Treating Lyme Disease with Artemisinin

When you think of common modern diseases, what comes to mind? Probably conditions such as arthritis, cancer, and heart disease. Although these conditions are most certainly plaguing the Western world, it’s still important to be aware of those conditions which aren’t as common. Although some conditions are not spoke of often, they are still very serious in terms of their potential effects.

Lyme disease first received its name in 1975, after several cases broke out in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Wherever you may be exposed to ticks, you are at a potential risk for infection. Caused by the bacterium known as Borrelia burgdorferi, this infection is transferred to humans through infected ticks.

Of those who develop Lyme disease, only around 50 to 80 percent develop a skin infection. Typically, individuals are treated with antibiotics, but in some cases, symptoms can be severe. In order to reduce one’s reliance on potentially harmful pharmaceutical antibiotics, the use of artemisinin is being explored.

This natural plant extract can boost immune function and can help fight off infections. It has been used to treat malaria and is now being studied for its potential anti-cancer effects. While taking this supplement for Lyme disease, it’s common to combine artemisinin with other herbs and drugs.

Artemisinin and Lyme Disease

Artemisinin, also known as Quin Hao, sweet annie, or sweet wormwood, is derived from the Artemisia Annua plant. Used to treat damp-heat, malaria, and fever, it offers numerous health-boosting benefits. Helping to regulate and strengthen the immune system, artemisinin can be used to treat autoimmune conditions which attack tissues, such as those with lupus.

It’s believed that the bacteria which causes Lyme disease, directly affects B-lymphocytes which are responsible for making antibodies. Artemisinin is believed to inhibit calcium transported to the parasite. If you become infected, the typical dosage is one artemisinin capsule, taken three times daily.

If taking in conjunction with other herbs or drugs, it should be taken at least an hour before or after any other dose. This treatment generally lasts four months, ensuring that the infection does not re-occur. Also, this treatment helps strengthen immune function so that individuals can regain their physical strength.

When harmful microorganisms die, they produce Herxheimer reactions, increasing detoxification reactions in the body. By taking chitosan, which are the shells of crustaceans, you not only combat these by-products but also increase stool bulk.

Taken one hour away from both chitosan and artemisinin, essential fatty acid supplements and fat-soluble nutrients, such as vitamin A, D, E, and K, should all be taken. It’s also advised that individuals drink a minimum of eight glasses of water daily. The typical dose is two capsules, consumed 1/2 hour before one meal daily. Follow this schedule for 2-3 days in order to confirm tolerance, increasing dosing if needed.

How is Lyme Disease Traditionally Treated?

Traditional Chinese medicine utilizes plenty of natural herbs and other natural remedies. Lyme disease is referred to as a Gu syndrome, describing a condition in which a parasite causes mental and physical decay. In traditional treatment, the main goal is to rebuild immune function, reduce pain, target fatigue, eliminate pathogens, and enhance overall well-being.

Generally, herbs are taken three times daily, over the course of a ten week period. The lifecycle of Lyme bacteria is believed to be around six weeks. A specific anti-spirochete mixture will be created, eliminating the parasite while strengthening the body and weakening the pathogen. Made from a combination of dried herbs, including Tu Fu Ling, Qing Hao, Ren Dong, and Hu-chang, daily doses are around 15-18 grams. This mixture is often taken three times daily.

If you are suffering from Lyme disease, it’s also recommended that you eliminate refined sugar, wheat, and cow dairy as it’s believed that Lyme parasites feed on these foods. Consume more lean protein, raw and cooked greens, as well as seaweeds.

Eliminate caffeine and alcohol from your diet and burn Frankincense resin each evening before bed. This will increase the promotion of qi and circulation, aiding in pain and more rapid healing. Approximately 60 percent of those with Lyme disease will develop joint pain and stiffness. To detoxify the body, acupuncture is also used, reducing pain and inflammation.

Other Benefits of Artemisinin

Not only will this supplement aid in symptoms of Lyme disease, but it also offers antiseptic, carminative, ammenagogue, and diaphoretic effects. It can also be used as a bitter tonic, targeting digestion and liver function. This is why individuals suffering from jaundice or hepatitis benefit from this treatment.

For those that suffer from reproductive disorders, artemisinin can assist you. It’s believed that this supplement helps to increase fertility within the womb. Based on its emmenagogue effects, it decreases bleeding in prolonged menstrual cycles and menstrual pain. In traditional medicine, artemisinin is also used to treat summer fever and blood deficiencies. It used to treat inflammation of the blood vessels which often results in purpuric rashes.

Are There Any Side Effects?

In some cases, artemisinin has caused stomach pain, nausea, rashes, and diarrhea. For those who are diabetic, pregnant, or anemic, please refrain from taking this supplement. For pregnant women, this is especially true during the first trimester. Please do not take with antiviral, anti-fungal, or calcium channel blockers.

This supplement should never be taken with grapefruit juice. In some cases, individuals may experience a drop in blood sugar and blood pressure. Some herbs may also interact with this supplement. In high doses, artemisinin may be toxic. To protect yourself, please speak with you doctor for dosing recommendations.

Treating Cancer with Reishi Mushroom

Cancer affects millions of individuals annually. Although some cancers are treated with success, research continues in order to find a cure for all types. At this time, reishi mushroom is being studied based on its potential positive effects regarding cancer treatment.

Sometimes used as an immune stimulant, reishi mushroom is given to cancer patients and individuals with other diseases. The advances of reishi mushroom within clinical settings may be more recent, however, this mushroom has a long history within traditional medicine throughout Asia.

Before reishi mushroom is used by Western medical doctors, further research will need to be conducted. At this time, it is not currently approved by the FDA regarding the prevention or treatment of cancer. With that being said, this mushroom offers clear benefits which are highlighted below.

What Exactly is Reishi Extract?

Also known by its Chinese name, lingzhi, this mushroom is often referred to as the mushroom of immortality based on its positive health benefits. Utilized for thousands of years throughout China, Japan, Vietnam, and Korea, this mushroom does not have gills on its underside.

Instead, it’s classified as polypores, meaning that it releases spores through its pores. These mushrooms grow on tree stumps or can also be found on decaying wood. Referred to as saprotrophs, these mushrooms extract nutrients from the organic matter in which it’s growing on.

Based on their immense history throughout Asia, reishi mushrooms seem to be well tolerated in humans, however, further research is still required to better understand how safe they are for human consumption. Within traditional medicine, reishi has been used to promote and balance positive health.

By taking this mushroom, individuals are able to positively impact their glands and organs, enhancing vitality, while decreasing the risk of disease and combating fatigue. At this time, reishi is mainly being studied as an immune stimulant and as a supportive therapy option for cancer patients.

How Does Reishi Mushroom Target Symptoms of Cancer?

Being a plant, reishi offers phytonutrients which are nutrients found in plants. These phytonutrients are believed to support a number of health ailments, including cancer. More specifically, reishi mushroom provides beta-glucan polysaccharides and ganoderic acid triterpenoids.

By consuming these components, individuals experience vasodilation as their blood vessels expand. They also benefit from reishi’s antiviral, anti-inflammatory, renoprotective, and immunomodulatory properties. What is interesting, is that this mushroom has been shown to offer anti-tumor effects as well. This effect has been reported regarding both benign and malignant tumor cells.

When studied in mice, between 95 and 98 percent experienced positive effects, inhibiting sarcomas via reishi injections. Reishi extracts have also been shown to offer chemo-preventive properties, reducing the overall probability that new cancers will develop. Some of the other effects of this mushroom include:

  • Reducing nausea associated with chemotherapy
  • Improved efficacy of radiation therapies
  • Increasing the sensitivity of chemo drugs within ovarian cells
  • Improving nephrotoxicity and immune responses in cancer patients

Studies so far are promising, however, there is not enough evidence at this time, to say for certain that reishi mushroom can benefit cancer patients, replacing other treatment options. With that being said, when studied, reishi mushroom was shown to produce these effects:

  • Ganoderic acid, found in reishi mushrooms, have been shown to inhibit tumor development
  • Reishi has been shown to boost immune function
  • Reishi extract elevates antioxidants in plasma
  • Limits the proliferation of ovarian cancer cells
  • And more

Phytonutrients within Reishi

Reishi mushrooms contain various phytonutrients, which have been observed to fight against certain forms of cancer. Exhibiting low toxicity levels, making them ideal for the treatment of cancer. More specifically, reishi mushrooms contain lectins, adenosine, beta-glucan, polysaccharides, and other substances which exhibit anticancer effects.

Researchers believe that reishi’s anti-cancer effects are based on a number of mechanisms. These phytochemicals are believed to boost immune function, induce activity regarding antioxidants, and support tumor cell death. At this time, research continues, as scientists isolate chemicals within this mushroom, aiming to pinpoint it potential cancer-fighting effects.

Are There Any Side Effects of Reishi Mushroom?

For the most part, reishi mushrooms are well tolerated in humans. Based on their long history, very few side effects have actually been reported. In more cases, however, extreme toxicity has been correlated with reishi powder. When mild side effects are experienced, individual may report dry mouth, bloody noses, rashes, nausea, dry throat, and headaches.

When taking this mushroom, some individuals have experienced a drop in their blood glucose levels. Based on this effect, reishi mushroom isn’t recommended for those who have diabetes. This mushroom may also decrease overall blood pressure and is not recommended for anyone taking hypertension medications.

If you are currently taking anticoagulants or anti-platelet medications, you should not take reishi mushrooms. Also, pregnant individuals and nursing women should refrain from taking this supplement. The same is true for those who suffer from liver or kidney disease. If you have any questions, please speak with your healthcare provider.

The Many Uses of Velvet Bean Extract

Mucuna Pruriens Cowhage, more commonly known as velvet bean extract, has long been used within Ayurvedic medicine. Some sources report that this natural medicinal agent has been used throughout India since 1500-1000 BCE. Most commonly used to treat male infertility, nervous disorders, and a lack of libido, it offers numerous benefits.

Currently, velvet bean extract is used to boost mood, enhance sexual drive, and improve concentration levels. It is often taken within the athletic community, aiding in weight loss, the building of lean muscle mass, and enhanced energy levels. It’s also been said to have neuroprotective, antioxidant, antidiabetic, and anti-Parkinson’s properties.

These medicinal effects are based on velvet bean extract’s high concentration of L-dopa in the seeds of this plant. Since this is a precursor to dopamine, the neurotransmitter that is known to be a feel good hormone. Being used by both eastern and western doctors, L-dopa is a treatment for Parkinson’s. Research suggests that natural L-dopa is more effective than the synthetic version, yielding fewer side effects.

Velvet Bean Extract Info

Traditionally, velvet bean extract was used to support positive vitality and treat nervous disorders. It was also used to eliminate parasites and treat snake bites. As mentioned, it has also long been crushed into a powder and used for symptoms associated with Parkinson’s.

The seeds in the pod of velvet bean extract contain 3.6-4.3 percent L-dopa, which is a natural precursor to dopamine. Meaning, it helps synthesize dopamine naturally within the brain. Once it crosses the blood-brain barrier, L-dopa is converted into dopamine, increasing overall levels. This helps restore reduced levels, especially when dopamine concentrations are low due to issues converting tyrosine to L-dopa.

Parkinson’s is a degenerative condition in which the brain is no longer able to produce or properly use dopamine. Also aiding in muscle movements, a lack of dopamine often results in muscle tremors and poor coordination. Based on these effects, velvet bean extract has been shown to improve Parkinson’s symptoms across numerous studies.

Taking Velvet Bean Extract for Bodybuilding and Mood

Today, two of the most common uses of velvet bean extract include mood enhancement and bodybuilding. Bodybuilders often take this extract in order to boost energy levels, drive, and focus, allowing them to take part in a more intense workout.

When taking this supplement as a pre-workout stack, it’s believed to stimulate metabolic functioning by increasing dopamine levels. This extract is also known to increase lean muscle mass and reduce body fat. In most cases, however, the core focus has been on L-dopa in terms of effective weight loss as opposed to velvet bean extract.

When individuals exhibit low levels of energy, poor mood, and brain fog, this supplement has also been shown to produce positive effects. In terms of nootropic effects, velvet bean extract can also increase concentration levels and heighten alertness. Although velvet bean extract can temporarily raise dopamine levels short-term, long-term use may result in a tolerance forming.

Using Velvet Bean Extract for Symptoms of Diabetes

When tested, velvet bean extract has produced antidiabetic effects. It can reduce spikes in blood glucose levels for up to eight hours after a meal has been consumed. Once again, the efficacy of this effect will diminish over time.

Seven different doses have been tested, ranging from 5mg/kg and 100mg/kg of bodyweight. Results show a decrease in blood glucose levels, ranging from 18.6 percent to 55.4 percent. Supplementing with velvet bean extract long-term, seems to be more effective at reducing blood sugar fluctuations than short-term use.

This is especially true regarding symptoms of type 2 diabetes, as this supplement increases overall control. When symptoms of diabetes are better managed, individuals significantly reduce their risk of complications. When blood sugar levels spike often, this increases one’s risk of serious future complications, such as nerve damage, cardiovascular problems, and diminishing vision health.

When studied in rodents, doses of 5mg/kg of bodyweight were given over the course of twelve weeks. The results showed a decrease in blood glucose spikes by 55.3 percent following a meal. After just one week, there was already an 18.6 percent decrease. Within this study, diabetes was not a prerequisite, as these effects were also displayed in rats with normal health.

The Antioxidant Properties of Velvet Bean Extract

Velvet bean extract yields strong antioxidant effects. Since free radicals are generated in the body based on a number of factors and sources, these can cause significant damage to one’s health. As free radicals continue to be synthesized, individuals are at an increased risk for premature aging and negative health effects.

Numerous phytonutrients found within velvet bean extract are known to slow down oxidative damage. Phenolic acids, polyphenols, and flavonoids within velvet bean extract all play a role in reducing free radicals, such as hydro-peroxide and lipid peroxyl. Taking velvet bean extract can reduce overall damage, enhance positive health, and improve the look and feel of your skin.

Since skin is the largest organ, it is exposed to numerous agents which constantly attack it. These include UV radiation, smog, tobacco smoke, ozone, and more. All of these attacks promote oxidative stress, leading to various skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. While focusing on these skin disorders, velvet bean extract is highly promising.

Velvet Bean Offers Antivenom Properties

For thousands of years, velvet bean extract has been used when individuals suffer from a snake bite. Since snake bites often require specialized treatment, an antivenom is generally needed. Research has confirmed that the compounds in this extract, help to protect individuals against the effects of certain snake bites. These effects are triggered by specific chemicals, such as cytotoxins, cardiotoxins, and proteases.

Overall, velvet bean extract is a wholesome food source, offering medicinal properties and protein. It’s a source of numerous critical nutrients and is also a natural precursor to dopamine. When studied more closely, it’s been found that this supplement offers antidiabetic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects. When taken as recommended, it is generally viewed as safe and well-tolerated.

The Many Benefits of Krill Oil For Your Heart and Brain

We’re all familiar with the health benefits of fish, as it’s long been deemed brain food. When comparing krill and fish oil, however, there are some clear differences. Krill oil increases your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, significantly benefiting your heart and brain.

Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats which are often sourced from seafood, helping to regulate immune function, organ function, heart health, overall cholesterol and, of course, brain health. Acting as brain boosters, omega-3 fatty acids support the maintenance of cell membranes.

In turn, both memory and reasoning are strengthened. Acting as a strong antioxidant, krill oil is an excellent neuroprotective aspect of any diet. Let’s focus on some of the key benefits associated with krill oil, how it works to boost positive health, and why this supplement trumps standard fish oils.

What is Krill and What Does It Offer?

Omega-3 fatty acids are considered to be essential fats, as our bodies cannot produce them. In order to benefit from their effects, we need to consume them within our diet or through supplementation. Essential fats, such as linolenic acid, are compounds in which your body needs in order to regulate optimal cellular health.

These acids form complex omega-3 fatty acids, containing unsaturated fats, such as EPA and DHA. Using these acids, our bodies are able to maintain strong, healthy cell walls throughout the body. These acids have been linked to immunity, skin health, cardiovascular health, brain health, and more.

Although you will find omega-3 fatty acids in some plant-based foods, such as flax and walnuts, the best sources are found in fresh fish and other sea life. Among all the creatures in the sea, krill contains the highest concentrations. This shrimp-like crustacean is highly potent in omega-3, providing incredible benefits.

These crustaceans are so widely abundant, as well, representing the largest biomass on our planet. Although this is only an estimate, sources say that there may be as much as 500 million tons of krill across all oceans. Being a common source of food and nutrition, over 100,000 tons are harvested each year for consumption.

Based on its numbers and abundance, this species is not threatened by overfishing. At this time, it’s considering a renewable energy source, compared to other fish who’s numbers are becoming increasingly threatened.

Being less than five centimeters long, krill live in cold oceans, such as the Antarctic and Pacific. Throughout Asia, they’re a traditional food and also recently become a popular supplement based on cognitive enhancement. The oil that’s extracted from krill is sold worldwide as a powerful supplement, benefiting mental and physical health

How Does Krill Oil Reach the Brain?

After consumption, the omega-3 fatty acids found in krill are transported through the body. Both EPA and DHA cross the blood-brain barrier, where it becomes available for neuron walls. In turn, the vitality of cell membranes increases, making these walls more permeable. This positively impacts the transport of nutrients while supporting the removal of waste and toxins.

The key effect in the brain is that omega-3 enhances communication efficiency. Receptors become more responsive and synapses become more plastic, adapting to the brain’s changing needs. We know that DHA and EPA levels in krill oil benefit the brain, but phospholipids also yield antioxidant properties.

Since antioxidants help reduce free radical damage, brain cells are better protected. When oxidation occurs in the brain, this is when cellular function deteriorate and potential brain damage occurs. The key component found within these phospholipids is phosphatidylcholine, an essential nutrient for brain health

Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil, What’s the Difference?

So, why not just take fish oil? For many years, fish oil supplements were the only available source of omega-3 fatty acids. Capsules filled with fish oil from cold-water species were the only option. Although these supplements also yield benefits, the demand for krill oil has spiked based on two key differences.

For starters, krill oil has a higher antioxidant content than fish oil. Meaning, it’s superior when protecting the brain against age-related decay. This is especially true within the brain. Secondly, krill oil does not perish like fish oil does.

Over time, fish oil breaks down, producing harmful free radicals. When consuming these free radicals, you essentially counteract the purpose of supplementation in the first place. Krill oil lasts longer and is more versatile, offering high concentrations of vitamins A, E, and D.

What Are the Benefits of Krill Oil?

Krill oil is known for a range of benefits, including enhanced functioning throughout numerous systems. It has been shown to boost immune function, liver function, skin health, and promote circulation. Joints become more flexible and symptoms of arthritis are alleviated.

Not only does it lower cholesterol, but it yields strong anti-aging properties, protecting against decay associated with the aging process. Based on its skin benefits, visible signs of aging such as wrinkles, are reduced as well. It also acts as a natural mood booster, cognitive enhancer, and may be used as a potential treatment option for those with ADHD.

While focusing on the brain, krill oil not only protects brain health, but it protects neural tissue. In turn, better brain functioning is experienced, resulting in an increased attention span, heightened concentration, and higher memory functioning. Based on its mood-boosting effects, symptoms of depression and anxiety can also be reduced.

Taking Krill Oil Safely

When it comes to side effects of krill oil, the majority are not harmful. For instance, some individuals will experience fishy breath, fishy taste in mouth, or the aroma of fish in one’s sweat. These effects are more closely correlated with fish oil and are not generally reported when taking krill oil.

In some rare cases, individuals experience mild side effects, such as digestion issues and heartburn. If you have an allergy to shellfish, it’s important to speak with your doctor before use. At this time, krill oil doesn’t appear to antagonize a shellfish allergy, but it’s also best to maintain caution.

How Much Kill Oil Should I Take?

To achieve optimum health, consuming daily doses of krill oil will help you experience various health benefits. Daily doses ranging between 1000 and 2000 mg per day are often recommended. These amounts are approximately half the amount of regular fish oil when aiming to achieve similar effects.

Like any new supplement, start with the lowest doses. That way, you will better understand how krill oil affects your stomach. If you do not experience a sensitivity, you can gradually increase your daily dose. This oil can also be combined with other cognitive enhancers without decreasing overall efficacy or experiencing adverse effects.

The benefits of krill oil can take several weeks to surface which is why it’s recommended that you take this supplement for at least 4-6 weeks before discontinuing use. Utilizing this oil is a great way to achieve balance between your health and the natural resources in which we have access to.

Taking Milk Thistle Can Help Diabetics Better Control Their Blood Sugar

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the body’s ability to control glucose levels in the bloodstream. For those with type 1 diabetes, there’s a lack of insulin, whereas type 2 diabetes causes insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that’s secreted from the pancreas which helps move sugar from circulation into cells where it’s converted into energy.

For diabetics, glucose levels can become too high, damaging organs and other bodily tissues. This is what’s known as hyperglycemia. When levels become too low, on the other hand, this is what’s known as hypoglycemia and can be very dangerous. When diabetics do not control their blood sugar, they significantly increase their risk of heart, kidney, nerve, and eye complications.

Although insulin is required in most cases, researchers are looking for ways to better control blood glucose levels so that individuals do not experience these severe spikes and dips. One extract that has been well researched is milk thistle. What are the key benefits and how can it help diabetics?

The Connection Between Milk Thistle and Diabetic Symptoms

Milk thistle has long been used in order to treat a wide variety of health conditions, especially in terms of the gallbladder and liver. Known to most as a common weed, compounds in milk thistle offer antioxidants properties. In turn, this helps target inflammation and contribute to overall positive health.

The key health benefits associated with milk thistle are due to a flavonoid complex known as silymarin. This can be extracted through crushed seeds, yielding immense benefits. Silymarin is the biological active component of milk thistle, which is why these two names are used interchangeably.

This flavonoid complex is comprised of at least seven different compounds, including taxifolin, silydianin, and more. Since antioxidants are essential for reducing oxidative damage, this extract can significantly boost your health. What does this have to do with diabetes?

Well, researchers have made a significant connection between diabetes and oxidative stress. It’s believed that this type of stress on the body, damages the pancreas, promoting the onset of diabetes. Based on this idea, milk thistle, and other antioxidant-rich ingredients are being investigated in order to compliment traditional diabetes treatment plans.

How Does Milk Thistle Help?

Insulin resistance can be challenging to treat based on various contributing factors. This can be caused by age, lack of wellness, diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and more. Basically, any factor that affects one’s blood sugar, as well as that individual’s ability to use insulin, increases one’s risk.

In other cases, diabetes is caused by alcoholism, resulting in cirrhosis of the liver. Milk thistle has been used for many years for this purpose, protecting the liver against oxidative damage. By increasing antioxidant enzymes, catalase, superoxide, and glutathione, silymarin yields various positive effects.

Milk thistle is known to aid in blood glucose levels when used in conjunction with other treatment options. In a clinical trial that focused on a group of individuals with type-2 diabetes, it was found that those who received 200 mg of milk thistle three times daily in conjunction with their conventional treatment plan experienced multiple benefits.

Not only did their fasting blood sugar decrease, but the same was reported regarding hemoglobin, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Although these results are promising, the number of studies supporting these findings have been fairly small and more research needs to be conducted before it’s implemented into the medical industry.

Milk Thistle and Blood Glucose Levels

Milk thistle has been shown to offer positive effects in terms of stabilizing blood glucose levels while enhancing the liver’s ability to absorb higher concentrations of glucose. When excessive levels of glucose are in an individual’s bloodstream, this is when various symptoms begin to surface.

In the short-term, individuals experience symptoms such as confusion and weakness. Long-term, however, individuals experience issues with their vision, weight issues, retinopathy, increased risk of infections, low healing, and more.

Since milk thistle has the ability to regulate insulin levels in the blood, it’s believed that this supplement can also reduce weight gain. It can also reduce the potentially dangerous complications associated with undiagnosed diabetes, including ketoacidosis. This condition is very dangerous, as the body begins using fat for fuel, yielding a toxic effect on the central nervous system.

How Much Milk Thistle Should I Take?

You can source milk thistle in a variety of strengths and form when supplementing. The level of silymarin in milk thistle supplements varies between brands. Depending on the brand and the country of origin, the quality of ingredients will vary. If you’re currently taking milk thistle, it’s critical that you follow the package-specific instructions laid out by the manufacturer.

When aiming to treat symptoms of diabetes, information is limited regarding the most effective dose. The recommended dose tends to lie between 420 mg and 600 mg daily, divided into three doses. Before you begin taking this supplement, it’s important to speak with your physician regarding your current conditions and any medication you’re presently taking. Since this supplement can lower blood glucose levels in diabetics, your health practitioner will determine whether milk thistle is right for you.

 

 

 

 

Take Lactobacillus Fermentum For Positive Health

Found within the gastrointestinal tract, vagina, and mouth of mammals there are large colonies of bacteria. Lactobacillus fermentum is one of the species of bacteria, acting as a probiotic. This species of bacteria, along with others, are considered to be good bacteria.

Based on its probiotic properties, this species of bacteria supports optimal digestion, reduces respiratory illnesses, and can treat urogenital infections within females. Being a resilient form of bacteria, lactobacillus fermentum is able to survive in low pH environments such as the GI tract.

This species of bacteria is known to reduce cholesterol levels better than other bacteria species, with some strains of this probiotic offering antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Not only do they protect the body from food-related illness and reducing overall oxidative damage.

The Effects of Lactobacillus Fermentum

When studying women, a 2001 study confirmed that the RC-14 strain was able to effectively restore normal vaginal flora in 90 percent of participants. Based on these significant results, this strain was reclassified under the name Lactobacillus reuteri.

Lactobacillus fermentum could help lower inflammation which contributes to chronic fatigue and disease. As mentioned, it also has the ability to lower cholesterol by incorporating cholesterol into the cell membrane. Based on the way in which healthy bacteria influence immune function, taking this probiotic can contribute to more positive health overall

The Benefits of Lactobacillus Fermentum

This species of bacteria offers the body numerous probiotics properties and has been shown to be highly effective when aiming to restore a healthy balance of microflora. This is especially true regarding the female urogenital system. While focusing on this benefit, it’s been shown to restore the ratio between both unhealthy and healthy microbes within a three-to-four week period.

This is generally achieved through a combination of Lactobacillus fermentum tablets which are applied directly to the vaginal area while supplementing with probiotic pills. Based on all of the lactobacillus species, lactobacillus fermentum has the greatest ability to lower cholesterol levels.

At this time, more research is being conducted in order to identify this probiotic’s mechanism of action when targeting cholesterol levels. Although this is not yet fully understood, lactobacillus fermentum is already being used in some parts of the world, yielding positive results.

What Are Some of the Overall Effects of Probiotics?

The average adult generally has over three pounds of bacteria inside their body at any given time. There are bacteria living in your mouth, in your intestinal tract, your urogenital tract, and even on your skin. Bacteria are everywhere and not all bacteria are bad. In fact, you need some good bacteria in order to maintain your health.

When the balance between good and bad bacteria isn’t right, your immune system will begin to suffer. This is when diseases are able to thrive. Today, we have access to antibiotics in order to treat infections. Although highly effective, these antibiotics wipe out all microbes, good and bad. This is why some doctors will also prescribe a probiotic in order to regain balance.

When consuming probiotics, you benefit your health in a number of ways. First, probiotics help convert carbs into other chemical compounds. The goal here is to maintain a low pH within your gut. In this environment, healthy bacteria flourish while bad bacteria die off.

It’s also been shown that the more healthy bacteria, the healthier intestinal walls are. For some conditions, such as leaky gut syndrome, the lining of the intestinal walls becomes less permeable. If you experience any inflammation, for instance, you will experience a wide range of health complications.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Based on the positive properties of probiotics, lactobacillus fermentum is generally safe for the majority of people. With all supplements or medication, it’s important to discuss details with your doctor before adding a probiotic to your regular routine. Based on the possibility that it could decrease the effectiveness of antibiotics, this is an area of concern for some.

Since some transferable resistance genes are a possibility, it could produce undesirable effects, decreasing the effect of antibiotics in the future. Studies have focused on at least ten different antibiotics in terms of resistance. These patterns in resistance were observed in both tetracycline and vancomycin.

Based on these findings, it’s not recommended that you take this probiotic when taking antibiotics. Also, do not take this probiotic for extended periods of time. Overall antibiotics resistance can be very dangerous in terms of human health.

How Much Lactobacillus Do I Take?

Often added to various food products, particularly dairy products, lactobacillus fermentum can be consumed on a daily basis. The problem is, it’s impossible to know which strain was used and if the colony count is as accurate as its displayed on the label. If you do not consume enough, you will not experience the desired impact in which you’re aiming for.

Supplementing with lactobacillus fermentum ensures a standardized dose which can be purchased in capsule, tablet, or powder form. Look at the strain when purchasing this supplement in order to achieve the best results. For women, the RC-14 strain is extremely helpful in balance vaginal microflora.

If you want to take this probiotic based on its antimicrobial or antioxidant properties, then the ME-3 strain is what you’ll want. If the manufacturer you’re purchasing from is legit and knowledgeable, they will state this information or provide it to you upon request. Always refer to the ingredient list before purchasing.

Memory Pills for Students and Dementia Patients

Although many seniors are looking to sharpen their memory, they’re not the only group who are aiming to boost cognitive functioning. Based on heavy workloads and studying, students are also highly interested in various memory pills and supplements. What are the most effective memory pills for both of these groups?

Whether a family member has been diagnosed with dementia or you’re looking to gain an upper edge in order to remember details when studying, there are supplements to assist you. Not only do these supplements prevent memory loss, but they also help you feel sharper within day-to-day activities.

Our brains are highly complex, made up of a chemical and physical network that reacts, communicating with various areas. When taking dietary supplements, you can naturally enhance these reactions and overall functioning. In fact, many recommend that you implement some form of natural brain supplement into your daily routine. In order to explore your options and come more aware of what’s available, let’s compare some of the memory pills currently available.

What Are the Top Memory Pills?

While focusing on memory enhancement, there’s no doubt that a cholinergic is the best choice. This category is made up of organic compounds which offer a rich source of choline. Being an essential nutrient, choline helps facilitate neuron signalling. Amazingly, it also has anti-inflammatory properties, prevents atherosclerosis, and reduces one’s risk of liver disease.

While focusing on the central nervous system, choline produces acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter responsible for cognitive functioning, including both short and long-term memory. In order to boost acetylcholine levels, the only effective way to do so is by taking a choline supplement.

When deficient in this chemical, individuals experience brain fog and a lack of focus. When experienced long-term, low levels of both choline and acetylcholine can lead to brain impairments. The most common cholinergics include Alpha GPC and CDP Choline.

Drugs That Enhance Memory

Although the idea that smart pills could boost intelligence and cognitive ability, seems a bit odd, modern pharmacology offers pills in which create some incredible effects. Compounds such as Modafinil, as well as its precursor Adrafinil both elevates one’s mental focus and significantly boosts learning ability.

When studied in recent trials, patients who were given these types of drugs, performed better within memory tests in comparison to a placebo group. By stimulating catecholamine hormones, these drugs are being used within colleges, universities, businesses, and in a wide range of other professional locations.

There are also a number of drugs currently being used in order to treat memory loss and the signs and symptoms associated with dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, affecting millions across the globe. Memory supplements are gaining traction and if you believe that you would benefit from memory-loss support, speak to your doctor regarding your situation and which supplements may be right for you.

Various drugs, such as Tacrine and Donepezil, are cholinesterase inhibitors, meaning they prevent excessively low levels of acetylcholine, countering the enzyme in which breaks this chemical down. A prime example of a non-pharmaceutical cholinesterase inhibitor is Huperzine A. This supplement is often taken within the memory stack known as Alpha Brain, offering many positive benefits on memory.

Natural Nutrients Which Boost Memory

Natural nutrients are known to promote many positive functions in the body. This category of supplements are derived from organic plant and food sources, hence the term natural. If you are trying to avoid pharmaceutical drugs based on side effects or possible interactions, these memory pills may be what you’re looking for. They boost memory, without producing the associated side effects.

A classic example is Gingko Biloba, extracted from an ancient Chinese tree. This natural supplement is perhaps the most well-known, however, researchers are still trying to pinpoint exactly how it works. Other natural supplements, such as Vinpocetine, a plant alkaloid which delivers memory-enhancing effects, boosts circulation in the brain.

Another less well-known option is Forskolin, naturally improving memory formation. This supplement stimulates cAMP levels, assisting in synaptic pathways. While focusing on long-term potentiation, also known as long-term memory storage, this is critical. Often paired with artichoke extract, this combination improves this process even further.

Taking Advantage of Memory Stacks

Often, the best memory effects can be achieved when combining various supplements together. This is what’s known as a stack and when combined, various supplements yield synergistic effects. The most well-known and best-selling stack is Alpha Brain. It offers users memory vitamins that enhance both choline and acetylcholine.

This stack creates ideal conditions in the brain, allowing users to improve concentration, learning, memory formation, and overall cognitive health. With ingredients such as Huperzine A, Bacopa Monnieri, AC-11, Tyrosine, Vitamin B6, Oat Straws, and more, this stack can help individuals accomplish more in terms of cognitive functioning.

These ingredients help target circulation in the brain, reduce stress levels which hinder cognition, and encourage the growth of neural structures in relation to memory. Another option is CILTEP, which includes ingredients such as Forskolin, Artichoke Extract, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, and more.

Should I Take a Memory Pill?

While focusing on cognitive health, the key to enhanced and stable memory function is protecting your brain. Not being able to remember, threatens your identity and who you are as a person. You need to protect your neural health, offering support in order to maintain memory and logical reasoning.

If you take a daily memory supplement which includes some of the compounds discussed above, you can essentially improve memory while you protect your future brain health. You do not need to be experiencing symptoms of memory loss in order to benefit. Also, memory pills do not need to cost a lot, however, they can make a big impact in your life.

Is It Safe to Combine Valerian Root and Alcohol?

If you’re currently taking valerian root pills, it may be due to a number of reasons. For most, valerian root helps them relax, yielding sedative effects so that they’re better able to sleep. Although these pills can be highly beneficial to these users, there are certain substances that can interfere with the effectiveness of this supplement.

In some cases, herbal supplements amplify sedative effects. There are also various anti-anxiety medications, such as benzodiazepines that should be avoided based on possible interactions. Lastly, alcohol should not be combined with valerian root. Although you may enjoy a nightcap to try and sleep, when combined with valerian root, you can experience some potentially negative effects.

Since both valerian root and alcohol stimulate GABA receptors, relaxation, and sedative effects are amplified. This can cause excess sedation, yielding various adverse effects when taken in high doses. Let’s explore this possible interaction so that you not only benefit from valerian root but reduce your risk of side effects.

How Does Valerian Root Work?

Valerian supplements contain a number of natural extracts from the valerian plant, mainly the root. Being used throughout history, dating back centuries, this root yields many beneficial effects. Over recent years, this supplement has grown in popularity throughout Europe and the United States.

Today, individuals typically take this root in order to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety while enhancing their ability to sleep. Acting as a mild sedative, valerian is generally well tolerated, yielding few adverse effects. In terms of how it works, you need to understand a key neurotransmitter, GABA.

When taking valerian root, GABA levels increase in the brain. This brain chemical, formerly known as gamma-aminobutyric acid, is a neurotransmitter that better controls signaling between neurons. Acting as an inhibitor, GABA reduces excessive stimulation, balancing excitatory signals.

In order to prevent anxiety, we need GABA to help calm our minds. Also, when we’re preparing to sleep, GABA helps to calm the mind. It is believed that those who suffer from anxiety disorders, panic attacks, insomnia, and even ADHD, are lacking enough GABA. Although the exact mechanism of action isn’t fully understood, research suggests that valerian helps to target GABA deficiencies.

It’s believed that when users take valerian, they inhibit the breakdown of GABA after being released from neurons. It may also encourage stimulation in the brain, resulting in the release of more GABA. In turn, individuals are able to reduce symptoms of anxiety and fall asleep more rapidly at the end of the day.

How Does Alcohol Affect Valerian Root?

As mentioned, there’s a strong correlation between alcohol and valerian. Since alcohol creates sedative effects, depressing the central nervous system, these effects will be amplified when taken with valerian root. When studied, alcohol was shown to stimulate a subtype of receptors, affecting GABA.

Like valerian, alcohol makes users feel relaxed, less stressed, and less prone to instances of social anxiety. I’m sure everyone can relate, as a couple glasses of wine can make you more sociable. Although small increases in GABA will produce desirable effects, excessive levels can have a negative impact.

When consuming too much alcohol, the effects lead to memory loss, impaired thinking, reduced impulse control, and significant drowsiness. When consumed in excessive amounts, this is when the central nervous system becomes affected. The ability to breath can become impaired, leading to respiratory depression or alcohol poisoning.

For some individuals, combining both alcohol and valerian root in low doses may not cause side effects, however, everyone’s sensitivity levels will be different. Since it’s tough to gauge how each individual person will react to this combination, it’s best to abstain for alcohol when taking valerian.

Even if you do not experience significant adverse effects when combining alcohol and valerian, at the very least, your tolerance to alcohol will be diminished. This means that you should not be taking part in any activities, such as driving or operating machinery, which could put your life or other lives at risk.

What Are Some of the Risk Factors Involved?

Unfortunately, some individuals take both alcohol and valerian in order to experience a euphoric high. What they don’t realize, is that they’re placing their health at-risk. In some cases, alcohol can enhance the issues you’re aiming to treat with valerian in the first place.

Although many associate alcohol with having a good night’s rest, the reality is that alcohol negatively affects sleeping patterns. Some studies have shown that sleeping while under the influence of alcohol is not as relaxing as normal sleep. As you sleep, your body works hard to remove toxins and perform vital body maintenance.

When you’re fast asleep due to heavy alcohol consumption, your body is working hard to eliminate this substance and reduce the potentially damaging effects. By targeting alcohol in your system, your body will not have time to address other essential maintenance tasks.

While undergoing neurological testing, it’s been shown that certain parts of the brain become activated in order to process memories. When sleeping and individuals are under the influence of alcohol, these key areas involved in memory consolidation do not become active.

Based on these effects, alcohol may not only produce potentially harmful effects but actually worsen symptoms of both insomnia and anxiety while increasing one’s risk of addiction. Regardless of valerian intake, excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided.

Many healthcare providers are in agreeance that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a number of health issues and diseases, both mental and physical. Risk factors such as high blood pressure, depression, and addiction are all linked to heavy alcohol use.

If you are going to drink alcohol, consume in moderation and drink plenty of water to support hydration. If valerian root can target symptoms of insomnia and anxiety, this is the preferred choice over alcohol. Within the United States, the FDA has deemed valerian root to be safe and well-tolerated. Side effects are mild and rare.

When side effects are experienced, it’s generally due to excess doses or the combination of drugs and GABA pathways. As mentioned above, alcohol stimulates GABA receptors and based on decreased tolerance and excess sedation, combining alcohol and valerian are not recommended.

Different Species of Ginseng, What’s the Difference?

Ginseng has long been used throughout history based on its beneficial properties, but did you know that there are varying species? The difference between Asian and American ginseng is worth mentioning, even though both significantly boost the health of those who use it. It is known as a normalizing agent, positively affecting numerous body systems at once.

Used for thousands of years throughout Korea, Asian ginseng differs from American ginseng, which originates from North America and was utilized for hundreds of years by native Americans. Both of these species yield medicinal properties and are still used in order to both treat and prevent various ailments. Although sharing the same name, Siberian ginseng isn’t botanically related to American and Asian ginseng.

With that being said, Siberian ginseng also produces health benefits. Across these three species, benefits are still being uncovered as research continues. So far, researchers have reported anticancer, cardioprotective, antioxidant, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, adaptogenic, and hormone-balancing properties

The Effects of Asian Ginseng

Panax Ginseng, commonly known as Asian ginseng, is also often referred to as Korean ginseng. More specifically, Korean red ginseng is said to contain higher concentrations of beneficial phytonutrients than Asian ginseng sourced from other locations. Offering numerous bioactive components, Asian ginseng contains ginsenosides, as well as vitamins, flavonoids, minerals, polysaccharides, and peptidoglycans.

By consuming Asian ginseng, users are able to prevent and treat various health conditions, including poor immune function, poor cognitive functioning, reduced stamina, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, bronchitis, and more. In some studies, it has also been shown to act as a preventative measure against the development of breast, liver, lung, skin, and ovarian cancer.

In terms of Asian ginseng’s effects, there’s also evidence supporting the ways in which it benefits heart disease, infertility, diabetes, fever, headache, HIV, asthma, COPD, menopause, convulsions, vomiting, dizziness, and more.

Many are also benefiting from Asian ginseng tea, as this natural product promotes weight loss and enhance energy levels. Once again, this tea offers users high concentrations of ginsenosides, which are sourced from the root of this plant. These compounds support the body’s resistance to various forms of stress. It can also be used as a tonic, promoting positive well-being.

The Effects of American Ginseng

Both American and Asian ginseng share similar effects, both contributing to positive health. They both contain the same components are used for similar purposes, as recommended by naturopathic doctors. Both of these ginsengs are considered to be an adaptogen, naturally combatting the effects of various stressors. American ginseng is also known to be a diuretic and stimulant.

Taken orally, this supplement is known to help manage symptoms of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, anemia, erectile dysfunction, hangovers, ADHD, swine flu, AIDS, HIV, poor immune function, hypertension, and fatigue in relation to cancer.

Other significant effects and benefits include American ginseng’s ability to reduce signs of aging, prevent respiratory illness, improve menopause symptoms, stimulate low cognitive functioning, reduce one’s risk of breast cancer, atherosclerosis, blood clots, and more.

What About Siberian Ginseng?

As mentioned, Siberian ginseng is not the same as American and Asian ginseng. In fact, it’s not even a true form of ginseng at all. This supplement has received this name, based on the ways in which it influences the health of its users. This supplement is actually derived from a woody shrub which is native to China, Korea, Russia, and Japan.

Siberian ginseng offers numerous effects and properties, including antidiabetic, adaptogenic, cardioprotective, cognition-enhancing, and immunomodulatory. Commonly used to treat increasing stress levels, high blood pressure, arterial plaque, insomnia, heart disease, tuberculosis, and neurosis, this supplement offers a wide range of benefits. It is also being used to treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s, herpes, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.

What Are the Side Effects Associated with Ginseng?

Before taking any new supplement, it’s important to understand the potential side effects involved. While focusing on healthy individuals, Asian, Siberian, and American ginsengs appear to cause minimal adverse effects. These ginsengs have been used as a food source by millions across the globe.

Suffering from related side effects is uncommon and adverse effects are experienced, they tend to be minor and short-lived. Since these supplements normalize health effects, they may not be suitable regarding certain medicinal agents. If you are currently taking any medications or herbs, interactions may result. This is why it’s important to discuss your options with a healthcare provider.

In general, it’s not recommended that you stack ginseng supplements with any herbs or medications which target symptoms of diabetes, clotting disorders, hypertension, cancer, heart disease, and liver disease. If you are taking any medications which alter immune function, you should also be cautious.

It’s important to note that although these ginsengs have been used for many years, their benefits and health claims are not proven within clinical trials. These supplements have been linked to a number of therapeutic uses and research will need to continue in order to either prove or disprove these experiences. In order to ensure that this supplement is right for you, seeking a professional opinion is strongly advised.

 

 

 

 

Enhancing Athletic Performance with Horny Goat Weed

If you have been aiming to improve libido, you may have heard of horny goat weed. This plant plays a role within traditional Chinese medicine, based on its ability to enhance one’s sex life. Horny goat weed is actually made up of 15 different species, within a genus that contains overs 60 unique plant species. Of these plants, only some possess medicinal properties.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, the benefits of horny goat weed have been known for thousands of years. It is referred to as ying yang huo, treating conditions where individuals have a yang deficiency. Since yang balances ying, horny goat weed is used to correct this imbalance. Some of the conditions in which horny goat weed targets, include impotence, poor circulation, lower back pain, and low libido.

Within the United States, horny goat weed is mainly used to treat sexual issues, as this supplement aims to correct low libido and sexual dysfunction. Although this is what it’s known for, it’s also gaining traction within the athletic community. If you’re an athlete, you know that training can be challenging. Based on horny goat weed’s ability to stimulate the production of nitric oxide, horny goat weed is benefiting both strength-training athletes and bodybuilders.

What Is Horny Goat Weed Generally Used For?

One of the most common uses for horny goat weed is treating erectile dysfunction. When men are sexually healthy, their brain is able to trigger the release of nitric oxide when aroused. Once released, this chemical compound widens blood vessels, enhancing circulation. In turn, the penis is filled with blood and becomes erect.

For those who experience erectile dysfunction, horny goat weed is often used to improve functioning. Although there is little clinical evidence to support this, advocates of this supplement support the notion that it improves one’s sexual dysfunction. Based on these reports, many continue to take horny goat weed in order to boost libido and reduce undesired symptoms relating to sexual ability.

What Does the Research Say?

Although there’s a lack of clinical evidence, some of the key components within horny goat weed have been linked to improved sexual functioning. More specifically, horny goat weed contains a flavonoid known as icariin. This nutrient is actually a PDE5 inhibitor, which is popular within sexual enhancement drugs.

PDE5 is a substance in which restricts blood flow, not allowing blood to reach the corpus cavernosum of the penis. In turn, individuals struggle to become erect. When taking synthetic drugs that correct this issue, they contain a PDE5 inhibitor.

When comparing icariin, as found in horny goat weed, it’s been reported that it is far superior to the synthetic PDE5 inhibitors found on the market today. The icariin from horny goat weed is associated with a greater circulation of testosterone. This hormone is, of course, critical for male sexual function and is closely linked to a man’s libido.

Horny Goat Weed and Athletic Performance

When aiming to improve performance and fitness levels, many athletes and bodybuilders are turning to horny goat weed. Based in its high concentration of icariin, horny goat weed is able to increase the production of nitric oxide in the body. This compound causes the lining of the blood vessels to both relax and expand. Once expanded, blood flow increases without spiking one’s blood pressure.

Since enhanced blood flow delivers more nutrients, hormones, oxygen, and proteins to muscles, this helps to support growth and overall recovery. Based on these effects, strength athletes often use horny goat weed supplements to promote muscle size and strength, while decreasing the overall time one’s muscles need to heal, especially after a strenuous workout.

What Else Does Horny Weed Benefit?

Once again, there’s a lack of clinical evidence regarding this plant, even though it has been used for centuries. Although scientific evidence is lacking regarding the wide array of horny goat weed benefits, many effects are reported and rooted within traditional Chinese medicine. Also, research is ongoing, continually uncovering new information. Currently, horny goat weed has been said to:

  • Improve symptoms of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis
  • Reduce general joint pain
  • Reduce bone degeneration, especially along the spine and hips within postmenopausal women
  • Help support the treatment of heart and liver disease
  • Lower blood pressure, aiding in symptoms of hypertension
  • Display a reduction in mental and physical fatigue
  • Reduce symptoms of bronchitis
  • Prevent memory loss
  • Fight viral infections

How Safe Is Horny Goat Weed?

When taken properly, horny goat weed is not generally associated with any side effects. With that being said, this plant should not be used in excess, as this weed is known to damage the body’s ying. This can lead to symptoms such as dizziness. As long as you take the recommended dose, horny goat weed is well-tolerated.

It’s important to note that some of the properties of horny goat weed, make it ill-suited for some groups of people. For instance, pregnant and nursing women should not be taking this supplement. Also, horny goat weed has been shown to affect one’s platelets, meaning that blood will not clot as quickly. For those that are scheduled to have surgery or suffer from any blood or clotting disorders, should also avoid use.

Last, horny goat week can impact hormone levels, especially those who suffer from hormone-sensitive cancers, such as uterine or breast. If you have any concerns or are currently suffering from any health complications, it’s important to speak with your doctor.