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The Caruso Homeopathy Blog

The Medicinal Properties of Dandelion, Taraxicum Officianalis

     Dandelion grows wild all over North America and is considered to be a weed. Its leaves are often picked before it blooms and made into salads, sautés and wine. One cup of dandelion greens is quite nutritious. It contains choline, lutein, 218 mgs of potassium, 535 percent of one’s daily recommended intake of vitamin K, 111 percent of vitamin A, 32 percent of vitamin C, 5 percent B6, 10 percent of calcium, 9 percent of iron and 5 percent of magnesium. The leaves and roots are used for medicinal use.

   Dandelion has a great beneficial activity on the kidneys and liver. The French name for dandelion is “pissenlit”, which translates to wetting the bed. This herb acts as a natural diuretic likely due to its high potassium content. It purifies the blood and helps the liver and kidneys remove toxins. It also helps to reduce uric acid levels, stimulates urination and can help with bladder infections. This weed-like superfood helps the kidneys clear out waste and salt making it helpful for edema (water retention) due to excess salt, medication use or PMS. Some use dandelion as a treatment for hypertension due to its diuretic properties.

     Due to its blood purifying effects and support of the liver and kidneys, it is often used for skin disorders like acne, boils, rosacea, psoriasis and eczema. Dandelion helps to remove toxins from the blood and in turn purifies the blood and improves breakouts. Herbal combinations that include dandelion and other herbs like berberis aquafolium, sarsaparilla and echinacea are very beneficial in helping with skin issues due to their cleansing effect.

     Some recent studies suggest that dandelion may help normalize blood sugar levels and lower total cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL (good) cholesterol in diabetic mice. Researchers need to do more research on whether dandelion will work this well in humans. A few animal studies also suggest that dandelion might help fight inflammation.

     Dandelion has bitter properties that helps to improve bile flow from the liver and gallbladder. This can improve fat digestion and aid in promotion smoother bowel movements for those with constipation. In irritable bowel syndrome dandelion has been found to improve elimination. One study found that 95% of sufferers reported they were pain free after two short weeks of use. Dandelion’s bitter properties activate a reflex that increases secretion of digestive juices by the lining of the stomach. This means it can help with digestion of foods starting in the stomach and fats due to its increase in bile flow from the liver and gallbladder. This herb can prevent gallstones but should be avoided in those who already have them. Improved bile flow acts like a natural lubricant for the intestinal tract with helps with harder constipated stools.

     Historically dandelion has been used to treat hemorrhaging from the liver. It also improves liver function, by removing toxins and reestablishing hydration and electrolyte balance. Some research has found that this mighty weed can be quite beneficial in cancer prevention. It is thought that because it is rich in antioxidants, supports toxin release and liver and kidney function which in turn may be why it would benefit those with cancer. One compound called luteolin actually harms cancer cells when it binds to them, making them unable to replicate. This may be most beneficial in prostate cancer. Many more studies are being conducted.

     Dandelion can be found in raw leaf form, tinctures, teas, pills and powders. Some even use dandelion coffee instead of regular coffee. Dosages vary according to its form. If you are allergic to dandelion, have gallstones or are taking antibiotics. Check with your pharmacist if this herb contradicts any medication you are taking. Side effects from dandelion may include increased urination, bowel movements and diarrhea.

If you would like more information on how we can help you, go to www.carusohomeopathy.com to book a free get acquainted chat.

The Medicinal Properties fo the Herb and Spice Sage, Salvia Officianalis

The Medicinal Properties of the Herb and Common Spice Sage, Salvia Officianalis

By Heather Caruso BSc., Hom, RNCP/ROHP

 

     Historically sage was used to heal snake bites and used for centuries for its medicinal and culinary uses. In the 10th century Arabians used it for immortality and Europeans in the 14th century used it to ward off witchcraft. Ancient Egyptians used sage as a fertility drug. In the first century, the Greek physician Dioscorides documented that sage stops the bleeding of wounds and cleaned ulcers and sores. The botanical name salvia is derived from the Latin word "salvere" which means to be saved. Sage is a member of the mint family. It is a perennial woody plant that is closely related to rosemary and many of sage’s health properties comes from a compound called rosemarinic acid. It grows up to two feet high and produces greyish green, leaves. There are many varieties of sage and some are simply ornamental for the garden. Sage comes fresh, ground, dried, in tea, tincture or capsule form. Sage contains a lot of nutrition in just one gram. It contains a hefty dose of vitamin K. Sage also contains fiber, vitamin A, B, C, E, folate, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and manganese.

     Sage is useful for memory. Mercola’s website shared the results of a placebo-controlled, double-blind, “crossover trial on sage involving 44 participants showed significantly improved, immediate, and several-hours-later measures of word and cognitive recall. The results represented the first systematic evidence that "salvia is capable of acute modulation of cognition in healthy young adults.”

     Sage can help reduce blood sugar and cholesterol. A small study of 40 people with diabetes and high cholesterol took sage leaf extract for 3 months. They found that after that period of time, the subjects had lower blood sugar, lower fasting glucose and lower total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad cholesterol (LDL). They increased their good cholesterol, HDL. Researchers reported that “sage leaves may be safe and have anti-hyperglycemic and lipid-profile-improving effects in hyperlipidemic type 2 diabetic patients." Another double blind study of 80 individuals with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes, found that sage caused a positive effect on blood sugar levels. After a 2 hour fast they had significantly lower blood sugar than the control group.

     Compounds in sage seem to be anti-inflammatory. One study found that sage helps with inflammation of the gum tissue. Some of the compounds in sage helped to reduce this type of inflammation. Sage is also used for colds and sore throats. Sage juice gargled helps with sore throat, hoarseness and inflammation. Sage has reported as effective for sore throats, dental abscesses, infected gums and mouth ulcers. In vitro, the phenololic acids in sage oil has been shown to be effective against both Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, yeast and fungus like Candida albicans.

     Sage has been reported to help reduce tension in smooth muscle. It can be used in steam inhalation for asthma attacks. It has a good effect on reducing mucous in the airways and preventing further infections. It also seems to help with relaxation in general and may be helpful in nervousness and exhaustion.

     Sage can be helpful in digestive issues and colic. It may reduce colicky pains and other symptoms of indigestion. It is a valuable tool with the treatment of dysmenorrhea. It has bitter compounds that stimulate the upper digestive secretions, intestinal mobility, bile flow, and pancreatic function, while the volatile oil has a carminative and stimulating effect on the digestion.

     Sage is useful for menopausal symptoms. Several studies have found it helpful for hot flushes, night sweats, and its estrogenic effect. One Swiss study, reported that one tablet per day of sage over 8 weeks, helped 71 patients reduce their hot flushes from 50 to 100%. Another study found that 440mgs of dried sage or an infusion of 4.5 grams, helped to significantly reduce menopausal sweating.

     Sage is not recommended for anyone with estrogenic cancers, during pregnancy and breast feeding. A variety of sage, called Spanish sage will increase blood pressure whilst common sage will reduce it. It is not to be used with people who may have seizures or before surgery. Ask your pharmacist about medication and sage’s interaction.

If you would like more information about how we can help you, go to www.carusohomeopathy.com or call 1 866 249 5755 to book a get acquainted chat.

The Healing Properties of Echinacea Purpura

The Healing Properties of Echinacea Purpurea

By Heather Caruso RNCP/ROHP, Hom

     Echinacea purpura (EP) is a native plant that is a member of the sunflower family that grows quite nicely in gardens all around North America. It has showy fuchsia pink blooms and tends to bloom in late summer until fall. As a herb it has many medicinal benefits. It is best known as an immune stimulant. It doesn’t act as an antibiotic but it stimulates white blood cells to work better in order to fight infection. Herbal books mention its ability to activate macrophages, an immune system cell, to eat up or attack bacteria, viruses and other infectious agents, even cancer cells. It has been used in cancer studies with good success as well, in particular colorectal cancer and liver cancer. EP also increases natural killer cells, NK cells, that are an active immune cell that helps reduce cancerous cells in the body. In chemotherapy it can help increase white blood cells when they drop during treatment.

     EP is often used in cold and flu herbal preparations. It not only helps cold and flu but research shows that it can be beneficial in coughs, ear infections and strep throat. In ear infections, EP is usually best when used in combination with goldenseal. It has been found to reduce the incidence of colds by one and a half days. Some researchers have found it to be useful in cases of lyme disease because of its effect on NK cells. It is best to take EP at the first sign of cold and other viruses because it often is not as effective when the virus has set in and symptoms are severe. It is best to take a higher dose of EP at the beginning of an infection. After a period of seven days EP is not as useful to keep taking. In fact, it initially gives an immune boost but doesn’t seem to help by increasing immunity more so by taking it longer. Typically in the clinic, we would recommend taking EP two weeks on and two weeks off.

     The Great Plains Indians found EP to be a great pain reliever. They used it for a variety of pains such as in cases of bowel inflammation, herpes, measles and gonorrhea infections, headaches, snakebites, tonsillitis, tooth and stomach aches. EP has benefit in cellulitis as well because it helps to purify the blood and stimulate the immune system to kill any bad bacteria in the blood stream.

     Some say a cup of Echinacea tea is helpful for constipation but there are better herbs to keep the bowels moving. It is also known to help speed healing and reduces inflammation in skin diseases. Some research has found that it helps with a parasitic infection called leishmaniosis, that causes disfiguring skin symptoms. EP has some benefit in boils, acne and infected nails since it helps to speed healing and reduce inflammation. According to “The Prescription for Herbal Healing” by Phyllis A. Balch, 1 tsp of EP juice is thought to have the same benefit as 100 mgs of cortisone. In the clinic, we use it in a blend to help treat inflammatory skin conditions such as in eczema, psoriasis and acne rosacea. A study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science, in May 2017, found that EP was very helpful in treating people with atopic eczema. It helped to speed healing and reduced symptoms when used both internally and externally in a cream form.

     Used in a mouth rinse, EP has great benefit in treating mouth and gum infections and speeding healing in mouth ulcers. It has also found to be beneficial in candida, thrush and other fungal infections and as well in some types of urinary tract infections.

     EP tends to deplete vitamin E, so if you want to take it for the long term, take a vitamin E supplement as well. Do not use EP if you have had an organ transplant or an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus for example because it stimulates the immune system. Studies have shown EP is not safe during pregnancy or when breastfeeding. It also may interfere with certain medications, so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking it. Also EP may be irritating to those who suffer from ragweed or sunflower allergies because it comes from the same family of plants.

If you would like more information on how we can help you naturally, book a free get acquainted chat today. www.carusohomeopathy.com

    

 

The Healing Properties of the Herb Urtica Urens, Stinging Nettle

 

     Urtica Urens is a tall edible perennial native plant to Ontario. It also grows freely in North America, Europe and Asia. People who walk in the woods may have encountered its sharp and irritating hairs that cause a prickling burning rash. The leaves, shoots and roots are edible and nettle has quite a lot of nutritional value. Ancient cultures such as the North American Indians and ancient Celts consumed nettles are part of their daily diet. Once nettles are cooked they lose their sting but one must wear gloves when picking this plant. According to the International Journal of Food Science, when analyzed processed nettle can supply 90%–100% of vitamin C and A (including vitamin A as β-carotene) and is a good source of dietary calcium, iron, and protein. It also contains chlorophyll, silica, potassium, chromium, vitamin K and fiber.    

     In the book “American Healing Arts”, the author writes about a recipe made by North American Indians with steamed nettle with evening primrose. They recommend putting 10 green nettle tops, 20 green evening primrose leaves and six young evening primrose seed capsules into 1 cup of water and place over medium heat. Once the liquid boils, let it sit for ten minutes and then strain the liquid out. Use this liquid as a tea or dab it onto skin rashes, bites or eczema.

     Nettle is used with great success in allergic conditions. It increases the production of T cells which are the immune cells that control other cells that cause allergies. Stinging nettle root extract increases a chemical messenger (IL-2) stimulates the production of new T cells and wakes up existing T cells. Stinging nettle is often found in herbal combinations for seasonal allergies. It is quite good at reducing the severity and incidence of hives. Some herbalists say that it can be helpful in eczema both internally and topically.

     Stinging nettle is said to be good for anemia because it contains iron, vitamin C and chlorophyll. However, in practice, it has not shown as great a benefit as touted in this regard. However, it acts as an excellent blood purifier and helps to remove waste and uric acid crystals. This is of particular benefit in those with kidney stones and gout.

     Men can benefit from adding nettle to their tea pot or diet because it helps with prostate health. According to the book, Prescription for Herbal Healing, nettle root decreases the rate of cell division in the prostate gland. It is thought a compound in nettle sits in a receptor site on the prostate cells that usually accept growth hormones. This prevents growth hormone from acting and in turn there is less enlargement of the prostate. Nettle is also helpful in increasing testosterone levels in both men and women.

   Herbalists often use nettle for water retention because it increases urination volume and reduces residual urine in the bladder. It increases urine flow whilst stimulating the kidneys. Studies have found that stinging nettle also useful for arthritis, gout, joints pains and in difficult cases like rheumatoid arthritis. Research has found using nettle along with NSAIDs, reduces the need for medication. Nettle is also used topically on painful joints with great success.

     Nettle comes in capsule, tea, powder and tincture form. Fresh nettles can be consumed in soups, sautes or as a tea. Be aware that nettle has anti bleeding properties so beware of taking this herb along with blood thinners or if you have a clotting disorder. Occasionally nettle can cause mild digestive upset in sensitive people.

For more information on how we can help you naturally, book a free get acquainted chat at www.carusohomeopathy.com/appointment-booking

 

Homeopathic Remedies for the Symptoms Kidney Disease

By Heather Caruso B.Sc, Hom, RNCP/ROHP

     Over 30 years ago, before I became a homeopath, my husband developed a severe pain in his leg one day, which the doctors thought was simple but severe leg cramps and sent him home with a heavy duty muscle relaxant. The next day he had a severe chest pain that hurt when he breathed in. He was in emergency a second time in a week. The ER doctor said he had a blood clot in his lung that likely was caused from a blood clot that travelled from his leg. The doctors started him on heparin injection shots. After a week or so my husband developed severe water retention, he gained an excess of 60 pounds of fluid retention. They recommend diuretics for him. Needless to say, I appreciated they were treating him, but they were throwing drugs at him without investigating what was going awry. I insisted that they determine why he was retaining water and developing blood clots. He was then referred to an excellent nephrologist, who determined he had an autoimmune disease called “FSG aka focal segmental glomerular sclerosis”, which was is similar to lupus nephritis. The blood clots developed because the kidneys were leaking out a protein that prevents blood clots. The doctor said that this condition is very rare and in adults the prognosis was not good. He said often that in five to ten years, he would likely need dialysis due to complete kidney failure. A kidney transplant was not an option because his immune system would attack the transplanted kidneys. He would require long term immune-suppressants and courses of prednisone. As one would imagine, this was devastating news to us but we would rather have him alive with medication than without.

     After I had my son, I went back to school to become a homeopath. I was so inspired by the success we had with my son’s Erb’s palsy after a traumatic birth. He had damaged nerves to his brachial plexus and the doctor’s told us he would not have good use of one arm. This arm would be smaller than the other. Of course I didn’t want that for him and brought him to a homeopath in our little town. She gave him a simple remedy for injuries called arnica montana 30CH, twice a day for ten days. When we went back to Sick Kids hospital for physiotherapy, they did physio on the wrong arm because they could not tell the difference between the good and bad arm. I was amazed that these little pills brought him back to normal!

     With the stress and worry about my husband, I brought him to many healers over the years, herbalists, homeopaths and naturopaths. I never gave up on his case being an eternal optimist and after 30 years, he is alive and well and has not had a need for dialysis. What we did do for him was continue to work with his nephrologist and our medical doctor, improve his diet and I combed the homeopathic literature for remedies that were more indicated in his case. This research and complementary treatment helped him avoid complete kidney failure, dialysis and minimize side effects from medication. Homeopathic remedies don’t just merely suppress symptoms, but they improve organ function, reduce side effects from medication and help the person be as healthy as they can whether they are curable or incurable.

     Over my twenty years of practice, I have had people with certain autoimmune diagnosis, never have a relapse and others who manage to tolerate their pharmaceutical medications better and have a much better prognosis in the long run. Being a regulated homeopath in Ontario, we are not allowed to say we treat or cure any disease. It is fine because we are in actuality treating the human being’s symptoms in front of us. Individualizing medicine is the key to good health and why homeopathy is a beautiful thing in the long term.

     Homeopathy is a medicine that is suited to one’s unique symptom picture, so two people suffering with symptoms of kidney disease may require different remedies according to their symptoms. Homeopathic medicine in a potency higher than 6CH does not carry any side effects. There are many remedies for symptoms of kidney disease but here are a few that are most commonly indicated:

Apis Mellifica is indicated when there are symptoms of edema, puffy swelling under the eyes, hands and feet. They are thirstless. They tend to retain urine or have urinary incontinence. Expelling urine may burn like fire. They may have albumin and blood in their urine. This is a remedy for symptoms of acute nephritis. They feel better with cold applications, bathing or in open air. They are worse from heat or getting wet.

Arsenicum Album is a remedy that is helpful when there are symptoms of extreme fatigue, anxiety and restlessness. These types are physically weak but still have a need to move. They may be nauseated, have diarrhea, nausea, feel ill with the sight or smell of food and drink small sips of water. They retain water, look waxy and pale. These types have albumin in the urine, dark or black urine. They have pus, fibrins and epithelial casts in their urine. The urine can be foamy like beer. They are worse from cold and better for heat.

Calcarea Arsenicosum is a remedy that in the materia medica says it is for extreme anxiety but it is helpful for kidney disease when there is albumin in the urine, edema and a tendency to blood clots or thrombosis. These types have a soreness in their kidney region and they are worse after consuming wine or any other alcohol.

Eupatorium Purp is a remedy that is used for an irritable bladder, edema, albuminuria, cystitis and enlarged prostate. The symptoms of this remedy are nephritis with back pain after taking cold. It is indicated in diabetes insipidis, dull aching pains in the kidneys.

Lycopodium is a remedy that helps with symptoms of liver and kidney problems. These types tend to suffer with flatulence and constipation. They feel full quickly and may have performance anxiety or a bravado type of personality that compensates for their self esteem and shy nature. The urine flow is slow in coming. They may have frequent urination at night and the urine may have a red sediment in it. They are worse in the afternoon from 4 until 8pm and better with warm drinks and loose garments.

Natrum Sulph is a remedy that is great for symptoms of edema and kidney disease that are worse with humid weather and damp environments. These types suffer from water retention. This remedy according to homeopathy is excellent for the miasm called sycosis. These types may have kidney disease from diabetes and have symptoms of frequent urination and burning pain in the urethra. They have a yellow or brick colour sediment in the urine. This type may tend to urinary, prostate, bladder and sinus problems along with blood clots.

Serum Anguillae is a remedy that is useful for symptoms of edema, hypertension and kidney failure. It is indicated when there is a lack of urination with albumin in the urine. The kidneys are failing in their function. Urea is high without urine flow but there also may be no edema, which is unusual.

     Mother tinctures are herbal preparations that are often used in homeopathic prescribing. They are herbal remedies so they may have side effects as opposed to homeopathic remedies however, if prescribed properly they should have minimal side effects compared to prescription drugs.

Ampelopsis quinqefolia is a remedy made from the plant called Virginia Creeper. It is a remedy that is useful in symptoms of edema, nephritis, hoarseness and vomiting.

Berberis Vulgaris is a tincture prepared from barberry. It is a good remedy for the symptoms of kidney disease and diabetes. It is indicated for symptoms of cystitis where there is pain that extends to the thighs and loins on urinating. There may be cutting pain in the urethra after urination. These types may suffer from kidney stones, kidney colic and a bubbling sensation in the kidneys. They have pain in the back where the kidneys are that can be affected by motion or jarring. The urine may contain mucous and have red sandy or slimy sediment.

Helonias is a remedy that is indicated in those who suffer from symptoms of nephritis during pregnancy. These types may have burning in the kidneys with constant aching and tenderness.

Solidago is a remedy made from the plant goldenrod. It is used when a person has symptoms of kidney disease and suppressed urination. They may suffer from chronic nephritis, with tender, aching pains in the kidneys. That pain may travel down to the abdomen, bladder or down the thighs.

Zingerber is a homeopathic remedy made from ginger root. It in general is an excellent anti-inflammatory that may be well indicated in autoimmune disease.

     As you can see homeopathic medicine is very individualized and two people may get different remedies depending on their unique symptom picture. In an ideal world, everyone would have access to a homeopath and a medical doctor and they don’t disparage the other person’s treatment. This way the patient can have the best of both worlds.

     In my years of practice, I have treated many people with autoimmune disease. Their cases are difficult and those who do the best, know that healing is a process and one remedy will not be a wonder pill cure all. One remedy helps for the constitution and another may be needed at different times for acute problems or side effects from medications. Logical people know that pharmaceutical drugs like immune suppressants or diuretics don’t heal anything they just suppress symptoms and cause other problems over time. They may be completely necessary. The beauty of homeopathy is that it can work in conjuction with these medications so that the patient can have the best of both worlds to experience their best outcome using homeopathy.

Heather Caruso is a homeopath and holistic nutritionist for the past 20 years in Guelph Ontario. For more information or to book a free get acquainted chat go to www.carusohomeopathy.com

Homeopathic Remedies for Degenerative Disc Disease

By Heather Caruso B.Sc., DHMS, HD

         The term degenerative disc disease refers to the changes in the discs which is the cushioning between the vertebrae in the spine. Normally the space between the vertebrae contains spinal discs which are soft and compressible that allow the spine to bend and flex. Degenerative disc disease (DDD) refers to a breakdown of these discs which usually happens in the lower (lumbar) or the neck (cervical) region of the spine. These discs may lose some of fluid which can cause less cushioning between the vertebrae. Tears may occur that cause the disc to bulge or encroach on surrounding tissues causing great pain. As the space in between vertebrae get smaller, it can cause the body to produce some bony growths called osteophytes. These osteophytes cause more pain and inflammation in the surrounding tissues of the spine. The changes in discs may cause spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis and/or a herniated disc.

     Sometimes the cause of DDD is unknown, but it can be linked to normal aging, injuries and heavy physical labor including lifting. Some researchers have found that improper blood supply is linked to DDD. Medical treatments for DDD may be symptomatic pain relief using anti-inflammatories, physiotherapy and in severe cases surgery. Natural supplements are excellent for relieving pain caused by DDD without the typical side effects that pharmaceutical pain killers do. Luckily homeopathic medicines are suited to the unique symptoms of DDD so the remedies are based on someone’s unique symptom picture.

     Mother tinctures are herbal preparations that are often used in homeopathic prescribing. They are herbal remedies so they may have side effects as opposed to homeopathic remedies. However, if prescribed properly they have minimal side effects compared to prescription drugs. Some mother tinctures used in DDD for pain or support are as follows:

     White Willow Bark or Salix Alba, has been compared to conventional treatments for low back pain, such as cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors (COX-2). Willow bark contains a compound that is used in aspirin however, willow bark does not have the side effects that aspirin has. Willow bark has been used in headaches, migraines, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, low back pain and toothaches for pain relief. It has analgesic compounds that help with pain but it does not reverse any of the damage from osteoarthritis or DDD.

     Curcuma Longa (turmeric) has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties for those with osteoarthritis. This spice is used in Asian cooking and gives food a yellowish color. It has numerous studies on its health benefits such as being beneficial as an anticancer, antioxidant, cholesterol lowering agent, analgesic and for nerve pains. Some people take it as a tea with black pepper to increase its potency. A few interesting studies have confirmed that curcumin reduces inflammatory markers, reduces the activity of a protein that causes collagen to break down and inflammation.

     Boswelia serrata is an ancient herb used in Ayurvedic healing. It has potent anti-inflammatory, antiarthritic and pain relieving properties. Boswelia actually has been studied and found to reduce hormonal triggers for inflammation that causes pain in arthritis and DDD. It helps to stimulate the growth of cartilage, increase blood supply to inflamed areas and repairs local blood vessels damaged by inflammation. This is a top notch remedy for DDD.

     Devil’s Claw otherwise known as Harpagophytum procumbens has traditionally been used as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever for joint diseases, back pain, and headache. There are several human studies that support the use of devil's claw for the treatment of low back pain but it is not clear how devil's claw works. Studies show a mild improvement with its use in back pain and more so benefit in knee and hip arthritis. This drug may help one reduce the use of anti-inflammatory drugs.

     Passiflora Incarnata is useful for sleeplessness due to pain. It is useful for relaxing and the symptoms of anxiety. In homeopathic literature this mother tincture can be used to help break a morphine habit.

     Homeopathy is a medicine that is suited to one’s unique symptom picture, so two people suffering with symptoms of DDD may require different remedies according to their symptoms. Homeopathic medicine in a potency higher than 6CH does not carry any side effects. There are many remedies for symptoms of DDD but here are a few that are most commonly indicated:

     Aesculus hipp is a remedy that is suited to the symptoms of severe, dull aching in the lumbar spine and sacrum. Walking is nearly impossible and these types may take a few tries to get up from any seat. They feel worse from movement. They feel weakness and lameness in the small of the back and need to sit down for relief.

     Argentum Met types have a bruised sensation in the small of the back, loins and the neck. They feel worse in the morning on waking, from motion. These types have a deep violent pain as if sprained in the low back. The left thigh tends pain unbearable when the leg is lifted outwards and this pain compels him/her to limp.

     Bryonia pains are of a stiff character in the lower back and feel worse with any movement, standing, or bending. They feel worse from cold weather and better with rubbing, heat and resting completely still. These types can be irritable and crusty due to pain and want to be left alone.

     Calcarea Fluor is a remedy that is useful in DDD where there are osteophytes (bony growths) that develop. The back feels tired, aching and stiff. These types feel worse for first motion, drafts and coldness and are better for warmth and motion.

     Cimicifuga is a remedy that has degenerative discs particularly in the cervical (neck) vertebrae. These types may have radiating pain down to their left arm, and the neck may be frozen to one side. The neck and upper back suffers from spasms and stiffness. They feel worse from cold, drafts, motion and touch and better for warmth and pressure.

     Nux Vomica cramps in low back from sitting in a sedentary job, constipation, chilly and irritable. Better warmth and worse for cold applications.

     Ruta Grav is a remedy for chronic low back pain that is severe in the small of the back. These pains may feel from within outwards as if it is bruised. The pains may be worse after standing and sitting and bending over or walking. The pain feels worse on the first motion and better on continued motion and lying on the back.

     As you can see homeopathic medicine is very individualized and two people may get different remedies depending on their unique symptom picture. In an ideal world, everyone would have access to a homeopath and a medical doctor that can work together this way the patient can have the best of both worlds.

For more information, go to www.carusohomeopathy.com and book a free get acquainted chat today.

In my practice I see all kinds of acute problems like colds, flu, coughs etc and treat them naturally. This often helps people to avoid using antibiotics. An interesting article highlights how we can help prevent antibiotic resistance with the use of homeopathic medicine. http://www.ijrh.org/temp/IndianJResHomoeopathy94219-6039392_164633.pdf

If you would like more information on how we can help you naturally, go to http://www.carusohomeopathy.com/appointment-booking and book a free get acquainted chat today.

Many people take iron ongoing and are still anemic. They may have an underlying issue such as poor digestion, use of medications like antacids, not taking iron with co-factors that aid in absorption like b vitamins and vitamin C or excess menstrual flow. Low stomach acid in particular affects iron absorption. Supplementing with hydrochloric acid in these cases may be helpful for absorption. Aside from vitamins homeopathy is helpful with the symptoms of poor digestion, heavy menses and iron absorption. An example of how homeopathy is tailored to the individual for iron absoprtion is as follows:

  • Ferrum phos is useful to help with absorption of iron and for women who tend to be low iron
  • Aletris is useful for uterine fibroids and heavy flow leading to anemia
  • Lecithin helps to strengthen the red blood cell membrane and improve anemia
  • China off helps with fatigue after loss of blood from surgery, injury or menstrual flow

If you would like more information on how we can help you naturally, go to http://www.carusohomeopathy.com/appointment-booking and book a free get acquainted chat today.

In the clinic we often hear of people who have trouble after receiving certain shots from their doctor. The problems can range from fever, fatigue, headaches up to neurological symptoms. Homeopathic remedies are great because they are suited to someone's symptom picture and can help to clear up symptoms of vaccine damage. For example:

  • Thuja is good for general ailments from vaccines, like flatulence, eczema, rashes, fatigue and neuralgia
  • Silicea is more suited to the symptoms of chilliness, weakness, low appetite, convulsions and cysts
  • Vaccinium is used in those with patchy rashes, red pimples or blotches afterwards

If you would like more information on how we can help you naturally, go to http://www.carusohomeopathy.com/appointment-booking and book a free get acquainted chat today.

In the clinic we often hear of people who have trouble after receiving certain shots from their doctor. The problems can range from fever, fatigue, headaches up to neurological symptoms. Homeopathic remedies are great because they are suited to someone's symptom picture and can help to clear up symptoms of vaccine damage. For example:

  • Thuja is good for general ailments from vaccines, like flatulence, eczema, rashes, fatigue and neuralgia
  • Silicea is more suited to the symptoms of chilliness, weakness, low appetite, convulsions and cysts
  • Vaccinium is used in those with patchy rashes, red pimples or blotches afterwards

If you would like more information on how we can help you naturally, go to http://www.carusohomeopathy.com/appointment-booking and book a free get acquainted chat today.

Homeopathic medicines are great because they are suited to someone's unique symptom picture. They don't have any side effects and they are tailored to the person. Homeopathy can be helpful in bedwetting, for example:

  • Cina is useful in bedwetting the occurs from a parasitic infection
  • Helonias may be useful in people who suffer from diabetes
  • Pulsatilla is often indicated in children who urinate easily when coughing or laughing and may be flatulent
  • Sepia for bedwetting in the first part of sleep
  • Bacillinum in children with hereditary tendencies

If you would like more information on how we can help you naturally, go to http://www.carusohomeopathy.com/appointment-booking and book a free get acquainted chat today.

It is very concerning that depression and anxiety is like the common cold now. The fastest growing rates of suicide are found in young girls aged from 10 to 14 year old. Antidepressants have a high relapse rate and some can increase the risk of suicidal tendencies. In fact one study shows that 40% of patients relapse within 15 weeks, 20% are incapacitated in some way or attempt suicide and 66% suffer from residual symptoms.

Often children are nutrient deficient due to diet, absorption issues, genetic problems and maternal nutrition. Our depressed or anxious children may be suffering with heavy metal toxicity, poor nutrition, being low in magnesium, b and d vitamins, omega three fatty acids, little to no outdoor time, exercise and experience bullying or experience an abusive or chaotic home life.

We can give our children less toxic choices to improve the quality of their life and reduce the need for toxic medications. Homeopathic remedies are great because they help with the individual's unique symptoms and may help with the emotional aspects of home life. For example:

  • Staphysagria is a remedy for ailments from abuse with suppressed shame and anger.
  • Ignatia is good for acute grief, sighing and weeping.
  • Natrum mur is a remedy for sullen types who ruminate and keep to themselves.

If you would like more information on how we can help you naturally, go to http://www.carusohomeopathy.com/appointment-booking and book a free get acquainted chat today.

Gout is caused from an excess of uric acid in the joints. People who are on blood pressure medicine and are diabetic tend to suffer from gout more often than others. Gout may also be caused from an excess of purines in the diet (brewers yeast, beef, pork, organ meats etc), niacin supplementation and excess alcohol intake. Natural remedies can help with the symptoms of gout very nicely. Homeopathic remedies include:

  • Benzoic acid has symptom such as joints cracking on motion, pain in Achilles tendon, bunion of great toe, gouty and asthmatic, urine hot, dark brown and strong foul odor.
  • Ledum pal has a swollen big toe, that looks bruised and purple and is better for cold applications.
  • Urtica Urens is usually used in a tincture from to clear excess crystals from the blood.
  • Supplements such as digestive enzymes, quercitin and tart cherry juice may help reduce the inflammation of gout.

If you would like more information on how we can help you naturally, go to http://www.carusohomeopathy.com/appointment-booking and book a free get acquainted chat today.

Medical Study Finds This Healthy Fat Dramatically Reduces Cancer Growth

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O.,D.A.C.B.N., M.S

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A new study has found that the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) has an anti-tumor function and has proven to dramatically reduce the expression of various types of cancers.

GLA is found in grapeseed oil, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, pistachio nuts, sunflower seeds (raw), olive oil, olives, borage oil, evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil and chestnut oil.

Javier A. Menendez, Ph.D., of Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Research Institute in Illinois, has found that GLA substantially reduced Her-2/neu protein levels on the expression of the Her-2/neu (erbB-2) oncogene.

Her-2/neu (erbB-2) oncogene is involved in development of numerous types of human cancer. 

What is HER-2/neu?
HER-2/neu (also known as HER-2) is a protein that is found on the surface of breast cells. It sends messages to the cell from 'growth factors' outside the cell. Growth factors tell cells to grow and divide.

What does it mean to be HER-2/neu positive?

Everyone has the HER-2/neu protein. 

But in some breast cancers, the cells produce many more HER-2/neu proteins than normal. 
These breast cancers are called 'HER-2/neu positive cancers.' 

Breast cancers that have very few HER-2/neu proteins, or none at all, are called 'HER-2/neu negative cancers.' 
HER-2/neu positive breast cancers grow faster than HER-2/neu negative breast cancers.

Oncogene is a gene that causes the transformation of normal cells into cancerous tumor.
Her-2/neu is an oncogene. 

Normal cells contain two copies of the Her-2/neu gene and produce low levels of the Her-2 protein. 
In about 20-30% of invasive breast cancers (and some other cancers, such as ovarian and bladder cancer), many more copies of the Her-2/neu gene are produced and its protein is over-expressed (an abnormally large amount of the protein is produced). 

Tumors that have this over-expression tend to grow more aggressively and resist hormonal therapy and some chemotherapies, and patients generally have a poorer prognosis.

GLA treatment substantially reduced Her-2/neu protein levels in the Her-2/neu-overexpressing cell lines of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and gastrointestinal tumors. 

The lab test to determine if you have a positive or negative HER-2/neu is called Human epidermal growth factor receptor.


References

Menendez JA, Vellon L, Colomer R, Lupu R. Effect of gamma-linolenic acid on the transcriptional activity of the Her-2/neu (erbB-2) oncogene. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2005 Nov 2;97(21):1611-5. 
Menendez JA, Ropero S, Lupu R, Colomer R. Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (18:3n-6) enhances docetaxel (Taxotere) cytotoxicity in human breast carcinoma cells: Relationship to lipid peroxidation and HER-2/neu expression. Oncol Rep. 2004 Jun;11(6):1241-52. 
Menendez JA, del Mar Barbacid M, Montero S, Sevilla E, Escrich E, Solanas M, Cortes-Funes H, Colomer R. Effects of gamma-linolenic acid and oleic acid on paclitaxel cytotoxicity in human breast cancer cells. Eur J Cancer. 2001 Feb;37(3):402-13. 

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his functional medicine community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Visit www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com for more information on our training in functional medicine. Look for practitioners who have successfully completed the Functional Medicine University's Certification Program (CFMP) www.functionalmedicinedoctors.com. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Dr. Grisanti is required.

 

If you would like more information on how we can help you naturally, go to http://www.carusohomeopathy.com/appointment-booking and book a free get acquainted chat today.

 

Sudden Arrhythmia from an Underappreciated Danger

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S., CFMP

An underappreciated highway danger has been shown to cause sudden cardiac arrest or clotting off of a coronary artery

In addition, this highway danger has been found to cause sudden arrhythmia that makes a person pass out or have a heart attack.

The highway danger I am referring to is diesel and other traffic exhausts.

Diesel exhausts have been known for decades to create clots, arrhythmias and heart attacks.

What baffles me is that this has been known for over ten years and has even been published in cardiologists' leading journal, Circulation (published by the American Heart Association)!

We now know the mechanisms by how this happens.

Research has shown that diesel and traffic exhaust fumes (unavoidable chemicals) poison the ability of the body to make nitric oxide (it poisons the endothelial nitric oxide synthase enzyme).

The endothelial cells of our vasculature protect us against atherosclerosis and thrombosis. A major weapon of endothelial cells to fight vascular disease is endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), an enzyme that generates the vasoprotective molecule nitric oxide (NO·). However, many of us unintentionally mistreat our endothelial cells.

From diabetes to hypertension, cancer to strokes, memory and learning disorders to septic shock, male impotence to tuberculosis, there is probably no pathological condition where nitric oxide does not play an important role.

But there is a way to fix it.

As a brief review, our body's make our own nitroglycerine (nitric oxide, actually) to dilate our blood vessels out of the amino acid arginine. So for any long drives especially, whether it's business or pleasure, it is a good idea to take 1000 mg of Arginine Powder.

But remember this heart triggering can happen with very short auto exhaust exposures as well. At least you now know how to protect yourself and your loved ones from diesel induced arrhythmias and heart attacks.

Good solution

A car air purifier would be a great addition to the interior of your car or truck, and to put the air on recycle rather than sucking in highway fumes.

So where are the cardiologists who should be telling folks these simple things to do to protect themselves?

 

References:

Peretz A, et al, Diesel exhaust inhalation causes acute vasoconstriction in vivo, Environ Health Persp 116:937-42, 2008

Peters A, et al, Exposure to traffic and the onset of myocardial infarction, New Engl J Med 351:1721-30, 2004

Rich DQ, et al, Association of short-term ambient air pollution concentrations and ventricular arrhythmias, Am J Epidemiol 161:1123-32, 2005

Dockery DW, et al, Association of air pollution with increased incidence of ventricular tachyarrhythmias recorded by implanted cardioverter defibrillators, Environ Health Persp, 113:670-74, 2005

Mills AL, et al, Diesel exhaust pollution causes vascular dysfunction and impaired endogenous fibrinolysis, Circulation 112:393036, 2005

Cherng T-W, Mechanisms of Diesel-Induced Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase Dysfunction in Coronary Arterioles, Environ Health Perspect. 2011 January; 119(1): 98–103.

If you would like more information on how we can help you naturally, go to http://www.carusohomeopathy.com/appointment-booking and book a free get acquainted chat today.

 

 

To find a healthcare professional certified in functional medicine, go to www.FunctionalMedicineDoctors.com. These are clinicians who have been trained at Functional Medicine University (www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com)

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his functional medicine community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Visit www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com for more information on our training in functional medicine. Look for practitioners who have successfully completed the Functional Medicine University's Certification Program (CFMP) www.functionalmedicinedoctors.com. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Dr. Grisanti is required.