The following comes from Nancy Beckham's book, "Nature's Super Foods". . 'Wort' is the old English name for herb. The plant is native to Europe, and a number of regions in the northern hemisphere, but it has been introduced into America, New Zealand and Australia. Unfortunately it can spread rapidly, and is declared a noxious weed in some Australian states. It is toxic to grazing animals, and cows, in particular, can develop a red, itchy, flaky skin condition, which can advance into slow-healing raw areas. . BACKGROUND . From the time of the ancient Greeks and throughout the Middle Ages St John's wort has been part of herbal folklore. People used to say that red spots appeared on the plant on the day that St John the Baptist was beheaded, and in Europe it eas hung over house doorways or was put under the pillow for protection against evil spirits. St John's wort was recommended for all respiratory and bladder complaints, diarrhoea, bleeding, jaundice and nervous depression. In the 1973 British Herbal Pharmacopoeia this herb was specifically recommended for menopausal neurosis, also for painful nerve problems such as sciatica, fibrositis and neuralgia. It was also a popular external remedy. Many of the traditional uses are supported by modern scientific investigations. . THERAPEUTIC USE Internal . St John's wort possesses properties that are antiviral, antidepressant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antianxiety, wound healing and mild antibacterial. It is a gentle tonic with analgesic properties, and anticancer potential. For the treatment of mild to moderate depressive disorders, St John's wort is as effective as pharmaceuticals, but with far fewer side effects. (87) An assessment of 12 clinical trials confirmed that St John's wort was superior to a placebo, and its therapeutic effects were similar to those of pharmaceutical antidepressants. There was a low incidence of adverse effects and overdosing compared to pharmaceuticals. (88) Most of the trials on depression have been in Europe, using a daily dosage of up to 4.5g standardised herbal product containing 1-27 mg hypericin (probably the most therapeutically active component relating to the nervous system). When people are depressed they are usually lethargic, and do not have the motivation to do anything. Treatment with this herb can gently motivate depressed people. In cold climates some people experience seasonal affective disorder because of lack of exposure to light during long winters. The symptoms are depression, insomnia, fatigue with restlessness, increased appetite and sugar cravings. A study showed that St John's wort helped this condition just as much as 'light therapy'. Of course, we should all get at least a little sunlight exposure because it is necessary for good health. St John's wort is also helpful for anxiety and insomnia, and acts as a gentle tonic. I sometimes add it into formulas for menopausal sumptoms. In a study on healthy people St John's wort was shown to have a soothing effect; brain function was stimulated and performance tests under stress were enhanced. (89) This reinforces the concept of traditional herbalists who have categorised some herbs as nervine tonics (the capacity to calm the nervous system without causing fatigue). St John's wort is likely to relieve certain types of viral infections, including AIDS, herpes, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis B, and some types of colds, and possibly some strains of influenza. Since 1989 a number of informal studies with HIV-positive people have been done using St John's wort, and the patient outcomes have been favourable. A report presented at the 1993 International AIDS Conference indicated that a long-term clinical trial resulted in 14 out of 16 patients remaining clinically stable, and able to maintain their normal lifestyle and work. No serious viral infections were experienced, nor were any adverse effects encountered. In most of these patients some very specific immune cells were improved. This suggests benefits to the immune system generally St John's wort may be therapeutically useful in many diseases that are linked to low immune functioning. . External . - skin-healing; accelerates wound healing and new skin growth; - external creams or compresses for nerve pain, inflammation; - oil used for dry skin, especially in older people; mix the oil into a plain base e.g. aqueous cream. . CAUTIONS AND ADVERSE EFFECTS . Some books warn that St John's wort can cause phototoxicity (sensitivity to sunlight), leading to skin discoloration and damage. This is based on experience with animals grazing on the plant. However, (one) report claims that a dose 30x above normal would be required to cause skin reddening in a human. I have only ever heard of one anecdotal report of such a reaction in a human. . People with severe depression and serious infectious diseases should always be under the supervision of a medical practitioner, and should always tell their practitioner if they are self-treating with any remedies. . If you are taking antianxiety or antidepressant medication, never add St John's wort or other natural nervous system remedies, unless guided by your practitioner. . In recent times there have been a few reports from practising herbalists of various adverse effects, and this confirms my experience that some batches of this herb may contain more of certain components, which may be causing sensitivity or allergic reactions. . KNOWN THERAPEUTIC COMPONENTS . Hypericin, pseudohypericin - antiretroviral; synthetic hypericin - available in some countries, may not have any antiviral activity. (90) - hypericin - capable of reducing biological compounds in the brain (such as monoamine oxidase) that are implicated as possible causes of depression. (91) Flavonoids - in general, flavonoids can have wide-ranging benefits; majority have special affinity to blood vessel walls and connective tissue - these may protect the brain from circulating toxins; some flavonoids may help brain chemistry; others have antimicrobial activity; the proanthocyanidins are antioxidants. (92) Hyperforin - antidepressant, relaxant, nervous system . ST JOHN'S WORT SKIN OIL . 100 g fresh St John's wort flowers (or 50 g dried) 200 ml almond oil (or sunflower, apricot kernel or olive oil) 6 capsules vitamin E (as an antioxidant) . 1. Place the flowers in a clear glass jar, and pour the oil over. Cut the vitamin E caps, and squeeze out the oil into the jar. 2. Leave to stand in the sunshine, with the lid on. 3. After 6-8 weeks the oil should be reddish in colour. Strain the liquid into a dark bottle or jar, and seal before storing in a cool dry place. Label jar to show that this oil should be used within 3 months. . Apply the oil undiluted on minor wounds and herpes; or gently massage it into areas of joint or nerve pain. If you use it for household burns, wait until the heat has gone out of the injury first. Can be used for dry skin by mixing it into an aqueous cream - can stain clothes and linen. . DOSAGES, DURATION OF TREATMENT . For serious infection or depression, obtain standardised extracts, take dosage as advised by health practitioner. You may need to take the remedy for 2 or more months, and subsequently at a lower dose or intermittently. Usual dose is 2-4 g daily of dried herb, or 2-4 ml of a liquid extract. ------------------------------------------------------ The following was taken from About.com "Newest Developments for..." . Klaus Linde of the Centre for Complementary Medicine Research at Technical University in Munich, Germany, found that St. John's Wort is more effective than both placebo and antidepressants in treating severe depression. Germany had the best results with regard to effectiveness as opposed to 28 other countries. German doctors have already been prescribing St. John's Wort as their standard treatment of medication for depression for years. Currently, the herb is unregulated, so it is found in varying qualities and content. In the study, between 500 and 1,200 mg were used. -----------------------------------------------------
Vitamin D Linked to Diabetes, Cancer, Depression, and More Care2 article, posted by Michelle Schoffro Cook Apr 29, 2010 . New evidence shows that people with higher levels of vitamin D experienced a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. . Researchers at the US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University just released its study linking low levels of vitamin D to diabetes in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The authors of the study concluded that maintaining optimal vitamin D levels in the blood may be a type 2 diabetes prevention strategy. . Other recent research found that vitamin D plays a critical role in activating the body’s immune system against infectious diseases like the flu. Researchers noted that a deficiency in this important vitamin, which actually acts more like a hormone in your body, may result in a greater risk of contracting flu viruses. Additional research has linked low amounts of vitamin D to autoimmune disorders, cancer, depression, diabetes, and heart disease. . Vitamin D also plays essential roles in supporting our energy and balancing our moods. It also helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and it supports the health of the thyroid gland-a butterfly gland in the throat that helps maintain a healthy weight, balanced metabolism, and energy levels. . While moderate sunlight exposure is the best source of vitamin D, many people incorrectly think that a small amount of sunshine exposure daily is sufficient to meet their vitamin D requirements. . However, after your skin is exposed to sunlight, it takes about 48 hours to convert it into vitamin D. During that time, the sunlight-initiated precursors to vitamin D can be washed off with soap and water. So, if you scrub your skin with soap in the shower, your body will not convert most of your skin’s sun exposure to vitamin D. I’m not suggesting that you avoid showering after sun exposure rather that you primarily soap the areas that don’t usually see the light of day and wash the newly tanned ones exclusively with water. Avoid excessive sun exposure since there are no health benefits of sunburn. . Some vitamin D deficiency symptoms include: bow legs or “knock knees,” burning in mouth or throat, constipation, dental cavities or cracked teeth, insomnia, joint pains or bone pains, muscle cramps, nearsightedness (myopia-can’t see distances), nervousness, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, frequent colds or flu, and poor bone development. . Vitamin D is also found in fish and fish oils, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, and many types of sprouts. People with low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) tend to have difficulty with vitamin D absorption and as a result, may have higher needs for this nutrient. . Many health experts recommend supplementation of 2000 to 4000 IU daily. However, you should always consult a qualified health professional before supplementing with vitamin D since excessive amounts can build up in the body creating a potential risk for toxicity and is contraindicated for some health conditions. . A complete list of references is published in The Phytozyme Cure. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Michelle Schoffro Cook, RNCP, ROHP, DAc, DNM, is a best-selling and six-time book author and doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, and The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan. Learn more at: www.TheLifeForceDiet.com.
Signs of Caring Too Much (posted by Mel selected from Caring.com) . Compassion fatigue –aka caregiver burnout–is what happens when a well-intentioned caregiver crosses a hard-to-see line from One-Who-Helps to One-Who-Needs-Help. And it can happen to anyone. It happens precisely because you care so much. Are you at risk of caring “too much”? Here are ten warning signs:
1. You use words like “always” and “never” with regard to caregiving. These are 'absolutes', e.g. I promised Mom we’d never put her in a nursing home; or I’m sorry I can’t go to lunch because I always feed Sam by myself. Being overly rigid can put you at risk for burnout.
2. Your friends seem to have stopped calling. You may be feeling isolated or annoyed that your old circle no longer seems to check up on you and how you’re faring. But is it possible that you’ve turned them down so often because of your caregiving duties, or that caregiving concerns so dominate your life and conversation, that they got the message you’re just not interested in them?A social life is a two-way street.
3. The last time you felt happy was “uh…um…let’s see…” Nobody ever said looking after a sick or aging loved one was a romp in a field of wildflowers. But if your everyday life has lost even its grace notes, so that you find no pleasure in it, you’re at risk.Every day needs at least one happy petal or two.
4. Everyone assumes you’ll step forward; nobody asks. Have you become the default go-to girl (or guy) in your family? When the sick person is your spouse, this is logical. (Even then, you need a support system to pitch in.) But it’s a different matter when the family member being cared for is a parent, grandparent, or other relative — and the entire burden of responsibility seems to have settled on your shoulders whether you’ve volunteered or not.
5. You’re overweight or out of shape. True, it may not be your caregiving that’s to blame for poor health.It could be a long list from pollution to allergies to unfortunate genes. But the fact remains that poor self-care is a big red flag for caregiver burnout. Being selflessly focused on others by definition means you’re not focused on yourself. And yet you need to be the #1 person you look after, in order to be shipshape (or at least functional!) to look after others...give yourself permission to be selfish..
6. You can’t remember the last time you took a vacation... Vacations are really hard when you have a disabled or impaired person to consider...not being able to even remember the last break you had is a sure sign you’re due for one. It doesn’t have to be three weeks in France. Start small if you must: a simple overnight at a friend’s house or a local B & B. To stop caregiving stress, stop caregiving sometimes...
7. All conversations turn to caregiving... Maybe you remember when your kids were babies and you’d hire a babysitter–and proceed to talk about the kids all evening? Not a great idea. Or worse, you call home to check up! If every conversation with your partner or other family members concerns one subject, it’s a warning sign that topic is monopolizing your life. Diversify!..
8. You have no hobbies... You say you have no time for hobbies? Your hobby doesn’t have to be a conventional one like stamp-collecting or bird-watching. It just needs to be an outlet away from caregiving. Reading trashy novels uninterrupted, taking up knitting, joining a book club, taking adult ed courses, being a matinee-movie addict, or enjoying your children and grandchildren all count, too–anything that takes you away from caregiving for bursts of time. Bonus points if it takes you out of the house, too...
9. You can’t sleep through the night... Two common causes: You’re up tending to a sick person (or Alzheimer’s wanderer, or someone else who gets by on just a few hours of sleep a night) or you’re sick with stress or a physical problem yourself. A sleepless night or two go with the territory of caregiving–but if it’s become your lifestyle, it’s a problem you need to correct. Sleep isn’t optional!..
10. You dread waking up in the morning... We all have this experience, usually when we’re in the midst of a health crisis that seems like a bad dream (but isn’t). Health nightmares can go on for years, unfortunately. But when the crisis has passed and you’ve sunk into a new routine–and you still feel heavy-hearted and hopeless, your body is crying out for you to enlist some support.
Nobody–not even the most well-intentioned, big-hearted, and selfless among us–is meant to endure a tough situation all alone, day after day, year after year... ............................................................................................................ Caring.comwas created to help you care for your aging parents, grandparents, and other loved ones. As the leading destination for eldercare resources on the Internet, our mission is to give you the information and services you need to make better decisions, save time, and feel more supported. Caring.com provides the practical information, personal support, expert advice, and easy-to-use tools you need during this challenging time. http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-signs-of-caring-too-much.html
Anger management tips By Mayo Clinic staff . Do you find yourself fuming when someone cuts you off in traffic? Does your blood pressure go through the roof when your child won't cooperate?Anger is a normal and even healthy emotion, but learning how to deal with it in a positive way is important.Uncontrolled anger can make both you and other people feel lousy. If your outbursts, rages or frustrations are negatively affecting relationships with family, friends, co-workers or even complete strangers, it's time to learn some anger management skills. Anger management techniques are a proven way to help change the way you express your anger. . 10 tips to help get your anger under control . 1. Take a 'timeout.' Although it may seem cliche, counting to 10 before reacting really can defuse your temper. 2. Get some space. Take a break from the person you're angry with until your frustrations subside a bit. 3. Once you're calm, express your anger. It's healthy to express your frustration in a nonconfrontational way. Stewing about it can make the situation worse. 4. Get some exercise. Physical activity can provide an outlet for your emotions, especially if you're about to erupt. Go for a brisk walk or a run, swim, lift weights or shoot baskets. 5. Think carefully before you say anything. Otherwise, you're likely to say something you'll regret. It can be helpful to write down what you want to say so that you can stick to the issues. When you're angry, it's easy to get sidetracked. 6. Identify solutions to the situation. Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work with the person who angered you to resolve the issue at hand. 7. Use 'I' statements when describing the problem. This will help you to avoid criticizing or placing blame, which can make the other person angry or resentful — and increase tension. For instance, say, "I'm upset you didn't help with the housework this evening," instead of, "You should have helped with the housework." 8. Don't hold a grudge. If you can forgive the other person, it will help you both. It's unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want. 9. Use humour to release tensions. Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Don't use sarcasm, though — it's can hurt feelings and make things worse. 10. Practice relaxation skills. Learning skills to relax and de-stress can also help control your temper when it may flare up. Practice deep-breathing exercises, visualize a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase to yourself, such as "Take it easy." Other proven ways to ease anger include listening to music, writing in a journal and doing yoga. . Getting anger management help You can practice many of these anger management strategies on your own. But if your anger seems out of control, is hurting your relationships or makes you feel physically violent or destructive, you may benefit from some help. Here are some ways you can get help to keep your frustrations in check: . See a psychologist or licensed counselor. Seeing a therapist can help you learn to recognize your anger warning signs before you blow up, and how to cope with your anger. Ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a counselor specializing in anger management. Family and friends also may give you recommendations based on their experiences. Your health insurer, employee assistance program (EAP), clergy, or state or local agencies also may offer recommendations. . Take an anger management class. An anger management class can teach you what anger is, how to recognize anger triggers and how to keep your anger under control. These courses can be done individually, with spouses or families, or in groups. In addition to the search methods for a psychologist or counselor, you can find organizations offering anger management courses on the Internet and through your district court. . Read a book. There are a number of helpful books on anger management. A number of them focus on particular situations, such as anger in teens, anger in men or anger in couples. Many of them are workbooks, with exercises that teach concrete skills. . Anger and irritability can be signs of an underlying mental health condition, such as depression or bipolar disorder. If your symptoms don't improve, or you have signs or symptoms of anxiety or depression, see a mental health provider for help. . ------------------------------------------------------ Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/anger-management/MH00102 ------------------------------------------------------
the probability of many
people reading this is
small. i just hope the
RIGHT people read
it. my friends know
me & know how i am. i
don't have a filter; i
say what i mean &
mean what i say. excuse
me in advance for any
profanity & pleas...