By Natural Advocate | August 31, 2012 - 9:04 am - Posted in Natural Pain Relief

Back pain can be a particularly bothersome, if not crippling type of pain to deal with, especially if you are an active individual.  Pain in our backs is actually a signal of something bigger, usually it is because our posture is slightly off, our stomach muscles need to be strengthened to carry our back correctly, and many times, back pain can be caused by sitting for long periods.

Remedies for back pain help dull the pain receptors that cause this pain, without the harsh side effects and addictions that can come with chemical pain relievers.  Read more about herba l pain relief remedies here also

Counter to that, it can also be caused by strenuous lifting or exercise.  Shoot, some people blow their backs just moving or stretching the wrong way.  The bottom line is, our backs are very integral parts of our body.  It supports us in every way, so it’s no wonder that millions suffer pain in this area every year. Remedies for Back Pain

Every individual who deals with back pain chooses a different way to remedy the situation.  Some people go to chirpopractors, some go to physical therapy or massage therapy, and some people even take prescription pain killers and muscle relaxers to deal with the pain inflicted on almost a daily basis.  This results in thousands of dollars over one’s lifetime.

Not only that, people may become addicted to prescription medications, or even over the counter back pain remedies which contain painkillers that may build a tolerance and become ineffective, or perhaps even cause you to take more and more creating sort of an addiction.

This family of natural pain relief remedies contains natural and herbal ingredients in it which naturally help to kill pain and calm the inflammation in the tissues that cause the pain to occur in certain areas of the body by helping to suppress prostaglandins.

What are prostaglandins?  They are similar to hormones, but they do not travel or migrate.  They actually act as an activator of the inflammatory response your body has when faced with trauma of any sort.

What this means is, if you injure your back, or you stretch the wrong way, or are in one sitting position for too long, this aggravates the muscles and tissue in your back, which promotes the prostaglandins in their mission to accelerate the inflammatory response.

These pain remedy formulas can target the various pain receptors that cause the specific type of pain you are looking to treat, depending on which formula suits your needs, whether it’s for muscle pain, tension headaches, nerve pain or whatever the case may be.

This translates into back pain for you, and the ensuing discomfort you are probably all too familiar with by now.  It is important to note that natural back pain remedies must be taken on a regular basis to have the greatest effect, as most of the time they are anti inflammatory in nature and have progressively better results, however, you want to consult the labeling of the product as well to see what the indications are.

Other than taking this natural pain remedy regularly, or as needed – whatever your personal situation with back pain dictates, there are also some things you can do to help ensure your back doesn’t get sore, and stays limber.  If you work a desk job, make sure you get up at least once an hour.

Maybe take a short walk or something, go to the restroom, do some short stretches for you back in a private stall and then go back to your desk.  Also, make sure that you get regular exercise of some sort.  One of the worst things for back pain, believe it or not, is sitting still for long periods of time.


By Natural Advocate | August 29, 2012 - 9:01 am - Posted in Alternative & Herbal Health News

Just as with regular medications, there are some products that may be perfectly safe for one person to take, or filler used in the product.

As when you are choosing an over the counter medicine or a prescription medicine, unfortunately you many times do not know whether you may be allergic to or have a bad reaction to any product until you actually try it.  For this reason, it may be a good idea to do an Internet Search on the product to see if anyone else has reported any negative side effects on the same or similar product.

There are so many forums and online communities now dedicated to the sharing of herbal medication info, both good and bad, that it should be easy to find any stories about interactions with other medications or any other contraindications to watch out for.  This at least gives you a little bit of preparation to be aware of things that may occur.

I mentioned in the previous paragraph to watch out for “interactions”.  You’re probably thinking, well that sounds like the same warning you see on the back of a prescription medication bottle, to warn people of drug interactions.  For example, you get a pain medication prescribed to you by your doctor.  Your doctor or pharamacist may mention to you that you should avoid other types of medicines, foods or other things like sunlight, to prevent an “interaction”.

This just means certain foods, medicines or other events must be avoided for the duration of the treatment to avoid negative interactions between the two.  A personal example I can share is, before I went in for a minor surgery for a lipoma, I was told not to take any vitamin E, as it could cause me to bleed more than I should.  I never would have known that if I wasn’t told, so this is just an example of how knowledge can help you avoid potentially dangerous interactions or reactions to any natural or herbal remedy.

The exact same concept goes for all herbal remedies and herbal supplements for the promotion of health.  This is another thing you can look up on the internet.  Many forums will have people who can share their stories and warnings with you.  Also there are some pretty informative sites online now that are either government or institute funded which will share this information with you.

Some individuals may be able to just read the labels and see the information they need.  For example, if you are thinking of taking a remedy or supplement that contains certain natural ingredients that you know contain stimulants, and you know you are particularly sensitive to stimulants, you know you can’t take that product.

Or, if you are thinking of taking a product that contains known relaxants, and you are hypersensitive to these as well, then you can logically deduce that you should not attempt to take that product.

Overall, safety in herbal supplements and remedies is really a matter of using a little common sense and intuition as to how your body may react to the particular ingredients used.  If the FDA sees a specific pattern of problems or issues with a particular remedy or natural product, they will usually step in and either ban or restrict the sale of anything containing the substance.

A good example of this is the naturally occurring substance called ephedra, which was found naturally in herbs traditionally used in diet aids.  When the safety was seriously called into question, the product was banned from being sold.


By Natural Advocate | August 26, 2012 - 8:47 am - Posted in Alternative Therapies, Natural Pain Relief

Fibromyalgia can be a great robber of life enjoyment and overall happiness. It can contribute to depression because of the pervasive pain and discomfort that accompanies this disorder.  Are there alternative therapies and treatments that really ease the discomfort, for this often-times debilitating disease?

This mysterious ailment is defined as a chronic musculoskeletal disorder with symptoms of widespread and persistent muscle and soft tissue pain and inflammation, fatigue, and tenderness in several key points of the body such as the neck, shoulders and hips. Fatigue is often present in the more severe cases of fibromyalgia, and the degree of pain also depends on the severity of the disorder in the individual.

What Causes Inflammation and How Can You Treat It Naturally?

Flare ups can be caused by stress, muscle injury or over usage of the muscles. Alternative therapies for fibromyalgia like are being perfected as we speak, and there are some promising therapies and treatments in development now that can really help improve people’s lives.

Be sure to incorporate adequate amounts of minerals such as zinc, magnesium and calcium in your diet. These minerals are indirectly responsible for the health and oxygen absorption of your major muscles. Adequate amounts of these minerals, like exercise, will help ensure adequate oxygen delivery to the muscles. Not only that, this helps offset any type of fatigue caused by the disorder.

Also be sure to get plenty of antioxidants in your diet. Antioxidants help destroy free radicals, which are often responsible for the destruction and aging of tissue, including the muscle tissue. Antioxidants are found in abundance in dark leafy green vegetables and brightly colored fruits and vegetables like peppers and oranges.

There are many traditional therapies prescribed to treat fibromyalgia. They range from traditional treatment with NSAID’s (a powerful prescription pain killer which inhibits pain-triggering chemicals from releasing in one’s body and reduces swelling which often contributes to pain) and other anti inflammatories, to magnet therapy, physical and massage therapy, and herbal treatments.

Essential Lifestyle Adjustments

One of the best lifestyle changes for fibromyalgia patients is moderate movement. It is imperative to feed the muscles of the body oxygen by keeping the blood flowing and circulating constantly. This will help reduce any swelling, hence reducing pain, as well as provide the necessary nutrients (oxygen and blood circulation) to your muscles that they need to function properly, and to heal themselves.

In addition to these lifestyle guidelines, you may want to try an alternative herbal fibromyalgia therapy in order to manage flare ups, or as a supplement to your diet in order to reduce daily pain.

Formulated with the right combination of botanical and herbal compounds, the right herbal fibromyalgia pain reducer will reduce the pain naturally, without the undesirable, sometimes addictive, and health threatening side effects of common prescribed anti-inflammatories for fibromyalgia.

As a supplemental therapy for fibromyalgia, it can prove to be a huge benefit in fibormyalgia patient’s lives.

By Natural Advocate | August 23, 2012 - 8:40 am - Posted in Natural and Herbal Treatments, Nutritional Supplements

IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome is an increasingly common digestive disorder that involves the last part of the digestive and elimination process – bowel movements.  It can result in constant constipation, constant diarrhea, of alternating bouts with both. In other words, it interrupts your life, can be totally embarrassing and is very uncomfortable to deal with.

Acidophilus, an organism that is found naturally in some yogurts, is a beneficial bacteria that helps your digestive tract move along smoothly, no pun intended, and ensure proper, timely and comfortable elimination of waste as the last step of food processing in your digestive tract.

See pages dealing with bowel health:

IBS acidophilus treatment with potent probiotics like this is just part of the equation, although acidophilus is one of the most important steps to effective digestive function, and often unfortunately ignored, in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome since once we get the regular bowel movements through some sort of natural laxative, we tend to forget the reason that the irregularity happened in the first place.

What is it exactly?  Well, if you like yogurt and you want to get it by eating yogurt instead of taking an acipophilus probiotic supplement, look for yogurts that say “active cultures”, that means it has this beneficial, colon- protecting bacterium in it.

It is a bacteria, of course, and it is what we call a “healthy flora” which shares space in the intestines and digestive tract with other gas causing, digestive unfriendly bacteria which hinder the digestion process and are even thought by some in alternative medicine to be the cause behind health problems and disease.

What’s one of the things that can throw your probiotic balance off in your digestive tract and actually make IBS worse, making acidophilus all that more important an addition to your diet?  Well, believe it or not, it’s antibiotics.  Antibiotics are one of the worst things for your healthy balance of flora in the intestine, colon and stomach, and they can really make things difficult.  So supplementation of acidophilus is all that much more important if you happen to be taking antibiotics.

There are even theories that when your probiotic balance is off in your digestive tract, it can fundamentally alter your immune system, making you more susceptible to disease and illness.  I guess that takes the saying that “death begins in the colon” to a whole new level, huh?

Now, I can’t say whether that is true or not, but it’s interesting that there is even speculation out there about that, and I think it makes it an even more compelling case for taking potent acidophilus supplements, whether you have IBS or not, but especially taking acidophilus if you do happen to have IBS.

Could there be side effects to acidophilus for IBS?  Well, at first, since there is an adjustment period, and sort of an internal struggle going on, you may experience increased gas and bloating, but ultimately this should clear up and you should be relieved from that in the future, with it improving from your previous “norm” noticeably.

There may be a slight discomfort accompanying it at first as well, as it works it’s way into your system and begins to work it’s magic and restore the health of your intestines and ultimately your colon.

Not only that, but acidophilus helps IBS because it helps to tone and cleanse the digestive tract, make your bowel movements easier, more complete and more frequent, so that you don’t have the uncomfortable feeling of always have to go to the bathroom, of being incompletely emptied out when you have to go, and also of that gassy, bloated feeling.  Acidophilus can be especially helpful for that part of IBS!

Acidophilus lactobacillus (that’s quite a mouth full), is the full name for the bacterium that is found in dairy foods, particularly yogurt, and several good supplements that give you the same benefit in capsule form for regular, healthy and comfortable bowels.

It is also called a probiotic, which is just another word for a digestive friendly organism that is good for the gut, aiding in digestion and the elimination process, and helping you to stay regular, comfortable, and ultimately, healthy. Those with IBS should definitely take a supplement which contains probiotics or acidophilus (one in the same), just look for either one on the label.

By Natural Advocate | August 20, 2012 - 8:33 am - Posted in Foods

We often equate cheap, inexpensive food with “unhealthy”. While this is quite often true since processed foods are often many degrees cheaper than whole, unprocessed foods which are always healthier, there are still those exceptions that you have to think about.

In other words, it is still possible to “eat well” and eat cheap both at the same time. You may have to skip out on buying all organic for a while, but you can at least still get cheap fruits and veggies at specialty grocers who offer these produce items at a drastically discounted price. How do I know?

My husband and I are going through a serious downsizing phase in our budget, and a big part of that downsizing includes reducing our grocery and food spending bills quite drastically over the next few months.  Because we are big eaters, this has proven to save us boatloads of money so far and I can’t believe how much food I can put in my cart for such a reasonable price.

Two of the stores that I now frequent are Aldi’s, which is a very low priced, minimal overhead and frills food store. Their selection can be somewhat limited in some departments and their setup probably leaves something to be desired for some people, but it suits me just fine and I walk out of there with loads of produce and groceries for under a hundred bucks!

Aldi’s has all the staples, they just have one brand of them usually.  Most of the quality is decent, but you do have to watch on some stuff as it really isn’t that great. Most of it is just fine though, and well worth the huge money saved.

Their produce section is small but contains most of the basics. I have had no issues with the produce except my husband doesn’t care for the quality of the bananas.  This is where you will also save big.  For example, a nice sized bag of clementines is $2.99 whereas at my local grocery store they are usually $5.99.  That’s just one example though, there are many more.

They operate on a bare bones layout. They don’t have actual shelves, but rather stack the boxes of inventory.  You have to pay a quarter for a shopping cart, but you get that quarter back after you put the cart back in the corral area.

You also have to bring your own grocery bags or pay a small fee to use theirs.  No big deal, I recycle mine every week.

Marc’s is another great one.  While Marc’s is not quite as cheap as Aldi’s, there are still some excellent discounts to regular grocers to be found in their produce and staples. I’ve found the frozen foods are about the same as grocers though, which puts Aldi’s over them in that respect.

All in all you can still eat well on a serious budget. You just have to get creative and give up some of the comforts of “normal” grocery shopping.

Warning: include() [function.include]: URL file-access is disabled in the server configuration in /usr/www/virtual/djanine/ on line 9

Warning: include( [function.include]: failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /usr/www/virtual/djanine/ on line 9

Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening '' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/lib/php') in /usr/www/virtual/djanine/ on line 9