IBS Not Improved by St Johns Wort

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St. John’s wort, an herb commonly used to treat mild-to-moderate depression, may not improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) say researchers in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.[1]

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterised by cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea. This team proposed that St. John’s wort may help improve IBS symptoms because antidepressant drugs are often used to treat the condition and have some level of success.

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Novel Influenza H1N1 has Dramatic Risks for Pregnant Women

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Like previous epidemic and pandemic diseases, 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) may pose an increased risk of severe illness in pregnant women. To see if there were clinical experiences that matched this assumption a Californian investigation by their Department of Health reviewed demographic and clinical data reported from April 23 through August 11, 2009, for all H1N1-infected, reproductive-age women who were hospitalised or died. These included non-pregnant women, pregnant women, and postpartum women (those who had delivered ≤2 weeks previously).[1]

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Herbal Adaptogens For Asthma and Adrenal Function

A Blend of Unique Herbs May Have Wide Clinical Application

Focus - Allergy Research Group NewsletterIn 2006  a landmark study from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York, the Weifang Asthma Hospital and the Weifang School of Medicine in China reported on a novel blend of Chinese herbs (named ASHMI) that proved statistically as effective as steroids in alleviating asthma symptoms. Now we report more fully on these unique adaptogenic herbs, which may have far wider application than asthma alone. There were preliminary indications that this formula may in fact restore adrenal function, and thus be useful in relationship to many chronic illnesses associated with adrenal fatigue. Highlights of the new information we include in this article:

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Blastocystis hominis. Is It Really A Problem?

Blastocystis hominis cyst-like forms in a wet mount stained in iodine

Blastocystis hominis cyst-like forms in a wet mount stained in iodine

Problem?

Michael Ash BSc DO ND FDipION reviews the latest studies on this pathogen.

Blastocystis is an unusual enteric protozoan parasite of humans and many animals. It has a worldwide distribution and is often the most commonly isolated organism in parasitological surveys. The parasite has been described since the early 1900s, but only in the last decade or so have there been significant advances in the understanding of Blastocystis biology.

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Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Herbs, Phytochemicals and Vitamins and Their Immunologic Effects

S0091674909X00102_cov200hComplementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) are used in more than 80% of the world’s population and are becoming an increasing component of the US health care system, with more than 70% of the population using CAM at least once and annual spending reaching as much as $34 billion. Since the inception of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, there has been an enormous increase in the number of basic science and therapy-based clinical trials exploring CAM.

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Brain Health- Potential for Improvement with Vit D and Curcumin

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cover-mediumA combination of vitamin D3 and curcumin, from tumeric, may boost the immune system, and help it clear the protein plaques linked to Alzheimer’s, says a new study.

The new data, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, may lead to new approaches in preventing Alzheimer’s by using vitamin D3 alone or in combination with natural or synthetic curcumin to boost the immune system in protecting the brain against beta-amyloid.

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Herbal Components which Assist in Eradicating Dysbiosis

Dysbiosis refers to an imbalance of microflora, usually indicating an increase in abnormal or non commensal flora, with a coinciding decrease in commensal or normal flora. An increase in pathogenic bacteria, including Shigella flexneri and Salmonella enteritidis, opportunistic bacteria, including Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Clostridium difficile as well as yeasts, including Candida albicans in the lower bowel is typically associated with dysbiosis.

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Oregano Helps Stop Inflammation and Bone Degeneration

Comment: Chronic inflammation is known to be associated with increased episodes of heart attacks and with such autoimmune disorders as diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis among others. One way to fight such inflammation is through nutrition – and specifically, as researchers from the University of Bonn and the ETH Zurich have discovered, by including oregano in our diets.

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An Herbal Extract Inhibits the Development of Pancreatic Cancer

Comment: An herb recently found to kill pancreatic cancer cells also appears to inhibit development of pancreatic cancer as a result of its anti-inflammatory properties, according to researchers from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. The data were presented at the AACR 100th Annual Meeting 2009 in Denver.

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