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Posts Tagged "natural supplements"

Natural supplements for immune boosting

There are many immune boosting herbs and supplements available, but which ones are the most effective and safe to take? Which ones are a waste of money? Alongside taking natural immune boosting supplements you can also make some simple life-style changes that will have dramatic results. A healthy diet, good quality rest, minimal alcohol and caffiene consumption, regular exercise and cutting out smoking are simple measures that will result in a better functioning immune system. Here are some good quality natural supplements that can be taken to boost the immune system. Echinacea is one of the most commonly used herbs to treat the immune system. It provides a boost to the immune system and seems to have a beneficial action on all infectious conditions. Studies have shown that echinacea reduces the severity of cold symptoms and increases the speed of recovery. Echinacea is best taken at the onset of a respiriatory tract infection such as a cold or cough, and should only be taken for periods of no more than three weeks at a time. If you are taking any prescription medication or have a long standing illness, please consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking echinacea. Probiotics such as acidophillus provide good bacteria which protect the digestive system from infections. Research has shown that probiotics may boost the immune system by stimulating the immune cells that line the gastro-intestinal tract. Probiotcs should also be taken following a course anti-biotics, as they will replace the good bacteria that has also been destroyed by the anti-biotics. Acidophillus is also very good at treating candida infections such as thrush. Garlic and Ginger both have immune boosting, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Garlic is also known to have anti-funal action, and can be taken to treat thrush. Vitamin C is a strong immune boosting nutrient. It has been shown to reduce the severity and speed up the recovery of a cold. The herb Astragalus is an adaptogen and works very well in stimulating the immune system. This herb can be taken for long periods as well as in speeding up the recovery during a cold or a respiratory tract infection. If you are taking any prescribed medication, or you have a long standing illness, please consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking...

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Natural Supplements for Insomnia

Insomnia is a very common condition that can contribute to other health conditions and affect work and personal life. People usually turn to natural medicine for the treatment of insomnia after trying conventional medicine. The main problem with conventional medicine is the side effects, which can range from dry mouth, headaches and daytime drowsiness. These medicines are also very addictive and it can be very difficult to come off these drugs.  Long-term insomnia is associated with a number of heath concerns such as weight gain, depression and can speed up the ageing process. There are many natural supplements for insomnia that are easily available. The natural approach to treating insomnia is therefore a better option, and there are many therapies and alternative medicines to choose from. If you are taking prescription medication, please consult your G.P or pharmacist as these medicines could be causing your sleep problems or they may interact with the alternative medicines. Insomnia can also be a symptom of an underlying illness, such as depression, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, anxiety, stress or diabetes. A lack of regular exercise and a diet high in sugar and salt can also contribute to sleep problems. Natural Alternative Sleep Remedies There are many natural sleep remedies that have been shown to be beneficial.  One therapy may be more beneficial than another for the individual person, so please do not give up if you find that the first therapy that you try doesn’t help you.  Please consult your pharmacist if you are taking any regular medication before taking these natural supplements, as there is a possibility that they may interact with your medications. VALERIAN This is a traditional herbal medicine that has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for anxiety and sleep problems. Research has shown that Valerian can increase levels of the neurotransmitter, GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid). This is associated with a decrease in CNS (central nervous system) activity, which results in better quality sleep. This herb is not believed to be addictive or cause drowsiness in the morning (unlike many conventional sleeping pills). Valerian has also been shown to treat mild anxiety, which could be responsible for the insomnia. Valerian comes in the form of liquid, teas, capsules or...

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Natural Supplement Reduces Wrinkles

The Sunday Times has reported that scientists have for the first time produced a pill that clinically slows down ageing by reducing wrinkles. So can natural supplements for wrinkles really help? Independent testing has found that the oral supplement which contains plant compounds and vitamins reduced the depth of crow’s feet wrinkles on the face by 10 per cent. The supplement is thought to work by increasing the production of collagen, which is a key component in keeping the skin elastic and healthy. This new research could provide a genuine alternative to Botox injections. The ingredients of this supplement were not very surprising however. Nutritionists and natural health professionals have been promoting the use of antioxidants and omega 3 oils for many years. This new supplement contains lycopene, vitamin C, vitamin E and omega 3 essential fatty acids. These are nutrients that have been known to promote healthy skin and also have strong antioxidant properties which help to slow down premature ageing. The study was conducted on a test group of 53 women, and a control group who took a placebo pill. The report concluded a 10 per cent reduction in wrinkle depth in the test group compared to the control group. Further analysis also found increased levels of collagen. As good as these results are, a healthy lifestyle is as important (if not more) than taking any supplement. A balanced diet with plenty of colourful fruit and vegetables can boost levels of antioxidants. Drinking up to 8 glasses of water a day can reduce the effects of dehydration on the skin. Regular exercise and good quality sleep also aide the anti-ageing process. Reducing alcohol intake and cutting out smoking will also have a dramatic effect on the quality of your skin....

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Flu Prevention?

What is the best method of flu prevention? The start of autumn brings a change of weather, shorter days and the new flu vaccine. The annual flu vaccination is heavily promoted throughout the country by all factions of the NHS. Everyone over the age of 65, asthmatics, diabetics, pregnant women and even young children (most of the population) are being pushed to get this vaccination. It is worth thinking before simply agreeing to the jab. The vaccine promotes protection against most strains of flu but this does not provide a 100 per cent guarantee that you will be protected.  The flu virus is continually evolving, so any specific vaccine can never be an identical match to the latest strain. Health authorities also promote an annual vaccination as the strains of flu evolve each year. By the time you have the vaccine, the new strain of flu is invariably in circulation. This mass vaccination programme, however, does not take into account the individual’s susceptibility to getting the flu symptoms. The medical authorities do not promote the use of vitamins, healthy diet and regular exercise as a means of naturally boosting the immune system. Taking immune boosting vitamins such as B vitamins, vitamin C and zinc throughout the winter months strengthens your natural defences irrespective of the specific strains of flu that are in circulation. We can even boost natural immunity through our diet. Fried foods and junk food deplete our stores of vitamins and minerals, whereas a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruit and water can supplement the immune system. Latest research is looking at a universal vaccine which boosts numbers of CD8 T cells in the body. Experiments have suggested that CD8 cells could protect against the virus, but further studies will need to be conducted. It is worth taking a bit of time to consider other options before having the seasonal...

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Complementary Therapies for Learning Disabilities

As this week is National Learning Disability week, it is worth looking at how complementary therapies for learning disabilities and nutritional supplements can play a role in their management. Homeopathy is a complementary therapy that can help treat many common childhood conditions without causing side effects. Homeopathic remedies do not interact with other medicines, but you should consult with your paediatrician before starting treatment. Other therapies that can help children with learning disabilities include cranial sacral therapy. This is a gentle and non-invasive therapy that can help the body to stimulate it’s own healing through the nervous system. Reflexology is another therapy that can help treat many symtoms that patients with learning difficulties may have. Many therapists specialise in treating children with learning difficulties, and can work along side conventional treatment. Nutritional supplements such as L-glutamine, omega-3 essential fatty acids, N-acetyl cysteine and multivitamins and minerals can help to play a positive role in the management of learning disabilities. Many studies have found that specially designed nutritional supplements can have a substantial influence on learning and behaviour. These complementary approaches are not recommended as a replacement for conventional treatment, but as an add on to existing medical...

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Natural Anti-Ageing Tips

Natural Anti-Ageing Tips

There is alot of information on anti-ageing in the media ranging from vitamin supplements to the latest magical creams and lotions. All of this information can seem confusing and overwhelming. There are a number of simple measures that you can take to “age healthily”. Factors that can influence the ageing process are nutrition, exercise, levels of stress and relaxation. Addressing these factors can result in a dramatic improvement in general health as well as slowing down the ageing process. Natural anti-ageing tips are all around, but here is our selection from us at Healthy3. Healthy ageing does not work with a quick fix approach or just supplemneting with lots of vitamins. A healthy lifestyle which includes a healthy diet, regular exercise and the addition of antioxidants is the key to keeping you healthy and young. The following simple tips can help you achieve your target of healthy ageing: Nutrition A diet high in caffiene, alcohol, saturated fat, salt and processed foods is unsurprisingly going to result in unhealthy skin, and will starve the body of nutrients. A diet that is going to help the anti-ageing process should include plenty of vegetables, water, essential fatty acids (from oily fish, nuts and seeds), and fruits. Anti-oxidants are also very important in anti-ageing. There are a number of supplements that are discussed in the article What are anti-oxidants?”. Foods that have high levels of anti-oxidants are garlic, colourful vegetables and fruits, extra virgin olive oil, pink grapefruit, walnuts, almonds, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. Alchohol consumption should be kept to a minimum as it causes dehydration throughout the body. This also applies to processed foods, which are high in sugar and salt.  You should aim to drink 8 glasses or 1.5 litres of water a day. Exercise Regular exercise is very important in maintaining a healthy mind and body. Exercise causes an increase of endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural mood boosting chemicals and are released during exercise. Exercise also reduces the stress hormones such as cortisol. Several studies have shown that regular exercise can slow down the ageing process. The types of exercise that can be incorporated into a regime should include flexibility training, strength training and a cardiovascular workout. If you haven’t done any strenuous exercise recently, you should consult...

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Daily Flaxseed Can Lower Blood Pressure

Taking a daily dose of flaxseed has been found to lower the risk of high blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease. Flaxseed can be added to cereals, salads or even baked foods such as bagels and muffins. Researchers from University Hospital Holguin, Cuba, havefound adding flaxseed to the diet can reduce systolic blood pressure by 10mmHgand diastolic blood pressure by 7mmHg. The study was conducted on 110 patients who had peripheralheart disease. Most of the group also had high blood pressure. The patientswere also taking an anti-hypertensive drug. Half of the group had 30g offlaxseed added to their diet (bagels, buns and muffins), and the control grouphad the same foods without the added flaxseeds. The results found that after six months the test group had asignificant drop in blood pressure levels. Dr Rodriguez who presented the studysaid that the reduction of systolic and diastolic blood pressure is the largestdecrease in blood pressure ever shown by any dietary intervention. These reductions in blood pressure would be expected to leadto a drop of around 50 per cent in the incidence of stroke and a 30 per centreduction in heart attacks, according to Dr Rodriguez. The flaxseed group also showed a major increase in plasmaalpha-linolenic acid and an even greater increase in levels of enterolactone.These levels did not change in the control group. The researchers believe that the reduction in blood pressurelevels is a result of the synergistic effect of the alpha-linolenic acid,enteroligans and...

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Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Often used in cooking, but not thought of as a healthy supplement, cinnamon has got many properties which are very beneficial to your health. So let us tell you about the great health benefits of cinnamon… It is rich in calcium, iron and manganese. Cinnamon has also been found to have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antimicrobial and anti-clotting properties. General Indigestion: Cinnamon can stimulate a sluggish digestion, relieve flatulence and stomach cramps. This spice has also been used to treat nausea and acidity as well as diarrhoea. The fibre content of cinnamon also helps maintain a healthy digestive system. Circulation: This spice can stimulate blood circulation. This has the added benefit of reducing the risk of heart disease. Diabetes: Cinnamon can help to maintain blood sugar levels. Various studies have shown promise in balancing blood sugar levels in people with type-two diabetes. Cinnamon should not be used as a replacement to conventional medicine, but can be added to your diet or as a supplement. Please consult your doctor before taking a cinnamon supplement. Immune System: Cinnamon is commonly used to treat colds and flu symptoms. This is due to its “warming “action. Cinnamon tea is effective at treating sore throats, colds and high fevers. Pain Relief: It has an anti-inflammatory action and can be used to relieve muscle and joint pain. Cinnamon relieves pain and stiffness of...

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Natural Supplements for Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps can be very uncomfortable and painful. This condition is very common and is caused by muscles going into involuntary spasm due to a shortage of oxygen and build up of lactic acid. Muscle cramps can affect anyone, from the elderly, pregnant women, athletes through to young children and there are available supplements for muscle cramps. As you can see there is not set pattern on who can develop this condition. The top tennis player, Rafael Nadal, recently suffered witha severe muscle cramp after a strenuous match at the US Open 2011. In this case,I would suspect the cramps were a result of strenuous exercise and possibly dehydration causing a deficiency in sodium. As yet nobody knows the exact reason why muscle cramps occur, but one explanation could be an imbalance in the minerals that control muscle contraction and relaxation. These essential minerals are magnesium,calcium, potassium and sodium. Other possible causes are strenuous exercise (without adequate stretching) and wearing high heels. Some prescription medications can cause muscle cramps. Drugsused to lower blood pressure such as diuretics can lead to electrolyte imbalances causing muscle cramps. Health supplements can help to rebalance levels of minerals in the body. Other natural supplements work by reducing inflammation and pain. Homeopathic remedies can help to reduce pain and prevent cramps from occurring. Magnesium is the main supplement for preventing musclecramps. This mineral works by relaxing the muscles. Magnesium is available in many forms but the citrate form is the one that’s better absorbed. Doses canvary, but a recommended dose is 200mg twice a day, with food. Calcium is a very popular supplement, but it is usually available as calcium carbonate. Our bodies find this form quite difficult to absorb. High doses of calcium carbonate can contribute to the development of kidney stones.  You should look for calcium citrate, which is sometimes combined with magnesium. These supplements actually work very well together, as the absorption of calcium is improved with magnesium. The recommended dose of calcium is 500mg twice a day. Most people get enough sodium in their diet through salt,but potassium is sometimes deficient. Good food sources of potassium are bananas, dairy foods, vegetables, whole grains, brown rice, dates and apricots.If you can...

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Natural Supplements for Constipation

Following on from the article Natural Treatments for Constipation, there are a number of natural supplements that can be taken to support the digestive system and treat constipation. These supplements generally work by softening and adding bulk to the bowel motions. You should notice the benefits within a few days. All of these natural supplements should be accompanied by drinking plenty of water. Before taking any of these natural supplements for constipation, please consult your GP if: The symptoms of constipation persist for two weeks or longer after increasing fibre and water intake. You have weight loss associated with the constipation. You have abdominal pain. You notice blood in your stool. You have recently started taking a medication that may cause constipation. You notice a sudden change in your bowel habits. Psyllium Husk. This is the main supplement for treating constipation. Psyllium are portions of the seeds of the plant Plantago Ovata. This plant originates from Asia, but is now grown in Europe and North America. This natural remedy has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Ayuvedic medicine to treat constipation. Psyllium, a gel forming fibre, is a source of soothing mucilages for the digestive tract. This natural supplement works by absorbing a huge amount of bulk in water to form a gelatinous mass. This resulting bulk passes along the walls of the bowel stimulating a contraction followed by an emptying. This supplement is one of the gentlest laxatives and is safe for long term use. Psyllium can also help to lower cholesterol and glucose levels by preventing these substances from being absorbed. This natural supplement should be taken on a regular basis to reduce cholesterol levels. Psyllium can also be taken as part of a detoxing programme, to help flush out toxins. Psyllium should be taken with plenty of water. The general dose is 1-3 tablespoons of powder a day, dissolved in water or juice. This supplement should be taken as soon as possible after dissolving in water or juice. When taking Psyllium, it is very important to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Flax seed oil is a rich source of omega 3 essential fatty acids that help to provide lubrication for...

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What is a natural acne treatment

Acne is a very common skin condition that usually affects teenagers at the time of puberty but can also affect adults. It usually affects the face, back and shoulders. The skin eruptions usually appear in the form of spots that are raised and painful. The spots appear as blackheads, whiteheads (small hard lumps with a white centre), pustules (spots with a lot of pus) and nodules (hard, painful lumps under the skin). It is important to look after your body so why not try a natural acne treatment. There is also the risk of scarring when these spots disappear. Acne is normally causes by hormone imbalances. Sebaceous glands in the skin produce an oily substance called sebum, which helps to protect the skin. Hormone imbalances cause an increase in the production of sebum, which blocks the hair follicles, resulting in the formation of spots and inflammation.  Acne is not only related to hormone imbalances. Other factors that can contribute to acne are nutritional deficiencies, stress, certain medications, a diet high in saturated fat and food allergies. The skin is also a major detox organ, so if the body contains a lot of toxins, this process may also contribute to acne. It is not surprising that acne is a condition that can affect people both physically and emotionally. Acne on the face can cause a lack of self confidence and low self esteem. This can have a knock on effect in the person’s social and work life. People often give up with over the counter skin creams and washes and are often prescribed long term antibiotics and retinoids which can have harmful side effects. There are however a number of natural approaches to skin health that can help to improve the general health of your skin. Nutrition is the most important factor in the health of your skin. A diet high in refined sugar, salt and hydrogenated fat can cause and aggravate acne. Processed food can also aggravate acne, as these foods contain very few enzymes and are generally high in sugar and salt. A diet that contains a variety of fibre, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and essential fatty acids will benefit the health of the skin as well as...

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Natural supplements for sport

There are many studies that state that weight training exercises strengthen the bones and reduce the possibility of developing osteoporosis in later life. These exercises should be done with supervision if you are new to weight training, as they can result in serious injury if done incorrectly. It can be advisable to take natural supplements for sport and weight training. There are many forms of protein powder available, but the majority of these contain artificial ingredients and sweetners. The amount of protein per serving is also very high in may products. The very high levels of protein cause an extra load of the kidneys, and can lead to further problems. Cardiovascular exercise such as running or rowing cause the body to release free radicals as part of the catabolism process (the breakdown of carbohydrate into smaller molecules). It is therefore important to take an anti-oxidant before undertaking a cardiovascular exercise. Other natural supplements that are recommended are: The amino acid L-Glutamine helps the muscles recover after a workout and therefore help with muscle growth. L-Argine is another amino acid that has been shown to increase muscle and lean body mass if taken in conjuction with a high intensity training programme. Fish Oil and Flax Seed Oil Supplements provide an excellent source of omega 3 essential fatty acids, that are important for the joints and help to reduce inflammation. Glucosamine will help to maintain strong joints and cartilage during weight training programmes. The homeopathic remedies Arnica, Rhus Tox and Ruta Grav are very effective at treating and sports related strains and sprains. Thes can also be applied as a cream or...

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