Aromatherapy

Genuine essential oils contain diverse complex substances comprising active ingredients, secondary components, and trace compounds. The oily volatile compounds are the result of plant metabolism and each plant has a particular organ for producing then storing an oil. The oil can be produced in the flowers, leaves, seeds, fruit, rinds, roots, or in wood like cedar. They are also found in grasses, herbs, needles, and branches of trees, in resin, balsam, and bark. The oils are extracted from the...

Insomnia

Insomnia may be caused by anxiety, stress, depression, too much caffeine, overeating, numerous health conditions, and the use of stimulating drugs. Food allergies can cause insomnia and narcolepsy, a condition in which an individual falls asleep suddenly, at any time, and anywhere. Eating carbohydrates 30 minutes before bedtime increases production of serotonin, a neu-rotransmitter that can reduce anxiety and promote sleep. For some individuals, warm milk has a sedative effect. As we age, the...

Headache

Most headaches, characterized by a dull pain, are tension or stress related. Other sources may be a musculoskeletal problem in the upper back and neck that can be helped with craniosacral therapy by an osteopath or pressure from the sinuses. A headache on awakening may be an indication of high blood pressure. About 10 of headaches are called migraines throbbing in nature, genetic in origin, they are the result of constriction and dilation of blood vessels in the brain. Severe headaches that...

Grains

Grains are valuable for their starch content and vitamins, minerals, and fiber as well as some protein. (See illustration.) Refining and processing reduces nutrient values and raises their glycemic index. Complex carbohydrates stabilize blood sugar levels. Grains include wheat, rye, oats, rice, millet, buckwheat, bulgur, couscous, amaranth, barley, kamut, spelt, tef, quinoa, and wild rice. Substitute to 1 cup whole-wheat flour for 1 cup white flour in bread recipes, and the same for whole-wheat...

Crohns Disease

Crohn's disease is an inflammation of the wall of the colon and may affect the entire intestinal tract. Colitis is closely related but involves only the colon. Inflammations evolve in cycles and go into remission. Symptoms include abdominal cramps, fatigue, weight loss, fever, and often bloody diarrhea. The cause for both is unknown but could be stress-related or an autoimmune disorder. Food allergies are another possibility. The illness has been successfully treated when allergens have been...

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as spastic colon, is a condition in which the intestinal muscles go into spasm. It can be caused by food sensitivities, caffeine, and other stimulants including alcohol, tobacco, and drugs malabsorption of sugars the lactose in milk, high fructose content in fruit juices and dried fruit, and sorbitol and xyl-itol used in dietetic products or as the result of a bacterial imbalance in the colon. Symptoms include alternating diarrhea and constipation, distended...

Glycemic Index GI

The glycemic index is an indicator of the effect carbohydrates (starches and sugars) have after ingestion on sugar levels in the blood. Carbohydrates that quickly turn into glucose or sugar have a high glycemic index and cause a rapid rise in blood glucose. The pancreas responds by releasing the hormone insulin into the bloodstream to control the elevation of glucose. The pancreas can eventually become exhausted from overstimulation which can result in adult onset diabetes in genetically...

Acne

Acne is a common disorder of the oil glands in the skin and can appear on the face, back, shoulders, chest, and arms. In adolescents during puberty, sex hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands resulting in excess secretion of sebum, a fatty oil that lubricates the skin. The glands become blocked and inflamed, which causes blackheads and pimples. If the glands become infected, sebum and pus build up under the skin and larger pimples and cysts appear which can eventually lead to scarring and...

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are hardened crystalized deposits that form from an excess of minerals and oxalates that concentrate in the urine, grow, and can block the flow of urine through the kidneys. Symptoms include pain in the lower back or pelvic area and possibly blood in the urine. It is often a hereditary condition and can also be caused by infection or from medications. Testing the kind of stones passed determines which foods need to be restricted in the diet. Most often the stones are made up of...

Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the mucous membrane that lines the breathing, or bronchial, tubes. Acute bronchitis follows a cold or flu when the viral infection moves to the chest. Chronic bronchitis is a result of smoking or exposure to polluted air or allergens. Bacteria is present if phlegm is yellow-green in color. Eating spicy foods liquifies the mucus and helps to open air passages. Identify allergens if they are the cause. Avoid dairy products as they contain components that suppress...

Chinese Medicine

Chinese medicine, or traditional Chinese medicine, is thousands of years old and one of the most traditional healing systems on earth. Central to Chinese medicine is the principle of qi, or energy, which travels along invisible meridians, on the surface of the body, and through internal organs. A balance of this energy is crucial for maintaining good health. To a physician of Chinese medicine, visible illness is preceded by invisible illness, and detection of nascent diseases is a main focus...

Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition in which there is too much sugar in the blood and the insulin that is required for processing it is either absent, insufficient, or ineffective. Diabetes is an inherited disease. There are two forms of diabetes, Type I, or juvenile-onset, and Type II, or adult-onset. Type I begins in childhood and is an autoimmune disorder in which the cells of the pancreas are eventually destroyed by the body's own immune system. Consequently, the pancreas cannot produce any insulin and...

Nutrition Almanac Purine

Gout is a painful condition affecting the joints, especially in the toes, and is caused by the deposition of urate crystals. There is either an overproduction of uric acid or an inefficiency in eliminating it from the body. The acidic compound results from the breakdown of proteins, specifically purines. Foods that are high in purines should be restricted or avoided in the diet they include organ meats, meats, sardines, mackerel, anchovies, herring, chicken, dried beans and peas, turkey,...

Depression

There are two general types of depression. Situa-tional depression in which there are normal reactions to external events and endogenous depression, indicating an internal cause such as a biochemical or hormonal imbalance or nutritional deficiency. If depression is recurrent, constant, or severe, a physician should be consulted to find out the cause. Treating symptoms with antidepressants does not solve the underlying reason for the illness. Situational depressions can often be handled through...

Stress

Stress is inherent in our way of life and is part of the human condition. What is important is how we react to it. Reacting with anger, fear, depression, and anxiety without release of the tension can result in illness, either directly or indirectly. Symptoms include muscle tension, high blood pressure, psychological problems, digestive disorders, a weakened immune system, cancer, and heart disease. When the mind perceives a threat, whether real or imagined, the brain instantly and...

Deep Tissue Manipulation

Manipulation and stretching of the fascia, which is the thin, elastic membrane that envelops every muscle, connects muscles and muscle fibers, and creates bands to form tendons and ligaments, is the primary focus of deep-tissue massage. Rolf-ing, Hellerwork, and Aston-Patterning are the better known methods of this therapy. Dr. Ida Rolf compared the body to a stack of bricks, each one squarely and firmly on top of one another. If just one of the bricks was out of alignment, the entire structure...

Ear Infection

Inflammation and infection of the middle ear, called otitis media, is a result of blockage of the Eustachian tubes that run from the back of the throat to the middle ear. Fluid gathers and pressure builds up, causing pain. Symptoms are a throbbing pain and sometimes fever. If there is a sudden sharp pain and pus drains from the ear, the eardrum has been perforated. Ear infection can be of a bacterial, viral, or fungal nature. It can also be the result of a structural obstruction or an allergic...

Meats and Poultry

Meats are the most concentrated form of protein. The fat is saturated and contains cholesterol which is incorporated throughout the meat and unable to be removed. Meats supply complete protein, B complex vitamins, iron, potassium, and other minerals. Organ meats are usually richer in vitamins and minerals than muscle meats. Luncheon meats, frankfurters and sausages are often high in fats and may contain nitrites that can be converted to cancer-causing nitrosamines in the stomach. Most of the...

Pregnancy

Pregnancy lasts 40 weeks from the last day of menstruation. Changes in hormonal levels cause symptoms such as nausea in the first trimester, digestion problems and constipation in the second, and, in the third trimester, the growth of the fetus may result in back pain and swelling of the legs. Varicose veins, which can develop in susceptible individuals, may be due to an inherited weakness in the structure of the veins. Blood gathers in pools causing the vein to bulge. Topical application of a...

Herpes

The herpes simplex virus causes sores in and outside of the mouth, in the genital areas, as well as other parts of the body. A sign of eruption is a tingling sensation followed by blisters that eventually crust over and disappear. The virus lives in nerve cells, protected from immune-system defenses, and remains dormant most of the time for life. The virus is contracted by skin to skin contact. Triggers that can cause an outbreak are fatigue, viral infections, sunlight, menstruation, and...

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the chief source of energy for all body functions and muscular exertion. They are necessary for the digestion and assimilation of other foods. They help regulate protein and fat metabolism, and fats require carbohydrates to be broken down in the liver. Carbohydrates are carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules arranged structurally in the form of rings. Simple carbohydrates like glucose, fructose (fruit sugar), and galactose (milk sugar) are composed of one single ring and are...

Prostate Problems

Prostate problems include inflammation, enlargement, or cancer of the prostate gland which surrounds the urethra, the tube through which urine flows. An inflammation of the gland is called pros-titis resulting in pain during urination and ejaculation, frequent urination and possibly low back pain. The causes include infection, too much or too little ejaculation, jarring exercises such as horseback and bicycle riding, and food irritants like caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and red pepper. Drinking...

Hypertension High Blood Pressure

When pressure exerted by blood on the walls of the arteries is greater than normal, blood pressure rises. Usually, blood pressure falls when at rest. It rises in response to strenuous physical activity, stress, or a perceived danger in which the sympathetic nervous system dominates, arteries constrict, and more blood is sent to the brain increasing blood pressure. This heightened state of the sympathetic system does not seem to retreat in individuals with hypertension and damage to the heart,...

Allergy

An allergy is the body's reaction to a substance that may be harmless in itself but the immune system misidentifies and treats it as a pathogen. Antibodies, called immunoglobulin E or IgE, react by attacking the substance and in the process histamine is released by the surrounding cells which causes an allergic reaction. The allergic reaction may include itchy nose and throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, skin irritations, hay fever, hives, asthma, high blood pressure, abnormal fatigue,...

B

B complex vitamins, 11-13, 39, 145 Back pain, 54-56 Bacon, nutrients in, 217 Bacteria, 5 Bagels, nutrients in, 201 Bananas, nutrients in, 184 Barberry, 29 Barley, 138, 139, 197 Barley malt, 141 Basmati rice, 139 Bass, sea, nutrients in, 235 Beans, 137-138 cooking process for, 138 nutrients in, 208-211 Beef, nutrients in, 213-215 Beef sausage, nutrients in, 224 Beer, nutrients in, 163 Beet greens, 137, 244 Beets, nutrients in, 244 Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), 122 Beta carotene, 11...

Osteoporosis

Loss of calcium from bone causes osteoporosis and is found most frequently in postmenopausal women and men in their 70s. Symptoms are low back pain, stooped posture, loss of height, and increased risk of fracture. Heredity, exercise, and diet are the most important factors in the condition. After the age of around 30, calcium no longer builds bone or adds to bone mass. However, sufficient dietary calcium is still necessary to maintain bone mass and retard bone loss. After menopause women need...

Asthma

Asthma is caused by spasms of the bronchial passages restricting the flow of air in and out of the lungs. The bronchi are chronically inflamed and hypersensitive. Asthmatic attacks can be triggered by allergens such as food, tobacco smoke, pet hair, or chemicals or by stress, viral infection, physical exertion, or inhaling cold air. The body also releases histamines in reaction to an allergen which results in coughing and further constricting of the bronchial muscles. Treatment involves...

A

Abdominal pain, essential oils to avoid with, 23 Acidic foods, glycemic index and, 151 Acidophilus, 136 Acne, 38-40 Acupressure, 26 Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), 11, 15 Adequate intakes (Als), 160-161 Adrenal glands, 12, 22 Aduki beans, 138, 208 Agar, 140 Agar-agar, nutrients in, 234 Aging process, 8, 14, 137 AIDS, 40-42 Als (see Adequate Intakes) Alexander technique, 26 Alfalfa sprouts, 138, 243 Allergies, 10, 42-44 and arthritis, 47 and asthma, 47 and bronchitis, 56 and canker sores, 64 and...

Arthritis

Arthritis means fire in the joints and is a condition characterized by joint inflammation, pain, swelling, and redness and causes a limitation in joint movement. The two most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a deterioration of the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones consequently, bone begins to move against bone causing pain. A buildup of synovial fluid in the joint causes swelling and inflammation. Symptoms are intermittent pain at affected...

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an inflammation of the myelin sheaths that surround and protect nerve fibers causing nerve electrical transmissions to become dysfunctional. The cause is not known but the two most prominent theories are a virus or autoimmunity in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the sheaths. Stress, environmental toxins, and food sensitivities can exacerbate the condition. Symptoms vary and include muscle weakness, loss of coordination, loss of vision and bowel and bladder...

Vitamins

Vitamin A is essential in the formation of visual purple, a pigment found in the retina of the eye that is needed for vision at night. Health and the resiliency against infection of the outer skin, and internally of the mucous membranes that line the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and urinary tracts as well as the mouth, nose, and ears depend on vitamin A. The vitamin is an antioxidant and may be important in preventing cancer of the lungs and cervix in women. It helps cells reproduce normally....