HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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MIGHTY MAGNESIUM

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

Severe magnesium deficiency can cause hypocalcemia (low serum calcium) or hypokalemia (low potassium levels). Habitually low intakes of magnesium induce changes in biochemical pathways that can increase the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and migraines. Other health implications possibly related to insufficient magnesium include asthma, rickets, osteoporosis, restless leg syndrome, cardiac arrhythmias, congestive heart failure and chronic kidney disease. Researchers in Germany note low levels of magnesium have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), atherosclerosis, premenstrual syndrome, kidney stones and psychiatric disorders.


The best source of magnesium is food, especially green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. In general, foods containing dietary fiber also provide magnesium. Numerous studies demonstrate the effectiveness of oral therapeutic or preventive magnesium supplementation, but the form matters. It needs to dissolve well in liquid to be completely absorbed in the gut. The most recommended types of magnesium supplements, due to their high bioavailability, are organic bound magnesium salts, such as magnesium citrate, gluconate, orotate or aspartate.

Magnesium is necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heart beat steady, helps bones stay strong, regulates blood glucose and blood pressure and aids in the production of energy and protein, according to MedlinePlus, the U.S. National Library of Medicine of the National Institute of Health (NIH). An abundant mineral in the body, it is naturally present in many foods and some medicines and is available as a dietary supplement.


Americans are getting less than the recommended amounts of magnesium, according to the NIH. Researchers say at least 42 percent of young adults have an ongoing primary magnesium deficiency. They attribute this deficiency to diminished levels of magnesium in many processed foods and cooking and boiling produce, which results in a significant decline in the foods’ magnesium content. Some commonly used pesticides have the propensity to chelate minerals, potentially decreasing the content of magnesium in soil and some crops. Alcohol use, type 1 or type 2 diabetes, smoking and the expansion of monoculture agriculture techniques have all contributed to the situation.


Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weakness. As the condition worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms and coronary spasms can occur.