8 Reasons Licorice Root Is Going to Be Big in 2022

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Licorice root has been used throughout history and is extremely beneficial to the human body. Over the years, it has been studied and its effects have been observed, to give people an accurate idea of how the herb can help.

What is Licorice Root?

 Licorice root is an herb from the Mediterranean that has been used for its medicinal benefits from ancient times. It is extremely sweet, containing glycyrrhizin, which can be up to 50 times sweeter than sugar. Thus, the candy licorice, takes its name from the root known for its sweetness and medicinal benefits.

In the ancient world, it was used for the treatment of coughs, asthma, inflammation, and mucous membrane irritation. Documented use took place in Greece, China, Arabia, India, and more, making it a common treatment in history. In fact, licorice root was used as an ingredient in practically every herbal treatment in China, due to its ability to support and boost the effects of other herbs.

Today, people continue to use licorice root for multiple reasons. Having been used and promoted as an effective treatment option for centuries, people all over the world have discovered the natural gem that licorice root is.

What are the Benefits?

 Users and studies have claimed abundant benefits when it comes to licorice root. Take a look at some of the most common health benefits of this ancient perennial herb:

  • Helps with cold symptoms (coughs, sore throats)

 One of the most common uses of licorice root is for help with colds and cold symptoms. For centuries, it has been used to reduce congestion that is associated with colds and coughs. Its help lies in its ability to loosen phlegm, expel it from the lungs, and provide a soothing sensation for the irritation of mucous membranes.

  • Supports the digestive system and helps with acid reflux

It has been proven to be an effective aid in digestion. It also helps relieve acid reflux due to its ability to soothe the irritation and inflammation that occurs in the digestive tract.

Other negative effects of digestion issues, such as gas, bloating, and upset stomach, can be reduced, or eliminated with the use of licorice root. The extract of licorice root, combined with extracts from other herbs, has also been found to relieve other digestive issues such as vomiting and indigestion.

  • Stomach ulcer relief

Stomach ulcers are caused by the H. Pylori bacteria. Due to the antibacterial properties found in licorice root, it has been used as treatment and relief for those who suffer from stomach ulcers.

  • Anti-inflammatory properties that support the immune system

It contains compounds that assist in the regulation of T cell induction, which has a major role in immune response. The anti-inflammatory properties of licorice root assist the immune system, aiding in the fight against illness and other immunosuppressed conditions.

  • Helps fight viral infections

 There are anti-viral properties in licorice root that have the potential to fight against influenza, hepatitis, SARS, herpes, and other infections. From a research standpoint, more studies could make them an integral part of healing illness.

  • Constipation relief

 This root works as a natural laxative, helping the colon contract to move waste through. Anyone suffering from constipation could potentially find relief using licorice root.

  • Supports through PMS and menopause

 Licorice root has been known to help relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and menopause, including reducing hot flashes. This is due to certain effects of licorice that act like estrogen. The herb can be used as an effective addition to hormone therapy.

  • Supports the adrenal system

 As an apoptogenic herb, it helps the body regulate cortisol, which relieves the adrenal glands. This relief helps to reduce stress, which positively supports the entire physical and mental condition of the body.

Is It Safe?

Overall, licorice root is safe and provides multiple benefits for the physical and mental health of its users. However, users must be sure not to take too much licorice root or to take it for extended periods of time.

Glycyrrhiza, the main active ingredient in the herb, can cause a condition that creates an overactive sensitivity in the adrenal cortex. This oversensitivity can cause headaches, high blood pressure, and has been known to cause heart attacks.

Licorice root should not be taken for over a week at a time or be pregnant and breastfeeding women. With safe practices, licorice root can be a very useful treatment for multiple ailments.

SOURCES USED:

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/03/21/licorice-root-uses.aspx

The Simple Formula for Success with Insulin Resistance

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Insulin resistance is a condition that occurs when the human body fails to use insulin properly. This means that the body cannot balance blood glucose levels. The prevalence of this condition among adults ranges from 15.5 to 46.5% across the world. However, insulin resistance occurs across all age groups. This post provides you with all you need to know about insulin resistance, including how you can prevent or reverse the condition. But before we can go deep into insulin resistance, we should understand what insulin is and how it works.

The Importance of Insulin

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas; a large gland situated at the back of your stomach. The primary role of this hormone is to help your body absorb glucose and use it for energy.  After eating, your digestive tract processes carbohydrates into glucose, which is then absorbed in your bloodstream through the small intestines. Insulin enables the cells in your body to absorb the glucose and use it for energy.  The hormone is also responsible for balancing the glucose levels in your blood. If the levels are high, insulin prompts your body to store the excess glucose in your liver.

What is Insulin Resistance

Also known as impaired insulin sensitivity, insulin resistance is a condition that occurs when the cells in your liver, fat, and muscles fail to respond well to insulin and can’t use glucose for energy.  In response, your pancreas produces more insulin. Your blood levels remain healthy, provided the pancreas can make enough insulin to overcome the condition. Otherwise, your blood glucose levels go higher than average in a condition called prediabetes.

What is Prediabetes, and How Common is it?

Simply put, prediabetes is when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be regarded as type 2 diabetes. The condition occurs in people with insulin resistance or when your pancreas fails to produce enough insulin to balance the sugar levels.  Individuals with prediabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if they fail to change their lifestyles.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every three people in the United States has prediabetes.

Symptoms of Insulin Resistance and Prediabetes

Most individuals don’t realize they have insulin resistance or prediabetes until they get a blood test. It is normal for anyone to have high blood sugar levels every now and then. However, if your blood sugar levels are consistently high, you feel more tired, thirstier, have a vision problem, and urinate more, then it could be prediabetes.  Also, some individuals may develop dark spots on the back of the neck and under the armpits. Skin growths in these areas are also a common sign of prediabetes.

Causes and Risk Factors of Insulin Resistance

Although the exact cause for insulin resistance is still unclear, researchers have often associated the condition with an inactive lifestyle and excess weight.

Inactive lifestyle

Leading an inactive lifestyle has been linked to prediabetes and insulin resistance. Physical activities allow your body to undergo some changes that help it to balance normal blood sugar levels.

Excess weight

Doctors say that being obese, overweight, or sedentary increases your insulin resistance risk. They believe that extra fat tissue may cause physiological stress and inflammation, which lead to insulin resistance.

Other risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Age
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Certain medications like antipsychotics
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Sleep problems

Diagnosis and Tests for Insulin Resistance and Prediabetes

If you notice any of the symptoms of insulin resistance and prediabetes – mentioned above – you should visit your doctor. The physician will use the following things to diagnose the condition:

Physical exams: The doctor will check your blood pressure and weight

Questions: The care provider will ask about your family medical history

Blood tests: The physician will likely carry out several blood tests, including:

Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) test:

This test measures your blood glucose levels when you haven’t eaten for at least 8 hours. The table below shows the results and their interpretation.

Result FPG
Diabetes 126 mg/dl or more
Prediabetes Between 100mg/dl to 125 mg/dl
Normal /dl or below

Hemoglobin A1c test:

This test checks your blood glucose levels in the last 2 to 3 months. Below are the results and interpretation of the test

Result A1c
Diabetes 6.5% or more
Prediabetes 5.7% to 6.4%
Normal 5.7% or less

 

Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT):

OGTT checks your blood glucose levels 2 hours after taking a sugary drink. The following table shows the results and interpretation of the test.

Result OGTT
Diabetes 200 mg/dl or more
Prediabetes Between 140 mg/dl to 199 mg/dl
Normal 140 mg/dl or below

If you’re free from either of these conditions, you should be retested at least once every three years, especially if you have other risk factors for diabetes.

Reversing or Preventing Insulin Resistance and Prediabetes

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While it’s impossible to deal with insulin resistance or prediabetes completely, there are several ways you can make your body cells more receptive to insulin, including:

Weight loss

Losing weight can help you reverse or prevent insulin resistance in your body. Research shows that losing 5 to 7% of your starting weight can help minimize the chances of developing diabetes.

You can eat certain foods or change your lifestyle to lose weight. For instance, you can eat more vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, whole grains, and other lead proteins. Also, you may consider talking to a personal trainer or a nutritionist.

Getting active

Regular physical exercise remains to be the most effective way of reducing insulin resistance and diabetes among individuals. Exercising makes your body more sensitive to insulin and opens up alternative paths for glucose to enter your muscle cells.

Medications

Although there are no medications specifically for treating prediabetes or insulin resistance, you may use diabetes medications to manage the conditions. These medications include thiazolidinediones and metformin

Don’t panic

Although a fight against an invisible condition can feel discouraging and frustrating, know that you’re not alone. There are several effective and proven ways of combating insulin resistance and prediabetes. Staying active, losing weight, and eating healthy are sure ways to manage the condition.

SOURCES USED:

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes/prediabetes-insulin-resistance

The Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet

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Deciding what to eat is probably the single most important health decision a person makes.  While air and water are the two most necessary requirements for staying alive, food occupies our minds most of the time.  Our prerequisites for air and water center almost entirely around whether they are pure and clean.  Food on the other hand introduces the factor of taste.  A question we ask daily, “What do you want to eat?” is almost always a query about flavor rather than nutrition.  Eating food not only sustains human beings, it is one of our carnal pleasures.  Sometimes that need for taste leads us to make bad choices.  We fill our diet with food that isn’t good for us.  Conversely when we find a diet that strikes a better balance we stick with it.  The Paleo Diet, popularized strongly at the beginning of the century, has showed staying power for just that reason.  It’s a well-researched nutrition plan backed by several noted scientists that also happens to have plenty room for variety and taste.

What Is the Paleo Diet?

The concept behind the Paleo Diet is the idea that humankind’s DNA is essentially the same as it was during the Paleolithic era.  Modern humans came into existence between one hundred and three hundred thousand years ago.  The Paleolithic era ended approximately eleven thousand years ago, so our species has spent more than ninety percent of its evolutionary time within the Paleolithic.  The thinking behind the diet is that the human digestive tract has not gone through substantive changes since the Paleolithic era ended.  Our ancestors were essentially hunter-gatherers.  They didn’t eat cultivated grains or domesticated meats in any quantity.  Their water had fewer chemicals, and their physical activity was far more pronounced.

Our habits and food sources have changed significantly through the centuries.  We have access to more diverse meal possibilities due to our famous ability to adapt.  On top of that, our scientific and industrial innovation has given us artificial supplements and food capabilities unavailable to our primitive ancestors.  We ingest meats and grains that the human body has only had a few dozen decades to absorb.  Our plants and animals are fed by fertilizers and steroids, which come into our systems as we consume the food we manufacture.

Creators of the Paleo Diet believe we force ourselves to digest foods that are incompatible with our gastrointestinal systems as well as our health.  As far back as the 1890’s writers such as John Harvey Kellogg and Emmet Densmore lamented the effects of grains on human health.  Author Walter L. Voegtlin published a book in 1975 called “The Stone Age Diet”.  As a gastroenterologist he advocated a meat-centric diet that kept vegetables and starches to a minimum.  In the twenty-first century Dr. Loren Cordain published his book, “The Paleo Diet”, which trademarked the name and system that suggests a diet almost exclusively of vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, meat, and organ meats

What Are the Benefits Of A Paleo-Diet?

The Paleo Diet allows you to eat the following:

  • Wild Game and Lean Grass-fed Meats
  • Seeds And Nuts
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Oils
  • Fish

The diet seeks to avoid the following foods:

  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Refined Sugar
  • Salt

On top of these restrictions the Paleo Diet frowns upon heavily processed food in general.

As we can see by the above lists, the Paleo-Diet is good for weight loss, since it cuts down on calorie-rich food and carbohydrates.  Since the diet’s proponents also suggest a good exercise regimen and generous water consumption, the system encourages muscle tone and skin health.  The diet’s food components are good regulators of blood sugar.  It helps with stress and keeps dangerous fats at a low level.  The Paleo Diet’s ‘creators’ claim that it lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and inflammatory bowel disease.  Not enough definitive studies have been done to give these claims firm scientific backing, but elements of the diet have been known to have a positive influence on heart and digestive health.

Since the Paleo Diet forbids dairy products, there is some worry about suffering from Vitamin D and calcium deficiency.  Some other worries are increased diarrhea, as well as possible exposure to more toxins in fish.  Proponents of the diet point out the ability to avoid toxins by practicing simple avoidance. Some foods that the diet allows have supplies of Vitamin D and calcium that can be increased to compensate for the absence of dairy products.

What Are Some Examples of a Paleo-Diet Meal?

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As we first mentioned taste is an important part of anyone’s diet choice.  The Paleo Diet has several fine dishes that are in perfect keeping with its requirements.  Everything from chicken salad to burgers, to grilled salmon and pork is allowed in Paleo Diet meals.  Vegetables fried in coconut oil, sweet potatoes and steak are also on the menu.  Lettuce leaf wraps can be used instead of sandwiches.  Grilled chicken wings with salsa make a nice movie or sports-event snack.

 

SOURCES USED :

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/paleo-diet/art-20111182,

https://thepaleodiet.com/

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About HIIT Training but Were Afraid to Ask

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A quick “fitness class” Google search will yield numerous spin, barre, kickboxing, Pilates, and so many more offerings for you to choose between. The number of exercise classes to choose from though can be overwhelming to navigate. And when you are paying per class, you find yourself wondering if the workout is worth the cost. The other dilemma we run into is time. With our busy schedules, many of us don’t have the time to set aside an hour each day for regular physical activity.

What has grown in popularity is a high-intensity interval workout (aka HIIT training) because it offers the same health benefits as other types of exercise but in a shorter amount of time – sometimes even as short as 15-20 minutes! It’s easy to find a HIIT class to try for yourself. You can Google different HIIT workouts or find clips on YouTube or various fitness services like Fit 5-40-5. Below we take a deeper dive into what this training is and its benefits.

What is HIIT Training?

HIIT’s name describes exactly what you can expect: high-intensity, interval training. These workouts consist of any form of exercise where you push yourself to endure a short burst of intense activity, followed by a brief period of rest or a lower-intensity activity. You’ll then repeat that sequence a few times. Each burst can vary in length (typically less than 45 seconds long) so you can play around with what makes sense for you and your body.

What are the the benefits versus conventional cardio exercise

  • Reduces your body fat: 

Unlike some other exercises, HIIT can decrease body fat more steadily. That’s because with this workout you are burning more calories in half the time. After you complete your workout, your body’s repair cycle goes into hyperdrive due to the intensity, so you stay burning fat and calories up to 24 hours after you finish! HIIT also ensures that the weight that you are losing comes from where your body is storing fats, so you aren’t losing any of your muscle mass.

  • Promotes a healthy heart:

HIIT training pushes us outside of our comfort zones and usual resting heart rates. When we work out like this, we are pushing ourselves into an anaerobic zone (when it feels like our heart is beating out of our chest) which is producing extreme results. Some studies have shown that after 8 weeks of HIIT training, some people can bicycle twice as long as they could before they started, while at the same pace!

  • Improves mental health:

We all know that exercise gives us endorphins and endorphins make us happier, but HIIT training is particularly helpful with this. Studies have shown HIIT can not only reduce depression but can also help those with psychiatric conditions. That’s because those individuals typically have a lower motivation to embrace an active lifestyle and they feel that exercise is too time-consuming. One study that looked at this at a psychiatric daycare facility showed an improvement in mental health scores related to reducing levels of depression and social avoidance.

  • Increases your metabolism:

In addition to the other health benefits, HIIT can also improve metabolic health like blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol. HIIT stimulates your HGH (human growth hormone) by up to 450% during the 24 hours after you finish, and it slows down the aging process!

  • It’s time-efficient: 

You can fit HIIT into a lunch break or start, or end, your day with it. You’ll also see your progress fast. You’ll see more in just 15 minutes of interval training 3 times a week than if you were on a treadmill for an hour. You’ll still receive the great benefits of heart and lung health, metabolic health, increased oxygen supply to your muscles, and improved exercise tolerance just with 10-20 minutes sessions 3 times a week – that’s all you need!

Examples of HIIT Training

You can do HIIT training anywhere. Nothing will stop you or hold you back when all you need is some open space. Whether you’re at home, the gym, or even in your yard – you can get a quick HIIT workout in, wherever your heart desires. Below are some examples of how you can think about structuring your HIIT workout.

  • Tabata style:

Tabata is the most common style of HIIT. All it involves is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. You then repeat that sequence 8-20 times total and you’re done!

  • Bodyweight focused:

Most HIIT workouts often only require body weight and you’ll commonly perform exercises like high knees, fast feet, burpees, squats, sit-ups, and anything plyometric like jumping lunges or jumping jacks. Since the whole point is to get your heart rate up fast some equipment (like dumbbells) can make your HIIT workout less effective because you aren’t pushing your heart to the max!

  • Equipment focused: 

If you have equipment accessible, that’s fine to use! And, you may prefer to use a treadmill, rowing machine, spin bike, or even a rope for your intervals. You can increase the resistance for the high-intensity portions and then reduce it again for the rest period (or walk).

There are many different formats out there, but a sample HIIT workout may look like this for 25 minutes total:

  • 5-minute warm-up
  • 5-minute HIIT circuit (high-intensity exercise for 15 seconds, then rest* for 10 seconds, high-intensity exercise for 15 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds, high-intensity exercise for 15 seconds, and then rest for 30 seconds, high-intensity exercise for 15 seconds and then rest for 40 seconds, high-intensity exercise for 15 seconds, and then rest for 50 seconds)
  • Repeat that 5-minute HIIT circuit 3 times
  • 5-minute cooldown

*For each rest, you can either stop altogether or switch to a gentler exercise like walking, cycling, or stretching. 

We all know exercise is good for us. HIIT allows for all of us to not have an excuse to not fit exercise into our daily lives. It offers benefits so many other workouts can’t deliver or offer, and the quick spurts will keep you from being bored! You’ll see the benefits in a matter of weeks and since it’s short, you’ll feel like you got a whole workout in half the time!

[Sources:]

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327474

https://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/apple-fitness-new-workouts-pregnancy-older-adults-beginners

10 Unbelievable Things You Never Knew About Pine Needle Tea

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Many people around the country enjoy the smell of fresh pine on a summer day, but did you know you can taste that sensation as well? Pine needle tea is a delicious treat to enjoy in the morning or during the day and provides many health benefits to its drinkers.

The needles the tea is infused with are the primary source of these benefits, such as antioxidants and vitamin A and C. There are many other benefits to be gained from drinking pine needle tea daily, here’s a brief guide.

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Fight Respiratory Infections

Pine needle tea was often used by indigenous cultures for treating respiratory problems. The Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World records how the Native Americans used white pine for its expectorant and decongestant qualities.

pine needle tea benefits, pine needle tea health benefits, where to buy pine needle tea, how to make pine needle tea, are pine needles safe for tea, are pine needles toxic to humansThe Power of Antioxidants

Drinking a cup or two of pine needle tea per day will help fuel your body with antioxidants, which are highly important for the functioning of your body and blood. Pine needles possesses a slew of antioxidants, in the form of vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as a host of flavonoids.

The vitamins you consume while drinking the tea, in addition to micronutrients known as “phytonutrients” help guard your skin from excess damage by free radicals. Protection from free radicals can help you prevent illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. There are a host of supplements and artificial sources of antioxidants, but natural sources are more beneficial.

pine needle tea benefits, pine needle tea health benefits, where to buy pine needle tea, how to make pine needle tea, are pine needles safe for tea, are pine needles toxic to humansKeep Your Heart Healthy

Pine needle tea doesn’t just bolster and protect your blood. The nutrients and antioxidants found within the tea can also help your heart function in a similar manner to your blood. Pine needle tea helps bolster your blood because it provides a boost to the metabolism of lipids. Researchers have tested this function of the tea in several different ways and have consistently found it to be highly beneficial for this purpose.

In addition to quickening of metabolism, pine needle tea reduces inflammation in the body, which helps balance the flora of the gut. This gut rebalancing has many beneficial properties, but one of the primary uses is the lowering of bad cholesterol, while raising the good type. Clinical trials need still be conducted, but the initial research is promising.

pine needle tea benefits, pine needle tea health benefits, where to buy pine needle tea, how to make pine needle tea, are pine needles safe for tea, are pine needles toxic to humansRefuel More Efficiently

Because of the many antioxidants found in pine needle tea, the drink can help you refuel while exercising, so that you’re ready for another round or beginning a cycle of rest. The Journal of Nutrition exercise and Biochemistry found that rats who were fed pine needle power lowered their cholesterol significantly.

The antioxidants within the tea helped the rats perform better in their exercises and recover quickly when faced with a second bout of activity. In addition, the tea also helped prevent cell death, which is important for both recovery time and intensity. The only caveat is that the pine needle powder most likely had a higher concentration of antioxidants than would be found in most tea.

pine needle tea benefits, pine needle tea health benefits, where to buy pine needle tea, how to make pine needle tea, are pine needles safe for tea, are pine needles toxic to humansVitamins Galore

Pine needle tea holds a plethora of vitamins and minerals in addition to the antioxidant properties. The two most common vitamins found within the tea are vitamin A and vitamin C, which will help you see at night in addition to providing your skin with many benefits. Vitamin C will help you build collagen and protect your skin tissue, in addition to boosting your immune system in a natural and organic way.

These vitamins are important, but many Americans aren’t consuming enough of them on a daily basis. Adding pine needle tea to your diet and daily routine can help keep your skin healthy and young year-round.

pine needle tea benefits, pine needle tea health benefits, where to buy pine needle tea, how to make pine needle tea, are pine needles safe for tea, are pine needles toxic to humansHelp Clear Your Mind

Finally, one of the most sought-after yet undervalued properties of pine needle tea is the ability to clear your mind and help keep your body in clarity. The sweet aroma and peaceful aura of pine needle tea can help your body relax and open up your senses, allowing your mind to relax and your senses to become slightly improved. Many priests and monks from different regions of the world have drank pine needle tea over the centuries because of the boost it provides to clarity.

Making the Tea

It’s entirely possible to make your own pine needle tea, though the process is not quick. There are many concerns to take into account and steps to follow. First, you should cut off the ends and roll the needles you’ve bought. This step releases the oil and keeps the needles dry and nutritious. You should keep the needles you’ve prepared in a cup of hot water for about fifteen minutes before straining. Once strained, you can mix and enjoy at your leisure.

Caution

It may be tempting to collect your pine needles from random trees around your neighborhood or city, but you should resist the temptation. Many of the needles found within nature will be unsafe to eat and drink because they’ve not been specially prepared or treated. If you wish to make pine needle tea yourself, you should buy needles which are already bagged, for your safety and convenience.

Side Effects

There are a wide variety of pine trees. Some of these are potentially toxic or harmful when used for food. If you are foraging for pine needles, it is advisable to do so with an expert. According to the USDA Agricultural Research Service, the needles of ponderosa pine cause abortion when grazed by cattle. With very little research available, most of the side effects of pine-needle tea are also anecdotal. Some of these are: [14]

Irritation in the throat and mouth

Inflamed patches on the skin

Vomiting

Nausea

Dizziness

Headaches

Diarrhea

For pregnant women: The USDA cautioned against the ingestion of ponderosa pine needles. Given the toxicity of some pine species, it is best to avoid drinking this tea if you are pregnant. [15] [16]

Allergy: You should also be aware of any potential allergies to pine trees. Pine oil that is released when brewing the tea, can have inflammatory effects on the skin and stomach, resulting in stomach upset in some people. Given these possible side-effects, it is recommended that you only try about half a cup in the beginning.

SOURCES USED:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6355045_Antioxidant_Antimutagenic_and_Antitumor_Effects_of_Pine_Needles_Pinus_densiflora

https://www.google.co.in/books/edition/Encyclopedia_of_American_Indian_Contribu/QIFTVWJH3doC?hl

 

What Is Frozen Shoulder, Anyway?

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Adhesive capsulitis, more commonly known as a frozen shoulder, is a common shoulder complaint that causes a limited range of motion in a person’s shoulder in addition to pain and discomfort.

How it Frozen Shoulder Starts

Over time, frozen shoulder can cause problems with movement such as shoulder tightness, stiffness, or pain. Most people start noticing symptoms when they experience generalized pain in their shoulder and have difficulty performing basic activities and daily tasks. Typically, a frozen shoulder does not start suddenly, rather it is a gradual onset that you might begin to notice over the course of some time. This could be months or even years where it begins to show symptoms. A sudden, acute shoulder injury is usually not related to the  condition.

Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder

The primary symptom  is marked by limited range of motion. Patients will typically describe pain, discomfort, and tightness, especially when performing daily tasks. Patients may have trouble reaching or grabbing things above them, or issues when getting dressed.

Causes & Risk Factors

A frozen shoulder can be caused by many different potential risk factors or causes. It could be caused by what is considered normal usage and wear and tear. With normal usage, the tissues in your shoulder can become thicker over time, ultimately leading to scar tissue developing in the shoulder region. When tissues thicken, it can cause the shoulder to restrict, which causes the pain and restricted movement that people with a frozen shoulder experience.

There are also other causes that are not considered within normal limits. For example, having certain medical conditions can make you predisposed or at a higher risk of developing frozen shoulder. These conditions include things like diabetes, hormonal disorders and imbalances, or a weak immune system, all of which put you at an increased risk for inflammation in the body. Another common way that frozen shoulder arises is after prolonged bed rest or long periods of inactivity in a person’s life. For example, if you’ve had recent surgery, injury, or illness, and have not been very active. This inactivity can lead to inflammation, and scar tissue build-up, which in turn can lead to frozen shoulder.

This condition is more commonly seen in women who are middle-aged, although this condition affects any person at any point in their life. It is most commonly seen in people ages 40 through 70. As previously mentioned, people who have been inactive for a large period of time or are recovering from a major surgery or illness are at greater risk for a frozen shoulder. Diabetes puts you at three times more likely chance of developing a frozen shoulder.

Diagnosis

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your shoulder, or difficulty performing certain tasks, we recommend seeking care from a medical provider. A medical professional will perform an exam and ask you questions about what you are experiencing. The physical examination can tell the doctor how much range of motion you have in your shoulder. Typically, doctors will ask you to perform a series of tasks or movements, so they can understand the symptoms you are experiencing.
X-rays or MRIs may be used to help confirm a diagnosis of a frozen shoulder, as well as to rule out other possible differential diagnoses. These x-rays can help a doctor determine if there’s another underlying cause, such as arthritis, that is causing your shoulder pain, or properly diagnose the frozen shoulder.

Treatment of Frozen Shoulder

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There are several different treatment options available to treat a frozen shoulder. Some types of anti-inflammatory medications can be used to manage inflammation and discomfort. Other mild treatment options include things like applying ice to decrease pain. Some other types of frozen shoulder treatments include:

  1. Physical Therapy- Physical Therapy is a common treatment for people with this condition. This is because physical therapy can help stretch out the shoulder and regain some range of motion. Physical therapy could include in-office sessions or an at-home program, or a mixture of both.
  2. Chiropractic Care- Seeking chiropractic care is a great option for treatment. Chiropractic care can be a great option to help reduce pain and improve the range of motion in your shoulder. It also can help speed up your recovery process. One technique used by chiropractors is known as the Niel Asher Technique. This technique involves manipulating the joints and muscles which can stretch it out, reduce your shoulder pain, and help improve the condition overall. There have been several studies that have shown positive results in patients with diagnosed frozen shoulders.
  3. Surgical Options- Surgery is generally reserved when all other treatment options have been unsuccessful. Your doctor should be able to advise if he or she feels you will benefit from surgical interventions.

Learn How Melatonin Prevents Blood Clots in Ten Minutes

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Everybody needs 7-8  hours of sleep to function well. Without sleep, we don’t perform at our best, and lack of sleep can negatively impact our health.  Many people have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, tossing and turning during those precious hours intended for sleep. Melatonin, a neurohormone supplement, helps many people fall asleep and stay asleep, making it known primarily as a sleep aid. But there is research to show that melatonin can help in preventing blood clots. One of the most important areas of research would be exploring the use of melatonin in preventing blood clots, as around 100,000 people die from blood clots annually.

Melatonin has other health benefits that are just as important as sleep improvement possibly making it effective in treating:

Understanding Melatonin

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Melatonin has a long history in alternative medicine. In the U.S., it’s sold as an over-the-counter supplement, while it’s available by prescription in other countries. Natural melatonin is produced in your body by the pineal gland in the brain. Its production is triggered by darkness, which explains its benefits while sleeping in the dark. The supplement is a synthetic version of the natural substance.

Research on Melatonin and Blood Clotting

As far back as 2008, the Journal of Pineal Research published a study that showed the relationship between taking oral melatonin and blood coagulation. The study included 46 healthy men between 21 and 29 years of age. The subjects were given a placebo containing no medication or 3mg of oral melatonin. The study results reported: “A single dose of oral melatonin was associated with lower plasma levels of procoagulant factors 60 mins later.” Procoagulant factors promote blood clotting, and melatonin had lowered their levels, making clotting less likely. A 2013 research paper published by Arushanian described melatonin as a “natural inhibitor of (platelet) aggregation” that is potentially impactful in cardiovascular disorders so may be “recommended for use in pharmacotherapy.” A 2020 review of studies, published by Otamas, Grant and Aijan supported previous evidence, suggesting that, “…melatonin inhibits platelet aggregation and might affect the coagulation cascade, altering fibrin clot structure and/resistance to fibrinolysis.” In layman’s terms, melatonin inhibits bodily functions that lead to blood clots. This more recent study recommended further study to confirm and progress the research findings. The research on melatonin in this area is ongoing and more is needed in the future.

Who Shouldn’t Take Melatonin?

While Melatonin can have many benefits, including the potential to reduce clotting, it’s important to realize the dangers that may create to people on blood thinners, such as Warfarin, with herbs that can slow clotting, including garlic and ginger, and with blood clotting medication.

Taking melatonin along with blood thinning medication can lead to bleeding or bruising. It can interfere with the work of blood clotting medication. Melatonin is generally not advised for these groups but as always, people should follow the advice of their medical doctors.

Fluvoxamine (Luvox) is an antidepressant medication that increases the absorption of melatonin. Since more melatonin is absorbed creating greater conditions for blood thinning, taking it with fluvoxamine should be avoided.

Should I Take Melatonin?

A healthy person that doesn’t take blood thinning or coagulating medication, Fluvoxamine, or other medications or herbs that can interact with melatonin should be able to safely take melatonin if permitted by their doctors. If you’re considering melatonin, it may help you sleep, have additional benefits, and keep your blood free from unwanted clotting.

SOURCES USED:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5563342_Oral_melatonin_reduces_blood_coagulation_activity_A_placebo-controlled_study_in_healthy_young_men

https://www.livescience.com/42066-melatonin-supplement-facts.html

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1479164120920582?icid=int.sj-abstract.citing-articles.3&

https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/d04058a1

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/melatonin-side-effects#TOC_TITLE_HDR_6

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282008268_Effect_of_melatonin_on_the_thrombocyte_hemostasis_and_its_circadian_organization

I Changed My Mind About Human Growth Hormone. Here’s Why

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Recently, in my never-ending quest for natural health and physical fitness, I accidentally (or maybe by divine intervention as I like to believe) came across some information about human growth hormone and how it can potentially increase longevity and youthfulness.  So naturally I dug in and began my journey to find the natural fountain of youth.

Human growth hormone is produced in the pituitary gland which is found in the brain and it plays a role in longevity, looks and physique.

What does human growth hormone do?

  • Works with testosterone for muscle growth.
  • Promotes fat loss.
  • Increases longevity.
  • Regenerates cells in the body and brain.
  • Strengthens bones. Also, when you break a bone, it works to heal that bone and make it even stronger than it was before making it difficult to break that bone again.
  • Improves memory, focus, concentration, and mood.
  • Involved in the healing, growth, and repair of cells. The ultimate hormone when it comes to anti-aging as it regenerates and preserves proteins. Proteins are not only found in muscle but also is hair, skin, nails, tendons and ligaments. Hence the Natural Fountain of Youth Hormone

Let’s go a little in depth the topic of longevity because I’m sure most people are wondering how human growth hormone is involved. The process of natural aging is called Somatopause and as we age there is an increase in body fat, and a decrease in lean body mass.  What happens as we age?  In our cells we have DNA and at the end of each strand of DNA we have telomeres which protect the DNA.  These telomeres are constantly getting shorter as we age. By naturally increasing growth hormone you reduce telomere shortening which will help you live longer and look younger.

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How to increase human growth hormone naturally?

  • Get more sleep- we naturally secrete more when we sleep.
  • Intermittent fasting and/or skipping breakfast. Breaking the fast as soon as you get up instantly stops secretion. The journal of clinical investigation states that levels can increase 2000% for men, and 1300% for women during sleep. Secretion stops as soon as we eat our first meal.
  • Consume melatonin before going to sleep – 0.5-5mg, enhances quality and duration of sleep which in turn increases secretion. Some studies show consuming melatonin before bed can increase it by 150%
  • Intense exercise or HIITS (high intensity interval training)—to recruit fast twitch muscle fibres that you can’t recruit with low intensity, moderate exercise. You don’t have to workout for long but by doing intense exercise for short periods of time it is said to boost human growth hormone by 450-770%.
  • GABA— an amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter in the brain known for calming the nervous system and aiding sleep- it is said to increase human growth hormone by 400% at rest and 200% post exercise. GABA also reduces feelings of anxiety, depression and stress. It should be consumed before working out or before going to bed.

Other Amino Acids

  • L-Arginine, L-Ornithine, Glycine. These can be supplemented or found animal protein. Turkey breast has high amount of L-Ornithine.

Things to Avoid

  • Human growth hormone and insulin are indirectly related so when insulin is high human growth hormone is low. So, avoid sugar and processed foods because these can spike your insulin levels.
  • Too much body fat- body fat triggers cortisol which will inhibit human growth hormone. Low body fat increases human growth hormone which will in turn promote low body fat.

Well, there you have it folks, natural ways to boost human growth hormone- the natural fountain of youth.  I’ve started my journey and I’m hoping I’ve unlocked the secret to longevity.  I’m excited to see where this journey takes me!

Pets and People: Benefits of Having a Pet

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It goes without saying that 2020 and so far, 2021 has been exceedingly difficult and challenging to say the least, for many people.  Statistics show an increase in anxiety and depression in adults and children, suicides, drug, and alcohol abuse, as well as domestic abuse.  As we move through this unique time in our lives our goal should be to find ways to thrive, to be the best we can be both physically and mentally.  I want to explore the amazing health benefits of having a pet .  Moreover, people are exploring and utilizing the extraordinary healing powers that pets possess through therapy programs.  You see them in senior’s homes, hospitals, and schools. Not to mention their invaluable help as assistants for those with health challenges.

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Health Benefits

According to PIHHEALTH.ORG pets not only offer unconditional love and companionship but they also suggest:

Decrease stress – A study from the State University of New York noted that people experienced less stress when performing a task in the company of their pet than when a spouse, family or friend was close by.

Lower blood pressure – Owning a pet has the potential to lower blood pressure. This finding is associated with the decreased level of stress people experience while being around their pet.

Ease Pain – According to Mayo Clinic, pets have the power to help heal patients experiencing emotional or physical pain. Pet therapy or animal-assisted therapy is a growing field that uses dogs or other animals to help people recover and better cope with health problems.

Improve mood – People who own a pet tend to be happier, more trusting and less lonely than those who do not. Pet owners are also less likely to visit the doctor for minor issues.

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Social magnets – Pets attract people which can help you make connections more easily. If you are not the best at socializing, take your pet such as a dog to a nearby park and see how others naturally become drawn to your furry friend.

Prevent allergies and improve immunity – Pets spend much of their time outside and bring in all sorts of germs into the home, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The outside germs can help boost your immunity which will help prevent colds and other mild illnesses.

Improve fitness – All dogs need regular exercise to stay happy and healthy and coincidentally, we need exercise too! Dogs can give you that extra motivation to take a walk around your neighborhood or play Frisbee at a nearby park.

Long Term Health Benefits

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More recently, says Rebecca Johnson, a nurse who heads the Research Center for Human/Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, studies have been focusing on the fact that interacting with animals can increase people’s level of the hormone oxytocin.

“That is very beneficial for us,” says Johnson. “Oxytocin helps us feel happy and trusting.” Which, Johnson says, may be one of the ways that humans bond with their animals over time.

But Johnson says it may also have longer-term human health benefits. “Oxytocin has some powerful effects for us in the body’s ability to be in a state of readiness to heal, and also to grow new cells, so it predisposes us to an environment in our own bodies where we can be healthier.”

Alternatives

If you already have a pet give them an extra hug or treat in gratitude for how they’ve added to your life.  If you don’t have a pet but are considering it, keep in mind it is a big responsibility that must not be taken lightly because they need a lot of love and care and they need to thrive just as much as humans do.  But once you take that leap it is well worth it.  If you can’t have a pet, you can also explore some volunteer work.  Volunteers are always needed and much appreciated in any capacity when it comes to animals.  You will not only be helping people and animals, but you will gain all the benefits of being around animals too.

Immune-boosting Foods: Supercharge Your Body

The immune system is the body’s defense against attacks by external micro-organisms. When this defense fails, you fall sick, and at other times, your body successfully fights the germs and keeps you healthy. The immune system as the name suggests, is a collective system of cells, organs, and networks. It is not just a single entity. Scientists are still in the process of understanding how the immune system can be boosted as a whole.

They are still studying whether immunity booster tablets can help in boosting the immune system or do they have adverse effects.

We have compiled a list of immune-boosting foods to help fight against micro-organisms and supercharge your body.

Immune-boosting Foods

Blueberries

These tiny little berries are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. They are rich in several other nutrients like vitamin A, C, K, fiber, manganese, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and so many more.

They provide essential micronutrients to the body, and their antioxidant properties help undo a lot of free radical damage done to cells.

These properties are said to have a substantial effect on the disease-fighting abilities of the body and help in keeping most diseases at bay.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids help in healing the immune system after a germ attack due to their anti-inflammatory properties.

They also influence the functions of immune cells which makes them important for the overall performance of the immune system.

While it is known that fishes and fish oils are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, there are many options for vegetarians as well. Ensure that your diet is rich in nuts like walnuts, seeds such as flax seeds and chia seeds, soybeans, eggs, spinach, etc.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of tissues. It heals wounds, plays an important role in keeping skin healthy, promotes bone growth, and helps perform many more important functions.

Its high antioxidant properties reduce the effect of the damage done to cells from free radicals, thereby helping in the prevention of diseases like cancer.

The body does not produce vitamin C, hence you must get them from fruits and vegetables.

You can get your daily dose of vitamin C from tomatoes, oranges, carrots, green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, potatoes, berries, pineapples, kiwi, mangoes, and many more

 

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Green tea

Green teas are rich in phenolics and antioxidants that help them undo some of the oxidative damage. They strengthen the immune system and help fight several infections that you might be at risk of.

Green tea helps speed up metabolism, detoxifies the body, and has weight loss properties.

Add some pure honey to your daily cup of green tea to multiply the effects, as honey is another powerful ingredient that can supercharge your immune system.

Foods rich in Zinc

Consuming foods with a high concentration of zinc can help prevent rashes, keep your immune system strong, and prevent infections while also promoting normal body growth. If you tend to catch a cold easily, Zinc might help you keep it at bay as they are said to treat the common cold.

Non-vegetarians can get their daily requirements of zinc from meat, poultry, oysters, and other shellfish, while vegetarians can consume legumes, seeds, dairy, whole grains, and mushrooms.

Garlic

Ideally, garlic tops the list of foods containing immunity enhancing antioxidants to supercharge your immune system. Garlic can help fight infections, heal wounds and treat cold and flu due to its antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.

Since ancient times, eating a clove of garlic is said to provide various health benefits and promote overall good health.

The compounds present in garlic help boost the disease-fighting responses in cells in the body boosts your immune system. boosts your immune system.

Immune-boosting Tips

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  • Keep yourself hydrated at all times. It helps your body flush out toxins, catalyzes different bodily functions, and also facilitates repair in cells and tissues.
  • Sleep well and get 6-8 hours of sleep daily as when you sleep, your body does most of the repair and maintenance. Without proper sleep, your immune system may be susceptible to diseases.
  • Quit smoking and limit your consumption of alcohol.
  • Include probiotics and prebiotics in your diet that promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut.
  • You must also ensure that you get your daily dose of exercise through some form of physical activity. Exercise helps in maintaining good blood circulation, burns extra calories, and also catalyzes the process where toxins get flushed from your body.

Conclusion

The key is to lead a healthy and well-balanced life. You can boost your immunity by simply making a visit to your neighborhood grocery store rather than the supplement stores. Consuming these fresh fruits and vegetables will not cause any adverse effect that synthetic materials in supplements might.

Steer clear of artificial supplements, as there is insufficient information on the role they play and the side effects that they may cause in the long run.