Monday, November 17, 2014

Magnesium for Back pain, Shingles, Colon cleanse

NATURE’s Rx  April 2009

Dear Jonathan, I have had several back surgeries over the years and my pain is getting worse. I have been taking 1800 milligrams of calcium a day as was recommended, but my bone structure is not improving. I can’t sit for very long, and sleep is almost impossible. I am afraid to use a lot of painkillers because I am afraid to get hooked. Is there anything you can suggest?  Phyllis

Dear Phyllis, I can sum it up in one word –MAGNESIUM, MAGNESIUM,  MAGNESIUM.   From your letter and the amount of calcium you are taking I can guess you are taking a carbonate form of calcium, which in your case as proven by your body, is useless. According to Mildred Seelig, MD, a leading magnesium researcher at the University of North Carolina,” many people   needlessly  suffer  pain –including fibromyalgia, migraines, muscle cramps-because they don’t get enough magnesium”.
Lawrence Resnick, MD, Professor of Medicine at Cornell Medical Center says many people worsen the problem by loading up on too much calcium, which flushes magnesium from the cells.
By changing your mineral supplement, you will probably be able to improve your bone health and the magnesium will help to relax your muscles and improve your sleep. We have loads of information available at the HERBARIUM.  Depending on your back and the types of surgery you had, there are other  nerve tonics such as Dr. Clayton’s NERVE-EASE, or Jamaican Dogwood or California Poppy to help with nerve pain.

Dear Jonathan, I had shingles two years ago and still have a lot of nerve pain. Is that possible? Is there anything that I could use to help get rid of this?  Connie

Dear Connie, Yes it is possible. We have had customers who told us they had pain for nearly five years after the shingles went away.  For pain relief, we have used Jamican Dogwood for many years with very good results. California Poppy is another herbal that works well, and  my wife, Clinical Aromatherapist   Kathleen Duffy   has recommended a massage oil with  Rose Geranium Oil( Pelargonium graveolens).
Studies have shown it to be very effective for post herpetic pain.

Dear Jonathan, I received a brochure in the mail regarding colon cleansing. I also see a lot of TV shows talking about how important it is.  Is it really that important to clean your colon? Do we really have all those toxins and build up in our intestines? I would like to try it for my mother, who has lots of constipation issues.  Marian

Dear Marian. Let me address your questions slowly. First, throw the brochure away if you did not request the information Second my rule of thumb is “ believe 50% of what they say, and do not buy their product” Third, If you have ever had a colonoscopy, you might have noticed a loss of three to five pounds while you were prepping  for the procedure. That would be reasonable, but 22 pounds of “spackle”?  Someone is full of it, but it is not you. Fourth, You need to check with your mothers doctor and the pharmacist to see if her constipation is due to her medications, and what might be done from that angle. Fifth, there are some colon cleansing products which are safe and gentle, but you won’t find them on the television infomercials. In some cases, a detoxifying formula would kill two birds with one stone. Something like Milk Thistle could clean the liver and as a side effect, make her bowel movements easier. Lastly,  doing a cleanse , like spring and fall house cleaning, is not a bad idea, depending on your situation.  Do not fall for the advertising that preys on your fear and anxiety. Moderation is a good approach.
  NOTE:  For you allergy sufferers, this is the perfect time to begin your allergy supplements. Products such as Dr Claytons SINUS ADE ,  Buried Treasure ALLEREZE, or HERBARIUM’S ALLER CALM can help prepare you for the coming burst of pollen from trees  and grasses. It is a good idea to begin now, and build up your resistance. This approach can really make spring allergy season more comfortable for you.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Honey, ED help for Diabetics, BugZaway and Hawthorn

**Natures Rx  July 2008**

Dear Jonathan, I am taking local honey daily to try and get rid of my allergies. How long should I continue?  Arthur
Dear Arthur, The idea of using honey gets mixed reviews. Some folks get results and some do not. The idea is to desensitize yourself to the effects of the pollens. Many people will mix a few grains of local bee pollen with the honey. Needless to say, this is a matter of individual choice. Some people are extremely sensitive and should not try this. There are other approaches to getting through allergy season.

Dear Jonathan, I read your article on Erectile Dysfunction in last months’ PRIME magazine .I am a diabetic and wondered if you could recommend which herb you talked about is best for me. Ron
Dear Ron,  Thanks for reading the column and PRIME. Actually the article was meant to shed some light on the “male enhancement “product industry, but as a side issue, most of the herbs have ED uses. In your case, I would try Ginkgo biloba (stay away from the stuff that Larry King advertises) A good Ginkgo in liquid or capsule form helps to promote circulation off the trunk. Basically, anything that protrudes could benefit from using Ginkgo (head hands feet , you get the picture) Because Diabetes affects circulation,  Ginkgo could have many other benefits for you , other than working on ED. Most every one of our diabetic customers use Ginkgo and have experienced excellent results, especially for foot problems, of which I am sure you are aware.  Before trying any of the Rainforest herbal remedies, I would start with Ginkgo.

Dear Jonathan, We just returned from a vacation in Maine, and I have to say the Bugzaway we bought at the Herbarium really lived up to its claims. Our friends were using regular insect repellant and spent their time swatting the bugs. I sprayed on the Bugzaway and Presto! No bugs!  Thanks for a great product.  Bill

Dear Bill, I will pass your letter on to my wife. Kathy created the Bugzaway many years ago to protect the children, and just kept tweaking the formula, adding different oils to repel different insects. We have received reports from all over the country and around the world on how well it works. The reason is rather simple, but profound. A chemical spray is going to be the same, time after time. The formula never changes. Bugs can build up an immunity to the compound. Bugzaway uses only pure essential oils from the plants. Every batch of oil is going to be different because of growing conditions, sunlight rain, etc. The chemicals in the essential oils will vary slightly each time, and the insects cannot develop an immunity to them. Isn’t Mother Nature grand?

Dear Jonathan, I use Hawthorn berry for my heart, and I just read that I should stop using it after three months. Is there a danger to using it for a long time? David

Dear David, I do not know where you read this information, but do not even worry about it. Perhaps the writer was using an old rule that says herbs should be discontinued after certain times because the body  may  become to accustomed to it. My Mother used Hawthorn for many years and her heart doctors had no problem with her using it even when she was in hospital. One of our customers has been using Hawthorn daily for more than twenty three years and would not dream of being without it. I can’t tell you the details of his case, but even his doctors can’t explain why he is still with us considering his condition, without paying proper respect to the eff3ects of Hawthorn berry.   Hawthorn berry is one of the most benign remedies you can use. There is no known toxic level, and it is the first cardio tonic anyone should consider. Noted cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra uses Hawthorn in his practice.  The only problem related to using Hawthorn is in conjunction with Digitalis. Always consult your Cardiologist before using herbal products.

Hey fishermen! One of my customers has a great use for garlic. He told us he melts down a jar of Vaseline,  adds  a garlic tincture and mixes it up  and lets  it solidify. He slathers it onto his lure and fishing line and the bass go crazy! He says it works better than any commercial preparation he has ever used.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Pre-Surgical Prep, Toe Fungus

Nature’s Rx    August, 2008

Dear Jonathan, I am going in for some minor surgery next month. My doctor says to stop all vitamins and herbal supplements two weeks before the operation. I do not understand the reasoning for this.  I take a multivitamin and mineral each day and really need it to feel right. What is your opinion? David
Dear David,
 Most doctors will tell you to stop taking supplements about 4-7 days before an operation. They do not want any surprises. Some vitamins have a blood thinning effect, as do some herbs. The doctor is trying to avoid any unnecessary bleeding during the surgery, or perhaps any contraindication related to anesthesia, if it is being used. We always recommend you follow your doctors’ advice. If two weeks is too much for you ask about the one week time frame. The more you talk to the doctor and explain your situation, the more he can explain to you the reason for his timetable. You can also find out how familiar he/she is with nutritional supplements or herbs. Do not be afraid to ask. We have several customers who have physicians who are familiar with the supplements and have worked with their patients to incorporate their herbal use into the doctor’s prescription. One lady comes to mind. Recently she developed “tennis elbow” and needed to take a supplement containing turmeric. She was taking Coumadin which is a blood thinner. Turmeric has a slight thinning effect also. She called her doctor, he researched the turmeric and found it would not complicate matters. He  even went so far as to reduce her amount of Coumadin, so as to allow her to use the herbal product. Please, it is very important to tell your doctor everything you are taking. Talk with them. You may find the doctor more understanding than you thought.

Dear Jonathan,  I know this is gross, but I have a bad case of toe fungus. The doctor gave me a prescription, but I read about the side effects and possible damage to the liver and I am frightened. Is there any natural remedy that I could use? Susan.
Dear Susan,
There are a variety of items you can try both topically and internally that will not be so frightening to you. You can try Tea Tree essential oil. Tea tree is a very good anti fungal which can be used topically, but make sure you get a low cineole content oil.  If the fungus is relatively new, this should do the trick. If it is really imbedded, you may have to use something both internal and external. In that case we carry a product called Spilanthes-Usnea compound. It contains Spilanthes (anti bacterial, antifungal, immune enhancing) Usnea (anti infection on a variety of issues) Oregano (a powerful anti fungal, antimicrobial antibacterial) Tea tree, and Pau d’arco (antifungal, tonic)  This combination is excellent for candidiasis, thrush, ringworm and athlete’s foot. If liquids are not to your liking,  Twinlab offers a capsule form called “Yeast Fighters”, Solaray features “ Yeast Fighters, and Renew Life has “Candi-gone.” No matter which product you choose, it is also very important to add probiotics to your diet. Yeast overgrowth is very common, and poor diet, stress, medicines, antibiotic use all contribute to the lowering of good bacteria in your gut and to allowing the yeast to get out of hand.
Warning: avoid the internet and television products for candidiasis, and for heaven’s sake forget the footbath or detox pads. Those will have very little effect on your condition, but they will lighten your wallet. Go to your local health food/ supplement retailer and talk to someone. Get a feel for the products, ask questions and let the sales person explain  the products.
Recently we have had a number of people coming in asking about “burning tongue syndrome. This surprised me, since it is now called a syndrome. Apparently it is on the rise and no one is sure why. It has been linked to possible side effects of certain medications. Check with your Pharmacist for any potential problems with your medicines. Nutritionally, extra B complex has been recommended, with good results, and some people tell us the doctors have suggested increasing their zinc levels. While I was researching other topics, I came upon information that suggests yeast overgrowth may be linked to burning tongue. If you are experiencing this condition, it may be worthwhile to try a yeast cleanse product. You really have nothing to lose, and you will benefit one way or the other.