Posts Tagged With: Tylenol

Ginger is Better than Drugs for Pain, says Study

Ginger is Better than Drugs for Pain, says Study

A new study published in the journal Arthritis compared ginger extract to the common drugs betamethasone (cortisone) and  ibuprofen for the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid  arthritis.

While ibuprofen is a popular pain remedy (such as Advil or Motrin), in this  study it showed no effect on cytokine production.  Cytokines are  immune-regulating substances that can have inflammatory effects on the body, and  are therefore linked to pain.  In this study, both betamethasone and ginger  extract reduced cytokines in comparable amounts.   The authors of the  study indicate that,n “ginger extract was as effective an anti-inflammatory  agent as betamethasone in this in vitro model.”

While betamethasone has been used for decades to relieve pain, it is also  linked with many serious side-effects, including:  vision problems, weight  gain, swelling, shortness of breath, depression, seizures, pancreatitis, heart  arrhythmias, muscle weakness, high blood pressure, severe headaches, anxiety, chest  pains, sleep problems, acne, slow wound healing, and more.  Ginger,  however, is a powerful anti-inflammatory that is safe for use. For more  information, consult Arthritis-Proof.

Other research by Dr. Krishna C. Srivastava, a world-renowned researcher on  the therapeutic effects of spices, at Odense University in Denmark, found that  ginger is an effective and superior anti-pain remedy. In one study, Dr.  Srivastava gave arthritic patients small amounts of ginger daily for three  months.  The majority of people had significant improvements in pain,  swelling, and morning stiffness by eating ginger daily.

Dr. Srivastava also found that ginger was superior to non-steroidal  anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Tylenol or Advil because NSAIDs only work  on one level:  to block the formation of inflammatory compounds.   Ginger, on the other hand, blocks the formation of the inflammatory  compounds–prostaglandins and leukotrienes–and also has antioxidant effects that  break down existing inflammation and acidity in the fluid within the joints.

Further research in the Journal of Pain also report that ginger is  an effective natural anti-inflammatory that helps reduce pain and inflammation.  Both raw ginger and heated ginger were used in the study with similar  effectiveness. The scientists specifically explored ginger’s effects on muscle  pain.

Ginger has been used medicinally for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine  in India as a natural anti-inflammatory food.

 

How to Reap the Anti-Pain Benefits of Ginger (adapted from  Arthritis-Proof):

-Add chopped, fresh ginger to soups, stews, stir-fries, and other  recipes.  Ginger is delicious in many savory and sweet dishes alike.

-Add fresh ginger to a juicer while making juices.  It combines well  with many other vegetables and fruits, such as carrots or apple.

-Ginger capsules (Zingiber officinale) are available for  supplementation.  Follow package directions.

-Chopped, fresh ginger can be added to water and boiled in a pot for 45  minutes to an hour. Drink warm or with ice, as a tea.  Add a few drops of  stevia to sweeten (stevia is a naturally-sweet herb).

-Ginger is available in alcohol tincture form.  A typical dose is 30  drops three times daily.  Avoid the alcohol extract if you are an  alcoholic, suffering from liver  disease, or diabetic.

Medicine never tasted so good.

Recommended reading:  Arthritis-Proof.

 

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Flea Prevention & Holistic Treatments for Cats

Flea Prevention & Holistic Treatments for Cats

by Celeste Yarnall

There’s so much that is done to our cats that is accepted and mediocre—so  much so that few ever challenge it, especially Western trained veterinarians.  But some of these habitual protocols done so mindlessly and often have turned  out to be quite harmful for our cats. One of those is the routine use of  chemical flea products. Let’s look at what we see advertised today  routinely.

Flea collars (whether herbal or insecticidal) don’t work! 

They don’t kill fleas, and they don’t even particularly repel them, except  for the area right around the collar. The grocery/pet store variety contains  concentrated toxic chemicals, and the herbal ones are irritating to  odor-sensitive cats. Topical (spot-on or pour-on) flea preventatives are  associated with liver disease and other adverse effects in cats. Permethrin,  pyrethrin, or pyrethroid-containing products intended for dogs are extremely  toxic to cats and have caused many feline deaths. Putting a dog flea product on  a cat causes neurological signs (twitching, disorientation, seizures) that  ultimately kill about 10 percent of cats.

Healthy cats eating a balanced, properly supplemented raw meat and raw bone diet are much  less susceptible to fleas and other parasites. If your cat is experiencing a  flea problem, work on improving your cat’s overall health and deal with the  immediate parasite situation. This is a “holistic” approach in the truest sense  of the word!

The conventional thinking that fleas are the problem is like saying  “flies cause garbage” just because the two are often found together. It is the  unhealthy state of the animal that attracts the parasites, just like garbage  attracts flies.

Fleas, those nasty little blood suckers, are tough, highly evolved parasites  that, once entrenched, are not easily eliminated. Fleas are attracted to warmth,  moving shadows, and the vibrations from foot (or paw) steps. When dealing with  fleas, you need to protect your cat and reach fleas and larvae hiding in carpets  and yards. Even exclusively indoor cats can get fleas, which travel in on  peoples shoes and clothing. (Keeping your cat indoors, however, will eliminate  the risk of ticks.) And removing shoes at your front door keeps fleas out and  helps keep other germs out as well.

Adult fleas spend most of their time on the cat, where they feed on blood  several times a day. Flea eggs are slippery and quickly fall off the cat and  onto the cat’s resting areas, floors, rugs, bedding, and furniture. The eggs  hatch and go through several intermediate stages before emerging as adults in as  little as two weeks, but they may remain dormant for months. That’s why even if  you get rid of the fleas on your cat, reinfestation is a common and very  frustrating phenomenon.

A Three-Pronged Approach to Treating Fleas

Try this one-two-three punch to eradicate fleas from your—and your cat’s—life.

ON YOUR CAT:

Use an ultra-fine-tooth flea comb daily. Pay particular attention to the neck, tummy, and base of the tail, which are favorite flea hangouts. Have a glass or bowl full of warm, soapy water at hand to drown any fleas that turn up.

Bathe your cat. Bathing your cat will drown a lot of fleas, but apply soap around the ears and neck first to keep the fleas from rushing up to the cat’s head and face. The herb Erigeron Canadensis (Canadian fleabane), found in some herbal shampoos, will help kill fleas. Bathe no more than once a week.

IN YOUR HOME:

Floor/carpet treatments such as diatomaceous earth (the fossilized shells of one-celled organisms called diatoms) and boric acid–derived powders will kill flea larvae, primarily through dessication (drying). Exterminators use borates; you can either hire professionals to treat your home or do it yourself. For a serious flea problem, it may be worth paying a professional since their work is guaranteed. Vacuuming is very effective against flea eggs and might even catch a few adults. To keep the eggs from hatching or the fleas from escaping, discard the bag immediately or use a flea spray in the vacuum bag or container, (not on the cat) either before or right after you vacuum.

IN THE YARD:

Beneficial nematodes eat flea eggs and will help control flea populations outdoors.

Garden-grade diatomaceous earth is very effective. Concentrate on areas under shrubs and decks and other cool shady spots where animals (such as rodents, raccoons, and outdoor and feral cats) have access.

Be very careful about the so-called natural approaches to flea treatment such as the use of essential oils topically or internally for cats.

Remember essential oils can be very toxic to cats even though they are highly touted by so-called holistic pet experts. Do keep in mind that:

Cats’ livers do not have the necessary enzymes to break down and excrete certain chemical compounds in essential oils. The chemical compounds accumulate in a cat’s body and are sometimes toxic to the point of death. Cats are very sensitive to morphine, certain sulfanomides, salicylic acid (aspirin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), allyl propyl disulfide (onions) and compounds containing bezene (benzyl alcohol preservative). Avoid all of the following oils around cats:

Wintergreen and birch oils contain methyl salicylate, the same chemical compound in aspirin.

Phenol-containing oils: oregano, thyme, cinnamon (cassia), clove, savory, cedar, birch, and melaleuca (tea tree oil)

Ketones, such as sage

Monoterpene hydrocarbons pinene and limonene, most commonly found in the citrus and pine oils: lemon, orange, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit, lime, bergamot, pine, spruce, and any fir oil. Many household cleaners and even pet products have these latter substances in them to make them smell nice to the owners.

Hydrosols are the appropriate form of essential oils to use in cats. Regardless, the cat should always be given a choice as to whether to “partake.” Forcing a cat to ingest oils that have not been tested for safety in their species seems most unwise and many essential oil people will do their best to tell you it is ok. However do not ever attempt this without a vet’s supervision at best.

Let’s only use foods and supplements that are safe and proven to be safe and effective for cats. The best oils for cats come from animal sources such as those that possess anti-inlammatory benefits such as Omega-3s from marine lipids which also help treat flea bite dermatitis.

For more holistic protocols for cats and information see The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care, An Illustrated Guide by Celeste Yarnall, PhD and Jean Hofve, DVM.

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Remedy For A Sore Throat

Remedy For A Sore Throat

Ease your sore throat during the dry, winter months with these home remedies.

 

During cold and flu season, sore throats can be a real annoyance. During the winter months, breathing through the mouth can cause drying and irritation in the throat. Taking care of a sore throat at home, however, is pretty simple and easy. You just have to know what to do.

Sore throat viruses can’t be treated with antibiotics. They just have to run their course, like the common cold. If the sore throat is especially painful, use a pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Cold liquids may also relieve the pain of a viral sore throat.

Older children or adolescents may develop a viral sore throat called infectous mononucleosis or “mono.” If the sore throat lasts longer than a week, mononucleosis may be the reason. Along with the sore throat, the patient will feel much weaker and more tired than usual. Like other viral sore throats, there is no antibiotic cure of mononucleosis.

The most common sore throat condition caused by bacteria is strep throat, caused by streptococcal bacteria. A strep throat should be treated with antibiotics because complications could occur if it remains untreated. Complications of strep throat include an absess in the throat (though this is extremely rare) and acute glomerulonephritis, which causes an inflammation in the kidneys.

The most concerning complication of strep throat is rheumatic fever, which causes painful swollen joints, unusual skin rashes, and heart damage. Strep throat is much less common in adults than in children, and rheumatic fever is rare in adults.

Using antibiotics for strep throat will also prevent the spreading of the condition to other family members and friends. Strep throat is unlikely if the sore throat is a minor part of a typical cold (runny nose, stuffy ears, cough, etc.). If common cold symptoms are not apparent along with your sore throat, make an appointment with your doctor for a strep test. You’ll likely need antibiotics. Only your doctor will be able to differentiate bacterial from viral sore throat using a “rapid strep” test.

To ease a viral sore throat at home, treat the other symptoms of your cold as well. Your sore throat may be caused by drainage from your sinuses. In this case, blow your nose often so the drainage doesn’t drip down your throat. Also, sleep with your head elevated. Run a humidifier or vaporizer near your bed so your throat doesn’t dry out in the night, especially if your stuffy nose causes you to breathe through your mouth.

Remember the old saltwater treatment your mother prescribed? It’s still one of the most effective home treatments for easing sore throats. Pour yourself a glass of warm water and dissolve a couple of teaspoons of salt in it. Then buck up and gargle the stuff. Initially it will make you cringe, but your throat will feel better almost immediately.

If you simply can’t stand the thought of gargling saltwater, you can find throat lozenges at the drugstore. Lozenges containing Vitamin C and Zinc may help you get over your cold faster, but only if you begin taking them as soon as you notice symptoms.

With a little extra care and some saltwater, you should be able to make it through sore throat season with little discomfort.

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Chicken Soup for the Soul: Always At My Back

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Always at My Back

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Dad

BY: Wendy Walker

What a child doesn’t receive he can seldom later give.
~P.D. James,
Time to Be in Earnest

My relationship with my father is complicated. It always has been. We are alike in many ways and this only adds to the complications. But there was one time when it was simple, when I was just a daughter and he a father, and it is this one time that I remember with great affection.

I was in college, probably my freshman year. I attended school only two hours away from my parents’ house, so I came home every break I got to see friends from high school, or to sleep and eat free groceries. Occasionally, I brought friends with me. It was a great place to escape the many pressures of college and growing up, and to be someone’s child again.

On one break, I came home early to catch up with my best friend from high school. My mother’s sister was visiting, so I camped out in the basement bedroom — which was just fine by me because it made for easy entry in the early morning hours. My friend’s mother took us to a movie and we made it an early night. The house was dark when I came home, but David Letterman was still on. I watched some TV and then went to bed myself.

A few hours later, I woke up with a horrible pain in my gut. I didn’t know this at the time, but it was similar to labor contractions — only it didn’t come and go in waves of torment. The torment was constant. I tried to get comfortable and fall back asleep, but that wasn’t happening. So, clutching the walls as I walked, I made my way up two flights of stairs to the bathroom medicine chest. I scoured the shelves for anything that might help — antacids, Tylenol, Motrin. My aunt, who was sleeping in the next room, heard the commotion and came out to see what was going on. She had been a drug counselor at one time in her life, and had keen hearing for roaming teenagers. By the time she found me, I was doubled over and getting dizzy. She rushed down the hall to my parents’ bedroom, and by the time they arrived, I had passed out on the floor.

I woke up in the nearest bed with all three of them around me. They immediately began questioning me. Where had I been? What had I done? What had I eaten? Did I take any drugs (that one from my aunt)? The answer was, simply, movie and popcorn. They checked for signs of appendicitis and gave me some Motrin. I can’t remember whether I fell asleep again or just waited out the night, but in the morning the pain was still there, full on.

My father was dressed for work, but he called in to say he would be late, then bundled me in the car and drove me to the emergency room at one of the local hospitals. It was the usual scene — crowded, chaotic and filled with the distinctive feeling that comes from being at the mercy of a headless bureaucratic machine. We checked in and sat in the chairs waiting for our turn. The one thing about my father that is easy to understand is that he has never been a patient man, and this is especially true when someone he loves is suffering. I was far too distracted by my own pain to notice it then, but his patience was depleting as the minutes, then hours ticked by.

We made it, finally, to an exam room and that’s where the waiting really began. Seeing that I needed observation, the first doctor came, then quickly left us in a line for admission to a regular room. Only the line was very long. Four hours passed. My father came and went from the room as I lay there in fetal position, breathing through the pain and freezing cold with only a hospital sheet and my father’s coat to cover me. Out of everything that day, the pain in my gut, the eventual needle sticks and IVs, it’s the cold in that room that I remember most vividly. Eventually, I began to shiver and my lips started to turn purple. I needed to be admitted, and soon.

Typically, my father’s lack of patience resulted in, let’s say, fervent advocacy. But not on this day. On this day, there was no arguing with nurses or yelling at desk clerks. Instead, my father asked someone if they were prepared to admit me that moment. When they couldn’t give him an answer, he simply grabbed the bag with my clothing, draped his coat around me, and carried me — out of the room, past the hospital staff that tried to stop him, through the security doors, the room with the chairs, out the front door and into his car.

With me dressed in a hospital gown and his overcoat, he drove to a second hospital, a second emergency room. He carried me again to the admitting desk and within an hour, I had been admitted to the hospital for observation. I stayed there for two days, at which point the pain was gone and written off as a stomach bug. But that’s not why I remember the story.

People who know me well know that I am no shrinking violet. Had I been capable of removing myself to a second hospital that day, there is no doubt that I would have done it and that my father would have encouraged me to do it myself, taking pride in having raised a strong, independent woman. But on that day, I was not a strong, independent woman. I was a child rendered helpless by pain. I was a daughter in need of protection. There was no one in the world I needed more than my father, and he was there.

It’s not often that people are put to a test. Indeed, it is precisely those rare times that make the headlines — heroic firefighters storming a building, pilots landing planes under extreme duress, bystanders pulling a stranger from the train tracks. I can’t imagine any comfort greater than knowing there is someone in your life who will never fail to have your back and do whatever is needed to protect you. I had that in my father.

I am a mother now, and I know what it feels like on the other side of that equation. I can feel it inside me, this likeness I have to my father. Some of it presents an ongoing struggle. Lack of patience probably tops that list. But I gladly take it all to have that one thing of his that I can bestow upon my own children. There are times when I can see it on their faces, this knowledge that I am strong, and that no matter what, I have their backs.

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