Anxiety

May 3, 2017

ANXIETY An anxiety condition is a medical condition characterized by excessive and persistent worrying and fear. Anxiety, as an emotion, plays and important role in helping us get safely through everyday life, and can be a helpful early warning system in a variety of different experiences. People suffering from an anxiety disorder however, are plagued by persistent, intense, and sometimes irrational worries and fears on a daily basis. Anxiety is very common, affecting 1 in 6 people in Australia. It can occur at any time of life and is common in any age group, with women more often affected than men.   There are multiple different types of anxiety disorders. These include:

  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD): While most people can feel worried or anxious from time to time, especially when facing stressful situations such as exams or interviews, people suffering from GAD experience these symptoms the majority of the time. These anxious, worried feelings are often intense, persistent, and can interfere with a person’s everyday lives.
  • Social anxiety/phobia: With this disorder, it is common for a person to feel excessively worried or nervous about interacting with other people in social situations, whether they’re strangers or people they know. People suffering from this disorder may fear being criticized, judged, or humiliated by others during the m

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April 5, 2017

B VITAMINS B Vitamins are a group of 8 water soluble vitamins that are essential for certain bodily functions, such as metabolism, energy production, and nervous system function.  

  • Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin): Aids with cellular energy production and is important for protein metabolism. It also affects the metabolism of iron in positive ways, and produces important antioxidants which help to prevent free radical cells. It is also needed to change Vitamin B-6 and folate into forms the body can use. Food sources include: almonds, brewer’s yeast, wholegrains, wheat germ, mushrooms, soy beans, wild rice, dairy, eggs, broccoli, spinach, brussel sprouts, beet greens, asparagus, turkey, beef liver, salmon, and lamb. Riboflavin is destroyed by light so foods containing the vitamin should be stored away. It can also be lost in water when foods are boiled or soaked. It is best absorbed when taken in between meals. Riboflavin is considered safe, even at high doses. Possible side effects include: itching, numbness, burning or prickling sensations, bright yellow urine, and sensitivity to light. Taking only certain vitamin B supplements at one time can upset the balance of the other important B vitamins. This vitamin can interact with other medications so it is best to seek medical advice before taking any supplements.

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April 3, 2017

SAGE

Common sage (Salvia officinalis) is a perennial, evergreen dwarf shrub, which can grow up to 2 feet, and is characterized by woody stems, purple/blue flowers, and grey/green leaves. It is part of the mint family, Lamiaceae and is native to the Mediterranean and the Balkan region (a peninsula and cultural area in South-eastern Europe). The botanical name, Salvia, is derived from the Latin word salvere which means ‘to be saved’. Sage was a sacred ceremonial herb of the Romans, being associated with immortality, and was used by the Greeks as a ‘coronary herb’ because it flushed disease from the body and relieved strain on the heart. In the Middle Ages sage was ingested as a tea to treat colds, fevers, memory and concentration loss, inflammations, ulcers, and many other ailments. There are approximately 8 different types of sage, each differing in appearance and use. These are:

  • Garden sage (Salvia officinalis): This is the most common type of sage, and is used for cooking, tea brewing, decoration, and medicinal use
  • Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans): This variety of sage has tubular red flowers and is used mainly for medicinal purposes
  • Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia): This type has silver/grey leaves, and produces small, blue/purple tubular flowers. It is not

January 3, 2017

FIBROMYALGIA Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain, stiffness, and tenderness throughout the body, often accompanied by fatigue and emotional distress. Symptoms of fibromyalgia may vary in severity, and many disappear for extended periods of time, even for years. Fibromyalgia is often considered an arthritis related condition, but is not a form of arthritis as it does not cause inflammation or damage to the joints, muscles, or other tissues.   This condition affects 2 – 8% of people, mainly women in middle adulthood, but men and adolescents have been known to develop it too.   The cause of fibromyalgia is not yet known, but it appears to be a problem with the brain rather than the muscles and bones, where the brain of someone with fibromyalgia is more sensitive to certain external stimuli which normal people are not, and treats them as pain. Therefore the pain experienced in sufferers originates from the brain and not in the muscles or bones.   SYMPTOMS:

  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Sleep problems and disturbances
  • Stiffness, particularly in the morning
  • Emotional distress, anxiety, and depression
  • Increased responsiveness to stimuli such as heat, cold, light, and loud noises
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrom

November 4, 2016

CHAMOMILE This herb has been used for centuries to calm the nerves and induce sleep. It is from a daisy-like family of plants called Asteraceae, and while there are many different types of chamomile, the most common are German Chamomile (Marticaria recutita), and Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). Chamomile is known to be used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, and was also popular throughout the middle ages.   HEALTH BENEFITS:

  • Calms the nerves
  • Reduces internal inflammation
  • Reduces bloating and flatulence
  • Aids with teething pain
  • Reduces nasal congestion
  • Soothes skin irritations such as eczema, and psoriasis
  • Alleviates menstrual cramps
  • Aids with sleep
  • Reduces fever
  • Treats colds
  • Helps with asthma
  • Has powerful anti-inflammatory properties
  • Is highly antibacterial
  • Relieves stress and anxiety
  • Treats depression
  • Reduces hay fever
  • Treats arthritis and lower back pain
  • Aids with wounds
  • Calms muscle spasms
  • Relieves haemorrhoids
  • Reduces cancer cells
  • High in antioxidants
  • Improves digestion
  • Aids with gum and teeth health
  • Improves heart health and circulation
  • Helps treat diabetes as it lowers blood sugar levels

July 11, 2016

    St John’s Wort (hypericum perforatum): This herb has been used since the renaissance as an antidepressant. It is effective in treating other mental and sleeping disorders. This herb treats depression by preventing nerve cells in the brain from reabsorbing serotonin, or by reducing levels of protein in the immune system. In studies St John’s Wort is hardly ever less effective than any over the counter prescription medications. Some side effects include: dry mouth, dizziness, increased sensitivity to sunlight, gastrointestinal distress, and fatigue. Caution: do not use this herb with other drugs, alcohol, or other therapeutic drugs/herbs. Do not give to children or use when pregnant or breast feeding.

July 7, 2016
  • Tulsi or Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum): Holy basil is a powerful antioxidant. It also has strong antibacterial, antifungal, and anti inflammatory properties. This herb is used to treat anxiety and stress due to its ability to decrease the body’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It is also an adaptogen, which means it will not alter mood, but rather helps the body function optimally during times of stress. Holy basil is also used to treat: the common cold, flu, asthma, bronchitis, headaches, stomach upsets, fever, heart disease, and tuberculosis. Studies suggest it may also be effective in treating certain types of cancer.
July 1, 2016

    Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza Glabra): Licorice root contains many anti-depressant compounds and has many health benefits such as: boosts the immune system by increasing levels of interferon; a chemical in the immune system that fights viruses, relieves pain and stress by preventing the breakdown of adrenal hormones such as cortisol (primary stress-fighting hormone), and combats hay fever due to being an anti-allergenic. It is also used for ulcers, indigestion, heartburn, respiratory problems, chronic fatigue symptoms and fibromyalgia, hepatitis, PMS, and heart disease.

March 15, 2016

 

Definition: Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.

 

Stress occurs when the brain releases chemicals which cause an increase in energy and strength. This can be helpful in physical situations but when the stress is emotional, this release of chemicals is detrimental because there is no outlet for this extra energy and strength. These chemicals are: adrenaline (the fight or flight hormone), cortisole, and norepinephrine (similar to adrenaline, with the main intent to cause awareness).

  Stress can be a good motivator, but it can become harmful if it becomes excessive and begins to interfere with normal, everyday life.      

There are three main types of stress. These are: acute stress, episodic acute stress, and chronic stress.

  Acute stress: This stress is usually a brief event and is often due to an impending deadline, performance, or a traumatic event.  

Episodic acute stress: This occurs when people have to deal with acute stress repeatedly. This often occurs when a traumatic event happens and is followed by more stress inducing events. These people have the tendency to believe that, if something can go wrong, it w

March 13, 2016

LAVENDER Scientifically known as Lavandula, the name comes from the Latin root name lavare which means ‘to wash’. Lavender is native to the Old World (Africa, Europe, and Asia). Due to its Mediterranean origins, lavender plants prefer hot summers and dry winters. These plants do not do well with humidity. There are four main types of lavender. These are:

  • English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): Known as true lavender, this is usually the variety used in making potpourri and oils
  • Italian lavender (Lavandula stoechas): Identified by two brightly coloured ‘wings’ at the top of each flower
  • French lavender (Lavandula dentata): Identified by grey green serrated leaves and a flat, furry, spiked purple flower
  • Winged lavender (Lavandula Sidonie): Identified by ferny foliage and forked flowers

  Lavender has long been used for its aromatic and healing properties. In the medieval times it was thought to ward off evil spirits. Medicinally, lavender is used as a relaxant, an antibacterial agent, and as a sensory stimulant. It is also used to treat a range of ailments including: insomnia, anxiety, stress, indigestion, alopecia (hair loss), headaches, nervous disorders, exhaustion, infections, acne and eczema, and joint and muscle pain.   Forms of lavender av