Likely because German-Americans have been so completely absorbed into American culture, we’re often surprised to learn that more Americans (17% plus, in fact) trace their family origins to Germany than to any other country. The huge wave of German immigration occurred in the 19th century, when eight million arrived in New York, virtually all passing […]
Also referred to as “bearberry” in honor of the bears so fond of its bright red or pink berries, uva ursi (Arctostaphylos uva ursi) is an evergreen shrub that has long been popular for fighting urinary tract infections. Its leathery green leaves are formulated into teas, tinctures, capsules, and extracts for this purpose.
Over the centuries, countless women have turned to false unicorn root (Chamaelirium luteum), a tall perennial native to eastern North America, to remedy menstrual and uterine problems. (It should not be confused with Aletris farinosa, another member of the lily family, commonly referred to as “true” unicorn root.) Therapeutic compounds called steroidal saponins were identified in false unicorn root some time ago, but whether these exert hormonal activity in women that would help regulate the menstrual cycle remains unclear.
Unsavory as it may sound to most Americans, urine therapy refers to the use of one’s own urine to promote or maintain health. Proponents of the therapy assert that a person’s urine can be swallowed, applied to the skin, injected, sniffed, or used as an enema, eye drops, or ear drops. While the use of urine for therapeutic purposes is regarded with great skepticism by virtually all conventional physicians, the therapy nevertheless has a long history in many countries around the world. The Greeks and Romans are said to have used urine as medicine, and the practice is common today in China and India.
Whenever a patient tells me about calling her doctor with symptoms of a urinary tract infection and being refused an antibiotic because he “never” prescribes one without a urine culture, I know the doctor has never experienced a UTI himself. Let’s face it….bladder infections are a girl thing, and most doctors are, well, male. So they haven’t experienced constantly racing to the john with this uncontrollable urge to pee, then managing to squeeze out a few drops of seemingly liquid fire.
Gone are the old days of ulcer treatments with their incredibly restrictive diets, hourly swigs of Maalox, and sending of patients off to surgery–thank heaven. Today, we know a lot more about the little sores found in the lining of the stomach (gastric ulcers) or the first part of the small intestine, the duodenum (duodenal ulcers), than we used to. Although still associated with the stressed executive (stress increases acid flow), we now know that ulcers are caused by a specific bacterium called Helicobacter pylori. We still don’t know for sure how people become infected in the first place. But it’s a very democratic germ: Anyone can get an ulcer. And drinking alcohol or too much coffee, or taking aspirin (or NSAIDs), or being overstressed–all simply make the situation worse.
We’ve been talking about the causes of brain fog, forgetfulness, and lack of focus these past weeks. My final suggestion isn’t likely, but it’s worth including.
An undiagnosed medical problem, such as high blood pressure or kidney or liver disease, could compromise your ability to think clearly.