Head tilted back, mouth stretched to the max to accommodate fingers, cotton, and something metallic and vaguely medieval, my plaque was sandblasted to smithereens. Dr Mintz peered inside, cocked an eye, and remarked, “You have very youthful gums.” I cannot deny my unalloyed pleasure on hearing this. I’d been thinking about aging recently, recalling actress […]
In the eighteenth century, seasoned sailors found that by sucking on lemons they could avoid scurvy, a debilitating disease that often developed during long voyages when fresh fruits and vegetables were scarce. When the lemon’s key nutrient was formally identified in 1928, it was named ascorbic acid for its anti-scurvy, or antiscorbutic, action. Today ascorbic acid is widely known as vitamin C.
Vitamin C, an essential antioxidant, is often sold with plant-based substances called flavonoids in a single product. While each supplement can be purchased individually, there are several reasons to consider a product that combines the two.
For one, flavonoids–the catchall term for some 4,000 antioxidant compounds responsible for the color and numerous health benefits of fruits, vegetables, and herbs–enhance the body’s absorption of vitamin C. Key flavonoids include quercetin, rutin, genistein, grape seed extract, and naringen.
Folic acid, also called folate or folacin, is a B vitamin with a solid reputation for protecting against birth defects and heart disease. If adults were to get an adequate amount of this vitamin, it is estimated that 50,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease could be prevented each year in the United States alone. Moreover, common birth defects could be cut nearly in half. Other ailments, such as depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain types of cancer may respond to the effects of folic acid as well.
From cough cure to tension-reliever, the woody scented oil and leathery leaves of the stately eucalyptus tree have found myriad uses over the centuries. Australian aborigines relied on this native evergreen for soothing painful joints and healing skin lesions. And settlers to the continent dubbed eucalyptus the “fever tree” in recognition of its disease-fighting powers. While these early users ascribed its potency to the tree’s brisk aroma, it is now known that the thirsty roots were responsible: They kept the surrounding ground relatively dry and thus free of malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
One of the world’s most popular supplements, the chemical coenzyme Q10 has generated great excitement as a heart disease remedy and a cure for countless other conditions. The body naturally produces this compound, which has been dubbed “vitamin Q” because of its essential role in keeping all systems running smoothly. In fact, the scientists who identified coenzyme Q10 in 1957 initially honored its ubiquitous presence–it’s found in every human cell and in all living organisms–by naming it “ubiquinone.” Small amounts are also present in most foods.
One of the safest medicinal herbs, chamomile is a soothing, gentle relaxant that has been shown to work for a variety of complaints from stress to menstrual cramps. This herb has a satisfying, applelike aroma and flavor (the name chamomile is derived from the Greek kamai melon, meaning ground apple), and it’s most often taken as a delicious, mild therapeutic tea. Concentrated extracts of chamomile are also added to healing creams and lotions or packaged as pills and tinctures.
Click here for the Health Tip link. There are few words in health care that make my toes curl more than “gum scaling.” They’re like a fingernail drawn slowly across the blackboard of life. When patients come in for a check-up with me, they get their gums checked, a quick effort to save them from […]