October 2005

Natural Health Article

CONTENTS

  • ABCs of Health – “S” is for Skeleton
  • Breast Cancer –  Reduce Your Risk!
  • Tip of the Month – Keep garlic cloves fresh
  • The Herbalist – “E” is for Echinacea

ABCs OF HEALTH

“S” is for skeleton. The skeleton system is made up of bones (the adult human body
consists of approx. 206), ligaments and tendons.

The human skeleton has two divisions:

A. THE AXIAL SKELETON – consists of the bones of the  skull, vertebrae column, and
the rib cage.

B. THE APPENDICULAR SKELETON – consists of the bones of the arms and
legs, shoulders and the pelvic girdle.

FUNCTION OF THE SKELETON SYSTEM:

1. The bones that make up the skeleton system serves four important functions:

A. Provides a framework that supports the body; the muscles that are attached
to the bones move the skeleton.

B. Protects some internal organs from mechanical injury; for example:
the rib cage protects the heart and lungs or the skull protects the brain.

C. Contains and protects the red bone marrow: Hematopoiesis (Blood-forming)
tissues (Red Blood Cells or Erythrocytes).  Some white blood cells (Leukocytes) are
also produced in bones.

D. Provides a storage site of inorganic salts, such as CALCIUM.
Calcium may be removed from bone to maintain a normal blood calcium level,
which is essentially for BLOOD CLOTTING and PROPER FUNCTIONING OF THE
MUSCLES AND NERVES.

2. The skeleton system works with the muscular system to help the body move.
Bones  provide a system of levers (rigid rods that can be moved about a fixed point) on which a group of specialized tissues (Muscles) act to produce motion.

BREAST CANCER-REDUCE YOUR RISK!

According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Society, 21,600 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and 5,300 women will die from it.  With these statistics in mind it is important we work to reduce our risk of contracting this disease.

My local health store gives away a complimentary magazine titled ALIVE. I uncovered this valuable article written by Lorna Vanderhaeghe, BSc. The article converses about five diet, nutritional and lifestyle suggestions.  As a breast cancer survivor in my 14th year (October)  this article is close to my heart and I wanted to share it with all of you.

Yes, critical is the once a year famous annual mammogram, yet very little is said about risk factors of the disease and ways to decrease those risks, here are five choices:

1. Reduce your estrogen load: The Women’s Health Initative Study published  in 2002 confirmed that taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases our risk of developing invasive breast cancer by 26 percent. Using natural remedies (under prescribed care), including black cohosh, vitex, and dong quai, along with multi-vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, some women can address hot flashes, night sweats, and the other symptoms of menopause safely. Find out where estrogen mimickers exist, avoid using these items or reduce their use. These culprits can be found in plastics, herbicide and pesticide laden foods, nail polish, hair dyes and bleached feminine hygiene products are just a few.

“ESTROGEN MIMICKERS IN OUR ENVIRONMENT CALLED
XENOESTROGENS ARE DISRUPTING OUR ESTROGEN BALANCE
AND INCREASING OUR RISK OF BREAST CANCER.”

2. Eat a cancer-protective diet:  Poor diet plays a contributing role in the risk of breast cancer.  Insist on organic produce to reduce your exposure to xenoestrogens. Choose cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and brussel sprouts; they contain indole-3-carbinol and sulphoraphane, known as breast-cancer inhibitors. Reduce your intake of refined sugars, as it suppresses the immune system.  Eat organic dairy products and free range, grassland fed meats. Reduce the amount of animal products consumed choose more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Get enough essential fatty acids in your diet by using flaxseed, high in lignans.

“CHOOSE TO CONSUME MORE FRUITS, VEGETABLES
AND WHOLE GRAINS- BALANCE YOUR DIET

3. Take the right nutrients: 

Calcium D-glucarate is a powerful detoxifier of excess estrogens from the liver and is important for both the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

Green tea extract contains polyphenols, catehins, and flavonoids, shown to be effective against estrogen-dominant breast cancers.

Curcumin is the yellow pigment of turmeric, the chief ingredient in curry.  It is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that works to inhibit cancer formation.

Lycopene, found in tomatoes, pink grapefruit, papaya, guava and watermelon, was recently shown to  reduce the risk of breast cancer by 36 percent when 6.5mg/day was taken.

Sulphoraphane, from broccoli sprout extract, has been shown to stimulate the body’s production of detoxification enzymes that elimate xenoestrogens.

4. Check prescription drugs:  Prescribed or over-the-counter medications are not linked to an increase risk of breast cancer.  However, a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (June 2005) suggests that taking some non-steroidal anti-imflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on a long term daily basis raised the risk.  We know that NSAIDs causes liver problems, and the liver is the key organ for hormone metabolism in the body.  The development of breast cancer is closely linked to hormone levels and their fluctuations.
A paper published in the Journal of Cancer (June 2002) suggests that women prescribed some tricyclic anti-depressants (TCAs) to treat depression show an elevated risk of breast cancer 11 to 15 years later. The records were studied to track their exposure to 10 different TCAs preceding their diagnoses and researchers thught the greater-than-10-year delay between TCA exposure and the increased incidence of breast cancer indicated that the drugs might be acting as tumour inhibitors.

“FOUR TCAs NOT ASSOCIATED WITH AN INCREASE RISK
OF BREAST CANCER:  AMITRIPTYLINE, MAPROTILINE,
NORTRIPRYLINE AND PROTRIPTYLINE”

5. Improve your lifestyle:

  • Exercising three times a week may reduce your risk of breast cancer.
  • Breast feeding has been shown to be a powerful protector from breast cancer.
  • Laughing improves the cancer-fighting ability of your immune system.

“IT”S UP TO YOU
TO CHOOSE

TIP OF THE MONTH

To keep garlic cloves longer, put them in the freezer.
When ready to use them, peel and chop before they thaw.

THE HERBALIST

I promised I would give you some information on a specific herb, it’s origins and uses.  I really enjoy this part of our newsletter, as I always learn something new and exciting.  This month we will discuss:

Echinacea

Latin Name: Echinacea species, especially Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea (Asteraceae [composite] family)

Other common name:  purple coneflower

General Description:  The echinaceas are a group of North American prairie perennials known for their purple daisy like flowers and leaves covered with coarse hairs.  Growing to a height of twenty inches (fifty centimeters), they are native throughout the United States east of the Rocky Mountains.  They have also been naturalized in Europe.
NOTE: Herbal medicine generally uses two species of echinacea, E. augustifolia and E. purpurea.Since each of the species has slightly different effects, specific disorders are usually best treated with one or the other.

Excellent For: Boosting the immune system, treat colds, and flu, fight infection, help speed wound healing, and reduce inflammation.

Benefits of Echinacea for specific health conditions include some of the following:

Acne and infected nails: Both E. augustifolia and E. purpurea  speed healing and reduce inflammation. Echinacea-based creams can be use to protect acne-damaged skin against sun damage.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and yeast infection: E. purpurea acts against Candida albicans, the microorganism that causes most yeast infections. It stimulates the immune-system cells, known as macrophages to engulf and consume yeast cells, but does not increase the number of immune cells overall, according to a German-based study. Echinacea is useful for people with chronic fatigue syndrome because yeast infections often cause or accompany symptoms of this disorder.
Coughs, colds, influenza, and strep throat:  Several double-blind studies have confirmed that echinacea not only makes colds shorter and less severe, but that it can stop a cold that is just starting if taken at the first sign of symptoms. It should be only used as a short-term “boost” to the immune system. It is best to take once the cold has first developed and not necessary to take for more than seven days after the start. Echinacea keeep the Streptococcus (strep) bacteria from forming colonies in the throat, thus causing strep throat.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: All forms of echinacea are extra ordinarily non-toxic.  If used over the long term E. purpurea should be taken with vitamin E supplements, as this herb can deplete the body’s stores of vitamin E.
If you have an auto immune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus or a chronic infection such as HIV/AIDS or tuberculosis, you should not use echinacea (especially if you have HIV). As a stimulant of the immune function, it slightly increases the production of T cells, the immune cells attacked by HIV. When there are more T cells, the virus has both more cells to infect and more opportunities to mutate into a drug resistant form.
If you are trying to get pregnant , it is probably best not to take echinacea. Both of the widely used species contain a substance that can interfere with the release of unfertilized eggs into the fallopian tube, so they may decrease a woman’s fertility.

This concludes another exciting issue of Natural Health. REMEMBER YOU HAVE TO READ TO WIN!

PRIVACY POLICY: Natural Health is a subscription only newsletter, e-mailed to confirmed subscribers. Nahanni River Herbs does NOT sell or rent the email addresses belonging to our subscribers; we respect your privacy! Please refer to our Privacy Policy section on our website for more details.

We welcome your suggestions and feedback, please email to: news@NahanniRiverHerbs.com

Link to us!

Simply copy and paste the link code below to your site.

If you have a health-related site of high quality, we may want to link to it. Contact us for more information.

Recommend this page to a friend