Posts filed under ‘Uncategorized’

Aspirin: Risk vs. Benefits

If you follow health care news, you could be led to believe that aspirin is a universal panacea for all sorts of diseases common in the U.S.A. today. Everything from heart disease to cancer is claimed to be improved by taking aspirin. However, the truth is far different.

In the first place, the studies touting the benefits of aspirin therapy are invariably paid for by the pharmaceutical industry. Can you say “conflict of interest?” When a negative outcome occurs and is actually published, the pharmaceutical companies jump in to bury those results in conflicting studies. The result: confusion and dangerous prescribing. Aspirin is a case in point.

It is touted as being able to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Furthermore, the latest hype is that “The benefits of aspirin go beyond the cardiovascular system. There is solid evidence that aspirin use may prevent certain cancers from occurring at all,” says A. Mark Fendrick, MD, an internist at the Univ. of Michigan Health System. He goes on to say, “Also population-based studies report that an aspirin a day will either slow the progression or even prevent dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. “

Other conditions that aspirin has been found to benefit include migraine headaches, cataracts, gum disease, pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) and prevent blood clots in veins during long plane trips. The irony is that there are safe and effective natural remedies for each of these conditions.

Here are some of serious side effects of aspirin:

  • Results of the Nurses’ Longitudinal Study published in 2003 demonstrated a 58% increase in the risk of pancreatic cancer among those who took 2 or more aspirins per week for 20 years or more. I wrote a second article in 2009 about this problem, particularly among men.
  • According to the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, “the risks of long-term aspirin use may be greater than the benefits if there are no signs of, or risk factors for, heart and blood vessel disease.”
    • Stomach bleeding, ulcers and holes in the stomach
    • Bleeding in the brain and other internal bleeding
    • Kidney failure
    • Certain types of stroke (hemorrhagic)
    • Liver damage in chronic alcohol users
    • Ringing in the ears and hearing loss
    • Allergic reactions (in about 2 out of 1,000 people who are allergic to aspirin, the drug can cause facial swelling and asthma attacks, per the Mayo Clinic)
    • Reyes’ Syndrome in children, which causes brain swelling and fatty deposits in the liver. It can lead to permanent brain damage or death.

So, it is up to you. Do you want to take the risk of “an aspirin a day,” or do you want to explore natural alternatives to whatever health challenge you are facing? If you would like to do the latter, please call and schedule a consultation so that I may give you advice specific to your needs. {626/303-3162}

If you follow health care news, you could be led to believe that aspirin is a universal panacea for all sorts of diseases common in the U.S.A. today. Everything from heart disease to cancer is claimed to be improved by taking aspirin. However, the truth is far different.

In the first place, the studies touting the benefits of aspirin therapy are invariably paid for by the pharmaceutical industry. Can you say “conflict of interest?” When a negative outcome occurs and is actually published, the pharmaceutical companies jump in to bury those results in conflicting studies. The result: confusion and dangerous prescribing. Aspirin is a case in point.

It is touted as being able to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Furthermore, the latest hype is that “The benefits of aspirin go beyond the cardiovascular system. There is solid evidence that aspirin use may prevent certain cancers from occurring at all,” says A. Mark Fendrick, MD, an internist at the Univ. of Michigan Health System. He goes on to say, “Also population-based studies report that an aspirin a day will either slow the progression or even prevent dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. “

Other conditions that aspirin has been found to benefit include migraine headaches, cataracts, gum disease, pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) and prevent blood clots in veins during long plane trips. The irony is that there are safe and effective natural remedies for each of these conditions.

Here are some of serious side effects of aspirin:

  • Results of the Nurses’ Longitudinal Study published in 2003 demonstrated a 58% increase in the risk of pancreatic cancer among those who took 2 or more aspirins per week for 20 years or more. I wrote a second article in 2009 about this problem, particularly among men.
  • According to the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, “the risks of long-term aspirin use may be greater than the benefits if there are no signs of, or risk factors for, heart and blood vessel disease.”
    • Stomach bleeding, ulcers and holes in the stomach
    • Bleeding in the brain and other internal bleeding
    • Kidney failure
    • Certain types of stroke (hemorrhagic)
    • Liver damage in chronic alcohol users
    • Ringing in the ears and hearing loss
    • Allergic reactions (in about 2 out of 1,000 people who are allergic to aspirin, the drug can cause facial swelling and asthma attacks, per the Mayo Clinic)
    • Reyes’ Syndrome in children, which causes brain swelling and fatty deposits in the liver. It can lead to permanent brain damage or death.

So, it is up to you. Do you want to take the risk of “an aspirin a day,” or do you want to explore natural alternatives to whatever health challenge you are facing? If you would like to do the latter, please call and schedule a consultation so that I may give you advice specific to your needs. {626/303-3162}

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March 2, 2017 at 6:30 pm Leave a comment

Functional Hypothyroidism May Be Ruining Your Health!

Thanks to a concerned patient, I was introduced to a book that answered many of my concerns about thyroid function. It is a book that has the potential to be life changing for many of us. The book is available on Amazon.com and is called “Hypothyroidism Type 2, The Epidemic” and is written by Mark Starr, MD(H). He’s a medical doctor who specializes in homeopathy.

In this article, I want to explain the concepts and teach you how to self monitor your thyroid function. However, if you want all of the statistics, I recommend that you get Dr. Starr’s book on Amazon.com.

What we might call “functional” hypothyroidism, or Type 2, was first discussed and investigated by Dr. Broda Barnes in the early 1900s. He was a medical doctor and an endocrinologist who taught endocrinology at the University of Chicago. He devoted his life to researching thyroid function and published many professional articles and books. Perhaps his most famous book is “Hypothyroidism, The Unsuspected Illness,” which was published in 1976. Unfortunately, the medical profession has largely ignored his research results, despite the fact that he had evidence from 70,000 autopsy studies and many long-term patient outcomes.

Dr. Barnes believed that, as modern medicine wiped out infectious diseases of the past, more and more children with poor immune systems survived into adulthood and had children themselves—passing their genetic weaknesses on to subsequent generations. “Just one hundred years ago, half the population in all of ‘Western Civilization’ died from infection at an early age. Two hundred years ago, the figure was much higher.” (p. 45 of Dr. Starr’s book)

This concretion of genetic weakness has resulted in the modern-day epidemic of chronic, degenerative diseases.

A little physiology is appropriate at this point. Our thyroid hormones regulate our metabolic rate. Simple statement—huge implications. Here is a partial list of conditions Dr. Barnes showed to be affected by thyroid function:

  • Disruption of sex hormone function, resulting in decreased sex drive, infertility, endometriosis, PMS and polycystic breasts and/or ovaries
  • Heart disease, including high cholesterol, hardening of the arteries, heart palpitations, heart attacks and stroke
  • Fatigue (including chronic fatigue syndrome)
  • Premature aging, including mental impairment and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Hypertension OR hypotension
  • Depression or nervousness
  • Poor immune function resulting in repeated infections, including a susceptibility to yeast infections (think Candida)
  • Intolerance to heat or cold
  • Hyperinsulinemia and diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Hair loss (this is important to me, obviously!)
  • Headaches
  • Muscle weakness and joint and/or muscle pain (including gout)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Brittle nails
  • Nutritional imbalances
  • Birth defects
  • Physical indications of the condition include dry skin, slow or hoarse speech, non-pitting edema and loss of the outer third of the eyebrows

Of particular interest to me is the connection between hypothyroidism and diabetes. Dr. Barnes found that all of his diabetic patients were hypothyroid. Remarkably, by treating their low thyroid, these patients almost all escaped the severe complications of diabetes, which include hardening of the arteries, kidney failure, blindness, heart attack and amputation. All of these problems are due to hardening of the arteries – a defining symptom of hypothyroidism.

So, do you think inadequate thyroid function might be important enough to be concerned about? And: Why would the medical profession essentially ignore Dr. Barnes’ research? The answer is relatively simple.

Big Pharma synthesized thyroxin (aka T4) and patented it. The generic name is levothyroxine and it is marketed under a variety of brand names, perhaps the most familiar of which is Synthroid, a patented and trademarked drug. Then, the lab test for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) was developed and it was all over. Let me explain.

Currently, medical doctors only measure the TSH and, if it is within what the lab tells them is “normal” range, then you are fine. No attention is paid to your symptoms – after all, there’s another diagnosis for that, which requires a different drug, multiplying the drug companies’ profits. (Pardon my cynicism, but I have really seen too much.)

Problem is, TSH is completely invalid when it comes to evaluating whether your thyroid hormone is working in your body, at a cellular level. I want you to be aware of this issue because, if your M.D. checks your TSH while you are taking desiccated thyroid and finds it to be too low, he or she will take you off of your supplement. This recently happened to a patient/colleague of mine who has moved away and went to a new general practitioner. Please resist this advice, as she did. As we delve into the reasons more deeply, you will understand why.

One more word of warning: Dr. Starr has determined that levothyroxine is completely ineffective in reversing Type 2 hypothyroidism. It seems that the cells respond best to all of the thyroid hormone metabolites, not just T4. All of Dr. Broda Barnes’ work was done with desiccated thyroid.

Increasingly, thyroid hormone resistance is becoming a huge problem. There are multiple reasons for this, which Dr. Starr goes into in great detail. One of the primary offenders is the environmental toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis. These toxins include:

  • Halogens: chlorine, fluorine and bromine.
    • We no longer add iodine to our baked goods due to the misconception that we were getting too much iodine. This is incredibly unlikely, since nearly every person I have tested is iodine deficient. Now, bromine is used as a dough conditioner, which displaces the iodine in our thyroid.
    • Our water is both fluoridated and disinfected with various chlorine compounds. We actually absorb more chlorine in the shower than we ingest in our drinking water.
    • Swimming pools and spas are loaded with chlorine
    • If you use Splenda, also trademarked, you are ingesting a chlorinated hydrocarbon. It is basically sucrose with 3 chlorine atoms added to it.
    • Many of our anti-fungal and pesticide compounds contain halogens. We ingest them if we do not eat organic produce.
  • A huge variety of synthetic chemicals. There is a three-page, small print list in Dr. Starr’s book. Some of these include: organophosphate pesticides, a huge array of other pesticides, fungicides and insecticides, and the many industrial chemicals that are part of our every day life. The industrial chemicals include heavy metals, phenols and phthalates. If you are not familiar with phthalates, they are added to plastics to create pliability. If you use plastic wrap in the microwave, you are simply worsening the problem. All of these chemicals interfere with thyroid function.
  • For more details, I recommend you read Dr. Starr’s book.

Over the last several years, I have been to multiple seminars on assessing and treating thyroid function. I have only gotten more and more confused, because the instructors made the topic way, too complicated and tried to use blood tests to monitor therapy. There are a couple of reasons for this: the widespread dependence in our education on laboratory testing, rather than physical signs and symptoms; and a worry about depressing the TSH too far since the medical textbooks say it is dangerous to do so. The worries include osteoporosis and heart problems. However, Dr. Barnes and Dr. Hermann Zondek both demonstrated the exact opposite. Dr. Zondek was a giant in the early study of hypothyroidism and endocrine disease. He published in 1918 an account of the first successful treatment of congestive heart failure (CHF) patients with desiccated thyroid. He also wrote a famous textbook, in German, entitled “Disease of the Endocrine Glands.” Of course, levothyroxine does promote osteoporosis.

Dr. Barnes did a statistical analysis on his patient population paralleling the Framingham heart disease study that was on-going at the same time. He clearly showed that his patient population suffered almost no heart disease. He treated 1,569 patients, the equivalent of 8,824 patient years. The Framingham study predicted 72 deaths from coronary disease in a population this size; Dr. Barnes’ result was only 4. (page 34 of Dr. Starr’s book)

In Dr. Starr’s 14 years of practice, none of his patients have developed CHF and only 2 had a heart attack.

These are powerful results because heart disease is the #1 killer in the U.S., despite every drug prescribed for prevention. (An oxymoron, if I may say so, since all drugs are metabolic poisons. I know, my prejudice is showing.)

So, if blood work is inadequate (at best) and misleading (at worst), just what parameters are measured to determine thyroid status? There are two:

  • Iodine status is monitored by the iodine test.
    • I paint the abdomen with a half-dollar size patch of 3% iodine. Since homeland security has designated iodine a dangerous product with regard to homemade bombs, I recommend you call for a brief, 5 minute appointment to get the iodine applied.
    • The brown patch should last for 24 hours. In some cases, I find that the color is fading as I am applying it! With most clients the stain is gone within 12 hours or less.
    • The therapy for this is Iodizyme, a nutritional product which contains both iodine and iodide. Many companies promote organic iodine or kelp supplements for this use. After 30 years of practice, I can state unequivocally that these products are ineffective in promoting iodine sufficiency.
  • The second critical test is basal metabolic rate, which is expensive and not readily available. Instead, first morning body temperature – before you get out of bed – is an excellent approximation. Let me tell you how to perform the test:
    • Shake down a thermometer the night before and place it by your bedside.
    • When you first wake up, put the thermometer in your armpit for 10 minutes. Lie quietly; don’t worry; don’t wiggle around. If possible, snooze for 10 minutes. The temperature should be above 97.8º. That is the lower limit of normal cellular function.
    • A word about the proper thermometer to use. Digital thermometers are ineffective and inaccurate. You need to obtain a non-mercury oral thermometer. It is available on Amazon.com at this link.
    • If you contact me, I can send you a form to complete so that I can locate it in your file.
    • The therapy that I use is a nutritional supplement, which is desiccated, whole thyroid without the T4. It is much better tolerated than Synthroid. It comes in several different potencies and I will titrate your dose, based upon your body temperature. I have not published the name of this product to avoid causing problems with the FDA. If you call me, I will be happy to give you more information. I can also order it for you. This is a professional product, since you need to work with a doctor to establish the appropriate dose.

Although this may seem like a lot of work, the health benefits are more than worth it. I strongly recommend that you perform these two tests to see what support you need to optimize your health.

A personal story: I added a small amount of thyroid to my personal supplement program about 4 years ago, because I couldn’t think clearly. I instantly noticed a remarkable improvement in my cognition. However, when I ran a blood test, my TSH was low, so I was concerned about taking “too much” thyroid support. None of the various seminars I went to cleared up my confusion. After reading Dr. Starr’s book, I found that my first morning temperature was only 95ºF, even though I awaken drenched in sweat. Needless to say, I am titrating my dosage upwards to normalize my body temperature. Already, I am seeing new hair growth and greater stamina. I hope that eventually it will have a positive effect on my blood sugar issues, as well.

I strongly encourage you to perform these tests, so that you can age gracefully – without resorting to the pharmaceutical merry-go-round that never gets to the root of the problem. Let me know what you find out.

June 12, 2016 at 5:58 pm Leave a comment

Zika Virus is Spreading – Are You Concerned?

The recent information about information about zika virus is very alarming. I would like to bring you up to date about the dangers and a natural solution.

First of all, here in California, we are susceptible, because the vector, the tiger mosquito is endemic here. The map below indicates reported cases. (data from Scientific American) The darker the color, the greater the number of cases. Specifically, here in California 6 cases have been reported (2 from 2015 and the rest from 2013 and 2014). The problem is that, with the prevalence of the mosquito in this area, an infected person can be bitten and pass the virus to others.

author: Amanda Montanez@unamandita

In addition to birth defects in pregnant women, the CDC lists the following symptoms in adults from the zika virus:

  • No symptoms at all
  • Fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes) are the most common symptoms in people who have any symptoms at all
  • Other common symptoms: muscle pain and headache
  • Rare, but serious, symptoms include Guillain-Barre syndrome, a paralyzing neurological disorder which it is possible to recover from

The following information is also from the CDC. The incubation period is unknown, but is probably a few days to a week. The danger is that during the first week of the infection, if you get bitten by a mosquito, that mosquito can then pass the virus to the next people it bites.

The CDC reports the distribution of zika in the U.S. on the following map. There have been a total of 354 cases reported in the U.S. currently, primarily travel related.

Map of the United States showing Travel-associated and Locally acquired cases of the Zika virus.  The locations and number of cases can be found in the table below.

This is, of course, an epidemiologist’s nightmare. I remember when I was attending USC in the late 1960’s. Our bacteriology professor had worked for the World Health Organization and was very concerned about Vietnamese malaria coming to the U.S. with returning servicemen. The problem with the Vietnamese strain was that it did not respond to synthetic quinine products; only the natural extract would do. And, the U.S. had just sold off all of its natural stores, now that a synthesized pharmaceutical was available! Fortunately, that scenario never developed, but we are now in the midst of a similar, and far worse, one.

However, there is good news! It turns out that zika is an encapsulated, RNA virus, much like West Nile Virus. Therefore, it too is susceptible to medical grade St. John’s Wort from Medi-Herb. Read my prior article here on my blog regarding the efficacy of St. John’s Wort for a variety of viral diseases. Please remember: the over the counter preparations don’t work, because they aren’t extracted properly and don’t preserve the anti-viral compound.

The dose is 2 tablets, 3 times per day, for a week to 10 days. Prophylaxis (prevention) is 2, 2 times per day. I take it regularly due to my susceptibility to shingles. I always have some on hand, so don’t hesitate to call if you need it.

April 12, 2016 at 6:54 pm Leave a comment

Salt Restriction and Heart Disease – Are The Facts Being Hidden?

This morning (December 29, 2015) I received an alert on my computer home page regarding increased mortality in heart failure patients when their salt intake is restricted. Three hours later, it was gone!  I couldn’t find it anywhere!  However, I did locate this article on the National Institutes of Health website discussing the inadvisability of overly restricting salt intake in congestive heart failure (CHF) patients.

Reasons cited include the way the lack of salt messes up the blood flow to the kidney and disrupts the kidney hormones needed to maintain vascular volume and regularize blood pressure. The same article also mentions the importance of micro-nutrients to these people’s health and well-being.  Of course, they damn the findings with faint praise, since vitamins and minerals are not part of the medical model.

I also found a second article from 2013 that highlights the fact that salt restriction results in worsening of cardiovascular disease, as well as increased mortality.  This article was published in the American Journal of Medicine, but has still to find its way into current medical practice.  The gold standard is still excessive salt restriction for all heart disease patients.

So much for the canard “More research is needed.” It’s clear that if the medical profession doesn’t agree with the research findings, it simply buries them; and, then, ignores them!

January 2, 2016 at 3:59 pm Leave a comment

Another Unwarranted Attack on Supplements from WebMD

In response to the recent tragedy involving NBA player Lamar Odom, an absolutely outrageous article appeared on WebMD today (10/15/15). It is entitled “Dietary Supplements Send Thousands to the ER Each Year.” When you start to read the article you find out several things:

  1. The actual number (23,000 estimated) is far less than the number of side effects from prescription drugs (4.5 million), not to mention the number of deaths (37,485).
  2. Furthermore, it states in the article that since 150 million Americans take dietary supplements each year, the incidence of side effects is less than 1/10th of 1%.
  3. This “study” was actually a medical records review where doctors had noted that they believed that the symptoms had been caused by a dietary supplement. In my experience, since medical doctors know absolutely nothing about dietary supplements, they always try to lay the blame on whatever supplement someone is taking. Therefore, the records being “analyzed” were flawed from the start.
  4. The only item I agree with in this entire article is that you do need to be careful about the source of your supplements. One lady was taking a weight loss supplement that upon testing was found to be “spiked with drugs.” It isn’t exactly fair to call that an adverse reaction to a supplement, is it? It was actually because of the drug contamination. Purchasing your supplements from reputable, professional suppliers where purity is assured it your best choice.

This article is one more salvo in WebMD’s continuing attack on alternative medicine. Since all of their advertising dollars come from pharmaceuticals, it isn’t surprising that the editors constantly denigrate natural remedies. Remember the old saying, “Follow the money!”

I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. A friend of mine, Dr. William Cockburn America’s leading expert on thermography, contacted WebMD and offered to provide them with a scholarly article on the uses and benefits of thermography. He was told that WebMD’s mission was to counteract all of the “false” information generated on the Internet about alternative medicine and, therefore, they were not interested in anything he wrote. Remember that when you hear every news outlet citing the latest anti-vitamin headline ripped right from the pages of WebMD. I have had their feed on my home page for years; and I can assure you it happens practically every week.

October 15, 2015 at 11:16 pm Leave a comment

Warning re Blood Pressure Readings

If you are overweight, or your arms are larger than average due to your work (like mine are), your medical records may contain inaccurate blood pressure readings. This happened to me. I require a large blood pressure cuff, but my primary care physician’s assistant who took my blood pressure didn’t want to be bothered with going to fetch the large cuff. Therefore, all of the readings she took showed that I had hypertension. Big problem! I actually wrote the doctor a letter to correct the situation, and she now uses a large cuff every time I come in for an appointment.

A study in the British Medical Journal found that 8 percent of obese patients were wrongly diagnosed as hypertensive because a standard size cuff, as opposed to a large size adult cuff, was used. I believe the problem is even worse in America.

The misdiagnosis means that you would be prescribed drugs or unnecessary anti-hypertensive treatments.

“Our findings show that blood pressure readings taken by the auscultatory method using a standard cuff instead of a large cuff in subjects with obese arms will be significantly higher in many individuals. Limited availability of different cuff sizes makes the improper usage of a standard cuff a frequent practice. Such circumstance potentially becomes a source of biased blood pressure readings,” the authors said.

I have found in my practice that the same is true of very small individuals. Using a standard cuff, instead of a child-size cuff, results in high blood pressure readings and over-medication. I had one such client, and her physician refused to obtain a child-size cuff to obtain accurate readings. As a result, she was over-medicated to such an extent that she slept constantly and was very difficult to arouse.

So, when you have your blood pressure taken, make sure the physician’s assistant sizes the cuff to your arm. There are guides inside the cuff that show whether or not it fits you. Accurate readings are essential since the medical world places such an emphasis on blood pressure.

Another fact you should be aware of is that the pharmaceutical industry, without any evidence, has decreed that everyone should have a blood pressure of 118/78. This is garbage. Life expectancy actuarial tables, based on actual statistics, tell us that 145/90 is borderline hypertension in people 45-years-old. For each decade of life, you add 5 points to the top and the bottom. This means that a 65-year-old would have borderline hypertension at 155/100. However, medical practitioners go ballistic at these numbers, because they have been brainwashed by their pharmaceutical representatives. Do the math; at 85 years of age, the numbers are 165/110.

Why is this important? Because as we age, maintaining brain circulation is critical to both energy levels and mental clarity. I fight this battle all the time, with medical doctors prescribing drugs with serious side effects – everything from heart failure to kidney failure – for blood pressure readings that present no risk to the client. The best I can do is to inform the individual and let them make their own decision, since I am not permitted to take them off of medications.

So, be your own best advocate, and make decision based on many years of statistics, rather than drug company profits.

September 4, 2015 at 5:52 pm Leave a comment

The Extraordinary Kava Story

— with thanks to Dr. Kerry Bone

For centuries, Pacific Islanders have been using Kava to socialize, relax and relieve fatigue anxiety. It was brought to the attention of the Western world in 1768, when Captain James Cook described its use in his account of his voyage to the South Seas. After a kava party, a deep restful sleep ensues, from which the user awakens the next morning refreshed and without a hangover.

A lot of misinformation has been circulated in recent years, due to the following set of circumstances. Kava is rather unique in that the active ingredients are found in the rhizome, or rootstock; and the plant is propagated via planting the rhizomes, rather than reseeding. The time-tested and empirically tested strains are called the “noble cultivars.”

When European pharmaceutical manufacturers wanted to capitalize on kava, they did not remain true to the traditional method of screening kava rootstocks and preparing them – basically as a water-based extraction.  Instead, they abandoned the noble cultivars and sampled a variety of strains, choosing the ones that had the highest concentration of what they considered the “active ingredients.” They then forced the Islanders to grow only those strains, which made the people quite unhappy, by the way.  Then, they added insult to injury by chemically extracting and concentrating what they thought of as the “valuable” compounds. The result was inevitable. Several patients in Europe had severe liver damage and as a result, insurance companies imposed heavy premiums on any company wanting to produce and distribute kava. In essence, the insurers banned the distribution of kava.

However, in ensuing years a great deal more information on the safety and efficacy of water-extracted kava has emerged, and the insurance industry has come around.  So, high quality kava is again available from Medi-Herb. The product is called Kava Forte

Currently, the following clinical uses have been supported by clinical trials: relief of anxiety and nervous tension, restlessness or mild depression of a non-psychotic origin; menopausal symptoms and insomnia. Based upon the pharmacological studies, we may extrapolate that kava also has the following effects:

  • Improves cognitive performance;
  • Relaxation of the skeletal muscles suggests benefit in treating conditions associated with muscle spasm and tension, such as headaches;
  • Improved heart rate control in generalized anxiety disorder;
  • Assistance in withdrawal from benzodiazepine drugs (think Xanax and similar prescriptions);
  • Pain relief.

Kava has not been shown to interfere with daily activities like operating machines or driving. It does not affect performance parameters, such as stress tolerance, vigilance and motor coordination. It is also not habit forming, making it much safer than prescription drugs prescribed for similar usage.

There are some contraindications to its use, however.  Pregnant or nursing women should not use it; nor should anyone with pre-existing liver disease. In addition, anyone diagnosed with Parkinsonism, or who are taking l-dopa or other drugs prescribed for Parkinson’s disease should not take kava. Finally, there have been isolated reports of interactions with benzodiazepine drugs. Therefore, to utilize kava, which is much safer than benzodiazepines because it is not habit forming, you would need to stop the Xanax or any other drug of that class.

A typical, safe dosage of Kava Forte would be 2 tablets twice daily. You can call the office and order a trial bottle if you think it would be helpful to you.

March 17, 2014 at 5:09 pm 2 comments

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