I do almost all our grocery shopping at a store that does not sell standard medicines. So if I want a painkiller or cold medicine, I have to go to a separate store, or buy homeopathic substitutes from my grocer instead.
This happened to me this week. I was at the natural grocery store and wanted an expectorant for a mucusy cough I’ve had for a week. The pregnant woman who worked there suggested Chestol, by Boiron, which she said is okay to take while nursing or pregnant (I am nursing, not pregnant!). I quickly skimmed the active ingredients and saw nothing I really recognized. But it was okay for children over two so I bought it and went home.
I have to say that this is the best expectorant I have ever used. Way better than Mucinex and I could also give it to my 3-year old. It is amazing how it loosens up chest phlegm, and my cold symptoms are disappearing faster than I expected. Chance? Possibly. Chestol? I’ll have to see the next chest cold I get. Continue reading »
Below are some simple suggestions of safe ways to prevent the flu this season. This information comes from a nurse in my area:
The main portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global
epidemic of this nature, it’s almost impossible to avoid coming into contact
with H1N1, in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a
problem as proliferation is.
While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in
order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of
secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most
official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock
N95 or Tamiflu):
1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).
2. “Hands-off-the-face” approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of
face (unless you want to eat, bathe or sleep).
Continue reading »
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m going to summarize a few studies that show how sex is good for your health. Ladies, be careful telling your husbands about the last one. Happy Valentine’s Day!
- Sex reduces stress. A 2006 study, published in the journal Biological Psychology found that those who had sexual intercourse had better responses to stress (in this study, the stressors were public speaking and verbal arithmetic).
- Sex boost immunity. A study at Wilkes University in PA found that college students that had sex 1-2 times per week has significantly higher levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) than students that has less frequent sex (and interestingly also more–3+ times per week). IgA is an important component of the immune system.
- Frequent ejaculation reduces risk of prostate cancer. This study‘s results are a bit absurd (at least from a woman’s perspective) but basically found that the more a man ejaculates between the ages of 20 and 50, the less his chances of developing prostate cancer. Men who ejaculated 7 times or more each week in their 20s were 1/3 less likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer than those who “only” ejaculated 3 times each week.
I really want to write a post about the benefits of nasal irrigation. A couple months ago, I read an article in a magazine at the gym (and I don’t even remember which magazine–maybe Yoga?) that touted the virtues of nasal irrigation via tools like the Neti Pot or Sinus Rinse. It said that rinsing sinuses with a saline solution regularly can keep you from catching a cold as it flushes out the bacteria and viruses that get trapped in your nose before they have a chance to infect you. It also said that rinsing while you have a cold can reduce the severity and length of the cold by keeping sinuses clear. I can say from experience that at least it provides some relief from all the congestion, snot, and swelling of nasal passages. Continue reading »
Last night was not a fun night at our house.
The evening started off nice enough. After the baby went to bed, my husband and 3 year old son and I had a nice dinner on our porch. Grilled shrimp, corn on the cob, a spinach tomato salad, and whole wheat bread. My husband had a beer, I drank water. Dessert was watermelon and cherries. We all had the same amount of shrimp–this we know because my husband commented on how we each had 8-9, while our 3 year old had 10.
An hour after my 3 year old went to bed, he woke up crying. Then again. And again. “My tummy hurts.” At 10:30 pm, he threw up all over his bed. Think cherries. We cleaned it up and put him back down. He threw up three more times after that. Fortunately, he made it to the bathroom every time.
Continue reading »
By now, you probably know that I am a big fan of Omega-3 fatty acids. I think they’re crucial for good health. But here’s something I didn’t know until recently–Omega-3 fatty acids may also boost immunity. So as the cold and flu season continues, consider adding a fish oil or flax seed oil supplement to your diet, in addition to probiotics and garlic.
Continue reading »
I have been taking garlic as a supplement when I am sick for over a decade. I really truly believe in the health benefits of it. Here are some of the amazing things garlic has been found to do:
- It can reduce the number of colds you catch. A 2001 clinical trial showed that when 146 people received either a garlic supplement or a placebo, the garlic group reported only 24 colds as compared to 65 reported by the placebo group.
- Garlic powder has been shown to significantly reduce the buildup of arterial plaque. It may also lower cholesterol and reduce blood pressure.
- Aged garlic extract has been found to lower homocysteine levels (high levels indicate inflammation).
- Garlic juice acts as an antibiotic, even against some antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.
- Garlic is antifungal too.
- A garlic rich diet may reduce the risks for colorectal and gastric cancers. Doctor and author Steven G Pratt says that eating one clove of garlic daily may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
The best way to get your garlic is to eat one medium clove each day. You can also take a supplement of 600-900 mg of powdered garlic or 4 mL of aged garlic extract. For more info on garlic, see the Whole Foods Market Jan/Feb 2008 magazine.