Eating Too LITTLE Salt May INCREASE Your Risk of a Heart Attack or Stroke

Here’s another example of the “scientific consensus” being wrong:  A new study found that eating too little salt could increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. This would not have surprised our ancestors, just as the recent findings that low-fat diets are unhealthy would not have.

It has long been held that a diet high in salt is dangerous to the heart, raising the risk of heart attack and stroke.

But, in a dramatic U-turn, the scientific evidence has suggested the opposite can also be true.

A global study has found that contrary to past belief, low-salt diets may not be beneficial.

Rather, they can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and death, compared with average salt consumption. Read more


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Scientists claim they’ve finally cured stretch marks – with green tea! New cream uses compound to calm angry skin

Herbs and Helpers

The culmination of four years of research at the University of Manchester, its key ingredient is a compound found in green tea which calms red skin

The lotion, which has just been launched, is designed to tackle marks as they appear, so is not expected to have any effect on existing ones

Stretch marks arise when deep layers of the skin are stretched and torn, essentially creating a miniature wound

Stretch marks may soon fade from memory thanks to a cream which is claimed to stop them in their tracks. And its secret weapon? Green tea.

Solution for Stretch Marks is billed as the first effective treatment and could help older mothers, whose skin is more prone to scarring.

The culmination of four years of research at the University of Manchester, its key ingredient is a compound found in green tea which calms red, angry skin.

Stretch marks may soon fade from memory thanks to a cream which is claimed to stop them in their tracks. And its secret weapon? Green tea

The lotion, which has just been launched, is designed to tackle marks as they appear, so is not expected to have any effect on existing ones.

Stretch marks arise when deep layers of the skin are stretched and torn, essentially creating a miniature wound, and a wide variety of ointments claim to reverse the damage.

However, a recent review in the British Journal of Dermatology concluded that very few actually work, causing anxiety for women.

The name of the special compound in Solution for Stretch Marks is a trade secret but green tea is drunk in the Far East to ease eczema and other skin conditions.

Dr Ardeshir Bayat, the lotion’s co-inventor and an expert in wound healing, said that unlike other stretch mark creams, the ointment ‘actually penetrates the skin and works on a much deeper level’.

Douglas McGeorge, the cream’s other creator, said most existing treatments merely moisturise the skin. He added: ‘More than ever we’re seeing women have children later in life. Their skin doesn’t ‘snap back’ into shape as normally it would in younger mums.

‘With glamorous celebrity mothers regularly photographed in swimsuits and bikinis, there’s a natural search by women for treatments to try and maintain a youthful appearance of their tummies and thighs and combat the inevitable toll mature skin takes through pregnancy – namely stretch marks.’

Stretch marks arise when deep layers of the skin are stretched and torn, essentially creating a miniature wound, and a wide variety of ointments claim to reverse the damage
Stretch marks arise when deep layers of the skin are stretched and torn, essentially creating a miniature wound, and a wide variety of ointments claim to reverse the damage
The lotion costs £39.99 for 100ml and should be rubbed in twice a day from the first sign of problems.

Green tea has previously been found to safeguard healthy skin cells, while killing cancer cells.

In 2003, Dr Stephen Hsu, a cell biologist at the Medical College of Georgia in the US, studied the most abundant green tea micronutrient, EGCG. His team tracked the normal growth of skin cells and compared it to the growth of cells when exposed to EGCG.

Dr Hsu said: ‘Cells that migrate toward the surface of the skin normally live about 28 days, and by day 20, they basically sit on the upper layer of the skin getting ready to die. But EGCG reactivates them. I was so surprised.’

Source: Daily Mail

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Witch Hazel for Acne – The Ultimate Guide

Herbs and Helpers

If suffer from acne, then you know how important it is to find a treatment which is effective in getting rid of spots and pimples without causing any unwanted side effects. Unfortunately, acne is a complex skin condition which isn’t always easy to treat. However, you can use herbal remedies such as witch hazel for acne and in this article I am going to give you all the information on how to use witch hazel for skin and also why you should put witch hazel on your face.

What is Witch Hazel?

Witch hazel is extracted from the bark and leaves of the Hamamelis Virginiana. This plant, which is native to North America, has been used for centuries as a remedy for many skin problems. Because of its amazing healing properties, witch hazel extract is also found in many skincare products that are on the market today.

Witch hazel is also an effective remedy to help reduce the infection and inflammation that is associated with acne. Let’s examine why witch hazel is a great product, not only for acne but for your skin in general, and how to use witch hazel for acne by preparing your own witch hazel toners.

What is Acne?

Acne forms when too much sebum (the oil that the skin produces) clogs up the skin’s pores and this combines with dead skin cells which cause bacteria to grow. The bacteria then cause infection and inflammation in the pores, which leads to the formation of blackheads, pimples, and papules. If the infection becomes very serious, nodules and cysts can develop.

The reasons why a person develops acne can be caused by various factors, some of which are:

• Hormones

• Genetics

• Digestive problems

• Stress

Because acne spots form when bacteria develop, it is important to find topical treatments which kill off bacteria and reduce inflammation. One way to reduce the excess oil secretions is to apply astringents to the skin, and witch hazel is a natural astringent.

What Are Astringents and Why They Are Useful For Acne

When astringents are applied to the skin they contract large pores and help to dry up the secretion of excess oil. This helps to unclog the pores of bacteria and dead skin that have built up.1 In fact, many commercial acne treatments also contain astringents to do just that.

There are many natural astringents, but not all of them are good for acne because they can be quite harsh on the skin. However, the advantage of using witch hazel for acne is that it is a natural mild astringent.

Why Witch Hazel Is Good For Acne

One of the main reasons why witch hazel is good for acne is because it contains a high amount of tannins. Tannins are known for their astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. Although there have been no specific studies carried out on to the specific effect that witch hazel has on acne, there is enough research on its properties to show that it is good for acne.

Astringent

The astringent properties of witch hazel are well-known and well documented. For example, the book, Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects says that witch hazel contains a considerable amount of tannins making it a useful astringent and that it can be used safely to soothe inflammation of the skin.2

Witch hazel bark and leaves contain up to 10% tannin which makes the extract a very effective astringent. Because of this, witch hazel is used topically to alleviate inflammation caused by acne.3

Anti-inflammatory

The anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel can also help reduce inflammation when it is applied to the skin. The journal Advances in Dermatology and Allergology showed that various witch hazel bark and leaf extracts reduced inflammation of the skin.4 Some other studies have also shown that a compress with witch hazel water can also help treat skin irritations.

Antioxidant

In a study into the antioxidant activity of 21 different plant extracts, it was shown that witch hazel had high antioxidant activity at low doses.5

These properties of witch hazel make it a very effective topical treatment for getting rid of acne and it does this without irritating the skin. The astringent properties help cleanse the skin of dead skin cells and reduce the build of bacteria. This also allows more oxygen to enter the pores, thus helping the healing process. The anti-inflammatory properties also help to reduce swelling.

Apart from clinical evidence into the astringent and anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel, there is much anecdotal evidence of the effectiveness of witch hazel for acne. For example, many acne suffers who use it say that it is very effective in helping to clear their skin and reduce the number of pimples they have.

Many acne suffers who use witch hazel for acne also add a few drops of tea tree oil, which is one of the best essential oils for acne, for its powerful antibacterial activities.

Other Benefits of Witch Hazel for Face and Skin

The amazing properties of witch hazel mean that it is great as a general all-around skin toner and cleanser. You can apply witch hazel topically to any kind of skin irritation, blemish or bite. You will notice that the witch hazel will quickly help to reduce any itchiness and redness. In my e-book The Herbal Remedies Guide, I’ve already mentioned witch hazel as a remedy for several skin conditions.

After-sun treatment

Witch hazel can also be used as a great after-sun treatment for adults and children alike. For example, a study carried out in 2002 showed that a lotion with 10% witch hazel in it was effective in reducing the redness and burning sensation of a skin that was sun burnt.6

You can also find other natural ingredients to treat sun burn or minor burns in my article about the most effective homemade minor burn treatments.

Treat bacterial infections

Witch hazel also has antiseptic properties which can also be used to treat bacterial infections on the skin. The most common of these are bacteria is Staphylococcus aureus which can cause atopic dermatitis (Eczema). A study into the effect witch hazel has on bacteria on the skin showed that it was an effective topical treatment for many dermatological conditions.7

Witch Hazel as a Moisturizer

Another great use for witch hazel is as a skin moisturizer.

Very often commercially produced astringents dry out your skin, however, witch hazel doesn’t do that and this is a great reason to use witch hazel for skin.

If you use it straight after your shower then it will help to lock moisture in. It is also effective when used on children who have skin conditions like diaper rash or inflammation. The European Journal of Pediatrics published a study where they showed that witch hazel extract has the same effect as dexpanthenol. 8 Dexpanthenol is a popular drug used to treat or prevent dry skin, itchy skin, and minor skin irritations.

Witch hazel is anti-aging

Witch hazel also has anti-aging properties and can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, witch hazel can help rid the skin of free radicals. A study in into the active-oxygen scavenging activity of plant extracts showed that witch hazel has strong active-oxygen scavenging activity and has potential as an anti-aging and anti-wrinkle application.9

You can also use these essential oils to combat wrinkles naturally, as well as eat by eating these foods against wrinkles.

How to Use Witch Hazel for Acne

The best way to use witch hazel for acne is either as a skin toner or a skin mask.

To use witch hazel as a skin toner, you can either apply it with a cotton pad to the affected area up to 3 times a day, or you can keep it in a spray bottle and spray directly onto your skin.

Witch Hazel Toner Recipes

Here are some great witch hazel toner recipes that you can use to keep your skin and face looking great and reduce the appearance of spots and blemishes. When buying witch hazel, make sure you buy alcohol free witch hazel.

Basic witch hazel toner for acne and for beautiful skin

For each 1 oz witch hazel you will need to add:

3 drops tea tree essential oil

3 drops lavender essential oil

Add the essential oils to the witch hazel and mix. Apply to the skin with a cotton ball as needed or use a spray bottle to spray the affected area (you don’t need to rinse it off).

Tea tree essential oil is antimicrobial and antibacterial.10Lavender essential oil also is a potent antibacterial agent.11

Witch hazel and aloe vera toner for face and skin

For this, you will need the following:

• 6 tbsp. witch hazel

• 2 tbsp. aloe vera gel

• 5-10 drop of tea tree essential oil or lavender oil (or you could use a mixture of both)

Mix the ingredients in a container or spray bottle. Mist the affected area or apply it using a cotton ball.

In addition to the tea tree and lavender essential oils, aloe vera is a wonderful product to soothe the skin and it also has proven anti-inflammatory properties.12

Read more about aloe vera in my article about the amazing benefits and uses of aloe vera for skin.

Witch hazel and lemon juice toner

For this, you will need the following:

• 3 oz glass spray bottle

• Witch hazel

• Lemon juice

Fill the bottle ¾ full with witch hazel and top up with lemon juice until it’s full. Mix the ingredients together, apply the witch hazel toner with a cotton ball to your face and skin. For some people, the lemon juice can sting a little. You can try reducing the amount of lemon juice, or use a different toner if this one irritates your skin.

Witch hazel, green tea, and baking soda toner

For this, you will need the following:

• Glass jar with a screw lid

• 2 tbsp. witch hazel

• 1 cup of green tea

• Juice of one lemon

• A few drops of vitamin E oil

• A few drops of tea tree essential oil

• 1 tbsp. baking soda

Make the green tea by placing one tea bag in a cup of boiling water and leave it for 5 minutes and remove. Leave the tea to cool. Then pour the tea into a clean glass jar and mix well with the other ingredients. Apply with a cotton pad 2 times a day.

Baking soda helps to calm the skin and you can read more about it in my article on how to use baking soda for gorgeous face and skin.

Witch hazel and apple cider vinegar (ACV) toner

For this, you will need the following:

• Glass jar with a screw lid

• Witch hazel

• Raw organic unprocessed apple cider vinegar

• Lavender essential oil

Fill the jar with 2/3 cup of witch hazel and 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar. Add a few drops of lavender oil and mix well. Apply with a cotton ball 2 or 3 times a day.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has amazing properties which help to remove excess oils from your skin and also restore the skin’s pH balance. You can read more about it in my article on why you should wash your face with apple cider vinegar.

Witch Hazel Side Effects

According to WebMD, witch hazel is likely safe for most adults when applied directly to the skin. In some people, however, it might cause minor skin irritation. This is why it’s always a good idea to do a skin patch test first by applying a small amount to a patch of skin to make sure you don’t develop any skin reaction.

Resources:
1. Astringents.
2. Herbal treatment for dermatologic disorders.
3. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of witch hazel extracts.
4. Medicinal plants used in the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases.
5. Antioxidant activity of extracts from 21 plants.
6. Anti-inflammatory efficacy of witch hazel in UV erythema test.
7. Antiseptic effect of a topical dermatological formulation containing witch hazel.
8. Witch hazel in children with skin disorders.
9. Anti-oxygen scavenging activity of plant extracts.
10. Tea tree oil antimicrobial properties.
11. The antimicrobial activity of lavender oils.
12. Anti-inflammatory potential of aloe vera gel.

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The best exercise for the menopause? Pilates

Herbs and Helpers

Stretching actions of Pilates can help strengthen the bones and muscles

Exercise makes it easier for body to deal with the lapses in heat control

Weightlifting and interval training also recommended by Spanish scientists

These types of exercise are also beneficial as they improve balance

Pilates could help take some of the pain out of the menopause.

The yoga-like stretching exercises help strengthen the bones and muscles and boost quality of life, Spanish doctors and scientists said.

For those who would prefer to do something a bit more active, weightlifting and trendy interval training are also recommended.

It is thought that exercise makes it easier for the body to deal with the lapses in heat control that occur around the menopause due to hormonal changes.

Researcher Dr Helen Jones said the results were so impressive that exercise could be a natural alternative to HRT.

The yoga-like stretching exercises involved in Pilates help strengthen the bones and muscles and boost quality of life, Spanish researchers found

Exercise also brings other benefits from healthier hearts to weight loss, the European Menopause Society’s journal reports.

The typical British woman goes through the menopause at 51.

Symptoms, which range from hot flushes to sleepless nights, headaches and depression, can last for 14 years.

Hormone-replacement therapy is the main treatment, but is not suitable for all and many who could take it are put off by fears that it may trigger breast cancer.

Those who do start on it can suffer unpleasant side-effects, from headaches to heartburn, leading many women to try things like acupuncture and herbal supplements.

To find out of exercise could be a suitable treatment, the study’s authors, from the Spanish Menopause Society, the Spanish Cardiology Society and the Spanish Federation of Sports Medicine, reviewed published studies on the topic.

The benefits were so pronounces, the exercise could be a natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy, researchers said

They said that while swimming, dancing and other forms of activity all have benefits, Pilates, weight lifting and high intensity interval training are likely to be the most beneficial.

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, involves doing short bursts of hard exercise are interspersed with rest periods, and is particularly popular with time-pressed young professionals.

Writing in the journal Maturitas, the researchers said that these three forms of exercise are especially good because they improve balance, which helps prevent falls.

They concluded: ‘Physical inactivity not only places women’s health at risk but also increases menopausal problems.

‘Abundant evidence links habitual physical exercise to a better status on numerous health indicators and a better quality of life and to the prevention and treatment of ailments that typically occur from mid-life onwards.

‘We can infer that physical activity is something more than a lifestyle; it constitutes a form of therapy in itself.’

The recommendations come a few months after a British study endorsed the benefits of an active middle age.

Research from Liverpool John Moores University found that women who worked up a sweat in the gym suffered fewer hot flushes than those with a more sedentary lifestyle. And the flushes they did experience were less severe.

This is important because hot flushes are the most common and distressing symptom of the menopause and can disturb sleep, drain energy and cause embarrassment. A single flush can last from a few seconds to as long as an hour.

It is thought that exercise makes it easier for the body to deal with the lapses in heat control that occur around the menopause due to hormonal changes.

Source: Daily Mail

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How living near a landfill ‘raises lung cancer risk’

Herbs and Helpers

Study of nearly 250,000 people found that those living within three miles of landfill were more likely to be admitted to hospital or die with lung disease

It tracked people living close to one of nine landfill sites in central Italy

Researchers also discovered that children were at particular risk of lung cancer or other breathing problems

British landfill sites are regulated according to same rules as those in Italy

Living close to landfill sites can increase your risk of dying from lung cancer, scientists claim.

Rotting rubbish produces harmful gases that, when inhaled, increase the chance of suffering from severe breathing problems.

A study of nearly 250,000 people found that those living within three miles of landfill were more likely to be admitted to hospital or die with lung disease.

And researchers found that children were at particular risk. The study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, tracked 242,000 people living close to one of nine landfill sites in central Italy.

Rotting rubbish produces harmful gases that, when inhaled, increase the chance of suffering from severe breathing problems

The participants were monitored for at least five years – and researchers found that those who were exposed to more airborne pollutants were at higher risk of lung cancer and other breathing problems.

British landfill sites are regulated according to the same rules as those in Italy, set down by the 1999 EU Landfill Directive.

The Environment Agency said last night that English sites are subject to tighter local regulations governing emissions. But campaigners said budget cuts are likely to undermine the agency’s ability to police these standards.

The researchers, from the Lazio Environmental Protection Agency in Rome, tracked levels of hydrogen sulphide – a poisonous gas produced by decomposing vegetation which typically smells of rotten eggs. They predicted that hydrogen sulphide levels were representative of the levels of all pollutants produced by the rubbish dumps.

The team divided all those living within three miles of the sites into four groups, depending on how high their exposure to hydrogen sulphide was.

A study of nearly 250,000 people found that those living within three miles of landfill were more likely to be admitted to hospital or die with lung disease

STILLBORN BIRTHS ‘ARE MORE LIKELY IN AREAS WITH HIGHER POLLUTION’

Pregnant women who are exposed to smog are more likely to suffer a stillbirth, a major review concludes today.

There are around 3,600 stillbirths in the UK every year and although they have been linked to infections and lifestyle, their exact cause remains a mystery.

But Danish researchers who examined 13 studies have identified a strong link to car exhaust fumes and other pollution.

They are now calling for tighter curbs on exhausts and industrial waste emissions to reduce the risk to unborn babies, which is most heightened during the third trimester.

The team from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark found that even if the concentration of air pollutants increased by a small amount – 4 micrograms per cubic metre – the chances of stillbirth rose by 4 per cent.

Writing in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the scientists wrote: ‘Pregnant women should be aware of the potential adverse effects of ambient air pollution, although the prevention against exposure to air pollutants generally requires more action by the Government than by the individual.’

Lead author Dr Marie Pedersen said: ‘Stillbirth is one of the most neglected tragedies in global health today, and the existing evidence summarised deserves additional investigation.’

Those in the group with the highest exposure levels were 34 per cent more likely to die with lung cancer than people who lived more than three miles away from the sites, the researchers found. And people in that group were 30 per cent more likely to die from other respiratory diseases. They were also 5 per cent more likely to receive hospital treatment for all respiratory diseases, including 9 per cent for asthma.

Children were even more at risk, with an 11 per cent increased chance of being admitted to hospital for respiratory disease, and a 13 per cent higher risk of asthma. The Italian team tracked pollution levels to make sure they could match disease levels to exposure to toxins.

They said that more research is needed to confirm the link, particularly to lung cancer. But they added that it was unlikely that the increased death rates were ‘entirely due to unmeasured smoking habits and other factors’.

The number of active landfill sites in Britain fell from 1,500 in the 1990s to 338 in 2014. But there are more than 22,000 ‘historic’ landfill sites which have been covered with earth and left alone. British experts last night insisted the risk in the UK was minimal.

Dr Jill Meara of Public Health England said: ‘Well-managed modern landfill sites do not pose a significant risk to public health.

‘We have reviewed studies looking at emissions from sites and research on health effects posed by modern landfill sites and concluded there is little cause for concern for those living nearby.’

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said that while Italy and the UK each have to abide by EU regulations, in England extra regulations have been put in place to limit pollution.

She said: ‘It is not possible to compare the results from the Italian research to the UK due to differences in regulatory standards.

‘In England we set strict conditions on emissions which operators must adhere to protect people and the environment.’

But Dr Michael Warhurst, executive director of the CHEM Trust, a charity that monitors environmental pollution, warned that budget cutbacks at the Environment Agency could leave people living near the sites exposed.

‘We should be turning away from landfill where we can – it is very unpleasant,’ he said. ‘And if the Environment Agency keeps getting trimmed back it is not going to have enough people to control these sites properly.’

Source: Daily Mail

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New Clinical Trial to Investigate Whether Chinese Herbal Medicine Could Be Alternative Treatment to Antibiotics

Herbs and Helpers

Newswise — Researchers at the University of Southampton are to study the use of Chinese Herbal Medicines in treating recurrent urinary tract infections (RUTIs), in the first clinical trial of its kind in the UK.

The double blind, randomised, placebo controlled feasibility RUTI trial, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), is now underway in the primary care setting, where patients recruited to the trial via their GPs will be offered one of two treatment paths.

A total of 80 women who have had three or more recurrent UTIs in the previous 12 months will receive ‘individualised’ herbs prescribed by a Chinese herbal practitioner, or ‘standardised’ herbs provided by primary care clinicians. Both arms are placebo controlled and will include herbs for the prevention of UTIs and treatment of acute episodes. Treatment duration is for 16 weeks.

The study aims to assess whether herbal medicines could play a valuable role in replacing some antibiotic treatments for appropriate conditions.

Dr Andrew Flower, NIHR Research Fellow in the Complementary and Integrated Medicine Research Unit at the University of Southampton, said: “Chinese herbal medicine has a recorded history of treating symptoms of UTIs for over 2000 years. More recent clinical research in China has provided some preliminary evidence that CHM can alleviate the symptoms of UTIs and reduce the rate of recurrence but more rigorous investigation is required. If successful, the findings of this trial will provide the necessary data to progress to larger more definitive trials.

“The RUTI trial is the first time Chinese medicine has been authorised as a Clinical Trial of an Investigational Medicinal Product (CTIMP) in the UK. This means we have had to pass through the same regulatory pathways as for a conventional drug trial, and it is an important precedent for future research.”

In the UK, urinary tract infections are the most common bacterial infection presented by women within the primary care setting, with approximately 40 to 50 per cent of women experiencing one episode during their lives. Between 20 to 30 per cent of women who have had one episode of UTI will have a recurrent UTI, and around 25 per cent of these will develop subsequent recurrent episodes. RUTIs can have a significant negative effect on quality of life, and have a high impact on health care costs as a result of outpatient visits, diagnostic tests and prescriptions.

Antibiotics are used to treat both acute and recurrent UTIs and while effective in reducing the duration of severe symptoms, antibiotic resistance is currently estimated at 20 per cent for Trimethoprim and Cephalosporins, and in half of cases being treated with Amoxicillin. Antibiotic resistance and previous episodes of cystitis have been positively associated with an increased duration of severe symptoms of UTIs.
President of the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine, Emma Farrant said: “With antibiotic resistance increasing rapidly, herbal medicine could play a valuable role in replacing some antibiotic treatments in appropriate instances, such as for treatment of UTIs, acute coughs and sore throats.

“Recent clinical research in China has provided some supportive evidence that CHM can alleviate the symptoms of UTIs and reduce the rate of recurrence one year post treatment from 30 per cent when antibiotics were used alone, to 4.4 per cent when antibiotics and CHM were combined. A recent Cochrane review of CHM for RUTIs also found some supportive data for herbal interventions but more rigorous trials, such as the RUTI trial, are vital to help confirm historical treatment success, and bring such treatment to the forefront of primary care to help reduce the UKs reliance on antibiotics and help prevent the truly frightening prospect of widespread antimicrobial resistance.”

  1. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. The NIHR is the research arm of the NHS. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its worldclass infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit the NIHR website (www.nihr.ac.uk).
  2. The Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM) was set up in 1987 to regulate the practice of Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) in the UK and has over 450 members. The RCHM aims to set and maintain high standards in Chinese herbal medicine. Members must have a degree in Chinese herbal medicine, or a qualification that is equivalent to a degree. In addition, members adhere to a Code of Ethics and have full professional insurance. The Register is a member of the European Herbal & Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (EHTPA), an umbrella organisation that for over a decade has called for statutory regulation (SR) for herbal medicine in the UK. (www.rchm.co.uk)

  3. Through world-leading research and enterprise activities, the University of Southampton connects with businesses to create real-world solutions to global issues. Through its educational offering, it works with partners around the world to offer relevant, flexible education, which trains students for jobs not even thought of. This connectivity is what sets Southampton apart from the rest; we make connections and change the world. http://www.southampton.ac.uk/ http://www.southampton.ac.uk/weareconnected
    #weareconnected

Source: University of Southampton

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Medicinal Plant Helps Fatigue in MS

Herbs and Helpers

A medicinal plant may help patients with multiple sclerosis.

A recent study showed that Andrographis paniculata (A. paniculata) reduces fatigue in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) who are also receiving interferon beta treatment, compared those receiving only interferon beta or a placebo. The study was conducted by JC Bertoglio of the Institute of Medicine at the Austral University in Chile, and colleagues, and was published in BMC Neurology on May 23, 2016.

A.paniculata (photo) is sold as an herbal remedy. Researchers wanted to learn more about how it affects the relapse rate and fatigue in patients with RRMS who are receiving interferon beta. In order to investigate, they conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial over 12 months. Only 25 patients were enrolled, and of those, 22 were ultimately included in the analysis, so it was a small study. Although small, the results of this study suggest that further research, with a larger sample size, over a longer period of time, is warranted.

The primary outcome was whether or not A.panicula affected fatigue. The researchers used the Fatigue Severity Score (FSS), which consists of a self-rating questionnaire. The researchers report, “Patients treated with A.paniculata showed a significant reduction in the FSS score compared to the placebo, equivalent to a 44% reduction at 12 months.”

The mechanism by which A.paniculata reduces fatigue is unknown. However, given the positive results of this study, more research should be conducted, as fatigue is one of the more debilitating symptoms reported by RRMS patients. The researchers note, “several pharmacological treatments available for fatigue in people with MS have failed to show clinical efficacy.” A.paniculata was well-tolerated by the participants in this study and the apparent reduction in fatigue makes it a possible pharmacological solution. –

See more at: http://www.hcplive.com/medical-news/medicinal-plant-helps-fatigue-in-ms#sthash.J96cDy8i.dpuf

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