Sunday, January 24, 2010

If you are looking for an alternative or complimentary treatment for your illness then you may want to consider Ayurvedic medicine. In this article we will look at what Ayurvedic medicine is, what it involves and how it can help you with your treatment.

History of Ayurveda

Ayurveda was a medical system that was developed in India over 5,000 years ago and is thought to be a medicine that deals with the mind, body and spirit. Originally it was part of the Vedic religion and originally contained four books of spirituality. Ayurveda has remained in the Indian culture since then and is still the main source of medical treatment for people living in India.

What is Ayurvedic Medicine?

The principle behind Ayurveda is that every person has 3 energies or Doshas within them, these are called Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each person will experience each dosha to a greater or lesser degree. A person is usually typified by one particular dosha and each one has certain characteristics. The Dosha that applies to you will determine the treatment that you receive and what you should do to bring about good health. An Ayurveda practitioner will do a full assessment of you to determine which dosha is your main one before they work on any treatment with you.

In Ayurvedic medicine treatment involves looking at the whole person and will usually involve several components. People getting treatment will normally need to make lifestyle changes, as well as possible practise Yoga, take herbal remedies as well as other components. The aim of these treatments is to bring a person’s dosha back into balance and so bring them back into good health. It is believed that illness are caused due to one dosha being too strong and so bringing the other doshas into play can help to balance out the doshas and that is the basis of treatment.

Who can Benefit from Ayurveda?

The answer to this is quite simple as absolutely everyone can benefit from Ayurvedic medicine. For some medical conditions including things like cancer it can be a great complimentary therapy that can be used alongside conventional medicine. The main reason for this is that this form of treatment will treat the spirit and mind as well and so can bring about a peace of mind that conventional treatments cannot.

In addition if you are suffering from something that conventional medicine is not always useful for like insomnia, stress and irritable bowel syndrome, to name a few, Ayurveda can help. The reason for this is that most of these conditions are associated with your state of mind and can be significantly helped by anything that can improve the state of mind.

Another reason why Ayurveda can be helpful is that in the most part it is a completely safe and non invasive treatment. For example it recommends certain lifestyle changes like rising with the sun, exercising in the morning and meditating after emptying your bladder or bowel. It can be seen that these are safe but could have a significant effect on the way you feel. In addition it has already been seen that there are a large number of benefits of yoga and meditation and these are usually included in most treatment plans.

If you are considering using alternative remedies to help you with your condition then Ayurveda may be something you want to seriously consider. Make sure you do full research before jumping in and ensure you get a reputable practitioner to make sure you get the maximum benefits.

If you suffer from insomnia you will be all too aware of the effect this can have on your life. In this article we will look at what insomnia is briefly and then consider ways in which you can use alternative therapies to help with insomnia.

What is Insomnia?

Put simply insomnia is difficulty sleeping. However this may occur in a variety of different ways and the symptoms vary from person to person. When people think of insomnia they usually think of people that lie awake for hours and have problems getting to sleep and this is one form. However some people with insomnia may find that they get to sleep but wake up several times in the night. Others may find that they wake in the early hours of the morning even though they fell asleep ok in the first instance. If you suffer from insomnia then you may find you have difficulty concentrating as well as an increased appetite and irritability along with other symptoms associated with a lack of sleep.

Ways to Treat Insomnia

If you have insomnia you will probably find that conventional medicine will be of little help. This is largely because most doctors will not prescribe sleeping pills and will suggest you find other ways to deal with the problem. The reasons that people cannot sleep will vary from person to person, it may be caused by an underlying physical illness, pain, depression, stress, anxiety or even from straight forward excitement. It is important to determine the cause so that you can get treatment for it.

If you want something to help with your insomnia immediately there are a number of different things you can try and these include:

1. Lifestyle changes - it is important to get into a good bedtime routine and this can involve taking a bath a couple of hours before bed. You should also ensure that you do not watch telly, listen to the radio, read or do anything else that could prevent you from sleeping in your room.

2. Sleep Restriction - one thing that people with insomnia do is spend extra time in bed to try and make the sleep up. This can often make the problem worse. The best thing to do is to restrict your sleep and only spend a set number of hours in bed. This may be very tiring at first but for some people it can really prove a great success.

3. Yoga - there are a number of yoga poses that can help with insomnia and to bring on restful sleep. It could be worth doing a short routine just before bed.

4. Meditation - this can often help to clear the mind and bring about a deep sense of relaxation. For that reason meditating just before bed could help to bring about restful sleep.

5. Hypnotherapy - it is quite often that insomnia is caused by psychological issues and hypnotherapy can help you to develop ways of coping and bringing about restful sleep.

6. Aromatherapy - there are a number of oils that could be helpful in bringing about sleep but lavender is the most popular. You can place a couple of drops on your pillow or burn a lavender calendar or even place some in a bath to help you relax.

As you can see there are a number of options in the world of alternative medicine to help you deal with your insomnia. It is important to do some research and find one that suits you and you will soon be getting a great night’s sleep.
We are going to look at ginkgo biloba in this article. You will find out what this herb is, how you can use it and the conditions that could be helped by ginkgo bilboa.

What is Ginkgo Biloba?

Ginkgo Biloba is a perennial deciduous tree that is native to Eastern China. In fact it is the oldest living tree on the planet and is thought to date back over 300 million years. This fact often means that it is call the living fossil. These trees can often grow as high as 37m (122ft) and have a girth up to 1.2m (4ft). The female trees are often pointed like a pyramid at the top whereas the male trees are broader at the top. The bark is rough and the colour can vary from ash to dark brown. The leaves of the tree are bright green and fan shaped on the end of a long stem. The trees can take up to 30 years to flower and once the blossom has gone the fruits left are yellow and plum-shaped that can give off an unpleasant smell.

How to use Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo is not necessarily an easy plant to get your hands on. For that reason it might be a good idea to buy a remedy from your local health food store. In the USA it is sold as a food supplement in the form of both tablet and capsule. However in Europe it is largely sold as either prescription or over the counter medication.

In terms of using the plant, it is the leaves that contain the medicinal properties. However the leaves must be processed in order to extract the active phytochemicals. A large number of leaves are needed just to create one dose of the herb. For that reason you are best to buy the herb already processed.

Uses of Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba has a large number of medical properties and this has been recorded as far back as 2800BC. It has been shown that an enzyme found in the seeds can speed up alcohol metabolism which might explain why they are served with alcohol in Japan. In Asia the leaf extract has been used to treat conditions such as allergies, asthma and bronchitis. It is also thought to be a heart tonic and useful for treating cardiac arrhythmia.

The herb has an important property where it can increase the blood flow in the body which can make it very useful for a number of different conditions. For example in Europe the herb is prescribed for conditions like Raynaud’s disease and is also recommended for people with intermittent circulation. In Germany it is recommended for leg ulcers and varicose veins and is recommended across Europe for a stroke treatment. Long term use has also been shown as beneficial for erectile dysfunction and PMS.

Another great property is that it is thought to enhance oxygen use which can help with memory and concentration. This lead to a number of studies which showed it could be useful for dementia and age-related memory loss. Other conditions it may be useful for include tinnitus, improving long-distance vision, depression, headaches, sinusitis and vertigo.

Side Effects and Precautions

Allow gingko is a relatively safe herb there are some precautions you should take. Make sure you stick to the recommended dose as exceeding this can lead to restlessness, diarrhoea, and gastrointestinal problems. It should also be avoided for two weeks before and after surgery. In addition the herb should be completely avoided in pregnant women due to its effect on the placenta. You should also be careful when giving the herb to children.

There are some medications that the herb can interact with including those that thin the blood. If you have any concerns it is a good idea to discuss the herb with your doctor.