Spokane Medical Research

How much do you know about herbal medicine?

Filed under: Alternative Medicine,medicine — Rudolph @

If you’re like most doctors you could put it on a postage stamp. But like the computer herbal medicine is here to stay. Last year U.S. sales of herbal medicines reached $1.5 billion. Moreover sales are growing at 15% a year with one in 10 people using some form of “natural medication.” But what is fact and what is fiction about herbal medicine? And how dangerous are some herbs? To find out Dr. Ken Walker interviewed Dr. R. Frank Chandler director and professor of pharmacy phytochemistry and herbal remedies College of Pharmacy Dalhousie University Halifax. Dr. Ken Walker : Dr. Chandler why are more people becoming interested in herbal medicines? Dr. Frank Chandler : There are several factors. Many people have lost faith in conventional medicines or hope for a cure when traditional therapies fail. And many believe that herbal medicines are not dangerous because they’re “natural.” There’s also a fear of the more potent drugs on the market. KW : Are people fooling themselves that the word “natural” implies that herbal medicines contain some kind of magic ingredient not present in ethical pharmaceutical products? FC : There’s some belief in the herbal system that may not be well-founded. But if you look at today’s prescription medication about 25% of these drugs are either taken from plants or a plant substance that’s been modified. We wouldn’t have steroids without a couple of very lowly plants. Most of the herbal medicines have been derived through thousands of years and from different ethnic groups around the world. KW : What about the pharmacological activity of herbal medicines? FC : First of all the body can’t tell whether or not a medicine is “natural.” Pharmacological characteristics are based not on where medications are found in nature but on the activity of individual molecules. (more…)

Locoweed It’s Just Plain Crazy to Eat

Filed under: Alternative Medicine — Tags: , , — Rudolph @

Recently three teen-agers fell victim to intentional ingestion of locoweed in a town outside Troy, N.Y. A more common name for this plant is “jimson weed,” but it is also called “mad apple” and “stink weed.” The Lansingburgh, N.Y., teen-agers chewed jimson weed seeds to induce hallucinations. This is an all too common misjudgment. They got much more than they bargained for.

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Chickens may be Silent Carriers of Bird Flu

Filed under: Alternative Medicine — Tags: , , — Rudolph @

Health officials are on alert again in Hong Kong following reports of a suspected case of bird flu just over the border with China in Shenzhen.

A truck driver is suspected of having contracted the deadly H5N1 virus in Shenzhen after developing a fever, back pains and a cough on June 3 and was admitted to hospital Friday. (more…)

Does My Child Have ADHD?

Filed under: Alternative Medicine — Tags: , , — Rudolph @

There has been much media coverage and concern over ADHD stimulants being abused as street drugs. Although a recent government report found actual abuse of stimulants in schools to be far less than had been reported, it is a real problem. Because of this, don’t be surprised if there are strict rules on how these drugs are dispensed during school hours. Keep in mind that when used as prescribed by individuals with ADHD, medications are effective and safe. The concern comes in when these drugs are misused. (more…)

Wellness and Prevention of Fibroids

Filed under: Alternative Medicine — Tags: , , — Rudolph @

It is difficult to know how to protect women from getting fibroids, since no one knows what causes them. Howeverm there are natural and hormone-induced states that can increase or reduce one’s risk of getting fibroids.

It seems that the female hormone estrogen plays a key role in the growth of fibroids. For example, during pregnancy there are high levels of estrogen in a woman’s body, and fibroids tend to grow more rapidly and increase in size in pregnant women. The same is true for women taking higher-dose oral contraceptives containing estrogen.

On the other hand, pills containing lower estrogen doses generally do not cause an increase in the size of fibroids. Fibroids are not found in women before they begin menstruating and, for the most part, they do not develop or enlarge after menopause unless a woman takes estrogen supplements or a malignant change takes place. Fibroids tend to shrink and become less problematic as a woman approaches menopause and as estrogen levels recede.

Researchers are investigating whether abnormal chromosomes may cause fibroids to grow. There is also research concerning how estrogen affects fibroid growth at the cellular and molecular levels.

This research may arm healthcare providers with methods to prevent fibroids in the future.

Enlist Social Support

Filed under: Alternative Medicine — Tags: , , — Rudolph @

Enlisting the help and support of friends and family members can be a helpful way to avoid the many holiday temptations. Let them know that you are serious about controlling your weight and ask them not to offer you even “one piece of candy.” (more…)

Herbs: Perfect From the Start

Herbs have been in use since before history was recorded for healing, sound health, work, energy, survival, death, birth and more. Herbs encompass infinite realms and are timeless. This is an overview of the natural substances.

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