An herb native to China, astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous) has been used for more than 2,000 years to balance the vital energy–or qi–which is thought to flow through all beings. A relative of licorice and the pea plant, astragalus appears to give the immune system a powerful boost. Teas, tablets, and other healing formulations are made from the plant’s flat, yellowish root.
You know the sensation. First, it’s an uncomfortable little “awareness” in the back of your throat, and the thought crosses your mind, “I hope I’m not coming down with something.” Slowly, over the next few hours or so, your awareness increases. Then the next morning, you awaken with the sensation of having swallowed a blowtorch. And, since a sore throat is all too often the first act of a bad cold, you know what the next few days are going to be like, and wonder what you can do to prevent things from getting worse. Here are some suggestions from WholeHealth Chicago.
In my town, doctors refer to it as the “Denver drip,” but of course the “Chicago crud” or “Manhattan mucus” serve just as well. In fact, that decidedly unpleasant, back-of-the-throat, thick-as-molasses post nasal drainage is simply your sinuses, endlessly trying to empty themselves. What with clogged heads, tickly coughs, constant nose blowing, and voices perpetually needing a “harrumph!” to clear them, it’s little wonder that sinus sufferers are willing to undergo repeated surgeries for temporary relief. Or borrow somebody’s old antibiotics. Or fantasize about plunging a Craftsman power drill up their nostrils.
Lupus means “wolf,” maybe because wolves are sly and lupus is the slyest of the autoimmune diseases–conditions in which the trusty immune system, which normally tracks and destroys viruses, bacteria, and cancer cells, suddenly turns and attacks the body. Most of the autoimmune diseases are satisfied with seizing one organ (say, the thyroid or the liver) or the joints. But lupus has imperial ambitions. The skin, joints, muscles, brain, kidney, and all the connective tissue can become victims of the very system that once guarded their existenc
As any doctor will tell you, there are coughs–and then there are coughs! All coughs, though, are a response by your body to rid itself of something that wants to get out. This could be infected mucus in your lungs or the piece of popcorn that “went down the wrong tube.” Basically this means you don’t always want to interfere with the process. You feel the first type of cough, called bronchitic, deep in your chest. For these coughs, you need an expectorant to help the lungs bring up phlegm, to be “productive,” as doctors say.
Doctors call them “viral upper respiratory infections” or “acute viral nasopharyngitis” because big words always sound impressive to patients. But the common cold is…well, common. Most of us get two or three a year. Colds are caused by upward of 200 viruses and it’s this large number that not only prevents developing a “cold vaccine” but is also responsible for the woeful complaint, “Another cold? This isn’t fair! I just got over one.” Neither conventional nor alternative medicine can cure a cold yet, but our WholeHealth Chicago remedies will get you feeling better muy pronto and may just might knock a few days off the usual seven to 10 days you can expect a cold to last. And you might even build up some more resistance to fend off the next cold virus that comes your way.
Any condition that keeps you from smiling and kissing is inherently dislikable. Cold sores (also called fever blisters) are generally a harmless condition I’d classify as a medical “annoyance,” like dandruff or hemorrhoids–not a danger to life or limb. Nevertheless, no one wants to go through the day with a large, unsightly sore on the lip, especially since they seem to appear on days you’re set for an interview or an important photograph. Actually, good news is here. At WholeHealth Chicago, we’ve found some safe and effective natural therapies that can either prevent the eruption of a cold sore or inhibit the virus that causes it, heal the inflamed skin, and shorten its unsightly life. (One such remedy is an herb with the lovely name of melissa.)
Most people have had a brush with bronchitis–an inflammation of the bronchi or the breathing tubes–at some time in their lives. And 7 million people, virtually all of them smokers, experience the symptoms of bronchitis every single day for years. Bronchitis comes in two versions. Acute bronchitis occurs when an infection, usually a virus or bacteria, inflames the bronchial tubes. It produces a raw, hacking, painful cough that can sometimes be relieved with self-care measures but often requires antibiotics.
Click here for the Health Tip link. Q: Dr Edelberg, you said in your last health tip that Tamiflu works on flu, which is caused by a virus, but not on colds. Why doesn’t it help with colds–aren’t most of them caused by a virus? A: Great question. Antiviral medications are designed for a specific virus and Tamiflu is designed specifically for the influenza virus. Read More
Click here for the Health Tip link. We’ve talked about the flu in my last couple health tips, but let’s review before we discuss Tamiflu, the antiviral drug. First, learn to differentiate a common cold from the flu. With a cold, most of the symptoms you feel are evidence that your body is trying to shed a virus that has invaded the moist membranes lining Read More