By Natural Advocate | March 31, 2010 - 10:28 am - Posted in Natural Depression & Anxiety Relief

There are quite few plants, or herbs, that qualify as very effective remedies against angst, anxiety and even depression in daily doses that are potent enough to help alter a person’s chemistry enough to be noticeable. Contrary to popular thought, herbal remedies for anxiety and depression can be quite effective, especially when taken as directed on a daily basis and when the concoctions taken actually are made by a worthy preparer that knows what they are doing when it comes to mixing and growing herbal tinctures.  Homeopathy can also prove worthy of a look if you’re looking to reduce stress and anxiety.

However, let’s look at one of the ones that is often overlooked as a “lighter” side anti anxiety herb and relaxant. I honestly always thought of it this way as well. I actually talked to a licensed herbologist when I was out in Northern California visiting my sister several years ago. I told her that I suffered from occasional acute bouts of anxiety, followed by a sort of melancholy, somewhat of a depression, or angst was the best way I had to describe it.

She gave me a few suggestions, one of them being lemon balm.  I ended up buying a few things, among them dried leaves of lemon balm.  Lemon balm looks exactly like mint leaves and it is very easy to grow.  I actually mixed it up with the mint leaves I had frozen from my little garden in the freezer a few times. The herbologist told me to make a tea with it, so that’s what I did.

I used quite a generous amount of the lemon balm in the tea, and I used a tea ball to make it, squeezing some of the excess plant oils out as well once it had steeped. It made a few nice tasting, smooth tea, and I felt like it really helped to relax me at night. I wasn’t sure about what it did for me the next day to be honest, because I wasn’t focused enough on that, I just know that it made sleep and relaxation a lot easier at night.

Apparently lemon balm has proven a worthy herbal remedy for anxiety and depression, and is especially helpful if you are having angst about a particular event, to drink the night before. It is supposed to help your focus and concentrate in a calm manner the next day. It has also been reported to help soothe patients with dementia, and many people report that it helps their moods be more consistent.

I’m going to grow some lemon balm this summer and write about it again. I don’t think I gave it enough of a chance to show me what it could do. I’ll let you know how it all works out.

By Natural Advocate | March 28, 2010 - 8:54 pm - Posted in Nutritional Supplements

We know that omega 3 fatty acids have proven multiple times over to be an excellent additional supplement to the diet.  Not just a supplement for omega 3’s though, you also should really try to get these in your diet through the foods you eat as well, since foods are typically broken down better into the individual nutrients they were meant to be.

They also work more synergistically with other healthy ingredients in whole foods than just a supplement alone does. However, that being said, I still take an very pure omega 3 supplement every day, just to make sure I am getting plenty of this well tolerated, overall health and energy and beauty boosting nutrient into my system.  If I’m going a week without eating a lot of fish, nuts or avocados, I especially am grateful to have my trusty little omega 3 supplement around.

New research is showing quite a statistically interesting connection between a high grade, high potency new omega 3 supplement (the name was not disclosed, but there are several great ones on the market that may not be the cheapest, but they are very pure and high grade) and the reduction of potentially cancerous bowel polyps.

As you may or may not have heard, bowel polyps, or colon polyps, are known for having the potential to grow into larger, potentially cancerous, tumors.  When people who were genetically prone to growing polyps in their bowels took the high grade omega 3 oil, it showed a remarkable ability to reduce the size of their polyps, whereas those on placebo realized a gain in the size, and now slowing of growth.

So, add another health benefit to the incredible omega 3 fat.  Not only does it help protect your heart and promote circulatory health, make your skin look great, protect your tissues, help regulate the bloos sugar, and a host of other great benefits, it also may be a super cancer fighter.  There is no reason to not start eating some serious white fatty fish in your diet, and incorporating those avocadoes, almonds, walnuts, and other omega 3 foods into your lifestyle NOW.

By Natural Advocate | March 26, 2010 - 10:11 pm - Posted in General Health Updates

New evidence suggests that not only does “always high” or out of the acceptable range blood pressure contribute to the risk of stroke, but variations of blood pressure do as well. In other words, you could check out fine on your checkups every year at the doctors office,  but if you are one of those people whose blood pressure rockets out of control at the drop of a hat, then you could be in some trouble when it comes to risk of stroking out.

And what is a stroke, exactly?  Good question. A stroke is where the blood that runs through the vessels in the brain is temporarily interrupted or cut off. Because of this, your brain is deprived of oxygen for however long this blip in the system occurs for. You could suffer a range of symptoms from a loss of speech, slurring of words, memory lapse, loss of control over emotions, or even a slackening of the facial muscles, leading to a lopsided look.

But the worst part isn’t that variations in blood pressure are just as big of a risk. They are actually worse. Researchers tracked patients with both consistently high blood pressure and patients who had good pressure, then high pressure intermittently, and found that the patients with intermittent, rather than constantly high, blood pressure, were actually at a higher risk for stroke.

Since high blood pressure affects about half of the adults here in the US and elsewhere, there are already tons of people on medications for high blood pressure. These findings could increase that number, as researchers found that patients who took drugs that addressed these spikes were significantly better off in the stroke risk department than patients who were not on the drugs.

So, how do you know you have high blood pressure, or at least occasional bouts of it?  Well, the problem is that some people never show symptoms of high blood pressure, they only know they have it because they got a high reading at a doctor’s visit.

However, some symptoms you can watch for if you believe you may have spikes, but you always get good readings at the doctors office are the following :


Blurred vision



Rapid heart beat

There may be other symptoms as well, these are the most common ones I found when I looked it up.

By Natural Advocate | March 24, 2010 - 5:01 am - Posted in General Health Updates

In a study that started way back in 1968, and therefore gave us over 40 years of good data on the subject, researchers have concluded that being on the contraceptive birth control pill actually appears to have some sort of protective benefit against dying younger in women.  The women that were on the pill long term tended to die less of things like cancer and heart problems, and they were statistically significantly lower in dying younger than women who were not on the birth control pill.

However, researchers are fast to point out that this may only mostly anyways, hold true for the older style birth control pills that were the only show in town back in the sixties, and not the newer breed of birth control pills that women are on today like low dose ones and estrogen or progesterone only pills. However, that doesn’t mean those can’t have the same apparent protective benefits, since they basically perform the same function.

This is good news for women like me (at least I hope), who have been on the pill for almost ten years in a row. I have found that it seems to help me with my skincare problems since I do still suffer from acne from time to time but I don’t like other things it seems to do to me, like make me moody and gain weight here and there, however, it does regulate and make my periods much lighter and that is fabulous.

By Natural Advocate | March 21, 2010 - 4:36 pm - Posted in Natural and Herbal Treatments

My husband and I have been taking the dietary natural sleep aid supplement melatonin now for years. We don’t take it every single night, but about four nights per week when we know we have to get up early and go to work. We usually take 3 mg. of the supplement, but we have occasionally doubled that dose up if we really need to get the sleep and are worried we might not get it without some serious help.

I have never had any problems that I know of with melatonin, and there are actually some great health benefits to taking it, but there are some side effects that have been reported in some people that I have heard about, and I was going to talk to you a little about those potential side effects today.  Also make sure you check out our natural sleep aid information here for future reference if you have trouble getting to sleep from time to time.

There are some great all natural, side effect free remedies for sleeping, you just have to know what’s right for you, which may take a bit of experimentation on your part.

The reported side effects of melatonin have been irritability, anxiety, and even some depression. Another one I heard about was constipation. I have never personally experienced any of these side effects from melatonin, but that doesn’t mean that everyone will have the same good experience as I would with this supplement.

It seems so odd that  supplement that makes you feel so relaxed and helps you sleep throughout the night would potentially cause issues like this in the body.  The anxiety especially surprises me, because it is, by nature, a relaxant hormone that is released by your body (especially at younger ages, you produce tons of melatonin when you are younger, it dwindles with age, so you’d think that supplementation would be a good thing).

I guess it just seems counterintuitive that these types of symptoms would occur, but then again, nothing surprises me, because everyone reacts differently to varying supplements, drugs, and even foods.

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