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Garlic for Bacterial and Fungal  Infections - Does it Work?

Yes, according to the studies. Skin infections are some of the most common medical problems people have to deal with. Many skin infections are the result of bacteria or fungus.


Garlic has a strong history as a remedy for skin infections, particularly for fungus. Many studies have shown this to be true. There are a substantial number of well done studies to show garlic's effectiveness against bacterial infections as well.

Sliced cloves or commercial garlic oil is applied two to three times a day to treat infections on the skin. The infection may need to be treated for 1-2 weeks.

Alternative Medicine Alert, Vol.2, No.3, March 1999.         


Pyruvate - An Alternative Approach to Weight Loss?

Among alternative approaches to weight loss, pyruvate is one of the supplements showing up more and more in health food stores and on the internet, where some sites claim it is the newest and best "fat burner". It is said to boost overall weight loss by 37% and enhance fat loss by 48%. Promoters say it lowers cholesterol levels, improves cardiovascular health, and increases athletic endurance.

Pyruvate is a breakdown product of glucose. Pyruvate's mechanism in weight loss is unknown, but it appears that the substance improves glucose use by the skeletal muscles.

Unfortunately, in the studies presented in this paper, very little additional weight was lost by those taking pyruvate. In conclusion the author says, "preliminary studies show that pyruvate provides a very small benefit to a select group of obese women."

Alternative Medicine Alert, Vol.2, No.3, March 1999.

10 Truths About Your Health

A working definition of health according to Andrew Weil, MD, is - a dynamic and harmonious equilibrium of all elements and forces making up and surrounding a human being. Dr. Weil in his book Health and Healing, lists ten health principles to consider:

  • Perfect Health is not Attainable - Change is the essence of life. We do have periods of "relative illness" when our bodies reorganize and change.
  • It Is All Right to Be Sick - Sickness is the way to the next relative period of health and one state cannot exist without the other.
  • The Body Has Innate Healing Abilities - Healing is the body's attempt to restore balance.
  • Agents of Disease Are Not Causes of Disease - Germs do not cause disease - they are potential carriers looking for an opportunity to grow and reproduce.
  • All Illness is Psychosomatic - All illness has physical and mental manifestations. Physical symptoms caused directly by the mind are called psychogenic.
  • Subtle Manifestations of An Illness Precede Gross Ones - Illness follows a universal wave form from subtle beginnings to peaks, then passing on.
  • Every Body Is Different - The universal treatment or the perfect system of medicine is as much a fantasy as the perfect diet.
  • Every Body Has A Weak Point - It is useful to know if this is your throat or your stomach or some other area of your body as this is the place that will register stress and warn of impending breakdowns in health.
  • Blood Is a Principle Carrier of Healing Energy - A healthy circulatory system is the keystone of the body's healing system.
  • Proper Breathing Is a Key to Good Health - Full deep expansion of the lungs, with expiration at least as long as inspiration and the rhythm of breath slow and quiet is "proper breathing".

Reducing Colon Cancer Risk 

Taking a quality multivitamin formula can reduce your colon cancer risk by 51%, according to Edward Giovannucci, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston. What's more, adds Dr. Giovannucci, Vitamin E at about 200I.U.'s daily reduces colon cancer risk by 57%.

For persons who smoke or have smoked, this information is important, as colon cancer risks, among even former smokers, may remain elevated for some time.

Solgar® Vitamin and Herb Company and Twinlab® have excellent multivitamin and mineral formulas and can be found in health food stores.

Saw Palmetto and Prostate Health

Elsewhere in the world, especially Europe, many men are able to avoid prostate surgery and drugs via the use of natural remedies. This news, however, isn't reaching mainstream consumers in the United States, as these natural medicines, which cannot be patented, simply aren't profitable enough to the large drug companies to stimulate their large scale sales here. Two of the herbs are being used for prostate health by knowledgeable practitioners are:

Saw Palmetto Berry Extract - a traditional Native American remedy for the prostate, native to the Atlantic coast. The use of this plant extract has been shown to be more effective than the drug finasteride in terms of improving urinary flow rate. The herb can be used for long periods of time without toxicity.

Nettle Root - an herb that has its origins in Indian medical history where it is used to relieve the stinging and prickling feeling of a prostate infection and enlargement, hence its name "stinging nettle".

Healthy Living, Vol.2 No.8

This Information is for Educational Purposes Only. This Information is Not Meant to Advise, Treat or Cure Any Disorder. Please Act Responsibly and Contact Your Health Care Provider if You Have Any Unusual Health Situation. E

If Everything I Eat Is Low-Fat or No-Fat...Why Am I Still Fat?

A whopping 33% of American are now considered obese and 15%-20% of all American children also are now overweight.

The fact is, Americans are not eating less fat, they are eating more fat. The percentage of fat in our diet has dropped not because we are eating less fat but because we are eating more calories than ever before. About 20 years ago, Americans consumed about 1900 calories a day and 40% of those calories came from fat. Today we are consuming about 2300 calories a day, and 34% of those calories are from fat.

The average American currently consumes over 20 teaspoons of sugar per day, which accounts for 15-20% of their caloric intake. Many fat-free products contain as many - if not more - calories than the original version of the food. In the following examples, the calories in the fat-free versions are the same or higher because of sugar.

Fat-Free Fig Cookie.......................        70 calories

Regular Fig Cookie.........................       50 calories

1/2 cup non-fat ice cream..............   190 calories

1/2 cup regular ice cream..............    180 calories

2 Tbsp. reduced fat peanut butter....190 calories

2 Tbsp. regular peanut butter.......... 190 calories

Health Science, March/April 1999

Read labels carefully. Two companies - Snackwells® and Healthy Choice® - have discontinued their fat-free lines and replaced them with low-fat products. One of the Healthy Choice low-fat cheeses has 30% of its calories coming from fat - more fat and more calories than it did before! The wording "low fat" is very small on the new labels, whereas "fat free" was much larger and more prominent. People can easily assume that it is still the same product they used to buy.

Where Are Those Calories Coming From?

Dieter's who congratulate themselves for skipping brownies at dinner might consider what they drank that day. Americans drink the equivalent of that brownie and more, says Richard Mattes, professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University, who believes America's spreading girth has more to do with the massive consumption of soda and fruit drinks than with that of sweets and fatty treats.

The researcher asked volunteers to eat 450 calories' worth of jelly beans every day for a month and to keep track of everything else they ate. Next, they replaced the jelly beans with 450 calories of daily soda ( about 3 cans). Sure enough, after the jelly beans they ate smaller meals and didn't gain weight. But they made no such adjustment for the soda, and indeed, put on pounds!

For more information about eating go to The Glycemic Index and read about the Satiety Index of Foods.

Spirituality - Can It Relieve Depression?

Researchers at Duke University followed 87 patients over 60 years old who were diagnosed with depression. The researchers discovered that patients with more of a personal spiritual life experienced faster remission of depression than patients without a spiritual life.

American Journal of Psychiatry, 155 (4):536-542,1998.

For Information on Other Alternatives Therapies for Depression u click here

Vitamin E

Studies have shown Vitamin E to be everything from "probably helpful" ( secondary prevention of coronary artery disease) to "possibly helpful" ( treating tardive dyskinesia, lower extremity claudication, premenstrual syndrome), to "probably not helpful" (treating Parkinson's Disease and preventing cataracts).

Vitamin E is one of the most powerful antioxidants. It is essential for protecting cell membranes from attack by free radicals.  Vitamin E intake has been associated with a lower incidence and a slower rate of progression of Alzheimer's Disease.

Vitamin E appears to be very safe. In contrast to other fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, which can cause serious liver toxicity in high doses, no serious effects have been  linked to Vitamin E.

The highest concentrations of Vitamin E are found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains (especially wheat germ), seed oils, and vegetable oils.

While it is too early to recommend Vitamin E for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease there is consistent evidence that it might be mildly effective, and there is no evidence that it is harmful. This is in contrast to the antioxidant provitamin beta-carotene which has been shown to increase the rate of certain cancers in smokers.

Alternative Medicine Alert,   February, 1999

Can Herbs change the way prescription medicines work?

From American Family Physician, March 1,1999.

Some Medicines Should Not Be Taken With Herbal Products.

  • Don't take Ginko biloba if you are taking aspirin, ticlopidine (brand name: Ticlid), clopidogrel (brand name: Plavix™) or dipyridamole (brand name: Persantine™).
  • Don't take St. John's Wort if you are taking an anti-depressant.
  • Don't take ephedra if you are taking a decongestant or a stimulant drug, or if you drink caffeinated beverages.
  • Don't take Kava products if you are taking a benzodiazepine, a barbiturate, an anti-psychotic medicine or any medicine used to treat Parkinson's Disease. Don't drink alcohol with kava products. If you take kava products, you may feel sleepy, get a rash or have strange movements of your mouth and tongue, or other parts of your body.

Diet& Sleep can Avert Migraines

Women can avoid menstruation-associated migraines with proper exercise, sleep and diet, neurologists report.
Perhaps 10% to 15% of women who suffer migraines have them only in association with menstruation. Dr. Merle Diamond of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago says, women should be "vigilant about noticing what sets things off". Lisa Mannix, MD, a neurologist at the Adelman Headache Wellness Clinic in Greensboro, NC says, "diet and good sleep habits play a big role in reducing the frequency and severity of migraines and relaxation training is helpful for many women."

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