Archive for May, 2011

WHAT DOES “BLOOD PRESSURE” MEAN?

Blood pressure refers to the amount of pressure exerted in the bloodstream as it passes through the arteries. When the left ventricle of the heart contracts or squeezes down, it forces the blood out into the arteries. The major arteries then expand to receive the oncoming blood. The muscular linings of the arteries resist the pressure; the blood is squeezed out into the smaller vessels of the body. The blood pressure is the combined amount of pressure the blood is under as a result of the pumping of the heart, the resistance of the arterial walls and the closing of the heart valves.The maximum pressure in the arteries is related to the contraction of the left ventricle and is called the systolic pressure. The minimum pressure, which exists when the heart is at maximum relaxation, is referred to as the diastolic pressure.Everyone needs blood pressure to move blood through the circulatory system. The pressure goes up and down within a limited range, but when it goes up and stays up, it is called high blood pressure. A systolic pressure of 150 and a diastolic reading of 95 (or 150/95) is generally considered high blood pressure. A normal reading would be about 120/80, although it is recognized that the definition of normal varies from person to person.In some people, high blood pressure is associated with another ailment such as diabetes, a kidney disorder or tumours. But usually, no cause can be detected. Still, the risks are all too clear.Hypertension places the heart and arteries under abnormal strain. Excess pressure constantly pounds the body organs fed by the blood supply. As a result, a blood vessel in the brain can burst, causing a stroke. Or the capacity of the kidney to filter wastes may be impaired. The heart, which must work harder to pump blood against the increased pressure in the arteries, may begin to show signs of strain. If ignored, high blood pressure can cause irreversible body damage.
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BACH FLOWER REMEDIES: LARCH PEOPLE

Monday, May 16th, 2011 | Herbal | Comments Off

Not that Larch people are in any way inferior to others. More often than not, the negative Larch person is above average in his physical and mental condition and he may possess above-average qualities of head and heart, and may be capable of doing any job. His friends know it, his foes know it, his superiors know it and his juniors know it, but alas he does not know it and is not convinced when others tell him of it. Even when his well-wishers try to goad him to appear for his departmental examination, his stock reply is “What is the use” I know, I cannot pass the examination, why waste time, preparing for it.”But with all his diffidence and lack of confidence standing in the way of his own progress, he is not jealous of other’s progress. He is not bitter if his colleague gets ahead of him in service or business by his initiative. He may inwardly want that he should also progress as others, but he would always wish the others well.The foundation of such genuine inferiority feelings presumeably laid in infancy from the negative attitude of the parents, which sapped the self-confidence of the child and certainty of failure became an in-built automatic response.*134\308\8*

HERBS FOR TREATMENT OF RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: CURCUMIN

Turmeric, the flavoring and coloring spice derived from the root of Curcuma longa, has been used for centuries as a food and a medicine in Indian and Southeast Asian cultures. It is one of the dominant ingredients in red curry sauces.The study of herbs for rheumatoid arthritis is an area of research still in its infancy.Turmeric is traditionally believed to have tonic (strengthening) and carminative (gas-relieving) properties. Curcumin, one of the primary constituents of turmeric, has been investigated as a potential anti-inflammatory agent. Curcumin has been found to be a rather potent inhibitor of inflammation in animal tests, affecting the production of both prostaglandins and leukotrienes. It is this finding that is the primary basis for the belief that turmeric may be effective in rheumatoid arthritis. However, it is a long step from animal and test tube studies to results in people. There is not really any direct evidence as yet that turmeric or curcumin are effective for rheumatoid arthritis.
What Is the Scientific Evidence for Curcumin?There has been one small double-blind study of curcumin for rheumatoid arthritis. This study was designed to compare the effectiveness of curcumin and the older NSAID drug phenylbutazone. Phenylbutazone proved to be more effective.Nonetheless, symptoms improved in the curcumin group as well. For this reason, this study is often incorrectly cited as evidence that curcumin is an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. It actually doesn’t prove anything of the land. The benefits seen in the curcumin group could simply have been due to the power of suggestion, which can be counted on to produce some effects even with a completely worthless treatment. We really need double-blind studies that compare curcumin to placebo to know whether it is truly effective. Still, curcumin is widely used in India as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, and physicians there report that it appears to be effective.
DosageFor the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, a commonly recommended dosage of curcumin is 400 mg 3 times a day. You would need to take 8 g of ordinary turmeric a day to get that much of curcumin, but products that contain nearly pure curcumin are available.
Safety IssuesTurmeric is a common spice that has been consumed in large dosages over long periods of time by millions of people. It is on the GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) list published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, concentrated curcumin products may present presently unrecognized risks. Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease has definitely not been established.*72/306/5*