Homeopathy As Alternative Medicine

Homeopathy As Alternative MedicineHomeopathy is an alternative medicine system pioneered and developed by a German physician, Samuel Hahnemann, around the end of the 18th century. It is a science of acknowledging the wholeness of a person, not just the ailments or problems- but the mind, body, spirit, soul and psychology of a person affected when there is illness present. The science does not alienate the disease from the person; rather the focus is laid on the origin, progress, impacts, and effects of the sickness on the individual. Homeopathic medicines, or ‘remedies’ being very different from the allopathic or over the counter ones, stimulate the body’s self-regulating mechanisms to initiate the healing process.

This philosophy believes that when a person is attacked by illness, it not only affects his physical body but the totality of him, i.e. the whole person is sick: body, mind, and spirit. The body manifests symptoms of illness but it is not the origin of the illness. The origin of illness usually lies in an imbalance of forces residing within an individual. The symptoms expressed by the body, mind, and spirit are the manifestation of that imbalance. When an appropriate homeopathic remedy is provided to match the symptoms of illness, the balance of the vital living forces is maintained. When the healing begins, the symptoms begin to disappear.

Homeopathy has been formed on the powerful and central blocks of principles that are its founding platform. These principles have proved their substance, sustaining for over 200 years, treating sickness of most kinds.

The first principle of homeopathy is likes cure likes – Homoeo means similar, and pathos means suffering, this is the code on which the theory was named on. It states that a substance that can create an illness in a healthy person can be used to obtain a healing response in someone presenting with a similar disease. Every person shows symptoms of the illness in the form of changes in the body/mind/spirit. Some of these symptoms are common to that particular illness, others maybe the attributes of that person. A homeopathic practitioner would match the symptoms of the remedy to the symptoms of the person, with special focus to those symptoms which are unique to the individual.

The second principle of homeopathy is The Single Remedy – According to this only one homeopathic remedy should be given at one time. It saves one from accounting for the working of several medicines at one time. Not just that, it also allows one to ascertain the complete effect of the given medicine. It safeguards from the unpredictability and ambiguity of practices and remedies of alternative medicine.

The third principle of homeopathy is The Minimum Dosage – The principle that only ‘the minimum dose’ should be employed is based upon the understanding that the Minimum single dose stimulus of the medicine triggers the intrinsic healing response. Following this principle, we give only enough medicine to initiate this healing response. This response then carries on, driven by the body’s need to maintain health and balance.

The fourth principle of homeopathy is The Potentized Remedy – The dilution process that converts any natural substance to a homeopathic remedy is called Potentizing. The concept of potentizing is the process by which natural substances become harmless as well as more effective as remedies. The process transforms a substance from the material state into the energetic state.

Homeopathic remedies have been known to work for more than centuries now. Today it has gotten its fair share of criticism and praise, and stands as a popular and effective way of treatment. People who haven’t had any success with allopathic or other forms of drugs have well invested their faith in it. Placebo or not, this form of alternative medicine has managed to stay in the world with more than million success stories.

Tangelo Nutrition Facts

Tangelos are considered to be a type of tangerines, and are noted for their juiciness and mild sweet flavor. There are basically two popular varieties of tangelos, first variety is the Minneola tangelos and second variety is the Orlando tangelos. Compared to oranges, tangerines are smaller in size and have a looser peel, which is easy to remove. These characteristics of tangerines make them an ideal snack. Here are some interesting facts about this fruit.

Tangelos are also widely known as the honeybell fruit, which is a hybrid fruit.
They are a cross between the pomelo/grapefruit, and the mandarin orange.
The Minneola variety is identified by its knob-like formation at the stem, and its deep orange color.
Mandarin oranges are a cross between a tangerine and an orange.
Tangerines have a deep orange color too, and a pebbly texture peel which is easy to remove.

Nutritional Value

For a serving of a small-sized tangelo fruit, there are around 32 calories. The nutrition for one small-sized serving of fruit are:

Nutrient Daily Value
Total Fat 0.08 g
Saturated Fat 0.01 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.017 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.016 g
Cholesterol 0
Total Carbohydrates 7.99 g
Dietary Fiber 16 g
Potassium 123 mg
Protein 0.64 g
Sugars 6.36 g
Vitamin A 0
Vitamin C 160 g
Calcium 7.99 g
Iron 0

Health Benefits

» Is an excellent source of vitamin C and flavonoids.
» Helps in curing, and preventing common cold and throat infections.
» Good for treating urinary tract infection, and other problems related to respiration like asthma and bronchitis.
» Also helps in preventing the damage done by free radicals, and hence, prevents premature aging.
» Beneficial for the immune system.
» Help in preventing many cancers and viral infections.
» Good source of dietary fiber. So, these fruits are especially helpful for people who are aiming at weight loss.
» The fiber also helps to prevent or relieve constipation, and lower the risk of diabetes and heart diseases.
» One small-sized fruit delivers around 3% of daily value of bone strengthening calcium.

Picking the Fruit

» Select fruits which are soft and heavy for their size, and have a smooth skin.
» The fruit should have a dark orange color, which is nearly red.
» Avoid tangelos which have dull colors, or rough and bumpy skin.

Eating the Fruit

» You can enjoy the fruit raw, cook it, add it to salads, etc.
» It is best eaten raw, and is easy to peel. You can have the fruit or its juice during breakfast.
» Fresh and raw pieces can also be added to salads.
» You can use tangelos for recipes which require oranges for cooking, but make sure you add them near the end of the cooking time so the fruits doesn’t break down.

Tangelos can be stored at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, or refrigerated to store for longer periods. So, use the above tips to pick the best ones, and enjoy the tang!

Nutritional Elements of Food

Food, clothing, and shelter are the basic needs of man. The nutritional elements of food which are essential for all the life processes, make food one of our basic needs. This is why ‘food’ comes first in our basic necessities. When we talk of food basics, we intend to express the body’s requirement of food. Let us look at food’s nutritional elements and the roles they play in maintaining metabolism and overall health.

Carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber, and water constitute the basic nutritional elements of food. They are categorized based on the amounts in which the body requires them. The nutrients required in relatively larger amounts by the body are classified as macronutrients. Carbohydrates, fats, proteins, water, and fiber belong to this class of nutrients. Vitamins and minerals are required in comparatively smaller amounts and hence called micronutrients.

Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are sources of energy. Carbohydrates give four calories of energy per gram while one gram of fat gives nine calories of energy. Molecules of carbohydrates and fats are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Proteins additionally contain nitrogen atoms. Foods contain some or all the nutrients in certain proportions. It is these nutritional elements that help maintain metabolism of the body and keep us healthy.

Carbohydrates
Based on the number of sugar units they contain, carbohydrates are classified as monosaccharides, disaccharides, or polysaccharides. They contain 1, 2, and 3 or more sugar units respectively. Carbohydrates require less water to digest and make up the most common source of energy. As the body can obtain energy from proteins and fats, they are not essential nutrients. Carbohydrate-rich foodstuffs include bread, pastas, rice, and beans.

Fats
They contain fatty acids and glycerol. If a molecule of fat has all its carbon atoms bonded to hydrogen atoms, it is known as a saturated fat. If some of its carbon atoms are doubly bonded to each other, it is an unsaturated fat. Saturated fats are solids while unsaturated fats are liquids. Fats disintegrate to form fatty acids and glycerol. Fatty acids are an essential dietary need while glycerol is used to produce glucose. This makes fats the energy stores of our body. Apart from this, they act as a buffer against diseases, maintain body temperature, and assist the functioning of cells. They are also responsible for healthy skin and hair. Fats act as solvents for vitamins A, D, E, and K. The body can absorb these vitamins only with the help of fats. Nuts, oil, and butter contain fats.

Vitamins
Vitamins work like hormones. They regulate cell and tissue growth. They are vital nutrients. Each of the vitamins, if consumed in amounts less than those required by the body, leads to a deficiency disease. This makes evident their importance to the body.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A plays a major role in good eyesight. Its deficiency leads to night blindness. Sources of this vitamin include carrots, cod liver oil, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin B comes in different forms such as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. All B vitamins help the body convert carbohydrates into glucose, which is used by the body to generate energy.

Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1 with the chemical name thiamine is responsible for neural function and carbohydrate metabolism. It is necessary for healthy mucus membranes. Rice bran is a major source of vitamin B1. Other sources include green peas, spinach, sunflower seeds, and soy milk. Symptoms of thiamine deficiency include irritability, confusion, and weight loss. In mammals, the deficiency can lead to a optic neuropathy and a disease called beriberi.

Vitamin B2
Vitamin B2, known as riboflavin is instrumental in the maintenance of normal vision and a healthy skin. It is a coenzyme used in the metabolism of energy. It helps in the production of vitamins B3 and B6. Cheese, beef, and lamb, milk and dairy products, as well as eggs, mushrooms, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables are among the good sources of vitamin B2. Its deficiency can lead to reddening of lips, mouth ulcers, soar throat, and iron deficiency anemia.

Vitamin B3
Known as niacin or nicotinic acid, vitamin B3 plays a role in DNA repair and in the production of steroid hormones in the adrenal gland. Good sources of this vitamin include asparagus, tomatoes, green beans, potatoes as well as trytophan sources like eggs and cheese. Lack of vitamin B3 in the diet, can lead to nausea, skin and mouth lesions, and anemia. Niacin deficiency is referred to as pellagra.

Vitamin B5
Vitamin B5, known as pantothenic acid is used in the synthesis of coenzyme-A and for the synthesis and metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Dietary sources of this vitamin include avocados, broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, salmon, chicken, and sunflower seeds. This vitamin is found in very small quantities in almost all foods. The deficiency of vitamin B5 has symptoms similar to other B vitamin deficiencies, but the occurrence is very rare.

Vitamin B6
The metabolically active form of vitamin B6 is PLP. The site for the metabolism of this vitamin is the liver. This vitamin is involved in the amino acid metabolism, glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism, synthesis of hemoglobin, and plays a role in gene expression. It is necessary for the development of a healthy immune system. It plays a crucial role in fertility. It can be found in the germ and aleurone layers of grains but it is found in large quantities in pork, beef, bananas, chickpeas, and potatoes. The deficiency of this vitamin is expressed as a seborrhoeic dermatitis-like eruption with other symptoms like confusion and neuropathy.

Vitamin B7
Vitamin B7 or biotin, is also called vitamin H. It is instrumental in cell growth, production of fatty acids, and the metabolism of fats and amino acids. It helps in the metabolic reactions that involve carbon dioxide transfer, and may be helpful in maintaining normal blood sugar levels. Its deficiency is rare but the improper metabolism of this vitamin can lead to metabolic disorders. Sources of vitamin B7 include raw egg yolk, green leafy vegetables, peanuts, Swiss chard, and fish like salmon and sardine.

Vitamin B9
Vitamin B9 is known as folic acid or folate. It is instrumental in DNA synthesis and repair and serves as a co-factor in certain biological reactions. It helps in rapid cell division and growth and in the production of healthy red blood cells. Dark green vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, peas, lentils, avocado, cauliflower, and nuts are among the good sources of this vitamin. Its deficiency can lead to neural tube defects in developing embryos. Other symptoms of vitamin B9 deficiency include diarrhea, weakness, limb numbness, confusion, cognitive deficits, and irritability.

Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin is instrumental in the normal functioning of the nervous system and in the formation of red blood cells. It is the largest and the most structurally complicated vitamin. Its sources include animal-derived foods like milk, fish, poultry, and eggs. In less severe cases of the deficiency of this vitamin, one may experience fatigue and depression. It can also lead to mania and psychosis. In severe cases, the deficiency can lead to irreversible damage to the nervous system.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant. It helps maintain healthy gums and teeth. It increases the absorption of iron in the body and helps fight infections. It protects against immune system deficiencies. Citrus fruits, cabbage, pineapples, and broccoli are rich sources of vitamin C. Bleeding gums, nosebleeds, a dry, rough and scaly skin are among the common symptoms of vitamin C deficiency. In severe cases, it leads to scurvy.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium and phosphate and plays a vital role in the health of bones and teeth. Sunlight is the richest source of this vitamin. Cheese, liver, and salmon are some other sources. The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include pain in the bones and weakness. A severe form of deficiency is expressed as a disease called rickets in which the bone tissue does not mineralize properly, leading to soft bones and skeletal deformities.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E has antioxidant properties and it helps prevent the destruction of vitamins A and C. It protects the body from damage caused by free radicals. It protects lipids and prevents the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. It plays a role in gene expression and enzymatic activity regulation. It is also instrumental in neurological functions. Wheat germ, avocados, almonds, peanuts, and green leafy vegetables are good sources of vitamin E.

Vitamin K
The synthesis of proteins in plasma, bones, and kidneys is brought about by vitamin K. It is also necessary for normal clotting of blood. Spinach, lettuce, cabbage, and cauliflower are sources of this vitamin. Bruising, oozing of blood at surgical sites, stomach pain, and risk of bleeding are among the symptoms of vitamin K deficiency.

Minerals
Oyster shell is a natural source of minerals. Iodized salt is an example of a mineral added as a supplement. Calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous, helpful in the growth and health of bones are some of the essential minerals. Sodium, potassium, iodine as also iron and zinc are other useful dietary minerals.

Proteins
Proteins are often known as the building blocks of the body. The amino acids that they contain form the structural elements of the body. Proteins are particularly needed during one’s growth period. Meat, grains, eggs, and milk are rich in protein.

Fiber
The indigestible portion of plant food constitutes dietary fibers. They ease the defecation process. They provide the body with roughage, which plays a major role in the process of digestion. Whole grain food, bran, and celery are fiber-rich.

Water
We all know that 70% of the human body is water. This fact is sufficient to illustrate the importance of water as a basic nutrient. The human body needs around 1-5 liters of water everyday. The need of water depends on the physical activity of every individual. Water prevents dehydration. Water-soluble vitamins need it. It helps in the formation of lubricants in the body. It plays an important role in the transport of nutrients in the body and the removal of waste products from it. It is used in all the cells, organs, and tissues to aid temperature regulation, to cleanse the body, and maintain bodily functions.
Proper nutrition is the key to maintain an optimal state of health. The right food consumed in the right quantities helps us lead a healthy and a happy life.

How to Become a Registered Dietitian

A Registered Dietitian (RD) is someone who has the highest credentials as a food and nutrition expert, and is capable of guiding people toward living a healthy lifestyle by monitoring their diet program. These professionals may also chart out diet programs for those who are suffering from or recovering from any kind of health problem. These are individuals who study food sciences and the effect of food on our bodies, so that they may be able to tell which ones are suitable for individuals based on their body type and several other factors. RD is a credential that is nationally recognized in the field of food and nutrition and in the health care industry. It takes a lot of hard work to become a registered dietitian. However, if you make it through, you will have pursued one of the most rewarding careers there was. For those of you who are interested, here’s how to become one.

Requirements to be a Registered Dietitian

As mentioned earlier, becoming a registered dietitian and then fulfilling the requirements of the career is a lot of hard work. You should be mentally prepared for it before you start off, so that you don’t find yourself regretting your choice. If you wish to, speak to a few registered dietitians and see what they have to say about the job. You may then go ahead and follow these steps towards becoming one yourself.

Step 1: Complete a Bachelor’s Degree
Attain a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition or dietetics from a university that is approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) of the American Dietetic Association (ADA). Along with your majors you may take courses in subjects such as food service systems management, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, computers, business, mathematics, psychology, and sociology. These subjects will help you when you eventually start your practice.

Step 2: Attain an Internship in the Field
Getting an internship is as competitive as getting admission in a college of your choice. The internship program should be accredited by the CADE, a program that is supervised by professionals and experts. You may be able to complete the practice program in either a food service corporation, a health-care facility, or a community agency. This program may be 6 months to one year long. You may pursue this program in course of your bachelor’s education.

Step 3: Pass the Registration Examination to Become an RD
This is a national examination that is administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), details regarding which are available on their website. Once you attain these credentials, you will have to obtain licensure in the state you work in. More often than not, you will have fulfilled all the state requirements to practice dietetics if you are aiming to become a registered dietitian. After clearing the exam, you may apply the credentials RD after your name.

Step 4: Pursue Continuing Education
To maintain the RD credentials, you will have to pursue approved continuing education, which requires you to complete 75 credit hours every five years.

Some of you may want to specialize in specific areas of nutrition, such as renal or diabetic nutrition, pediatric nutrition, or sports nutrition, for which you will be required to hold additional certification provided by the CDR. Once you attain the RD credentials, you can work in different types of settings that include those such as hospitals, health-care facilities, food and nutrition based industries, corporate wellness programs, in private practice, and in universities or other educational settings.

The salary of a registered dietitian is largely based on the state of employment, years of experience, and areas of specialization. However, the approximate range for someone who has been in the field for less than five years is US $51,000 to US $63,000. These figures will of course increase as you pursue continuing education and attain experience. Keep in mind that registered dietitians may have to work in a variety of settings and may have to be on their feet almost all day. It is a task that may also turn out to be physically demanding. If you think you are cut out for it, go ahead and pursue all the educational requirements to pursue this career. Good luck!

Importance of Nutrition

In our day to day life we all are given many lessons on the importance of nutrition in our schools and at home when we are young. Elders who suffer from different kinds of diseases are asked to consume quality food. The truth is that nutrition is an essential part of every person’s life – be it children, teenagers, adults or aged people. Doctors and nutritionists suggest that only a balanced diet can provide us with the essential nutrients and minerals necessary for growth and repair of wear and tear of our body. For athletes, it is especially important to consume nutritious food. The intake of healthy foods can help them achieve high levels of endurance and stamina.

Significance
A diet can be called nutritious if we obtain essential macro nutrients, such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, as well as micro nutrients, like vitamins and minerals from it.

Essential Nutrients
The function of macro nutrients is to provide energy and strength to the body. Micro nutrients play an important role in the smooth functioning of cells of our body. An adequate and proportionate intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats is essential from the point of keeping infections, cardiovascular diseases and contagious diseases at bay.

Proteins
Proteins perform the function of building tissues of muscles and maintaining and repairing them. By consuming protein-rich foods, one can meet the amino acid requirement of the body. Amino acids are necessary for proper functioning of our body. It is possible to meet protein requirement of our body through milk, milk products, legumes, nuts, etc.

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are useful from the point of meeting energy needs of the body. However, we should not consume them in excess because by doing so, the fat content in our body can rise to dangerous levels. The accumulation of fats in the body takes place if carbohydrates are left unused. Carbohydrates are of two types: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are useful from the point of meeting immediate energy requirements of the body; this is because they provide the body with quick energy. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, provide the body with energy that requires a comparatively longer time for assimilation.

Fats
The main function of fats is to protect delicate organs of our body. Fats are the insulators of human body, and hence, consuming them in sufficient amounts is necessary.

Other Nutrients
Minerals and calcium assist in proper contraction of muscles and clotting of blood – these are amongst the important processes of human body. Calcium and phosphorus assist in the growth of bones and teeth whereas iron supplies oxygen to lungs; these nutrients help in the smooth functioning of human bodily systems. Intake of sodium in right quantities is essential for the overall development of the body.

Milk: A Complete Food

Milk
Milk provides most of the nutrients needed by our body. Therefore, it is considered as a complete food. Here is more on the nutritional value of milk.

• Milk is a rich source of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, calcium, etc. It also provides phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and other such nutrients. Phosphorus is needed for strong teeth and bones, while magnesium allows smooth functioning of our muscular system.

• The B vitamins present in milk help in reducing fatigue and tiredness. Milk can fulfill 25% of the body’s daily requirement of vitamin D. The conjugated linoleic acid that is present in milk prevents atherosclerosis and improves the functioning of immune system.

• Cow milk contains 3.6% fats, 3.4% proteins and 4.6% lactose. Human milk contains 7% lactose, which is greater in comparison to that in cow milk. The fat and protein content of human milk is 4.2% and 1.1% respectively.

Parents need to understand the importance of including nutritious food in the diet of children in their phases of growth. They should take the right decisions regarding what to feed their children. Proper nutrition is essential for the physical as well as mental well-being of children. It has been observed that children who receive undernourished food, which is devoid of essential nutrients, suffer from various diseases and disorders. They may suffer from stunted growth. Awareness programs conducted by health organizations can explain why nutrition is so important. Along with eating nutritious foods, you should exercise regularly to burn calories and stay fit.

Types of Hydrotherapy

Using water as a therapy is not a new concept, having been around since ages in many cultures around the world, such as China, Japan, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. For example, the ancient Greeks enjoyed their therapeutic baths. The Egyptian royalty, it is said, used to bathe in water in which they used to put flowers and essential oils. And of course, we all know about the communal public baths that the Romans loved to indulge themselves in. As a matter of fact, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, advised having baths in spring water in order to alleviate illness.

How does Hydrotherapy Work?
When the body is under stress or in pain, chemical changes occur, which result in the pulse rate and blood pressure increasing. It has been observed that with the help of this therapy, there is a marked improvement in these symptoms, by alleviating the stress reaction process, and also by providing relief to painfully swollen joints. This, in turn, helps the individual to unwind and relax, making it easier to deal with the pain.

For example, hydrotherapy relieves pain by stimulating the production of endorphins, which are neurochemicals that occur naturally in the brain, and have analgesic properties. It also helps in improving blood circulation by enabling the blood vessels to dilate, which in turn provides healing oxygen to tissues and painful joints. An improvement in the circulation also enables lymph drainage, thus clearing the body of toxins.

Hence, for people suffering from the painful symptoms of conditions such as rheumatism, arthritis, sciatica, back pain, aching and swollen joints, insomnia, fatigue, stress, poor circulation, muscular pain, tension, cramps, and stiffness, water therapy can be a great way to relieve these issues.

Various Types of Hydrotherapy
In the various methods, the body is either immersed in water, fully or partially, such as a hot tub or a footbath, or the water being applied directly on the affected area, such as a warm compress or and ice pack.

Full Immersion Bath: In this, the person is immersed in water, which is heated up 90-95 degrees F, up to his/her shoulders, for about 20 minutes. The water can be plain or contain aromatherapy oils, herbs, Dead Sea salts, Epsom salts, or even special kinds of mud.

Sitzbath: Also known as a ‘hip bath’, in this the person sits in a bathtub, immersed in water up to the hips. The sitzbath can either be cold, or alternate between hot and cold. This method of hydrotherapy is particularly effective for ailments that affect the abdomen as well as the reproductive system, intestinal and kidney pains, menstrual disorders, hemorrhoids, abdominal cramps, congestion in the pelvic region, and inflammations.

Hydro-Massage: In this, jets of water that can either be powerful or gentle, which are positioned at various heights, are directed to various parts of the body. It has a wonderfully relaxing massaging effect.

Wraps: The person being treated lies down, enveloped in cold wet sheets, which are then covered with dry blankets or towels. These are removed within an hour or so, with a bath being administered. This method is used for alleviating muscle pain, disorders of the skin, bronchitis, and colds.

Compresses: The individual is wrapped in towels or sheets that are soaked in cold or hot water, or a combination of both in an alternating way. Cold water has a stimulating effecting, causing the blood vessels near the skin to constrict, thus diverting the blood to inner areas. A hot water compress, on the other hand, results in the dilation of blood vessels, which improves the circulation, and also helps in removing toxins from the tissues and body. It is also helpful in reliving local inflammations as well as fevers.

Footbath: In this, the feet are immersed up to the ankles in a small vessel containing. It can be a cold footbath, or a hot one, or an alternation between the two. A cold footbath is great for relieving tired feet, while a hot footbath (which should be tolerably hot) is wonderful for relieving aching feet or if the feet are cold. As for the alternating type, it improves blood circulation in the area, and alleviates varicose veins, besides being relaxing.

There are also internal methods of hydrotherapy, which involve drinking a certain amount of water in a day, and also colon therapy, wherein fluid is introduced into the colon, and then cleaned by being emptied.

Benefits of Natural Chelation Therapy

Molecules of certain compounds have the ability of forming more than one bond with a metal ion. Such compounds are known as chelating agents which form a stable ion complex. The soluble complex formed is known as a chelate, in which the metal ions forming the complex get inactivated, thereby failing to undergo their normal reaction with other ions. This ability of chelating agents of forming complex molecules with metal ions is used in Chelation therapy. This therapy was first used during World War I, to diffuse the effects of poison gas containing the heavy metal – arsenic. However, the chelating agent used for treatment showed up severe side effects. Medical advancement lead to the development of chelating agents which were safe, effective and beneficial. Various benefits associated with this therapy are discussed below.

Removal of Heavy Metals
Heavy metal poisoning is very dangerous and can prove to be fatal. Chelation therapy is carried out to treat heavy metal intoxication in the body. Chelating compounds are administered into the body orally, intravenously or intramuscularly. These compounds form chelates with toxic metal ions, forming soluble complexes, which are excreted out of the body via urine after going through filtration in the kidneys. Metals like mercury, iron, lead, zinc and copper can lead to organ failure which is why, their removal becomes essential.

Reduction of Free Radicals
The production of free radicals in the human body is not acceptable. Free radicals cause aging, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, oxygen deficiency due to which cells deteriorate. Heavy metals lead to the production of free radicals in the body which are controlled by administering chelating agents which remove these metals from the body. Free radical reduction ultimately leads to cell repair and healthy body.

Reduction in Blood Stickiness
Chelation therapy using ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) is thought to reduce the formation of blood platelets. Reduced platelet content makes the blood more fluid which is capable of easily passing through partially blocked or narrow arteries.

Removal of Unwanted Calcium
Hardening of arteries is caused due to the deposition of plaque in the blood vessels. Plaque formation greatly reduces the efficiency of the heart. Calcium is one of the constituents of plaque, which is required to be removed. Use of chelating agents reduces calcium content of the plaque, making it softer thereby, depleting its layers from the blood vessels. Chelation therapy has proved its utility in some cases of heart diseases. Even then, the American Heart Association does not recommend it for the treatment of heart-related problems.

Optimization of Cholesterol Levels
High-density Lipoprotein (HDL) is considered as good cholesterol while Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) is considered bad for the body. Chelating agents are used to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and increase the quantity of good cholesterol in the body. In this way, it helps in maintaining cholesterol levels in the body.

Improvement in Mental Health
Researchers suggest that chelation therapy improves mental well-being of an individual. People who have undertaken this therapy were found to be more attentive, active and happy. Reason behind this change is attributed to improved functioning of brain due to removal of toxins and improved cellular activity. However, some researchers do not buy this point and consider it as a “placebo-effect”.

Prevention of Cancer
Presence of free radicals in the body can lead to the development of cancer. By controlling free radical production, chelating agents indirectly reduce the incidence of cancer in patients. Some researchers claim that the incidence of death is reduced in patients after treatment with chelating agents even though, the mechanism of action is not clear.

Medical conditions which are said to be benefited by the use of this therapy are given below –

Heavy metal intoxication
Atherosclerosis
Coronary artery disease
Angina
Hypertension
Diabetes
Arthritis
Psoriasis
Aging
Hearing problems
Parkinson’s disease
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Autoimmune conditions

Though the benefits are many, there are some side effects of chelation therapy that you should know before you opt for it. This therapy is quite inexpensive as compared to other medical procedures because of which many doctors use this method of treatment for various conditions. It is also liked by homeopaths to provide relief to patients suffering from various ailments.

Benefits of Wheat Germ Oil

Wheat germ oil is an unrefined oil that is obtained from the germ of the wheat kernel. It is the richest source of Vitamin E than any other vegetable oil. It also has a high content of Vitamin A and Vitamin D. It is rich in protein and lecithin. It is very popular for external application due to its beneficial effects on the skin. Hence, it is increasingly finding place in the manufacture of skin care products. Other benefits of wheat germ oil include its antioxidant properties and its effect in strengthening the immune system and restoring overall health.

What is Wheat Germ Oil?
Obtained from the embryo or kernel of the wheat grain, wheat germ oil is a light yellow, fat soluble natural oil. As it is an unrefined oil, it has a thick consistency and a strong aroma. Although the germ of the wheat forms only 3% of the weight of the wheat grain, the benefits of wheat germ stem from the fact that it contains almost 25% of the total proteins, vitamins and minerals of the wheat grain. It is a very sensitive oil that tends to degrade if not stored with care. It should be kept away from high temperatures because if exposed to extreme temperatures, it may turn rancid. However, if kept properly, the shelf life of wheat germ oil can be extended up to a few months.

Benefits
If you are wondering what is wheat germ oil good for, consider the following benefits:

The benefits of this oil include curing skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. It works effectively to heal burns and skin ulcers. As an external application it is very helpful for dry skin.
Wheat germ oil is beneficial for the general health of the skin as it improves circulation of blood in the skin when used externally. It also helps the skin cells that may have been damaged due to the scorching heat of the sun. It also fights off conditions like dermatitis and reduces scarring.
Health benefits of this oil include improving the overall working of the heart. Research has shown beneficial effects of octacosanol and specifically policosanol in improving cardiovascular functions. Policosanol has been found to be effective in controlling production of cholesterol by the liver. It is believed to raise the level of ‘good’ cholesterol and reduce that of ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Wheat germ oil is known for its antioxidant properties. Hence it helps in preventing the skin from bearing the signs of aging. It is probably this reason that it is added to other carrier oils. However, it is used in lower amounts to prepare carrier oil blend as it is high in nutritional value.
Linoleic acid, oleic palmitic and stearic fatty acids are the essential fatty acids present in wheat germ oil. These essential oils cannot be manufactured by the body. Hence they should be taken externally as they improve the immune system, the nervous system and help in healthy cell growth and regeneration.
Wheat germ oil is particularly high in a long chain saturated primary alcohol called octacosanol. This compound was reported by some athletes in the 1960s to enhance their performance. Octacosanol in particular was believed to increase endurance and muscle strength in sports persons. Though there isn’t much scientific evidence about its beneficial effects in improving fitness or athletic performance, some studies have shown that octacosanol and policosanol cause a mild improvement in reaction time.

How to Use
There are many ways to use wheat germ oil externally. For skin care, you can apply this oil to remedy dry skin. Wheat germ oil, being excellent for dry skin, can be applied twice, daily. You can apply it after bath in the morning and once more in the night before sleeping. To enhance the oil’s qualities, you can add some essential oil to it. You can add lavender oil or any other nice smelling oil of your choice to wheat germ oil. You can also buy creams or lotions made from this oil, if you want. Wheat germ oil has high vitamin E content and so it can be used to treat vitiligo. Applying this oil on skin can prevent and treat vitiligo. What’s more, it can also be taken orally as a supplement, or you can use it to enhance taste of various recipes. You can use wheat germ oil as salad dressings, or drizzle it over pasta or steamed vegetables. You can also substitute flax seed oil for wheat germ. However, avoid heating this oil as the important nutrients break down once exposed to high heat.

Wheat germ oil is quite affordable and you can buy an 8 oz. bottle for USD 5. You can find it at a health store or even in a supermarket. But, if you are looking for a specific manufacturer then consider buying this oil online.

Cross Trainer Workout

A cross trainer, also known as an elliptical machine or elliptical bike, is the latest addition to the set of cardiovascular exercise machines available. It is a machine which combines the working principles of the treadmill, exercise bike, and stair climber. At the same time, the workout also combines the movements, and benefits of hiking, cross-country skiing, and biking. When you are using this machine, the legs move in elongated circular motions or, to be precise, in an oval motion. Hence, it derives the name elliptical.

Workout Programs

Exercising on a cross trainer will give you a full body workout, and also double up as an effective cardiovascular workout. This routine helps the upper as well as lower body muscle groups. It is low impact, and hence, does not put excess strain on the joints. The lower body to upper body resistance ratio used in elliptical machines is 3 : 1. This is an ideal ratio as it is similar to the body’s natural ratio of upper to lower body muscle mass as well as strength.

A cross trainer gives a workout similar to that of running or jogging. However, it does not wear and tear the joints. When using the elliptical machine, the legs are in constant contact with the machine, which helps in limiting the impact on the joints. Hence, a number of patients suffering from arthritis, or joint problems are recommended to exercise on these machines. According to a number of fitness experts, a high intensity workout is able to burn more calories as compared to exercise on a treadmill or bike. It is said that it feels like a brisk walk, although the body is exerting as much as you would when you jog. Some fitness experts also recommend not using the bar for some part of the routine, as it will work the abs slightly harder, as they try to stabilize the body.

When your body gets used to the routine, and your fitness improves, small adjustments can be made in terms of speed and resistance. Since it is easier to change the speed and resistance, interval training can be made to be a part of a workout session. Interval training is more beneficial in the weight loss process as compared to steady training. Depending on your goal, you can choose a weight loss program if you are currently aiming at weight loss. If you want to improve your cardiovascular system, you can opt for an aerobic routine on a cross trainer. On the other hand, if you are training for a marathon, there are endurance training options available as well. Changing the incline of the aerobic program will ensure an intense workout for the heart.

Benefits

Besides the usual benefits that any form of a workout provides, there is an added benefit of working out on an elliptical machine. With this machine, you will be able to work out all the four limbs equally. You will not have to unnecessarily be worried about working different muscle groups. As you are working on the trainer, it will automatically be taken care of. At the same time, the fat burning benefits are much more and better, as compared to other exercise machines. Due to resistance offered by the machine, it makes for easy and quick workout.

Using a cross trainer for workout is safe and it can be used by people of any age group. Unlike a treadmill, the machine starts when you start pedaling, and stops when you stop pedaling. The speed and effort will be determined by the movement of your own feet. Hence, it is very safe for the old and young alike.

Since a cross trainer gives a complete workout, it can be used as the only, yet useful, exercise equipment at home. Once you have this wonderful machine at home, you will not be bound by time, and will also not be able to find an excuse to the tune that you do not have time to exercise.

Alternative Medicine Practices

Allopathy refers to the old practice of medicine, which is the most dominant form of health care today. However, as more and more people are becoming aware of allopathy side effects, people are switching to different types of alternative medicines. A glance at the history will show the various healing benefits using herbs, massages, or spiritual healing methods. Here are various types of alternative medical branches that will help you understand it better.

Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine also known as TCM, includes a range of different traditional medicinal practices which originated in China. TCM is the standard care in the Orient for over 3000 years and includes various methods of healing like – acupuncture, diet, herbal medicines, physical movement like Tai chi, and massage techniques.

Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy includes use of various essential oils, which help to relieve pain, reduce stress, help to improve mood, and improve overall health. You can find aromatherapy oils in many health care stores, you can pick an oil for its healing properties. Some of the best aromatherapy oils are lavender oil, tea tree oil, and frankincense oil.

Ayurveda
Ayurveda originated more than 5,000 years ago in India, and it predates all other medical systems known to us. In Ayurveda a person’s body type is taken into consideration and then selective method is used for treatment. It has remedies and cures for almost all kinds of illness, right from basic pain-relieving medicines to medicines that can cure cancer.

Crystal Healing
In crystal healing magnificent stones which have healing powers are used. These stones can help to improve your mood and help you get rid of stress. Many stones also help to clean and revitalize the aura. Here is some more information on crystal healing.

Herbal Medicine
Herbal medicine also known as herbalism is an old treatment method which uses various herbs and plant extracts, which have special healing, aromatic, or therapeutic properties. You can find many dried or fresh herbs which you can use to make teas, paste, or syrups, or simply use herbs in cooking to flavor various dishes. You can also grow a herb garden which takes very less space, and use the medicinal herbs for different ailments.

Homeopathy
In homeopathy, minute doses of a natural extract are used to produce signs and symptoms of the illness, which stimulates the body’s defenses that leads to a stronger healthier balance of internal chemistry.

Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy has many benefits and can help to cure certain illness which can be psychological or physiological, without use of any medication. It can help to quit smoking or in weight loss. In this technique of healing an altered state of consciousness in the patient can be administered either by a practitioner or by the person itself.

Massage Therapy
Massage therapy can greatly help to relax your body and mind, it can help to get rid of toxins from the body, purify the skin, and even help in weight loss. There are hundreds of techniques of massage and you can get a relaxing or stimulating massage at any health spa and combine it with sauna to get more health benefits.

Meditation
Many meditation techniques have been developed by different people. You can use tantra, yoga, zen, Tibetan, or a basic breathing technique to help you balance the mind. A meditation technique which suits you can help to reduce stress, and enhance your life by bringing balance and wellness to it.

Naturopathy
Naturopathy refers to using natural substances to prevent and cure diseases. By following naturopathy one can increase body’s resistance power greatly. Most naturopathy practitioners implement elements from various alternative techniques which helps to create good health using, acupuncture, herbs, massage, etc.

Reiki
Reiki is a form of spiritual healing in which a reiki practitioner uses his/her energy for healing a person. Reiki or energy medicine is combined with diet therapy or herbal/homeopathic remedies to help bring balance to a person’s physical and emotional health.

Reflexology
Reflexology is science of healing touch in which pressure to certain points in the body are applied to treat various ailments. Our body when suffering from any illness is under a lot of stress or sustained injuries, using reflexology the body can be brought back to a balanced state.

Make sure you consult your doctor before switching from your current medication to a certain alternative medicine.