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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Essential Oil Tips and Facts

• There are over 400,000 different plants on earth. Only a little over 400 of them produce a pure essential oil.

Aloe Vera Gel deepens penetration of essential oils into muscles, joints and tissues

• Inhale the oils directly from the bottle for properties its known for such as mood or congestion.

• Cinnamon essential oil helps a home to sell quicker.

• Peppermint helps people to adapt to new ideas.

AromaBall is an easy and low-cost way to control germs and microbes in your home.

• Avoid applying essential oils immediately after perspiring or using a sauna.

• Do not get essential oils in your eyes.

• All essential oils are antioxidants.

• Keep essential oils away from children.

• Take a tip from your nose - if you don't like the smell don't use it for emotional benefits.

• Essential oils should be diluted before using topically (with exception for lavender and tea tree). Massage oil, aloe vera gel, or olive oil can be used.

• Keep essential oils away from heat, light, dampness and electromagnetic frequencies (TV or microwave).

• Do a "patch test" if you are sensitive to things on your skin.

• Avoid strong sunlight or tanning beds after applying essential oils.

• Clary Sage and Bergamot essential oils help in withdrawing from smoking, alcohol and eating addictions.

• 100 pounds of lavender flowers are used to make 1 pound of the essential oil.

• Use Lavender essential oil in a spritzer bottle to spray on sheets and blankets at bedtime for a deeper relaxing sleep. It also repels insects.

• Frankincense decreases allergic reactions within seconds.

• Essential oils are great for disinfectants for natural, non-chemical household cleaners. Used with Sunshine Concentrate you can eliminate your chemical cleaning supplies.

• Cinnamon, Frankincense, and Myrrh are considered to be powerful anti-cancer and anti-tumor essential oils.

• Research shows Cinnamon and Peppermint essential oils increase alertness. Great travel companions.

• Lavender Essential Oil shows results for migraines and to reduce itching on bug bites.

• Essential oils can renew dying cells.

• Cellu-tone helps lymphatic congestion.

• Essential oils reach the limbic system in less than 1 second via inhalation and within 1-3 seconds with skin application.

• All citrus essential oils make skin photosensitive.

• Thyme, Clove and Lemon essential oils were used as hospital disinfectants before World War I.

• For effectiveness and the results you want, use 100% pure quality essential oils.

My choice is Nature's Sunshine essential oils.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Why Do Feet Stink?

The main thing that feeds foot smell is sweat. With more than 250,000 sweat glands each, your feet are among the most perspiring parts of the body.

In one day, each foot can produce more than a pint of sweat! Sweat is basically just salt and water, though, so it doesn't have a distinctive smell of its own.

The smell is actually caused by bacteria on our skin that eats the sweat and excretes waste that has a strong odor. It's perfectly normal to have bacteria on your skin, and it doesn't ordinarily produce a noticeable smell, but sweat attracts bacteria and gives them a whole lot to feed on.

Read the entire article.

Should Antibacterial Soap Be Outlawed?

Thanks to millions of misused antibiotic prescriptions worldwide, the bacteria you intend to kill are getting stronger. In fact, some bacteria - like the MRSA superbug - are immune to select antibiotics.

People take antibiotics to wipe out the bad bacteria causing an infection. But some bacteria are stronger than others, and if you don't finish the entire regimen of antibiotics, some bacteria will survive and pass on their resistance to antibiotics.

The evolution of drug-resistant bacteria is not just the result of prescription neglect. Antibacterial and antimicrobial soap, and other cleaning products you have in your bathroom and kitchen, are also responsible.

Read the entire article.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

530 Lbs. Lost Without Diet Plan

Weighing 700 pounds, Nancy Makin had lost hope.

After 12 years of weight gain, Makin had spiraled into despair. The more food she ate, the more shame she felt, and nothing could stop the cycle.

Then one day her sister gave her a computer. Inspired by the friends she'd made online and no longer judged by how she looked, Makin finally took control of the situation.

Makin said the psychological transformation was so complete that she lost all that weight without diet pills, exercise or even a diet. She just stopped gorging.

"I achieved this on my own, in a natural way, with no surgical procedures having been performed. No particular 'diet' plan was followed; no pills, potions or ab-crunching exercises played a part in my recovery," she wrote in a congratulatory letter to herself.

Read the entire article.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Healthy Choice: Pedometer

The gadget, worn at the waist, counts every step of the wearer. As it turns out, that’s a surprisingly effective way to persuade people to move more.

In a review of more than two dozen studies, researchers at Stanford University found that people who used pedometers to monitor their daily activity walked about 2,000 more steps every day, or about one extra mile, compared to those who weren’t counting steps.

People who used pedometers also showed statistically meaningful drops in body mass index and blood pressure.

Read the entire article.

Note: I love my pedometer! I've worn it for almost 4 months. I even wear it in bed so I don't miss any steps till I remember to put it on in the morning. It does make me walk more. I even 'march' while I'm brushing my teeth to burn calories and build muscle. It's fun to record the steps each night before bed. Not every personality type is motivated for self-achievement, but it sure works for me.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Artificial Sweeteners - Safe or Sorry?

They pervade the American diet -- in pink, yellow and blue packets on diner counters, in sugar-free cookies and diet juices, in sodas and smoothies and low-calorie yogurt and boxes of powder for baking.

Every few years, a study links one to cancer. People get scared. Follow-up research finds nothing to worry about. Decades may pass, but sooner or later another scary study comes along. And still, we keep eating these faux sugars.

Today, nearly 200 million Americans consume sugar-free or low-calorie products, according to the Calorie Control Council. About half of those people consume an average of four of these products every day. Diet sodas make up 29% of the nation's $70-billion annual soft drink sales.

Obviously artificial sweeteners are consumed, but whether they'll ever be consumed with total ease is in question.

Read the entire article.

Keep The Flu Bug Away

We use essential oils to disinfect our home and office environment. No flu shot protects against all strains of the flu because there are new strains every year. As of now, there are no medical treatments for viral infection that are completely effective. We need to keep our immune systems strong during the year, since an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.

There are many essential oils that benefit the immune system. You can diffuse the oils daily in a room or on a desktop at work. There are little "crock pots" for essential oils that heat the water and allow the oils to vaporize. Inhaling them will give added benefit.

You can also blend a few drops of an essential oil with a bit of massage oil (or olive oil) and rub it into the skin. Massage onto chest in the morning and at bedtime.

A plug-in AromaBall is an easy way to sanitize an entire room, especially while you sleep.

You can also use a small spritzer bottle and mix the essential oil with water. Shake it before using each time. Spray it around your house or around yourself at work to "disinfect" the area without using drugs or chemicals.

By the way, essential oils are great for cleaning. I use them with Sunshine Concentrate to replace all my household cleaners. You avoid breathing the chemicals into the lungs and also avoid skin contact with the cleaners. These dangerous chemicals are contaminating water supplies.

Here's my favorite essential oils to keep germs and viruses from surviving in our home:

Cinnamon, Lemon, Pine, Rosemary, Tea Tree, and Thyme.

Get more info on essential oils.

Purchase quality essential oils.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Anti-freeze Change To Deter Pets and Children

The Humane Society of the United States estimates 10,000 animals die every year from antifreeze poisoning.

An 11-year-old turned her mourning for loss of two dogs into a mission. She created a 4-H project about the dangers of antifreeze, wrote to area officials asking for changes in legislation, and created an online petition to garner support for her cause.

"There's a bittering agent, denatonium benzoate, and it can be put in for two cents a gallon, and it makes (antifreeze) taste very bad to animals and children, so they don't eat it or drink it," she said.

State Senator Raymond Finney, R-Maryville, says he's on board and plans to sponsor a bill during the next legislative session.

Read the entire article.

Violent TV: Public Health Threat

Watching media violence significantly increases the risk that a viewer or video game player will behave aggressively in both the short and long term, according to a University of Michigan study published yesterday in a special issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

The study, by L. Rowell Huesmann, reviews more than half a century of research on the impact of exposure to violence in television, movies, video games and on the Internet.

Read the entire article.

Mid-Life Memory Problems

As I crossed the threshold into middle age, something happened to my mind. For the first time in my life, I felt vague and foggy. Almost overnight, I found that I was missing critical information - the names of people and places, the titles of books and films.

Words had started to play hide-and-seek. My mind emptied as quickly as the mental calendar, once easily summoned, grew elusive and developed blank spots, as did my sense of direction. The change was so dramatic that sometimes I felt foreign to myself.

It may seem as if midlife forgetfulness arrives overnight. In fact, the decaying of memory and attention is a slow process that begins in our 20s.

By the time we hit our 40s, though, compromised memory is a problem for most people. 'It may be normal,' a friend said over supper, 'but it isn't acceptable.

Read the entire article.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Best Soda For Your Teeth

I initially shared this information in January 2005, but it's a topic that can help a lot of people with some encouragement for those who may want to make "Stop Drinking Soda" one of their new year resolutions. Or at least you can learn a few tricks to have less dental decay. All those cavities sure do make sodas an expensive item in your budget. The study appeared in the January/February 2005 issue of General Dentistry.

Which Drinks Damage Your Teeth The Most?

Love an icy cold soft drink? Then choose a root beer. Of all types of soft drinks and canned teas, this one does the least damage to your teeth.

Researchers from the dental school of the University of Maryland, Baltimore determined that non-cola soft drinks, including ginger ale, Mountain Dew, and Sprite, as well as canned iced tea are much harder on teeth enamel than any other kind of canned drink, due in large part to acidic flavor additives, such as such as malic acid or tartaric acid, reports Medical News Today. Root beer has the least additives, making it the best soft drink for your teeth.

If you drink soda, you should never brush your teeth till one hour later. Give your saliva a chance to set up its own defenses. If you brush with the acid on your teeth, it strips layers of the protective enamel.

The study:
For 14 days the researchers exposed healthy dental enamel to a variety of popular soft drinks, including Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, Canada Dry ginger ale, and canned Arizona Iced Tea.

The results:
- All of them weakened and permanently destroyed the tooth enamel.

- Diet sodas had the same bad effect as the sugared versions since the main culprit is the acidic additives.

- The most harmful were non-cola drinks, which caused two to five times the damage as darker cola drinks.

- Root beer, which contains the least amount of flavor additives, was found to be the "safest soft drink to safeguard dental enamel."

- Canned iced tea caused 30 times the damage to tooth enamel as brewed tea or coffee.

- Brewed black tea, root beer, coffee, and water had a minimal effect.

Drink too much soda and you could face a higher risk of a certain kind of cancer that is usually fatal.

Adding to the problem is our own mouth acidity. If that increases, the chemical reaction with the soft drink hurts our teeth even more, according to lead study author J. Anthony von Fraunhofer.

The end result: tooth decay

One thing you can do to protect your teeth is to rinse your mouth with water after drinking a soda. We love soft drinks in this country. A whopping 95% of Americans drink soda. Soft drinks account for about 27% of the beverages consumed in the United States. The average 12- to 19-year-old drinks about 28 ounces of soft drinks every day. The study results were published in the General Dentistry, the newsletter of the Academy of General Dentistry.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Fat Affects Antioxidant Protection

Fats present in the stomach may reduce the protective effects of antioxidants.

Scientists at the University of Glasgow found that in the presence of fats, the ability of antioxidants, such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), to protect against potential cancer-forming compounds in the stomach is less than when no fat is present.

Read the entire article.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Reduce Insulin & Desire For Sugar

Most adults need about 2,000 calories a day. Those calories make energy, or glycogen. It doesn't hurt — it might even help the body — to fast or stop eating for short periods of time, say 24 hours once a week, as long as you drink water.

"You re-tune the body, suppress insulin secretion, reduce the taste for sugar, so sugar becomes something you're less fond of taking," says Dr. Naomi Neufeld, an endocrinologist at UCLA.

Read the entire article.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Essential Oil Recipes Newsletter

Here's a recipe from the latest issue of Essential Oil Recipes and More. This email newsletter that arrives twice a month is published by Christina Tarman Bethke.

Dry Cough Recipe

Drink Method:
Mix 2 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil and 2 drops of Lemon Essential Oil with 2 tablespoons honey. Take 1 teaspoon of this and dilute in a wine glass of warm water. Sip it slowly.

Massage Method:
Mix 3 drops Eucalyptus with 2 drops of Thyme. Diluted in 1 teaspoon massage oil and massage over back and chest in lung area.

Steam Inhalation:
Use 3 drops of Lavender in steaming water. Inhale deeply through mouth.

View newsletter archives and/or subscribe.

FDA In The Dark On Tainted Food Imports

With all of the numerous recalls on human food, pet food, and other products, one would think that the FDA would not permit any loopholes to allow contaminated products into our food supply. But, five lab operators told USA Today that this is not true.

At labs that test imported food, five lab operators said the FDA gets the favorable test results, but the negative test results are not sent to the FDA if importers tell the labs not to send them.

At least 10% of the time, the lab finds contaminated shipments. There is no regulation that requires labs to send all of their tests to the FDA. Read the entire article.

FDA Has New Warning On Tamiflu

The FDA panel recommended yesterday that Roche change the warning label for Tamiflu, which has been used by 48 million patients since its launch in 1999.

The drug's label already mentions reports of delirium and self-injury, primarily among children in Japan, but some of the FDA's experts suggested the language should mention that several patients have died as a result of these abnormal behaviors.

Read the entire article.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Singing Helped Alzheimer's Patient

As Bill Bundock's Alzheimer's progressed he became more and more locked into his own world. Bill lost his motivation, and his desire and ability to hold conversations, but all this changed when the couple started attending a local sing-song group, aimed especially for people with dementia.

His wife, Jean, said Singing for the Brain had unlocked Bill's communication block. Read the entire article.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Superbug MRSA: What You Need To Know

The head of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls MRSA the "cockroach of bacteria." It's omnipresent, tough and adaptable.

This fall, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus suddenly went from a festering public-health issue to the top of the national news on word that it's worse than previously thought.

Last month, a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimated that in 2005, some 94,000 people were infected by the most serious form of MRSA infections, and one in five died.

Read the entire article.

Although this information is very sobering, what is more sad is that information is not getting out there about a patented colloidal silver solution that destroys the MRSA germ, along with many others.

There's no hype about this Silver Shield. The research is recorded in the US Patent Office and Homeland Security has been discussing it.

More info in this previous post.

Ginger For Deadly Infant Diarrhea

The popular spice ginger shows promise as a treatment for bacteria-induced diarrhea, the leading cause of infant death in developing countries.

An extract of ginger blocked the toxin responsible for diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (E. coli), which accounts for 210 million cases of diarrhea worldwide and causes 380,000 deaths yearly.

Read the entire article.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Migraine Brains Are Different

Scientists have discovered differences in the sensory areas of the brains of people who develop migraines.

They found a part of the cortex is thicker than in people who are free from the debilitating headaches.

What is not clear is whether the difference causes, or is the result of migraine attacks. Read the entire article.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cat Scratch Disease

Sometimes called "cat scratch fever," cat scratch disease is a bacterial infection that typically causes swelling of the lymph nodes. It usually results from the scratch, lick, or bite of a cat — more than 90% of people with the illness have had some kind of contact with cats, often with kittens. Cats less than one year old are more likely to have it. It's more likely to occur in the fall and winter.

Bartonella henselae is the bacterium that causes cat scratch disease, and it's found in all parts of the world. Fleas spread the bacteria between cats, although currently there is no evidence that fleas can transmit the disease to humans.

Usually within a couple of weeks of a scratch or bite, one or more lymph nodes close to the area of the inoculation lesion will swell and become tender.

Children are more susceptible. No reason to get rid of the cat though. The illness is relatively rare and usually mild, and a few steps can go a long way toward limiting your child's chances of contracting the disease.

Read the entire article.

I've had cats as pets for 37 years and I grew up allergic to everything, so when I got a scratch it would swell and itch and get very red if I didn't do something about it right away.

That still happens, but since we keep Tea Tree Oil in our Herbal Medicine Chest, I just apply some any time our kitty uses my legs as a launching pad for a leap. Tea Tree Oil has many uses.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Drug Companies Accused Of Biased Doctor Training

Pharmaceutical firms spend over $1 billion a year to fund more than half of the continuing medical education (CME) courses that qualified physicians are required to take in the United States.

Although drug firms say that they are scrupulous about separating their CME involvement from promotional activities, some may be influencing doctors, intentionally or not, and may even be putting patients' health at risk. Read the entire article.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Set Family Health Goals

From The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 17 percent of American children weigh too much, and childhood obesity can increase the risk of sleep apnea, type-2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Help your kids develop the determination to make healthy choices. Plan family activities two or three days a week. Go to the park, walk the dog, wash the car, or join a sports league. Limit television or video games, and avoid watching television during meals.

Explain the difference between healthy and junk foods. Share healthy snacks, such as apple slices, carrot sticks, grapes, or oranges, instead of chips, cookies, or candy. Drink water instead of soft drinks at meals.

Copyright © 2007, Character Training Institute.

For more character-training resources, visit the Character First website.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Flaxseed May Reduce Hot Flashes

Data from a new Mayo Clinic study suggest that dietary therapy using flaxseed can decrease hot flashes in postmenopausal women who do not take estrogen.

Although until recently hormone replacement therapy was the most commonly prescribed treatment for hot flashes, unwanted side effects have led to the search for nonhormonal solutions.

They have studied a variety of herbal and dietary supplements in randomized, placebo-controlled trials, including vitamin E, black cohosh and soy, but none has shown to produce any significant reduction in frequency or severity of hot flashes.

Read the entire article at Science Daily.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Pesticides: Statistics, Asthma, Children, Pets & Fleas

Pesticides are widely used in agricultural production, in factories and offices, in homes and restaurants, and in schools. Schools, with their kitchens and cafeterias, athletic fields and playgrounds, classrooms and offices, are regularly treated with a variety of pesticides.

An increasing body of scientific data on the harmful effects of pesticide exposure on people, animals and the environment raises concern about the broad use of these toxic substances. The widespread use of pesticides is a major environmental problem and a public health issue. Recognize Symptoms of Pesticide Poisoning.

The least we can do is to get them out of our homes for the sake of the children and pets if we don't care about ourselves. Their low body weight increases the risks involved.

Poisoning Statistics
According to data collected from Poison Control Centers, in 2004 alone, an estimated 71,000 children were involved in common household pesticide-related poisonings1 orexposures in the United States.

A survey by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding pesticides used in and around the home revealed these significant findings:

* Almost half (47%) of all households with children under the age of 5 had at least one pesticide stored in an unlocked cabinet, less than 4 feet off the ground (i.e., within the reach of children).

* Approximately 75% of households without children under the age of 5 stored pesticides in an unlocked cabinet, less than 4 feet off the ground. This number is especially significant because 13% of all pesticide poisoning incidents occur in homes other than the child's home.

There are alternatives (see below). There are extermination services that use non-toxic methods. Sprays and powders that don't have an odor aren't necessarily non-toxic. Find a business that is using "integrated pest management" methods.

Asthma In Children
Researchers have found that pesticide exposure can induce a poisoning effect linked to asthma. Asthma is fast becoming an epidemic in our schools. Did you know that nearly 1 in 8 school-aged children have asthma? This rate is rising most rapidly in pre-school aged children. Asthma is the leading cause of school absenteeism due to chronic illness.

Children face unique hazards from pesticide exposure. They take in more pesticides relative to their body weight than adults in the food they eat and air they breathe. Their developing organ systems often make them more sensitive to toxic exposure. Fortunately, organic solutions exist to keep you and your children safe.

Take action. Get more information on what you can do and send a postcard to your school from Beyond Pesticides.

Pet Poisoning
Pet lovers around the world were horrified at the tragedy of thousands of animals dying from a chemical in mass-produced pet foods. It should not have happened. But what about the chemicals we expose them to daily in our home? Toxic cleaning supplies and pesticides do enough damage in humans, without considering the effects in animals with less weight.

Fleas on Pets and In The Home
Flea collars are often purchased for pets at the first sign of the first flea, or even as a prophylactic. The problem is they expose both people and pets to toxic vapors 24 hours a day. The substances the collars are imbued with may be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Your pets may develop dermatitis on their necks from the collars. Cats are especially susceptible. Humans can also get rashes.

In general, flea collars are not particularly helpful. They may kill a flea here and there in your pet's fur, but they will not touch the masses of fleas hiding in your carpet or yard. Here's an essential oil recipe for an Herbal Doggie Flea/Mosquito Collar. You can use this same recipe in a spray to use before and after your dog goes outside.

Understand the life cycle of fleas and how to rid your home from them with non-toxic methods at Alternatives for Animal Health.

Alternative Natural Choices
There are many brands that now produce household cleaning supplies and organic gardening and household solutions to bugs and garden diseases. Our favorite natural product is Sunshine Concentrate.

It has replaced a wide variety of products on our cabinet shelves since I use it for counter tops and bathrooms (adding Lemon Essential Oil for antimicrobial properties), laundry (grease and stains included), dishes, floors, woodwork, soaking fruits and veggies, shower gel, hand soap, garden fertilizer, car wash and car windshield solution, indoor plants, and most recently I use it in the humidifier to eliminate scum and mineral deposits. By the way, you won't have any soap scum in your showers or at your sinks using this, so it saves on cleaning time too. Sunshine Concentrate goes a long way and takes up less storage space.

You can find a variety of products for home, garden and pets at Planet Natural.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Better Digestion Every Day

The holidays is a time when most of us think about digestion, but you don't have to overeat to have digestive problems. Many people are plagued with them regardless of what they eat. With years of poor eating habits (on the run, while standing, bad dietary choices, drinking sodas with meals, etc.), the digestive system breaks down and you feel the effects of it with digestive symptoms such as acid reflux, belching, bloating, gas, and heartburn. There's more problems linked to digestion than we realize.

As we age, our hydrochloric acid (HCl) production diminishes, so taking anti-acids is not the answer. It only leads to other problems. You need HCl to absorb minerals so soaking up the acid can produce other long-term negative demineralization effects.

Enyzme-deficient foods (not getting enough raw fruits and vegetables), and pancreases that don't produce enough enzymes because it's too busy dealing with all the sugar in our diets, will create an intestinal environment that isn't working. Some people are challenged with not digesting specific foods, which means they don't have the enzymes needed for those foods.

Different enzymes are needed for digestion of carbs, proteins, and fats. Eating a lot of raw foods will do more for your health than provide enzymes, but most people don't take the time to do this and prefer a food enzyme combination that digests all types of foods.

Understanding more about how your digestive system works can give you a better approach to dealing with digestive problems. Finding a long-term solution rather than taking something to "hide the symptom" will make you feel better. Poor digestion causes fatigue, constipation, weight gain, and weakens the immune system.

If you don't digest what you eat, you won't get the nutrients needed to supply your body with the fuel and energy it needs. A poor functioning digestive system has lost some of its ability to turn what’s consumed into a product the body can use. The result of that is your brain tells you that you're hungry even though your stomach is not empty.

Improving your digestion affects your entire system. It's not only what you eat that matters, but what is assimilated to the cellular level. Digestion affects sleep patterns. Chronic reflux can lead to esophageal cancer.

Caffeine aggravates heartburn, reflux and ulcers so you might consider the Kick The Caffeine Habit Program at the Teeccino website. We use a Nature's Sunshine product called Herbal Beverage when we want a coffee flavor. I like it for smoothies and to make mocha drinks (with carob for us).

Take some time to learn more about how your digestive system works and make some choices to improve it. All the supplements in the world won't improve your health if they're not being digested and assimilated.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

World Health Care Rankings

Seven years ago, the World Health Organization made the first major effort to rank the health systems of 191 nations. France and Italy took the top two spots; the United States was a dismal 37th.

More recently, the highly regarded Commonwealth Fund has pioneered in comparing the United States with other advanced nations through surveys of patients and doctors and analysis of other data. Its latest report, issued in May 2007, ranked the United States last or next-to-last compared with five other nations — Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom — on most measures of performance, including quality of care and access to it.

Other comparative studies also put the United States in a relatively bad light. Read the entire article.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

America's Healthiest States Report

Are you healthy? Is your state healthy? Is our nation healthy? Health is at the forefront of our thoughts. We want to stay young, fit and healthy. But while the media and the general populace agree that health is important, many of us don't actually take action to working toward greater health. The 2007 America's Health Ranking report is in.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Antibiotic Resistance Threatens Public Health

Doctors depend on antibiotics to treat illnesses caused by bacteria, from pneumonia to meningitis and other life-threatening infections. The effectiveness of many antibiotics has begun to wane, the legacy of decades of unnecessary overuse in both human medicine and agriculture. Keep Antibiotics Working is a coalition of health, consumer, agricultural, environmental, humane and other advocacy groups with more than nine million members dedicated to eliminating a major cause of antibiotic resistance: the inappropriate use of antibiotics in food animals. Read more.

We can't rely on antibiotics to take care of super infections any more. One alternative to the crises is to use Silver Shield. It's been our choice.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

China Recalls - Choosing Supplements

If you’ve been watching TV, reading the newspaper or surfing the web, you have surely seen some of the truly scary stories about health and quality concerns regarding products originating in China.

Toys, pet food, cups, raw materials and other products from China have been recently scrutinized after incidents that have forced some U.S. companies to issue product recalls due to concerns about heavy metal, chemical and foreign material contamination.

Although these stories have been making the rounds in the media, there is no concern for those using Nature's Sunshine (NSP) products. Their Quality Assurance experts have spent years developing some of the most sophisticated QA testing protocols in the industry. Nature’s Sunshine always stays a step ahead in issues of quality.

The NSP manufacturing facility is TGA certified, which means they meet the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration Pharmaceutical Standard requirements - the highest standards in the industry. They also test and validate based on the most recent Food and Drug Administration Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs).

Every incoming raw material is tested to ensure quality and activity (potency), and to ensure ingredient integrity through identification testing (test for certain activity markers and ingredient attributes), stability testing and micro testing. They even test for pesticides.

The vast majority of NSP's ingredients are sourced from countries other than China, but the very popular line of Chinese and Chinese TCM products are all sourced from China. The materials that comprise these products are tested, just like all materials, and required to meet all specifications before being used in any products. If there's ever find a batch of material that fails the Quality Assurance process, it is immediately rejected and not used.

Undoubtedly, there are products on the market that are manufactured with poor-quality materials that may prove to be inactive and ineffective. Costly, inefficient and potentially dangerous for consumers who think they are buying one thing, but are really getting another. This problem is not new to the market, and it isn’t isolated to Chinese materials.

Unfortunately, some U.S. companies are buying low-quality materials for their products and selling them to the unsuspecting consumer. The good news is that Nature's Sunshine customers can rest assured knowing that Nature’s Sunshine tests every material that comes through its doors and guarantees that every product that leaves its facilities will meet the highest specifications in the industry.

That's why our family chose Nature's Sunshine 25 years ago and have stayed with it.

New Fabric Smell Is Toxic

Many people notice a new fabric smell on just-purchased clothes. That "new" smell is a potent mixture of chemicals such as formaldehyde and urea resins. The chemicals are used to 'finish' fabric for a range of purposes, including stain resistance, wrinkle-proofing, and even disinfecting. Most contain volatile organic compounds that are often sensitizers and suspected carcinogens.

To get rid of those chemicals, place clothes in the washer with enough water to cover. Sprinkle one cup of baking soda into the washer and soak clothes overnight. When convenient during the soaking, agitate the machine for a few minutes. Launder as usual.

Some imported clothing companies are now dousing their clothes with long-lasting disinfectants. If the clothing you are about to purchase smells more pungent than usual, put it back on the rack.

Source: Real Money

Monday, October 29, 2007

Essential Oil Recipes: Nasal Spray, Colds and Flu

Recipe: Nasal Spray Recipe

10 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
10 drops Marjoram Essential Oil
1 tablespoon of water, distilled if possible

Don't blow your nose for at least 5 minutes after using the spray. The effects of the formula should last for several hours.

Recipe: Colds-Flu

10 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
10 drops Pine Essential Oil

Add to the bath or put on section of paper towel so you can benefit by inhalation. Inhale frequently. Place on pillow beside nose. This opens the sinuses and helps clear the head of congestion. Eucalyptus is also a natural antiseptic.

This is a good blend to use in a plug-in like the AromaBall. Kill germs all night long and promote deeper sleep by using this nightly in bedrooms.

100% Pure Essential Oils

Sanitize Home or Bedroom Day and Night With an AromaBall

Friday, October 26, 2007

Healthier Non-toxic "Dry" Cleaning

Dry cleaning or wet cleaning? Liquid CO2 or GreenEarth? Here’s the lowdown on which dry cleaning methods are best for people and the planet.

Read the entire article.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Essential Oil Recipe: Deodorizer and Disinfectant

6 drops Rosemary
6 drops Grapefruit
4 drops Lemon
2 ounces purified water

Combine oils and water in a 2-ounce glass spritzer bottle. Shake well before each use and spray liberally into the air. This spray will combat odors and kill infectious organisms. During cold and flu season, add 2 drops of Eucalyptus. The blend also works well in a diffuser without the water.

100% Pure Essential Oils

Using Natural Remedies for Children and Teens

Children are by their very nature rambunctious and often throwing caution to the wind. However, as parents we often have to pick up the pieces after they have gotten sick, or injured themselves. Choosing to use herbs and nutritional supplements can often go against everything we have been taught. Our parents usually teach us to not take responsibility for our health problems as we are growing up. As we get older, we have our own children and follow the same pattern of reliance upon the medical profession.

At this point, we can keep this same mindset or we can choose to change because we know medicine only treats the symptom. We often learn this because we take our children back for the same problems repeatedly. Many people are deciding to try a different approach with their children in this generation of the "discovery" of the effectiveness of herbs and supplements in health care.

Prevention is the main issue. Poor nutrition can make our children more susceptible to sickness. Sugar, preservatives, colorings, white flour and dairy products all have the tendency to weaken the immune system. Dr. Teresa Allen, D.O. says, "Drinking the sugar from one soda renders the immune system inactive for over 6 hours." This is verified by blood work. Is it any wonder our children have weakened immune systems? Good nutrition can help keep the immune system functioning and able to fight off foreign invaders.

You can't always monitor what your children eat and with some family time schedules you can't always feed what you want to. That's where supplementation comes in. You can fill in with the nutrients they are missing. Basic supplementation should include a multi-vitamin formula with minerals. With the spread of so many viruses, it's now wise to support the immune systems of children.

Nature's Sunshine Herbasaurs has a great line of chewable products that children love. For teens and adults, Super Supplemental is one terrific formula with a lot of nutrition and whole foods added

Friday, October 19, 2007

Diet Sodas Cause Metabolic Syndrome

Drinking more than one soft drink daily - even if it is the sugar-free kind - may be associated with an increased incidence of metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of risk factors linked to the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, a study finds. Read the entire article.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Vegetarian Black Bean Vegetable Soup

From Recipe Zaar

Here's a hearty soup for these colder evenings. This also has lots of preventative power in the garlic and a great health-building source of protein in the black beans and soymilk. Serve with some whole wheat bread (or other grain) to make it a complete protein meal.

Vegetarian Black Bean Vegetable Soup

2 cups water
4 medium carrot, sliced thin
1.2 cup onions, diced
2 medium bell pepper, diced
8 garlic cloves, chopped
8 cups spinach, raw
1 teaspoon ginger
2 cup black beans, home-cooked, frozen
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 cups soymilk

Put carrots in pot and cover with water (no oil or butter needed). Cover and cook on medium heat until carrots just start turning soft. Add onion and red bell pepper. Cook, uncovered, on low heat for a couple minutes, stirring occasionally. Throw in garlic and spinach. Continue stirring occasionally on low heat until spinach is mostly cooked down. Add ginger.

Remove from heat once spinach is cooked. Strain vegetable mixture into bowl; reserve juice. Place vegetable mixture in microwave to keep warm.

Place black beans and reserved vegetable juice in pot on stove. Cook, covered, on medium heat until black beans are no longer frozen. Add turmeric and cumin; stir and simmer briefly. Add milk, reduce heat, and stir. Mash some of the beans using fork or spoon, if desired. Cover and cook 1 minute.

Return vegetable mixture to bean soup base in pot. Cook uncovered 1 minute longer, stirring occasionally.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Create A Family Health History Portrait

My Family Health Portrait is a free interactive software online that allows you to create a personalized family health history report from any computer with an Internet connection and an up-to-date Web browser.

Information you provide creates a drawing of your family tree and a chart of your family health history. Both the chart and the drawing can be printed and shared with your family members or your healthcare professional. Used in consultation with your healthcare professional, your family health history can help you develop disease prevention strategies that are right for you.

This Web-based version was developed in collaboration between the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the National Human Genome Research Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.

Essential Oils For Health: Viral, Bacterial, Parasitic and Fungal

With the continual bombardment of viral, bacterial, parasitic and fungal contamination in our world, essential oils are a great benefit to help protect our bodies and homes from this onslaught of pathogens. Immune systems need support and essential oils can give it.

Because of the enormous amount of raw product used to make wholly natural essential oils, lots of products on the market have been polluted with lower quality, commercial-grade oils or contain other chemical substances to reduce the cost or increase the profit margin - a fact not usually revealed on the label.

Essential oils have unique properties that have been prized worldwide for thousands of years, being used therapeutically in early Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Indian and Chinese civilizations. Often the secrets of plant aromas were reserved for kings or other favored elite. For hundreds of years, extensive trade routes became established to transport perfumed ointments, resins, oils and spices throughout the ancient world.

100% Pure Essential Oils

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Full Cost of Smoking

If you think about the cost of smoking, you generally take the price of cigarettes and multiply that by how many somebody smokes. The effect on health is also a cost factor that is generally considered, but there's a whole lot more to it than just that. Maybe this information will be the motivation needed for somebody to quit.

Read this article to get the whole picture

In another article:

The real cost of cigarettes to smokers: $222 a pack

Vanderbilt professors estimate the economic effect smoking has on smokers. While past studies have focused on the cost of cigarette smoking to society, a new report by two Vanderbilt University professors looks at the cost of smoking per pack in terms of the value of the risks to the smoker’s life.

Read the entire article.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Writing Helps Rheumatoid Arthritis

I've been writing since junior high school when my best friend and I would take a huge notebook and have an ongoing "note" being passed back and forth between classes. Both of us would write volumes about then "so important" things. It was a fun thing until the day one of our teachers took it and began reading it to the class because it was "so important that we had to miss the teaching to write about it."

Oh, the sweetness of remembering those most embarrassing moments of growing up! To have such trivial problems today!

Research shows that journaling or writing makes a difference in the disease activity presented for those with rheumatoid arthritis. This could be why:

"The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium."~ Norbet Platt

So, I guess writing (or typing in my case) has been a good thing for the rheumatoid arthritis that I'm challenged with. Now that I've made the leap to leave the business to focus on me, I'm seeing more and more good things that I'm already doing right. Good feelings always make you feel better, so I expect to have great improvement as I rediscover myself and redesign my life into what currently fits.

More Info: Journal Writing: The Write Treatment

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Immune Prevention When Flying On An Airplane

We'll be leaving later this month for a convention which requires a flight to Florida. Flying puts you in a holding tank with a bunch of organisms that challenge the best of immune systems.

We always travel with Peppermint Oil which has properties to kill invaders before they enter your nose and mouth. We rub a drop under the nose and then take a drop in our mouths also. It's so refreshing with the stale smell of the airplane. I always eat more away from home than I do at home, so it's a good digestive aid too. When everybody orders coffee which I avoid, I ask for a cup of hot water and add peppermint oil to it. The aroma is uplifting and it sure helps that bloated and full tummy after a meal.

Essential oils are marvelous blessings from God from the plant kingdom. They possess a powerhouse of anti-microbial benefits in a small pocket-size bottle.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Green Tea - Multitude of Benefits

A growing number of studies in the past few years have turned up signs that consumption of green tea helps slow the development of heart disease and certain cancers. As chemists probe how this brew works its medicinal magic, they have increasingly homed in on a family of antioxidants known as catechins (pronounced cat-i-kins).

Lester A. Mitscher of the University of Kansas presented new data demonstrating that at least three of green tea’s catechins outperform a number of common natural antioxidants. In one test, for instance, the catechins proved 100 times more powerful than vitamin C in halting oxidative damage to DNA and 25 times more powerful than vitamin E. Their oxidation-quenching activity also surpassed that of the resveratrol in grapes and wine.

If you're not into drinking tea, Green Tea is available in capsules in a more concentrated form. I use Nature's Sunshine Green Tea Extra in capsules.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Antibacterial Mindset Could Cause Asthma and Allergies

The rising incidence of asthma and allergies in the developed (cleaner) world, doctors say, could be tied to the relatively sterile environments our children live in compared to a generation ago. Children not exposed to harmful bacteria, or conversely, given antibiotics to kill bacteria, do not receive the germ workout required to make antibodies. More specifically, they do not develop T-helper cells, which fight foreign cellular invaders and minimize allergies.

Unfortunately the American consumer is at war with all bacteria. According to the Soap and Detergent Association, more than three-quarters of liquid soap and more than a quarter of bar soaps on supermarket shelves contain triclosan, an antibiotic that kills most bacteria, both good and bad.

Read the entire article at Live Science.

The Best Milk Substitute - Tofu Moo

Tofu Moo - The Best Milk SubstituteI love this stuff. Before we began using this almost 20 years ago, I didn't have an acceptable soymilk to replace the milk I had given up in the late 70's. Beige colored soymilk was fine for cooking, but I missed having cereal and smoothies. Then this product was announced. My brain loved the white color of the milk and I now had an option for cereals.

Being in powder form I can make as much or as little as I need for the week and I especially love being able to travel with it. That means I can have cereal with our free hotel breakfasts.

Research has shown that the epidemic of hardening of the arteries, which leads to more deaths annually than cancer, is directly attributable to homogenized milk. This research was done by Dr. Kurt A. Oster and his 20 years of research is documented in the book called, "Homogenized."

Nutritionists have reported that up to 70% of the world's population may be lactose-intolerant to some degree. Lactose is the sugar found in milk. These people must avoid lactose-containing foods, such as milk, yogurt and whey products. Casein, a milk by-product, is also very allergenic.

Tofu Moo is an alternative for children and adults that continuously have mucus and allergy problems. Milk is one of the major allergy-causing foods. Tofu Moo looks like and tastes like milk. It can be used in any recipe as milk. One 8-oz. serving equals 50% of the Daily Value for Calcium.

Tofu Moo is made from tofu, which is made from soybeans. Tofu is used rather than soy itself so that the crude fiber of soybeans is removed which gives it a digestion rate of 95%. This is especially attractive to those with special digestive needs, such as children and older adults.

Nature's Sunshine Tofu Moo is:
Fat Free
Cholesterol Free
Dairy Free
Lactose Free
Easily-digested Non-GMO Soy Protein from Tofu
Low Sodium

Get more info

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Good Reasons To Buy Locally Grown Food

Local food is fresher and tastes better than food shipped long distances from other states or countries. Local farmers can offer produce varieties bred for taste and freshness rather than for shipping and long shelf life.

Buying local food keeps your dollars circulating in your community. Getting to know the farmers who grow your food builds relationships based on understanding and trust, the foundation of strong communities.

There's never been a more critical time to support endangered family farms. With each local food purchase, you ensure that more of your money spent on food goes to the farmer.

Knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown or raised enables you to choose safe food from farmers who avoid or reduce their use of chemicals, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified seed in their operations. Buy food from local farmers you trust.

Local food doesn't have to travel far so it's better for the environment. This reduces carbon dioxide emissions and packing materials. Buying local food also helps to make farming more profitable and selling farmland for development less attractive.

When you buy local food, you vote with your food dollar. This ensures that family farms in your community will continue to thrive and that healthy, flavorful, plentiful food will be available for future generations.


Here's a list of sites to help you find a farmer, farmers' market, farm stand, or local food outlet near you:

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Herbal Mouthwash for Healthy Gums

Having rheumatoid arthritis, you get a number of complementary problems, such as gingivitis, so rather than use all those chemical mouthwashes, I've been making an herbal mouthwash with essential oils that are used for this problem.

It's less expensive and I use the essential oils for countertop spray to avoid chemicals also. Essential oils are very antimicrobial.

Here's one of the recipes I've used for the mouthwash. I take an empty 8 ounce bottle with a flip top lid (mine is from Frozen Lemon Juice). I add 6 ounces of purified water, 2 teaspoons of glycerin (optional for sweetness), and for essential oils for healthy gums, I used 7 drops Rosemary Essential Oil, 7 drops Thyme Oil and 7 drops of Peppermint Oil. You can find the glycerin at a drugstore. In our area it was one of the family-owned ones.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Medical Services Abroad

With the cost of health care rising annually and so many Americans without health insurance, "medical tourism" has become popular. Consider a fee of less than $17,000 for double bypass surgery and you'll see why the concept is gaining ground. Natural alternatives are my preferred method and other countries surely have many of those options also at a discounted rate. Read the full story.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dietary Supplements Face Stricter Regulations

For the first time, makers of dietary supplements, including vitamins and herbal pills, will be required to test their products, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday.

Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, which passed in 1994, supplement makers were told they must be able to substantiate the safety of their ingredients. Now, 13 years later, the FDA's announcement represents the actualization of that requirement.

The agency is phasing in the new rule requiring supplement makers to test the purity and composition of their products. Big companies will have to comply by next June, while small companies have until 2010 to start testing their products. Read the entire news story.

Note: Nature's Sunshine (NSP), the brand we have sold for 25 years, has always tested their ingredients and manufactured to pharmaceutical standards. With NSP you don't have to wonder if what's on the label is in the bottle. Law or not, it's a matter of integrity to NSP. They guarantee purity and potency. More details?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Don't Buy Bottled Water

Drinking more water is a good thing ... but when it comes to buying bottled water, you may be better off with your own tap water according to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

NRDC tested 1,000 bottled water samples from 103 brands, and found that one-third (1/3) contained contaminants that exceeded FDA-mandated levels. They found that one-forth (1/4) of bottled water is actually just tap water.

FDA rules allow bottlers to label their water "spring water" even though it may be treated with chemicals or mechanically pumped to the surface. There's no guarantee that the spring itself is a pure one. One brand of spring water traced to its source by the NRDC came from a spring that bubbled up into an industrial parking lot, adjacent to a hazardous waste site.

Besides the doubts on sources and contamination, it's a definite that bottled water has affected the environment. The production and transport of bottled water uses large amounts of fossil fuels. Fiji-brand water, for example, is transported to the US from Fiji, over 6,000 miles. The plastic water bottles that Americans alone use and toss in one year uses up more than 47 million gallons of oil, the equivalent of taking 100,000 cars off the road and removing 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Sadly, 84% of these bottles are not even recycled. Pause and re-read those numbers for one year. You can make a difference.

Since the late 70's we have been purifying our own water. I'm not talking about a filter you put on the faucet that makes the water taste better but doesn't remove toxins. The best system you can get is reverse-osmosis (RO). I don't say that because Nature's Sunshine sells one. You can search for information on optional methods and RO always comes up high.

Bottled water is expensive for the budget also. The cost of a countertop system even with replacement filters comes out so much lower per gallon and you get to know that you have truly pure water to drink and cook with.

More on the importance of drinking water.

More about bottled water at the NRDC site.

Consider this 4-stage reverse-osmosis unit: Nature's Spring

Fertilizes and Medications In Bottled Water

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Information on Chemicals in Household Cleaners

Don't you wonder if chemical cleaners are really as bad as they say? Who are "they" anyway? Here's a few links to sites that will give you plenty of information on this topic.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Pages of slightly denser information summarizes the threat of toxic chemicals and introduces people to the concepts of hormone-disrupting chemicals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

Natural Resources Defense Council

A similar effort can be found as WWF above divided into sections concerning children’s health, health effects, pesticides, and organic farming. This site lets guests choose their own level of desired detail by giving them the option of accessing either "in-brief" or "in-depth" pages on the subjects in question.

Children’s Health and Environmental Coalition (CHEC)
Excellent introductory resource for those with children. The home page offers a trip to the HealtheHouse, a nicely interactive virtual tour of a typical house that highlights common trouble spots. HealtheHouse pages include a simple quiz to identify possible actions one needs to take in their own home; an extensive resource section that lets users pick the level of information that best suits their needs and interest; and a section of brief animations that outline six very basic rules for healthier living.

Friends of the Earth in the U.K.
Although this is for the UK, this site provides some general safety tips when it comes to cleaners and other toxic products.

Here's A Few Options of Natural Choices for Household Cleaning

Sunshine Multi-Purpose Concentrate
One Product Cleaning Solution from Nature's Sunshine. Highly concentrated, this cleaner is good for just about every cleaning need imaginable.

Nature's Fresh
This widely tested deodorizer utilizes a special formulation of enzymes gleaned from plant sources. These enzymes work as deodorizers and break down the molecular structure of stains without harming fabric. Nature's Fresh is hypoallergenic, unscented, non-irritating and environmentally safe.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Fear, Stress and Health

Today's Featured Article

by Donna L. Watkins

It's everywhere online, in the news, on the television. Research is linking our thoughts and emotions to disease. How we react to our environment and the boundaries we do or do not set on ourselves affect the outcome of our health. In many ways, we are a sum total of what we think because every action is preceded by a thought.

Many of us have based our belief systems on what we learned in childhood. Some of that is good since many good character qualities are learned in childhood, such as sharing, giving, honesty, respect for authority, etc.

What about beliefs that were formed because of an assumption and not a life lesson taught like a character quality would be. As children we do not understand the big picture and we make assumptions in our minds that are mostly untrue. We have belief systems that determine our behavior and stress levels based on one event in childhood. Those are the things that need to be reevaluated in the light of adulthood and true wisdom and knowledge.

Maybe you had a teacher that told you your science project was awful, and you determined then that you wouldn't stretch your imagination and creativity to share with the world because what you assumed was a bright idea was evaluated as lousy. Unknowingly, you've allowed that one event, in a moment of time, to change the course of your life. You may have been created to invent many things. It may be a gift inside of you that God gave you when you were born. Do you want to leave all of that behind just because a teacher was maybe having a bad day, or expected a higher grade level of expertise than the grade she/he was teaching.

What are your fears? Trace them back to the events in your life that planted the seed for them. Evaluate the situation as an adult with an ability to see more of the big picture. You have hidden talents and gifts to offer the world. The devil begins early to destroy the special you inside. God gave you specific gifts that will bring you and others joy. They may be hidden inside you in a cellar, but with the Holy Spirit's help and insight you can search for and seek them and claim them as yours.

Much of the stressful lifestyles of today are created from bad situations in childhood. Families that were scattered here and there without enough time for nurturing. Advertising that tells you that beauty comes from a product, not from within. Those people you see in ads that look so perfect do not look that way in the morning when they get up. You can do many things with camera and film, so you are not seeing the real thing. Nobody was made perfect other than Jesus Christ and that wasn't based on His outward appearance.

We can be healthier by filling our lives with joy and laughter that God has promised in His Word. Our world is much too focused on performance, deadlines and a drive to over-compete. The only thing that will matter in the end is whether or not you have pleased our Father. All other works will burn up.

If you don't think it's important to take time to laugh, research is proving it's very important. Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore have shown that laughter is linked to healthy function of blood vessels. Laughter appears to cause the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels, the endothelium, to dilate or expand in order to increase blood flow.

This study was done using laughter-producing movies to gauge the affect of emotions on cardiovascular health. When the same group of volunteers was shown a movie that produced mental stress, the blood vessel linings developed a response called vasoconstriction, reducing blood flow. That finding confirms previous studies, which suggested there was a link between mental stress and the narrowing of blood vessels.

Our attitude about life really does matter! Our thoughts control hormone release and digestive juices and enzymes. It matters what we think about and whether we can laugh at life's continual challenges. What can you do different to make yourself more at peace with the world and life. What fears from childhood can you leave behind by shedding the light of today on them? Seek God on it and renew your mind!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Pets Boost Children's Health

Children who have pet animals at home have stronger immune systems and are less likely to take days off school sick, a study suggests.

Researchers at Warwick University in Coventry found that having a cat or dog exposed children to more infections early in life. However, this exposure boosted their immune systems in the medium term and meant these children attended school more often, on average, than pupils who did not have pets. Read the entire article.