headache

Remedies for Headaches that are Alarmingly Simple

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Headache Facts

The Migraine Research Foundation estimates that migraine headaches affect 38 million Americans, (about 13% of the US population). Of this, 2-3 million are chronic disorders. Women are three times more likely than men to suffer from headaches. However severe symptoms are, there are solutions available to minimize, diminish, and remedy this common condition.

All pain is a result of inflammation. However, headaches have the additional attribute associated with muscle spasms. Defining the sources of inflammation is essential to the resolution and prevention. Migraines are typically characterized by additional symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and light and sound sensitivities. Headaches can often be alleviated by correcting what is often either an excess or a deficiency.

Sources of Excess, and Deficiency

Excess:

*Exhaustion
*Frequent consumption of blue lights or low quality screens from phones, computers, and electronics;
*Overconsumption of certain vitamins or minerals;
*Overconsumption of supplements or medications

Deficiencies:bareMinerals

*Vitamin and mineral deficiency;
*Inadequate hydration;
*Oxygen deficiency.

Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

Eating whole foods is one of the most solid ways to get the natural and essential vitamins and minerals required for the body to function properly. Center for Disease Control, CDC statistics conclude that less than 13% of Americans meet the minimum daily recommendation for fruit and vegetable consumption. They suggest a daily minimum intake of 1,1/2 cups of fruit, and 2 cups of vegetables. Diets rich in processed foods will invariably contribute to nutrition deficiencies. This can be corrected by replacing processed foods with whole foods such as fresh produce, fish, naturally raised or organic poultry and meats, and whole grains such as brown rice.

Essential Nutrients for Headache Preventionheadaches - photo of coconut water product

The following vitamins and minerals are essential to preventing headaches due to their effects on blood vessels, regulation of blood pressure, and regulating muscle contractions.

USRDA, (US Recommended Daily Allowance)

Nutrient, USRDA, Food Sources

  • Vitamin C: Men: 90mg; Women: 75 mg; Smokers: additional 35 mg; Foods: Oranges, strawberries, citrus fruits, pomegranate, cranberries, kiwi, peppers, tomatoes, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli,
  • Vitamin E: Adults: 15mg; Foods: Corn, nuts, seeds, whole grains, broccoli, spinach, vegetable oils, green vegetables, wheat germ.
  • Calcium: Adults: 100mg; Over age 50: 1200mg; Foods: Oats, dairy, broccoli, collard greens, figs, kale, almonds
  • Magnesium: Men: 420mg, Women: 320mg: Foods: Avocados, beans, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, potatoes, raisins, bananas, kiwi, pumpkin, whole grains
  • Potassium: 2000mg; Foodsfigs, dates, oranges, pomegranate, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, prunes, yogurt, prunes
  • Sodium: 500mg; Foods: Most foods

Electrolytes ensure the body’s healthy blood Ph and adequate hydration. They are essential for proper function of muscles and nerves. Deficiency in the electrolytes, Potassium, Calcium, and Sodium can cause muscle weakness, or muscle spasms.

Hydration

The average person loses about 3-4 liters, (10-15 cups) of fluid daily through perspiration, respiration, kidney, and colon elimination. Thirst is an indicator of dehydration. The effects of dehydration include: Fatigue, blood pressure changes, headache, and stress. The body requires about half of the body weight in ounces. So, for a 200 lb. person, 100 oz., or 3.13 Qts., (10-12 cups), daily. A 100 lb. person should consume 50 oz., or 4 12 oz. cups of water per day. Increased physical activity, and hot climates result in increased fluid loss, requiring more water to replenish the system.headaches - photo of bottle water

 Soda, tea, and coffee flush water from the body, though they do not replenish lost fluids. In addition, they contain enzymes and additives that block the body’s absorption of certain vitamins and minerals; which can ultimately contribute to headaches and inflammation.

Oxygen

The brain weighs 2% of the total body weight. Although, it receives 20% of its oxygen consumption. Brain cells are extremely sensitive to inadequate oxygen supply. Air pollution, smoke, and chemicals in and around your environment can lower oxygen intake and consequently result in fatigue, depression, irritability, and inflammation.

Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body to carry out necessary functions. Oxygen oxidizes, or burns food to create energy and heat for the body. Deficiencies, such as Anemia are characterized by an inadequate supply of oxygen to the cells. Deficiency in iron can result in Anemia. It’s symptoms include chronic headaches.
Other important nutrients that carry and regulate the flow of oxygen to the cells include calcium and Vitamin C.

Excessive Nutrients and Behaviors that Contribute to Headaches

The body only requires a minimal quantity of certain nutrients. For instance, Iron is a mineral that is critical for blood-oxygen functions.Though, too much iron in the system can cause or contribute to flu symptoms including headache. The Recommended Daily Allowance, RDA for Iron is 18 mg. for women, and 8 mg for men. For men, and women over 50 the RDA drops to 8 mg. Shellfish, such as oysters contain up to 27% of the RDA per 4.9 mg. In addition, they have a high protein content. This is one food that can easily be eaten excessively.
Moreover, diets high in proteins, and low in carbohydrates can also bring on headaches as well as fatigue.

Blue lights are the lights present in electronics, including phones and laptops. Viewing these screens at night is not only harmful to the eyes, it also disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm, which is the body’s internal clock. This can disrupt sleep patterns.
Additionally, staring at screens excessively can also cause eye strain and headache. Avoid the harmful effects of staring by blinking often. Vision researcher, Orlin Sorensen recommends the 10-10 rule. For every 10 minutes of screen viewing, focus on a distant image for 10 seconds. A final note, sleep deprivation, stress, and visual impairments can all lead to  inflammation.

Rapid Healing Foods

There are certain foods that are immediately effective in alleviating headaches, if the condition does not stem from a more serious problem. Ground cinnamon from the bark of the cinnamon tree helps prevent inadequate blood flow by inhibiting the release of an anti-inflammatory fatty acid called Arachidonic Acid. To prepare, combine 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon with 1 pt., (or 16 oz.), spring water. Shake vigorously, and sip as necessary.

Though its action is instantaneous, it is necessary to use caution with this common spice. Cinnamon contains Coumarin. At high levels, this substance can cause liver damage in those that are susceptible. In 2008, the European Union passed strict limitations on the amount of Cinnamon allowed in foods. Although no such restrictions are imposed in the US, over consumption can be toxic.

Initially developed as a medicine, tonic water contains the anti-Malarial drug, Quinine. Though Quinine is associated with extreme reactions in some people, in tonic water, it is diluted. Avoid tonic water if pregnant, sensitive, or allergic to Quinine.

The juice from red fruits such as pomegranate and cranberry also provide relief from headache. Make sure the juice label states, 100% juice. Basically, the ingredients should list the fruit and water, or minimal added ingredients. The high vitamin C content that is naturally contained in the fruit provides a natural and effective remedy.headaches

Sources:

Http://migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine/migraine-facts

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/listing_of_vitamins

www.watercure.com

http://www.oxygen-review.com/human-body.html

Https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2013/12/30/cinnamon-offers-health-benefits-but-also-carries-serious-risks/

Image Credits: Featured image: de monn, Aylene. [http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/aylene-54566]. [09/09/2017].

Water; Selecting Drinkable Solutions

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Water-Borne Illness

Despite federal standards, an estimated *1.1 million people are annually treated for illnesses
directly resulting from contaminants in drinking water. These chemicals cause a whole host of health issues. Chlorine, one of the most widely used chemicals can cause breast, bladder, and rectal cancer, and asthma. Fluorine, or Fluoride is so toxic, it is banned in most European countries and has been linked to various forms of cancer. Accumulation of lead in the body causes developmental disorders in children and impairs learning abilities. Sulphates and Nitrates can cause respiratory problems and contribute to asthma and heart disease. If there is a sanitation breakdown in your city, the tap water is all the more a health risk as ingestion of bacteria and protozoa can lead to gastrointestinal diseases.

Where Water Comes From

Less than 1% of Earth’s water is freshwater, usable for human consumption. The US has 4.5% of the world’s population, and 8% of it’s fresh water resources. Jardine Water Filtration Plant, located on the Michigan Lake front in Chicago, Ill is the world’s largest water filtration plant by volume. It pumps about 1 billion gallons of purified drinking water through thousands of miles of piping to 5 million Chicago, and surrounding area residents. Fundamentally, water from sewers, drains, and streams runs off into the lakes and rivers. The surface water runs through the city treatment plant where it is treated with chemical processes to eliminate harmful bacteria and bring the water to levels considered potable, (drinkable), by Federal Standards which are enforced by the EPA, (Environmental Protection Agency).Ecocamel

Common Chemicals Contents of Tap Water

The most common chemicals found in tap water include:
Chlorine; Fluorine; Tritalomethanes; Sodium; Potassium; Iron; Calcium; Sulphates; Phosphates; Salts of: Arsenic, Radium, Aluminum, Copper, Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Barium; Hormones; Nitrates; Pesticides.

Copper, Zinc, and Lead can often be traced to plumbing systems. Iron and Lead are linked to corroded pipes in old houses. PAH, (Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons) are a direct result from corrosion of linings in old cast iron mains. Water flowing through limestone, absorbs Calcium deposits. Aluminum and Nitrates are an agricultural bi-product which runs into lakes and rivers from farm waste.

Healthy Drinking Water Solutions

Testing your tap water gives you a perspective on the standards that you want from your drinking water. A TDS meter can be purchased on-line. When you test the water, you test for Total Dissolved Solids, (TDS). The test will give you a read-out in parts per million, (PPM). Over 500 is not suitable for human use. Most tap water falls between 150-420 PPM TDS. The process of Reverse Osmosis usually results in a TDS of 90-95%.
Carbon Block Filters are highly recommended for filtering water. They can capture up to 100% of toxins. You can install carbon filters in your home. Additionally, there are portable filters available on the market.

drinking water

Note the SOURCE of bottled water

Buying Bottled Water

There is a large number bottled water companies, and even larger number of brands available on the market. Generally they fall in one of four categories:
1. Spring Water – This category has one key distinction from the others. It’s source is
underground, as opposed to surface water. The springs flow to the rivers on the surface. The
water is then processed by ionization and carbon filter.
2. Purified – Source: Either from a spring or surface water. Purified through Reverse Osmosis,
Distillation, or De ionization. Contains mineral additives.
3. Filtered – Source: Surface water. Filtered through Carbon Filter, Micron Filter.
4. Distilled – Source: Surface water distilled using high boiling points to kill bacteria.

Pay Attention to the Source

Whatever class of your bottled water selection, always pay close attention to the source. The source is usually printed on the back of the label. In some brands of water, the source will change from time to time. This affects the taste and content of the water, as not all sources are the same, regardless of whether they are underground or surface derived.

 

Bibliography: * Lambertine E, et AL. “Risk of Viral Accute Gastrointestinal Illness from Non disinfected Drinking
Water Distribution Systems”. Environmental Science Technology. 2012; 46 (17): 9299-9307
Water and Health. “What’s in your Drinking Water?” [HTTP://Freshlysqeezedwater.org.uk/waterarticle_watercontent. php][06/20/2017]; “Types of Water”. [HTTP://Drinkmorewater.com/Types-of-water][06/20/2017]; Wagner, Jamey. “What Chemicals are in Tap Water”. [HTTP://www.Healthguidance.org/Entry/14913/1/What-chemicalsare-
in-tap-water.htm][06/20/2017]; Grace Communications Foundation. Water Program. “How the United States Uses Water” [06/20/2017]; Schaper, David. NPR [10/29/2014]. “As Infrastructure Crumbles Trillions of Gallons of Water is Lost”. NPR. [HTTP://Npr.org/2014/10/29/359875321/Asinfrastructure-crumbles-trillions-of-gallons-of-water-lost].

 

meditation

Stress and Anxiety Relief: Ancient, Natural Way to Wellness

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Ten Minutes to Better Health

In the middle of the bustling port authority bus terminal in mid-town Manhattan, I passed by two people in a turn style sitting area, eyes closed, in the cross-legged half lotus posture. How necessary and appropriate, I observed, however so appearing out-of-place. As I walked past them, I recognized the level of concentration that busy terminal demanded to receive the benefits of meditation or divine relaxation. It requires discipline, will, and above all, necessity.

the object of meditation is not to check out, it is to check in. Daily, we encounter so many energy fields that in proportion, it seems seldom that we stop and consider the effects or magnitude of the accumulation. Meditation refreshes the mind as our circulatory system recycles the blood in the body. It is as necessary to our health and peace of mind, and should be considered a crucial component of preventive medicine.

Health Benefits of MeditationHealthmateForever

Meditation is a useful tool in reducing stress and anxiety. It improves focus, concentration, mood, and memory; increases mental acuity and objectivity; lowers blood pressure; improves bodily functions, and increases the body’s natural healing process. The results of meditation are of such benefit that it is well worth your time to invest a few minutes of your day to build your natural foundation to wellbeing.

the practice of meditation transcends culture, land, and religious affiliation. Techniques, methods, and aspects vary accordingly. On a personal level, Every individual has a specific and unique chemistry or DNA. If you are just beginning, don’t worry about perfection. You may use certain common aspects as your guide. Though keep in mind that in time, you will find your own methods and techniques to focus your attention.candles, meditation

Building your Foundation

In meditation, you are a conduit for energy. To meditate, always begin with the physical senses. First, relax your body by Inhaling through the nostrils, and exhaling through the mouth. The eye lids are a thin veil of skin above the eyes. When the eyes are closed, light is still visible through this thin veil. Observe this light and the patterns of light or motion you may see additionally. These patterns resemble the motion of energy that flows all around and through us.

Listen to the quiet. You may hear an audible frequency. It may shift, get louder, or softer. Focus attention on each breath; the diaphragm gathering air, and expanding as you inhale, and retreating as you exhale. the repetition of the respiratory system is reflected in the sound of the ocean’s tide, entering the sea, and exiting through the shore.

In this way, direct the focus to the body, and the physical senses; and away from the stimuli of daily activities, words, and thoughts. The path of meditation begins with the physical senses of the body, and expands to the consciousness of the greater connection to the universe. Your meditation is the tide that enters the sea, and shuffles to the shore. When you become more objective, you are more able to see the larger picture, beyond the self.

Additional Notes

You can enhance your experience in various ways that you will find over time. For instance, try facing the sun. To increase your focus, go to a place where it is quiet. The meditation posture: “Lotus, or half lotus position” aligns the  body, and improves the respiratory, and circulatory systems. It is not necessary to close the eyes, though it can more effectively direct, and maintain your focus, and attention. Take at least 10 minutes of every day to develop your meditation. You will achieve peace within yourself, and your skills will improve over time.

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Allergies, Cold, Flu and Sinus; Natural Remedies that Work

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Northwest Smoked SalmonAllergic conditions are among the most common medical Conditions affecting children in the US today. According to the Center for disease control, and prevention,  in 2016, 19.1 million adults, about 8.0%  were reportedly diagnosed with hay fever. Of diagnosis of children younger than 18 years, 7.4 million, (10%), had respiratory allergies, 4.0 million, (5.4%), reported food and skin allergies. Additionally,  6.1 million, (8.4%) reported hay fever. Furthermore, studies suggest an economic connection. They show a greater predisposition to allergies in children living in families that live at or greater than 200% of the poverty level.

Origins of Allergies, and Illness

Parasites are at the foundation of most illness and disease. Bacteria in the stomach traveled there through the first line of defense, the breathing passageways. Once ingested clingy bacteria causes inflammation in the passageways, (the nose, throat, and stomach). Inflammation is the body’s defensive response. Then, the stomach manufactures excess mucous in its tireless effort to expel the bacteria out of the system. Physical illness is never simply physical. It takes its toll on the mind, and spirit as well. Everything slows down, muscles ache, and the system works overtime in its efforts, causing fatigue.

Bacteria, the Good, the Bad, it’s Not All Ugly

Food can either strengthen the body or wage destruction. Certain foods contribute to bad bacteria growth. It is important to note that there is more than one type of bacteria. Bad bacteria are parasitic to our healthy cells. The other type of bacteria works as a parasite to the bacteria that is destructive to the body. This second type of bacteria is part of the immune system’s army to fight off foreign invasion. Nature reflects the body’s internal system. Every organism has a specific purpose from an ecological perspective. Beneficial parasites include bees, earth worms, and other insects that break down organic matter in the environment.

The natural world of plants and elements is at the root of all modern medicine. There you will find your refuge in natural remedies to such monstrous ailments as the common cold. It is first important to discuss common causes of illness. Foods and substances that promote the growth of bacteria can cause and contribute to colds, flu, and allergies.

Allergens in Animal Byproducts

Key findings of a national survey of health by the Centers for disease control and prevention, CDC, determined that over the course of 14 years, from 1997-2011, food allergies increased drastically among children under 18 years of age.  Agriculture and politics play a large role in the selection of stock at your local grocery store, and essentially, your food choices. The consumer has a lot to consider. Consider this, when you eat the byproduct of an animal, you are also consuming what that animal consumed; the conditions in which the animal was raised; what was in the animal feed, and any antibiotics,and growth hormones administered. allergies

Antibiotics are commonly used in feed lots to suppress a number of conditions and diseases associated with the unnatural living conditions of livestock raised on feed lots. These antibiotics can destroy the natural balance of the body’s ecosystem, thereby attacking the immune system itself. Growth hormones are commonly administered to accelerate the growth cycle of animals for the purpose of mass production. They are most destructive to the body’s nervous and endocrine systems. Additionally, dairy derives from the mucous membranes of the animal. Consumption of dairy products increases the chance for exposure to allergy causing bacteria, which may contribute to and escalate sinus conditions. All of these are important factors when thinking about what to, or not to eat.

Plant Allergens

Peanuts belong to the botanical family of plants called Leguminaceae, the legume, or pea family. The peanut is a viney root that ripens underground. Subsequently, peanuts contain aflatoxins, (any of a class of toxic compounds produced by certain molds which can cause liver damage, and cancer). Aflatoxins can contribute to, and prolong allergy, cold, flu, and sinus conditions.

Toxins, and Carcinogens Contribute to Allergies, and Infection

Smoke and alcohol can deplete the system of oxygen, and cause dehydration. Mild conditions can be remedied with vitamin C and fresh air. Toxic carcinogens are used in many house-hold products, and foods. Ironically, certain toothpaste contain ingredients that promote mold or bacteria. Xylitol, for example, is an ingredient commonly used in some toothpaste as a substitute for fluoride. It can agitate the sinuses, and cause an allergic response. Another common toxin, is talc. Although it is a known carcinogen, talc is still used in a host of personal care products.

Lotions and oils applied to the skin can trap mold, stimulate bacteria growth, and cause skin allergies. Additionally, harsh chemicals are in many body care products, including soap, shampoo, cologne, and perfume. They can also trigger allergies, and infection. Vigilance is a necessary part of staying well

Instant Relief for Cold, Flu, and Allergies

dscn0321 instant relief, allergies, cold, flu, sinus; photo of garlic segment of clove, halved

Sickness travels into the body, to the gut, then settles in with the mind,and spirit. To unravel it all, start with the mind and spirit, then to the gut, and back out the passageways. What fights gut bacteria? Onions, and garlic have been utilized for centuries throughout civilizations to fight parasites of the body.

 

Old folklore centered around garlic necklaces worn to ward off blood suckers do have some truth. Indeed, garlic repels mosquitos and other bugs. Laboratory studies conducted utilizing a sample of bacteria culture next to raw garlic have shown the instantaneous dispersal of bacteria. During the time of Egypt’s youth, it was common that raw garlic was eaten with daily meals to keep the immune system strong.

 

The following is an effective remedy for nasal congestion. Cut in half one segment of raw garlic from a whole clove. Hold it up to one nostril, on the surface of the skin, or half a centimeter from the skin. Hold it in place for one to three minutes, or as necessary. Then hold the other half up to the other nostril. You should feel the bacteria instantly dispersing as it becomes easier to breathe.

 

 Eating raw garlic, onions, or green onions with meals is a good way to arm the immune system. Chop and mince one segment, and add to the meal. The raw form is the most potent protection against illness.


Bibliography

“Allergies and hay fever”.[05/2013], “Centers for Disease Control National center for health statistics” [http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/faststats/allergies.htm] [10/31/2016].