Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Homeopathy Action Alert--Raise Your Voice for Homeopathy

Homeopathy has suffered a very serious attack. A UK based group (VoYS) from Sense About Science, dedicated to eliminating homeopathy, recently sent a letter to the World Health Organization asking WHO to condemn homeopathy in developing countries, especially in the areas of influenza, childhood diarrhoea, malaria and AIDS. WHO replied last week with statements from various Departmental Heads saying that they do not have any indication of effectiveness of homeopathy in any of these areas. BUT it did not say that the medicines are ineffective in these conditions. Above all there was NO official circular from WHO.

VoYS has twisted this response and circulated the response of WHO to the media and have amplified the letter as if it is a public announcement from WHO, which it is not. Additionally, VoYS has stated on its website that it will be contacting the Health Ministries of all countries in the world to let them know about the WHO response and press them to condemn homeopathy in their country.

The BBC online then spread this item as "WHO Warns Against Homeopathy Use". They have since revised their article to include additional perspectives on homeopathy. Read the BBC article here:

The original article, however, has already been printed by several publications, including
USA Today. To combat the spread of this information, HOMEOPATHY LIVES! is asking for action by:

1. Please send emails or letters to the BBC complaint department AND to other newspapers publishing the statement. Tell them that this headline is false and BBC has since changed the article. Here is a link to the letter HOMEOPATHY LIVES! sent to WHO, which can be adapted:

2. Forward this information to all of your homeopathy contacts and ask them to spread the word.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dr. Weil tells Portland "Why Our Health Matters"

Last Thursday, October 15, we went to hear Dr. Andrew Weil give a talk in downtown Portland. (Here's a picture of ACHS President Dorene Petersen with Dr. Weil outside the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.) Dr. Weil, author of 8 Weeks to Optimum Health, has a new book, Why Our Health Matters: A Vision of Medicine That Can Transform Our Future, which addresses many of our current healthcare myths and challenges, as well a “Call to Action” for change.

Did you know, for example, that the World Health Organization has ranked the U.S. 37th in the world for healthcare outcomes, which puts us on par with Serbia? We hear about healthcare and disease everyday, but do we really know what all the information circulating about means for our health? "We don't have healthcare," Dr. Weil said. "We have disease management."

Dr. Weil attributes the root problems causing "disease management," to the unimaginable and rising cost of healthcare. We literally cannot afford to get sick. Why the high costs? Dr. Weil talked about two main reasons: 1. We don't talk about prevention (or, not enough); and 2. Medicine is dependent on high-cost technology.

Why, then, aren't we serious about prevention? What's holding us back? What can we do?

"The real meat of prevention is lifestyle medicine," Dr. Weil said. And, "if we are going to see meaningful healthcare reform, it will have to come from you."

So, how can you get started?

Here are some changes we can demand immediately, Dr. Weil's Call to Action. This list has been adapted from information included in "Why Our Health Matters" program materials.

1. Ban direct-to-consumer marketing and advertising by big pharma.

The pharmaceutical industry is the most profitable in the country, with sales totaling about $643 billion a year. Most pharmaceutical companies spend a lot of their budget on advertising, which has created a skewed view of how health care works, that there is a “pill for every health problem.”

2. Create a National Institute of Health and Healing at the NIH and fund it generously.

Medicine needs to “return to its roots,” to focus on the natural healing power of humans. Research into the body’s ability to defend itself and regenerate will help achieve this. As a result, we will create and improve treatment and therapies that are less invasive and expensive.

3. Create an Office of health and Promotion within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and fund it appropriately.

Obesity kills about 400,000 people a year; yet, we spend 40 times more on the health risks of terrorism than obesity. The emphasis should be on prevention, not on treating disease. Education about nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyle is the most effective way to “defeat the epidemic of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and conditions that lead to life-threatening diseases.”

4. Teach health promotion and integrative medicine at medical schools and residency programs.

We need “hands-on primary care physicians” who can education their patients about prevention of disease in addition to strategies for disease management and crisis intervention.

5. Require insurers to cover health promotion and integrative care.

Today, millions of Americans are taking supplements, practicing yoga, and using other natural modalities, which are all preventative measures that will “keep them out of the doctor’s office and drive down the costs of treating serious problems like heart disease and diabetes.” Yet, insurance companies do not cover these activities.

6. Establish an Office of Health Education within the U.S. Department of Education.

Healthy habits needs to start young. An Office of Health Education would make nutrition, diet, an integral part of every child’s education and would promote new and more meaningful ways to teach health.

7. Learn how to take care of yourself.

“You can’t afford to get sick, and you can’t depend on the present health care system to keep you well.” You have to make the right lifestyle choices to protect and maintain your body’s health.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Eye of Newt, 3 spider legs and a full moon

Or a cup of tea- Not many appreciate the fact herbs have been around back when Hypocrites was forming the medical community rules and guidelines. Often in todays fast paced, high stressed lifestyle we run to the over the counter quick fixes and ignore the time tested herbal alternatives. Heck, I am an herbalist and even i will offer cough medicine this time of year when one of my kids wakes me up in the middle of the night coughing. Though when I was a little girl my mother would offer me lemon and honey tea--perhaps with some catnip in it as well. I remember how soothing and pleasant the honey and lemon would taste with the warm water, the honey would be thick with granulated pieces that would crunch in my mouth and scratch my itchy throat as it went down to my belly. The cup of tea would soothe my spirit as well as my sore throat--and the healing properties in the local honey along with the vitamins in the lemon would set to work in my immune system. The catnip would soothe my need to cough and allow me to return to my sleep.

Now, I love our earth and I love science--this is why my professional and personal passions are total wellness. I know when we combined our thoughts of wellness to the right scientific measures we are 13 steps ahead of those over-the-counter quick "fixes". Very similar to the common sense of washing our hands to prevent the spread of the cold and flu viruses which seem to jump from person to person so quickly during the cold winter months. Benjamin Franklin is given credit for the quote "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" and I think we need to consider what he meant by this. Waking up at 2 a.m. to a coughing child--that needs a cure, right? We need the child to sleep well, we need the child to return to a healthy state, right? However, what if we offered that soothing cup of catnip tea before bed? Perhaps as a nightly routine when colds and flu are upon us--soothing warm tea and a bedtime story. We would save the time it takes in lost sleep preparing the tea and soothing the child back to bed. This is also what I love about herbal therapies, in some regards the safety of them offers such a convenient healthy way of prevention! We can't just offer to our children cold medicine each evening just in case the may succumb to the viruses that are inside of them laying in wait. That would be more potential for harm than it would be for good. To the contrary, catnip is non habit forming, the fresh leaves contain vitamins A,B and C--all immune supporting vitamins. The plant contains minerals like calcium and zinc both shown to improve your state of health as well as iron which is needed by everyone as well. How many vitamins and minerals does the average over the counter child's cold remedy contain? Yeah--exactly.
So, next time you walk by your catnip plant outside, grab some leaves to prepare some tea. No catnip plant? That is OK, you can order some! This is the ounce of prevention you need to have in your cupboards during the cold season so your family, including your little ones, are not down and out.

How to Prepare Catnip Tea
Boil 1 cup of water.
In a tea cup of your choice add 1 teaspoon dried mint, pour boiled water over the herb and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain out the herb and add the juice of 1/2 a lemon as well as 1 tsp raw organic honey. Stir and sip while still warm.

***Pregnant and nursing mothers should avoid catnip. Nursing fathers should probably also avoid it--just on the side of caution ;)***

-Maureen Jeanson CMH, cPT

Thursday, October 15, 2009

ACHS featured in Real Authentic Woman magazine

In 1978, Dorene Petersen founded a college in New Zealand, designed to bring distance-learning and study of Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) a.k.a. holistic health, to interested students, living outside the college geographic locale. In 1989, Ms. Petersen brought ACHS to the United States, establishing the college in Oregon, where it has grown and expanded during these 20 years.

The value and necessity of holistic health practice and treatment, which considers the person--mind, spirit and body--as a whole, has increased tremendously since 1989, as Western medicine has consistently been shown to be incomplete in its approach to treatments of many conditions (especially preventative practices). Often Western medicine will damage a system of the body, in treating another system, such as is the case with chemotherapy. Holistic health knowledge and practice has never been more pertinent and ACHS is the leader in the holistic, alternative healthcare world, providing serious instruction and guidance to hundreds of students, most of whom have eyes on a career as alternative healthcare practitoners--but also "hobbyists" who wish to apply these ancient, time-tested principles of healing and health maintenance to themselves and their families.

>>Download the complete article about ACHS in PDF format here

© 2009 Emerson Sandow, Real Authentic Woman Magazine:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oregano essential oil featured in Well Being Journal for antiseptic properties

Common oregano, Origanum vulgare, "has long been used as a remedy for digestive, respiratory and rheumatic problems and as a treatment for stings and bites," according to the article "Natural Solutions to Drug-Resistant Infections," which appeared in the September/October 2009 edition of Well Being Journal.

Author CJ Puotinen provides a detailed list of recommended uses for Origanum vulgare based on the text The Cure Is in the Cupboard: How to Use Oregano for Better Health by Cass Ingram, who recommends both the dried herb and essential oil for: allergies, asthma, cold sores, colds, congestion, fatigue, flu, gastritis, parasites, tooth and gum infections, ulcers, and urinary infections, to name a few.

Regarding suggested use, Puotinen says Origanum vulgare can be made into a "water-based antiseptic solution." It can also be grow and dried for use in capsules or made into a tincture.

>> If you want to learn more about the use of essential oils to help support your body's optimal function, click here

To purchase therapeutic grade Origanum vulgare essential oil, visit the Apothecary Shoppe

Monday, October 12, 2009

World Osteoporosis Day is October 20!

World Osteoporosis Day is coming up, October 20!

Sponsored by the International Osteoporosis Foundation, World Osteoporosis Day (WOD) is an opportunity to educate the public and policy makers about prevention. The WOD website urges us all to "Stand Tall for bone health!" by taking up their 'call to action' and spreading the word about the importance of prevention, early detection, and affordable therapies for those suffering with osteoporosis.

What You Should Know

Osteoporosis, or decreased mineralization of the bone, typically occurs in people older than 50, but can start as early as 40. The common cause is usually an inadequate amount of calcium and vitamin D over a long period of time. However, there are additional causes. For example, an inability to absorb calcium from the intestines, a calcium/phosphorus imbalance, lack of exercise, and postmenopausal hormonal imbalance can also be causes.

To detect osteoporosis, the National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends a Dexscane, which tests for bone mass density.

Holistic Protocols for Prevention

Nutrition, supplements, exercise, aromatherapy, and herbs can all be used to help support osteoporosis prevention. For example, herbal sources of calcium can easily be incorporated into the daily diet and include alfalfa Medicago sativa, chamomile Matricaria recutita, dandelion Taraxacum officinal, and plantain Plantago major.

Similarly, weight-bearing exercise like walking and weight lifting have been shown to stimulate the production of new bone and can easily be incorporated in your everyday health and wellness routine. Exercise also strengthens muscle that supports the joints, which can help improve balance and prevent falls.

>> For more information about bone health, check out "Vitamin D is not just for healthy bones" by ACHS Academic Dean Dr. Arianna Staruch

Prevention and health protocols should be adopted well before symptoms of osteoporosis appear. However, this information is not intended to treat or diagnose. Rather, before making any significant changes to your diet, exercise, and/or health routine, it is recommended that you consult with your primary healthcare provider first.

>> To read more about World Osteoporosis Day and to take the One-Minute Osteoporosis Risk Test, visit the International Osteoporosis Foundation website

Friday, October 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

1. Astani, A., Reichling, J., and Schnitzler, P. Comparative study on the antiviral activity of selected monoterpenes derived from essential oils. Phytother Res. 2009 Aug 3.
2. Reichling, J., Koch, C., Stahl-Biskup, E., Sojka, C., and Schnitzler, P.
Virucidal activity of a beta-triketone-rich essential oil of Leptospermum scoparium (manuka oil) against HSV-1 and HSV-2 in cell culture. Planta Med. 2005 Dec;71(12):1123-7.
3. Schnitzler, P., Schuhmacher, A., Astani, A., and Reichling, J. Melissa officinalis oil affects infectivity of enveloped herpesviruses. Phytomedicine. 2008 Sep;15(9):734-40.
4. Hayashi, K., Kamiya, M., Hayashi, T. Virucidal effects of the steam distillate from Houttuynia cordata and its components on HSV-1, influenza virus, and HIV. Planta Med. 1995 Jun;61(3):237-41.
5. Xie, Y., Lu, W., Cao, S., Jiang, X., Yin, M., and Tang, W. Preparation of bupleurum nasal spray and evaluation on its safety and efficacy. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2006 Jan;54(1):48-53.

>> For information about organic essential oils, click here

>> To learn more about aromatherapy classes, click here

Herbs and natural foods support optimal brain function

"Many foods an nutrients are known to improve brain function," according to NaturalNews. "Fish has long been known as 'brain food' because of the omega 3 fatty acids, but many other foods can improve and maintain healthy mental function and improve memory."

Adaptogens, for example, help brain function by reducing stress caused by the "fight or flight" response (such as, ginseng and rhodalia), while other plants work to detoxify the blood and brain (such as cabbage, broccoli, collards, kale, brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, arugula, radish, wasabi, watercress, kohlrabi, mustard greens, rutabaga, and turnips).

Other types of brain-healthy herbs and foods include vitamin D, which is important for calcium absorption, omega 3 fatty acids, thought to help with mood, and protein foods.

In general, "to improve brain function, avoid foods that contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup. [...] Processed foods in general, do not help build healthy bodies or brains."

>> For more information about herbs, herbal medicine, and holistic nutrition, click here
>> Read the full-length article on NaturalNews here

Monday, October 5, 2009

Beekeeping for medicinal use

Mother Earth News has a very useful article on their website right now, "Keeping Bees Using the Top-bar Beekeeping Method." With this method, author Phil Chandler says, you can build simple, inexpensive hives now and start keeping bees as soon as next spring.

Unlike more conventional hives, with this method, Chandler explains, "you build simple box hives with slats (bars) of wood laid across the top, to which the bees attach their wax comb." The benefits of which include: less expense, increased pollination and improved yield of fruits and veggies, and production of both honey and beeswax in a rural OR urban setting.

Chandler's one caution, however: "If your goal is to obtain the absolute maximum amount of honey regardless of all other considerations, top-bar beekeeping is not for you. This style of beekeeping can produce adequate amounts of honey, but the emphasis is on sustainability and keeping healthy bees rather than maximizing honey crops."

>> For detailed instructions about how to build top-bar hives and the medicinal benefits of small-scale beekeeping, visit the Mother Earth News website:


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Herbs used around the world to protect against swine flu

The October issue of HerbalEGram features an article about how herbs like holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) are being used in countries worldwide to help protect against swine flu. The "International Report on Herbs and Swine Flu" cites statistics from a recent World Health Organization report: "More than 300,000 people around the world are estimated to have contracted Influenza A(H1N1) virus, and at least 3,917 people have died from it." Though a shortage of vaccination is not expected in the U.S., many developing countries will not be able to supply the demand of the their population and as a result "some in these nations are turning to medicinal herbs with immune-boosting properties in attempts to help protect against the virus."

In Bangalore, for example, "people are purchasing Indian tinospora (Tinospora cordifolia), a deciduous climbing shrub with anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects, and immune-boosting properties." In addition, in the "Indian tribal district of Dangs, where medicinal plants grow throughout the forests, the health department is giving tourists an herbal drink also containing Indian tinospora. Prepared by local Ayurvedic doctors, the drink also contains holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), which exhibits adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activities, and ginger (Zingiber officinale) root, which has anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory effects and also aids digestion."

>> To find out more about how herbs are being used to help protect against H1N1, click here for the full-length article:

>> If you're interested in learning more about herbal medicine, click here for more information from the American College of Healthcare Sciences.

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