Offering a unique reference point on alternative medicine and complementary therapies.

Posts Tagged "eczema"

Does fast food really increase the risk of Asthma?

Does fast food really increase the risk of Asthma?

There have been many different findings recently, but does fast food really increase the risk of asthma? Regular servings of fast food could be causing a rise in the number of cases of asthma, eczema and rhinitis (persistent colds) in children. A study published in Thorax has found that children who have three or more servings of junk food are at a higher risk. The findings of this study could have a major impact on the health of many teenagers. Fast food could also be making their symptoms more severe. The researchers based their findings on data from more than 319,000 13-14 year olds from 51 countries and more than 181,000 6-7 year olds from 31 countries. The teenagers and the children’s parents were asked about any illnesses such as asthma (wheeze); rhinoconjunctivitis (which produces a runny or blocked nose accompanied by itchy and watery eyes); and eczema; and their weekly diet. The results found that three or more servings of fast food such as burgers and chips increased the risk of asthma by 39 per cent in teenagers and by 27 per cent in younger children. The study also found that fruit had a protective action in both age groups. Eating three of more weekly servings of fruit reduced symptom severity by 11% in younger children and by 14% in teenagers. The results of this large study provide further evidence of the harm that regular consumption of fast can do. This is not to say that you should never eat fast food, but it should be limited to once a week. Aside from the benefits of fruit that have been reported in this study, they provide a whole spectrum of vitamins and immune boosting properties that children...

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A Healthy Start to School

A Healthy Start to School

With the school year about to start, this is a time of adjustment for many families. It’s time to get back into the daily routine of early starts, homework and early nights (hopefully). The re-opening of school again is also the sign that summer is coming to an end, with autumn fast approaching. So having a healthy start to school makes a great difference to children. Whilst many kids have enjoyed their summer and generally been fit and healthy, the autumn term is usually when colds, coughs and tummy bugs hit their peak. Children tend to pick up all sorts of bugs from classmates and sick days can cause disruption for working parents. There are certain measures that you can take to help minimise this risk. A good diet, regular exercise and certain immune boosting supplements can help to keep your child fit and healthy, and maintain good concentration in class. It goes with question that a nutritious breakfast is the ideal way to start the day. A breakfast containing protein and complex carbohydrates can help to improve concentration, by maintaining healthy blood sugar levels throughout the morning. Several studies have found that high protein breakfasts resulted in improved IQ scores in children. You should avoid sugary cereals which are also full of salt and processed carbohydrates which can cause drowsiness. Healthy cereals such as muesli which contain nuts and seeds increase protein intake and help to keep your child alert. These healthy cereals and complex carbohydrates such as porridge help to release sugar slowly throughout the morning, without causing sugar highs and lows. Nuts and seeds provide protein and omega 3 essential oils, which also help with concentration. An alternative for kids who don’t like eating breakfast is a fruit smoothie, with the addition of blended nuts and seeds and yoghurt. You can make these at home using any fruits in virtually any combination of your choice. Yoghurt also provides probiotics which help to maintain and support a healthy immune system, so your child can ward off colds and coughs. Colourful vegetables such as peppers, courgettes, red cabbage, tomatoes and avocados have been found to improve children’s IQ scores. These foods also provide good levels of vitamin C...

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Top 5 Nutritional Health tips

Top 5 Nutritional Health tips

There are so many messages in the public domain about nutrition and health it can be quite overwhelming.  When asked what our top 5 nutritional health tips were, we looked at the countries public health issues and statistics to help us prioritise.  Here are our top 5 pieces of advice (in no particular order) to improve the health of the nation and a little bit about why. 1)      It is estimated that over 15,000 deaths could be avoided in the UK each year if the recommended 5 a day fruit and vegetable intake was met.  However did you know that some countries recommend eating up to 9 portions of fruit and vegetables per day? This is not surprising considering some research has suggested that for every 1 portion of fruit/vegetable we eat (up to 8 portions) we reduce our risk of dying of heart disease by 4%.  Similarly interesting findings were found in relation to some types of cancer. Our advice Eat an abundance of fruit and vegetables by making sure “5 a day” is your minimum intake NOT maximum.  Variety is essential to get the most out of all the nutrients and powerful compounds nature has to offer.  Eating lots of different colours is a good way of ensuring variety.   2)      A high intake of added sugar is associated with an increased risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease (the single biggest cause of death in the UK).  When we talk about added sugar we are not talking about the ones found naturally in fruit, vegetables and dairy but the ones manufacturers add to processed foods.  Our advice Keep “added sugar” in your diet to a minimum.  Avoid obvious foods like cakes, biscuits, chocolates, sweets, sugary cereals and sugary drinks.  Less obvious foods are savoury processed foods such as ketchup, baked beans and pizzas etc. Use easy labelling guidelines such as the traffic light system and GDA’s (Guidelines Daily Amounts) on the front of packages to make healthy choices about any processed foods you buy and how they contribute to your diet as a whole. Check ingredients for sugar in disguise for example; corn sweetener , corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, high fructose corn...

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Natural Creams for Eczema

The Weleda Baby Skin Care range is an excellent selection of natural products that can be used on a daily basis for general skin care, nappy rash, dry skin and cradle cap. The range of creams, oils and lotions are based on the herb Calendula. Calendula is a powerful herb that has demonstrated natural healing and soothing properties, which makes it ideal for treating and maintaining babies sensitive skin. The range includes natural creams for eczema which are safe for babies skin. The Weleda Baby Skin Care range consists of: Calendula Nappy Changing Cream Calendula Oil Calendula Lotion Calendula Weather Protection Cream Calendula Moisturising Body Cream Calendula Face Cream Urtica Urens and Calendula Cream is a traditional treatment for eczema that is itchy. Chickweed (Stellaria) is another natural cream that is often combined with Calendula to help reduce the symptoms of eczema. It is a very good cream to reduce itchiness and inflammation. Ainsworths Emergency Cream is an ideal natural product to carry at all times. It can be used by the whole family for any flare-ups”. Hope’s Relief is a natural moisturising cream for dry and itchy skin. This product combines high quality organic herbal extracts and Manuka honey. Hope’s Relief is an ideal product to regenerate, repair and revive dry, sensitive and itchy skin. This product is available from Ainsworths Homeopathic Pharmacy. It is possible to get natural skin creams for eczema on the NHS, so do ask your doctor what is...

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Lemon & Ginger Green Healthy Smoothie Recipe

Lemon & Ginger Green Healthy Smoothie Recipe

Smoothies are a delicious way of taking in a variety of vitamins. Here is a lemon & ginger green healthy smoothie recipe. Lemon juice can also help to alkalinize your digestive system. This can help to prevent illnesses such as arthritis, eczema and gout. The following ingredients make a delicious and nutritious smoothie: 1 Rib of Celery 1 Frozen Banana 1 Cup of Cucumber ½ Lemon, Peeled 1 inch piece of ginger 1 Cup of Water or Coconut Water   1. Celery will help to alkalize the body – keep in mind that an acidic body is not a balanced body. 2. Bananas can be used in many cold drink recipes to add creaminess without dairy. 3. Cucumbers can be juiced, and that juice can help to relieve acid reflux. 4. Lemon juice can help to clean out the liver. 5. Ginger is a carminative, meaning it will help to cleanse and sooth the digestive system....

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Clinical Results of Homeopathy

Homeopathy periodically receives negative press, usually from various scientific groups and the huge pharmaceutical companies. A lot of the negative press revolves around homeopathy not proving effective in clinical trials. There have been a number of clinical trials which actually show homeopathy to be effective. A study conducted at the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital involved 6,500 patients who attended over 23,000 times over a six year period. The results showed that 70% of follow-up patients reported an improvement in health. 50% of these people reported a major improvement. The conditions that reported the best results were childhood eczema and asthma, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), menopausal problems and migraines in adults. The Royal London Homeopathic Hospital (Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine) conducted a survey on 500 patients, indicated that many patients were able to stop or reduce their conventional medication following homeopathic treatment. The percentage of this effect varied between the diagnoses. For example, for skin complaints, 72% of patients reported that they were able to stop or reduce their conventional medication. These results indicate that homeopathy can play a very important role in general health care. Homeopathy offers an effective and inexpensive addition to the treatment options that are available to...

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Aromatherapy Fact Sheet

What are Essential oils? Essential oils are from aromatic plants, which are grown in many different countries around the world. They are derived from different parts of plants such as flowers, leaves, seeds, fruits, woods and roots. Principally, most of the oils are extracted by steam distillation, those from citrus fruits by pressing and those from delicate flowers by solvent extraction. They readily mix into base oils, but do not dissolve in water. When essential oils are inhaled, the aroma sensitises the nerves in the nose and has direct access to the brain, making the effect immediate. Essential oils have good skin penetration, rejuvenating the tissues and improving the elasticity of the skin, promoting the elimination of old cells and increasing the production of new cells. They are beneficial for treating skin problems such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. The oils are cleansing and detoxifying, helping with water retention. They help to stimulate the immune system and improve the function of the circulatory system. Bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis and other respiratory conditions can be improved Different digestive complaints can be alleviated, including constipation and indigestion. Essential oils are also affective in treating neuralgia, arthritis, rheumatism and muscular pains. Additionally, essential oils have an antiseptic, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal actions. The properties of Essential oils are innumerable. What are Base Oils?  Base oils or as they are sometimes called carrier or vegetable oils are perfect for blending with pure essential oils as their greasy texture makes them easy to apply for massage Base oils have good skin penetration leaving the skin nourished and feeling soft and supple. The most common base oils are Almond, Avocado, Coconut, Jojoba, Peach Kernel, Grapeseed, and Wheatgerm. Storing Oils Essential Oils are delicate substances and are affected by light, heat, air and moisture. They are best kept in a cool dark place. Always keep your oils in dark glass bottles. As with essential oils keep your base oils in a dark cool place with lids securely tightened. Mixing Essential Oils General rules for mixing your essential oils. A 10ml bottle of essential oil will give you approx 200 drops, when blending essential oils the dilution should be 2%. For example: 10ml Base Oil = 5...

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Can Fish Oils During Pregnancy Prevent Baby Eczema

Fish oils have been found to protect unborn babies from eczema. The Australian scientists have discovered that mothers who took omega 3 supplements were less likely to have babies with eczema. Studies have found that taking omega 3 supplements during pregnancy also resulted in a 50 per cent less chance of developing intolerance to eggs. Researchers at Adelaide University carried out the study on 706 pregnant women with a family history of allergies. Half of the women were given fish oil supplements to take three times a day from the 21st week until full term. The other half of the study group were given vegetable oil as a placebo. Scientists used Efalex Mother & Baby, which is a high strength omega 3 mixture. So the results of this study are only applicable to this health supplement. The British Medical Journal (BMJ) commented that more research is required to see if fish oils can protect against asthma and hay fever. We hope you found this article “can fish oils during pregnancy prevent baby eczema” useful. Please let us know by rating it...

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Can playing in sunshine help prevent Eczema

Researchers claim that playing in the sunshine reduces the risk of children developing eczema and food allergies. Children living in areas with lower levels of sunlight have a greater risk of developing food allergies and eczema, compared with those living in areas with higher UV light. read on to find out more about if playing in sunshine can help prevent eczema… The researchers used data from an Australian study and analysed rates of food allergies, eczema and asthma variation throughout the country. Australia provides an ideal place to conduct a study such as this, as there is a large variation in climate, day length and sun strength throughout the country. The results found that on average children in the south were twice as likely to suffer with eczema, than children living in northern Australia.  Sunlight is very important for our general health as it provides the optimal source of vitamin D. Dr Nick Osborne, who led the researchers at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, said that the investigation provided further evidence of the association between food allergies and where you live. This report provides further weight behind the belief that children should be encouraged to play outdoors in the sun. This has many other health benefits such as preventing childhood obesity and improving mental...

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Homeopathy for Eczema

Latest NHS statistics show that 1 in 4 children in the UK have some form of eczema. The symptoms usually start between the ages of 2-3 months to 2 years. Eczema is also common in adulthood, and is linked to stress and food allergies. Babies often develop eczema as a result of milk allergies. External irritants, such as perfumes, shampoos or washing powders can also cause eczema symptoms. Homeopathic practitioners recommend homeopathy for Eczema. The general symptoms of eczema are dry, scaly, itchy and red inflamed skin. The intensity of the symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people on develop mild eczema, which requires only occasional application of moisturising creams. Others can have severe eczema that requires intense treatment and can affect their daily lives. Homeopathy is a very effective form of treatment for eczema. It is important to consult a qualified homeopath when treating eczema.    Self prescribing or buying remedies over the counter can possibly aggravate the symptoms. Eczema will require management by the homeopath, who will prescribe natural remedies based on the individual symptoms. Family history, allergies and other general symptoms will help the homeopath to prescribe the most appropriate remedies.  It is worth noting that treatment will require a few consultations (depending on the severity of the eczema). Conventional treatment involves the application of emollients that are based on petroleum, bath oils, antihistamines and steroid creams. All of these treatments work by suppressing the symptoms. Steroid creams such as hydrocortisone may initially seem like a miracle cure, but long term use is not recommended in young children. Long term use can lead to thinning of the skin, weak bones and a lowered immune system, but there are many natural alternatives to these steroid creams. Steroid creams need to be withdrawn gradually, under the guidance of your homeopath. Natural creams that can be used safely are Calendula, Stellaria and Urtica Urens. These natural creams can be used by the whole family and will help moisturise the skin and help stop the itching. The conventional creams block the skin and prevent the skin from “breathing”. The skin is an organ that needs to detox, to expel toxins. By blocking the pores on skin, this process...

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Probiotics

Probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum are beneficial bacteria that are normally present in the digestive tract. Probiotics are naturally found in the body and they have a number of important functions in the body. They are essential for proper digestion, preventing overgrowth of yeast and other harmful bacteria. Probiotics also improve the absorption of vitamins, especially the B vitamins, and minerals into the bloodstream. Probiotics also support the immune system. They do this by lining the intestinal wall with beneficial bacteria, which prevents the absorption of harmful bacteria and viruses into the body. These beneficial bacteria “crowd out” the bad bacteria and help to maintain a healthy immune system. As the digestive tract plays a major role in boosting the immune system, it is very important to maintain a healthy balance of probiotics in the gut. There are several factors that can cause the levels of probiotics decrease: Ageing Stress Medicines such as antibiotics and Non Steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAID’s) such as Ibuprofen, Diclofenac and Aspirin. Travelling abroad Constipation A diet high in meat and fats Smoking and alcohol Antibiotics kill both the “bad” and “good” bacteria, which leads to a decrease in the levels of probiotics in the gut. This is why people who have taken antibiotics experience side effects such as diarrhoea and thrush. It is very important to take a good quality probiotic during and after finishing the course of antibiotics, to replenish all the good bacteria that have been destroyed. Probiotics can be taken to help with several health conditions. These are just a few conditions that can be helped with additional probiotics in the diet: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Constipation & Diarrhoea Bloating Eczema Food Intolerances or allergies Low immune function Thrush Indigestion and heartburn...

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Probiotics

Probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum are beneficial bacteria that are normally present in the digestive tract. Probiotics are naturally found in the body and they have a number of important functions in the body. They are essential for proper digestion, preventing overgrowth of yeast and other harmful bacteria. Probiotics also improve the absorption of vitamins, especially the B vitamins, and minerals into the bloodstream. Probiotics also support the immune system. They do this by lining the intestinal wall with beneficial bacteria, which prevents the absorption of harmful bacteria and viruses into the body. These beneficial bacteria “crowd out” the bad bacteria and help to maintain a healthy immune system. As the digestive tract plays a major role in boosting the immune system, it is very important to maintain a healthy balance of probiotics in the gut. There are several factors that can cause the levels of probiotics decrease: Ageing Stress Medicines such as antibiotics and Non Steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) such as Ibuprofen, Diclofenac and Aspirin. Travelling abroad Constipation A diet high in meat and fats Smoking and alcohol Antibiotics kill both the “bad” and “good” bacteria, which leads to a decrease in the levels of probiotics in the gut. This is why people who have taken antibiotics experience side effects such as diarrhoea and thrush. It is very important to take a good quality probiotic during and after finishing the course of antibiotics, to replenish all the good bacteria that have been destroyed. Probiotics can be taken to help with several health conditions. These are a few conditions that can be helped with additional probiotics: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Constipation & Diarrhoea Bloating Eczema Food Intolerances or allergies Low immune function Thrush Indigestion and...

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