High Blood Pressure: Herbal Remedies May Inspire Future Treatments

People have used herbs as medicine for thousands of years. Today, with medical researchers continually hunting for better alternative treatments, some are revisiting these remedies. A recent study looks at herbs that people believe can treat hypertension.

Antihypertensive medications work well for some people but not for others, and the side effects can be unpleasant.

For these reasons, researchers are keen to find innovative ways to tackle the growing issue of hypertension.

The fact that people have used these treatments for millennia is certainly not evidenced that they are effective, but they are surely worth a second look.

Researchers from the University of California, Irvine recently zeroed in on a group of plants that have, historically, been a treatment for hypertension. They published their findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Diverse Plants

Under the leadership of Prof. Geoff Abbott, Ph.D., they identified a bioactive trait that all of the extracts shared. This trait, the scientists believe, might help explain why some herbs appear to have mild antihypertensive properties.

Not all herbs are equal

When they compared plant species, the researchers found differing levels of KCNQ5 activity. “Lavandula angustifolia, commonly called lavender, was among those we studied,” Prof. Abbot explains. “We discovered it to be among the most efficacious KCNQ5 potassium channel activators, along with fennel seed extract and chamomile.”

Interestingly, current medications do not target the KCNQ5 channel. Spotting this gap in the drug market, Prof. Abbott hopes that the “discovery of these botanical KCNQ5-selective potassium channel openers may enable the development of future targeted therapies for diseases including hypertension.”

For now, though, people should not switch their current hypertension treatments for herbal remedies.

Medical News Today

Home Remedies For Muscle Cramps

What is a muscle cramp?

It can happen after intense exercise or in the dead of night when you’re doing nothing at all but sleeping. A muscle — say your calf — seizes up without warning, leaving you wincing in pain. You’re having a muscle cramp. It’s an uncontrolled contraction of a muscle or part of a muscle, which makes it tighten and causes pain, explains Madhuri Kale, a physical therapist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Sometimes also called Charley horses, muscle cramps usually occur in the larger skeletal muscles, such as those in the legs, and are categorized as either non-exercise or exercise-related. The good news is it’s typically temporary and can be soothed with self-care at home.

What causes muscle cramps?

Various factors can contribute to muscle cramps, including launching into an intense exercise regimen without warming up or stretching and then overusing a muscle. Exercise-related muscle cramps are more common than cramps that aren’t related to exercise, says Mark A.W. Andrews, director of physiology at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine located on the campus of Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

Remedy: Stretch the muscle.

Fortunately, for most who experience occasional muscle cramps, the momentary pain can be soothed at home. Just don’t try to push through the cramp. “Stop using that muscle. Let it relax and stretch it out,” Kale says.

Remedy: Massage the muscle.

Another thing you can do immediately if you have a cramp is to massage the muscle gently. “Massage is going to bring increased blood flow into an area,” Andrews explains. And that’s just what’s needed to help ease your tightened muscle.

Remedy: Apply heat.

Along with massage, applying heat to a cramped muscle is another way to bring more nutrient-rich blood to the area, says Dr. David Kiefer, a clinical assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Wisconsin.

Read more at WTOP

4 Natural Home Remedies To Treat Oily/Greasy Hair

Greasy hair is a hair condition that is common in humans, one of four main types of hair conditioning— normal, greasy, dry and greasy dry. Oily hair can kill the entire effort a person invests in looking good on a special day. It is hard to style oily hair. Excess oil can also lead to skin problems.

There are many ways to get rid of oily/greasy hair. These include changing how the hair is washed, the products used, and a number of natural remedies. Following the under listed home remedies could help you control excess oil.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is known to be a magic wonder for many health and skin conditions so it comes as no surprise that it can work wonders when it comes to oily or greasy hair. Combining your mild shampoo, a spoonful of lemon juice and aloe vera can help you combat oily hair. A concoction, such as this should be used as many times a person shampoos his or her hair.

Lime Juice

Known to be a remedy to dandruff, lime or lemon juice can be used in the treatment of oily hair. Lemon contains citric acid that treats sticky hair and also fights bacterial infections. Ensure to wash your hair after the juice has been absorbed into your scalp.

Tea

Asides just drinking tea for health benefits, did you know that rinsing your hair with tea leaves can condition hair ends like nothing else. Apply tea liquor when it is lukewarm; tea leaves act as an astringent in treating oily scalp. This is due to the presence of tannic acid in tea.

Continue reading at The Guardian

Tonsil Stones: Home Remedies To Try

Tonsil stones are calcified stone formations found on the tonsils (pair of lymph nodes) at the rear end of the throat, right on top of the mouth. The formations are not noticeable until you suffer from consistent bad breath and poor dental hygiene.

Eventually, food particles and bacteria accumulate in the region, specifically when the tonsils stop producing antibodies to prevent bacteria from entering the inner recesses of the oral cavity.

Symptoms include pain during swallowing, sore throats, and inflamed tonsils. As the first-line treatment, home remedies are known to be effective. Some of them are as listed below.

Toothbrush

Turn the toothbrush around and use the backside to gently move the stone out of the backend of the mouth. Be careful not to hurt yourself and cause bleeding. It could also help to brush the tongue and teeth several times to prevent more bacteria from adding on to the tonsils and worsening the stones’ condition.

Gargling With Saltwater

Add half a teaspoon of salt to warm water then gargle with the liquid for 10-15 seconds, which may unfasten the tonsil stones to an extent. Try this a few times and don’t overdo it.

Low-Pressure Irrigator

Water irrigators are available online to purchase and the low-pressure ones such as the water flosser could be useful to dislodge tonsil stones effectively. It works best in front of a well-lit mirror when directly targeting the tonsil stones with a water flosser. Children should stay away from this method since it can lead to choking if used carelessly.

Cottons Swabs

Insert a dampened cotton swab towards the fag end of the mouth and gently jab the tonsil stones. Be sure that it is done in such a way that it does not cause injury. Try only a few smooth and gentle pokes, otherwise you risk the rupturing of the blood vessels around the tonsils.

Continue reading at Medical Daily

5 Natural Homeopathic Remedies For Toothache

Toothache is something that cannot be ignored. Even if you try hard to do so, the unbearable pain won’t let you live peacefully. The condition does not only make it difficult for you to eat but also makes it tough to talk or concentrate on any other work.

However, the reasons might differ from one another. It can be due to tooth decay, swollen gums or tooth extraction. Here are 5 natural homeopathic remedies that work well on toothache:

Plantago: For toothache and sensitive teeth

Plantago works well on both toothache and sensitive tooth. This is given to people with increased salivation in their mouth along with toothache.

Silicea: For toothache from abscess of the root of teeth

This is the best Homeopathic remedy for toothache caused due to abscess (collection of pus) in the root of teeth.

Staphysagria: For toothache when eating or drinking

This natural Homeopathic medicine is effective to treat sensitive teeth. A homeopathic practitioner recommends this medicine when the reason behind the toothache is any food or drink.

Merc Sol: For toothache with excess saliva and bad mouth odour

Merc Sol is the best when the patient is experiencing profuse saliva in the mouth and has a bad mouth odour.

Arnica : For toothache after extraction and filling procedure

It is used to treat pain in gums following tooth extraction and soreness in gums that occurs after filling of teeth.

Times of India

Can Home Remedies Help With A Kidney Infection?

Kidney infections result from excess bacteria that have built up in the kidney. Doctors also call them pyelonephritis. Kidney infections can require hospitalization to treat severe symptoms, and so home remedies alone usually are not enough to treat them.

Kidney infections are often the most serious of urinary tract infections (UTIs) because they have the most potential to damage the kidneys and spread to other body areas. Other UTIs may affect the bladder, ureters, or urethra, but are less likely to cause as significant damage.

If a person suspects they have a kidney infection, they should see their doctor straight away.

Are home remedies safe for kidney infections?

Kidney infections can cause severe symptoms and lead to kidney damage, and so a person will need antibiotics to treat the infection.

However, a person can use home remedies to support their recovery further and reduce the likelihood that the kidney infection will come back.

Before taking any supplements as a home remedy, a person should check with their doctor to make sure they do not interfere with any other medications they are taking.

The following are some home remedies and self-care tips that may help reduce kidney infection symptoms:

Drink plenty of water

Flushing bacteria from the kidneys is an important goal when a person has a kidney infection. Drinking at least six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day can help, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

If a person has kidney failure, they may need to decrease this amount of fluid based on their doctor’s recommendations.

Drink cranberry juice

The idea of drinking cranberry juice to boost kidney health is controversial among some experts. However, some studies support the idea that cranberry juice may help to reduce the number of bacteria when a person has a UTI.

Take green tea extract or drink green tea

A 2013 study in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology suggests that taking green tea extract may have an antibacterial effect on common bacteria strains are known to cause UTIs.

The researchers took green tea extracts and applied them to bacterial cultures in a laboratory. Over time, they found the green tea inhibited bacterial growth.

Because the study was in a laboratory and involved samples, it is hard to know if the results would be the same in humans. However, the possibility remains that green tea could have potential health benefits when a person has a UTI.

Read the full article at Medical News Today

Scaly Skin Causes And Natural Remedies

Have you ever noticed red patches on your skin with a silvery coating of some kind? If it’s pretty consistent, there is a chance that you may have plaque psoriasis. This is often found on your elbows, lower back, scalp, and knees.

Psoriasis is a chronic disease in which your skin cells’ process of maturity speeds up to the point that it reaches the surface. Since the old skin cells remain unchanged, the new skin cells tend to thicken and be covered with flaking skin.

According to Health.com, the precise cause of this skin condition isn’t quite clear yet. Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine, explains that “something is happening at the level of the T-cell, one of the immune cells in our body, that signals the skin to overproduce.”

There aren’t any specific cure for scaly skin, psoriasis, eczema and such, but there are home remedies for dry skin.

1. Sunflower seed oil

The sunflower seed oil has been proven to improve hydration, especially when used as a moisturizer on one’s arms.

2. Oatmeal bath

If you are looking for ways to eliminate dry scaly skin on legs or on your face, then you ought to try making an oatmeal bath for yourself.

3. Coconut oil

For one, coconut oil works well with dry skin since it tends to function as the natural version of “petroleum jelly” for treating dry and scaly skin.

Medical Today

Bacne Cure: Natural Remedies And Treatment To Eliminate Back Acne

The sad reality is that bacne is experienced by many. Because if you think about it, the skin on your back gets clogged, too. Not only is bacne difficult to prevent, but it can also present some challenges to many people trying to get rid of it.

The good news is that treating bacne is not necessarily impossible. Medical experts and practitioners have shared facts on how there are natural remedies that can further help you with the elimination of bacne.

A dermatologist from New York City by the name of Elizabeth Hale shared a piece of helpful advice to those who are suffering from bacne. She said that sweaty clothing is one of the common causes of bacne. Furthermore, the hair follicles in the back can easily trap the bacteria and sweat, thus paving the way to breakouts.

As for any natural remedies and treatments that can be used to combat bacne, experts said how apple cider vinegar is well-known for its ability to ward off bacteria and viruses, which makes it an excellent candidate for treating back acne.

In addition to apple cider vinegar, you can also make your very own honey and cinnamon mask, which can be used for both your face and back. Both of these ingredients are a great source of antioxidants. Research has claimed how the application of antioxidants can effectively eliminate acne on the skin.

All of these are great acne medications for the skin because they all possess antibacterial properties. Nevertheless, knowledge of what caused your acne to the surface can be a great starting point for its proper elimination.

Medical Daily

3 Best Natural Remedies For Hyperkalemia

Hyperkalemia is a silent but life-threatening condition. It commonly occurs with little to no symptoms but could lead to paralysis, heart failure or cardiac arrest when left untreated.

People experience hyperkalemia due to high levels of potassium in the blood. It can be triggered by health conditions, medications, and herbal supplements, according to Dr. Axe.

The significant increase of potassium in the body has been associated with kidney disease, dehydration, trauma, severe injury and the use of potassium supplements.

Luckily, there are drugs already available to prevent the serious effects of the condition. Treatments depend on the levels of potassium in the body. Changes to your diet and lifestyle can also help manage hyperkalemia.

Natural Remedies for Hyperkalemia

1. A Low-Potassium Diet

What is the best way to avoid too much potassium in the body than following a low-potassium diet? Such an approach commonly avoids high intake of bananas, avocados, and spinach.

A low potassium diet also contains less dairy products, potatoes, dried fruit and nuts since these foods are commonly high in potassium.

2. Check Your Herbal Supplements

Before taking herbal supplements always check their ingredients since some products may contain milkweed, alfalfa, dandelion, and Siberian ginseng, which are known to contribute to potassium rise and hyperkalemia development.

3. Salt Substitutes Can Be Bad

Some salt substitutes contain high amounts of potassium. Potassium chloride is the most common ingredient added to such products, including NoSalt, Nu-Salt and Morton Salt Substitute.

Medical Daily

Natural remedies for SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder

Holding the most appropriate acronym, seasonal affective disorder — SAD for short — is a form of depression that starts to creep up around the beginning of the rainy or cold season and tends to stick until the weather becomes warm again.

People who suffer from this medical condition generally experience a decline in their mood, a lack of interest in daily activities and difficulty getting out of bed. Other symptoms include fatigue, irritability, anxiety, carb cravings, and weight gain.

It is important to understand a bit more about the mood disorder and what triggers it before knowing the best natural remedies for this discombobulation.

Why do people get SAD?

It is believed that SAD occurs as a response to fewer daylight hours and a lack of sunlight, affecting people most during the rainy season or between January and February for Northern hemisphere dwellers.

Studies show that the condition is more common in women than men, affecting those aged between 18 and 30.

Melatonin is the hormone that the body produces when it gets dark. Its role is to induce sleepiness for a good night rest. So, if the rainy season or winter brings more hours of darkness, it can lead to increased production of melatonin.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) that puts people in a good mood. Consi­dering reduced sunlight can cause serotonin levels to fall, it is no surprise that people feel down in the dumps during rainy and cold months.

Natural remedies

Exposure to sunlight (or simply daylight) is thought to increase the brain release of serotonin, which can boost the mood and help in feeling calm and focused.

To keep the serotonin levels up and keep the melatonin levels balanced, try to spend enough time outside during the colder months.

Aim to get around 10 to 20 minutes of midday sunlight, several times per week every day if possible. Exposure time should depend on how sensitive the skin is to sunlight. To explain, those with darker skin tones may need a bit more time outside.

Continue Reading at Manila Times