4 of the Best Natural Antihistamines
If you have seasonal allergies, you know they can be challenging. These symptoms can become nearly unbearable sneezing, itchy eyes, congestion, and sinus pressure.
You’ve likely used many over-the-counter (OTC) solutions to attempt to tame these seasonal symptoms and may want to try something else. There is evidence that completely natural solutions can ease your symptoms.
Hay Fever, allergenic rhinitis, or seasonal allergies — numerous drugs, both prescription and OTC, are made to help combat these cold-like symptoms. But some of these medicines have their own lengthy list of side effects.
Understanding how histamines work can help you better understand how natural antihistamines can be an ally during allergy season.
How do antihistamines work?
Allergies are an immune response to an otherwise harmless substance. This substance — whether it’s pollen or dust — comes into contact with cells in the mucus membranes of your nose, mouth, throat, lungs, stomach, and intestines. This triggers the release of histamine.
Histamine is a part of the immune system that causes all of the symptoms you associate with allergies — the sneezing and cold-like symptoms you dislike. Antihistamines block histamine activity, seeking to stop the allergic reaction.
Many allergy medications on the shelves of your local drug store work as antihistamines. But there are also certain foods and plant extracts that can have similar effects on histamine production.
1. Stinging nettle
A common herb in natural medicine, stinging nettle, may also be a natural antihistamine. In one study, 58 percent of participants found their symptoms relieved with the use of freeze-dried nettles, and 69 participants rated it better than the placebo.
Stinging nettle can be found online and at health food stores. The study participants in question used 300 milligrams (mg) each day.
Quercetin is an antioxidant found naturally in onions, apples, and other produce. Research has shown the antihistamine effects of quercetin. One study found that it even lessened the respiratory side effects of allergies in rats by reducing inflammatory response in the airways.
You can get quercetin as a supplement or simply add more quercetin-rich foods to your diet (the better choice of the two).
WHERE CAN I GET QUERCETIN? Quercetin is found in grapefruit, apples, and okra.
Taking in bromelain through the natural food pineapple consumption is recommended.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamen C is an easy-to-find natural antihistamine. It’s prevalent in many fruits and vegetables, and also in supplement form.
Because it’s free of side effects and nontoxic, it’s a safe solution for treating stuffy nose and other unpleasant symptoms of seasonal allergies. Research suggest taking at least 2 grams (g) per day for the best antihistamine results. Increase your intake with three to five citrus fruits a day.
The Take Away
When you suffer from allergies, relief can seem just out of reach. By combining natural remedies with proper self-care and allergen avoidance (when possible), you can find allergy symptom help. Proper diet and exercise can help your immune system operate at its highest levels.
Also, remember that while food sources of these antihistamines are natural and safe, supplements aren’t regulated in the United States. So be sure to get them from quality sources, and check with your doctor prior to using supplements.
Triclosan, a Chemical Formerly Used in Antibacterial Soaps,
Was Found to Impair Muscle Function
In a study, the chemical inhibited muscle activity in individual human heart cells, mice and minnows
Some chemicals in antibacterial soap have been banned by the FDA after testing showed they did not provide any benefit over normal soap and water.
Editor’s Note, May 13, 2019: This article was originally published on August 13, 2012. In September 2016, the FDA banned the use of triclosan and 18 other active ingredients in over-the-counter antibacterial soaps. Manufacturers were given one year from the FDA announcement to remove these ingredients from their products or take the products off the market. The headline of this article has been updated to reflect this fact.
Take a look at the bottle of antibacterial hand soap in your bathroom. Chances are good that a particular chemical is listed among its ingredients: triclosan.
The antibacterial substance, which was first developed in the 1960s to prevent bacterial infections in hospitals, has since been incorporated into everything from hand soaps to toothpastes to mouthwashes. Manufacturers see it as a marketing bonus, increasing consumer confidence that a particular product kills harmful bacteria. Even some household products—such as kitchen utensils, toys and bedding—include triclosan.
In recent years, though, research has shed light on a number of problems with employing triclosan so widely. Studies have shown that the chemical can disrupt the endocrine systems of several different animals, binding to receptor sites in the body, which prevents the thyroid hormone from functioning normally. Additionally, triclosan penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream more easily than previously thought, and has turned up everywhere from aquatic environments to human breast milk in troubling quantities.
To this list of concerns, add one more: A new paper, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicates that triclosan impairs muscle function in both animals and humans. The study, conducted by researchers from the University of California, Davis, found that the chemical hinders human muscle contractions at the cellular level and inhibits normal muscle functioning in both fish and mice.
“Triclosan is found in virtually everyone’s home and is pervasive in the environment,” said lead author Isaac Pessah. “These findings provide strong evidence that the chemical is of concern to both human and environmental health.”
In the first phase of the study, the researchers exposed individual human muscle cells, both from the heart and typical skeletal muscles, to concentrations of triclosan similar to what our bodies experience in everyday life. Then, they used electrical stimulation to cause the muscle cells to contract. Normally, electrical stimulations prompts an immediate muscle contraction—a mechanism that is responsible for the entirety of our muscle activity. In the isolated cells, though, exposure to triclosan disrupted communication between two proteins crucial for proper muscle functioning, causing failure in both the heart and skeletal muscle cells.
The research team also tested the effects of the chemical on two types of live animals—mice and fathead minnows. In the mice, heart muscle function was reduced by as much as 25 percent after exposure to a single dose of triclosan, and grip strength was reduced by as much as 18 percent.
The minnows were used in the experiment to mimic the effect of triclosan in marine environments. After being exposed to concentrations of triclosan equivalent to those found in the wild for 7 days, the minnows were significantly worse swimmers than minnows that hadn’t been exposed to triclosan, and were less effective in swimming tests that simulated the the act of evading a predator.
Using studies with animals to make assumptions about human health is always dicey, but the researchers say the fact that triclosan produced similar results in widely varying conditions with different animals—and the troubling effects of the chemical on human heart cells in test tubes—are causes for concern. ”The effects of triclosan on cardiac function were really dramatic,” said co-author Nipavan Chiamvimonvat. “Although triclosan is not regulated as a drug, this compound acts like a potent cardiac depressant in our models.” He speculates that in some cases, triclosan may be responsible for exacerbating heart problems in patients with an underlying condition.
Additionally, the FDA has declared that there is no evidence that using antibacterial soaps with triclosan confers any more health benefits than simply washing with conventional soap and water, and the agency is currently conducting a risk assessment for the chemical. ”Triclosan can be useful in some instances, however it has become a ubiquitous ‘value added’ marketing factor that actually could be more harmful than helpful,” said study co-author Bruce Hammock. “At the very least, our findings call for a dramatic reduction in its use.”
Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/triclosan-a-chemical-used-in-antibacterial-soaps-is-found-to-impair-muscle-function-22127536/#0xX9QtjvjlpP4sbw.99
10 Traditional Naturopathic Tips for Healthy Eating During the Holidays
The sheer amount of yummy food available in the month of December is incredible.
Home baked goodies, office parties, Grandma’s holiday feast, food given as gifts, candy on display as decoration; it’s everywhere and very tempting to eat, even for naturopathic doctors and medical physicians!
For most of us, we tend to gain weight between mid-November and the New Year. Not to mention all the sugar and treats can lower our immune systems, create general sluggishness and make it hard to think clearly.
Below are some of our favorite holistic healing strategies for staying healthy during the holidays.
Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season
Winter Is Coming!
10 Ways To Strengthen Your Immune System
Winter is coming and, especially with the cold and flu season, it’s important to know what we can do to keep a strong and balanced immune system to stay healthy and avoid infections.
1. Eat a balanced diet with whole foods
You need many nutrients, such as vitamins A, C, D and E, as well as minerals selenium and zinc, and Omega 3s, to support your immune system. Focus on eating whole foods, such as quality animal protein (if you're an omnivore), legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, as well as plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Superfoods such as bee pollen, camu camu, reishi mushroom, and micro algae can give you an extra boost.
Avoid processed meats, fried foods, soft drinks, processed baked goods, or products with artificial sweeteners or refined sugars. Eating too much of them suppresses the immune system.
2. Get plenty of vitamin C
Fresh fruits and vegetables are our best sources of vitamin C, which help to strengthen our immune system and keep our body healthy. Great food sources of vitamin C include berries, citrus, kiwi, bell peppers, and dark green vegetables.
3. Use herbs and spices
Cook with onions, garlic, ginger, black peppercorn, cayenne pepper, allspice, curry, and turmeric. They contain components that help to boost our immune system.
4. Drink plenty of clean water
Water helps in the production of lymph, which carries white blood cells and other immune system cells. Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your health. For an extra boost, add a slice of lemon, which will provide extra vitamin C.
5. Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day
Chronic fatigue is known to increase risks of illness. The body rejuvenates and strengthens when it’s at rest. If you can, sleep 7 to 8 hours a day, and if needed, take an afternoon nap. Your body will thank you.
6. Say hello to friendly bacteria
It’s known that about 80% of our immune system is located in our digestive system. So keeping a healthy gut is very important to keep a strong immune system. Probiotics are good bacteria that can be found in whole and fermented foods, such as raw sauerkraut, miso, yogurt, kefir, kimchi and microalgae, or in the form of supplements. If you take supplements, it’s best to choose a brand that offers different sources of bacteria and one that's ideally refrigerated.
7. Avoid antibiotics (if possible)
As much as possible, try to avoid antibiotics. They've been shown to attack beneficial bacteria in the digestive system and suppress immune functions. Unless you really have to take them, see if you can find a natural alternative first.
If you have a cold, sip on a cup of hot water with lemon, ginger, and organic honey. You can also get echinacea or zinc, which are great for flu and cold. Make sure you get plenty of vitamin C and drink a lot of water. If you're taking antibiotics or any other medication, take quality probiotics.
Exercising is not only a great way to get in shape, but it also increases our immune function, improves sleep quality, and makes our body stronger. If you do not have any health conditions that prevent you from exercising, find the time to work-out, even if it’s only a long walk!
9. Soak up some sun
Vitamin D is important to strengthen our immune system, so try to go outside a few times a week for about 30 minutes, without sunscreen, when the sun is not at its highest. You can also get small doses of vitamin D from fatty fish.
10. Relax, laugh, and enjoy life
Chronic stress and depression can weaken the immune system and makes us more vulnerable to illness. It’s important to take the time to enjoy life and have fun!
Subject: Governor Wolf Proposes Job Licensing Reform to Cut Red Tape, Strengthen Workforce
WHAT: Governor Wolf Outlines Occupational Licensing Reforms
WHEN: Thursday, June 14, 2018; 2:30 PM
WHERE: Wilkes Barre Career & Technical Center, 350 Jumper Rd., Plains Township
LIVE STREAM: www.governor.pa.gov/live
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2018
Governor Wolf Proposes Job Licensing Reform to Cut Red Tape,
and Strengthen Workforce
Plains Township, PA – Building on his commitment to make state government more responsive to Pennsylvania’s growing economy, Governor Tom Wolf is calling for reforms to several job licensing boards and the licensing requirements to remove barriers to employment so skilled workers can enter the careers of their choice, strengthen the workforce, and grow our economy.
“Pennsylvania must be a place where people can put their skills, experience and education to work,” said Governor Wolf. “Requiring a government license to work in certain jobs helps to keep all of us safe, but those requirements should be fair.
“We must cut the red tape, reduce the bureaucracy and ensure overly burdensome rules and fees do not block hardworking people – especially our military spouses – from getting a good job, supporting their families and growing our economy.”
Nationwide, the share of workers needing a license has grown five-fold since the early 1950s, with most of the increase occurring as states require more professions to be licensed. Today, one in five Pennsylvania workers needs a government license to do their job, representing more than one million workers.
Over-licensing makes it harder for skilled workers to get into a profession, reducing their career opportunities and lowering their pay, while increasing costs to consumers. After decades of expanding licensing, there is a national awareness of the need to modernize job licensing to reduce restrictions while protecting consumers and benefiting workers.
Last year, Governor Wolf signed an Executive Order directing the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs within the Department of State to conduct a review of job licensing to compare Pennsylvania with our regional states. The governor’s proposals are the result of the final report.
Eliminate 13 Job Licenses
The governor called on the General Assembly to repeal 13 job licenses and replace them with less restrictive requirements that protect the public for the following:
Licensing requirements can make it harder for workers to move across state lines, particularly for military spouses who have burdens transferring their license to Pennsylvania. The governor will work with the General Assembly to streamline the process for military spouses and pass legislation allowing licensing boards to seek reciprocity agreements with other states and grant licensure through endorsement.
“Military spouses serve our country with their selfless support of their loved ones in uniform, and they face numerous challenges along the way,” said Col. Edwards S. Little, Jr., representing the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “In Pennsylvania, one of those challenges is license portability, making it difficult for many military spouses to find employment. That is why the governor’s initiative to break down employment barriers by supporting the Military Spouse License Portability Act in our commonwealth is so important.”
Balance Education and Training Requirements
While continuing education has benefits to workers and consumers, over-regulating through unnecessary training can create undue burdens and costs. The governor is directing each licensing board to amend its continuing education regulations to levels established in state law. Additionally, the governor will work to enact legislation reducing training requirements for cosmetologists from 1,250 to 1,000 as recommended by the Future of the Beauty Industry Coalition, the national organization representing students, licensed stylists, salon owners, manufacturers, distributors, and cosmetology schools.
Provide Second Chance Reform
To level the playing field compared to our regional states, the governor is calling for a repeal of the automatic 10-year ban on licensing for anyone convicted of a drug felony. Instead, the 13 boards with the statutory ban could consider criminal history, but it would not be conclusive of a person’s fitness for a job. Removing this barrier encourages people to work, which reduces crime and recidivism, making our communities safer.
Speed Up Occupational License Process
The Governor’s Office of Performance Through Excellence will review the licensing applications process to reduce reviews to no more than 10 days, absent extenuating circumstances.
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10 Signs You Have Been Exposed To Toxic Mold!
In every household mold is a huge issue and as it grows everywhere and leads to numerous health complications. Mold often grows under the sink, in the basement, at the shower curtain, in the corners, in drywall, in leaking walls, etc.
Even Christmas trees can breed mold, giving off millions of spores into the room and leading to winter allergies and asthma attacks. After two weeks, the indoor air quality dropped six-fold due to the Christmas tree decoration.
Mold can be of 1,000 types,
and experts classify them according to the effects they have on people:
5 most common indoor molds:
Mold illness is a set of various health issues which are caused by the exposure to mold.
“Although a mold allergy is the most common problem caused by exposure to mold, mold can cause illness without an allergic reaction. Mold can also cause infections or irritant and toxic reactions. Infections caused by mold can lead to a variety of problems from flu-like symptoms to skin infections and even pneumonia. “
Mold toxicity is considered a Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) and represents another serious health issue. According to Leading Authorities, Surviving Mold is a Dangerous Journey, CIRS is:
“an acute and chronic, systemic inflammatory response acquired following exposure to the interior environment of a water-damaged building with resident toxigenic organisms, including, but not limited to fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes, and Mycobacterium as well as inflammagens…”
Most common symptoms of mold illness:
To: To: Pennsylvania State Senate Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure CommitteeVOTE NO ON PENNSYLVANIA SENATE BILL 834 (NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR PRACTICE ACT).
Why is this important?
Legislation May Affect Choices in Pennsylvania's Naturopathic Care
We are urging citizens to contact their state representatives to vote “no” on proposed senate bill 834, introduced this past July. The bill would repeal Act 128, which Governor Tom Wolf signed into law November 2016.
The law requires registration of practitioners in the naturopathic field. Act 128 is an amendment to HB 516, which would regulate naturopathic doctors, set education and training requirements and allows only those that meet those qualifications to present themselves as “naturopathic doctors” or a “doctor of naturopathic medicine”. Bill 834 includes much of the licensing requirements and penalties originally presented in HB 516.
“Basically, there’s a select group that qualifies themselves as ‘naturopathic physicians’ claiming that they are medically trained, and they want exclusivity with the title ‘naturopathic doctor,’”
This law could adversely affect consumer choice and access to natural products and could also put 250 practicing Traditional Naturopaths out of business.
The issue is a group trying to claim that these natural products and natural foods and herbs are medicine, and it will make it more difficult for consumers to access preventative care. Prevention is what traditional naturopathy is—an educational model teaching clients about health and laws of nature, rather than diagnosing and prescribing.