May 27, 2009

The Health Benefits of Chamomile

Chamomile is a daisy-like plant that is originally found in Europe, North Africa, and the Mediterranean region. It has a long history of being used as a medicinal herb and as a tea. Its dried flowers are commonly used in herbal tea.

Chamomile has many health benefits associated with it. It can be used to reduce blood sugar and lower the levels of compounds that can cause diabetic complications. It has been found to be able to boost the immune system and fight illnesses. It can help intestinal discomfort with its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to reduce gas. Its foliage and flower heads have been used as antispasmodics to reduce muscle spams and diaphoretics to help produce perspiration. It can also be used to relax the nerves, ease menstrual cramps, and help stomach ulcers. Chamomile creams can be used to help pain and reduce irritability on the skin, such as burns, wounds, eczema, chickenpox, and diaper rash. The longer and more regularly chamomile is used, the better it works.

May 6, 2009

The Facts of Swine Flu

Swine flu is an influenza virus that usually only affects pigs but the virus mixed genes with another influenza virus to create a new type of virus that is also able to infect humans. The current swine flu virus is so different from other viruses that humans have been exposed to in the past that there is very little to none natural immunity to it. The body would have a hard time defending itself against the virus and there are no vaccines for the virus yet. The antiviral medicines Tamiflu and Relenza could help if the medicine is given within two days after symptoms begin. Health authorities are recommending the medicines mainly for people that have more severe symptoms. Most people who have caught the virus have recovered from it.

Common symptoms of the disease include fever, muscle pains, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, chills, headaches, weakness, and diarrhea. If you are having symptoms it is recommended to isolate yourself from everyone else and stay home to prevent spreading the disease. Get medical help immediately if the symptoms become severe.

The virus can be transmitted form person to person by sneezing, coughing, and physical contact, such as shaking hands, kissing, or any kind of touching. You can try to prevent contracting the disease and spreading it by washing your hands or using alcohol based cleansers frequently throughout the day, not shaking hands or having any physical contact with someone, and avoiding contact with people who have symptoms of the flu. Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes as much as possible. You cannot get the disease by eating pork.

May 5, 2009

Exercise Back Pain Away

Back pain can be a serious problem that is commonly caused by issues, such as injury, sitting too long, overuse of back muscles, muscle strain, and bad posture. Regular exercise can help with stiffness and weakened back muscles and reduce the occurrences and severity of future back pains. It can also help a person to recover faster from an injury, prevent reinjuries in the back, and reduce the chances of disability from back pain. When exercise is done in a controlled, gradual, and progressive way, it can distribute nutrients into the disc space and soften the tissues in the back to keep the discs, muscles, ligaments, and joints healthy.

There are certain exercises that can be done to strengthen back muscles. Strength-training is good at working the upper and lower body muscles. Lifting weights at least 3 times per week is a good way to reduce back pain. Stretching exercises are good at lengthening back muscles, increasing mobility of the joints of the spine, and relieving back pain. Doing cardiovascular and aerobic exercises, such as walking, bike riding, swimming, and jogging, a few times a week for 30 minutes each session are also a good way to strengthen muscles. Having strong abdominal muscles is just as important as having strong back muscles when it comes to supporting the lower back and preventing lower back pain.