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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PROTECT YOUR HEARING

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

occupation – such as firefighting, construction and factory work – that exposes you to loud sounds for a sustained period. Be careful when using ear buds – don’t crank up the volume to drown out background sounds. The issue isn’t the music being played closely to the ear but how loudly it is played.


In addition to aging and noise damage, hearing loss can be caused by certain conditions and medications. The ear has a high demand for blood flow so any impairment of that blood flow to the ear can be detrimental. Narrow or abnormal blood vessels can prevent sufficient blood from reaching the cochlea. They can also prevent toxins from getting cleaned out of the ear. This has the potential to damage the delicate cells within the ear. High blood pressure, diabetes and sickle cell anemia can all accelerate hearing loss. Smoking can also affect the ears because nicotine is a vasoconstrictor that causes blood vessels to shrink slightly.


Ototoxic drugs have chemical properties that make them toxic to the sensory cells in the ear. Strong aminoglycoside antibiotics used for life-threatening infections such as bone infection, painkillers such as Vicodin and oxycontin and platinum-based chemotherapy drugs can induce hearing loss. High doses of the over-the-counter painkillers ibuprofen and aspirin can cause ringing in the ear and, eventually, hearing loss.   

Your hearing is at its best between the ages of 18 to 25 years. Then it decreases so slowly the loss is usually not noticeable until around age 50 years. High-pitched sounds usually go first. This is all under ideal, normal conditions and only accounts for the aging process. Half a billion individuals under the age of 65 have hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).


Sound is measured in decibels (Db), which describes its intensity (see pic). Listening to any sounds at or above 85 Db for a prolonged period can damage hearing. About 40 million U.S. adults aged 20-69 years have noise-induced hearing loss, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 50 percent of people 12-35 years old are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from the use of personal audio devices, based on data analyzed by the WHO. Noise between 70-90 Db slowly causes increased hearing damage. Loud sounds can damage the delicate hair cells in the cochlea. They bend and vibrate with greater magnitude until eventually they break or wilt and no longer respond to noise properly. If you beat on those hair cells hard enough, they die and never regenerate.


To protect against noise-induced hearing loss, avoid long exposure to loud noises. Try not to be around sounds at or above 100 Db for more than 15 minutes. If the noise is at or above 110 Db, try to move away from it in under a minute. Wear protective equipment on your ears when mowing the lawn, attending a rock concert or if you’re in an