Are your allergies connected to how well you sleep?
A study conducted by New York Medical College says there is a link between your REM sleep and your allergy symptoms.
We all know getting enough quality sleep is key to good overall health. This first-of-its-kind study is a breakthrough for many suffering from allergies.
“When I started focusing on the new REM-RDI numbers, I was able to connect patient’s symptoms such as fatigue, allergies, nasal blockage or congestion” with REM abnormalities, said Dr. Berson. “This led to the correlation of tired allergic patients having a problem during REM and some patients who were tired and had REM-RDI elevations testing positive for allergies.”
While the new approach can provide patients with sleep issues better diagnoses and new symptoms to look for, Dr. Berson cautions that there is no one-size-fits-all diagnosis.
“Every patient is different and the study aims to provide more clarity on the relationship between allergies and a person’s overall quality of sleep,” said Dr. Berson. “The airway begins in the nose and its anatomic form needs to be properly balanced with its function. This shows that Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctors, as well as allergists and sleep physicians, should be collaborating more closely to help pinpoint sleeping problems patients may be facing.”
If you’re having trouble sleeping try iSleep Herb Pack a combination of herbs used together for over 500 years which will not interfere with any allergy medication you may be taking. iSleep herbs will help quiet your mind and stop the ruminating process. A quiet mind helps you get to REM sleep much faster and longer. Give it a try here, or find it on Amazon here.
Flowering plants are smart. They know how to grab our attention and the attention of passing insects. Flowers actually intentionally, flaunt sex. Makes perfect sense really, since it’s the flowers job to manage the reproduction of the plant. Plants produce beautiful flower petals of varying colors and shape to advertise the sexual organs ever so masterly hidden inside. Flowers release powerful aphrodisiac scents, an instinctive incentive for insects to come in and play. Nectar and pollen are the insects’ rewards and the plant benefits from the insects who carry their pollen to other plants which ensures rapid fertilization and reproduction. Flowers are smarter than you might think, but there’s more to flowers than just sex.
As spring weather emerges and flowers begin to bloom, you might want to consider that many flowers are so much more than just look pretty. We have depended on flowers for our food supply, such as rice, wheat, corn and for clothing materials such as cotton and for medicine, continuously for thousands of years. Long before western pharmaceutical drugs, flowers were used as herbal remedies and recorded use goes back to 500 AD. Chinese medicine, for example, has used flowers in herbal remedies to heal a huge variety of afflictions. Here are a few examples:
Lonicerae Flower – (Jin Yin Hua) has been used in Asian cultures for colds, flu, and sore throats. Recently, it was one of the four herbs in a formula to combat the swine flu and has proven its antibiotic properties successfully through years of research.
Viola Flower – (Zi Hua Di Ding) is known as the purple flower earth herb. This herb/flower has both anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effects, meaning it can treat fevers and bacterial infections. It has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy to treat snake bites because it can reduce both swelling and toxicity.
Pagoda Flower – or Sophorae flower (Huai Hua) is used to stop various bleeding disorders. Chinese medicine often uses this herb/flower in the treatment of hemorrhoids and excessive menstrual bleeding.
Chrysanthemum Flower– (Ju Hua) This common Chinese medicine herb has over 30 different species and is a wonderful natural eye treatment for dry, irritated eyes. It’s also commonly used for high blood pressure, headaches and other ailments in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Safflower also is known as Carthamus – (Hong Hua) is a red flower used to treat menstrual disorders such as cramps and amenorrhea. It’s known to invigorate circulation and help dissolve clots. Safflower has been extensively studied and found beneficial for use in patients with heart disease and joint pain. This flower also has a high success rate in treating flat warts. (Now that’s a fun herbal remedy fact!)
Lotus Flower – (Lian Zi Xin) I would be remiss not to mention one of the most famous flowers associated with Chinese medicine, the Lotus flower. Eight parts of the lotus plant are used for their botanical medicine qualities. The flower is known to treat bleeding disorders (i.e. bloody noses) and often used for irritability and fevers. The stamen of the lotus flower also has healing qualities. One use in Traditional Chinese Medicine is to reduce excessive dreaming.
Flowers truly have wonderful healing properties and have changed our world more than we imagine. Chinese medicine understands flowers are useful beyond just their sexual appeal of beautiful packaging. (Many more are used in Traditional Chinese medicine than I could possibly have space to mention here.)
I thank the flowering plants for their beauty, but even though flowers are beautiful to look at, I never overlook the fact they also provide us with an abundance of natural herbal remedies.
Are your supplements full of fillers? Most vitamins, herbs and dietary supplements on the store shelf are made with inert fillers. The reason for adding fillers to vitamin supplements is because to put any substance into a capsule the encapsulation machines will clog if fillers are not used.
Common fillers are starch, magnesium stearate, sugar or titanium dioxide. Fillers have no health benefits; in fact they may be harmful.
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Certificate of Analysis (COA) tracks herbs from raw to finished product. Purified water is our only solvent. We provide the best Chinese herbs and herbal supplements available.
“My 88 year old husband was prescribed Ambien for insomnia. After the first dose, he fell while getting up to go the bathroom, gashed his head and had to go to the emergency room for stitches. A year later, I gave him a half-dose (again prescribed) and within minutes, his legs collapsed on him. I had the hardest time getting him into bed.
Ambien? Never again!
Your experience reminds us that sleeping pills may pose a serious risk for older people who have to get up at night to go to the bathroom. This is a dilemma, because many seniors suffer from insomnia. Even over-the-counter sleep aids sleep aids that contain the sedating antihistamine diphenhydramine ( advil PM, Nytol, Sominex, Tylenol PM etc.) may also contribute to unsteadiness, urinary retention and similar host of side effects such as rebound next day sleepiness and cognitive impairment. Older people should be careful with sleeping pills like Ambien. Other side effects may include reflux, next-day memory impairment, dry mouth and dizziness.”1
For those among us who experience occasional insomnia, you may have already tried a plethora of sleeping aids. The story above illustrates some of the dangers of the prescriptions on the market. Drugs such as the benzodiazepines approved as sleep aids, estazolam (ProSom), flurazepam (Dalmane), and temazepam (Restoril) have serious side effects. As with all these medications daytime sleepiness, cognitive impairment, dizziness, unsteadiness, sleep-walking, sleep-driving, memory lapses, and hallucinations have all been reported as a result of sleeping pills. If you have only mild insomnia, relying to heavily on sleeping pills can cause dependency and if abused may worsen your sleeping problems.
There are several non-prescription drugs sold over the counter for sleeplessness which contain the antihistamine diphenhydramine. Brands such as Benadryl, Nytol, Tylenol PM, and Sominex, which block the action of acetylcholine (anticholinergic effect) and are used as a sedative because they causes drowsiness. However, these may also contribute to unsteadiness and urinary retention. There’s also a fairly new drug out called zolpide, a sedative, it’s a inexpensive generic version of the drug Ambien. Generally it’s not prescribed for more than 10 days and is usually taken intermittently as needed to avoid problems with addiction or habituation, loss of effectiveness, and rebound phenomena. “The most common side effects of zolpidem are drowsiness, dizziness, and a “drugged” feeling, which probably reflect the action of the drug. Other side effects include confusion, insomnia, euphoria, ataxia (balance problems), and visual changes.” 1
The difference between drugs and taking an herbal medicinal are both the actions and side effects. Addiction is not a concern with natural medicinals.
Plants used in Chinese herbal medicine have been clinically tested and studies throughout Asia for the past 50 plus years. Their usage goes back to 2nd century. One such medicinal known to have a soothing and calming effect on the body and promote sleep is Spiny jujube or (zizyrus spinosae semen). Spiny jujube has been well documented for use when occasional insomnia is an issue. One study on rats showed spinosae significantly increased the rate of sleep onset and exhibited a synergistic effect with 5-HTP.2 “These results suggest that spiny jujube potentiated pentobarbital-induced sleep via a serotonergic mechanism.” Translation, you sleep without being put into a drug induced state. This herb and others are the answer to a peaceful nights sleep, without all the side effects of prescription or OTC drugs.
2. Zolpidem http://www.medicinenet.com/zolpidem/article.htm
5. WANG LE, BAI YJ, SHI XR, CUI XY, CUI SY, ZHANG F, ZHANG QY, ZHAO YY, ZHANG YH. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2008;90(3):399-403. Department of Pharmacology, Peking University, School of Basic Medical Science, 38 Xueyuan Lu, Beijing 100083, China
How a Harvard-trained doctor began to appreciate Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM.
As a child growing up in China, I was always aware of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is what we refer to as Eastern medicine, in contrast to the Western medicine we know from U.S. hospitals. I never understood much about TCM, only that it somehow involves herbs and that many Chinese people used it. The more I progressed in my medical training in major U.S. academic centers, the more distanced I felt from TCM. Why should I learn about something that lacks evidence, when there’s so much to know about for which there is good research?
Last fall, I went to China on a research trip. While my study is primarily on its Western medical system, I was so fascinated by what I learned of Eastern medicine that I spent many free evenings observing TCM practitioners. There is so much I didn’t know. As a discipline, TCM is far too complex for me to understand in my short observation, but there are some very important “lessons from the East” that are applicable to our Western medical practice:
#1. Listen—really listen. The first TCM practitioner I shadowed explained to me that to practice TCM is to “listen with your whole body”. Pay attention and use every sense you have, he said. I watched this doctor as he diagnosed a woman with new-onset cervical cancer and severe anemia the moment she walked into his exam room, and within two minutes, without blood tests or CTs, sent her to be admitted to a (Western) medical service. I’ve seen expert clinicians make remarkable diagnoses, but this was something else!
“How could you know what you had and that she needed to be admitted?” I asked.
“I smelled the cervical cancer,” he said. “I looked and saw the anemia. I heard her speak and I knew she could not care for herself at home.” (I followed her records in the hospital; he was right on all accounts.)
#2. Focus on the diagnosis. I watched another TCM doctor patiently explain to a young woman with long-standing abdominal pain why painkillers were not the answer.
“Why should we treat you for something if we don’t know what it is?” he said. “Let’s find out the diagnosis first.” What an important lesson for us—to always begin the diagnosis.
#3. Treat the whole person. “A big difference between our two practices,” said one TCM doctor, “Is that Western medicine treats people as organs. Eastern medicine treats people as a whole.” Indeed, I watched her inquire about family, diet, and life stressors. She counseled on issues of family planning, food safety, and managing debt. She even helped patients who needed advice on caring for the their elderly parents and choosing schools for their child. This is truly “whole person” care!
#4. Health is not just about disease, but also about wellness. There is a term in Chinese that does not have its exact equivalent in English. The closest translation is probably “tune-up to remain in balance”, but it doesn’t do the term justice, because it refers to maintaining and promoting wellness. Many choose to see a TCM doctor not because they are ill, but because they want to be well. They believe TCM helps them keep in balance. It’s an important lesson for doctors and patients alike to address wellness and prevention.
#5. Medicine is a life-long practice. Western medicine reveres the newest as the best; in contrast, patients revere old TCM doctors for their knowledge and experience. Practicing doctors do not rest on their laurels.
“This is a practice that has taken thousands of years to develop,” I was told. “That’s why you must keep learning throughout your life, and even then you will only learn just a small fraction.” Western medicine should be no different: not only are there new medical advances all the time, doctors need to continually improve their skills in the art of medicine.
#6. Evidence is in the eyes of the beholder. Evidence-based medicine was my mantra in Western medical training, so I was highly skeptical of the anecdotes I heard. But then I met so many patients who said that they were able to get relief from Eastern remedies while Western treatments failed them. Could there be a placebo effect? Sure. Is research important? Of course. But research is done on populations, and our treatment is of individuals. It has taken me a while to accept that I may not always be able to explain why—but that the care should be for the individual patient, not a population of patients.
“In a way, there is more evidence for our type of medicine than for yours,” a TCM teacher told me. “We have four thousand years of experience—that must count for something!”
There is so much I have not covered about TCM. Its practices vary regionally, and no doubt, there are more and less capable practitioners (as there are in Western medicine). More research into TCM methods will be important. However, regardless of whether we Western doctors want to prescribe TCM treatments, we should recognize there is much to learn from Eastern medicine, including what it means to be a physician to really care for our patients. Upon my return from China, I, for one, have a new found appreciation for Eastern medical practice and a renewed understanding of holistic medical care.
I having been surrounded (quite literally) for the past three days by so called “healthy products”, everything from fortified lolly pops, safer nail polish to every type of infused water possible. I had three days of endless conversations with wellness experts from around the world, Naturopaths, Dieticians, Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, Herbalists, Homeopaths and Bio-Chemists to name a few. Every health professional I spoke to had the same resounding theme, the key to better health is not in any one of these hot new health products that you’ll find at the Natural Products Expo and later on a store shelf. It’s not about curing a disease, it’s about PREVENTING it in the first place. The key is and always has been about PREVENTION.
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.”
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
You might be asking what is sleep hygiene?
Sleep hygiene is a combination of practices to create a restful, rejuvenating night of sleep. If you don’t get restful sleep every night there is an herbal solution to help. This product has over 800 hundreds of years of use and clinical studies backing it’s effectiveness.
Why use an herbal remedy for sleep that has been used for 800 years? Because, it works!
The history of herbal remedies is as old as man. Written first on bones, turtle shells and then bamboo and pryus reeds this sleep remedy has been past down from generation to generation.
There is no guessing.
The herbs used gently calm the mind, stop the over-thinking and allow the body to fall asleep and stay asleep naturally.
We did improve on these herbs by re-packaging them in convenient easy to use individual packets.
Our packets combine the best in pharmaceutical packaging without using fillers or additives.
Our packets are convenient, have no additives, no sugar, no pills and best of all, water is optional.
Try iSleep Herb Pack today not just because it tastes great, but because you deserve a restful night of sleep…
Don’t be fooled by sleep aids today that combine herbs which have no history of ever being used together. That is junk science. It’s similar to the idea of throwing everything in your refrigerator into a pot of soup and hoping it will taste good. We know it doesn’t work that way.
Wouldn’t you rather use an herbal sleep aid that has hundreds of years of use!
Try iSleep Herb Pack today.
Melatonin is a powerful hormone produced naturally in our bodies. We know it helps with circadium rhythms or our natural body clock.
For years people have been taking melatonin to help them sleep.
Yesterday Dr. Oz's guest, Dr. Breus said melatonin is dangerous and should not be used as a sleep aid and should not be used in the high doses sold over-the-counter.
Since our bodies only make about 0.3 to 0.8 milligrams of melatonin per day, taking a supplement sold in 3, 5, 10 or more mg is 10x more than our body would normally make.
Even though melatonin has become known as a safe natural sleep aid too much of anything can be dangerous. Melatonin can actually destroy your sleep cycle said the good doctor. Melatonin supplements can also cause headaches, nausea, dizziness or irritability.
The natural sleep aid that has been safely used around the world for centuries are Chinese herbs. One formual in particular has been the most popular for getting to sleep naturally. The Chinese name is Suan Zao Ren Tang, we sell it under our brand, iSleep Herb Pack. It's easier to understand and easier to pronounce.
Learn more about this natural and completly safe and non-addicting sleep aid here! Billions of people use everynight without side-effects. Please also see our 3 minute factory tour video and learn why our herbal processing is the GOLD standard around the world.
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.