It’s a new year, time to look through things I’ve saved on my desk–information that I want my readers to have. So under the overall banner of health, here are a few goodies for 2016.
INCREASE YOUR HEALTH BENEFITS: GROW HERBS
Did you know that the scent of rosemary may improve memory and that basil leaves can reduce swelling from a sprain? Of course if you have ever done any gardening, you know that it’s vital to your health–you use muscles and tendons of your body through lifting, raking, digging, lugging bags of dirt around and you are up and down constantly. At the beginning of the gardening season you’ll be using muscles you might not know you have as they shout back at you after a long day working the soil. But it is a truly rewarding activity and the National Gardening Association states that nearly 35% of U.S. households grow some food at home or in a community garden.
Gardening reduces stress; ecotherapists believe that even working a small patch in your backyard provides benefits–you are in touch with the earth regularly, you are making a physical and mental connection with that which supports humanity.
Herbs can be started from seed and indoors in a sunny window, then moved outside when the weather is right. Read catalogues or speak to a specialist where you buy your garden flowers. Herbalist Nancy Smithers suggests growing the following herbs and adding to that list: lavender, garlic, onion and parsley.
- basil: has anti-inflammatory properties, good source of Vitamin A and magnesium; a study done in India states that basil can help diabetics manage blood sugar levels; Note: any new element in your diet could cause an allergic reaction;
- mint: relaxes smooth muscle of the stomach and intestines, peppermint squelches pain, gas and constipation; it is rich in antioxidants, maganese, copper and vitamin C; peppermint tea is soothing when you have cold; peppermint oil spread on the forehead 3 times in 30 minutes can reduce tension headaches. But if you have GERD, avoid as it relaxes the muscles of the esophagus and could make your problems worse.
- rosemary: research says the mere smell of rosemary can improve cognition and short term memory; rosemary oil can improve your mood and reduce anxiety; a days worth of Vitamin A is packed into 100 grams of fresh rosemary and it’s rich in fiber, vitamins C and B6, calcium and iron. If pregnant avoid using oils from herbs, but culinary use is okay.
- tarragon: use fresh, before the oils dry; French tarragon has the most flavor; the volatile oil eugenol gives tarragon a pain-numbing action and it has been used for toothaches; studies are being done to see if it helps with diabetes.
- thyme: traditionally used as an antiseptic, it contains an oil that is used in mouthwashes. In Germany thyme tea is approved for use in treating upper respiratory infections like bronchitis and whooping cough. Find recipes for making thyme tea; antibacterial affect of thyme can tame acne. Fresh thyme is a good source of vitamins, C&A, iron and maganese.
Also, you might be interested in this book: The Allergy Fighting Garden: Stop Allergies and Asthma with Smart Landscaping by Tom Ogren.
CIRCUMCISION: IS IT RIGHT FOR YOUR MALE SON or GRANDSON ?
Whether a male child will be circumcised is definitely the choice of the child’s parents. Though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend and promote the health benefits of this “elective” medical procedure, the decision belongs to the parents and religious, cultural and individual preferences can affect it.
Dr. Megan Chen, MD affiliated with UCLA in Santa Monica, CA. states that parents should be counseled on potential benefits and risks. Benefits: reductions in both urinary tract infections (UTI’s) and sexually transmissible viral infections; circumcision has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV transmission through heterosexual sex only.
Risks? In some cases, circumcised boys are more prone to meatal stenosis, a condition in which the opening for urine to leave the body is constricted. Newborn circumcision has a 0.5 percent risk of complications–commonly those being minor bleeding and pain. Uncircumcised males have a 5% chance of needing circumcision later in life because of health problems related to infections of the glans and foreskin, or retraction problems with the foreskin. Dr. Jennifer Singer, a pediatric urologist with UCLA, states that parents should be counseled by a physician before their choice is made. They should be able to ask questions so they will have knowledge of the true benefits and risks.
THE VA’s LEAHY-FRIEDMAN NATIONAL PTSD BRAIN BANK
Battle fatigue, shell shock, these were the terms used in previous wars to classify what we now call and know to be PTSD: post-traumatic stress disorder. The definition–PTSD is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
The Leahy-Friedman National PTSD Brain Bank is a major advancement in the fight against PTSD. Dr. Friedman explains: Although we have learned a great deal about abnormalities in brain structure and function from brain imaging research, there is no substitute for looking at the neurons themselves. Understanding the cellular and circuit contributions to abnormal brain activity in PTSD is critical in the search for potential biomarkers of susceptibility, illness and treatment response and for developing new treatments targeting the conditions at the cellular level. The National PTSD Brain Bank’s findings should help pave the way for new approaches to diagnosis and treatment of individuals with PTSD.
Veterans are optimistic. Jim Doyle spent 1969 in Vietnam and subsequently struggled with PTSD for15 years. “PTSD is real. It’s not somebody trying to scam the system.” He is hoping that the brain bank means that the next generation of soldiers won’t need to wage a second battle when they come back home. Doyle’s comment refers to finding the condition at the cellular level: “That way, the next guy in the next war won’t have to go through years of fighting himself, and everyone around him, because he’s not sure what’s going on inside his own head.”
THE CODE OF HUMANITY (love this)
- I choose to communicate truth.
- I choose the reality of life.
- I choose to heal, NOT hurt.
- I choose education over ignorance.
- I choose the Power of Peace.
- I Choose to Love God (or Good) and see God (or Good) in all Humanity.
- I choose to seek the Soul in all things.
- I choose to link to the World of Inspiration.
- I choose the Principle of Sharing.
- I choose to become a co-creator in life and live it more abundantly.
So while you are decluttering, check out the things on YOUR desk. You might find something interesting too. P.S. I am still having some commenting issues related to my being notified. Please comment; I will find your comment and respond. Thank you for reading Boomer Highway. Beth
Thanks to: UCLAHEALTH.org, LA TIMES, TIME MAGAZINE, The Creative Group
Photo from Pinterest: MakeIt-LoveIt.com