Tuesday, 24 January 2017

COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

What Is COPD

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis. This disease is characterized by increasing breathlessness.
Many people mistake their increased breathlessness and coughing as a normal part of aging. In the early stages of the disease, you may not notice the symptoms. COPD can develop for years without noticeable shortness of breath. You begin to see the symptoms in the more developed stages of the disease. That’s why it is important that you talk to your doctor as soon as you notice any of these symptoms. Ask your doctor about taking a spirometry test.

What are the signs and symptoms of COPD?

  • Increased breathlessness
  • Frequent coughing (with and without sputum)
  • Wheezing
  • Tightness in the chest

How common is COPD?

COPD affects an estimated 30 million individuals in the U.S., and over half of them have symptoms of COPD and do not know it. Early screening can identify COPD before major loss of lung function occurs.

What are the risk factors and common causes of COPD?

Most cases of COPD are caused by inhaling pollutants; that includes smoking (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, etc.), and second-hand smoke.
Fumes, chemicals and dust found in many work environments are contributing factors for many individuals who develop COPD.
Genetics can also play a role in an individual’s development of COPD—even if the person has never smoked or has ever been exposed to strong lung irritants in the workplace.
Here is more information on the top three risk factors for developing COPD:


COPD most often occurs in people 40 years of age and older who have a history of smoking. These may be individuals who are current or former smokers. While not everybody who smokes gets COPD, most of the individuals who have COPD (about 90% of them) have smoked.

Environmental Factors

COPD can also occur in those who have had long-term contact with harmful pollutants in the workplace. Some of these harmful lung irritants include certain chemicals, dust, or fumes. Heavy or long-term contact with secondhand smoke or other lung irritants in the home, such as organic cooking fuel, may also cause COPD.

Genetic Factors

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary (PULL-mun-ary) disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. "Progressive" means the disease gets worse over time.
COPD can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus (a slimy substance), wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms.
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants—such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust—also may contribute to COPD.


To understand COPD, it helps to understand how the lungs work. The air that you breathe goes down your windpipe into tubes in your lungs called bronchial (BRONG-ke-al) tubes or airways.
Within the lungs, your bronchial tubes branch into thousands of smaller, thinner tubes called bronchioles (BRONG-ke-ols). These tubes end in bunches of tiny round air sacs called alveoli (al-VEE-uhl-eye).
Small blood vessels called capillaries (KAP-ih-lare-ees) run through the walls of the air sacs. When air reaches the air sacs, oxygen passes through the air sac walls into the blood in the capillaries. At the same time, carbon dioxide (a waste gas) moves from the capillaries into the air sacs. This process is called gas exchange.
The airways and air sacs are elastic (stretchy). When you breathe in, each air sac fills up with air like a small balloon. When you breathe out, the air sacs deflate and the air goes out.
In COPD, less air flows in and out of the airways because of one or more of the following:
  • The airways and air sacs lose their elastic quality.
  • The walls between many of the air sacs are destroyed.
  • The walls of the airways become thick and inflamed.
  • The airways make more mucus than usual, which can clog them.

Kidney stones

Kidney stones 
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 ? What is a kidney stone

A kidney stone is a hard, crystalline mineral material formed within the kidney or urinary tract. Kidney stones are a common cause of blood in the urine (hematouria) and often severe pain in the abdomen, flank, or groin. Kidney stones are sometimes called renal calculi.
The condition of having kidney stones is termed nephrolithiasis. Having stones at any location in the urinary tract is referred to as urolithiasis, and the term ureterolithiasis is used to refer to stones located in the ureters.
Kidney stones (renal Lithuanians, pyelonephritis) are small, hard mineral deposits that form inside your kidneys. The stones are made of mineral and acid salts.
Kidney stones have many causes and can affect any part of your urinary tract — from your kidneys to your bladder. Often, stones form when the urine becomes concentrated, allowing minerals to crystallize and stick together.
Passing kidney stones can be quite painful, but the stones usually cause no permanent damage. Depending on your situation, you may need nothing more than to take pain medication and drink lots of water to pass a kidney stone. In other instances — for example, if stones become lodged in the urinary tract or cause complications — surgery may be needed.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Benefits of Sagebrush

SAGE BRUSH, Artemisia tridentate

One day, when I was traveling across those broad, barren valleys of Nevada where all you can see is sagebrush, someone had put up a sign that read, “Free sagebrush, put some in your trunk and take it home with you.” You guessed it, there were no takers. However, if folks really knew just how good and useful sagebrush can be, there might have been cars parked along the road, with people picking sagebrush.

Now, sagebrush is not to be confused with garden sage. Although they both smell similar and have some of the same properties, they don’t even have the same genus or common ancestry, that is, according to some authorities. However, there are some who feel that there is a close tie between these two plants.

Sagebrush comes from the wormwood genus Artemisia which belongs to the Compositate family. This family has approximately 180 different species in it. History says that the word Artemisia comes from the word Artemis which was the Greek name for the great Diana, who used this herb to heal the sick.

Sagebrush is easy to identify. The most common species of sagebrush is tridentate, or three teeth. The leaf is about an inch or an inch and a half in length and a quarter of an inch wide, with three lobes on one end looking like three teeth. A lady I know calls this herb “bunny foot” because it looks like a long bunny foot with three toes. The leaf is silvery gray and covered with fine hairs. Veins run from the base of the leaf to the tip of each lobe. The flowers are small, round, silver-gray balls that grow off of an extended stem above the plant.

Sagebrush has many uses. It is very good all-around bitter tonic. It is an excellent tonic for the stomach and a digestant aid. As a diaphoretic, it will stimulate sweating in dry fevers. As a vermifuge, it will help to expel intestinal worms. As a emmenagogue it helps to suppress cramping, regulate the menstrual cycle and settle frayed nerves. It has also been used by the Native Indians as an agent to fight cancer.

One time when I was living with the Indians, I asked the Chief’s wife about sagebrush. She told me about a favorite dog sha had that had gotten sick. She said the dog had laid around for two or three days and that the dog wouldn’t move. She told me she was sure the dog would die that day and them she was inspired to gather a lot of sagebrush and put it in a wash tub of real hot water. When the water cooled down enough, she carried the dog to the tub and put him in it. She propped his head up on the side of the tub, and the dog just laid there. She checked him every little while, but the dog didn’t move. She said she was sure she would lose him. Just before dark an old truck drove past their place. She heard a dog barking and chasing the truck. She looked out and the sick dog was now well enough to chase that old noisy truck, thanks to sagebrush.

I also know of a doctor who had a tumor partially removed from her brain. She was told by her fellow doctors, who had operated on her that she had less than six months to live, so she had better get her affairs in order. Later on, she was told by a friend that herbs would help her but she would also have to change her diet from meat to a diet of fruits and vegetables. She was also told that she should get the stress out of her life and that she should drink sagebrush and chaparral tea every day. She stopped eating meat and started to drink sagebrush and chaparral tea. When the six months came around and she should have been dead, she was almost all well. Maybe the Lord knew what he was doing when He made so much sagebrush and chaparral. They are free, very accessible and about the best blood cleansers you can get.

Ginger: Health Benefits and Nutritional Information

Ginger: Health Benefits and Nutritional Information
Ginger is among the healthiest (and most delicious) spices on the planet.
It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.
Here are 11 health benefits of ginger that are supported by scientific research.

1. Ginger Contains Gingerol, a Substance With Powerful Medicinal Properties

Ginger is a flowering plant that originated from China.
It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and is closely related to turmeric, cardomon and galangal.
The rhizome (underground part of the stem) is the part commonly used as a spice. It is often called ginger root, or simply ginger.
Ginger has a very long history of use in various forms of traditional/alternative medicine. It has been used to help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold, to name a few.
This is what ground, fresh and sliced ginger looks like:
Fresh, Sliced and Ground Ginger
Ginger can be used fresh, dried, powdered, or as an oil or juice, and is sometimes added to processed foods and cosmetics. It is a very common ingredient in recipes.
The unique fragrance and flavor of ginger come from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol.
Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects (1).
Bottom Line: Ginger is a popular spice. It is high in gingerol, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

2. Ginger Can Treat Many Forms of Nausea, Especially Morning Sickness

Fresh Ginger
Ginger appears to be highly effective against nausea (2).
For example, it has a long history of use as a sea sickness remedy, and there is some evidence that it may be as effective as prescription medication (3).
Ginger may also relieve nausea and vomiting after surgery, and in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy (45).
But it may be the most effective when it comes to pregnancy-related nausea, such asmorning sickness.
According to a review of 12 studies that included a total of 1,278 pregnant women, 1.1-1.5 grams of ginger can significantly reduce symptoms of nausea (6).
However, ginger had no effect on vomiting episodes in this study.
Although ginger is considered safe, talk to your doctor before taking large amounts if you are pregnant. Some believe that large amounts can raise the risk of miscarriage, but there are currently no studies to support this.
Bottom Line: 1-1.5 grams of ginger can help prevent various types of nausea. This applies to sea sickness, chemotherapy-related nausea, nausea after surgery and morning sickness.

3. Ginger May Reduce Muscle Pain and Soreness

Ginger has been shown to be effective against exercise-induced muscle pain.
In one study, consuming 2 grams of ginger per day, for 11 days, significantly reduced muscle pain in people performing elbow exercises (7).
Ginger does not have an immediate impact, but may be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain (8).
These effects are believed to be mediated by the anti-inflammatory properties.
Bottom Line: Ginger appears to be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain, and may reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness.

4. The Anti-Inflammatory Effects Can Help With Osteoarthritis

Fresh and Sliced Ginger
Osteoarthritis is a common health problem.
It involves degeneration of the joints in the body, leading to symptoms like joint pain and stiffness.
In a controlled trial of 247 people with osteoarthritis of the knee, those who took ginger extract had less pain and required less pain medication (9).
Another study found that a combination of ginger, mastic, cinnamon and sesame oil, can reduce pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis patients when applied topically (10).
Bottom Line: There are some studies showing ginger to be effective at reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis, which is a very common health problem.

5. Ginger May Drastically Lower Blood Sugars and Improve Heart Disease Risk Factors

This area of research is relatively new, but ginger may have powerful anti-diabetic properties.
In a recent 2015 study of 41 participants with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams of ginger powder per day lowered fasting blood sugar by 12% (11).
It also dramatically improved HbA1c (a marker for long-term blood sugar levels), leading to a 10% reduction over a period of 12 weeks.
There was also a 28% reduction in the ApoB/ApoA-I ratio, and a 23% reduction in markers for oxidized lipoproteins. These are both major risk factors for heart disease.
This graph shows what happened:
Khandouzi, et al - 2015
Photo Source: Suppversity.

However, keep in mind that this was just one small study. The results are incredibly impressive, but they need to be confirmed in larger studies before any recommendations can be made.