A study involving nearly 3,500 women in several countries suggests natural herbs may be more effective in relieving menstrual cramps than drugs, acupuncture or heat compression.
Australia-based researchers said herbs not only relieved pain, but reduced the recurrence of the condition over three months, according to the Cochrane Library journal. Who writes The Cochrane Library Journal? An international not-for-profit and independent organization, dedicated to up-to-date, accurate information about the effects of health-care readily available worldwide.
The Cochrane Collaboration produces and disseminates systematic reviews of health-care interventions and promotes the search for evidence in the form of clinical trials and other studies of interventions. The Cochrane Collaboration was founded in 1993. They publish the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews quarterly as part of the Cochrane Library.
Women looking for a natural treatment for menstrual cramps can be confident that Chinese herbs have been reviewed in clinical trials and have been used safely for hundreds of years. The evidence came from 39 trials, involved 3475 women – 36 in China, and one each in Taiwan, Japan and the Netherlands. Participants were given herb formulas to regulate their ‘qi’ (energy) and blood, warm their bodies and boost their kidney and liver functions.
“Chinese herbal medicine gave significant improvements in pain relief when compared to pharmaceutical drugs. It also reduced overall symptoms. The research revealed that Chinese herbal medicine was also better at alleviating pain than acupuncture or heat compression.”
“All available measures of effectiveness confirmed the overall superiority of Chinese herbal medicine to placebo, no treatment, NSAIDs, OCP, (oral contraception pills) acupuncture and heat compression, and, at the same time, there were no indications that Chinese herbs caused any adverse events,” says lead author Xiaoshu Zhu who works at the Center for Complementary Medicine Research at the University of Western Sydney, Australia.
Some of the Chinese herbs include Chinese angelica root (danggui), Szechuan lovage root (chuanxiong), red peony root (chishao), white peony root (baishao), Chinese motherwort (yimucao), fennel fruit (huixiang), nut-grass rhizome (xiangfu), liquorice root (gancao) and cinnamon bark (rougui). In one trial involving 36 women, 53 percent of those who took Chinese herbs reported less pain than usual compared with 26 percent in the placebo group. (No coincidence these herbs are all included in our PMS Relief Herb Pack)
See Full Study here: http://www.mrw.interscience.wiley.com/cochrane/clsysrev/articles/CD005288/frame.html
Another day and another friend/mother/sister/daughter diagnosed with breast cancer. Today breast cancer is affecting one in every eight women sometime during their lifetime in the USA, Europe and the UK. Looking around at my friends, family and extended family we need no reminders of the impact of these statistics. But there is good news, actually GREAT news– medical researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna identified a key protein that triggers breast cancer and in December 2012 received a grant of $7.4 million from the USA Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program for ongoing research.
Working for the last ten years, the research team has been able to show the synthetic female sex hormone progestin used in HRT and contraceptive pills can trigger RANKL (a protein found in breast cells). As a consequence of this trigger, mammary cells start to divide and multiply and fail to die when they should. Moreover, stem cells in the breast become able to renew themselves, ultimately resulting in breast cancer.
The research around the artificial sex hormone progestin, used in hormone replacement therapy, HRT, and in birth control pills has been the center of work for Professor Josef Penninger, (IMBA director) who found the first genetic evidence that this protein RANKL is the master regulator of healthy bones and breast cell multiplication.
“Ten years ago we formulated the hypothesis that RANKL might be involved in breast cancer and it took us a long time to develop systems to prove this idea”, says Prof. Josef Penninger. ” I have to admit it completely surprised me just how massive the effects of the system were. Millions of women take progesterone derivatives in contraceptives and for hormonal replacement therapy. Since our results show that the RANKL system is an important molecular link between a synthetic sex hormone and breast tumors, one day women may be able to reduce their risk by taking blocking medicines in advance to prevent breast cancer”.
Alternative answers are available for women suffering with menopausal symptoms and want relief from hot flashes and night sweats without adding artificial hormones to their body. Natural solutions used in Traditional Chinese Medicine are available that are safe and are made from natural plant sources, not artificial hormones.
Alternative birth control methods beyond the pill include the IUD’s without hormones, condoms, diaphragm, natural rhythm method and permanent birth control in the form of tubal litigation.
The research results presented here was an international collaboration between lead researchers at IMBA and scientists at the Medical University of Vienna; the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Australia; the Ontario Cancer Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada; Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School and the Ragon Institute of MGH/MIT and Harvard, Boston, USA; the Institute for Genetics, Centre for Molecular Medicine (CMMC), and Cologne Excellence Cluster (CECAD), University of Cologne, Germany; University College London, UK; and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.
The question many women suffering with menopausal hot flashes and night sweats are asking is whether bio-identical hormones such as progesterone cream and phytoestrogen (plant sourced estrogen) are safe and effective AS the chemical hormones found in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs?
Many women today are being told “bio-identical” hormones are identical to those your body makes. Even though progesterone and estrogen bio-identical creams may be closer to what your body produces there are certainly risks in using any hormone therapy. Some doctors believe the risks are just as great as taking an hormone replacement therapy drug (HRT) others believe the jury is still out because we have no long term data since these products are still very new to the market. Risks may be tied to the dosage which varies greatly from women to women.
Bio-identical hormones made from plant sources may be perfectly safe in low doses, which is the way we would ingest these chemicals found in yams, soy beans and a handful of herbs but at higher doses may be harmful. Nearly every substance found in nature can be safe in minute doses yet toxic at a higher dose. Even water can kill us when taken in to large a dose over a very short time period. Knowing what dose is right for your body can be tricky depending on blood, urine and saliva testing which may not give an accurate reading of circulating hormones in your blood which changes daily and even hourly.
Bio-identical hormones, make no mistake can be just as powerful and dangerous as taking a prescription hormone replacement drug. Phytoestrogen used in minute doses the way we find in nature may be completely safe and effective. Asian women have a long history of eating soy beans nearly everyday of their life from childhood through adulthood and experience very few menopausal symptoms. The isoflavones in soy are known to act as a hormone balancing chemicals.
So, which should you choose, bio-identical hormones or synthetic hormone replacement therapy for your menopausal symptoms? How about neither! There is a third option that women in Asia have used for centuries and the Western world is just beginning to see on store shelves. Traditional Chinese herbs are another option for menopause symptom relief. You can learn more about it here.
Hot flashes and night sweats for 3 years, Oh MY! I friend of a friend just confided in me she’s been suffering with menopause symptoms in silence for years. When I inquire as to why, she said, “I just didn’t know what to do and I didn’t want the artificial hormones”.
Not all women need a menopause treatment plan. Menopause is a time of change and all women over 50 will experience an ending to their menstruation sooner or later.
But, not all women will need a treatment plan during their menopause years. According to Dr. Elaine Jolly, director of Ottawa’s Shirley E. Greenberg Women’s Health Centre, “Menopause is seen as not very sexy,” says Jolly. “And the menopause curriculum in medical schools is horrible. And that’s a pity, because mature women benefit from preventive care.” she says.
Jolly suspects she knows why the (menopause treatment) field is not a popular choice for medical students contemplating a specialty. It takes a full hour to have a proper consultation with a menopausal patient — and the pay is lower than other medical specialties. “You don’t get kudos for health prevention,” says Jolly. “In France, if you spend time counseling and talking about these things, you get paid.” Many frustrated women are turning to complementary and alternative medicine, she says. “They are not getting satisfaction through conventional medicine.”
I agree with you Dr. Elaine Jolly, women are turning to alternative medicine especially Chinese herbs for menopause treatment. The herbs used in Menopause Relief Herb Pack are the same ones used for centuries to help women balance their hormones and give them relief from hot flashes and night sweats.
A study just released from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio shows energy drinks with carnitine, a common additive not always disclosed on the labels, has been tied to heart disease. The amount of carnitine found in energy drinks varies and may be harmful especially in doses of more than 3 grams daily. The Cleveland Clinic study showed carnitine contributes to hardening of the arteries.
The research group, led by Dr. Hazen, section head of preventive cardiology and rehabilitation, found the link between heart disease and carnitine and the bacteria in the intestine that digests carnitine. If you ever wondered why docotors recommend limiting red meat in your diet if you have heart issues, it it’s because carnitine is also found in red meat.
“It’s shifting their [gut] flora to one that’s more likely to promote atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries,” said Dr. Hazen. “I wouldn’t want my family members drinking these.”
The American Menopause Society recently published the results of a study on the use of Chinese herbs as a menopause treatment. It's always nice to see a clinical trial like this published in English (many are in Mandarin only) and this study was completed in a manner consistent with top notch clinical protocol. The study was double-blind, randomized and controlled…..ahhhh the gold standard for clinical research.
Chinese Herbal Formulas Can Reduce Menopausal Hot Flashes Safely and Effectively
Even three months after the study ended, the participants said their hot flashes did not increase after the study ended and they stopped using the menopause herbal remedy. This study shows, compared with Hormone Replacement therapy, Chinese herbs are a safe and viable alternative for menopause symptoms.
Although previous studies have found that Chinese herbs can help reduce hot flashes, those studies were not of the same quality methodology as this study, according to the researchers at Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society.
SOURCE: Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society, online February 25, 2013.
Chinese herbs in the Wall Street Journal? Undoubtably not the place you would expect such a story.
Since the research was done at Yale University, why not? Turns out a combination of four herbs used for about 1800 years in Chinese Medicine has been studied through Yale University and is reported to “enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy in patients with colon cancer”.
The scientific team led by Yung-Chi Cheng, an oncology researcher at Yale University was funded in part by the National Cancer Institute, is planning to begin Phase II clinical trials. Many conventional medications are derived from individual chemical agents originally found in plants. In the case of Huang Qin Tang, however, scientists so far have identified 62 active chemicals in the four-herb combination that apparently need to “work together” to be effective.
Josephine Briggs, head of the National Center for Complementary
and Alternative Medicin (CAM) said about this herbal combination,
“It’s polypharmacy,” or the equivalent of several drugs being administered at once.
Dr. Cheng began his research on Huang Qin Tang about a dozen years ago when he sought a better way of dealing with the chemotherapy’s side effects. Dr. Cheng, who grew up in Taiwan, and turned to Traditional Chinese Medicine, (TCM) which often uses herbal combinations for gastrointestinal problems. He decided to test whether it could help cancer patients without compromising the effectiveness of the chemotherapy.
The Chinese herb formula Huang Qin Tang contains: Huang Qin 36%, Da Zao 16%, Bai Shao 24%, and Zhi Gan Cao 24%. Scientists have found over 62 chemicals when these four herbs are cooked in an aquaous solution, boiled in water.
The potential in Chinese herbal medicine is vast indeed.
What will they find next?
Chinese herbs in places like Japan, Taiwan and China have been used for centuries and their reputation in the healthcare system is undeniably successful. Chinese herbal medicines health insurance coverage is part of the national health insurance in these Asian countries
The China Ministry of Health just recently decided to change its policy regarding ginseng. Well known for hundreds of health benefits, ginseng will now be allowed to be included in food products in Asia. America has no such restrictions for ginseng and this longevity herb is often found in energy drinks today.
Since 2002, the Chinese MInistry of Health has regulated Chinese herbs and placed them into three categories. One category for Chinese herbs used as food, another categorized herbs as health food and a third that included herbs only as medicine.
Before this announcement, ginseng was permitted to be used only in registered health products and medicine categories. The new policy allows ginseng to be used in all three categories. This will most certainly increase demand and international competitiveness of ginseng. Prices of this ancient herb have been steadily rising the past few years as more Americans and other Western countries learn about the health benefits of ginseng.
Ginseng is commonly called the “king of all herbs.” Ginseng is considered to be nutritious and to have great medical value in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It has been used as a tonic in TCM for over 3,000 years. Ginseng is grown in other East Asia countries as well as in the U.S. and Canada known as American ginseng, but the world’s largest production site is located on Changbai Moutain in Jilin Province, which accounts for 85 percent of China’s total production and 70 percent of the world’s output.
I recently toured a famous American Ginseng farm in Wisconsin. I was a bit surprised to learn that once American ginseng is grown on the land that it cannot ever be replanted there again. Other crops can be planted after the 6 years old ginseng is harvested. However, because ginseng depletes the soil of so many mineral and other nutrients it is impossible to harvest ginseng on the same land twice. Some farmers have waited 70 years and tried to grow another crop of American ginseng only to find after 3 years the crop stopped growing and was never old enough to harvest. This is just one of the reasons the cost of 100 grams of conenctrated ginseng granules is increasing world wide. Ginseng is the largest dollar crop exported out of the state of Wisconsin. Who knew?
Generally speaking caffeine is the most popular drug in the United States. Depending on where you are in the world, the Chinese herb ginseng, or the herb sugar cane or green tea may be the drug of choice. Even though these stimulants all have botanical origins, they can work just as well as a modern pharmaceutical drug. However, our cells produce mitochondria energy as a result of many, many chemical interactions. Caffeine stimulate our adrenals but does not source real mitochondria energy
Why then, are the energy drinks that contain caffeine considered a food, and not a drug?
This is the questions the City of New York is about to answer? Senators are also asking the FDA to clarify this issue. New York City is considering regulating the caffeine in energy drinks and requiring accurate labeling so consumers know how much caffeine they are getting in each can or energy shot.
Another issue is what happens when you start mixing these herbal stimulants with other ingredients. Adding sugar to caffeine and a wide mix of amino acids and other substances becomes outright dangerous. In fact, investigations are beginning to look into these combination products, often labeled energy drinks because their stimulating qualities have caused alarm.
Kids, teens and young adults are the most drawn to these energy drinks for their quick uppers and stay up all night, side effects.
But, why is anybody looking to a canned drink for energy?
Consider the simple answer, energy begins with sleep. Everybody knows this! Everybody knows how you feel when you miss a night of sleep. Bottom line, you're tired, you have no energy. When you don't get enough quality sleep, the first drug of choice is caffeine.
I've argued before, drugs should not be masquerading as food. Energy drinks do this every day, they are not food. They should be labeled with all the same information required on a dietary supplement. We should understand not to substitute good food for a drink in a can. Caffeine is a drug. A useful drug like so many botanicals, including so many of the Chinese herb botanicals I talk about here.
Americans don’t traditionally consider everyday foods as medicine. But maybe we should take a few clues from Asian and Mediterranean societies that eat this cool food at the height of the hot weather.
Cucumber isn’t sold in pharmacies but it should be. In Chinese Medicine, cucumber is considered to have heat-dissipating, diuretic, laxative, and detoxifying effects.
The first recorded medicinal use of cucumbers was in the 7th century. Its major uses continue today and include: the treatment of excessive thirst, sore throat, laryngitis, acute conjunctivitis, and burns. In most Chinese homes, however, whether eaten raw or cooked as a soup, cucumber is used only for keeping cool in summer, when it is in season, or in early autumn to soothe dry lips and throat.
Because cucumbers have natural cooling properties according to Chinese Medicine food theory, they shouldn’t be eaten during the cold winter months. During the winter we need foods with warming properties. The cooling properties of cucumbers also make it a perfect natural detoxifier, so stop throwing money away on detox programs and eat some cucumbers now that it’s summertime.
Modern medical researchers found that cucumber is rich in vitamin E, which helps fighting against aging. Women like to put cucumber juice or film on the face to smooth skin and reduce wrinkle. Cucumber also contains vitamin B1, which is essential for our brain and nervous system.
Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM) believes cucumber has the ability to soothe the nerves and aid in the treatment of insomnia. This makes perfect sense because we all sleep better when our bodies are cooler and cucumber is one of the coolest vegetables. Studies also show extracts of cucumber seeds and stems may have an effect on high blood pressure.
Wow, all this from a little vegetable you can find at every farmers market during the summer months.
What else is cucumber good for? Here a list and some fun facts:
1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours. They also keep the body cool during the day which helps eliminate the need for sleep aids at night.
3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.
5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!
6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!
7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.
8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!
10. Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water. The chemicals released in the steam creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.
11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
12. Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.
13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing. This trick also works great on crayons and markers kids may have used to decorate the walls!!
One of the funniest Dr. Oz Shows I ever saw was his show about a new miracle energy drink. Last season on a Dr. Oz show, the audience was given a new energy shot before the show and then asked if they could feel it working at the beginning of the show. Many audience members volunteered to share how they felt after drinking this "miracle" drink, and many said they felt more energetic and really liked how it was working.
The twist was that the drink they were given was nothing more than water.
It was an embarrassing moment for many!
Dr. Oz's guest, Dr. Keri Peterson mentioned one of the biggest problem right now with energy drinks is the fact that any person at any age can buy these highly caffeinated and highly sweetened drinks. Grade school and middle school kids are now purchasing them for a quick spurt of energy. This is definitely not healthy for kids and the biggest problem is that most of the drinks do not label how much caffeine they contain.
New York's attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman has starting a campaign to get the makers of energy drinks to be more transparent. He says the manufacturers are "duping" consumers with claims of ingredients like guarana and ginseng, but really the ingredient providing the stimulant effect is caffeine. Consumers should be told how much caffeine is in any given product.
If you are needing a boost of natural energy, consider Energy Booster Herb Pack. It contains only natural herbs ike ginseng, goji berries and other herbs with extensive research on their natural energy enhancing properties. These Chinese herbs are prized around the world and are non-addictive.
There is no caffeine in Pacific Herbs Energy Booster packets.
The best part of Energy Booster Herb Pack is the ease of adding it to a bottle or glass of water. Definitely a turbo boost that will get you through your afternoon or your workout with a sustained feeling that your body provides naturally. I like to eat the powder right from the stay fresh packets. It tastes so great and works so fast. I love it because I know I'm giving my body a healthy boost of energy, not a cup of caffeine, sugar or other chemicals.