Tag Archives: natural medicine

Your Seasonal Guide to Food as Medicine: September Produce

Apples on treeOver the past few weekends, my sister-in-law and her family have made over 20 gallons of cider from some of the pie apple trees that grow on the pasture of our family’s Iowa farmland. Nothing says autumn like apple cider! And so it is here…the end of summer. Luscious berries and delicate flowers are fading as hearty leaves and roots make their entrance into our farmers markets and recipes. Whether you are in Arizona or Maine, I’m sure you’re noticing the changes all around you.

However, because the expression of the seasons is not the same in every state, what’s “seasonal” in terms of produce can vary quite a bit. I recently came across this interactive map that allows you to choose your state and see what’s in season where you live. There are lots of tools like this out there, but this one happens to be especially easy to use.

For this month’s seasonal guide to food as medicine post, I’ve chosen to focus on some of the edible herbs that also act as common botanical medicines and then, of course, I must talk about the amazing properties of apples. If you’d like to start at the beginning of this series, you can find the first article here.

Horseradish – A hardy root that’s been cultivated for over 2000 years with long list of traditional uses for everything from acting as a blood cleanser to treating headaches. From a modern science perspective, compounds in this spicy root have shown benefit as an antibiotic. In a 2006 study, a constituent of horseradish was found to decrease symptoms from acute sinusitis, bronchitis, or urinary tract infections as effectively as standard antibiotic therapy. From my own personal experience, I also believe a nice-sized bite of this raw root does an excellent job of opening up congested sinus passages!

Lemon balm – This herb gets its common name due to its lemon scent although it’s not related to the citrus fruit itself. An edible plant, the leaves show promise as an anti-viral medicine, specifically indicated for the virus, Herpes simplex, as well as showing benefit for symptoms of anxiety. You can crush up the leaves to make a hot tea or find dried versions in capsule form at your local health food store.

Borage – This plant is native originally to Syria, although it has spread throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean and can be grown in many temperate climates. The leaves and beautiful lavender flowers may be eaten, but it’s the seeds that get the most attention in the natural medicine community. According to a retrospective review of more than 2,000 supplement and medication records for elderly Americans (60-99 years), borage oil supplements are one of the most popular herbal products among elderly women, likely due to their relatively high level of gamma-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid linked to improvements in inflammatory conditions and menopausal symptoms.

Elderberry – This plant has an incredibly long and impressive history as a medicinal plant. Native Americans used elder for infections, coughs, and skin conditions. Ancient Egyptians even used elder flowers to improve complexion and heal burns. From a modern science perspective, elderberries show promise as an anti-viral medicine, decreasing viral load in the body as well as improving flu-like symptoms.

Apples – Last but not least, apples! We all know the famous apple saying relating to health, and it’s true that this little miracle from Mother Nature is packed with goodies like fiber and vitamin C. However, what I find especially exciting about apples are some of the amazing compounds, called phenolic phytochemicals, found primarily in the skin of the fruit that are currently undergoing scientific investigation. An emerging theory is that these phenolic compounds may protect against certain neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s by acting as an antioxidant in brain tissue.

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A Brazilian Ginger Tea Recipe Bursting with Health Benefits

Ginger

Ginger tea is a staple in Brazil and enjoyed both hot and cold. During the colder months, you’ll likely see ginger tea combined with a generous serving of the national alcohol, cachaça (kah-SHAH-sah), a rum-like spirit made from fermented sugar cane. This alcoholic drink is called quentão or “big heat” – as you can imagine the spice from ginger mixed with the spirit really packs a punch (in a good way). Whether served cold, hot, alcohol-free, or with the extra kick, Brazilians drink ginger tea for the serious health benefits and its refreshing taste.

My mother-in-law is from a rural mountain region in Minas Gerais, Brazil, the state credited for first creating Brazilian ginger tea. Since her family didn’t have spare money to take her (or her six siblings) to regular doctor visits, her family relied heavily on natural medicine to keep everyone healthy. Ginger root was easy to grow in that region and ginger tea became their go-to remedy for most common health problems: cold, flu, allergies, cough, sore throat, twisted or sprained ankles/wrists, headaches, body aches, and digestive problems.

While my mother-in-law’s family didn’t have internet access or case studies to prove ginger’s amazing healing properties then, turns out they were right to use it at the first sign of, well, practically anything. Multiple studies show ginger boosts the immune system, decreases inflammation and body aches, aids in digestion, opens up the sinus passages, decreases nausea, helps relieve gas and constipation, improves circulation, helps burn belly fat, increases insulin sensitivity, and destroys cancer cells. Wow, that’s a lot of health benefits! It’s no surprise Ayurveda medicine considers ginger “the universal medicine”.

After hearing all ginger’s benefits, you have to try my mother-in-law’s ginger tea. It’s super easy to make, delicious, oh so addictive (watch out though if you add the alcohol), and of course – great for your health! Check out the recipe below and please let me know if you have any questions.

Brazilian Ginger Tea Recipe (Makes approximately 2 cups)

Essential Ingredients:

  • Roughly ½ cup of fresh ginger root, skin peeled and roughly chopped, OR 1 Teaspoon of powdered ginger (Wakaya Perfection Ginger is a great option, and it’s super strong so you won’t need to use too much of it)
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons of (preferably brown, but white would work too) organic sugar
    (Ginger tea is traditionally made with fresh sugar cane juice (so yummy), but I make it with organic sugar, which is naturally a slight brown color here in Brazil)
  • Two drops of filtered water (approx ¼ teaspoon, careful not to use too much water here)
  • 2 cups filtered water

Optional Ingredients: 

  • Cinnamon stick (or cinnamon powder to taste)
  • Clove sticks (or clove powder to taste)
  • Freshly squeezed  lime or lemon juice
  • Cachaça (if you want to make quentão)

Directions:

1. Put the 1/4 teaspoon of water and sugar in a small saucepan.  Stir over low to low/medium heat (careful not to have it too hot), until the mixture gets a bubbly, about a minute or so.

2. Add the ginger pieces and stir the mixture for 3-5 minutes cooking the ginger on low/low medium heat (this is an important step – you want the heat high enough that the ginger starts cooking and fermenting in the sugar mixture – this is what gives the tea its spice – but be careful not to burn the pan). This is when the spicy aroma of ginger starts to fill your kitchen! When the ginger pieces have soaked up the sugar mixture and are soft, you’re ready for step 3.

3. Add the 2 cups of water (and any additional spices you want), and bring the mixture to a rolling boil.

4. When it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and cover with a lid for at least 10 minutes (longer if you have time and want the flavors to marinate more).

5. Strain out the ginger chunks and serve hot or cold.

Tips:

  • When buying fresh ginger, look for shiny and smooth pieces.
  • You can easily double/triple/or make a stockpot of this recipe when you are having a get together or to just keep in the fridge (although it’s best to drink within a few days).
  • Play around with this recipe: add more ginger or sugar depending on your tastes (many Brazilians actually prefer more sugar than I use in this recipe), brew with ginger powder, too, for an extra kick!

After you make it a few times, you’ll start to know how you prefer it and tweak things around a little – plus, each batch is never exactly the same! Let me know how it turns out. Enjoy!

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Exchange whole ginger for organic Wakaya Perfection Ginger Powder in this delicious Brazilian tea recipe! Wakaya Perfection Ginger has been featured in the LA Times, New York Times Gift GuideOprah’s favorite things and many more!

To experience the benefits of natural wellness practices, stock up on Wakaya Perfection’s 100% organic Dilo Cream and Ginger powder! Visit WakayaPerfection.com to order your Dilo Cream, Ginger powder, and Ginger-Eze, too, with accompanying recipes like the Ginger Lime Creme Brulee or Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Chops!

Use the promo code THRIVE and receive 15% off your next purchase!

Can Adaptogens Help Us Reduce Stress – For Good?

If there were an herb believed to help reduce stress and increase our ability to adapt to new circumstances, would you try it? Couldn’t hurt, right?

In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak Chopra addresses questions about adaptogens, which are plants and herbs that may be able to modulate our response to stress and any discomfort caused by changes in the environment. He examines the history of these substances and some recent studies on particular adaptogens which he has been involved in. How can these substances be used to improve our response to stress?

Dr. Mark Hyman encourages the use of adaptogenic herbs to help reduce stress and calm the mind. Such herbs might include ginseng, Rhodiola rosea, Siberian ginseng, cordyceps, ashwagandha, and others that are nontoxic, nonspecific in action, and generally healthy and high in antioxidants.

Studies on the medical viability of adaptogens to reduce stress have been somewhat sparse but nonetheless promising.The more we learn about these plants and their healing potential, the closer we may get to finding real, long-lasting relief from stress and anxiety. And wouldn’t that be a treat!

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Deepak Chopra: Take a Journey Into Healing

The Chopra Center invites you to attend this rare opportunity to expand your understanding of mind-body healing, Ayurveda, and integrative health care. “Journey into Healing” features sessions with Chopra Center founder Deepak Chopra, M.D.; the Chopra Center’s expert integrative physicians and master educators; and world renowned guest speakers.

Each day of “Journey into Healing” combines daily sessions of experiential learning, interactive sessions, lectures, and group activities, offering unique opportunities to interact with like-minded individuals from around the world. In addition, Journey into Healing includes:

  • Instruction in Primordial Sound Meditation and daily group meditations
  • Morning and evening Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga classes (all levels)
  • The science of Ayurveda and a mind-body perspective on health and disease
  • The role of emotions and the mind in health and well-being
  • CME credits for physicians and other health care practitioners

Learn how to enhance your health, balance, and well-being at Journey into Healing, August 22-25, 2013!

Will “Obamacare” Improve Access to Preventative and Integrative Medicine?

The StethoscopeAlthough passed into law back in 2010, The Affordable Care Act (ACA), a significant government expansion and regulatory overhaul of the country’s healthcare system, commonly referred to as “Obamacare”, is beginning to gain media attention once again as the October 1st enrollment date approaches.

A significant number of people (40% of Americans) not only don’t understand this legislation, but cannot even confirm that it is, in fact, law. Although I am at least with it enough to know that it exists, I admit that the details of the ACA and what it will truly look like in practice is a source of confusion for me. If you want to try and make sense of the ACA for yourself, you can find information here, here and here.

As a health professional, I support the idea of accessible healthcare. As a naturopathic doctor, I also believe in the power of a preventative and integrative approach to medicine.  It’s with a belief in this approach that I am most interested to see how the complete roll-out of the ACA will ultimately make a mark on health, both financial and physical, in this country.

A specific clause of the ACA, Section 2706, is at the heart of both the preventative and integrative medicine debate. This clause requires that insurance companies “shall not discriminate” against any health provider with a state-recognized license. Again, coming from the perspective of a naturopathic doctor, this is a compelling statement. Although I’ve been licensed and recognized as a primary care physician in California since 2005, participating as a provider though major health insurance plans has not been an available option for me. Most plans cover traditional providers: MDs, DOs and perhaps RDs. This means that although I have valuable, largely preventative and low-cost treatments to offer, they are out of reach to most people. A $90, 30-minute visit is quite reasonable…unless you’re used to paying a $10 co-pay.

Given what I have been able to tease out of the research I’ve done on the ACA and Section 2706, it seems a more integrative approach to health options will largely be up to interpretation by each individual state. Hopefully, overtime, and assuming the ACA survives long enough to truly become successful, best practices will emerge and states will adopt a more consistent approach to the delivery of preventative and integrative services.

A recent piece in The Washington Post interviewed a leader within the naturopathic community, Dr. Jane Guiltinan, about her predictions and hopes for the future of healthcare in our country as a result of this piece of legislation. In the piece she quoted an often referred to belief in naturopathic care,

Health is more than the absence of disease.

If we really want to shift the status of health in our country, it seems a mental shift by insurance companies, state government and society at large may be required first.

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5 Natural Ways to Boost Total Body Wellness

GingerSoothingBath

There’s a reason we often refer to “wellness” instead of “health,” though both words in essence refer to the same thing. The difference is that the former connotes a whole-self vitality that brings mind, body, and spirit into alignment for optimal health. And in most cases, the path to wellness is paved with natural products and practices, making the individual the expert on his or her own well-being.

If you struggle with any health concerns, or if you just want to boost overall wellness, increase your energy, and get that “glow” people are always talking about, then you may benefit from introducing some new practices into your daily routine.

Here are 5 natural tools to boost overall wellness:

1. Introduce spices and herbs into your diet.

Many common seasonings pack antioxidants and polyphenols, which can curb inflammation in the body, relieve pain, lower blood pressure, and more. In addition to that, spices and herbs add so much flavor to recipes that you’ll find yourself reaching less and less for the salt, sugar, and other unhealthy additives. A win-win all around!

Our tip: Ginger is the perfect spice to start with. With its spicy kick and subtle sweetness, ginger adds delicious flavor to savory and sweet dishes, alike! We love Wakaya Perfection Organic Ginger powder, which is 100% pure ginger naturally sourced from the beautiful island of Wakaya.

2. Start a mindfulness practice.

“Mindfulness” can mean different things to different people, but the intention is always the same. Be aware of your thoughts and biases, practice listening, practice gratitude, and challenge yourself to speak, think, and act mindfully throughout the day. Mindfulness techniques, which can include meditation, focused awareness, and yoga, have been shown to help reduce stress, depression, and anxiety (along with other conventional treatments.)

Our tip: Find a time of the day that works for you to sit, be still, and just breathe. Maybe it’s right when you get up in the morning and are still sitting in bed; or perhaps it’s a few quiet moments after the kids have gone to sleep and the computer is turned off. Return to this inner space every day, and feel the effects the practice has on your life.

3. Try natural remedies for common ailments before turning to chemical-based drugs.

There is certainly a time and place for conventional medicine, don’t get us wrong! But many common, daily ailments – like headaches, nausea, sore muscles, and morning sickness – can be more easily (and effectively!) remedied by natural products. If there is a specific chronic condition you struggle with, do a bit of research to see what herbs, spices, and practices might help alleviate discomfort.

Our tip: Ginger has been proven to be an extremely effective product for easing nausea and related ailments. Try Ginger-Eze, a natural ginger remedy, as your go-to for alleviating motion sickness, cold symptoms, sore muscles and more.

4. Incorporate fitness into your daily routine.

For some people, having an allotted hour at the gym or in a fitness class is what they need to make sure exercise makes it into their schedule. But for many of us this strategy can be daunting, and we either skip it altogether or over-work ourselves when we do make the time to exercise. Staying active can be surprisingly easy, though, when we incorporate fitness into our lives by walking and biking for transportation, doing exercises that promote practical strength, and enjoying fun weekend activities that get us moving!

Our tip: Opt for “functional fitness” workouts, either on your own or at a gym that specializes in this kind of exercise. Functional fitness focuses on whole-body strength, balance, and stamina for daily life.

5. Use natural products for beauty and skin care.

Many commercial beauty and skin care products are terrible for your health. Some products have even tested positive for mercury, lead, bacteria, and other toxins. Yikes! Thankfully some of the most effective, powerful, and beautifying products come right out of the earth and don’t carry the same side-effects at the drugstore variety.

Our tip: To nourish and moisturize your skin, as well as treat rashes and minor burns, try Dilo Cream, made with oil from the super-plant Calophyllum inophyllum. This tree has so many amazing properties, and its oil has been used as a skin treatment throughout the Pacific and tropical regions of Africa for years.

We hope these tips give you some creative and empowering ideas for boosting your own wellness practice. What are your favorite tools for overall health? Let us know in the comments below!

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mailing_dilo1

Wakaya Perfection Ginger Powder has been featured in the LA Times, New York Times Gift GuideOprah’s favorite things and many more!

To experience the benefits of natural wellness practices, stock up on Wakaya Perfection’s 100% organic Dilo Cream and Ginger powder! Visit WakayaPerfection.com to order your Dilo Cream, Ginger powder, and Ginger-Eze, too, with accompanying recipes like the Ginger Lime Creme Brulee or Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Chops!

Use the promo code THRIVE and receive 15% off your next purchase!

Plants of May: Your Seasonal Guide to Food as Medicine

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 4.03.23 PM

The arrival of May means that no matter where you live, warm days are finally beginning to outnumber cold; daylight is beginning to stretch into the evening hours, and Pinterest boards are likely filling with recipes for barbeques, tasty salads, and Sun Tea.

In the plant world, spring is a time for new growth. Flowers introduce sweet berries, and delicate green shoots grow into edible leaves for salads and sautées. I love this time of year, and as a naturopathic doctor, I especially love the healing properties of fruits and vegetables that are seasonal in May. Here’s my sample guide to what’s in season this month and how each edible plant acts as medicine in the body:

Dandelion leaves – You may be thinking, “Wait, this is a weed not a food, right?” Actually, young dandelion leaves are an edible, slightly bitter addition to any spring salad or sauté and contain a compound, aesculin, which supports the tone of our vessels and can help with issues like swelling, puffiness and poor circulation.

Fava beans – Like large sweet peas, fava beans can be found in pods and are a beautiful rich green color. They are a substantial addition to any recipe and a great vegetarian/vegan option. In addition to providing a spectrum of vitamins and minerals (thiamin, folate, calcium, magnesium and zinc to name just a few), these beans are an excellent source of fiber. That means that in addition to filling you up, they also help to clean you out!

Mint leaves – Plants in the mint family (peppermint and spearmint are two common examples) contain menthol, a compound that provides the cooling quality these leaves are known for. Used in a tea or even rubbed on the skin, mint is used to calm digestion and may be soothing when fresh leaves are crushed and applied to insect bites or itchy skin.

Onions, sweet Vidalia – As medicine, onions are most commonly thought of for their sulfur-containing compounds that have been researched for a range of actions in the body from supporting liver function to inhibiting cancer growth. I love the sweet, mildly spicy flavor of these beautiful onions…a great addition to a vinegar-based potato salad.

Oregano leaves – A staple in most spice racks, dried oregano leaves are a common addition to all kinds of recipes. When in season, fresh leaves can be used to provide a spicy and beautiful pop of flavor and color. Oil of oregano provides a broad spectrum of anti-bacterial, viral and fungal activity and can even be found in some natural insect-repellent recipes.

 

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Photo credit: Linh H. Nguyen via Flickr

Stinging Nettle Tea: A Natural Remedy to Fight Spring Allergies

nettle intent imageI don’t know how you fare this time of year, but it’s usually right around now that I start to experience seasonal allergies.  For me that means itchy eyes and throat and sneezing, especially in the morning. However, seasonal allergies can be present in many ways, with symptoms that span from a mild runny nose to severe chronic headaches.

For the past few years, I’ve mostly just toughed it out (thankfully my symptoms are mild enough that this is an option), but this year I have a natural medicine plan: Stinging Nettle tea.

In the United States, stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is considered a weed by many given the ease with which it grows.  It’s funny name comes from the Latin verb urere, meaning “to burn,” because of its urticate (stinging) hairs that cover the stem and underside of the leaves. So, while walking through a field of this plant is probably not a good idea, using it for its anti-allergic activity can be an effective way to manage seasonal allergy symptoms. It has a nice amount of published research demonstrating positive benefit for a host of allergic and inflammatory conditions.

Stinging Nettle contains a set of compounds that act on the immune system to provide anti-inflammatory action and block histamine release. Perhaps you are familiar with over-the-counter medicines called “anti-histamines”?  Well, stinging nettle works in a similar fashion, blocking the release of histamine compounds that alert our immune system and trigger inflammation, redness, and all those pesky symptoms those of us who are sensitive to pollen, etc. experience this time of year.

Because stinging nettle doesn’t contain caffeine, you can brew it as tea and exchange it for your water source throughout the day.  Here’s my recipe/plan:

  • Add 1tsp dried Stinging Nettle leaf to 16oz hot water. Steep for 2-3 minutes.
  • Drink right away in the morning when I experience the most symptoms.
  • Re-fill tea infuser with hot water and re-use same tea leaves a couple more times throughout day (although most of the anti-histamine activity will come from the first steep, there is a mild benefit from re-using the leaves)
  • Continue as I feel like I need symptom relief throughout day

With any treatment, you should always talk to a licensed health professional and make sure the products and medicines you are using are appropriate for you. Licensed naturopathic doctors are a great source for natural therapies like this one.

 


Photo credit: John Tann

Cure Asthma with Time-Tested Buteyko Method

Everyone knows someone with asthma. The CDC states that more than 17 million Americans suffer from asthma — including 1 in 10 children. The good news? There’s a safe, nonmedical treatment for asthma, long used in other countries, that’s just now gaining recognition in the US as asthmatics here get cured with it.
 
It’s called the Buteyko Method, and it’s been used in Russia for more than five decades. Unlike other "alternative treatments," the Buteyko Method, which involves simple breathing techniques, has been studied in major clinical trials, written about in peer-reviewed medical journals, and is taught in Russian medical schools and covered by insurance in Australia. It was developed by MDs and is used by many MDs worldwide. Yet many US doctors and patients still don’t know about it.
 
That’s about to change. Even New York Times health writer Jane Brody, who rarely covers nontraditional treatments, has written in praise of this one: http://www.buteykocenterusa.com/ny_times_article.html. After the Buteyko Method was recently featured on CBS News, asthmatics are starting to ask what it is, how it works, and whether it can help them.
 
Here’s a short overview that should clear up some basic questions.
 
Asthmatics who follow a traditional treatment protocol typically complain that their symptoms only worsen after years of taking medication. That’s because medications treat the symptoms, but don’t address the cause of asthma.
 
In 1952, Dr. Konstantin Buteyko, a renowned Ukrainian scientist working in Russia, discovered that asthma symptoms are the result of chronic hyperventilation. Surprised? Almost 60 years of scientific research and clinical data proves that asthmatics consume 2-20 times more air than a healthy person!
 
Based on the laws of physiology, we know that hyperventilation depletes the level of CO2 in the lungs. Scientists agree that a low level of CO2 results in bronchospasm in the lungs. Put simply, Buteyko Method breathing techniques help a person quickly normalize CO2 level in the lungs, causing the walls of the bronchioles to relax, and opening up the airways.
 
Instead of hyperventilating, which is what asthmatics do to get more air, the Buteyko Method teaches them how to breathe less. Although it sounds counterintuitive, when people are trained to breathe in such a way that they take in less air, asthma symptoms can be reduced or completely eliminated.
 
Some advantages of the Buteyko Method?The breathing technique is harmless if practiced as directed by a well-trained Buteyko specialist. Once you’ve learned the Buteyko Method, you can taper off or completely eliminate costly and sometimes harmful asthma medications. Asthmatics who use the Buteyko Method naturally start eating less, feel healthier, and need less time for sleep. They wake up feeling energetic, have more fun exercising, and experience fewer incidents of coughing, sneezing, and breathing problems. The Buteyko Method enables you to completely control a coughing fit, relax into an asthma attack so you can regain your breath, and avoid panicking if you are somewhere without your inhaler. The exercises are simple enough to be taught to children as young as three. And finally, because the Buteyko breathing techniques bring CO2 levels in your lungs back to normal, they have a positive effect on the immune and metabolic system. People discover that they feel better, have fewer colds and flus, and get relief from symptoms they didn’t even know were related, such as fatigue, low-level depression, joint pain, and eczema.
 
If you’re someone who has long suffered from asthma, this time-tested natural treatment might just be the cure you’re been waiting for.

Cure Asthma with Time-Tested Buteyko Method

Everyone knows someone with asthma. The CDC states that more than 17 million Americans suffer from asthma — including 1 in 10 children. The good news? There’s a safe, nonmedical treatment for asthma, long used in other countries, that’s just now gaining recognition in the US as asthmatics here get cured with it.
 
It’s called the Buteyko Method, and it’s been used in Russia for more than five decades. Unlike other "alternative treatments," the Buteyko Method, which involves simple breathing techniques, has been studied in major clinical trials, written about in peer-reviewed medical journals, and is taught in Russian medical schools and covered by insurance in Australia. It was developed by MDs and is used by many MDs worldwide. Yet many US doctors and patients still don’t know about it.
 
That’s about to change. Even New York Times health writer Jane Brody, who rarely covers nontraditional treatments, has written in praise of this one: http://www.buteykocenterusa.com/ny_times_article.html. After the Buteyko Method was recently featured on CBS News, asthmatics are starting to ask what it is, how it works, and whether it can help them.
 
Here’s a short overview that should clear up some basic questions.
 
Asthmatics who follow a traditional treatment protocol typically complain that their symptoms only worsen after years of taking medication. That’s because medications treat the symptoms, but don’t address the cause of asthma.
 
In 1952, Dr. Konstantin Buteyko, a renowned Ukrainian scientist working in Russia, discovered that asthma symptoms are the result of chronic hyperventilation. Surprised? Almost 60 years of scientific research and clinical data proves that asthmatics consume 2-20 times more air than a healthy person!
 
Based on the laws of physiology, we know that hyperventilation depletes the level of CO2 in the lungs. Scientists agree that a low level of CO2 results in bronchospasm in the lungs. Put simply, Buteyko Method breathing techniques help a person quickly normalize CO2 level in the lungs, causing the walls of the bronchioles to relax, and opening up the airways.
 
Instead of hyperventilating, which is what asthmatics do to get more air, the Buteyko Method teaches them how to breathe less. Although it sounds counterintuitive, when people are trained to breathe in such a way that they take in less air, asthma symptoms can be reduced or completely eliminated.
 
Some advantages of the Buteyko Method?The breathing technique is harmless if practiced as directed by a well-trained Buteyko specialist. Once you’ve learned the Buteyko Method, you can taper off or completely eliminate costly and sometimes harmful asthma medications. Asthmatics who use the Buteyko Method naturally start eating less, feel healthier, and need less time for sleep. They wake up feeling energetic, have more fun exercising, and experience fewer incidents of coughing, sneezing, and breathing problems. The Buteyko Method enables you to completely control a coughing fit, relax into an asthma attack so you can regain your breath, and avoid panicking if you are somewhere without your inhaler. The exercises are simple enough to be taught to children as young as three. And finally, because the Buteyko breathing techniques bring CO2 levels in your lungs back to normal, they have a positive effect on the immune and metabolic system. People discover that they feel better, have fewer colds and flus, and get relief from symptoms they didn’t even know were related, such as fatigue, low-level depression, joint pain, and eczema.
 
If you’re someone who has long suffered from asthma, this time-tested natural treatment might just be the cure you’re been waiting for.
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