In this issue you will find:
- PCOM Important Dates
- Ease Nausea with Ginger
- Green Tea & Prostrate Cancer
- Relieve Infant Colic with Massage
- Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day
- March 21 – New York Open House
- March 29 – Shiatsu Massage Mini Class
- April 28 – World Tai Chi & Qi Gong Day
Ease Nausea with Ginger
Since ancient times, the ginger plant has been used as a medicine in Indian, Asian, and Arabic healing treatments. Some of its most common uses involve treating nausea, upset stomach, and diarrhea, as well as colic, heart conditions, and arthritis. Ginger is valued around the world for its medicinal and cooking uses, and is an important cooking spice believed to cure the common cold and heavy menstrual periods in many cultures. Ginger grows in the moist, fertile soil in its native Asia, where its use as a culinary spice goes back nearly 5,000 years.
Though a powerful, multi-functional herb, ginger is widely used as a digestive aid for mild stomach pain to serious nausea, associated with motion sickness, pregnancy, and the flu.
Most pregnant women will experience bouts of nausea and vomiting – particularly in the first trimester. Multiple studies have concluded that ginger is more effective than a placebo in relieving vomiting and nausea associated with pregnancy. “Ginger is effective for relieving the severity of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy,” concluded researchers at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand. “Twenty-eight of 32 in the ginger group had improved in nausea symptoms compared with 10 of 35 in the placebo group. Further, no adverse effect of ginger on pregnancy outcome was detected.” Ginger is a safe and effective treatment for nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy. Ingesting as little as 1 gram of ginger root every day for four days will significantly reduce feelings of nausea and incidences of vomiting in pregnant women.
A study in the United Kingdom demonstrated ginger’s effectiveness in easing nausea and vomiting in women recovering from serious gynecological surgery: “The effectiveness of ginger (Zingiber officinale) as an antiemetric agent was compared with placebo and metoclopramide in 60 women who had major gynecological surgery in a double-blind, randomized study. There were statistically significantly fewer recorded incidences of nausea in the group that received ginger root compared with the placebo.”
In another study, ingesting 11 grams of ginger root before surgery reduces nausea as effectively as a leading medication. In the same study, women who received ginger also required fewer nausea-relieving medications following surgery.
Ginger products are made from dried or fresh ginger root – other tinctures are derived from steam distillation of the oil found in the root. This powerful herb is available in capsules, tinctures, extracts, and oils. Fresh ginger root is widely-available, and can be brewed into a tea.
Green Tea Extract May Help HIV Patients
Adding to the list of its already known health benefits, modern science is coming to find chemicals found in Green Tea may also show promise for slowing the degradation of immune cells caused by HIV. The immune cells that HIV attacks are the T-cells produced by the thyroid gland. These cells are often referred to as “Generals” because they lead other immune cells to the areas of the body that require resistance or repair from pathogens.
When left untreated, HIV can virtually wipe out the bodies supply and ability to produce T-cells thereby leaving it susceptible to other disease causing viruses and bacteria. Eventually this leads to Advanced Immune Deficiency Syndrome, otherwise known as AIDS. A person with advanced AIDS can die of the virus that causes the common cold because without immune protection there is a quick proliferation of the virus cells throughout the lungs which can cause pneumonia. Virtually any disease is a potential killer for a person with advanced HIV or AIDS without the proper medications.
Dr. Kuzushige Kawai at the University of Tokyo is one of a handful of scientists who have taken an interest in the implications of Green Tea for treatment of HIV. Most specifically it is the Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) scientists are interested in. This is the same chemical compound that has been linked with lower rates of heart disease, stroke, lowered cholesterol, managing diabetes, and better liver health.
What Dr. Kawai found in lab tests was that the EGCG found in Green Tea prevented the virus from bonding to CD4 molecules in healthy T-cells, by bonding with them before the virus.
Another study conducted at the Laboratory of Viral Oncology in Nagoya, Japan found EGCG inhibits HIV’s replication. These results insinuate Green Tea may be an eradicator of the virus already existing in cells or at the very least a “cooler” of sorts, keeping the virus latent. HIV is different than other viruses because even when it is latent in a host cell its genetic encoding transfers upon cell division which means all new cells are infected. The possibility that Green Tea can induce cell apoptosis (self-programmed cell death) in infected cells shows the most promise because infected cells will cease replicating thus ending the cycle of life for the virus. This along with the elimination of potential host T-Cells makes Green Tea a potent natural elixir to help fight against HIV.
The amount of EGCG used in the experiments regarding HIV is far higher than those found in typical store bought Green Tea, and it is not yet known if these levels in the blood serum could be toxic. However, Green Tea is plentiful and found all over the world whereas the engineered pharmaceuticals currently being utilized to treat HIV can be expensive and hard to obtain. Green Tea offers a ray of hope for the people suffering from HIV across the globe. More resources need to be put forward for Green Tea research to discover what the ultimate implications are for HIV patients.
Relieve Infant Colic with Massage
For some, it appears constant crying is a normal occurrence in newborns. But is it? Colic is one of the most common reported ailments in infants aged 3 weeks to about 3 or 4 months. Extended periods of loud crying lasting longer than an hour are trademarks of the ailment, and are most frequent after being fed or late into the evenings.
Colic stems from problems with the infant’s immature digestive system. Trapped gas may cause the baby’s stomach to become distended, resulting in pain, bloating, the inability to pass gas, and frequent crying or screaming. Luckily, stimulation of the digestive process through careful massage may help ease the pain and urge relief from colic.
A study printed in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics supported the effects of massage on colicky infants. The researchers claim that massage therapy stimulated melatonin secretion and rest-activity rhythms in full-term infants. “Massage therapy by mothers in the perinatal period serves as a strong time cue, enhancing coordination of the developing circadian system with environmental cues.” In essence, massage helped relax infants and urge them to sleep, observing the natural circadian rhythms.
A Danish study further supports the claim that massage and reflexological treatments eased symptoms of colic in infants. The purpose of the study was to investigate and treat infants with colic by conventional medicine, followed by an investigation of the effect of reflexological treatment. “Infantile colic had a significant cure rate at pediatric consultation and the children who did not benefit from this intervention had a significantly better outcome after reflexological treatment than had the observation group.”
The addition of massage to treatments in the study proved more effective than traditional medicine alone.
Massage for colicky infants is simple and stress-free. A few minutes of your time is enough to soothe the child, relieve symptoms of colic, and help create a tighter bond between parent and child.
The first step is called the paddlewheel. You may want to use a little massage oil or lotion on your hands before beginning. Place your palm under the infant’s chin, with fingers pointing towards the child’s shoulder. Draw your hand downward along the chest, towards their diaper. Repeat with slow, gentle motions.
In the second step, place your infant’s heel next to their bottom by bending the knee. With the leg still bent, move the thigh towards their stomach until it rests on their tummy. Move the other leg to this position as well. Slowly and carefully move the legs in a bicycle pattern. The infant may be confused at first, but they grow to love it.
Part three is also simple. Using as much of your palm and fingers as possible, circle the belly button in a clockwise motion. This motion will move the gas around, making it easier to pass for the infant.
For most parents, only five minutes per diaper change is enough to encourage a healthy digestive system, ease symptoms of colic, and promote a quiet and restful evening.
Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day
“Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.”
- Chuang Tzu