Sunday, March 15, 2015

My Journey to Uncover the Myth About Hemp

The hemp plant has been known for centuries to be beneficial to one's health. Sadly many shy aware from it because it has gotten poor acceptance because it is often confused with another similar plant species, marijuana. Though hemp and marijuana are both from a cannabis plant, they are different in that hemp does not contain THC which causes the "high" that occurs with marijuana use. Hemp is rich in CBD which has many wellness properties. I would never make any claims of its' ability to cure any disease or totally eliminate chronic health conditions but I do believe it supports optimal health and well being. Raw hemp is known to assist with weight loss, energy levels, recovery from disease and injury, control of cholesterol, blood pressure, reduction in inflammation, improved circulation and control of blood glucose levels.
Hemp is an excellent food source rich in nutrients. I had noticed hemp seeds and hemp milk in aisle of the health food stores and had occasionally drank the milk.  Recently I began to think about the value of hemp leaves to make a tea when it was recommended to assist me with a problem I've had throughout my life...sleep disturbance. After some careful research because all hemp leaves are not the same (you want to get those that are 100% natural, no GMO nor the use of pesticides or fertilizers for growing) I placed my first order  not really knowing what to expect. I am happy to say I am getting much better quality of sleep and if I awake during the night I can take a sip or two of my tea and fall right back to sleep. The only drawback is the company I chose to purchase my hemp leaves, via Amazon, is located in Europe so it takes several weeks to arrive. Knowing this, I've gotten better at planning my ordering so I am never without them again. The company is also very good at communicating with their customers.
For those looking for an alternative approach to wellness without the intoxicating effects of THC, hemp may very be worth adding to your wellness plan. Remember to always purchase from a source that is 100% natural, with no GMO and that doesn't use pesticides or fertilizers. Failing to do so would only be detrimental to your health. As always, if you are being treated for any chronic medical condition you want to share your decision with your primary care provider and never discontinue any prescribed medication without their knowledge.
Hope to get some feedback on others experience. To your health!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hope for "Arthur" Sufferers - Indian Frankincense

Osteoarthritis is a challenge for anyone who experiences the daily stiffness and pain associated with it. I am very aware of this since as I am aging it seems that yearly some new joint in my body receives an unwanted visit from "arthur". The traditional treatments for osteoarthritis are taking anti-inflammatory medications (NSAID -non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) and remaining as active as possible. Those two options present problems for many people since NSAIDs can have some significant gastrointestinal effects (stomach upset and worse intestinal bleeding) and due to the pain people are reluctant to exercise on a regular basis. For me since NSAIDs tend to make my tummy unhappy, I am revisiting an alternative therapy recommended to me several years ago by my chiropractor Dr. Salzman - using Boswellia serrata (Indian frankincense).

Indian frankincense, a herb with anti-inflammatory properties, has been used in the Middle East for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. Scientific studies have confirmed that after seven days of use people have reported decrease in their pain and more mobility. There also has been no reported major negative effects from long term use.  
To read more on the benefits of frankincense as an alternative therapy for osteoarthritis read "Herbal Arthritis Remedies: Using Frankincense Can Help Diminish Pain"
Hope to hear back on your experience with this herb. Live Well!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Color To Lower Stress

As a child, I could spend hours on a day like today (shut in by the snow storm) creating masterpieces in the pages of my coloring books. As I got older, like most folks, the crayons got traded out for the more common writing tools - a pen  and a highlighter. Never would I have imagined that in my silver years I'd be given a legitimate reason to pick back up past time I so enjoyed - coloring.
Coloring has been found to be a very helpful de-stressing tool.  According to psychologist Gloria Martinez Ayala, the relaxation that comes from coloring lowers activity in the area of the brain that is involved in controlling emotions brought on from stress. Adult coloring promotes wellness, a place of quietness and stimulates in the brain the areas connected to motor skills, our senses and creativity. Coloring connects us to our feelings since the intensity and the colors chosen as we color often express our moods.
Now I don't want to mislead you to believe this is some kind of magic bullet that will render you stress free but it will help relieve those stressful feelings that overwhelm you. France, the United Kingdom and Spain have been in the forefront of the use of this technique. Now you can choose from several adult coloring book collection series readily available, one of my favorites is "Color Me Calm"  and be sure to use the correct tool...crayons and not color markers. Markers can give off  noxious fumes creating a whole other set of problems...let me hear back from you on this topic.
Here's to your health!!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Remove the Robo Factor-Taken As Prescribed

A growing practice of many pharmacies today is the auto-refill and mail order program. In theory this is a great fix for the individual who always forgets to refill their prescription or one who is overwhelmed with the management of numerous medications.  But, there is a definite negative side to this practice – waste or even worse, medication errors.
After viewing the video “I-Team:Millions of Pounds of Prescription Drugs Wasted Each Year” it was mind blowing to me the amount of money spent on medications that are never taken when there are countless number of people who do not get prescriptions filled because of their inability to pay for them. This truly points to a glitch in a system that requires immediate attention to repair.
 Unfortunately we live in a time where the mindset is “there is an app for that” and automation is the way to go. As a wellness advocate, my belief is the burden lies on the individual or the caregiver to ensure that the management of medication is accurate and safe.  Nothing can replace the direct interaction between providers and consumers of health. There will always be the need for direct check and balance between what the medication and dosage was initially and what it is as time goes on. Deadly mistakes can and do occur when dosages are changed and a new prescriptions are filled without discarding the original dosage.
To me there is no doubt that medication management should be a high priority for anyone with a chronic medical condition. There are a limited number of programs (insurance or community based) that provide medication management assistance. Perhaps the best ally in this equation is the pharmacist.  Those one on one conversations regarding the why, how, when and what (why am I taking it, how should I take it in, when should I take it and what are any adverse things I need to be aware of) about one’s medications can lead to better adherence and overall safety. By removing the “robo factor”, not only can consumers become better educated from that interpersonal interaction but errors can be greatly reduced. Thankfully, new Medicare guidelines now require those with Medicare D coverage approve the 3-month mailing prior to being mailed but more needs to be done to correct this problem.
In cases where management is not readily available, a covered insurance benefit, or not feasible (i.e. an individual with cognitive challenges) it may be beneficial to designate a family member to learn how to provide management or consider an advocate who can provide the service.  Medications can only be effective when they are taken as prescribed.
I hope to get some of my readers’ feedback on this Your Health!