Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Physicians Can Benefit from Adding CAM to Their Practices

The American Academy of Family Physicians released a new article on their website earlier this month, "New Report Details Billions Americans Spend on Complementary Alternative Medicine," which explores growing use of CAM in the U.S. and by family physicians.

According to the article, "U.S. adults spent a total of $33.9 billion out-of-pocket on CAM products, classes and materials and on visits to CAM professionals in 2007. Ten years earlier, that out-of-pocket figure was estimated at $27 billion."

Therefore, family physicians can benefit from incorporating CAM into their practices in many ways. For example, the AAFP article explains how "family physicians can build in discussions of CAM during face-to-face office visits for specific complaints [...] by suggesting, for example, nasal irrigation for allergies and respiratory problems; yoga relaxation breathing for insomnia and anxiety; yin yoga for back, hip and flexibility problems; journaling for grief, depression, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma; and meditation and prayer for hypertension, stress and depression.

In addition, "New Report Details Billions Americans Spend on Complementary Alternative Medicine," includes information about CAM remedies that the AAFP feels have been proven effective in studies. Examples listed in the article include:
  • glucosamine sulfate for osteoarthritis;
  • saw palmetto for benign prostatic hyperplasia;
  • topical tea tree oil for acne;
  • turmeric for prevention of Alzheimer's disease and as an anti-inflammatory;
  • melatonin for insomnia;
  • fish oil for heart disease; and
  • ginkgo biloba for vascular dementias and claudication.
>> If you're interested in learning more about CAM for personal or professional use, visit the American College of Healthcare Sciences website at

>> To read the full-length article, visit the American Academy of Family Physician website at or CLICK HERE

Monday, September 28, 2009

United Aromatherapy Effort Needs Your Help

A few months ago, Sylla Sheppard-Hanger, Founder and Director of the United Aromatherapy Effort, Inc., started a new campaign to provide military personnel and their families with emotional and physical support, including the use of aromatherapy and massage.

Sylla partnered the UAE with the United Service Organizations (USO) to provide troops with comforts away from home and has since sent a test box to Camp Phoenix. The soldiers at Camp Phoenix will forward the natural bug sprays sent to Forward Operating Bases for testing.

Now the United Aromatherapy Effort needs your help! According to a September press release, the UAE is "now soliciting small sprays for the next box to go to our "Soldier on the Ground" in Kabul, Afghanistan, Camp Phoenix." They are looking for individual sprays (2-4 oz), and suggested blends include:
  • Respiratory (conifers/pines), because the air quality there is very bad (dusty, dry, and smelly), and quite polluted as well.
  • Relaxing and sleepy time blends because the stress level is quite extreme.
  • Wake up sprays for alert time, night duty, and morning call.
The UAE says to send anything anytime! If you want to ship directly, contact Sylla; otherwise, send to Florida or Louisiana, whichever is the closest location to you, and the UAE will ship to AFG from these two locations:

SHIP TO: UAE/ c/o Sylla Sheppard Hanger, 16018 Saddlestring Dr, Tampa, FL 33618

or UAE c/o Geraldine Zelinsky, 6051 Roma Dr. #103 Shreveport, LA 71105

To read more about the UAE and military disaster relief, visit

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ACHS named Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine

The American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) has been named a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine. The 2010 G.I. Jobs list of Military Friendly Schools honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities, and trade schools who do the most to create opportunity for American veterans.

As a member of Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC), ACHS strictly complies with SOC principles and criteria and provides flexible programs, including: accommodations for non-traditional learners, a fully online format, and 24-hour access. In addition, ACHS accepts all military education benefits and has partnered with the Imagine America Foundation to offer a Military Scholarship for veterans and military spouses.

“This list is especially important now,” said G.I. Jobs publisher Rich McCormack, “because the recently enacted Post-9/11 GI Bill has given veterans virtually unlimited financial means to go to school. Veterans can now enroll in any school, provided they’re academically qualified. […] Veterans need a trusted friend to help them decide where to get educated. The Military Friendly Schools list is that trusted friend.”

The American College currently has more than 100 military and veteran students enrolled.

The American College recently returned from the DoD Worldwide Education Symposium, where Kate Harmon, ACHS Director of Military Relations, and Dean of Admissions and Military Education Coordinator Tracey Miller met with Education Officers to educate them about how servicemembers can maximize their military education benefits while studying in the dynamic field of complementary alternative medicine.

The G.I. Jobs list of Military Friendly Schools was compiled from more than 7,000 schools polled nationwide. An Academic Advisory Committee including educators and administrators from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Toledo, Duquesne University, Coastline Community College, and Lincoln Technical Institute helped to develop the methodology, criteria, and weighting for the list.

The criteria for being selected as a Military Friendly School included efforts to recruit and retain military and veteran students, results in recruiting military and veteran students, and academic accreditations.

American College of Healthcare Sciences is the only accredited, fully online college offering degrees, diplomas, and career-training certificates in complementary alternative medicine. Founded in 1978, ACHS is committed to exceptional online education and is recognized as an industry leader in holistic health education worldwide.

>> For more information about ACHS programs and community wellness events, visit, call (503) 244-0726, or stop by the College campus located at 5940 SW Hood Ave., Portland OR 97239.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Aromatic Journey in the Eastern Mediterranean

BY Dorene Petersen, ACHS President

Chios's aromatic mastic gum oozes silently and slowly from the wounds cut into the Mastic tree trunk and forms droplets. Diamond-like droplets fall to the ground and collect beneath the tree. Sparkling with a clear brilliance when the sun hits them, they lie on the ground protected from the soil and debris by a layer of white clay tamped down and flattened to form a table-like surface until they harden and are gathered. The white clay placed under the tree keeps it clean and transparent and is called a trapezi or table. One-thousand tons of kaolin is used per year on Chios to make the white tables under the mastic trees.

My husband Robert Seidel from The Essential Oil Company and I have sailed to the eastern Mediterranean beating into the meltemi wind howling from the northwest to visit the Greek island of Chios. We are on a mission to learn as much as we can about the Chios mastic tree and understand how the now European Union-protected Chios mastic gum is harvested. We have had the great fortune to meet two experts, John Perikos, author of many books including The Chios Gum Mastic, and Vassilis Ballas, who along with his wife Roula moved to Chios from Athens to become a mastic farmer and to provide ecotours of the mastic fields amongst other fascinating things. They have established a company called "masticculture".

John and Vassilis kindly spend time with us and share the mastic gum process and their vast knowledge, much of which is handed down verbally. Vassilis drives us around the island sharing all the secret fascinating places, which are tourist destinations, but so strangely signposted we miss them when driving ourselves. Vassilis takes us out into the mastic fields so we can experience the aromatic trees and the gathering process first hand.

Mastic gum must coagulate before it is collected. There are two major collection dates. One starts around August 15th and the other September 15th. The area under the tree is swept with a regular broom and the entire collection is picked up and put in a sack. The sacks are taken back to the village (originally by donkey, but now in a strange-looking vehicle that resembles a lawn mower on wheels with a truck-bed addition in the rear). They say you can tell a mastic grower by the vehicle and we see a determined old lady, her head wrapped tightly in a white scarf, driving a bunch of what could have been her grandkids through the town of Prygi, one of the quaint medieval mastic villages in one of these converted lawn mowers. The sacks of mastic harvest contain lots of soil and debris, as well as the gum, and they sit until October or November when the mastic gum cleaning process begins. The sacks are emptied into half barrels full of water. The leaves float and are collected with a sieve and put aside. The remaining material is left in the water for three days. Calcium carbonate is added to the water changing the density and the mastic gum floats to the surface. The mastic is skimmed off and sorted. Gum must be refrigerated if it is stored before being delivered to the cooperative, which is in Chios town.

The Cooperative sorts the mastic again. This time women clad in pretty pale-blue smocks with matching hair coverings, and all wearing latex gloves, sit around a large table covered in mastic tears and with speed and dexterity using a small sharp pointed knife blade they cut away impurities and they "pick" through the gum, sorting it by size and color. Here also is a computer which analyzes quality by passing it through a light box that checks the color clarity and can also give an average size for payment. All mastic gum gathered must be sold to the Cooperative. The Cooperative was started in 1938. Mastic producers must sell to the cooperative and even if they want to make their own product they must sell the gum and then buy it back. The Cooperative has stabilized prices and has done a lot to promote Mastic gum with exports of Chios Gum mastic increasing considerable over the years since it was formed. The new chain of Gum Mastica boutiques one of which recently opened in New York is the brainchild of the commercial division of the Cooperative. [...]

You may wonder why mastic produces this wonderful therapeutic gum. The mastic is said to be in the tree to protect it. Vasillis says, "You can take the same tree and plant it in Sweden and it will not produce mastic". The mastic gum from Chios has been granted protection by the European Union with designations such as PDO - Protected Designation of Origin; PGI- Protected Geographical Indication and TSG Traditional Specialty Guaranteed. Only the Chios gum mastic has these designations.

>> To learn more about mastic and download mastic recipes and formulas, click here. Or, go to and click on News and Events.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Going Green: E-tips for Aromatherapy Awareness

By Kayla Fioravanti, Registered Aromatherapist
Back to School with Aromatherapy

Every school year I add another essential oil to my arsenal of therapies I use to deal with the "sickies and ickies" that the kids pick up at school. My kids are totally healthy all summer long but once they hit the classroom it seems the germs accumulate overnight. With aromatherapy we encounter less and less sick days as the years go on. There are several lines of defense that a mother can take. It takes a combination of being proactive and reactive to get through a school year successfully.

Back to school haircuts is the first indicator that it is time to add Tea Tree essential oil to the kids shampoo for lice prevention, because prevention is the best medicine for lice. My family has witnessed a lot of head lice outbreaks, but we have avoided being involved by adding just 1-2 drops of Tea Tree essential oil per ounce of shampoo and conditioner. In addition, whenever there is an outbreak at school I always make sure to apply Tea Tree through their hair. I simply get a few drops of Tea Tree essential oil onto my finger tips and run my hands through their hair from root to tip. [...]

Avoiding illness is critical for our children because they suffer from asthma. Any respiratory ailment sends their asthma into overdrive. Treating the air in our car and home for their asthma relief has become common place in our household. I developed the essential oil blend Breathe Green using Sweet Basil, Rosemary, Laurel leaf, Peppermint, Ginger, Eucalyptus, Ravensara and Lemon to respond to their immune and respiratory needs. A few days after I first blended Breathe Green I dispersed it into the car and successfully averted an Emergency Room trip. That was my first indicator that I was onto something with the Breathe Green blend. Last school year we used it in combination with asthma medications to successfully avoid respiratory infections, urgent care and emergency trips which had been the norm in the past.

On the first day of school I always carry a bottle of lavender with me to school. Everyone knows me as the aromatherapy lady so no one questions my lavender scented hand coming to touch the head of their teary anxiety ridden child. A simple method of helping moms and kids who are struggling with separation anxiety is to hand them a tissue with subtle scents of Lavender transferred from your fingers. It works every time not only does the Lavender calm the child but the interruption of the crisis helps to dissipate anxiety.

>> Want more information about aromatherapy? Check out our Introduction to Aromatherapy classes

>> Read Kayla's full-length article on the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy blog

New study shows enforcing kids' bedtimes improves children's health

Children who do not get enough sleep "can have behavioral and emotional problems and cognitive developmental issues," according to a September 14 article, "Enforcing bedtimes improves kids' health" on

Based on a study by Jodi Mindell, which appeared in the May edition of the journal Sleep, bedtime routines, the article continued, including a bath, cuddling, or singing, help "infants to sleep better through the night and improve sleep issues for children."

>> Read the full-length article about sleep and children's health on the CNN website

>> Read more about the connection between bedtime and adult health in Hey...Are you still awake? by ACHS graduate Maureen Jeanson

Image ©

Friday, September 11, 2009

H1N1 influenza pandemic updates from the World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a series of updates about what they are calling the H1N1 influenza pandemic.

WHO updates included information about steps that schools can take to minimize the spread of H1N1, as well as general information about preparing for a second wave of outbreak.

According to the WHO website, “Experience to date has demonstrated the role of schools in amplifying transmission of the pandemic virus, both within schools and into the wider community. While outbreaks in schools are clearly an important dimension of the current pandemic, no single measure can stop or limit transmission in schools, which provide multiple opportunities for spread of the virus.”

Instead of a single solution, WHO recommends that in addition to measures taken by national and local authorities, all students, teachers, and staff who feel unwell should stay home. And, in case there is incidence of illness at school, there should be plans in place to isolate the illness.

The primary health benefit of proactive measures like these is “slowing down the spread of an outbreak within a given area and thus flattening the peak of infections. This benefit becomes especially important when the number of people requiring medical care at the peak of the pandemic threatens to saturate or overwhelm health care capacity. By slowing the speed of spread, school closure can also buy some time as countries intensify preparedness measures or build up supplies of vaccines, antiviral drugs, and other interventions.”

For more information about school measures and the H1N1 influenza pandemic, read more on the WHO website here:

Where were you?

BY Chris Fierro, ACHS Admissions Advisor

Where were you on this day, September 11, eight years ago?

I was living in Brooklyn, working in Brooklyn Heights. I woke up at 5:00 a.m. and took a jog across the Brooklyn Bridge. Truth be told, it was one of the most beautiful mornings I had ever experienced. The air was crisp and cool. The sky was beautiful. I remember thanking God for such a beautiful day.

As we all know, that day turned into a tragedy for thousands. Really, a tragedy for the world.

I will never forget watching people fall, towers fall. Men, women, and children of all backgrounds running for their lives across the the same bridge that I had thanked God for life on that very same day.

The surreal events of that day have motivated my daily activities since then. How can I make a difference in the world? How can I show my appreciation for what is really important?

For those that I have helped to live their passion at ACHS, thanks for letting me be a part of making a difference.

Where were you on this day, eight years ago?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wisconsin Health Freedom Alert!

BY Kim Sharples, HHP

Wisconsin Health Freedom needs your help...

On Thursday, September 17, there will be an urgent hearing regarding Restrictive Dietary Licensing Legislation. The hearing will be at 10 am at Madison Hearing 411 South.

The hearing is on SB115, which can be downloaded here:

According to Wisconsin Health Freedom, this bill would create a nutrition and dietary monopoly for Registered Dietitians.

For more information, email or call (715) 452-5566. Health Freedom is asking Wisconsin residents to attend the hearing and:

1. Wear a white shirt to the hearing. We want to flood the hearing room with white shirts. You will be provided with an identifying badge.

2. Testify with a 2-3 minute statement on how you and your business will be affected or how alternative (non ADA) advice from health foods stores and natural practitioners helped improve your lifestyle. If you don’t want to speak it’s OK.

3. Look into legislators eyes and speak from your heart. Try not to read from notes.

4. Bring your child that has benefited for alternative dietary methods.

5. Read statements into the record of those who cannot attend.

6. Sign in when you enter the hearing room to register your opposition to SB115. If 3,000 people show up in opposition the hearing will be canceled and the bill will die.

If you cannot attend the hearing in person, call your legislator and say NO to SB115 and AB115.

Find your lawmaker here:

Please check for updates, hearing could be canceled.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The antiviral activity of essential oils

BY Arianna Staruch, ND, ACHS Academic Dean

A recent study looked at preparing a nasal spray from the essential oil of bupleurum root (Radix bupleuri) and tested it in animals for effectiveness. It did show promise as a fever reducer. However, many essential oils can be irritating to mucus membranes and should not be used undiluted or without first doing a skin patch test.

So how can you use essential oil in your everyday life to help reduce to risk of viral infection? Essential oils can be used in the home as antiviral cleaning products. A diffuser with any of the oils listed above, such as eucalyptus, lemon balm, or peppermint, may reduce the airborne viruses in a room. In addition, essential oils may be added to hand creams to help reduce the spread of viruses by contact. Of course, these should be used in addition to the common sense CDC recommendations to wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth and nose with your arm when you sneeze, and to stay home if you are sick. (You should see your primary care provider for a proper diagnosis if you think you may have the seasonal flu or the H1N1 flu, and follow their recommendations.) This fall may be a challenging time because there is the potential for many people to be sick with the flu at the same time, but we can use natural support options, such as essential oils, to keep us healthy.

>> Click here to read the full-length article about using essential oils to reduce the risk of viral infection

Green Your Life while you earn credit

In case you haven't heard...

ACHS is hosting an exciting wellness retreat October 4-9, the ACHS Green Your Life Retreat at Breitenbush retreat center in Oregon.

And now we have even more exciting news—attend, and you earn 1 elective credit towards your ACHS diploma or degree.

You'll have the opportunity to meet and learn with experts such as:
  • Plant Identification Walk with ACHS President Dorene Petersen and Essential Oil Company President Robert Seidel
  • Essential Oil Distillation with Robert Seidel
  • Children's Health with Deborah Halvorson
  • Iridology with Dorene Petersen
>> Click here for more information.

Imagine an opportunity to relax, explore your wellness potential, and get hands-on holistic health experience while you earn credit towards your ACHS diploma or degree.

Call us today at (800) 487-8839 or click here to securely register online. We look forward to helping you green your life!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Adverse Event Reporting for Registered Aromatherapists

BY Arianna Staruch, ND, ACHS Academic Dean

According to the FDA, a dietary supplement is a product intended to supplement the diet, which must be labeled as such and intended for ingestion. Ingredients in dietary supplements can include vitamins, minerals, herbs or botanicals, amino acids, dietary substances used to increase the entire dietary intake, concentrates, metabolites, constituents, extracts, or combination of these ingredients. If ingested, then, essential oils can be considered a dietary supplement and should be treated with the same precaution as more traditional supplements.

For that purpose, Registered Aromatherapists (RAs) should familiarize themselves with the new guidance information released by the FDA regarding Adverse Event Reporting and Recordkeeping for Dietary Supplements as Required by the Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act. Though this Act does not require reports of adverse effects for foods other than dietary supplements, voluntary submission of reports of "serious adverse events associated with all FDA-regulated foods " are encouraged.

The FDA website defines an adverse event is considered "any health-related event associated with the use of a dietary supplement that is adverse." For RAs who use essential oils internally with their clients, reporting of any adverse events will not only increase general safety but will actively develop a database of current research to help the professional community better understand the potential effects and applications of botanical-based products.

To submit a report of a serious adverse event to the FDA, a MedWatch Form 3500A should be used. This form is also called a FDA Form 3500A. When submitting a form, the submitter is asked to include: an identifiable patient, an identifiable initial reporter, the identity and contact information for the responsible person, a suspect dietary supplement, and a serious adverse event or fatal outcome. (The FDA defines a 'serious adverse event' as one that results in a: death, life-threatening experience, inpatient hospitalization, persistent/significant disability or incapacity, congenital anomaly or birth defect, or an outcome previously listed that requires medical or surgical intervention to prevent.)


>> This article first appeared in the Aromatherapy Registration Council September 2009 newsletter. CLICK HERE to download the complete newsletter.

>> Read "Natural perfume making with essential oils" on the ACHS website

Natural PerfumeMaking with Essential Oils

BY Dorene Petersen, ACHS President

Looking for a natural perfume? A fragrance that does not contain a collection of synthetic chemicals, which place a burden on your liver and other detoxifying organs. Wander through any perfume counter at the local department store and your olfactory system is bombarded with aromas. Some have names you recognize like gardenia, jasmine, or even rose. But, if you take a closer look at these perfume formulas, it is unlikely you will find anything resembling plant-sourced material even though they may use the term “natural” or “nature identical.” Don’t be fooled. These terms do not mean the perfume was blended from essential oils or absolutes, which are all distilled, expressed, or dissolved from plant leaves, flowers, stems, roots, or seeds in a solvent base.

Unlike perfumes made from plant-based materials, most perfume counter perfumes are made from a combination of synthetic chemicals, derived from petroleum. These ingredients allow perfumers to create an array of fragrances that are either unavailable or difficult to obtain in nature. Of course they are less expensive, too.

However, there is growing public awareness about the relationship between synthetic ingredients—potential toxins—and health challenges. To maintain optimal health, natural perfume blending is a healthy green alternative. These perfumes are made from high-quality essential oils, which are known to have therapeutic health benefits and are truly natural. In this context, the term “natural” refers to plant-sourced perfumes. The plants are grown or wildcrafted naturally and, preferably, grown organically (without synthetic pesticides) and sustainably whenever possible.

>>To read the full-length article and more articles from the Aromatherapy Registration Council newsletter, CLICK HERE

>> To learn more about natural products manufacturing and aromatherapy, check out the American College website

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Swine flu is coming: 10 things you should know

Since April, 2009, the swine flu epidemic has made more than 1 million Americans sick and killed 500, as reported by the Associated Press.

According to a White House report, about 30-50% of the population has the potential to catch swine flu and anywhere from 30,000-90,000 could die.

So, what can you do need to know about swine flu and your health? Here are 10 tips to support your immune system this fall.
  1. Don’t panic.
  2. The swine flu virus is “tougher” on some. (Children younger than two, pregnant women, people with health problems like asthma and diabetes, and young adults are more vulnerable to swine flu.)
  3. Wash your hands.
  4. Vaccinate your kids.
  5. Get your flu shots early.
  6. Be patient. Immunity takes a while to “kick in.”
  7. Vaccines are being tested in eight cities around the country.
  8. If an outbreak occurs, stay away from heavily populated areas, like the mall, and keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  9. Pay attention to your body and seek proper medical attention.
  10. Swine flu and pork, a myth! (Swine flu is not actually spreading from meat.)
>> Click here to read more about herbal medicine and swine flu, and lifestyle tips for staying healthy this fall.

>> To read the full-length article from the Associated Press, visit:

Americans Spent $34 Billion Out-of-Pocket on CAM in 2007

Adults in the United States spent nearly $34 billion out-of-pocket on visits to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners and on purchases of CAM products, classes, and materials in 2007, according to findings released in July from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).1

“With so many Americans using and spending money on CAM therapies, it is extremely important to know whether the products and practices they use are safe and effective,” said Josephine Briggs, MD, director of NCCAM in a press release.2 “This underscores the importance of conducting rigorous research and providing evidence-based information on CAM so that healthcare providers and the public can make well-informed decisions.”

The survey found that nearly two-thirds of the total out-of-pocket costs that adults spent on CAM were for self-care purchases ($22 billion), and the majority of out-of-pocket dollars spent on CAM self-care purchases went towards nonvitamin, nonmineral, natural products (which includes herbal preparations).1 Purchases of these products equaled $14.8 billion and accounted for 44% of all out-of-pocket costs for CAM in 2007. Visits to CAM practitioners resulted in an estimated out-of-pocket cost of nearly $12 billion.

The approximately $34 billion spent on CAM visits and purchases equates to 1.5% of total healthcare expenditures in the United States and 11.2% of out-of-pocket healthcare expenditures for 2007. The $14.8 billion amount spent on nonvitamin, nonmineral natural products is approximately 31% of the amount that the public spent out-of-pocket for pharmaceutical drugs in 2007 ($47.6 billion).

Prior to the release of the NHIS survey data from 2007, the latest estimate of CAM out-of-pocket expenditures was from a telephone survey conducted 10 years earlier. The greatest difference between the2 surveys’ results is that the 1997 survey found that most CAM costs were based on visits to CAM practitioners, while the 2007 survey found that most expenditures stem from self-care CAM purchases. These discrepancies may result in part from differences in the surveys’ methodologies. However, the 2007 results are consistent with industry sales data, which also demonstrate a large increase in expenditures for nonvitamin, nonmineral natural products over the past decade.

The NHIS is an annual survey of health and illness-related experiences of Americans conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. Information on out-of-pocket costs for CAM from the 2007 NHIS is based on data from interviews of 23,393 American adults.

A previous analysis of results from the 2007 NHIS found that approximately 38% of adults and 12% of children in the United States use CAM, with the most commonly used CAM therapy of both adults and children being nonvitamin, nonmineral natural products, including herbals. Those findings were released in December of 2008, and an article regarding that data was published in the February issue of HerbalEGram.3

© Courtney Cavaliere, American Botanical Council


1.Nahin RL, Barnes PM, Stussman BJ, Bloom B. Costs of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and Frequency of Visits to CAM Practitioners: United States, 2007. National Health Statistics Reports, Number 18; July 30, 2009.
2. Americans spent $33.9 billion out-of-pocket on complementary and alternative medicine [press release]. Bethesda, MD: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine; July 10, 2009.
3. Cavaliere C. Government survey finds over one-third of American adults use CAM. HerbalEGram, February 2009;6(2). Available at: Accessed August 10, 2009.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Herbs for use with swine flu H1N1

By Scott Stuart, ACHS Faculty

While offering no guarantees, vitamin D may help keep the swine flu away because it plays a critical role in enabling the immune system to successfully defeat viruses of all kinds. One 2006 study hit headlines when it concluded that vitamin D is effective in fighting standard influenza strains.

Elderberry syrup, or sambucol, a standardized extract of elderberry, has been shown by repeated scientific studies to fight standard strains of influenza. Elderberry appears to reduce the duration of colds and flu by several days. Other studies have shown elderberry syrup to be effective in fighting H5N1 bird flu, which is one of the core components of the swine flu pandemic's biology. Laboratory trials have confirmed that elderberry extract effectively defeats H5N1 avian flu with up to 99% efficacy.

Another ingredient they offer is selenium. In vitro studies confirmed that selenium, like elderberry syrup, can effectively fight the H5N1 strain of avian flu, making it a potentially important supplement for preventing a swine flu pandemic.

Other herbs they say may help include echinacea, goldenseal, zinc, and vitamin C.

Some say that the flu “begins in the gut and ends in the gut.” This means that if you have good digestion, you will increase your resistance to this and other flu strains. Take a probiotic daily. Live probiotics are available in natural food stores, and probiotics are now more widely available in grocery stores, such as in yogurt culture and even in chocolate.

The homeopathic remedy Anas Barbariae is made from the liver of migrating geese. Because they travel the world, they build immunity to many viruses years before humans do. Be sure to get the 2009 version by checking the expiration date. In addition, the remedy Ferrum phos is effective in treating the early stages of the flu when used within the first 24 hours, and the remedy Influenzinum can be taken as a prophylaxis. This remedy is made from the same disease strain as the CDC uses to make each season’s flu vaccine.

1. Get Plenty of Sleep. To improve your resistance to any disease, the most important thing you can do is get enough rest. Your body knows how to heal, and it does this best when sleeping. Get adequate rest on a daily basis, and if you begin to feel fatigue during a time of increased stress to your immune system, take naps, get into bed earlier, relax and let your body do what it does best: restore and rebuild.

2. Hydrate. Our bodies are 80% water. Drink plenty of water each day to stay hydrated and to allow the body to flush toxins from the blood and the liver. Drink pure water, not soda or juice, for best results.

3. Exercise. Exercise increases your resistance to disease. It stimulates the cleansing blood flow and increases your natural stress reducing hormones. Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial. Science has shown that walking daily is good for your health and well-being.

4. Spend time outdoors. The healing benefits of nature are yours and all you need to do is step outside. The fresh air cleanses your lungs and the vitamin D from sunshine is great for general
health. Even on a rainy day or at night, the fresh air is beneficial.

>> To read the full-length article, go to:

>> For more information about herbal medicine and holistic health classes, visit:

Food as Pharma

According to a recent Times article, "Food as Pharma," it is becoming more clear that "food is more than just fuel." What you choose eat, in fact, effects "how elastic your blood vessels are, how easily you resist cancer-causing toxins and whether or not you will barrel down the road toward heart disease."

Can food, though, actually prevent disease? Current research suggests that Yes, the foods in your kitchen do have the potential to fight disease. In a 2002 study, for example, "researchers found that people at risk of diabetes could delay or in some cases even prevent the disease from developing by eating fewer calories, getting them from the right kinds of foods and exercising more than two hours a week."

>> To learn more about holistic nutrition, CLICK HERE

>> To read the full length article "Food as Pharma", CLICK HERE