- Brussels spouts, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli -- also decrease the risk of proximal and distal colon cancer.
Whole genome expression and biochemical correlates of extreme constitutional types defined in Ayurveda
September 21, 2011
Ayurveda describes seven broad constitution types (Prakritis) each with a varying degree of predisposition to different diseases. Amongst these, three most contrasting types, Vata, Pitta, Kapha, are the most vulnerable to diseases. Conventional studies are routinely carried out in modern predictive medicine with efforts being directed towards capturing disease phenotypes with greater precision for successful identification of markers for prospective disease conditions. This study explored whether the different constitution types as described in Ayurveda has molecular correlates.
Traumeel® protects against aching muscles and joints after strenuous exercise
September 14, 2011
Competitive athletes are not alone in imposing significant strain on their body, muscles and joints; recreational sports lovers also tend to develop aching muscles and joints after exercise. The aches are caused by inflammatory reactions in damaged muscle cells as a result of strenuous activity. Scientists at the University of Kwazulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa have published a randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind study showing that prophylactic use of a natural product (Traumeel®) before and after exercise has major anti-inflammatory effects and so reduces the incidence of muscle pain. This was presented at the 56th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) in Seattle, Washington, May 27 - 30, 2009. This paper presents the accumulating evidence of Traumeel's action on the inflammatory process.
Modified Citrus Pectin has extensive benefits in fighting and protecting against cancer
September 8, 2011
New research published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine shows that Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) very significantly induces and enhances the benefits of T-cytotoxic cells and human Natural Killer (NK) cells. This new data on Modified Citrus Pectin's powerful immune effects, together with the extensive research on its ability to block cancer-promoting galectin-3 molecules, gives a greater understanding of MCP's extensive benefits in fighting and protecting against cancer.Previously modified citrus pectin, which is a specialised fruit polysaccharide has been shown to have unique properties in blocking cancer cell aggregation, adhesion, and metastasis. Furthermore, clinical research shows that modified citrus pectin helps limit disease progression in men with advanced prostate cancer. In addition to its cancer-inhibiting effects, modified citrus pectin shows promise in chelating toxic heavy metals that can be so damaging to overall health.
Research study confirms what Ayurveda has been saying for over 5000 years - Eating more slowly could be the answer to beating the battle of the bulge
September 1, 2011
A recent research study carried out by the Department of Human Nutrition at New Zealand's University of Otago has shown that middle-aged women who eat slowly are much less likely to be overweight or obese than those who eat at a faster pace, Researchers analysed the relationship between self-reported speed of eating and body mass index (BMI) in more than 1500 New Zealand women aged between 40 and 50. The researchers commented that "The size of the association found in this initial research suggests that if there is a causal link, reduction in eating speed is a very promising way to prevent weight gain and may lead to decreases in BMI similar or greater than those sustained in weight management programs" .
Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) extract can be used as a dietary supplement for prevention of breast cancer
August 24, 2011
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the western world. Although there are effective drugs for treating advanced stages of breast cancers, women eventually develop resistance. One of the approaches to control breast cancer is prevention through diet, which inhibits one or more neoplastic events and reduces cancer risk. In a recent study human breast cancer cells, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231, and primary human mammary epithelial cells were used as an in vitro model to assess the efficacy of Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia) extract (BME) as an anticancer agent. BME treatment of breast cancer cells resulted in a significant decrease in cell proliferation and induced apoptotic cell death. The study concluded that Bitter Melon Extract (BME) modulates signal transduction pathways for inhibition of breast cancer cell growth and can be used as a dietary supplement for prevention of breast cancer.
Source : Department of Pathology, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri 63104, USA.
Dr.Deepak Chopra - Purpose in Life
August 17, 2011
Why is it so important to live with passion, to have a dream, a reason for living, even if that dream is only for our own joy?
Dr. Chopra: I think that is a very important component, to have passion, to have a dream, to have a purpose in life. And there are three components to that purpose, one is to find out who you really are, to discover God, the second is to serve other human beings, because we are here to do that and the third is to express your unique talents, and when you are expressing your unique talents, you lose track of time.
Taken from : An Exclusive Interview by Veronica M. Hay
Research evidence demonstrates that a high-fat diet may trigger Type 2 diabetes
August 16, 2011
Researchers at the University of California and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute have identified the role of a high-fat diet in triggering Type 2 diabetes. They have demonstrated that fat disrupts the production of the enzyme GnT-4a. GnT-4a is the enzyme which allows the cells to absorb glucose, and gauge the extent of glucose in the blood. Experiments on mice revealed that the blood of those on a high-fat diet had elevated levels of free fatty acids, which interfered with two proteins - FOXA2 and HNF1A - involved in the production of GnT-4a. The researchers concluded that fat effectively blinded cells to sugar levels in the blood and several symptoms of Type 2 diabetes were noticed in the mice. Interestingly, the same process also took place in samples of human pancreatic cells.
Saffron may be of therapeutic benefit in the treatment of mild to moderate depression
August 10, 2011
Research from Tehran University of Medical Sciences' Psychiatric Research Center in 2004 examined the benefits of an extract of Crocus sativus (Saffron) on mood. This short-term, pilot, double-blind randomized trial determined that 30mg of Saffron per day showed a similar positive effect on mood as 100 mg/day of imipramine. The main overall finding from this study is that saffron may be of therapeutic benefit in the treatment of mild to moderate depression. This is the first clinical trial that supports this indication for saffron.
Ayurveda - the original Integrated Healthcare System
August 9, 2011
Ayurveda and Yoga was the original Integrated healthcare system given to man. This included treatment through diet, herbs, mantras, asanas, pranayamas, chakra therapy, jyotish, spiritual counseling, vastu, colours, gems etc. The goal of these oldest healing sciences is that health and spirituality should go together. It is not enough just to be alive, we must have a life purpose that makes our lives meaningful, and pursue self development which ultimately leads to self realization.
Today medicine is in yet another stage of its development; a new global medicine is emerging largely through examination of Traditional, Conventional, and Alternative systems of medicine. This is known as Integrated Medicine or Integrated Healthcare. This growing system of healthcare, which is well established in Europe and North America, harnesses the best from all conventional and alternate/traditional medicine such as conventional medicine, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine Yoga, Homeopathy, Spiritual Counseling, Remedial Massage, etc. Often when hope is lost by trying the conventional or alternative medicine approach, a safe strategic approach using the combination of evidenced based therapies can be the answer to solve many health dilemmas.
Integrative medicine follows the basic Ayurvedic tenet i.e. that it is important to engage and empathize with the patient on all levels of their health i.e. physical, emotional, and spiritual and advise them about their health and lifestyle choices in order to regain good health.
Case Study - Panic Attack
August 8, 2011
Janet, a 32-year-old woman had suffered acute severe panic attacks on being promoted to a management position. Symptoms included unexpected, sudden, discrete periods of intense anxiety, mounting psychological arousal, fear, abdominal distress, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, heart palpitations, and dizziness. These symptoms only presented on days of important business meetings and the stress of project deadlines.
Ayurvedic pulse diagnosis revealed that the Air/Vata bio-energy was deranged.
A Vata pacifying diet, Yoga asanas, Pranayams, Meditation, and Spiritual-self examination through reading which would help her comprehend how her root fears.Janet responded very quickly; the combination of simple Ayurvedic dietary changes along with Yoga and Meditation resulted in the disappearance of her Panic Attack after only 3 weeks. Thereafter she joined a regular Yoga class and maintained her Vata pacifying Ayurvedic diet plan.
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