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

Western Herbalism

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Herbs, Natural Health | Posted on 15-02-2014

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Western Herbalism

The first leg in our tour of herbal medicine will be Western herbalism (also known as Western phytotherapy). That is the tradition that I practice and is the tradition that is practiced in America, where I’m from. Although it is not the absolute oldest herbal tradition, it has certainly been around since the first people inhabited Western Europe and used the herbs they found growing naturally in those areas. From England and the surrounding areas of Western Europe, western herbalism went to the Americas with the settlers and the use of some of the American naturally growing herbs became a part of the western herbal pharmacopeia. The western herbal tradition goes back as far as the Greeks and the Romans and is still valid up to the present time. Throughout the ages there have been some well-known practitioners of herbal medicine, including those most ancient of practitioners, men such as Galen, Dioscorides, and the most famous Hippocrates, after whom the Hippocratic Oath (that all doctors up to the present day still take) was named.

Later in history there were other important herbalists whose herbal traditions were so accurate that their findings are still used now. In fact, when you compare the older herbalists to the newer ones, you will usually find that the older herbalists had far more knowledge than any of the modern ones. People like Nicholas Culpeper are still well-known even now, and their works are still valid.

In fact, it is interesting to note that many, if not most of the modern day chemically formulated medicines that we use today were originally formulated from natural herbals. Later on, certain constituents of the herb were isolated and often reconstructed with chemical additives in order to produce the medicine that is now used. Aspirin is a good example of this process. The ingredient in aspirin that was originally taken from the white willow tree was salicin, which is turned into something called salicylic acid, or the precursor of acetylsalicylic acid, otherwise known as aspirin. Another extremely important modern medicine, which has been said to be “the most valuable cardiac drug in history”, is Digitalis purpurea (otherwise known as garden foxglove, a beautiful flowering plant), was turned into modern day digitalis. This drug is presently used as a cardiac stimulant. The fact is that there are many more where that came from, and more on the way.

Even in these times of amazing technological growth, new discoveries, and synthetic medicines, often the old standards, and herbal remedies are the fastest working, most effective solutions. In fact, traditional herbal medicine is fast becoming the medicine of choice for many, and with good reason. If used correctly and carefully, herbal medicine should have no side effects at all!

Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to 550 Key Herbs with all their Uses as Remedies for Common Ailments

All types of herbal medicine are holistic (meaning for the whole person, physically, spiritually, and emotionally), and Western herbal medicine is no different than the rest in this respect. With western herbal medicine the idea is to gently return the body into homeostasis (natural balance), through as completely natural means as possible. This is accomplished through the medical herbalist’s complete understanding of the patient. The only way this can accurately and successfully be done is by taking an absolutely complete medical history, including environmental, dietary, and familial aspects, and also, taking into consideration the person’s emotional state, life influences, and more. In fact, this is so involved that the initial history taking might take up to two hours, or even more! This is necessary though, because, in order for the practitioner to treat the person properly he (or she) will need to know as much about the patient as possible, in addition to observing the patient and his (or her) reactions to treatment and life in general. At the same time, the person needs to help the practitioner, and over time, the practitioner will be able to see whether or not the person is keeping his end of the bargain by following the advice of the practitioner.

There are around 3000 herbs in the western herbal pharmacopeia, although not all of them are widely used. Some of the most common ones that are used are lavender, which is from England and France, and is so beneficial that it can even kill the worst infection, and prevent the scarring of a serious burn, and Echinacea angustifolia, and Goldenseal herb, which have become two of the most up and coming herbs for increasing the immune system, among other things.

Thus, western herbal medicine, although it has literally been around for thousands of years, is still probably the best choice on your list, in most cases by far. People are constantly amazed at how fast herbal remedies work (although herbal medicine is often rumored to have a slow action). In most cases, they will work so fast that you will forget why you took them. Just be sure to consult a good herbal practitioner (or book, at least) before starting out on your herbal adventure.

And here are a few more really excellent, highly rated books on Western Herbalism from Amazon:

Medical Herbalism

Medical Herbalism: The Science Principles and Practices Of Herbal Medicine

Hebalism

Herbalism