Extracted from the bark of a West African evergreen tree (Pausinystalia yohimbe), yohimbe has a long and controversial history as a sexual stimulant. Folk healers brewed a tea from the bark to also help reduce prostate inflammation, treat menstrual pain, and anesthetize skin for minor surgical procedures.
The Aztecs and Mayans were the first to recognize healing properties in the root of the wild yam (Dioscorea villosa),a climbing vine. They used it to relieve pain. Years later, Native Americans and early colonists made such a practice of treating joint pain and colic with this native North and Central American plant that it was, for a time, popularly referred to as “colic root.”
Red yeast rice, an Asian dietary staple made by fermenting red yeast (Monascus purpureus) on rice, is rapidly gaining recognition as a cholesterol-lowering agent in the United States. Supplements are now available here that contain an extract imported from China, where a particular strain of M. purpureus is grown on rice under careful fermentation conditions. This yields specific amounts of statins–the compounds largely held responsible for reducing cholesterol levels. In contrast, the red yeast rice long used in Asia to flavor, preserve, and color food, and to make rice wine, contains negligible amounts of statins.
Yoga is an ancient philosophy of life as well as a system of exercises that encourages the union of mind, body, and spirit. In fact, the word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning “yoke” or “union.” The ultimate goal of yoga is to achieve a state of balance and harmony between mind and body.
I really doubt if the women in our grandmother’s time, or before, experienced the same trouble with yeast infections that we do. Truly, we’ve set the stage for yeast to flourish in our vaginas in ways unknown to earlier generations. We overuse broad-spectrum antibiotics, each of us eats 120 pounds of sugar every year (!), we’re on birth control pills, and we all face too many day-in and day-out stresses. The end result? By the time we’re in menopause, 75% of us will have had one or more yeast infections. These are typically episodes in which a yeast known as candida albicans–normally a harmless fellow-traveler in our vaginas–takes over. And the tell-tale symptoms of itching, burning, and a cottage cheese-like discharge make life really unpleasant for a few days.
Clinical studies from around the world have shown that students of yoga are healthier than the rest of the population. They have more energy, better strength and joint flexibility, are more relaxed, have lower blood pressures, slower pulses, stronger hearts, better sleep, improved digestion, and more positive outlooks on life. Emotionally, yoga students have increased self-awareness, better coping skills, and a more relaxed approach to any stress, whether on-the-job or in a family crisis. This may be partially due to the slew of feel-good endorphins, including serotonin, released during yoga postures.
Click here for the Health Tip link. If you want to take a major step in reversing whatever problem ails you, sign up for a yoga class and stick with it. There are now classes in virtually every community large enough to have paved roads. Even if you live in the middle of nowhere, you […]
We continue this month with our series on why your brain might not be functioning the way you feel it should.
Hypothyroidism, or an underfunctioning thyroid gland (commonly called low thyroid), is often overlooked by doctors as a cause of poor memory. It’s neglected because many physicians rely solely on a not-very-good blood test to confirm or reject a diagnosis of low thyroid.
Depression is the result of low levels of the stress-buffering brain chemical serotonin trying, but failing, to protect you against assaults of unchecked stress.
The same holds true for similar disorders, like anxiety, fatigue, and fibromyalgia.
Maybe there’s nothing wrong with your brain at all. Maybe it’s a human version of computer overload.
Stop and reflect on the amount of information our parents or grandparents dealt with every day and compare it to the volume of 24/7 info-tainment most of us are exposed to today.