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Herbal Remedies 2003 Newsletter Issue 219
Sponsored by www.HerbalRemedies.com
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Issue Editor - Patti Kantor
Herbs - Vitamins - Minerals - Magnetics - Candles - Aromatherapy - Holiday Gifts - Bath & Beauty - Essential Oils - Condition & Ailment Guide - Women's Health - Men's Health - Weight Loss - Health Books
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BACK-TO-SCHOOL BASICS: YOUR CHILD'S HEALTH

by Carol Archebelle

It’s that time again! Your car seats are still hot to the touch, the sun bears down and the heat wears on. But the stores are gearing up with bulky sweaters, fresh notebooks and No. 2 pencils that beg to be sharpened. Yes, it’s late summer and time for the kids to head off to school.

Starting the school year can be an exhilarating yet stressful time. For you, the parent, a host of new challenges await in keeping your kids healthy and at their best for optimum performance at school.

FUELING THE TANK: GETTING PROPER NUTRITION

Let’s face it, school lunches didn’t excite you when you were a kid. So you know your child probably doesn’t get too excited to eat everything on her tray either. Although every school cafeteria in the country works hard to make sure the government recommended daily allowances are provided – this doesn’t mean your kid is eating right. In fact, some kids skip the meal and opt for dessert only!

Even if you are packing your kid’s lunches with healthy treats such as baby carrot sticks, an apple and a turkey and Swiss cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread, you still can’t be sure she is eating all of it every day. On top of that, you may have a problem getting your child to eat a nutritious breakfast - or breakfast at all. (Teenagers are notorious for skipping breakfast.)

How can you make sure your child receives all of the vitamins and minerals she needs? Chewable multi-vitamins. They taste good, come in child-appealing shapes like animals and provide comprehensive nutrition with over 30 vitamins and minerals, at or above the recommended daily allowance levels. If your child shuns the chewable kind, try a liquid multivitamin, alone or added to her favorite beverage.

Be sure to watch what your child is drinking as well. Regular sodas and juices are loaded with sugar, which not only causes cavities but can also lead to weight gain. Too much simple sugar also gives kids the notorious “sugar high,” a dramatic spike of insulin and blood sugar levels followed by an abrupt fall, leading to the craving for more sweets.

Try diluting juice with water or using a sugar-free version, if available. You can also make your own good-tasting drinks by using Stevia, a plant found in nature that makes food and drinks naturally sweet. In fact, it’s 10 times sweeter than sugar. Add it to unsweetened or diluted juice or even water with a wedge of lemon. You get the sweet taste, but none of the sugar or extra calories.

FIGHTING OFF GERMS

After a lazy summer, the rush of activity to prepare for and start school can cause a tidal wave of stress. Stress causes a hormonal reaction that can leave the immune system unhealthily compromised.

Not only that, suddenly the number of people your child is exposed to on a daily basis is multiplied. All of those kids in close, confined quarters for hours on end make schools famous germ breeding grounds. And when your child brings those colds, strep throat or stomach flu home, you, as well as your whole family, is at risk of contracting it.

Make sure your family stays healthy with a little preventive medicine. To protect your child’s immunity system, look at supplementing with liquid Elderberry, Echinacea and/or Goldenseal tincture for an extra boost to the immune system. It is also a good idea to supplement your own immune system and every member of your family’s to prevent the spread of a cold or flu even if the school-age child contracts it.

If your child has allergies or is prone to sinus infections, you may also want to consider using Nutribiotic Nasal Spray with Grapefruit Seed Extract. This will keep the nasal passages moist, reduce nasal stuffiness, and remove allergens such as dust and pollen.

When your child does get sick, have her take First Defense Formula at the first sign of a cold or flu in order to ward off a more serious infection. To lessen the length and severity of a cold, nothing beats zinc. Try SilvaSolutionTM & Colloidial Silver & Zinc. To relieve those pesky cold symptoms, try herbal cough syrup or lozenges for a cough and/or a sore throat. To calm or relieve an earache, try soothing herbal ear drops or a specially formulated supplement to reduce earaches.

If your child’s illness progresses to the point that a bacterial infection occurs, your child’s doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics. The problem is that antibiotics kill not only the “bad” bacteria that caused your child’s infection, they also wipe out the good bacteria necessary to prevent yeast overgrowth and keep the body in balance. Try Primadophilus for Kids to restore a healthy level of bacteria to your child’s system after a round of antibiotics.

MORE SLEEP = BETTER GRADES, MORE FRIENDS

Kids who don’t get enough sleep don’t perform as well academically. They also suffer in their social relationships due to less than ideal behavior. It is estimated that 25%, or one-quarter, of American children are suffering from some degree of sleep deprivation. Symptoms include:

  • Crankiness
  • Short attention span
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lessened ability to retain new information
  • Unpleasant demeanor
  • Reduced reaction times
  • Increased risk of injuries or accidents

How much sleep does your child need? It depends on her age. Kindergartners need an average of 11.25 hours of sleep per night. From there, the amount of sleep needed drops only slightly for each year of age until it reaches about 10 hours for a nine-year-old. At 14, an average of nine hours of sleep per night is needed. Once children near high school age, the amount of sleep required drops to about eight-and-a-half hours per night.

Remember, though, that every child is different. You will need to pay attention to the cues your child is sending you. If she is cranky during the day, falls asleep in the car and you have difficulty awakening her each morning, she is probably not getting enough sleep – even if she is sleeping the “average” number of hours for a child her age!

If your child is not getting enough sleep now, move bedtime up to a more appropriate hour…and keep it consistent on the weekends as well. It can be hard to suddenly adjust to going to bed earlier, so ease the transition by moving bedtime 15 minutes earlier a week until you reach the desired hour.

In order to help your child fall asleep more quickly, turn the TV off at least a half an hour before bedtime. A calm, relaxing atmosphere before bed will help your child to fall asleep more quickly. Have her brush her teeth, get her pajamas on, perhaps settle in to bed for a quick bedtime story. Then turn the lights off. Following the same routine each night cues the body for sleep.

If bedtime is not the problem, rule out a sleep disorder. Talk to your child’s doctor about breathing pauses, snoring or problems sleeping at night and/or staying awake during the day. If it is determined that your child is getting enough sleep and sleep disorders are ruled out, yet your child continues to exhibit signs of sleep deprivation, she may actually have attention deficit disorder (or ADD). Some signs of ADD can mirror those of sleep deprivation. In fact, some kids who are actually sleep-deprived have been mistakenly diagnosed with ADD. Signs of ADD include:

  • Difficulty sitting still
  • Short attention span
  • Frequent "spacing out"
  • Trouble sharing or waiting her turn
  • Quickly moving from one activity to the next
  • Frequent signs of distraction and disorganization of thoughts
  • Trouble making and keeping friends

Discuss your child’s symptoms at length with your pediatrician. The doctor will likely want to know how long the symptoms have been occurring, where the symptoms occur and the child’s age at onset. Only a trained health professional can make an accurate diagnosis of ADD.

TURN OFF THE TV, WEIGH LESS

Not only do your kids need to do their homework instead of spending endless hours in front of the TV or a video game, the more hours they watch, the greater their chance of being obese. At least 12 research studies have confirmed a direct link between TV viewing and extra weight.

In fact, one Stanford study showed that limiting TV and video games to about one hour a day (down from the average of four or more per day) can reduce body fat and weight gain in children…apart from any change in diet and exercise habits. The researchers drew the conclusion that children do more low-level calorie burning activities when the TV is off. Even playing a board game burns more calories than sitting motionless in front of the TV!

Turning the TV off during meals may help kids – and you – eat less. Watching TV can lead to “mindless eating,” the kind of munching where you look down and suddenly realize you’ve eaten half a bag of chips instead of a handful. Even a slight reduction in daily calories can lead to significant weight loss over the long haul. For example, cutting out 100 calories a day (less than one can of regular soda) can yield a one-pound loss in a little over a month.

So, make TV a special treat. If your child completes her homework (which you check), she can watch one hour of TV before getting ready for bed.

TALK TO YOUR CHILD

The two best cures for stress are talking and exercising. If you can get your child to talk about school, you can stay informed and ease her stress level at the same time. Ask open-ended questions about the school day to avoiding simple “yes” or “no” answers. Try:

  • Who is your best teacher? Why?
  • What is your favorite subject? Why?
  • What did you learn in school today?
  • Describe some of your classmates.
  • Who sits next to you in homeroom and what is he or she like?
  • Tell me about a special project you worked on in school today.
If you’re asking question after question and getting nothing, try asking questions about something else, such as what the child wants to do that evening or on the weekend. Just get her talking! The act of talking relieves stress, and eventually she may touch on something that opens the door to a more meaningful conversation. Talking to your child will keep you in tune with her and what is going on in her life.

Dinnertime is an excellent time to get your child to open up to you. If the TV is off, you can more easily facilitate a dialogue. Try having everyone share at least one experience from his or her day, then have the whole family comment on what was shared. Be attentive and responsive. Praise your child for sharing her experiences. If she gains confidence doing so, she should progress to the point where no formal prodding is needed.

PLUS A DASH OF UNSTRUCTURED TIME

All day long your kids are in the structured environment of the classroom. They adhere to rigid rules of conduct and behavior. They are stuck indoors at a desk most of the day. They are thinking, learning and doing heavy mental work. When the afternoon bell finally rings, give your kids some time to let loose.

Let them play outside for a while when they get home (in particular, if they don’t get the outside time from physical education and/or after-school sports activities). In addition to benefiting from the numerous positive effects and wonderful cascade of hormones that accompany physical play, exposure to the sun’s rays helps your child’s body produce Vitamin D and wards off Seasonal Affective Disorder (or S.A.D.). A few unstructured hours to blow off steam will also reduce stress and its harmful effects. Just remember to put sunscreen and insect repellent on your child when heading outside.

BALANCE IS THE KEY

In school as in life, success is all about balance. Following a balanced diet, getting adequate rest and playtime, and re-balancing the body quickly after illness can help your child stay in the best of health. And a healthy child is a happy, well-adjusted child. Follow the basic tenets of good health for your child, and you will likely see a payoff in her good grades and flourishing social relationships as well.

May you and your child stay healthy and happy, and cheers to another great school year!

FOR MOM ONLY: REDUCING YOUR BACK-TO-SCHOOL STRESS

Moms often shoulder most of the responsibility for getting the kids fed, dressed, armed with books and homework, and off to school. In fact, you as the mother may feel more stressed than your child does when school starts!

Here are some tips on reducing frustration, saving time and reducing stress, just for you, Mom.

SAME ROUTINE, EVERY DAY

Go to bed at the same time, get up at the same time, leave every morning for school and/or work at the same time. This will let your body firmly establish a habit, and it will become your greatest ally in keeping your routine. For example, you will find yourself getting sleepy every night at your established bedtime or waking up just before the alarm goes off.

YOUR WARDROBE IS WAITING

Pick the entire week’s outfits for you and your child the weekend before. Have the clothes cleaned, lined up, ready to go in the closet before Sunday night. Then, each weeknight, simply take out the next day’s outfit (even shoes and panty hose - socks and shoes in the case of your child!) and hang it where it can be readily seen the next morning.

PACKED AND READY TO GO

Also on your “to - do” list at night: Gather everything needed for the next day, such as your purse, keys, sunglasses and the kid’s schoolbooks, and put it all in a central location – the same location every day. If it’s a lunch and you can’t pack the contents the night prior, simply put the lunch container out, top open so you are cued to put the food into it. The less “remembering” you have to do in the morning, the better!

BREAKFAST IS READY

Preparing the night before applies here also - decide what the kids are having for breakfast and have it ready. You can even cook a batch of pancakes and bacon, for instance, on the weekend and store them in the refrigerator for a quick warm-up in the microwave before serving.

If cereal is on the menu, put the cereal, bowls and spoons on the kitchen table the night before. Eventually, you can train the kids to pour their own cereal and milk. One word of caution: Quickly check to make sure that the milk made it back into the fridge before you leave the house!

DINNER IS EASY

Also plan your week’s menu of dinners the weekend before. Do grocery shopping for the week on the weekend. Each weeknight, leave a note to yourself on what to pull out of the freezer in the morning for dinner that evening. To be sure you’ll see the note, leave it on top of the pile of things to be carried to the car.

You can even cook all or a part of a few meals on weekends, for example a pot roast with potatoes, spaghetti sauce, ground beef for tacos or lasagna, and freeze to use during the week.

CALENDAR ON THE FRIDGE

Suddenly you are keeping track of not only your schedule, but your kids’ as well. There will be “early release” days, holidays and parent/teacher functions to keep track of. Post a one-page monthly, bimonthly or tri-monthly calendar (available at your local office supply store) on the fridge to keep track of the extra-curricular activities, soccer games and social engagements. Being able to check the activities of at least one month at a time, especially in a high-traffic area, can keep things from sneaking up on you.

TAKE TIME TO RELAX

Don’t forget your family’s most valuable asset…you! Often moms will spend so much time caring for others that they neglect themselves. It is essential that you take some time out of each day to recharge. Since it can be hard to transition from action to relaxation, try some aromatherapy oils. Aromatherapy uses distilled plant essences to change the body’s physical, emotional and mental state. Sniffing these oils helps you relax by instantly signaling the brain to release calming chemicals such as seratonin.

Finally, pamper yourself with a basket of goodies for the soul.


Carol Archebelle is associate publisher of Diabetic.com Web site and magazine, as well as a part-time freelance writer. She is a graduate of Old Dominion University of Virginia with a bachelor of art degree in English/Journalism. Based in Florida, she frequently writes about medical issues.

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FRESH AUTUMN AIR INCLUDES PESKY MOSQUITOES

by Patti Kantor

As the dog days of summer slowly ‘roll over’ to make room for autumn, the days are getting cooler. People across the country are turning off their air conditioners, opening their doors and windows to let in fresh air, and unfortunately, mosquitoes.

As autumn approaches, the days grow shorter further increasing the likelihood of being outdoors during dusk and dawn -- prime time for mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes have always been pests. But now, more than ever, these pesky insects should not be taken lightly since they carry the West Nile virus.

WEST NILE VIRUS HAS ARRIVED

The West Nile virus is not new. It was first isolated in 1937 in the province of West Nile, Uganda. It is, however, new to the United States and it is moving across the country much quicker than ever predicted.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of September 8, 2003, there have been 2,568 cases reported with 47 deaths. (The actual number of cases may be much higher since the test to confirm the virus is not cheap and it takes up to two weeks to get back the results – causing some people not to seek medical help.) Compare this to 1999 through 2001, when there were only 149 total confirmed cases of West Nile virus in the United States. And, this figure continues to rise by 30 percent weekly as we face the peak of perhaps one of the hardest hit years.

The virus, first noted to affect birds and horses, has quickly been elevated from being a topic of awareness to one of concern - now since it is taking a toll on humans.

SYMPTOMS OF WEST NILE

How does one know if they have West Nile? Once an infected mosquito has bitten someone, it can take anywhere from five to 15 days before signs and symptoms of the illness appear. And, not everyone will be affected. In fact, 80 percent of people infected never develop any symptoms.

Those who do develop mild symptoms may experience:

  • fever
  • Short attention span
  • headache
  • body ache
  • skin rash
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • swollen glands

A more serious infection can produce:

  • high fever
  • stiff neck
  • disorientation
  • muscle weakness
  • vision loss
  • numbness
  • paralysis
  • tremors
  • convulsions
  • encephalitis
  • meningitis
  • coma
  • death

Also the virus seems to manifest differently in each person. Not only do they experience the common symptoms but unusual ones as well. Some people who have tested positive have complained of:

  • impaired vision yet their eyes have tested fine
  • thought they were yelling but instead they were whispering
  • a lump in the throat making it hard to swallow
  • extreme fatigue
  • earache
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • muscle pain so severe that the entire body hurts

If West Nile virus is suspected, use common sense in seeking medical help. See your doctor if a high fever and bad headache persists. This could be West Nile but it could also be another viral infection, such as a cold, common in the summer and the fall.

NO VACCINE AS OF YET

While there is a West Nile vaccine for horses - best given early in the season - no such protection is yet available for people. According to reports, a human vaccine will be ready for testing by the end of the year, although the scientific advance will not help this year's outbreak.

Also once the virus is contracted, there is no medication or vaccine that can counteract the virus. Only its symptoms and complications can be treated and there is no specific therapy. In more severe cases, intensive supportive therapy is used, often involving hospitalization, intravenous fluids, airway management, respiratory support (ventilator), prevention of secondary infections (pneumonia, urinary tract, etc.), and good nursing care.

HOW WEST NILE VIRUS SPREADS

West Nile virus, which causes encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), is carried by birds that have been infected through mosquito bites. The virus is located in the mosquito's salivary glands. During blood feeding, the virus may be injected into the animal or human, where it may multiply causing illness and death. Once an infected bird migrates, mosquitoes in the new area then bite it. These newly infected mosquitoes can then transmit the disease to humans and other animals.

It is not known where the U.S. virus originated, but it is genetically most closely related to strains found in the Middle East. Some believe migrating birds brought it here or perhaps there was a diabolical intentional release of infected birds. However it got here, West Nile virus is now firmly established and researchers expect it to continue spreading rapidly throughout the states.

WHY IS IT SPREADING SO RAPIDLY?

In 2001, West Nile virus was detected in 27 mosquito species in the states. Now it has been detected in over 91 species, which means it is spreading quickly to other species of mosquitoes. Most of these species feed at night, however some species of infected mosquitoes are day feeders. In the colder zones of the United States, West Nile encephalitis cases occur primarily in the late summer or early fall ceasing after the first hard frost. In the southern climates where temperatures are milder, West Nile virus can be transmitted year round.

While infected mosquitoes are the primary source for West Nile virus, ticks infected with the virus have been found in Asia and Africa. Their role, however, in the transmission and maintenance of the virus is uncertain. In addition to birds, horses and humans, West Nile virus has also been known to infect cats, bats, chipmunks, skunks, squirrels and domestic rabbits.

HOW TO AVOID MOSQUITOES

Mosquitoes transmit various diseases worldwide to more than 700,000,000 people annually and will be responsible for the deaths of one of every 17 people currently alive, according to the CDC. Avoiding mosquitoes is the best preventive of West Nile virus as well as other diseases carried by mosquitoes.

Here are some things to avoid or use as bait to lure mosquitoes away from you.

  • Dark Clothing - Many mosquitoes use vision to locate hosts from a distance. Dark clothes and foliage are initial attractants.
  • Floral or Fruity Fragrances - In addition to perfumes, hair products, and scented sunscreens, avoid subtle floral fragrance from fabric softeners and dryer sheets.
  • Carbon Dioxide - You give off more carbon dioxide when you are hot or have been exercising. A burning candle or other fire is another source of carbon dioxide.
  • Lactic Acid - You release more lactic acid when exercising or after eating certain foods (e.g., salty foods, high-potassium foods).
  • Skin Temperature - The exact temperature depends on the type of mosquito. Many mosquitoes are attracted to the slightly cooler temperatures of the extremities.
  • Moisture - Mosquitoes are attracted by perspiration because of the chemicals it contains and also because it increases the humidity around your body. Even small amounts of water (e.g., moist plants or mud puddles) will draw mosquitoes. Standing water also allows mosquitoes to reproduce.

IF THERE’S NO AVOIDING THEM

Oftentimes avoiding mosquitoes just isn’t practical. In this case, the CDC has issued a number of ways to avoid mosquito bites. Here are some of their suggestions for reducing your risk of exposure.

  • Be aware of peak mosquito hours - The hours from dusk to dawn are peak mosquito biting times for many species of mosquitoes. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during evening and early morning - or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.

  • Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites - When possible, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors. To help with the itch and swelling of mosquito bites click HERE!

  • Mosquito-proof your yard - Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. They have adapted to complete their life cycle in diverse aquatic habitats, including fresh water, salt-water marshes, brackish water, or water found in containers, old tires, flowerpots or tree holes. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by getting rid of items that hold water.

  • Install or repair screens - Mosquitoes are drawn to light. Keep them outside by having well fitting screens on both windows and doors. Offer to help neighbors whose screens might be in bad shape.

MORE WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND LOVED ONES

Keeping the immune system strong will help protect you and your family against the severe form of this life threatening disease and other mosquito borne diseases. See Immune Support for Children and Adults.

If you have outdoor activities planned, spray the area with Pyrethrum. Pyrethrum is a powerful, rapidly acting insecticide, derived from the crushed and dried flowers of the daisy Chrysanthemum cinerarifolium. Pyrethrum is non-toxic to most mammals, making it among the safest insecticides in use. It is quickly inactivated by sunlight and air leaving no residue to harm the environment.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved it for more uses than any other insecticide. It's sold under trade names that include Pyrenon, Red Arrow (pyrethrins/rotenone) and Pyrellin (Pyrethrins/rotenone).

HELP YOUR COMMUNITY - REPORT DEAD BIRDS

Dead birds may be a sign that West Nile virus is circulating between birds and mosquitoes in an area. Over 130 species of birds have been infected with West Nile virus, though not all infected birds will die. It’s important to remember that birds die from many other causes besides West Nile virus.

Incidentally the reporting of dead crows is especially important because crows appear to be highly sensitive to the virus. Dead crows can therefore act as sentinels for local transmission of the disease since crows normally travel less than 200 miles. Infected crows can also help state and local health departments determine the risk to humans.

CONSIDER MOSQUITO CONTROL PROGRAMS

Check with local health authorities to see if there is an organized mosquito control program in your area. If no program exists, work with your local government officials to establish a program. The American Mosquito Control Association can provide advice.

More questions about mosquito control? A good source for information about pesticides and repellents is the National Pesticide Information Center, which operates a toll-free information line: 1-800-858-7378.

CLEAN UP THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Mosquito breeding sites can be everywhere. Neighborhood clean up days can be organized by civic or youth organizations to pick up containers from vacant lots and parks, and to encourage people to keep their yards free of standing water. It’s important to control breeding sites everywhere in the neighborhood.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST - USE REPELLENT

Use insect repellent. The CDC recommends applying insect repellent containing DEET to exposed skin when you go outdoors. While their intentions are good, it should be noted that the use of DEET has been a controversial subject for many years.

DEET OR NO DEET

DEET is a neurotoxin. There are conflicting reports about its safety as well as how to use it properly, and no one seems to agree on how much concentration can be used safely yet effectively. Also the percentage of DEET within a product does not necessarily reflect the product’s strength or effectiveness; rather it reflects how long the product is expected to repel insects. A higher concentration of DEET is not necessary if you only intend to be outdoors for a couple of hours.

Rather than use commercial products that contain DEET, consider using natural repellents derived from plants. A number of natural repellents are getting ‘thumbs up’ for repelling mosquitoes. Catnip, for example, has been shown to be 10 times more effective than DEET, according to researchers at Iowa State University (ISU), College of Agriculture, Ames, Iowa, thanks to nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip that gives the plant its characteristic odor.

Catnip is a perennial herb belonging to the mint family. It grows wild in most parts of the United States, although it also is cultivated for commercial use. Catnip is native to Europe and was introduced to this country in the late 18th century. It is primarily known for the stimulating effect it has on cats, although some people use the leaves in tea, as a meat tenderizer and even as a folk treatment for fevers, colds, cramps and migraines.

While most commercial insect repellents contain anywhere from five- to 25-percent DEET with some sources recommending products with a 35-percent concentration, ISU researchers have found that much less catnip oil is needed in a formulation to have the same level of repellency as a DEET-based repellent.

Some other natural insect repellents include oils of:

  • Citronella
  • Castor
  • Rosemary
  • Lemongrass
  • Cedar
  • Peppermint
  • Clove
MOSQUITO REPELLENT DEVICES

Many types of personal mosquito repellent devices are also now available. These use a variety of known ways of repelling mosquitoes including:

  • high frequency sound that repel mosquitoes from an area
  • low-frequency wing beat sound of the dragonfly, the mosquito's mortal enemy
  • insect-attracting blue light lamp lures flying insects toward a down-drafting fan that pushes them into an inescapable trap in the base
Additionally, there are various types of devices including:
  • personal devices that protect an area for a person
  • tabletop devices that protect an area in a room or on a patio
  • wearable devices - some even battery operated.

GOOD NEWS

While West Nile virus does seem to be taking its toll, health experts predict that this year will perhaps be the worst year as the virus initially extends across the United States. By next spring there could be a vaccine available and the precautions that are being taken this year, such as cleaning up breeding grounds for mosquitoes, will help. For natural products and repellents, including details on when and how to apply, see Insect Repellent Use and Safety.

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Samento (Cat's Claw) is Producing Good Outcomes for Those with Lyme Disease

by Patti Kantor

Although West Nile virus seems to be getting all of the media coverage lately, some encouraging news for those with Lyme disease has surfaced – yes, Lyme disease is alive and well, thank you.

A pilot study was recently conducted with 28 patients suffering from advanced chronic Lyme disease. All the patients tested positive for the disease using the Western Blot blood test for Borrelia Burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease - which can also cause, mimic, or be a contributing factor to more than 300 other conditions.

UNRESPONSIVE TO ANTIBIOTICS

A control group was treated with conventional antibiotic treatment. At the end of the study all the patients in this group continued to test positive for Borrelia. None of the patients experienced an improvement in their clinical condition and, in fact, some got worse.

SAMENTO GROUP IMPROVED

An experimental group was treated with Samento, also known as TOA-Free Cat’s Claw. At the end of the study, 85% of the patients in this group tested negative for Borrelia, and all the patients experienced a dramatic improvement in their clinical condition. A full report of the study, showing positive results of reducing the infection also related to over 300 other conditions besides Lyme disease, is to be available soon.

POAS PREFERRED OVER TOAS

Samento is a rare chemotype of a medicinal plant commonly known as TOA-Free Cat's Claw. Its botanical name is Uncaria tomentosa. Unlike traditional Cat’s Claw products, it does not contain chemical antagonists called tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids (TOAs).

TOAs act upon the central nervous system greatly inhibiting the positive effect of the pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids (POAs), which primarily affect the immune cells responsible for non-specific and cellular immunity, and demonstrate powerful immune system modulating properties. TOAs can cause a 30% reduction in immune system modulating properties that POAs provide. Samento contains a standardized amount of POAs.

HOW BORRELIA EXISTS

The latest research on Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) shows that it exists in at least three different forms: the spirochete, the spheroplast (also known as L-form), and the cyst form. During the course of infection, Bb can shift among these three forms, converting from the spirochete form to the others when presented with an unfavorable environment (antibiotics, changes in pH of body fluids in chronic inflammation, etc.). It then reverts back to the spirochete form to grow and reproduce upon being released from naturally aging and dying infected cells. It is during the growth period after reconversion to the spirochete form, as well as in adult spirochete form, that Bb is most vulnerable and susceptible to antibiotics and natural elimination by the body’s immune system.

The severity of Lyme disease is directly related to the spirochete load: low load results in mild or even asymptomatic infections. With increased spirochete load from subsequent repeated infections and/or reactivated dormant infections, the severity of the disease increases. Higher loads also impair key cells of the immune system and modify the immune response, thus making the immune system unable to fight the pathogen. The negative effects on the immune system increase the longer the spirochetes are present.

To fight Lyme disease, it is necessary to not only restore the immune system to normal functioning, but to boost it. Even a normal functioning immune system is unable to attack and eliminate Bb in all its forms.

HOW SAMENTO WORKS

The results of research on Samento demonstrate its powerful immune system modulating and stimulating properties, along with its pronounced anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-infectious effects. The diverse spectrum of the biological activities of Samento is due to its biologically active compounds. The POAs contained in this chemotype are generally accepted as the principal immunomodulating and immunostimulating agents.

POAs are actively involved in the repairing of immunity damaged by Borrelia and other co-infections, assisting in restoring the immune system, enhancing its ability to eliminate the pathogens by natural way.

In addition, this chemotype contains quinovic acid glycosides – compounds with strong natural antibiotic properties (the latest generations of conventional synthetic antibiotics named Quinolones are based on quinovic acid glycosides), which further enhance the medicinal effect of Samento in fighting the infection.

Taking into account the lifetime of intracellular forms, it can be assumed that continuous use of Samento for eight to 12 months would kill and eliminate Borrelia, as well as any other infections, restoring the person’s health.

HISTORY OF LYME DISEASE

Lyme disease was first recognized in the United States in 1975, following a mysterious outbreak of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis near the community of Lyme, Connecticut.

The rural location of the Lyme outbreak and the onset of illness during summer and early fall suggested that the transmission of the disease be by an arthropod vector. In 1982, the etiologic agent of Lyme disease was discovered in ticks.

METHODS OF LYME DISEASE TRANSMISSION

In addition to ticks, it has been learned that Borrelia may be carried and transmitted by fleas, mosquitoes and mites. Also it is not exclusively vector-borne. Humans have been known to pass the disease through breast-feeding and blood transfusions. Also the possibility exists that Lyme disease can be food infection.

NUMBER OF CASES

Lyme disease is the fastest-growing epidemic in the world. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga., USA, affirms that "there is considerable underreporting" of Lyme disease, maintaining that the actual infection rate may be 1.8 million, 10 times higher than the 180,000 cases currently reported. Nick Harris, Ph.D., director of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS), states "Lyme is grossly under-reported. In the U.S., we probably have about 200,000 cases per year."

Considering vector, congenital and sexual transfer, it is estimated that 15.5% of the global population, nearly 1 billion people, could be infected with Borrelia. The Sierra Integrative Medicine Clinic in Reno, Nev. states that "Authorities estimate that up to 90 percent of the population could be carrying the Lyme spirochete and that Lyme is a factor in over 50 percent of chronic illnesses."

FREQUENTLY MISDIAGNOSED

Katrina Tang, MD, HMD, founder and director of research at the Sierra Integrative Medicine Clinic, states that Lyme disease eludes doctors because of its ability to mimic many other diseases. For example, according to an informal study conducted by the American Lyme Disease Alliance (ALDA), most patients diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) are actually suffering from Lyme disease. In a study of 31 patients diagnosed with CFS, 28 patients, or 90.3%, were found to be ill as a result of Lyme.

Paul Fink, MD, MS, past president of the American Psychiatric Association, has acknowledged that Lyme disease can contribute to every psychiatric disorder in the Diagnostic Symptoms Manual IV (DSM-IV). This manual is used to diagnose psychiatric conditions such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), antisocial personality, anorexia nervosa, autism and Aspergers syndrome (a form of autism), to name a few.

Lyme Borreliosis causes, mimics, is manifested as, is misdiagnosed as, or is a contributing factor to more than 300 conditions, such as:

IMPACT OF WEAKENED IMMUNE SYSTEM

It is believed that years can pass before symptoms appear in a patient that has been infected with Borrelia. In 1998, a study conducted in Switzerland demonstrated that only 12.5% of the patients that tested positive for Borrelia developed clinical symptoms confirming that Borrelia burgdorferi infection is often asymptomatic.

A report from Germany outlines the case of a 12-year-old boy that developed Lyme Arthritis five years after being bit by a tick. The case indicates that the latency period between tick bite and onset of Lyme Arthritis may last up to five years.

All asymptomatic carriers of Borrelia are at risk of developing Lyme disease at some point. Stress, an increasing health concern worldwide, may have been the trigger that activated Lyme disease in a patient in Sweden. The case is reported of a 26-year-old woman with latent Lyme Borreliosis that was concurrently activated with a herpes simplex virus type 1 infection. Immune suppression by stress may have caused activation of both infections.

PREVALENT ON SIX CONTINENTS

Lyme disease, known as Borreliosis in much of the world, is prevalent on six continents and recognized as an epidemic in many countries. In Bulgaria, where there is a high incidence of Lyme disease, Atanas Tzonkov, MD, director of Bulgaria’s largest private medical clinic, has treated thousands of patients with Samento. He reports that it has been used successfully to treat over 100 conditions.

SAMENTO IN THE HEALTH CARE SETTING

According to an article published in the Summer 2002 issue of British Naturopathic Journal, “Ninety-eight percent of patients being treated using a rare Peruvian medicinal plant showed clinical improvement.” That rare plant is Samento.

At a Samento Conference held May 10, 2002, in Florida, Brian Lamb, medical herbalist from Scotland, reported that 100% of the terminally ill patients he is treating with Samento are showing remarkable clinical improvement. Professor Henk Oswald, MD, PhD, expounded on his experience of the use of Samento in the treatment of cancer. Michael Coyle demonstrated Samento's use as an antimicrobial agent.

Samento has also performed well in the primary care setting, as evidenced at East Aiken Health Center in Aiken, South Carolina. The dosing schedule used in all cases, unless otherwise stated, was three 600mg per oral capsules of Samento twice a day for 10 days. Thereafter dosage was decreased to two 600mg capsules twice a day. Samento was taken on an empty stomach, by itself. Other supplementation (vitamins/minerals) was taken with meals. Concurrent usage of other herbs was discouraged as it was felt that other herbs might contain alkaloids with a blocking effect similar to the tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids (TOAs.)

Beginning in March 2002 and continuing to date, over 60 patients have been treated with Samento. Conditions treated, in addition to Lyme disease, include:

  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Status Post Cerebrovascular Accident
  • Chronic Back Pain
  • Status Post Breast Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Irritable Bowel
  • Candidiasis
  • Hypothyroid
  • Menopausal Syndrome
  • Pre Menstrual Syndrome
  • Peptic Ulcer Disease
  • Gastritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Arthritis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Asthma
Several case studies have been selected and were presented to illustrate the amazing scope of illnesses that are being successfully treated with Samento at the clinic. In these cases and others, the following has been constantly noted:
  • Increased energy - This in particular has been gratifying when used with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and depression.
  • Sense of well being/lifting of brain fog - Current studies are underway but this finding appears to be related to the anticoagulant properties of Samento. Patients suffering from chronic cold hands and feet seem to make the most gain here. Also to be explored would be a positive effect on infertility, especially when coupled with Peruvian Maca.
  • Decreased inflammation - Here there might be a transient exacerbation of symptoms, then a marked improvement. The only patient in the clinic who has not shown improvement was one who stopped taking Samento when her symptoms worsened. There was no way to get this patient to understand the concept of a healing crisis.
  • Decreasing blood pressure - Almost all of the anti-hypertension patients have been able to lower their dosage of anti-hypertension medication. None have been able to discontinue the anti-hypertension medication altogether, at least not at this point in time.
  • Decreasing blood sugar - All the diabetic patients have had mild lowering of fasting blood sugars (around 10 to 20 points.)
  • Increased diuresis - All of the patients have experienced a mild diuretic effect.

Adverse clinical findings include:

  • Lower extremity cramping - this is easily alleviated when presented by either/or calcium supplementation and a good multivitamin/mineral combination.
  • Several patients have experienced healing crises. In fact, individual patients have experienced multiple "mini-crises" with continued use of Samento. No patient has required hospitalization while on Samento.
  • One patient experienced a severe immediate gastritis. The dose was lowered to 250mg each day instead of a normal starting dose of 1800mg twice a day. Within two weeks the maximum dose was tolerated. Gastrointestinal complaints have been resolved. This patient's presenting complaint was chronic migraine headache. No change has been noted yet in the severity or frequency of the headaches.
  • Skin rash - Several of the patients experienced transient photosensitive skin rashes, none requiring any treatment other than time.

SAMENTO APPLIED TO OTHER ILLNESSES

In conclusion, as the several case studies illustrate, Samento has demonstrated in the clinic to be a safe natural remedy with a wide range of therapeutic efficacy, patients continue to show remarkable clinical improvement. As experience and confidence with the use of Samento grows, the clinic is applying Samento to an expanding list of clinical illnesses. Click here for more Cat's Claw information and products!

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Herb and Ailment Questions & Answers:

  • Q1. What is Cream of Coco? I loved the soap very much!

  • A1. The answer to your questions is Kernel Oil and Paraguayan Coco.

    Cream of Coco Hair and Body Soap/Shampoo is a truly incredible all natural body cleanser. This all-natural soap can be used for bath, shampoo, shave, wash delicate clothing and even to clean eyeglasses. It preserves and protects the natural color of hair, softens and heals skin, revitalizes skin cells, stops hair loss and prevents dandruff, all while it lathers in hard water.

    The All-Body Wash in a Bar is created with the rare creamed oil from the kernel of the Miniature Coco, which produces a rich and fragrant lather to combat the daily wear and tear on skin and hair. One glowing bar serves as soap and shampoo to maintain a natural youthful complexion and vibrant, clean hair. Directions: Use as you would any soap or shampoo. After rinsing, treat hair with your favorite conditioner.

    Master Herbalist, Truman Berst

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  • Q2. "My wife and I have a three week old baby. My wife is drinking Ginseng tea to help produce more milk for breast-feeding. Our baby has been rejecting milk from my wife and is constantly crying and fretting. Could it be that this Korean Ginseng tea is affecting the baby?"

  • A2. Yes, the Korean Ginseng could be too much for him. Click here for a formula that increases the quality and quantity of mother’s milk.

    Master Herbalist, Truman Berst

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  • Q3. "I have a gastric ulcer. Can you provide a list of foods that should be avoided?"

  • A3. In the past, people with ulcers have been advised to avoid spicy, fatty, or acidic foods. However, this form of diet is now known to be ineffective for treating or avoiding peptic and stomach ulcers. It is recommended that you eat foods that do not promote acid in your stomach as well as prevent excess irritation of the stomach lining. Items most frequently associated with gastric discomfort include:
    • Spices including: black pepper, red or hot pepper, chili powder
    • Beverages containing caffeine, regular and decaffeinated coffee or tea, cocoa and carbonated beverages
    • Alcohol
    • Citrus fruits and juices
    • Chocolate
    • Fried and fatty foods
    • Tomato products
    • Milk

    People have found symptoms improve when small more frequent meals are eaten. Different people will be affected by different foods; personal judgement will be needed to determine what foods you can and cannot tolerate. Additional advice to aid comfort with diet includes:

    • Chew your food thoroughly.
    • Reduce or stop cigarette smoking. Smoking delays ulcer healing.
    • Do not eat within two hours of bedtime.
    • Do not use aspirin, aspirin-containing combination medicines, or certain arthritis medications (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS). These can cause ulcers and delay or prevent ulcer healing.
    • Use herbs as needed.

    Click here for more information.

    Master Herbalist, Truman Berst

    Do you have a question for us? If so please send in your questions to newseditor@herbalremedies.com We will answer all email ASAP!

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  • For assistance or to purchase products by phone call toll free in the USA 1-866-467- 6444 or World Wide 1-307-577-6444 or e-mail your questions to newseditor@herbalremedies.com We will answer all email in the next issue of the newsletter as space allows.

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    Disclaimer

    Informational material and representations have been provided by the manufacturers of the listed products. The statements regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products and the information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this Web site and in emails is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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