Posts Tagged ‘Flu’

EpiCor Supplement Review

June 12, 2014 Written by JP

One of the ongoing controversies in the field of integrative medicine is the role of patented nutraceuticals. Conventional minerals and vitamins are sold by many different companies. Often times, there are distinctions in the dosages and forms of the nutrients, but apart from that, they are consistent from brand to brand. However, certain manufacturers develop products that are conceived and tested independently. They’re subsequently patented in order to protect the proprietary end result. The beneficial aspect of this process is that many of these nutraceuticals have been subjected to controlled studies that assess their efficacy and safety. The downside of patented supplements is the price tag, which is almost always significantly costlier than generic counterparts.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Nutritional Supplements | 9 Comments & Updates

Natural Flu News You Can Use

January 11, 2013 Written by JP

Flu season is in full swing once again. This past week, the nightly news has been inundated with stories warning of a particularly troublesome flu pattern that’s currently in effect and expected to continue in the days, weeks and months to come. The advice from many conventional doctors is to get vaccinated immediately and to seek medical assistance at the first sign of the flu. The latter suggestion typically involves the use of antiviral medications such as Relenza and Tamiflu. Alternative and complementary physicians often take a more holistic approach advocating such practices as supplementing with immune boosting herbs, mushrooms and nutrients. Dietary changes, including a reduction in refined carbohydrates and daily consumption of green tea, are frequently recommended by alt-med practitioners as well.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Mental Health | 4 Comments & Updates

Matcha Tea

May 14, 2012 Written by JP

It’s frothy. It’s green. It’s a type of tea, but decidedly different looking and tasting than most brews. It’s matcha! Whether you’ve tried it or not, you’ve probably seen matcha-based drinks being sold in coffee shops and health food stores from Los Angeles to Tokyo. The claim is that matcha is essentially an elevated form of green tea. But, is this assertion backed up by anything more than historical accounts and slick advertisements?

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Posted in Detoxification, Diabetes, Food and Drink | 6 Comments & Updates

Tea Gargling for Health

December 5, 2011 Written by JP

The old adage goes, “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is”. The field of alternative medicine is replete with examples of this truism. Countless ancient and innovative remedies, often carrying hefty price tags and inadequate and/or unreliable evidence, are promoted as virtual panaceas both online and in health food stores worldwide. However, as another saying goes, “There are exceptions to every rule”. It’s all the better when these exceptions happen to be economical and safe.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, General Health | 8 Comments & Updates

Flu Shot Controversy

November 2, 2011 Written by JP

The current issue of The Lancet, a prestigious medical journal, features a meta-analysis assessing the efficacy of influenza vaccines. The review evaluated 14 observational studies and 17 randomized controlled trials. The conclusions of the summary brought forth several key findings. Among them, the researchers noted that the effectiveness of the vaccines was not consistent across all age groups and varied from season to season. For instance, live attenuated influenza vaccines (LAIV) were found most protective among young children aged 6 months to 7 years. On the other hand, the authors commented that, “Evidence for protection in adults aged 65 or older is lacking”. Ultimately, a call for new and improved vaccines is trumpeted as a necessity in order to reduce “influenza-related morbidity and mortality”.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Children's Health, Nutritional Supplements | 5 Comments & Updates

Tea News October 2011

October 7, 2011 Written by JP

When I search for new topics in medical databases and journals, I frequently stumble upon a promising item or more about black, green or white tea. This is the latest batch of gems I’ve discovered about Camellia sinensis.
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Posted in Children's Health, Food and Drink, Men's Health | 8 Comments & Updates

Supplement News You Can Use

February 25, 2011 Written by JP

The majority of positive research on nutritional supplements never makes the mainstream news. In fact, if you used the information presented in the most popular magazines, newspapers and television news programs exclusively, you’d probably have a relatively negative impression about the utility of non-prescriptive herbs, essential fatty acids and various other so-called “nutraceuticals”. The reality is that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of relevant studies published each year in prestigious medical journals about dietary supplements that you probably should know about.
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Posted in Exercise, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements | 16 Comments & Updates

Bee Propolis

December 14, 2010 Written by JP

Propolis isn’t nearly as well known as honey. In fact, it serves no culinary purpose in the human food chain. However, for bees, it plays an essential role in building and maintaining beehives by acting as a glue of sorts. It is also commonly employed as an ingredient in many natural cold and flu remedies. I was recently reminded of this while visiting a number of integrative pharmacies throughout France. But popularity doesn’t necessarily equate to efficacy or safety. One of the questions I sought to answer upon returning to the US was scientific evidence to support the modern and traditional use of bee propolis.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements | 7 Comments & Updates

Echinacea Flu Question

October 13, 2010 Written by JP

When cold and flu season arrives each year, so do questions pertaining to natural means of defending against it. Just the other day I was asked about using echinacea to fend off influenza and/or help speed its departure. Thankfully, each year there’s additional research to factor in when coming up with an answer.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, General Health, Nutritional Supplements | 10 Comments & Updates

Probiotic Supplements

November 20, 2009 Written by JP

One of the hardest “sells” in natural medicine is demonstrating that there can be substantive differences between products that seem similar. Many years ago a skeptical customer was discussing a supplement with an employee at a health food store. At that time, I was a consultant who assisted the owner of that establishment to choose which lines and products to stock. I overheard the conversation and decided to try to help out. The position of the customer was that all echinacea products should be comparably priced. His view was that they all came from the same plant, the same soil, the same planet and therefore should reflect that in their price point. My first approach was to provide details about the specific differences between the brands he was considering – variable concentrations of active ingredients, flower vs. root extracts, the scientific research conducted on certain products, etc. I was unable to sway him with that data. So I tried a different tactic. I asked, “Is it reasonable to pay the same amount for a brand new BMW as you would a used Honda Civic?” “Of course not”, he scoffed. I continued, “Why not? They’re both made with similar materials. They both have four tires and a steering wheel. You can use both cars to get to where you want to go.” Read more »


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Posted in Children's Health, Dental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 17 Comments & Updates

H1N1 Success Story

November 13, 2009 Written by JP

There are two primary forms of evidence that are generally accepted in modern medical research. One variety is known as anecdotal or empirical evidence which is basically first-hand accounts of medical failures and successes as interpreted by individuals and those treating them. These types of observations were the primary basis for selecting healing techniques in the “old world”. Simply put, healers experimented on their patients using their best educated guesses. They continued using what seemed to work and stopped using what didn’t. Therefore, most of the data collected was subjective in nature. The current state of medicine tends to strongly favor scientific evidence that can be applied to many people at once in a controlled manner. The results of scientific studies are considered more objective and reliable because the risk of influence by individual variables is largely excluded from the mix. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Women's Health | 13 Comments & Updates

H1N1 and Antioxidants

November 6, 2009 Written by JP

A few weeks ago, I visited a local emergency room and was greeted with a special flyer that described symptoms and precautions pertaining to the H1N1 virus. Over the past month or so, the “Swine Flu” has directly affected several people that I know. In each instance, all of these friends and acquaintances have recovered completely. But judging by a review of various journals, magazines and newspapers, it doesn’t seem as though the level of interest and preoccupation with H1N1 has diminished substantially. Part of the reason is likely due to a very minimal number of cases where this particular strain of influenza has lead to tragic outcomes. One such instance was the focal point of a recent Larry King Live program. Read more »


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Posted in Nutritional Supplements | 10 Comments & Updates

Umcka for Respiratory Infections

October 23, 2009 Written by JP

South African geranium (Pelargonium sidoides) is a medicinal plant that is attracting a lot attention in the scientific community. This cold and flu season may be a good opportunity for this traditional herbal remedy to broaden its reach. There’s a great deal of attention and concern about the H1N1 novel flu virus these days. No one knows how much of an impact this current viral strain will ultimately have. But we do know that upper respiratory infections will certainly affect millions upon millions of people in the coming year alone. Therefore, I think it’s advantageous to know about as many safe and natural resources as possible. These immune boosting supplements may help protect us from the risks that we know about and those that may or may not come to pass. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements | 6 Comments & Updates

Elderberry Flu Protection

October 7, 2009 Written by JP

News reports about the H1N1 and seasonal flu rarely mention alternative remedies that may shield one from influenza or possibly hasten recovery from it. The official reason for this is because such natural options rarely have sufficient proof of efficacy and safety data. The trouble with that explanation is that when new studies on alternative remedies are published, they frequently go unnoticed by conventional physicians and media outlets. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements | 20 Comments & Updates

Andrographis Paniculata and Immune Support

September 1, 2009 Written by JP

Maybe you’ve had the following experience. You’re looking over the shelves of cold and flu remedies at your local health food store. Most of the supplements have familiar names such echinacea, elderberry, vitamin C and zinc. But every once in a while, an unfamiliar bottle catches your eye. Andrographis paniculata doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but you may have seen it around. Sometimes it’s just one of several ingredients in immune boosting nutritional blends. Other times, it’s the featured herb in supplements used to address seasonal allergies, the common cold, influenza and sinusitis. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements | 10 Comments & Updates

Swine Flu Virus Update August 2009

August 14, 2009 Written by JP

News reports about the so called Novel H1N1 Swine Flu continue to roll in from around the world. On a daily basis, governmental agencies and medical specialists offer the best information they currently have about how to contain the spread of this pandemic. There’s no question that it’s important to keep up to date on the breaking news. But more and more, it appears that acting on a personal level is one the best options we have. I’m referring, specifically, to measures that we can each take to keep ourselves well. Staying healthy contributes to a grassroots effort to help minimize the impact of this virus. This is a way of applying the “think globally, act locally” philosophy to this worldwide health matter. Read more »


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Posted in Children's Health | 12 Comments & Updates