Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been practiced in China and other Asian countries for thousands of years. Acupuncture involves stimulating specific points on the body. This is most often done by inserting thin needles through the skin, to cause a change in the physical functions of the body.

Research has shown that acupuncture reduces nausea and vomiting after surgery and chemotherapy. It can also relieve pain. Researchers don’t fully understand how acupuncture works. It might aid the activity of your body’s pain-killing chemicals. It also might affect how you release chemicals that regulate blood pressure and flow.

Alkaloid

Alkaloids are a group of naturally occurring chemical compounds that contain mostly basic nitrogen atoms. This group also includes some related compounds with neutral and even weakly acidic properties. Some synthetic compounds of similar structure are also termed alkaloids. In addition to carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, alkaloids may also contain oxygen, sulfur and, more rarely, other elements such as chlorine, bromine, and phosphorus.

Alkaloids are produced by a large variety of organisms including bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals. They can be purified from crude extracts of these organisms by acid-base extraction. Alkaloids have a wide range of pharmacological activities including antimalarial (e.g. quinine), antiasthma (e.g. ephedrine), anticancer (e.g.homoharringtonine), cholinomimetic (e.g. galantamine), vasodilatory (e.g. vincamine), antiarrhythmic (e.g. quinidine), analgesic (e.g. morphine), antibacterial (e.g.chelerythrine), and antihyperglycemic activities (e.g. piperine). Many have found use in traditional or modern medicine, or as starting points for drug discovery. Other alkaloids possess psychotropic (e.g. psilocin) and stimulant activities (e.g. cocaine, caffeine, nicotine),  and have been used in entheogenic rituals or as recreational drugs. Alkaloids can be toxic too (e.g. atropine, tubocurarine). Although alkaloids act on a diversity of metabolic systems in humans and other animals, they almost uniformly evoke a bitter taste.[13]

The boundary between alkaloids and other nitrogen-containing natural compounds is not clear-cut. Compounds like amino acid peptides, proteins, nucleotides, nucleic acid, amines, and antibiotics are usually not called alkaloids. Natural compounds containing nitrogen in the exocyclic position (mescaline, serotonin, dopamine, etc.) are usually classified as amines rather than as alkaloids.[15] Some authors, however, consider alkaloids a special case of amines.

 

Arnica

Arnica  is a genus of perennial, herbaceous plants in the sunflower family (Asteraceae). The genus name Arnica may be derived from the Greek arni, “lamb”, in reference to the plants’ soft, hairy leaves. Arnica is also known by the names Mountain Tobacco and, confusingly, Leopard’s bane and Wolfsbane—two names that it shares with the entirely unrelated genus Aconitum.

arnica_montana_-_kohler-s_medizinal-pflanzen-015

Arnica plants have a deep-rooted, erect stem that is usually unbranched. Their downy opposite leaves are borne towards the apex of the stem. The ovoid, leathery basal leaves are arranged in a rosette.

They show large yellow or orange flowers, 6–8 cm wide with 10–15 cm long ray florets and numerous disc florets. The phyllaries (a bract under the flowerhead) has long spreading hairs. Each phyllary is associated with a ray floret. Species of Arnica, with an involucre (a circle of bracts arranged surrounding the flower head) arranged in two rows, have only their outer phyllaries associated with ray florets. The flowers have a slight aromatic smell. If taken in the wrong dose it can be very dangerous.

The seedlike fruit has a pappus of plumose, white or pale tan bristles. The entire plant has a strong and distinct pine-sage odor when the leaves of mature plants are rubbed or bruised.

Commercial Arnica preparations are frequently used by professional athletes. According to The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, “A few clinical trials suggest benefits of topical arnica for osteoarthritis; and for affecting significant reduction of bruising compared to placebo or low concentration vitamin K ointments. However, a small study reported that topical arnica actually increased pain 24 hours after calf exercises.

Arnica Uses

Early studies of topical arnica gels and ointments for arthritis symptoms of the hand and knee — like pain and swelling — have been positive. So far, research is mixed on whether arnica skin treatments can help ease muscle pain.

If eaten, the actual herb is toxic and can be fatal. However, some oralsupplements contain highly diluted arnica. These are considered homeopathic treatments. These low-dose arnica tablets are safe to use and have been studied for muscle pain, diabetic eye damage, and swelling and pain after surgery. More research needs to be done to establish effectiveness for those problems. A study of children with cancer, however, found that homeopathic low-dose arnica may help reduce mouth ulcers related to chemotherapy.

Because of the risks of pure arnica, the FDA classifies it as an unsafe herb. Doctors who practice complementary medicine generally advise against using arnica in any form other than in a highly diluted homeopathic form.

 

Belladonna

For centuries, healers have used Belladona as a powerful anesthetic for surgeries. It reduces swelling, eliminates muscle twitches, relieves nerve pain, ends muscle aches and stops shooting pains.

belladonna
belladonna

Atropa belladonna, commonly known as belladonna or deadly nightshade, is a perennial herbaceous plant (rhizomatous hemicryptophyte) in the Nightshade family (which includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, etc.) Solanaceae, native to Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia. Its distribution extends from Great Britain in the west to western Ukraine and the Iranian province of Gilan in the east. It is also naturalised and/or introduced in some parts of Canada and the United States. The foliage and berries are extremely toxic, containing tropane alkaloids. These toxins include atropine, scopolamine and hyoscyamine, which cause a bizarre delirium and hallucinations,[1] and are also used as pharmaceutical anticholinergics.

Atropa Belladonna has unpredictable effects. The antidote for belladonna poisoning is physostigmine or pilocarpine, the same as for atropine.

It has a long history of use as a medicine, cosmetic, and poison. Before the Middle Ages, it was used as an anesthetic for surgery; the ancient Romans used it as a poison (the wife of Emperor Augustus and the wife of Claudius both were rumored to have used it for murder); and, predating this, it was used to make poison-tipped arrows. The genus name Atropa comes from Atropos, one of the three Fates in Greek mythology, and the name “bella donna” is derived from Italian and means “pretty woman” because the herb was used in eye-drops by women to dilate the pupils of the eyes to make them appear seductive.

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Drug Reactions

Most of the time, medicines make our lives better. They reduce aches and pains, fight infections, and control problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes. But medicines can also cause unwanted reactions.

One problem is interactions, which may occur between

  • Two drugs, such as aspirin and blood thinners
  • Drugs and food, such as statins and grapefruit
  • Drugs and supplements, such as gingko and blood thinners
  • Drugs and diseases, such as aspirin and peptic ulcers

Interactions can change the actions of one or both drugs. The drugs might not work, or you could get side effects.

Side effects are unwanted effects caused by the drugs. Most are mild, such as a stomach aches or drowsiness, and go away after you stop taking the drug. Others can be more serious.

Drug allergies are another type of reaction. They can be mild or life-threatening. Skin reactions, such as hives and rashes, are the most common type. Anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction, is more rare.

When you start a new prescription or over-the-counter medication, make sure you understand how totake it correctly. Know which other medications and foods you need to avoid. Ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

Drug Safety

In the U.S., the government’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must approve any drug before it can be sold. This is true whether it’s a prescription or an over-the-counter drug. The FDA evaluates the safety of a drug by looking at

  • Side effects
  • How it’s manufactured
  • Results of animal testing and clinical trials

The FDA also monitors a drug’s safety after approval.

For you, drug safety means buying online from only legitimate pharmacies and taking your medicines correctly.

Herbal Medicine

An herb is a plant or plant part used for its scent, flavor, or therapeutic properties. Herbal medicines are one type of dietary supplement. They are sold as tablets, capsules, powders, teas, extracts, and fresh or dried plants. People use herbal medicines to try to maintain or improve their health.Photograph of dried herbs and flower parts

Many people believe that products labeled “natural” are always safe and good for them. This is not necessarily true. Herbal medicines do not have to go through the testing that drugs do. Some herbs, such as comfrey and ephedra, can cause serious harm. Some herbs can interact with prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

If you are thinking about using an herbal medicine, first get information on it from reliable sources. Make sure to tell your health care provider about any herbal medicines you are taking.

Hip Replacement

Hip replacement is surgery for people with severe hip damage. The most common cause of damage is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis causes pain, swelling, and reduced motion in your joints. It can interfere with your daily activities. If other treatments such as physical therapy, pain medicines, and exercise haven’t helped, hip replacement surgery might be an option for you.Illustration of a hip joint before and after hip replacement

During a hip replacement operation, the surgeon removes damaged cartilage and bone from your hip joint and replaces them with new, man-made parts.

A hip replacement can

  • Relieve pain
  • Help your hip joint work better
  • Improve walking and other movements

The most common problem after surgery is hip dislocation. Because a man-made hip is smaller than the original joint, the ball can come out of its socket. The surgery can also cause blood clots and infections. With a hip replacement, you might need to avoid certain activities, such as jogging and high-impact sports.

Ignatia

Ignatia was discovered by a Jesuit missionary serving in the Philippines in the late 1600’s. This homeopath calms nerves and reduces the stress which can lead to tight shoulders, a tight neck and painful tension headaches. It relieves emotional distress, allowing your muscles to relax.

The native people of the Philippines have been traditionally wearing the seeds of St. Ignatius bean in the form of amulets with a view to keep off as well as heal different types of ailments. The seeds were introduced from East Africa into Europe for the first time in the 17th century and the credit for this goes to the Spanish Jesuits. These seeds enclose a potent poison known as strychnine and when ingested it works on our nervous system. Later, the homeopathic remedy Ignatia prepared from these seeds was proved as well as published for the first time by the German physician Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in the documentation of his works Materia Medica Pura (1821-1834).

ignatiaThe homeopathic remedy Ignatia is most appropriate for people, particularly womenfolk, who are suffering from very powerful emotional problems, for instance, any severe grief following a death or a relationship gone astray. People who require this medication most are those who are often emotionally weak, touchy and artistic. They are also inclined to mood swing and suffer from self-pity. In addition, such individuals may have a somewhat delicate air, usually found laughing as well as crying simultaneously. In case they try to hold back their emotions, it may often result in hysteria. These people generally have very high expectations from people who are close to them and even when they are disheartened in love, they find it very hard to break all ties with their partner.

In general, Ignatia is an effective homeopathic remedy for incongruous physical symptoms, for instance, indigestion which is eased when one eats something, or a tender throat getting better after swallowing some solid food. Usually, the symptoms are accompanied by intense feeling of pain and having an inclination to sigh and yawn too often. People who respond to Ignatia well are those that have a loathing towards crowds, suffer from a phobia related to birds, particularly chicken. In addition, this homeopathic remedy is also employed to cure ailments that have their origin in emotional trauma. These conditions may include digestive disorders like queasiness and vomiting; headaches; tender throats; and nervous spasms and shuddering.

This homeopathic remedy works excellently for nervous disorders accompanied by symptoms like shuddering, nervous spasms or lack of sensation in the limbs and face, perhaps worsening to hysterical paralysis, seizures, or chorea (a condition wherein the patient experiences unsystematic trembling of the limbs and face). It is important to note that Ignatia is only given provided the symptoms endured by the patient are set off by grief, shock or any other powerful emotional turbulence.

In case you notice that you are constantly engrossed in thought regarding painful conditions and you also take deep sighs quite often, you will find the homeopathic remedy Ignatia very useful. Everyone who has lost a dear one or broken up in a love relationship commonly suffers from sleeplessness and nightmares and their only remedial option is Ignatia. The symptoms cured by this homeopathic remedy are inclined to be somewhat unpredictable and irregular, and they are likely to tighten as well as release frequently while the body and the mind endeavour to reinstate balance. People suffering from health conditions that are treated by Ignatia normally feel better when they eat something and when they are exposed to warmth. On the contrary, their symptoms worsen when there is any type of emotional turbulence, when they drink coffee and are exposed to cold breeze.

Irrespective of the fact that they are normal to the person or have been brought on by emotions, individuals who require the homeopathic remedy most are those who are generally very sensitive, impractical and, at times, mysterious, and their moods are likely to change very often. For instance, they may be laughing at one moment and crying in the next. In fact, such people conceal or hold back their feelings so cleverly that you can only get a hint about what are happening within them when they take deep sighs. Over a period of time, such people may possibly turn out to be extremely self-protective, distrustful, envious and also boorish. It is worth mentioning here that the line differentiating Nat. mur. and Ignatia for treating grief as well as held back emotions is very narrow. The difference may be explained by saying that as far as the responses of these two homeopathic remedies to sympathy are concerned, people belonging to the Nat. mur. type are likely to take exception to it, while those having Ignatia temperament will simply like to be left alone. Therefore, when an individual is besieged by any recent anguish, one should first consider giving Ignatia to the sufferer.

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Kratom

What is kratom?
Kratom is a tree native to Southeast Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Borneo, etc.). Its botanical name is Mitragyna speciosa. Kratom is in the same family as the coffee tree (Rubiaceae). The leaves of kratom have been used as an herbal drug from time immemorial by peoples of Southeast Asia. It is used in folk medicine as a stimulant (at low doses), sedative (at high doses), recreational drug, pain killer, medicine for diarrhea, and treatment for opiate addiction.

How is it taken?
In its native region, kratom leaves are often chewed fresh (usually after removing the stringy central vein). Dried leaves can also be chewed, but since they are a bit tough most people prefer to crush them up or powder them so that they can be swallowed. Powdered kratom can be mixed with water and then drunk. This method is quick and easy. It can also be mixed with other liquids, such as fruit juice or milk. Chocolate milk reportedly works well for masking the taste. Powdered kratom can also be made into a paste that can easily be swallowed with water (this is one of the authors’ preferred methods). The powder can also be mixed with applesauce or yogurt. It can also be put into capsules. Dried kratom leaves are often made into a tea that is strained and then drunk. Kratom can be smoked, but doing so is impractical because the amount of leaf that constitutes a typical dose is too much to be smoked easily. A resin-like extract can be prepared by evaporating the water from kratom tea. This can be stored for later use. Small pellets of this extract can be swallowed, or it can be dissolved in hot water and consumed as a tea. Some people like to mix kratom tea with ordinary black tea, or other herbal teas, before it is consumed. This is done to make it more palatable. Sugar or honey can be added to sweeten it.

How does one prepare a powdered kratom PASTE for drinking?
1.) Place a single dose of powdered kratom in a small empty cup.
2.) Add just enough water to make a soft paste (roughly equal parts kratom powder to water, by volume). You will need to stir the mixture for a few minutes until the powder completely absorbs the water and you have a nicely homogenized paste.
3.) Fill a separate glass with water and set it aside. Using a spoon, scoop an easy-to-swallow spoonful of paste into your mouth, then take a big sip of water from the other glass and gulp it down. Repeat spooning, sipping, and swallowing until you have consumed the entire dose. Be careful not to gulp down too much at once, so you don’t accidentally choke on the mixture.

How does one prepare a powdered kratom SLURRY for drinking?
1.) Add powdered kratom to a glass of water (or other beverage). For a typical dose of kratom (about 7 grams), use about 1 cup (8 ounces) of water.
2.) Stir throughly (until the powder is completely suspended), then gulp it down quickly before it has a chance to settle (it is like drinking a bitter-tasting, slightly fibrous smoothy).
3.) Add more water to the glass to recover any material that stuck to the sides. About 1/2 cup of water should be sufficient, but it doesn’t hurt to use more.
4.) Stir again and drink.
5.) When you have got it all down, you can drink a little fruit juice to chase away the bitter taste.

How does one make kratom tea?
Following is a basic recipe for making kratom tea. This recipe makes enough tea for several doses–about 8 moderately strong doses, if using “premium quality” kratom (see “dosage guidelines” below):
1.) Take 2 ounces (56 grams) of dried, crushed kratom leaves and put into a pot. To this add 1 quart (about 1 liter) of water.
2.) Boil gently for 15 minutes.
3.) Pour the tea through a strainer into a bowl and reserve the liquid.
(squeeze the leaves in the strainer to get most of the liquid out).
4.) Put the leaves back in the pot and add another liter of fresh water. Repeat steps 2 and 3.
(after the leaves have been strained a second time, they can be discarded.)
5.) Put the combined liquid from both boilings back into the pot and boil until the volume is reduced to about 1 cup (250 ml).
(The idea is to boil the tea down to a small volume so that each individual dose can be quickly swallowed.
You can boil it down to whatever concentration you are comfortable with. Be careful near the end of the process.
If it starts to become syrupy, it may spatter and/or burn.)

The tea is bitter tasting. To minimize the unpleasant taste, gulp it down quickly and then immediately chase it with some pleasant-tasting fruit juice.

The same general preparation method can of course be used with larger or smaller amounts of herb by simply adjusting the volume of water used. Kratom tea can be safely stored in the refrigerator for about five days. It is probably okay to keep it a bit longer, but it’s better to play it safe and not drink it after five days. It can be stored for many months if you add some alcohol to it. Adding about 10% alcohol will preserve it for many months (in the refrigerator). That is one part 80 proof liquor (vodka, rum, or a similar spirit) to three parts kratom tea. When refrigerated, some components may precipitate out of solution and form a sediment in the bottom of the container. This sediment may contain active alkaloids so it should be redissolved before consuming the tea. This is easily done by warming the tea and stirring.

What are the effects?
Kratom is a rather unique drug in that a low to moderate dose will usually (but not always) be stimulating, while a high dose is almost always quite sedating. This is apparently because the active alkaloids have both stimulant and sedative effects. Which predominates probably depends both on dosage and individual differences between users. Many people report that the effects are very similar to opiate drugs. From a pharmacological perspective this is not surprising because kratom contains alkaloids that act as opiate receptor agonists. Interestingly, although kratom has a similar mechanism of action as many opiate pain medications it does not appear to be nearly as addictive. In fact many people use kratom to overcome opiate addiction.

The stimulant level: At the stimulant level the mind is more alert, physical energy and sometimes sexual energy is increased, ability to do hard monotonous physical work may be improved, one is more talkative, friendly, and sociable. Some people find this level edgy rather than pleasant.

The sedative-euphoric-analgesic level: At this dosage you will be less sensitive to physical or emotional pain, feel and look calm, have a general feeling of comfortable pleasure, and may enter a pleasant dreamy reverie. You may experience some itching or sweating. Your pupils may be constricted (small). It is possible you may feel nauseated, but if you lie down and relax the nausea should quickly cease. You may find your appreciation of music is increased. It will be very pleasant to lie down on your back in a semi-darkened room, with eyes closed, and just listen to your favorite music. If you do this you may be fortunate enough to enter the delightful mixed-state of ‘waking-dreaming’ where you have one foot in dreamland and the other foot in the real world. This state was much prized by the 19th century Romantic writers, who, lacking knowledge of kratom, resorted to the much more habit-forming narcotic, opium, to achieve it.

What effects are associated with different doses? (dosage guidelines)
That depends on the potency of the kratom. The following dosage-guidline charts are typical for the kratom varieties offered by Sage Wisdom Botanicals,the sponsor of this page.

Premium Quality Kratom
(oral dosage)
Threshold 2-4 grams
Mild 3-5 grams
Moderate 4-10 grams
Strong 8-15 grams
Very Strong 12-25 grams
Ultra-Potent Kratom
(oral dosage)
Threshold 1-3 grams
Mild 2-4 grams
Moderate 3-7 grams
Strong 6-10 grams
Very Strong 8-16 grams
Kratom Extract
(oral dosage)
Threshold 1 gram
Mild 1-2 grams
Moderate 2-4 grams
Strong 3-6 grams
Very Strong 5-8 grams

Threshold = The effects are clearly apparent, but subtle.
Mild = Typically the effects are stimulant-like.
Moderate = The effects can be stimulant-like or sedative-euphoric-analgesic.
Strong = Sedative-euphoric-analgesic effects; too strong for highly sensitive people.
Very Strong = Sedative-euphoric-analgesic effects (TOO STRONG FOR MOST PEOPLE)

Caution:People vary in sensitivity to kratom, and kratom from different sources can vary in potency (sometimes quite a lot), so these dosage estimates should be regarded as loose approximations. One should always start with a low dose when experimenting with a new batch of kratom. One can then increase the dose gradually with subsequent experiments until one obtains the desired level of effects. DO NOT take a strong, or very strong dose, the first time you are sampling a new batch of kratom. Most people experience nausea when using very strong doses. Sensitive individuals may experience nausea at lower doses. For this reason, it is best to take kratom on an empty stomach when using strong doses (i.e. wait about 3 hours after eating). Some people are hypersensitive to kratom, and may experience adverse reactions (such as severe and prolonged vomiting) when using very strong doses.

What is duration of kratoms effects?
The effects of kratom usually last 5-6 hours. When taken on an empty stomach, the onset of effects is typically felt 30-40 minutes after ingestion. If there is much food in the stomach, it may take 60-90 minutes before it begins to take effect. When taken in capsules (gelatin or vegetarian), the onset of effects may be delayed a little because it takes time for the capsules to dissolve in the stomach.

What are the risks? How safe is it?
When kratom is taken by itself (without mixing it with other drugs), the greatest risk is falling asleep while engaged in hazardous activities. NEVER drive while under the influence of kratom, even if you feel stimulated, rather than sleepy, for sleepiness may come on you without warning. Use common sense. Do not use power tools or climb ladders while under the influence of kratom. Be careful not to leave a pot on a lit stove and then fall asleep.

Pregnant women should not take any drug or medication except on medical advice. Since there have been no studies of the risks of kratom use by pregnant women, it is not known whether it could cause birth defects or fetal death. We strongly recommend that any woman who could possibly be pregnant NOT use kratom.

Is kratom an effective pain medication?
Many people report that kratom is an effective pain medication (analgesic). In fact, except for opium, kratom is probably the most effective herbal analgesic available.

Is kratom an effective treatment for opiate addiction?
One of the traditional uses of kratom in Thailand is as a treatment opiate addiction. Opiate addiction is a widespread problem. Not just for people who use opiate drugs illegally, but also for people who are prescribed opiate pain medications. Unfortunately, people who use opiate drugs daily often become addicted. Understandably, many people do not like being addicted to these drugs and are looking for ways to overcome their addiction. Many people report that kratom is effective for this purpose. Because it contains alkaloids that act as opiate receptor agonists it can be used as a substitute for opiate drugs, both as a pain medication and to avoid opiate withdrawals. After switching to kratom for a while, people say that they are able to reduce and then end their kratom use completely without suffering through difficult opiate withdrawal. This suggests that although it contains opiate receptor agonists, the pharmacology of kratom differs from opiate drugs in an important and potentially useful way. Before using kratom to overcome opiate addiction, it is obviously a good idea to discuss this with an open-minded physician.

Is kratom habit forming?
Kratom is not habit forming when it is used responsibly. If used occasionally as a recreational drug, rather than daily, there is virtually no risk of becoming dependent on it. But it is very important not to get into the habit of using it every day. For kratom, like many drugs [e.g. alcohol, coffee, tobacco, etc.] if used on a daily basis for a prolonged period of time, could become a habit hard to break. Before starting to experiment with it set yourself usage guidelines. If you ever find it is hard to stay within your usage guidelines immediately quit using kratom. Of course, people who are using kratom to overcome a preexisting opiate addiction may need to use kratom daily to avoid opiate withdrawal. People suffering from chronic pain may need to take pain medications on a daily basis, and some people choose to use kratom instead of pharmaceutical pain killers. Interestingly, studies have found that opiate drugs (morphine and its relatives) are rarely addictive for pain sufferers except among people with a history of substance abuse. This is probably also true for kratom, because like opiate drugs, the effects of kratom are due to opiate receptor agonist activity.

Is it possible to develop tolerance to kratom?
Yes. Like many drugs, if kratom is used on a daily basis one will eventually develop some tolerance to its effects and will gradually need to take increasingly larger doses to obtain the same level of effects. Tolerance does not develop when kratom is taken occasionally (no more than twice a week). Since the active constituents in kratom are opioid receptor agonists, there is likely to be cross-tolerance with other opioid drugs. This means that people who have developed tolerance to other opioid drugs will probably need to use higher doses of kratom than people who have not. Tolerance is not permanent. Normal sensitivity resumes after a few weeks of abstinence.

I have heard that tolerance can be avoided by taking different varieties of kratom on different days. Is that true?
No. Mixing up different kinds of kratom is not going reduce tolerance. All varieties of kratom contain the same active constituents, although their concentration varies with different batches.

I have heard that the potency and quality of kratom’s effects is correlated with the color of the central leaf vein. Is that true?
The color of the central leaf vein ranges from various shades of green to various shades of red. This is partly determined by genetics, but it also varies depending on how much sunlight the tree receives, and other environmental factors. The same tree can have leaves with pale green, dark green, and red veins. We have not seen any consistent connection between vein color and potency or type of effects. It appears that such correlations are mostly marketing hype invented by kratom merchants.

What are safe usage guidelines?
It is best to err on the side of caution. Therefore, we recommend that people not use Kratom more than once a week. Preferably, no more than once or twice a month. This will insure that Kratom does not become a habit. In other words, kratom should be reserved as a special, but OCCASIONAL treat. By using it infrequently, you will avoid habituation and get more pleasure from it.

Are there any reported health problems?
Health problems are unlikely unless one is consuming large quantities of kratom every day. In Thailand, where there are some people who use kratom every day, those dependent on it can develop weight loss, dark pigmentation of the face, and have physical withdrawal symptoms if they quit abruptly. The withdrawal symptoms may include muscle aches, irritability, crying, runny nose, diarrhea, and muscle jerking. Health problems are unlikely to occur in occasional kratom users. Like any drug or medicine, people’s reactions vary and some people could possibly have an allergic or other unusual reaction to kratom, even if they used it responsibly.

Can kratom be combined safely with other substances?
In general, combining drugs can be risky. We recommend that kratom not be combined with yohimbine, cocaine, amphetamine-like drugs, or large doses of caffeine, because of the possibility of over-stimulation or increased blood pressure. We recommend that kratom not be combined with large amounts of alcohol, with benzodiazepines, opiates (other than possible use with red poppy tea—see below), or any other drugs that depress the nervous system. This is because of the possibility that such combinations might cause over-sedation or even possible respiratory depression (not breathing), We recommended that kratom not be combined with Syrian rue, Banesteriopsis caapi, or any other MAO inhibitor drug. Serious, even fatal, reactions can occur if MAO inhibitor drugs are combined with monoamine drugs. The combination of MAO inhibitor drugs with kratom, which contains monoamine alkaloids, has not been studied.

Certain combinations have been reported by users to be pleasant and supposedly safe. Kratom can certainly be combined with ordinary tea without risk. It has been used with a tea made from red poppy flowers (Papaver rhoeas), which itself has an extremely mild narcotic effect, and with a sedating-euphoriant tea made from ‘blue lotus’ (Nymphaea caerulea). It has been safely combined with SMALL quantities of alcohol, however large quantities of alcohol must be avoided. Some people report they like to smoke tobacco or cannabis while under the influence of kratom. But anyone smoking under the influence of kratom must be very careful not to nod off and drop lit smoking materials.

What is kratom’s legal status?
Kratom is illegal in Australia, Denmark, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), and Thailand (some of these countries impose sever penalties for possession of this herb). It is legal in most other countries, including the United States and most of Europe. Laws can and do change, so be sure that kratom is legal where you live before using it.

What are kratom’s active constituents?
There are many closely-related tryptamine alkaloids in kratom. The most important ones are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These are primarily responsible for kratom’s pain relieving, sedative, euphoric, and stimulating effects. These alkaloids resemble yohimbine in structure, but do not have the same effects.

Is kratom use detected on drug tests?
Although kratom does contain alkaloids that bind to opiate receptors, they are structurally unrelated to opiate drugs and therefore would not be detected by opiate drug tests. It is technically possible to detect the alkaloids in kratom in body fluids, but since kratom is a legal herbal drug (in most places), it is not normally tested for.

Where can kratom be purchased?
There are a number of online merchants who sell the dried leaves, extracts, or both. One of the authors of this guide offers high-quality kratom through his online herbal products company, Sage Wisdom Botanicals. Beware of misleading labels and marketing hype. It is important to find a trustworthy source. There have been problems with some vendors selling bogus “kratom” (misrepresenting other herbs as kratom) or adulterating kratom with other herbs.

Can kratom be cultivated?
Kratom plants are available from Sage Wisdom Botanicals. They can be grown as house plants (but will have to be cut back because they can grow quite large). They prefer a humid environment. They dislike cold weather and do not tolerate frost. Potted plants can be grown outdoors in temperate climates when the weather is sufficiently warm, and grown indoors the rest of the time. Kratom can be grown outdoors all year in tropical climates. Potted plants should be lightly fertilized every few weeks, but only when actively growing. They can be propagated from cuttings.

Lachesis Mutus

This homeopathic remedy comes from the poisonous venom of the bushmaster snake. Lachesis mutus has potent effects on the blood and central nervous system.

A rare homeopathic remedy from Central and South America, Lachesis Mutus, has been prescribed for centuries as a blood thinner. This thinning quickly improves blood flow which speeds healing by removing toxins from the blood.

The poison of the bushmaster, a greatly feared snake native to Central and South America, is deadly if it enters the human bloodstream. It can paralyze the heart and central nervous system and disrupt the blood-clotting process. If the poison is injected into a muscle, it can induce server swelling. These reactions are why many people find it surprising that this snake venom is used in homeopathic medicine to treat various circulatory and nervous-system disorders. But the remedy, Lachesis mutus, is so dilute that only almost undetectable amounts of the poison remain. Like other homeopathic remedies, it is considered most effective in people who have particular modes of behavior. Before prescribing Lachesis mutus, the homeopath will look for such personality traits as strong self-confidence and a tendency toward envy and vengefulness. In addition, the remedy is often prescribed when symptoms of any ailments start on the left side and worsen after waking.

Like all snake poisons, Lachesis decomposes the blood, rendering it more fluid; hence a hemorrhagic tendency is marked. Purpura, septic states, diphtheria, and other low forms of disease, when the system is thoroughly poisoned and the prostration is profound.

The modalities are most important in guiding to the remedy. Delirium tremens with much trembling and confusion. Very important during the climacteric and for patients of a melancholic disposition. Ill effects of suppressed discharges. Diphtheritic paralysis ( Botulinum.) Diphtheria carriers. Sensation of tension in various parts. Cannot bear anything tight anywhere.
BETTER, appearance of discharges, warm applications.
WORSE, after sleep ( Kali-bich.) Lachesis sleeps INTO worse; ailments that come on during sleep (Calc.); left side, in the spring, warm bath, pressure or constriction, hot drinks. Closing eyes.

Lachesis mutus type

Two types of people are most likely to benefit from Lachesis mutus: One is slim and pale but energetic; the other is somewhat obese with a blotchy, reddish, complexion. Both types share a strong dislike of tight cloths, particularly around the neck.

To determine if you’re a Lachesis mutus type, Check those characteristics that apply to you.

You are afraid of water.
You are very jealous.
Your symptoms are aggravated by grief.
You act erratically, can’t concentrate or lose your train of thought.
You sometimes feel as if you’re suffocating or not getting enough air.
Your symptoms are worse on hot days or in stuffy rooms.
If you checked more than 3 times, turn to the back of the card for additional information about the benefits of Lachesis mutus.

Therapeutic effect
The most important effect of Lachesis mutus is its blood-thinning, or anticoagulant, function. This action enbances blood flow and facilitates the bealing process by bastening the removal of toxins from the blood. The remedy is effective against many bleeding disorders.

Principal homeopathic uses
This remedy is prescribed to ease menopausal symptoms as well as to heal skin injuries, such as an insect bite, a blistering sunburn or a slow-healing wound. Such skin ailments typically produce intense fear and anxiety in patients-one of the hallmarks of the Lachesis mutus is given internally for skin injuries, as well as for anxiety-related conditions. It alleviates a wide range of maladies marked by bleeding or by an impaired blood-clotting ability.

Preparation of the remedy
The basis of the homeopathic remedy is the fresh poison of the bushmaster snake. Like all homeopathic remedies, Lachesis mutus undergoes an extensive series of successive dilutions before being used, so that only infinitesimal amounts of the poison remain in the final preparation. Because of this extreme dilution, commercially available homeopathic preparations of it are considered to be safe; but be sure to buy from a reputable source.

Symptom gauge
To determine if Lachesis mutus is the right remedy for you, your homeopath must know if your symptoms are affected by any of the conditions listed below.

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Magnesium Sulfate

Magnesium Sulfate Relaxes Spasms

Perhaps there’s nothing more painful than sudden painful muscle spasms. Well there’s nothing more fast-acting at stopping muscle spasms and twitching than this vital mineral compound. It’s also been shown to reduce aching joint pain by 80%.

Magnesium sulfate is used for:

Treating low magnesium levels and maintaining the proper amount of magnesium in the body when used as part of intravenous (IV) feedings (eg, total parenteral nutrition [TPN]). It is also used in pregnant women to control seizures due to certain complications of pregnancy (eg, severe toxemia) and to control high blood pressure, severe brain function problems (encephalopathy), and seizures in children who have sudden, severe inflammation of the kidneys (acute nephritis).

magnesium-sulfate-relaxes-spasms

Magnesium sulfate is a mineral. It works by replacing magnesium in patients who have low magnesium levels in the body due to illness or treatment with certain medicines. Magnesium sulfate may also be used to treat seizures by decreasing certain nerve impulses to muscles.

Magnesium sulfate is an inorganic salt (chemical compound) containing magnesium, sulfur and oxygen, with the formula MgSO4. It is often encountered as the heptahydrate sulfate mineral epsomite (MgSO4·7H2O), commonly called Epsom salt, taking its name from a bitter saline spring in Epsom in Surrey, England, where the salt was produced from the springs that arise where the porous chalk of the North Downs meets non-porous London clay. The monohydrate, MgSO4·H2O is found as the mineral kieserite. The overall global annual usage in the mid-1970s of the monohydrate was 2.3 million tons, of which the majority was used in agriculture.

Anhydrous magnesium sulfate is used as a drying agent. The anhydrous form is hygroscopic (readily absorbs water from the air) and is therefore difficult to weigh accurately; the hydrate is often preferred when preparing solutions (for example, in medical preparations). Epsom salt has been traditionally used as a component of bath salts. Epsom salt can also be used as a beauty product. Athletes use it to soothe sore muscles, while gardeners use it to improve crops. It has a variety of other uses: for example, Epsom salt is also effective in the removal of splinters.

It is on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system.

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Marijuana

Marijuana is a green, brown, or gray mix of dried, crumbled parts from the marijuana plant. It can be rolled up and smoked like a cigarette or cigar or smoked in a pipe. Sometimes people mix it in food or inhale it using a vaporizer.

Marijuana can cause problems with memory, learning, and behavior. Smoking it can cause some of the same coughing and breathing problems as smoking cigarettes. Some people get addicted to marijuana after using it for a while. It is more likely to happen if they use marijuana every day, or started using it when they were teenagers.

Some states have approved “medical marijuana” to ease symptoms of various health problems. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved marijuana as a medicine. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, is approved to relieve nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy and to boost appetite in severe weight loss caused by HIV/AIDS. Scientists are doing more research on marijuana and its ingredients.

Medication Errors

Medicines cure infectious diseases, prevent problems from chronic diseases, and ease pain. But medicines can also cause harmful reactions if not used correctly. Errors can happen in the hospital, at the doctor’s office, at the pharmacy, or at home. You can help prevent errors byPhotograph of pills

  • Knowing your medicines. Keep a list of the names of your medicines, how much you take, and when you take them. Include over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements and herbs. Take this list to all your doctor visits.
  • Reading medicine labels and following the directions. Don’t take medications prescribed for someone else.
  • Taking extra caution when giving medicines to children.
  • Asking questions. If you don’t know the answers to these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
    • Why am I taking this medicine?
    • What are the common problems to watch out for?
    • What should I do if they occur?
    • When should I stop this medicine?
    • Can I take this medicine with the other medicines on my list?

Medicines

You may need to take medicines every day, or only once in a while. Either way, you want to make sure that the medicines are safe and will help you getPhotograph of various pills better. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is in charge of assuring the safety and effectiveness of both prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

Even safe drugs can cause unwanted side effects or interactions with food or other medicines you may be taking. They may not be safe during pregnancy. To reduce the risk of reactions and make sure that you get better, it is important for you to take your medicines correctly and be careful when giving medicines to children.

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