alternative medicine

Lead Contamination in Calcium Supplements 

Do calcium citrate and calcium carbonate have as much lead as calcium supplements derived from dolomite and animal bone?  You may remember I’ve explored the role calcium supplements may play in reducing lead exposure during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but that assumes the supplements themselves are not contaminated. Supplements with lead?  It all started with an extraordinary case report published in 1977, entitled “Lead-Contaminated Health Food.” As I discuss in my video Lead in Calcium …

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The Effects of Nutritional Yeast for Cancer 

How can the beta glucan fiber in brewer’s, baker’s, and nutritional yeast improve wound healing and, potentially, anti-cancer immunity?  My video Benefits of Nutritional Yeast for Cancer opens with an image of an article titled “The Treatment of Inoperable Cancer.” It noted that “200 years ago it was observed that a certain number of malignant growths disappeared after an attack of erysipelas [a type of …

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Oil Pulling for Cancer? 

What evidence exists to suggest oil pulling can effectively treat serious diseases, such as paralysis, meningitis, cancer, and AIDS?  I’ve produced videos on how coconut oil is safe to put on your hair or put on your skin, but you certainly don’t want to eat it. In fact, you may not even want to be in the same kitchen when coconut oil is being heated. I don’t know where people got the idea …

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Treating Canker Sores with Honey

What works better against aphthous ulcers? Honey applied with a cotton swab three times a day after meals was compared head-to-head against an over-the-counter soothing pain-relieving paste and a prescription steroid cream.  We’ve known about painful aphthous ulcers, commonly referred to as canker sores, for thousands of years. “They are the most common lesion of the oral mucosa,” the lining of our mouths, perhaps named by …

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“Ethno-pharma” Opportunities in India

In the new normal scenario of Healthcare, where the approaches are patient-centric and no longer product-centric, traditional and integrative medicinal practices are rooting to the greater extent so does the ‘Ethno-pharmacy’. At the intersection of social and natural sciences, Ethno-pharmacy is a field that focuses on the traditional medicines (and pharmaceuticals) and the cultural determinants …

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Saffron Put to the Test for Alzheimer’s

The spice saffron is pitted head-to-head against the leading drug for severe Alzheimer’s disease. What’s the latest on treating memory disorders with the spice saffron? As I discuss in my video Saffron Versus Memantine (Namenda) for Alzheimer’s, “saffron has been widely used in the Persian traditional medicine for memory problems,” but it wasn’t put to …

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Amla (dried Indian gooseberry) vs. Lipitor for Lowering Cholesterol

Extracts of amla (Indian gooseberry) were pitted head-to-head against cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and the blood thinners aspirin and Plavix. Indian gooseberries, otherwise known as amla, have been touted as everything from a cancer fighter to a hair tonic to a refrigerant. (A refrigerant? Like Freon?) Amla’s even been labeled a snake venom detoxifier—but based on …

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The Most Antioxidant-Packed Whole Food

Are the apparently amazing benefits of amla—dried Indian gooseberries—too good to be true? In reference to amla, also known as the Indian gooseberry, it’s been said that “medicinal plants are nature’s gift to human beings to promote a disease free healthy life.” The fruit has also been described as “the Ayurvedic wonder.” You hear a …

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Natural Dietary Treatments for Fibroids

The same diet that helps regulate hormones in women may also reduce exposure to endocrine-disrupting pollutants. Fibroids are the most common benign tumors in women. They can grow to a foot in diameter and affect the majority of women before they hit menopause. Although fibroids tend to be asymptomatic, when symptoms do occur, they tend …

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What’s Best for Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis): Coconut Oil vs. Mineral Oil vs. Vaseline

Natural topical remedies for eczema, including licorice root gel, St. John’s Wort cream, and emollients such as coconut oil, mineral oil, and petroleum jelly, are put to the test. Despite the availability of drugs with proven efficacy for eczema, like topical steroids, many patients seek out natural alternatives. Which plant, then, should be used for …

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Dietary Supplements for Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

Are there dietary supplements that can help with atopic dermatitis? Atopic dermatitis, more commonly known as eczema, ranks “as the skin disease with the greatest health burden worldwide” because it’s just so common, affecting maybe one in ten kids and about 3 percent of adults, causing patches of red, itchy skin. Topical steroids, like cortisone …

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Should You Get an Annual Health Check-Up?

What are the risks and benefits of getting an annual check-up from your doctor? Physicians and patients have come to expect the annual check-up as a routine part of care. “However, considerable research has not demonstrated a substantial benefit,” so a “revolt is brewing against the tradition of periodic” check-ups. “Even the Society for General …

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Helpful Foods to Support People with Autism

The sulforaphane found in five cents’ worth of broccoli sprouts has been shown to benefit autism in a way no drug ever has in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. You may remember my series of videos, which includes Prevent Cancer from Going on TOR, about target of rapamycin (TOR), the engine-of-aging enzyme. Kids with autism …

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Fighting Autism Brain Inflammation with Food

One food may be able to combat all four purported causal factors of autism: synaptic dysfunction, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and neuroinflammation. In a keynote address at an autism conference, Harvard neurologist Martha Herbert said, “I think we need to conduct research as if we know this is an emergency.” Already, up to 1.5 percent …

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Saffron for Erectile Dysfunction

What are the effects of both oral and topical application of the spice saffron for impotence in men? “Saffron has traditionally been considered an aphrodisiac.” The spice has been shown to improve Prozac-induced sexual dysfunction in women and men, significantly improving erectile function. If it works for drug-induced dysfunction, might it also work for just …

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70% Taking Common Antidepressants Suffer Sexual Side Effects

What’s the latest on treating depression with the spice saffron? Years ago, I covered a head-to-head comparison of saffron versus Prozac for the treatment of depression in my video Saffron vs. Prozac, and saffron seemed to work just as well as the drug. In the years since, five other studies have found that saffron beat …

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China still allowing use of pangolin scales in traditional medicine

Report reveals country has failed to fully regulate trade despite promises to crack down The Chinese government continues to allow the use of pangolin scales for traditional medicine despite promises to crack down on a trade that has made them the most illegally trafficked mammals in the world. A report by the Environmental Investigation Agency …

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Topical Green Tea for Acne and Fungal Infections

Which plant should we use for which skin disease? That’s the topic of my video Natural Treatment for Acne and Fungal Infections. Thousands of studies have been published to date about the health effects of green tea, but it wasn’t until fairly recently that researchers began to look at the possibility of using green tea …

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Topical Lemon Balm Lotion for Alzheimer’s

Improving cognitive performance with aromatherapy in young, healthy volunteers is one thing, but how about where it really matters? As I discuss in my video Best Aromatherapy Herb for Alzheimer’s, a group of Japanese researchers had a pie-in-the-sky notion that certain smells could lead to “nerve rebirth” in Alzheimer’s patients. Twenty years ago, even simply …

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How to Treat Bacterial Vaginosis

Vitamin C is pitted head-to-head against antibiotics for bacterial vaginal infections. A study published in 1999 raised the exciting possibility that “cheap, simple, innocuous and ubiquitous vitamin C” supplements could prevent a condition known as preeclampsia, but after a decade of research, we realized that was merely a false hope and that vitamin C supplements …

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The Benefits of Slow Breathing

There are all manner of purported hiccup “cures,” which include everything from chewing on a lemon, inhaling pepper, or, our dog’s favorite, eating a spoonful of peanut butter. In my video How to Strengthen the Mind-Body Connection, I talk about the technique I’m excited to try the next time I get hiccups: “supra-supramaximal inspiration,” where …

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How to Treat Hiccups

Nearly everyone has experienced hiccups, but what exactly are they? It used to be thought that a hiccup is just a simple muscle spasm of the diaphragm, but that was apparently disproven more than 40 years ago. Instead, hiccups involve a complex, orchestrated pattern of muscle contractions. But, why? Hiccups might be a leftover from …

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