Ginger – The Amazing Healing Herb

Ginger is a very good antioxidant and has anti-bacterial, antiseptic, sedative and antipyretic effect. Fresh ginger submerged in warm water, deeply penetrates the tissue, brakes down and melts accumulated mucus, initiate circulation, relieves pain, inflammation and swellings, accelerates detoxification it is very useful in the case of muscle inflammation and chronic back pain.

Ginger – The Amazing Healing Herb

Melts fatty deposits

This healing root speeds up the muscle metabolism, lowers cholesterol, helps in secretion of saliva and ingested food starch, reduces bloating and constipation, all of which contributes to weight loss.
If you want to loose weight fast, add to yo meals fresh or dried ginger or drink tea made from this beneficial root.

Improves mental capacities

Ginger relieves headaches and contribute to a better brain function. If it in any way we use it during the day, we will be fresher and will have more strength and energy, and if in the evening we eat hot vegetable soup with an addition of ginger, we will provide our self a good rest and sleep.

Lowers Stress

Ginger is rich in antioxidant, which helps in harmful chemicals removal, that our body produces when we are under worries, and thus affects the reduction of psychological stress. During this depression treatment it also impairs and the digestion process followed by occurrence of nausea, for which ginger is the ideal cure for these problems too.

Fights against colds and flu

If you regularly use ginger, you can easily prevent and fight the flu or colds, as well as the potential complications from these diseases. Ginger will strengthen our immune system, facilitate breathing and relieve headaches. It encourages sweating, so that`s why it`s excellent for lowering high body temperatures.

Cures Arthritis

Since ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, it is highly effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthiritis, osteoarthritis and other diseases of the musculoskeletal and connective tissue. Some studies show that in the case of arthritis, ginger is even more effective than other conventional drugs and medications.

Cure for cold hands and feet

Herb ginger is a powerful tool for engaging of the circulatory system.
If you suffer from cold hands and feet you should drink tea from this medicinal herb.

Source: only pure nature

Middle-Aged Americans Hit Hardest By This Year’s Flu

Middle-Aged Americans Hit Hardest By This Year’s Flu

Weather forecasts this winter have brought plenty of bad news. Today brings similarly disappointing news on the flu front. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their interim estimates for this year’s flu season, and those being hit the hardest aren’t who you’d expect.

Normally, flu most strongly affects those on the ends of the age spectrum: those under 4 years old and over 65. But so far in the 2013-2014 season, the greatest number of cases—and the greatest number of deaths from flu—fall into the young and middle-aged categories, the people often assumed to be the healthiest and heartiest. Some 61 percent of hospitalizations for influenza this season have been people between the ages of 18 and 64, up from 35 percent last season. The story is similar among deaths from flu: a surprising 60 percent occurred in the middle-age categories, up from last season’s 18 percent.

H1N1 Strikes Again

The trouble, it seems, is the particular strain of flu this season.

The predominant influenza virus circulating in recent months has been the notorious H1N1. Back in 2009, this virus (then called swine flu influenza A) made its presence quickly and painfully known. It started with a single case in a 10-year-old Californian girl, and spread from there. By June, cases had been reported in 70 countries and the World Health Organization declared the disease a pandemic. The U.S. was hit the hardest, with cases in all 50 of the United States and its territories.

While the H1N1 virus has been in circulation since then, this appears to be its first notable flare up. And in 2009, as in our current 2013-2014 season, a surprisingly large percentage of cases occurred in the young and middle-age categories.

Get Your Flu Shot!

With the help of vaccines, this year’s prospects don’t look nearly so grim. The CDC followed up with more than 2,000 people showing flu-like symptoms between December 2013 and January 2014, and found that the risk of influenza requiring a doctor’s visit was reduced in vaccinated individuals by about 61 percent versus those who didn’t get the vaccine.

Flu season isn’t over yet, though. The CDC anticipates weeks of influenza yet to come, and points out that it’s not too late to get a flu shot.

Source: discover magazine

Flu hits young, middle aged people hard this year

The flu is hitting young and middle aged people in the United States particularly hard this season, as a tough flu strain re-emerged and too few people were vaccinated, health authorities said Thursday.

More than 60 percent of all severe flu cases this season in the United States were in people 18-64 years old — or about double the usual rate, they said.

Typically, people at risk for flu complications include pregnant women, the elderly, children and people with compromised immune systems.

The main flu circulating this season is H1N1, otherwise known as the “swine flu” that caused a pandemic four years ago.

“It is back this year, and it is hitting younger people hard,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief Tom Frieden.

“One of the reasons,” he said, “is that the vaccination rate for young adults, 18-64, is too low.”

Only a third of all people in that age group were vaccinated as of November, compared to nearly two-thirds of children and elderly people, he said.

“That is one of the reasons we are seeing a much higher proportion of hospitalizations and death among 18-64 year olds than we generally see.”

People with underlying health conditions such as obesity, asthma, lung disease and diabetes are particularly vulnerable to dangerous bouts of the flu, leading to pneumonia and possibly death.

Although experts do not have a tally of US deaths yet this season, early indications suggest that there have been more deaths than normal in the 18-64 age group.

Over the previous three flu seasons, people age 18-64 represented only about 35 percent of all flu hospitalizations.

Last year the predominant flu type was H3N2, which accounted for fewer hospitalizations among middle aged people.

Getting vaccinated lowered the risk of having to see a doctor by about 60 percent for people of all ages, the CDC added.

“Vaccination is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself against the flu,” Frieden said.

The flu is expected to continue to make people sick for the next several weeks across the United States.

The CDC recommends that all people over the age of six months get a flu vaccine each year.

Source: Yahoo news

Best ways to prevent and treat the common cold

Although the world of medicine has made incredible progress when it comes to tackling certain illnesses, scientists still have not been able to find the cure for the common cold. But there are ways to prevent colds as well as treat them. The question is, which are the most effective?

According to a review in the recent edition of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, hand washing and possibly taking zinc seem to be the best ways to avoid getting sick. Investigators reviewed 67 randomized controlled trials that showed hand washing as well as alcohol disinfectants are the best ways to ward off colds.

Zinc was found to work mostly in children, with two trials showing that little ones who took 10 to 12 milligrams of zinc sulfate every day had fewer colds and fewer absences from school because of colds. Authors of the study suggest that zinc could work for adults. Vitamin C, the “gold standard” of cold fighters, did not seem as effective.

When it came to treating colds, the review stated that acetaminophen, ibuprofen and perhaps a antihistamine/decongestant were the best ways to keep runny noses, sore throats, fevers and coughs under control.

Ibuprofen and acetaminophen, which are both pain relievers, helped with the aches and fever. Ibuprofen worked better in children who had higher temperatures.

Combining antihistamines with decongestants or pain medication was somewhat effective in older children but not in children under the age of 5 or in adults.

Congestion was more difficult to handle. Nasal spray with ipratropium, which is used to treat serious pulmonary disorders, was found to stop drippy noses but did nothing to cut down on the stuffiness both in the nose and the chest.

Even though there were no major surprises in the findings, doctors said the review does stress the need to wash your hands, something a lot of people don’t do enough of.

“This is a thorough meta- analysis,” said Dr. Assil Saleh, an internist with Foxhall Internists in Washington. “It reaffirmed that the fundamental common sense measure of hand washing is the most effective measure to reduce the transmission of respiratory infections caused by viruses or bacteria.”

A point was also made that colds are usually viruses, with only about 5% being caused by bacterial infection. Yet, many patients with colds are prescribed antibiotics, which don’t help.

“Treatment typically aims to relieve symptoms rather than eradicate the infection itself, “noted Saleh. “It’s important to emphasize that bacteria-killing antibiotics are often overused in treating what is almost always a viral illness.”

While doctors shouldn’t be prescribing antibiotics for colds, patients should their part and not insist on antibiotics. If they are used too often for things they can’t treat, they can stop working effectively against bacteria when you or your child really needs them. The CDC has been concerned about antibiotic resistance for years and considers it to be one of the world’s most critical public health threats.

According to the review, the common cold affects adults approximately two to three times a year and children under the age of 2 about six times a year. A strong cold can keep people in bed, knocking many of them out their routines for a week or longer. That’s why doctors say prevention is so important.

“Although self-limiting, the common cold is highly prevalent and may be debilitating, ” says review authors Drs Michael Allan, from the Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Canada, and Bruce Arroll with the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Auckland in New Zealand. “It causes declines in function and productivity at work and may affect other activities such as driving.”

Source: CNN health


Fever-reducing meds encourage spread of flu

Taking over-the-counter medications for the aches, pains and fever caused by flu may make people feel somewhat better, but it also could make them more contagious — resulting in increased cases and more deaths among the population, a study suggests.

Researchers at McMaster University say medicines like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can ease some flu symptoms, including bringing down fever.

“People often take — or give their kids — fever-reducing drugs so they can go to work or school,” said David Earn, a professor of mathematics who led the study.

“They may think the risk of infecting others is lower because the fever is lower,” said Earn. “In fact, the opposite may be true: the ill people may give off more virus because fever has been reduced.”

That’s because fever has been shown in a number of studies to lower the amount of some viruses in the body. Suppressing that uptick in temperature — one way the immune system fights infection — appears to leave a person with a greater amount of virus to shed, making them more infectious to others.

“We’ve discovered that this increase has significant effects when we scale up to the level of the whole population,” said Earn, who specializes in mathematical projections of infectious disease transmission.

“I think it’s really something that people should consider,” he said Tuesday from Hamilton. “And all they need to do is remember that they could be more infectious if they take this medication and so should be cautious.”

Using complex mathematical modelling, Earn and his co-authors estimated that fever-reducing medicines could raise the number of flu cases by five per cent, a figure that would account for tens of thousands of cases and an estimated extra 1,000 deaths across North America each year.

In other words, an estimated 1,000 of the roughly 40,000 annual flu deaths might not have occurred, the study suggests.

But the researchers, whose report is published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, say that doesn’t mean people should stop taking medicines to get relief from flu symptoms.

“That’s not what we’re saying,” stressed Earn. “Our paper isn’t about whether or not you should take medication to reduce your fever. That’s something that ideally you should decide in consultation with a physician — for you, individually, whether it’s good or bad for your health.

“The point that we’re making is that if you take the medication, then there’s an effect on others that people don’t realize. And that’s that you could be more infectious than you were without taking the medication. So you need to be extra cautious about transmitting the infection to others.”

To come up with their estimate, the researchers used data that included experiments on ferrets — considered the best animal model for human influenza — showing increased virus shedding in the absence of fever-reducing drugs, called antipyretics.

They then used the mathematical model to compute how the increase in the amount of virus given off by a single person taking fever-reducing drugs would increase the overall number of cases in a typical year, or in a year when a new strain of influenza caused a pandemic, such as H1N1 did in 2009.

“This research is important because it will help us understand how better to curb the spread of influenza,” said Dr. David Price, chair of family medicine at McMaster.

“As always, Mother Nature knows best,” he said. “Fever is a defence mechanism to protect ourselves and others. Fever-reducing medication should only be taken to take the edge off the discomfort, not to allow people to go out into the community when they should still stay home.”

Dr. Allison McGeer, director of infection control at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, agreed the study raises important questions that need to be answered.

“I don’t think you can take away from this, though, that antipyretics increase the spread of human influenza or that we can in any way quantitate that,” McGeer said.

“The data, for instance, on increased shedding is in ferrets. And ferrets are not humans. It might well be the same in humans … but it’s not something we know the answer to.”

The study’s conclusions also hinge on the idea that people who take fever-reducing medicines are more likely to interact with others, she said, but that research has not yet been done.

“We know substantially how to prevent seasonal flu — it’s called vaccination,” said McGeer.

“It’s clearly an important question, but I don’t think that should change what we’re telling people to do at the moment: vaccinate, hand-wash and stay home when you’re sick.”

Earn agreed that more research is needed to pin down the magnitude of the fever-reducing effect on flu spread, but he would not be surprised if it is even slightly higher.

He suggests that if parents give children a fever-reducing medicine for flu, they should be discouraged from visiting older people or those with underlying medical conditions, who are more prone to complications if they contract the infection.

“If they feel better, they might go and sit on Granny’s lap,” he said. “There’s no problem if you take the medication if you stay at home. You can’t infect them.”

Source: yahoo news

Seasonal flu widespread in the United States, CDC says

Nearly half of the United States is reporting widespread influenza activity, most of it attributed to the H1N1 virus that caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.

Thousands of people die every year from flu, which peaks in the United States between October and March. The flu is spreading quickly this season, with 25 states already reporting cases, the CDC said.

“We are seeing a big uptick in disease in the past couple of weeks. The virus is all around the United States right now,” said Dr. Joe Bresee, chief of Epidemiology and Prevention in the CDC’s Influenza Division.

In 2009-2010, the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, spread from Central Mexico to 74 other countries, killing an estimated 284,000 people, according to the CDC.

While younger people were more susceptible to H1N1 in 2009, Bresee said it is too early to tell whether the same will be true this year.

This season’s virus has killed six children in the United States, according to CDC data. The agency does not track adult deaths, but dozens have been reported around the country.

“There is still a lot of season to come. If folks haven’t been vaccinated, we recommend they do it now,” Bresee said.

Texas has been one of the harder hits states, where at least 25 people have died this season from the flu, local health officials said.

The Texas Department of State Health Services issued an “influenza health alert” on December 20, advising clinicians to consider antiviral treatment, even if an initial rapid-flu test comes back negative. Texas health officials also encouraged people to get a flu vaccination.

“The flu is considered widespread in Texas,” Carrie Williams, a spokeswoman for the state’s health department, said.

Source: news.nom

Testosterone may make men likely to get the flu, study finds

Just in time for flu season’s peak, science may have figured out a reason why some men make wimpy, needy patients compared to women when it comes to infectious diseases.

A report released today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) links testosterone levels with response to flu vaccine, showing that, as a group, men with higher levels of the male hormone are more likely to have weak, or no response to a flu vaccine, meaning that their bodies don’t mount a strong defense.

In short, they have weaker immune systems than do women, leaving them more vulnerable to severe infections.

“Men are suffering!” Mark M. Davis, the Avery Family Professor of Immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, told NBC News. “They aren’t as resistant. Women are superior. There’s no way around it.”

Science has known for some time that there are gender differences between the immune systems of men and women, differences that can have profound impacts for health and medicine.

For example, while women tend to develop a more robust immune reaction to infection, that strength comes with a cost. Women are much more likely to suffer from autoimmune diseases like lupus, and they are more likely than men to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to have severe cases of viral, bacterial and parasitic infections.

What mechanisms underlay this phenomenon has been somewhat mysterious. The study released today might help tease apart some of that mystery.

The multinational team from Stanford, France, and the University of North Carolina took blood from 54 women and 37 men of different ages, then studied a variety of immune system proteins and cells using complex systems to detect gene expression. Then they gave flu vaccines to these people and checked for any changes in these parameters. Sure enough, men, as a group, had a more muted response to the vaccine.

Thirty-three women and 10 men responded to the vaccine for the seasonal H3N2 flu strain. Twenty women and 24 men did not respond. (The remaining participants weren’t included due to incomplete or flawed results.)

“Lots of male non-responders had high levels of testosterone,” Davis explained, “while the men with lower testosterone levels had roughly equal responses to females. The high-T men were crappy responders.”

When the team completed the complicated genetic analysis, it found that genes involved with lipid (fats) metabolism – such as the manufacture of cholesterol by the liver – were powerfully associated with response to the vaccine. The more strongly those genes were expressed, and the higher the testosterone, the weaker the response to the vaccine.

To Carol Colton, a Duke University Medical Center professor of neurology who studies the interaction of hormones and the immune system, especially their effects on brain diseases, “that makes perfect sense” because our bodies make estrogen and testosterone from cholesterol, a lipid. The differences between men and women, she explained “are inherent, right down to the gene level.”

Why would evolution instill such differences? Davis speculated – and Colton heartily agreed – that higher testosterone in men is anti-inflammatory and aids the healing of injuries and wounds. Males of most species are more likely than females to suffer trauma. “If you’re in a battle, having lots of testosterone is wonderful,” Colton said.

“So you take a hit to your resistance to infectious disease,” Davis said, “but you gain in case of trauma.”

Davis said he hoped studies like this one would help inform scientists and physicians as new immune-therapies, like cancer vaccines, are developed. “There’s been some neglect in this area,” he said, “that I hope our study, and others, will help to correct.”

And for those who got the flu vaccine but still get sick, a prescription antiviral therapy can lessen symptoms and shorten the duration of the virus, if taken within 48 hours.

Source: FCN

Flu Vaccine Works Better for Women: Study

The flu vaccine is generally less effective for men than for women, scientists said in a study Monday, tracing the effect to higher levels of testosterone that curb the immune response.

It has long been known that men are more vulnerable than women to bacterial, viral and parasitic infections, but scientists have never been able to clearly explain why.

It was also known that men don’t respond as strongly as women to vaccines against yellow fever, measles and hepatitis, said the authors of the study, which appears in this week’s Proceedings of the American Academy of Sciences.

The new research, using samples from 34 men and 53 women, suggested that the cause could be traced to testosterone: only men with higher levels of the sex hormone demonstrated the lower antibody response to the flu vaccine.

Among men with lower levels of testosterone, the immune response was “more or less equivalent to that of women,” said a statement from Stanford University, whose researchers collaborated with others at the French governmental research organization INSERM for the study.

Previous studies on animals and in cell-culture experiments had previously suggested a link between testosterone and immune response, which creates inflammation as it battles the invasion of a pathogen.

This latest study doesn’t indicate a direct link between testosterone and the lowered immune response. Instead, the immune system’s reaction was reduced by the activation of a group of genes that are also linked to a higher level of testosterone, explained Mark Davis, immunology professor at Stanford University.

The researchers also considered an apparent evolutionary paradox — wondering how natural selection could favor a hormone responsible both for characteristics such as strength and a taste for taking risks, and for weakening the immune system.

They speculated that in prehistoric times, men’s roles as hunters and warriors tended to expose them to more wounds and resulting infections.

A decent immune response to these infections is an evolutionary advantage, but an overly abundant one — which can occur in certain diseases including some virulent forms of the flu — could prove more dangerous than the pathogen itself, they said.

Thus, perhaps men with less aggressive immune responses tended to be better able to survive, the researchers said.

Source: News Max health

Flu vaccine prevented 6.6 million illnesses last year, says CDC

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu vaccines prevented 6.6 million illnesses and 79,000 hospitalizations last year. Health officials urge people to get flu shots to prepare for upcoming “peak” months of this flu season.

Federal health officials are urging all Americans six months and older to get the flu vaccine in preparation for this year’s flu season, after evidence showed that the vaccine protected more people against the disease last year.

Last year’s flu season was more severe than recent seasons, according to findings by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The season started earlier than expected, causing 381,000 people to become hospitalized and 169 children to die from the flu last year.

There is good news, however. Although the virus impacted many lives, the flu vaccine also prevented millions more from becoming ill.
“We estimate that during last year’s flu season, flu vaccination prevented 6.6 million people from getting sick with flu, 3.2 million from going to see a doctor and at least 79,000 hospitalizations,” Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a CNN article Thursday, calling the findings on the flu vaccine and protection “eye-opening”

Although Friden explained the importance of getting vaccinated, less than half of Americans — 40 percent—have gotten the flu shot this year. To put the findings by health officials into perspective, if 70 percent of Americans had gotten the flu vaccine last year, another 4.4 million cases of flu and 30,000 hospitalizations would have been prevented. As the flu season begins to pick up across the country, especially in some Southeastern states, Frieden and other health officials now use the data to urge people to get vaccinated.

“We know that it will increase in the coming weeks and months, but we cannot predict where and when and how severe this year’s flu season will be,” Frieden stated in an article for WebMD. “What we can predict is that the best way you can protect yourself against flu is to get a flu vaccine. “It’s not too late to get vaccinated.

CDC’s Center for Global Health Director Dr. Anne Schuchat also spoke of the importance of getting vaccinated as soon as possible, noting that flu season typically peaks between January and March. She also explained that it was particularly important for children to get the flu shot.

“Already, three children have died this year from the flu,” Shuchat said in an article for CNN. “We hate to see anyone die from the flu, but particularly children. I really urge parents to make sure their children are vaccinated.”

Source: digital journal

NYC requires flu shots for all daycare, preschool children

If your child wants to attend daycare or preschool in New York City, he or she will now be required to get a flu vaccine.

New York City’s Board of Health voted unanimously Wednesday to require all children under 5 attending one of these facilities to receive the vaccine before Dec. 31, right before flu season peaks.

Young children often pass influenza to other children and family members, who then spread the infection to others in the community. This mandate will help protect the health of young children, while reducing the spread of influenza in New York City,” the board said in an emailed statement.

City health officials told CBS News Tuesday they anticipate this effort would affect 150,000 children and, based on traditional vaccine effectiveness rates, prevent more than 20,000 cases of flu in young kids.

“A lot of people have a misconception that the flu is just like the common cold and nothing that needs to be worried about,” said Dr. Jay Varma, deputy commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. “In fact, flu is common and can be very serious for children under the age of 5.”

In New York City, children of these ages are already required to receive common vaccines including the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), polio, pertussis (whooping cough), chickenpox and tetanus shots, so flu will just add one more shot to this list.

The rule will be enforced by the facilities, which may choose to exclude a child if he or she doesn’t get the vaccine. If the facility does not keep up to date vaccination records for its kids — as it’s required to do for all childhood vaccines — it could be subject to a fine.

Flu season typically begins as early as October, with the number of cases increasing dramatically by December and often peaking from January through March.

A flu season can range in severity, but children and the elderly are often most likely to be hospitalized or die from disease complications, even kids who were previously healthy.

Last year’s severe flu season killed at least 165 children. In the prior 10 seasons, between 43 and 153 kids died.

Since Dec. 31 is only weeks away, this mandate would not go into effect until next year’s 2014-2015 flu season.

Parent’s can only opt out of the flu vaccine if their child has medical reasons for not being able to take it, which are rare, or for religious exemptions. Philosophical exemptions, such as over vaccine concerns, are not allowed in New York State.

Children entering family daycare, which are held in people’s homes, won’t be subject to the requirement.

According to Varma, only New Jersey and Connecticut have similar requirements for flu vaccinations.

The new rule takes effect in 30 days, according to CBS New York.

“We feel strongly that we are doing something that’s always been done to protect the health of children,” he said.

Source: cbs news