During these lovely summer days we’re tempted to be outside enjoying nature, but beware: predators lurk in the weeds. Here in the Midwest, we’re in a Lyme disease area so I thought it might be a good idea to let you know what symptoms to watch for, a task made sadly easier when my associate Dr Rubin, known for his love of the outdoors and risky gardening habit…well, I’ll let him tell you what he did on his summer vacation.
Lysine is one of numerous amino acids that the body needs for growth and tissue repair. It is classified as one of the nine “essential” amino acids because you need to get it from outside sources such as foods or supplements–in other words the body can’t make it on its own.
Lycopene provides the red color to tomato products and is one of the major carotenoids in the diet of North Americans and Europeans. Lycopene is a prominent member of the carotenoid family. In plants, lycopene is similar to other carotenoids, serving as a light-absorbing pigment during photosynthesis and protecting cells against photosensitization. Interest is growing in lycopene because of the many recent epidemiological studies implicating lycopene in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease. A diet rich in foods containing carotenoids is associated with several health benefits. Lycopene has unique structural and chemical features that may contribute to its biological actions in humans.
Nutritional supplements known as lipotropic combinations (or lipotropic factors) are designed to enhance liver function and increase the flow of fats and bile from the liver and gallbladder. By definition, a lipotropic substance decreases the deposit, or speeds up the removal, of fat (lipo=fat, tropic=stimulate) within the liver. Lipotropic combinations are well known in naturopathic medicine but are little used by conventional physicians.
Few herbal remedies have been as widely used or as carefully examined over the centuries as licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), a botanical member of the pea family that is still widely cultivated in Greece and Turkey. The herb’s key therapeutic compound, glycyrrhizin, is found in the rhizome (or underground stem) of this tall purple-flowered shrub. Hundreds of other potentially healing substances have been identified in licorice as well, including compounds called flavonoids and various plant estrogens (phytoestrogens). Researchers are currently excited about the diverse healing properties of licorice, from its anti-inflammatory abilities to its capacity to soothe stomach upset and control coughs. Even the National Cancer Institute has investigated the medicinal benefits of licorice.
Lecithin is a fatty substance manufactured in the body and widely found in many animal- and plant-based foods, including eggs, liver, peanuts, soybeans, and wheat germ. Lecithin is often used as an additive in such processed foods as ice cream, margarine, and salad dressings, because it helps blend (or emulsify) fats with water. Lecithin is also available in supplement form.
Recognized around the globe for its fresh and heady fragrance, the lavender plant (Lavendula angustifolia), a flowering evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean region, also boasts a long history in herbal healing.
Romans scented their baths with it (in fact lavare means to wash in Latin), and the Tibetans still make an edible lavender butter to use as part of a traditional treatment for nervous disorders. Today, the essential oil of lavender is widely used across Europe–both topically and internally–for a host of ills, from anxiety to sunburn.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a slightly altered form of linoleic acid (LA), an omega-6 fatty acid important to human health. Omega-6 fatty acids are derived from the foods we eat (primarily from meats and dairy products). The average American ingests probably less than 1 gram of CLA a day.
Light therapy is the use of natural or artificial light to treat various ailments, but primarily depressive and sleep disorders. It may be administered by a physician, physical therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist–or done on one’s own with proper instruction from a trained professional. While exposure to the full-spectrum wavelength of natural sunlight is considered the best form of light therapy, it is not always possible for many people to get outdoors. Therefore, light therapists often recommend treatment with simulated sunlight from light boxes.
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
Click here for the Health Tip link. It’s been one tough day. Your boss chewed you out for something that was clearly her own doing and your computer crashed. The dry cleaner lost your favorite suit. Your car is making an odd but expensive-sounding noise. But wait–don’t pull a blanket over your head or reach […]
Posted 10/28/2008 You could see smoke pouring from the ears of some doctors, myself included, at information released earlier this year. A combination of junk science, the drug industry, FDA, and American Heart Association (AHA) had convinced us that lowering cholesterol actually prevented heart disease. It turns out we’d all been conned. And it’s interesting […]
I first encountered flower remedies when visiting a couple who had just lost a long-awaited infant by miscarriage. Although their home was very much a place of mourning, they bore their grief with fortitude. At one point during the conversation, they brought out a small bottle, placed a few drops under each other’s tongues, and then continued talking.
When you use guided imagery, you deliberately and consciously use the power of your imagination to create positive images (called healing visualizations) that will trigger healthful changes within. The whole concept of guided imagery works because in terms of the physiology inside your brain, picturing something and actually experiencing it are very similar. Let’s pretend […]
Click here for the original post. Several readers sent me a link to this New York Times article about fibromyalgia and the newly approved drug Lyrica. The article addresses a continuing (and unnecessary) controversy about fibromyalgia. Namely, whether fibro is a “real” disease that deserves its own medication and, alternatively, if it’s not a disease […]
Q: You mentioned in one of your tips that low blood sugar was a controversial diagnosis. Would you explain why?
A: To my thinking, the controversy over low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) got started when the book Sugar Blues came out 30 years ago and doctors couldn’t cope with patients asking questions about a condition they knew little about.
Posted 11/01/2006 It’s been a good month for new research revealing ways you can live a longer and healthier life. Here are a few highlights: Medscape News for physicians reported that fully one-third of all cancers can be directly attributed to lifestyle factors. These include choices such as dietary selections and tobacco and alcohol use; […]