More on Natural and Artificial Sweeteners – The Good, The Bad, The Downright Dangerous

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Information About Herbs, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Health | Posted on 28-08-2015

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Sweeteners 2

In the last post, we went over many types of natural sweeteners. The sweeteners that we discussed all had many health benefits, in addition to their sweetening powers. This week we are continuing in that vein. Some of these sweeteners are available in Kuwait and some aren’t yet available, but if enough people ask their local supermarkets or natural food stores to supply certain items, I’m sure they will be very happy to accommodate. After all, they are in business to make money and keep their customers happy and satisfied, aren’t they?

better stevia

Click here to buy Better Stevia from Amazon.

Stevia

This natural sweetener has gotten a lot of press lately. It is derived from a plant found in South America. It has actually been used as a natural sweetener for ages, but has only recently become popular as a non-caloric sweetener. Stevia is much sweeter than table sugar, in fact in its natural form from 10 to 15 times sweeter than table sugar, and the isolated “sweet” constituent of stevia is actually up to 300 times sweeter! Stevia is widely used as an alternative sweetener in many countries now, Japan being one of the largest stevia growers and consumers in the world. In Japan, stevia is used in many different products. It is also used in other countries such as Korea, China, and more. It is becoming more and more common in Western countries as well. While people have been using stevia for a very long time, there have been studies that indicate some questions with regard to the safety of its use (although Japan, for example, has been using it for over 30 years, with no adverse effects at all), and thus it has been banned in several countries. There are warnings put on it in other countries. This is interesting, because it seems that the bans and warnings the “officials” have put on stevia are a direct influence of the “powers that be” in the sugar and artificial sweetener industry. Not so sweet! Stevia is great for diabetics, as it has been shown to actually help to balance the blood sugar. It also helps to stop the growth of the bacteria that lead to tooth decay. It is said to be good for the digestion, and also to help heal skin wounds, and even to fight dangerous forms of bacteria often occurring in the throat. Some people say that stevia has a “taste”, but others don’t notice anything, so it’s your call. But, I think it’s a good option to try, particularly in small quantities.

rice malt

Rice Malt/ Barley Malt

These two sweeteners are made from sprouted grain. These are both made from the fermentation process of rice or barley, as the case may be. These both contain a fair amount of vitamins and nutrients, including protein, enzymes, B vitamins, Vitamin E, and folic acid, and both have an interesting flavor when used in sweetening. We spoke of brown rice sweetener last week, and these are both very similar in quality and use. Barley malt is generally darker and stronger in flavor, while rice malt is generally lighter and less invasive. These are both sometimes mixed together into one sweetener, and sometimes other grains are added in as well. Both forms are slightly slower to metabolize than ordinary table sugar, but still have an impact on the blood sugar levels, which can be detrimental to diabetics or people on low carbohydrate diets. These are caloric choices, so be aware and plan accordingly.

barley malt

 

Fruit Concentrate/ Fruit Juice as Sweetener

Nowadays in the supermarket you will find fruit or fruit juices used as sweeteners in many ready made products out there. Sometimes sweeter juices will be added to ones that aren’t as sweet. An example of this is with cranberry juice. Also, in foods and food products fruit juices and fruit concentrates will be used to sweeten various items. The problem is that they are the same as using fructose, and sometimes are even more concentrated. Thus, they are not really appropriate for those who are suffering from diabetes or who are on a low carbohydrate diet. Remember that such sweeteners are very caloric, high in carbohydrate, and are also high on the glycemic index normally. The good thing is that this type of sweetener is natural and safe. It is also not table sugar. It is sweet though, and a better idea would certainly be to simply choose something less sweet.

We have now completed our journey into the land of sweeteners, and are now wise and jaded when it comes to which sweeteners we will choose. Think before you choose, and make certain that your choices are informed, safe, and healthy. Every individual is different and your body is not going to be like anyone else’s, so you must make your own decisions based on your own personal level of health and your own personal needs and tastes. Keep these articles on hand so you can refer back to them from time to time. If you didn’t get the chance to read one or the other of the series, just contact me by email and I will send you the rest, or you can always read them online.

(To be continued)…

monkfruit

miaponzo@yahoo.com

What good sweeteners are there for low carb, ketogenic, Paleo eating? (Part 1)

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Herbs, Medical Terminology, Natural Alternative Diet, Natural Beauty | Posted on 27-08-2015

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sweeteners

 

One of the misinformed dieting fads in Kuwait is using fructose in cookies and cakes and calling it part of a weight loss or low carbohydrate diet. This is part of a campaign in which many companies are marketing various “diet” desserts in bakeries and various supermarkets around the country. The first time I ever encountered this phenomenon here I took the time to call up the so-called “doctor” and discuss it with her. When I asked what sort of sugar substitute was in the desserts, she said fructose. I was quite surprised, knowing full well that fructose reacts the exact same way in a body as glucose does. She informed me that there were some other sugar substitutes as well, but mostly fructose. She argued that it is better than “regular” sugar and is metabolized differently. I, naturally, disagreed and informed her of the correct scientific facts, which we will discuss below. She continued to argue her point, and only after I brought up more and more information did she finally remain quiet, admitting defeat. The worse part is that she isn’t the only person out there who is confused. Although her confusion is inexcusable, (particularly because she is a health professional in the field of dietary medicine), she is certainly not alone.

So, when is sugar not sugar? Never! (That is unless it has been chemically altered, and we will discuss that later). While we have several kinds of sugar substitute, sugar is always sugar, no matter which name you decide to call it, and it has plenty of names. The bottom line is that when the body takes in sugar it reacts the very same way no matter where it was from (unless you have a food sensitivity to beets, for example, in which case you will react to that sort of sugar).

Sugar goes by many aliases, including the following:

*sugar (sucrose, fructose, etc)
*glucose (pure sweetness found in fruits, honey, and vegetables)
*sucrose (table sugar)
*fructose (sugar from fruit)
*saccharose
*(crystalline) solid disaccharide
*cane sugar (sugar made from sugar cane)
*beet sugar (sugar made from beets)
*lactose (milk sugar)
*galactose (found in dairy products)
*dextrose (pure sugar from fruit
*maltose (sugar formed as a breakdown of starches)
*trehalose (sugar disaccharide)
*disaccharide (double molecule sugar)
*monosaccharide (single molecule sugar)
*ribose (kind of sugar found in human cells, often used as a supplement for athletes, particularly body builders)
*white sugar (basically table sugar made from either sugar cane or beets, also known as granulated sugar)
*brown sugar (which is just white sugar with molasses)
*table sugar (pure sugar, normally consisting of one molecule of sucrose and one of fructose)
*castor sugar (super finely ground)
*powdered/confectionary sugar (finely ground)
*fruit sugar (fructose, often said to be absorbed slightly slower into the blood, but having almost the same rating in a glycemic index, which judges rates of use by the blood)
*raw sugar (initial pressing of unrefined sugar)
*turbinado sugar (filtered through wood charcoal)
*muscovado sugar (a type of less refined sugar with some molasses content, thus more nutrients)
*demerera sugar (a type of raw cane sugar, thus more nutrients)
*honey (what bees make)
*molasses (the byproduct of sugar production, full of nutrients)
*corn sweetener (sugar derived from corn)
*corn syrup (sugar derived from corn)
*maple sugar/syrup (sugar/syrup derived from the maple tree, full of nutrients)
*high fructose corn syrup (sugar derived from corn)
(The following are sugar alcohols, which are not supposed to act quickly on the blood, and thus are suitable for diabetics and low carbohydrate dieters).
*sorbitol
*xylitol
*mannitol
(This is one of the newest forms of sweetener. This one is derived from sugar but isn’t supposed to react in the body as sugar).
*sucralose (otherwise known as Splenda)
(There are other artificial sweeteners as well, but we won’t go into them right now).

While each of these sugars is different in a variety of ways, they are still all sugar. While they don’t act on the body in exactly the same way, they are all basically the same in the long run, as they increase the level of sugar in our blood, thereby requiring that our bodies deal with it, which can cause a variety of symptoms including weakness, exhaustion, and worse, in certain cases. In fact, all this hype about fructose and other so-called “diet” sweeteners being healthier looks like it is going to go the opposite way as scientific studies delve into the side effects and detriments of using it. Tune in right here next week to get the low down on what that research is discovering.

There are millions of people out there desperately trying to be healthier, lose weight, or keep their weight at a normal level. I am one of them, and I am certainly one of those people who have tried a variety of sugars and sugar substitutes in my quest to be healthier and thinner. The problem with this is that it is apparently not working. There are several reasons for this, and the main one is that the information that business minded people are giving out is incorrect. It is simply not true! Giving these companies the benefit of the doubt, the probably have good intentions most of the time, but still, regardless of their intentions, millions of people are being misled by false advertising with regard to these sugars and sugar substitutes that are being marketed.

Let’s take the fructose issue, since that seems to be one of the more sensitive ones. Here in Kuwait and all over the world there are people who are marketing fructose as a healthy alternative to sugar. Well, the lowdown is that fructose is just another kind of sugar. In fact it is sweeter than table sugar, and while you need less of it to get your foods sweet, the basic analysis of its use is something you’re going to want to hear.

There are several reasons why fructose isn’t a great idea, even though in some forms it has a lower glycemic index than table sugar (remember in the form of high fructose corn syrup its glycemic index is very high). According to studies that have been done, diabetics and heart patients often have adverse effects from the use of fructose because of how it raises their blood lipid levels abnormally, specifically cholesterol and LDL, which are fats that you don’t want to have, and this is apparently true for diabetics particularly, and in men this reaction is higher than in women. It also increases blood clotting, which is another dangerous side effect, particularly when you are suffering from heart disease or a circulatory disease. Don’t forget that diabetics have a higher rate of heart disease than most other people too, so the use of fructose is definitely a dangerous endeavor for them. Fructose has also been found to affect the natural absorption of certain minerals, including copper, which is important for healthy blood. It has also been linked to the heightened process of aging, and causing the skin to deteriorate resulting in wrinkles, lines and age spots.

Naturally though, practically anything in small enough quantities isn’t going to have an adverse effect on much, but still, quantities can add up when you’re not looking! Fructose and its not-so-nice sister high fructose corn syrup are not diet foods and are implied in many studies showing detrimental effects to our health when we eat them, even for normal weight people.

Did you know that fructose metabolism causes the body to store fat more than regular sugar? Indeed, when it is metabolized in the liver (which is the only place it is metabolized), as opposed to glucose (which is used by the entire body), it is almost completely converted to fat. Also, another interesting fact is that since fructose doesn’t stimulate insulin production, and because of this, it encourages overeating. In fact, over time, it can even create insulin resistance! In addition to that, fructose doesn’t contain even one single vitamin, mineral, or enzyme, and in its metabolism by the body, these things are actually leached from our bodily store of them!

I bet you didn’t know that most of the fructose out in the market today isn’t even derived from fruit, did you? It’s derived from corn for the most part, and corn alone is one of the grains that I always tell people to stop eating when suffering from any kind of health problem, particularly allergies and food sensitivities. It can also be made from beets, sugar cane and other plants. Hmm…. that is exactly where table sugar comes from! In fact high fructose corn syrup has been linked directly to the increase in obesity of children and adults all over the world, due to its high use in processed foods everywhere. It is turning up in foods that don’t even need to be sweetened! And, apparently, according to the research, the fatter you are the worse you are affected by fructose!

So, reading ingredients lists is your first defense. Just don’t buy products containing fructose, corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup. When you begin reading, you will be surprised at what you will find. High fructose corn syrup is everywhere! You will find it in cereals, soft drinks, bottled and canned juices, fruits, and vegetables, canned foods (such as sauces, soups, etc), grain products, frozen prepared products, prepared spice blends, and more! And you will find tons of it in fast foods, even in the most unlikely places, like in your “healthy” salad dressing, for example!

Now, keeping in mind that some forms of fructose are better than high fructose corn syrup, still the better route is to go as natural as possible. The best idea is to completely cut the sugar out. The bottom line is, if you want high quality, “good for you” fructose, eat whole fruit! You can’t go wrong with a couple pieces of healthy, preferably organic fruit a day. Try to choose fruit with plenty of fiber for the best results.

More on Sweeteners in the next post (stay tuned)… but in the meantime… check out my two favorite natural, safe, GMO-free, sweeteners that can be effective with low carb, ketogenic, and Paleo diets.

xylitol zveet   eryrthritol

 

 

Quick and Easy Way to Get Rid of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Herbs, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 15-08-2015

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ibs

Irritable Bowel Syndrome isn’t the most pleasant of topics that we ever attempted to broach. But, there are millions of people around the world who suffer daily from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) (also known as spastic colon), thousands of them right here in Kuwait, and something needs to be done to help them.

If you aren’t sure what IBS is, here are some of the possible symptoms:
• bloating or gassiness (sometimes very severe)
• diarrhea
• constipation
(or vacillating between the two for no apparent reason)
• mucus in bowel movement
• abdominal pain (either in one place or radiating)
• cramping (sometimes severe)
• pain in legs, back, sides
• tightness in chest (sometimes it seems like a heart attack)
• nausea
• headaches
• stomachache
(and more)

In reality, IBS is basically a catch-all term for all those symptoms that were mentioned above, when they don’t have any obvious organic reason. After all the normal testing is done, including barium enema, barium drink, scopes (possibly upper and lower), and more, and nothing noteworthy shows up, the label IBS is attached. IBS can be chronic or acute. There are people who suddenly suffer from certain symptoms, and after testing comes up negative on everything, are diagnosed with IBS, and then soon after spontaneously recover. Others suffer for years and even while taking medication, never really feel much better for very long. Treating IBS is also a challenge for conventional medicine, since it is often merely a diagnosis of the process of elimination lacking the presence of organic evidence of anything else, so how do you treat it? Normally it is only the symptoms that are treated, for example the upset stomach, the gas, and the constipation or diarrhea, often with little or no relief.

Alternative medicine takes a bit of a different view when it comes to IBS. I have been successfully treating IBS for years, with an almost 100% success rate. How is that? My view (along with many other alternative practitioners) is that IBS is basically a result of sensitivities or allergies of one sort or the other. These sensitivities (or allergies) manifest themselves in a variety of ways, including sinus problems, skin problems, migraines, and IBS. So, one way to treat IBS is to treat the underlying sensitivity or allergy. While this isn’t a simple task, it isn’t difficult to do, and there are basic rules that seem to apply to most people and work in most cases

The diet is one of the most important areas to look at when dealing with IBS. Dietary changes are often all that is needed to “cure” the problem. In fact, the elimination of high carbohydrate foods is often all that is required. Foods like potatoes, bread, rice, sugary foods, and more are often the problem. For some reason, it seems that many people simply cannot process these foods and thus, suffer with the symptoms of IBS when eating them. If you suffer from IBS try cutting out these things, along with artificial colorings, preservatives, additives, soy (and its byproducts), dairy (and its byproducts), corn (and its byproducts), tomatoes, high citrus fruits, tea, coffee, chocolate, and anything else that causes discomfort when eaten.

Stress also plays an important part in the manifestation and treatment of IBS. So, keeping your stress levels down is always going to help. Now, while I am well aware that in this day and age, keeping stress low is going to be an almost insurmountable task, it can be done, nonetheless. You must do whatever it takes, as your health depends on it. So, if you suffer from this or other stress-related diseases lowering the stress in your life is of utmost importance. This can be done in many ways, including decompressing in a warm bath, taking a leisurely walk, reading a good book, relaxing with good friends, meditating, playing your favorite sport, going horseback riding, painting, or whatever it is that you like to do. Don’t keep on saying, “later”, because later will never come.

reflexology tutor

Click HERE to buy this book from Amazon.

There are many alternative therapies that have been found to have good results for IBS, including: reflexology, aromatherapy, Chinese acupressure (and acupuncture), hypnotherapy, ayurveda, yoga, and more. These can be used together or individually, and are often so effective that they can even completely cure the problem.

In our herbal pharmacy, we have many choices, and most of them can be found right in our own kitchens! Herbs like peppermint, fennel seed, anise seed, chamomile, thyme, sage, ginger, rosemary, and marjoram, to name a few. Some other herbs that, while they probably aren’t going to be available in your own pantry, are widely available in the herbal marketplace worldwide are: marshmallow leaf, slippery elm, psyllium husks, ginseng, evening primrose, golden seal, Echinacea, and more.

Here are some good choices for herbal remedies that you can do easily at home:

marshmallow herb

Click HERE to buy marshmallow leaf herb from Amazon.

slippery elm

Click HERE to buy Slippery Elm Bark from Amazon.

psyllium husks

Click HERE to buy Organic Psyllium Husks from Amazon.

kefir starter

Click HERE to buy Kefir Starter from Amazon.

Clearly IBS is a miserable problem that no one wants to suffer from. It is painful and embarrassing. So, for those who suffer, a solution is extremely important. The solution that you look for is right here in the world of alternatives, and right there in your own kitchen!

Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com

This article first appeared in the Arab Times newspaper in Kuwait in July 200.

Quick and Easy Way To Get Rid of Tinnitus

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Herbs, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 11-08-2015

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tinnitus

There are many people who suffer horribly from tinnitus or similar diseases. If you haven’t heard of it, don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. There are many more where that came from, you’re in good company. The fact is that just because you haven’t heard of it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Indeed it does, and if you aren’t sure, just ask one of the thousands, even millions of people around the world who suffer from tinnitus on a daily basis. In fact there are almost 36 million sufferers in the USA alone!

Tinnitus can be described as a ringing in one’s ears. Some people report hearing other sounds as well, such as popping, whistling, pulsing, screeching, whooshing, buzzing and worse, and that din is going on right inside of your head. Some people even report being able to hear music! Normally, the sufferer is the only one who can hear the sounds, but in a very few people, the noises can even be heard from the outside. The problem can be in one or both ears, and can be very debilitating for some. In certain cases the tinnitus comes and goes and isn’t present all the time. In other cases the tinnitus is there constantly and never goes away. Some sufferers report that the only relief for them from the noise is sleep. Some others don’t even get relief when they sleep! For some people the problem is minor and bearable, but for others, the problem is not as bearable, and in some extreme cases people have even committed suicide because they couldn’t take the noise any more. It literally drove them to death. Now, while the cases of very severe tinnitus are rare, they do happen, and even the simple cases where the tinnitus is mild are cases where the people would do practically anything to get rid of it. The problem is that it’s sometimes not that easy to do.

Tinnitus can have many causes, including sinus problems (like sinusitis, infection, allergy, etc), ear inflammation or infection, various ear defects (like damage to the nerve endings of the ear), exposure to loud noises (this is particularly a problem of young people who go to rock concerts and can even result in permanent hearing loss, so if you know a teenager who listens to his stereo at high decibels (too loudly), stop him immediately, before it’s too late), ear wax build up, high or low blood pressure, diabetes, tension or stress (anxiety), vitamin deficiencies, jaw problems, eye or optical nerve problems, certain medications, neck and head injuries, brainstem or brain injuries, and worse of all tumors (but those are extremely rare). Elderly people tend to suffer more than others.

Once you find out the cause of your particular tinnitus, then you can work on doing something about it. While there isn’t a lot of success in treating it with medications, certain therapies have been found useful and effective for many. For example, if your problem is sinus related, then you can take antihistamines (or other anti-allergy medications). While there are other medications that have been known to be effective as well, most medications aren’t very effective and chemical medicaments are not ideal in any case. In some rare cases surgery is performed, but it isn’t always effective either.

The advice that most doctors give sufferers is to avoid loud noises, get plenty of rest, and eat good wholesome foods (since there is evidence showing that dietary changes and eating certain chemicals and additives can even cause tinnitus). Get plenty of exercise too, because an increase of beneficial activity has also been found quite effective. If you smoke or drink a lot of caffeine or diet drinks, stop!

complete reflexology book

Click HERE to buy this book from Amazon

There are some alternative choices to try when it comes to treating tinnitus. Some are reported more effective than others, but when you are suffering from an illness that is as annoying as this one is, you will generally be willing to try almost anything. Reflexology has been noted to be quite effective against many kinds of tinnitus, even the worst kinds. It appears to affect the workings of the ear and the symptoms that caused it in the first place. Along the same lines acupressure and acupuncture have been noteworthy as well.

Organic Gingko

Click HERE to buy Starwest Organic Gingko Herb from Amazon

Some people have found that taking the herb Gingko biloba is effective, and also vitamins, such as Vitamin A, the B vitamins, folic acid, or Zinc.

Here are some good vitamin choices from Amazon…

 

While tinnitus is a real disease, and affects people physically, hypnosis can be of help in many cases. While it isn’t completely understood why this therapy works, it does, and thus cannot be overlooked when dealing with such a stubborn problem.

Yes, tinnitus is a big problem for those who suffer from it, but there are ways to help it, and hopefully more on the way!

Email me: mia@yournaturalhealtonline.com

This article originally appeared in the Arab Times Newspaper in Kuwait in June 2006




Cure Quick and Easy Way To Cure Almost Any Eye Inflammation with Black Tea!

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 08-08-2015

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When I say black tea is a cure, I’m not joking.

It works for humans, horses, cats, dogs, and probably any other animal with eyes that you can hold down long enough to put the tea in!

Black tea is fantastic for any type of inflammation at all.

It is much stronger than any antibiotic that the doctor can give you!

(Of course they don’t want you to know that, do they though!).

Black tea is great for full blown infections, too.

Even if the infections are viral, and just as good for bacterial.

Even if you are suffering from eye allergies, black tea is just what the doctor ordered.

People who suffer from dry eyes and have to put natural saline eye drops all the time (artificial tears) should try black tea to solve their problem.

Black tea works just as well or better.

Black tea is just a miracle eye cure, no matter how you look at it!

Mighty Leaf Tea

Mighty Leaf Tea, Organic Breakfast, Whole Leaf Pouches, 1.32-Ounces, 15-Count (Pack of 3)



Quick and Easy Way to Get Rid of UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections)

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Herbs, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 27-07-2015

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urinary-tract-infection

Many people suffer from recurring UTIs (short for urinary tract infections). This can be a particular problem in the hot weather that we’re having now, when you don’t manage to get enough liquids into your body and become more dehydrated than you should be. While making sure that you get plenty of liquids helps, some people suffer anyway, no matter how much liquid they drink. Wintertime can also be a problem, since people drink less and less liquids at that time.

Our kidneys and bladder need plenty of liquids, preferably plain, fresh water, flushed through them all the time in order to keep all the bacteria that pass through these organs in check. If the intake of liquid falls too low, bacteria are given a chance to grow and multiply, which they do so fast that a UTI is the result. People who are suffering from certain diseases are particularly likely to get UTIs. Those who have diabetes, etc. are more likely to get UTIs. Elderly people are more prone to getting UTIs as well. Also, women are more susceptible than men to bladder infections, due to the short distance that the bacteria have to travel from the outside to get into the bladder. Pregnant women and those going through the menopause are more likely to get UTIs. While most UTIs are not normally life threatening or seriously dangerous, they are most certainly extremely uncomfortable and can sometimes be excruciating, and left out of control can lead to more severe problems.

You know that you have a UTI if you suffer from the following symptoms:
• Feeling of fullness while urine output is minimal
• Stinging or pain on urination
• Feeling of constant need to urinate
• Discomfort in the lower abdomen
• Pain in the back or sides of the back
• Bloody urine
• Fever
• Chills
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Discharge (from the urethra (the opening of the bladder) or surrounding areas, particularly for women).
• Referred pain in the thighs, etc.
• Cloudy urine
• Bad smelling urine
• Confusion (in more serious cases, or with the elderly)

A simple test will be able to tell you right away if you are suffering from UTI, in fact the one that is used in the government hospitals here now is instant. You will know your results within seconds of dipping the stick into the urine. If that type of test is not available in your area, a more traditional urine test will be done with the results in several hours, up to a day or two.

So, what do you do if you are suffering? Naturally, prevention is the best medicine, so do your best to make sure that you eat well and get plenty of liquids in order to keep UTIs away in the first place, but if you end up with one anyway, don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can do. If you seem to be prone to getting UTIs then keep out of the bathtub! Make sure that you shower instead, in order to prevent the entry of more bacteria through the urethra. Make sure that you wash very well with water after going to the bathroom. This is particularly important for those women on their monthly cycles. Wearing cotton underwear instead of synthetics has been shown to help prevent UTIs as well.

Conventional doctors usually treat UTIs with antibiotics, which kill the bacteria. But, the problem with that solution is that the antibiotic kills other good bacteria as well as the bad guys, which causes other problems. The good news is that there are plenty of natural alternatives to treating the UTI with chemicals. Nature has given us many options when it comes to this.

The easiest solution is to drink plenty of water. Flushing out the bacteria is the easiest method of preventing and solving UTIs. Also, make sure that you urinate often enough, because leaving the urine to build up in the bladder is another way that the bacteria have a chance to grow. But, if you still end up with something more serious even after taking these precautions, there are several herbs that are great for getting rid of UTIs.

Probably the most potent that I have ever found, is one of the easiest to get and use. Corn silk is one of the best herbs for UTI. Just take it out of the husk while it is fresh and steep (preferably don’t boil) it covered in a big pot of water. The resulting light tea can be drunk hot or cold, and doesn’t have much of a taste at all. If you suffer from frequent UTIs you can dry your corn silk for future use, and some people like to keep it in the freezer.

cornsilk

Cranberry juice (which has always been the old standby) is still a great choice but try to make sure that your juice is pure and not mixed with lots of sugar or other juices. Blueberries and blueberry juice are also good for this problem, but they are not widely available in Kuwait and are very expensive. You can find some lovely frozen blueberries in most freezer sections in most supermarkets.

cranberry juice   organic cranberries

There are other herbs that are great for dealing with urinary problems. Some of them are: parsley, ginger, juniper berries, dandelion leaf, marshmallow, golden seal, uva ursi, buchu leaf, dong quai, birch leaf, Echinacea, stinging nettle leaf, horsetail, and more. While most of these are not available in Kuwait, you can certainly find them easily and widely available in any herb shop in the USA or the UK, so do make an effort.

dandelion leaf       nettle leaf

echinacea

UTIs are not the way you want to start (or end) your day, but help is certainly on the way. It’s right there in your kitchen or at your local grocery store. So, you don’t have to suffer in silence any more, and you can often get rid of the problem yourself, without having to take chemical medications. So, what are you waiting for?

Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com

From the Arab Times June 2006

 

Heartburn

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Herbs, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 26-07-2015

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heartburn

Practically everyone has suffered from heartburn at one time or another in their lives. Those who have know that it is a most uncomfortable situation to be in. People who suffer often pop anti-acid tablets like they are going out of style. While this may help the problem, this help is only temporary. It is, by no means, a permanent solution. Heartburn is one of those things that repeats itself again and again, literally. (No pun intended).

Another name for heartburn is acid reflux, and some people who suffer from this ailment have a variety of other similar disorders, one of which is called GERD, otherwise known as “gastroesophageal reflux disease”. GERD has been in the news a lot lately. Acid reflux and GERD are not usually one, but a variety of digestive disorders. This is when you feel like your food is repeating on you, when you feel a burning sensation in your chest (and it’s not heart problems). If you suffer from an overabundance of acid reflux you might have a hiatus hernia (where the stomach comes up through the opening in the diaphragm). When this happens you might end up needing surgery. Luckily most acid reflux (heartburn) is a simple problem of some of your stomach acid coming up through your esophagus and causing the burning sensation of these delicate membranes. While, for most people, this is an occasional distraction, some people are practically debilitated by it. When the problem becomes serious, medical professionals often recommend a variety of chemical medicines, and, even when the problem isn’t being caused by a hiatus hernia, sometimes even surgery. Luckily, in the overall majority of cases, surgery for heartburn isn’t necessary. It certainly isn’t very common in any case, and if more people tried prevention and alternative methods of treatment, surgery and chemical medication would be unnecessary in most, if not all cases.

I remember one patient of mine who actually got to the point of not being able to eat at all. This patient literally was living on tiny amounts of tea and coffee and had lost tons of weight. What he didn’t realize was that it was his lifestyle and habits that were causing the problem, and in continuing them the way they were, he was unwittingly causing it to get worse. It was like a vicious circle. He would feel pain, drink tea, smoke a cigarette, suffer, drink coffee, suffer, and smoke another cigarette. His esophagus could take no more. It was almost completely seized up and he couldn’t eat any form of solid food at all. He was literally on death’s doorstep. His treatment was simple. Stop smoking, drinking tea, and coffee, eat a healthy diet, and drink an herbal combination (in a tea) that included several soothing and healing herbs. He followed my advice to the letter. He had an immediately improvement in his symptoms, and was better within two days!

There are several factors that contribute to the occurrence of acid reflux (heartburn). These factors can be easily turned around with a little effort. These factors include: lack of sleep, eating too close to bedtime, weight gain, smoking (especially heavy smoking), lack of exercise, poor posture, too tight clothing (particularly tight waistbands, belts, etc.), eating too many spicy, acidy, or fatty foods, overeating (in general), and pregnancy.

The dietary recommendations would include a low carbohydrate diet. This means, little or no bread, rice, pasta, sugar, flour products, fruit, etc., and more vegetables, and a wide variety of proteins. Avoid tomatoes, citrus fruits, heavy spices, chocolate, mints (like candy, etc), tea, coffee, colas (and other soft drinks, particularly those with carbonation and caffeine), artificial additives, colorings, and preservatives, and certain kinds of fatty foods, particularly dairy products. Eating smaller meals will always be beneficial in these cases. Also there are certain medications that can increase reflux problems, for example ibuprofen. So, if you are taking medication and aren’t sure if it might be causing your problem, consult your medical professional.

There are several alternative methods of treating acid reflux, including herbal teas. Some of the most effective herbs for this problem are: oatmeal, marshmallow leaf, chamomile, fennel seed, rose petals, anise seed, slippery elm, calendula, and marjoram, which all soothe and reduce swelling in the mucous membranes. Some people swear that if you eat a banana a day you will not have to suffer from heartburn. I haven’t tried this myself, though. I have tried the herbs on many patients, and any one or more of the herbs I mentioned work like a charm. But, it is important that the other behaviors change along with the treatment. Getting rid of the coffee, tea, and cigarettes is particularly important.

If you suffer from acid reflux, otherwise known as heartburn, help is right around the corner. Yes, you will have to change your lifestyle a bit, but not THAT much, and the relief that you will feel will be enormous. It will be well worth every effort that you have made. So, what are you waiting for?

Here are the herbs you can use (Click on any of the images to buy from Amazon and help to support this website):

Slippery Elm Bark calendula flowers
marjoram leaf fennel seeds

 

oatmealchamomile flowersmarshmallow leaf

Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com

From the Arab Times June 2006

Too Much Sun! (Sunstroke and Sunburn)

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Essential Oils, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 23-04-2015

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sunburn-barbie

Here in Kuwait where the sun is so bright and hot, we must always be very careful about how much of it we get. Don’t think that just because you see people walking around and even working in the middle of the day that you can do the same thing. Particularly if you are new in Kuwait and are from a normally more temperate climate, don’t try to fight with nature. Don’t think that you can just push yourself a little more. Even when the weather is beautiful, the sand is great, and the water is calm and perfect for skiing, boarding, sailing, or jetskiiing, don’t be tempted. You might end up sautéed or worse. This goes the same for golfers, volleyball players, basketball players, and anyone else who thinks that they can stand the sun. When the temperature is more than 45 degrees (or even when it’s more or less) you just don’t want to take chances with your health.

Always make sure that you have water with you, and are properly covered when going out in the sun. You are probably wondering what I’m talking about here, but, in fact, if you cover up you will feel cooler and more comfortable than if you go around with the sun beating on your bare skin. Those flowing desert clothes are not for nothing! At least wear a big floppy hat to keep the sun off of your head, or use an umbrella (like many people do). You don’t want to get sunstroke, which is very dangerous, particularly in the Kuwaiti heat. You also don’t want to get dehydrated. So, always take precautions, and make sure you are fully prepared for your outings, particularly if you are going to be any distance away from amenities. Remember, if you feel dizzy, are sweating too much, feel faint, or light headed, disoriented, nauseated, or feverish, these are danger signs. Heed them! Get out of the sun immediately, and get help.

Always wear sunscreen when you’re out in the sun, and if you are in the water, you must keep on applying more sunscreen every time you get in and out of the water. Also, you must make sure that you do not choose the hottest times of day for your outings. Between the hours of 10 AM and 3 PM you really do not want to be baking in the sun!
Del Mar Organic Sunscreen

Sunburn in Kuwait is not something that you ever want to experience. It is just about as miserable as anything you will ever have to endure. I know because I have had the most horrible sunburn, acquired in 55 degree weather, on a boat and beach trip, stuck on a deserted island for more than 6 hours, on a sea trip gone wrong, with sparkling water glistening on me, my friend, and our children, reflecting the beautiful (Ha) sun. Not!

Badger Organic Childrens Sunscreen

We were burned crispy. The excruciating pain was awful and almost more than I could bear. Also, because I hadn’t thought ahead, I didn’t have anything to treat myself or anyone else with, except for a small bottle of blended essential oil that I used to carry around everywhere that wasn’t even enough to cover a small area. We had to wait several hours later until after we got rescued by the coast guard (it’s a long story) so that we could put some lavender essential oil on! Needless to say, take a lesson from my horrible experience, and don’t do what we did! Remember, it doesn’t take that long for a burn to occur either. It can take as little as 15 minutes.

But, if for some reason, even after taking all the precautions in the world, you still do get sunburned do not fear, help is near. Right off, if you get any kind of burn at all, sunburn included, the first thing you should always tried to do is plunge it (yourself) into cold water, in order to stop the burn. If you don’t have any cold water, any water will do, or even ice cubes if they are available (although they aren’t ideal).

Lavender Essential Oil

The next step is to immediately apply lavender essential oil. Lavender oil is so effective against burns that it is absolutely amazing. Not only will it deal with the burning immediately, but it will also prevent other problems that occur with burns. You will not have problems with peeling skin, nor will you have to deal with the stinging pain of serious sunburn. It will also prevent infection and inflammation, which can sometimes be a problem with sunburn, particularly bad ones. (Another side benefit is that your tan won’t even be ruined, although, I am certainly NOT recommending tanning by any stretch of the imagination, unless you want to look like an old piece of leather by the time you are 35!) Not to mention the dangers of skin cancer!

One recommended home cure for sunburn is the tea cure. You just brew some tea (it’s easier to use tea bags so you don’t have such a mess) and use old towels to apply it lukewarm (not cold) directly onto the areas that are burned. This will help with the burn, and also help to prevent infections and help stop the pain.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera is a great healing plant. They are widely available in Kuwait and are very inexpensive. All you have to do is to break or cut off one of the leaves, and inside you will find a succulent, slimy, gel-like substance. You can apply that substance just the way it is, in order to relieve the burning and itch of sunburn. It also helps prevent against infection with its special constituents.

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar

Some people swear by vinegar (specifically apple cider) to take away the stinging and burning, and help the burn to heal much faster than it normally would. One of the good things about using vinegar is that you will probably always have it around in your kitchen, but the smell might put you off, so you may want to stick with the lavender. Chamomile oil is another recommendation that some have mentioned. Mouthwash has also been used for applying to sunburn, and it is supposed to have been used in the military for burns when nothing else was available. Others claim the same from Preparation H (this is actually supposed to be a hemorrhoid treatment). Try them in a pinch. Vanilla is another option when it is available. Both real and artificial are supposed to be equally as good. It is supposed to stop the stinging and prevent peeling. Oatmeal is a good option as well, since it is so soothing. It is good for any kind of inflammation, and can easily be made into a bath additive by powdering the oatmeal and adding it to very warm (but not hot) water.

Calendula Oil

I have found that calendula (marigold) infused oil also works wonders to sooth the burn and heal it, and there are plenty of people who say that olive oil (either plain or mixed with a little vinegar) has a similar effect.

But, while lavender essential oil is probably your best choice in treating sunburn, the best treatment for sunburn is prevention. So, follow all precautions, don’t ignore the signs, and try to stay out of the sun as much as possible.

What Is Anemia?

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Herbs, Medical Terminology, Natural Alternative Diet | Posted on 31-03-2015

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anemia 1

            Millions of people all over the world from every conceivable country suffer from anemia of one form or another at one time or another. Many of these people have chronic anemia that can sometimes be so severe that it is life threatening. Others have anemia that is so mild that they don’t even know theyhave it. So, what is anemia anyway?

            Anemia (which actually means “lacking blood”) is when your blood doesn’t have enough good red blood cells (hemoglobin is found in the red blood cells, and is the agent that carries the oxygen from the lungs around the body). When this happens there isn’t enough oxygen in the blood, thus the various organs in the body won’t be able to get enough oxygen, which they require to function properly. This usually occurs when the body doesn’t have enough iron for one reason or the other (but there are many other causes as well). Women are more likely to have anemia than men, but men can get it as well. There are several possible causes of anemia including; specifically a lack in the body’s production of red blood cells, too much red blood cell destruction, blood loss (such as that which occurs during menstruation or childbirth), lack of iron in the diet, pregnancy, lack of certain other vitamins (like B12, for example), certain cancers or other acute or chronic diseases, inherited anemia due to genetic problems, hormonal imbalances, and a host of other more obscure causes, including anemia that has no known cause at all.

Herbs for Common Ailments

            The way that you can know that you have anemia is if you feel any of the following (but many people who have anemia don’t even know that they have it): fatigue, weakness, a fast heart beat, heart palpitations, difficulty in breathing (shortness of breath), uncalled for sweating, drained looking skin color, and sometimes dizziness. So, if you are suffering from any of these symptoms without knowing the cause, then please go get a blood test and confirm whether or not you are suffering from anemia, what type, and why (if possible). Then, you really need to begin some sort of curative program right away in order to preserve your health.

            Generally, the most common anemia (iron deficient anemia) is treated with iron supplements. This is fine, but there are several problems that taking iron supplements can cause, such as constipation (or diarrhea), nausea (even vomiting), and more. Be particularly careful when using iron supplements with children, since it can be severely toxic to them, even causing death. So, instead of taking ordinary iron supplements, try to do something to help your self without artificial (or even real) iron and get to the nature of the problem naturally. There are tons of great tasting foods out there that are loaded with iron. Some of them are: red meats (beef, lamb and goat, which are all widely available in Kuwait), particularly liver, beets (particularly a blend of carrot and beet juice expressed juice), beet greens, chives, green leafy vegetables (like romaine lettuce, spinach, sea vegetables (your local Japanese restaurant will love you since that is the best place to get seaweed in Kuwait, although it is sold at Sultan Center in the Oriental foods section), and more), blackstrap molasses, eggs, okra, raisins, almonds (and almond milk, which you can make by blending almonds in a blender with water and drinking the resulting milky liquid, making sure that you don’t let the almond paste float to the bottom). Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables that contain vitamin C, like strawberries, or anything bright or dark red, purple, bright orange, bright yellow, or bright green. Also, if you are suffering from anemia, you should really discontinue coffee, tea, soft drinks and smoking, since the use of those things really impairs your absorption of the important vitamins that you need to recover. This also goes for foods containing preservatives, additives, etc. Here in Kuwait stuffed and plain grape leaves are widely available too, so eat up!

The Gift of Healing Herbs

            In the herbal medicine world there are many plants that are known to increase iron, help red blood cell and hemoglobin production, and improve the general health of the body, which will be run down with anemia, particularly if it has gone unnoticed for any length of time. One of the newly discovered ones is called “Cassia grandis” (which is not the same as regular cassia, which is like cinnamon), and hails from Puerto Rico. Alfalfa leaf is another great herb to take, along with any of the green herbs, like spirulina (which is algae), yellow dock, dandelion, stinging nettles, gentian, burdock (leaf and root), Dong Quai, St John’s wort, astragalus, licorice (which also helps by keeping the adrenal glands going strong), horsetail, red raspberry leaf, parsley, and Panax ginseng (the Asian version).

SEE BELOW FOR LINKS TO ALL OF THESE HERBS :)

            You also need to get out there and exercise, even if you really don’t feel like it. Because exercise will help your glands to work better, and get your circulation moving. Walking is good, swimming too, and any other kind. You can dance, jump, lift weights, do Karate, or anything else!

            So, if you suffer from anemia, help is right around the corner at your local grocery store and right in your own kitchen! Get out and do something now, so that you hang on to your good health for as long as you can!

Mia Ponzo

May 9, 2006

Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com

  spirulina   spirulina  Dandelion Leaf

 

Alfalfa Leaf                                                  Spirulina                                       Dandelion Leaf

 

Red Raspberry Leaf  Horsetail Herb      Stinging Nettle leaf cut

Horsetail Herb                        Red Raspberry Leaf                           Nettle




Check Out This VERY Useful Information About Sugar!!!

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Natural Alternative Diet | Posted on 15-10-2014

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fructose overload infographic

Discover the fructose content of common foods, beverages, sauces, and even sugar substitutes in our infographic “Fructose Overload.” Use the embed code to share it on your website or visit our infographic page for the high-res version.

<img src="http://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/fructose-overload-infographic.jpg" alt="fructose overload infographic" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">Discover the fructose content of common foods, beverages, sauces, and even sugar substitutes in our infographic "<a href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/fructose-overload.htm">Fructose Overload</a>." Visit our infographic page for the high-res version.</p>