Common herbs and their benefits

Black Tea Leaves– help with heart related issues

Mint– helps with an upset stomach

Parsley– helps with halitosis (bad breath)

Ginger– helps with nausea and motion sickness

Eucalyptus– anti-inflammatory, helps with nasal congestion

Licorice– anti-inflammatory, helps with sore throat

Ginseng– energy booster

Chamomile – helps with insomnia or difficulty sleeping


Healthy Foods for the Diabetic

The holidays are approaching and many of us may have family members who are diabetic.  Please check out this article for some food options to incorporate into your family feasts.













Flax Seeds

Egg Whites



Prisons that withhold menstrual pads humiliate women and violate basic rights

Everyone laughed when Piper Chapman emerged from the shower during the first season of Orange Is the New Black with bootleg shoes made of maxi pads – and inmates do sometimes waste precious resources like sanitary products with off-label uses. At York Correctional Institution in Niantic, Connecticut, where I spent more than six years, I used the tampons as scouring pads – certainly not as sponges, because prison tampons are essentially waterproof– when I needed to clean a stubborn mess in my cell.

That should not lead anyone to think that sanitary products are easy to come by in jail. At York, each cell, which houses two female inmates, receives five pads per week to split. I’m not sure what they expect us to do with the fifth but this comes out to 10 total for each woman, allowing for only one change a day in an average five-day monthly cycle. The lack of sanitary supplies is so bad in women’s prisons that I have seen pads fly right out of an inmate’s pants: prison maxi pads don’t have wings and they have only average adhesive so, when a woman wears the same pad for several days because she can’t find a fresh one, that pad often fails to stick to her underwear and the pad falls out. It’s disgusting but it’s true.

The only reason I dodged having a maxi pad slither off my leg is that I layered and quilted together about six at a time so I could wear a homemade diaper that was too big to slide down my pants. I had enough supplies to do so because I bought my pads from the commissary. However, approximately 80% of inmates are indigent and cannot afford to pay the $2.63 the maxi pads cost per package of 24, as most earn 75 cents a day and need to buy other necessities like toothpaste ($1.50, or two days’ pay) and deodorant ($1.93, almost three days’ pay). Sometimes I couldn’t get the pads because the commissary ran out: they kept them in short supply as it appeared I was the only one buying them.

Connecticut is not alone in being cheap with its supplies for women. Inmates in Michigan filed suit last December alleging that pads and tampons are so scarce that their civil rights have been violated. One woman bled through her uniform and was required to dress herself in her soiled jumpsuit after stripping for a search.

The reasons for keeping supplies for women in prison limited are not purely financial. Even though keeping inmates clean would seem to be in the prison’s self-interest, prisons control their wards by keeping sanitation just out of reach. Stains on clothes seep into self-esteem and serve as an indelible reminder of one’s powerlessness in prison. Asking for something you need crystallizes the power differential between inmates and guards; the officer can either meet your need or he can refuse you, and there’s little you can do to influence his choice.

When the York Correctional Institution became coed during my sentence – merging the old Gates Correctional Institution and the women’s prison – a lieutenant who spent his career at York and was unaccustomed to working with male inmates told a group of inmates that the men would rather defecate in their pants than ask him for toilet paper and get jerked around for it.

To ask a macho guard for a tampon is humiliating. But it’s more than that: it’s an acknowledgement of the fact that, ultimately, the prison controls your cleanliness, your health and your feelings of self-esteem. The request is even more difficult to make when a guard complains that his tax dollars shouldn’t have to pay for your supplies. You want to explain to him that he wouldn’t have a paycheck to shed those taxes in the first place if prison staff weren’t needed to do things like feeding inmates and handing out sanitary supplies – but you say nothing because you want that maxi pad.

The guards’ reluctance to hand out the supplies is understandable because of inmates’ off-label uses for the products. Women use the pads and tampons for a number of things besides their monthly needs: to clean their cells, to make earplugs by ripping out the stuffing, to create makeshift gel pads to insert under their blisters in uncomfortable work boots or to muffle the bang that sounds when a shaky double bed hits a cement wall whenever either of its sleepers move. The staff watches us waste a precious commodity. What they fail to acknowledge is that these alternative uses fill other unfulfilled needs for a woman to maintain her physical and mental health. If we had adequate cleaning supplies, proper noise control, band-aids for our blisters or stable beds, we would happily put the pads in our pants.

There are ways to restore dignity to America’s inmates. For example, we could remove the entire sanitary supply problem if American prisons bought the newly-released Thinx for female inmates, which are super absorbent, stain-free underwear designed by a woman’s start-up. Thinx are expensive – $200 for seven pair – but they still might be cost effective when you factor in the cost of buying disposable pads and the time and energy devoted to the pad power struggle in women’s prisons. But I doubt that corrections systems in the United States will give up the forced scarcity of menstrual products in prison.

Though many argue that prisoners cannot be pampered in jail, having access to sanitary pads is not a luxury – it is a basic human right. Just like no-one should have to beg to use the toilet, or be given toilet paper, women too must be able to retain their dignity during their menstrual cycle. Using periods to punish women simply has no place in any American prison.

This article was a MUST share! Originally writen by: Chandra Bozelko and published on:

How Period Trackers Have Changed Girl Culture

Originally written by: Roni Caryn Rabin and published on:

My 18-year-old daughter knows exactly when it will be that time of the month. Since June, she’s been plugging the dates of her menstrual cycle into a popular period tracking app called Clue, and has it programmed to send her an alert every month, two days before her next period is due.

“It’s great because I never think about it, and now I never have to think about it,” she said.

Like a lot of young women, my teenager is just too busy. And no, she doesn’t mind being quoted, she said, adding, “Mom: I’m not embarrassed about my period.”

She’s not the only one. Girls and women are openly talking, tweeting and texting about their periods, and not just to Donald Trump. New companies tired of the stigma are selling menstrual products using the “P” word, singers and artists weave menstruation themes into their work, athletes and others have mentioned it on talk shows and at press conferences. Two New York City high school girls developed a video game called “Tampon Run” — the heroine’s mission is “to rid the world of the menstrual taboo.”

Add to this mix period tracker apps, which have helped shift attitudes, demystifying and normalizing menstruation by assigning cute icons to once unmentionables like heavy flow, maxi pads and period pimples. Most important, the apps transform the input into crunchable data that can tell a young woman when her period is due, when it’s late and even why she might be feeling so blue.

There are over 200 different period tracker apps to choose from, and they are immensely popular: consumers have downloadedPeriod Tracker (by GP International) and Period Calendar/Tracker(by ABISHKKING) more than 10 million times from the Android store alone, according to IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

Period tracker apps can track a range of issues related to the menstrual cycle including emotions, cramps, weight, sleep, energy, food cravings and more. They also can record when you had sex (Clue’s icon for protected sex is a man wearing a tie) or remind you to pack tampons, take your birth control pill or do a breast exam, all information women say is both empowering and liberating. Some apps are pink and girlie, all hearts and flowers and butterflies; others take a more subtle approach with lots of graphs in muted shades of purple. Specialized apps have even been developed for niche groups like Orthodox Jewish women who adhere to religious family purity laws. The apps say they are “rabbinically approved.”

“When you see a technology that someone has developed specifically for you as a woman, it really legitimizes talking about your periods and thinking about them,” said Shuangyi “E.E.” Hou, 24, a product designer in San Francisco for apps and websites who has used a period tracker app for over a year. “If we as a society say women should be checking in on their periods, and we give them permission to talk about it, I’m convinced it will be beneficial for women’s health.”

While the apps also can be used to track ovulation, signaling the days the user is more or less likely to become pregnant, most period tracker apps explicitly warn users not to rely on them to prevent pregnancy. The ovulation tracker and fertility prediction can be helpful for a woman trying to conceive, but it can give a false sense of security to a woman who relies on the app as a form of birth control.

That’s because even the most vigilant ovulation tracking methods have shockingly high failure rates, according to the American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, with up to one in four women becoming pregnant over the course of a year with typical use.

“Apps are a tool; they’re not actually a birth control method,” said Hannah Ransom of San Diego, a certified fertility awareness educator.

But many users of period tracker apps rely on them to help schedule their busy lives or for tracking health conditions that fluctuate with their cycle, rather than contraception. Aliya, a 23-year-old from the Bronx, said she uses Pink Pad Pro to schedule social outings like visits to a Russian bath house and to give her doctor an accurate answer to the inevitable question about the date of her last menstrual period (though she admitted relying on it occasionally for birth control as well).

One college theater student said she always forgets about her period during the week or two before a production, when there are a million other details to think about, so she likes the push notification reminders from Period Tracker Lite.

Ida Tin, who founded Clue, one of the fastest growing period tracker apps with 2 million active users in 180 countries, said her motivation in developing the app was to provide women with more information and greater understanding about a “foundational” part of their lives for 40 years.

“If you just have the data about what is going on in your body,” said Ms. Tin, “It’s a navigating tool for your life.”

Midwives and nurses are as good as docs — and sometimes better, WHO finds

This article was originally written by Maggie Fox and published on:

Midwives, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other non-doctors do as good a job as MDs in the care they deliver — and patients often like them better, a World Health Organization team reported on Thursday.

These non-physicians are especially effective in delivering babies, taking care of people infected with the AIDS virus, and helping people care for chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, the team reported in a WHO bulletin.

The findings extend from the poorest nations to the United States and Europe, they said. While some physician groups have resisted wider use of such professionals, they should embrace them because they are often less expensive to deploy and are far more willing to work in rural areas, the WHO experts said.

“There are some obvious advantages in terms of relying on mid-level health workers,” WHO’s Giorgio Cometto told NBC news in a telephone interview.

“They take less time to be trained. Typically, they cost less to remunerate. In some countries they are more likely to be retained in rural areas.”

David Auerbach, a researcher at the Rand Corp., says other studies have shown the same thing. “There’s really not much difference you can find in the quality,” he said.

Doctors are scarce in the United States. The Association of American Medical Colleges projects a shortfall of 90,000 physicians by 2020. Family practitioners and other generalists are especially scarce, and experts predict it will only get worse as millions of Americans get health insurance under the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Doctors are also scarce in the developing world, and many countries are looking for ways to fill gaps.

Cometto and colleagues around the world looked at all the studies they could find on the quality of care delivered by non-physicians. They settled on 53 that looked specifically at the quality of care delivered — and at how happy patients were with the care they got.

“The evidence shows there aren’t statistically significant differences,” Cometto said. “The quality of care they provide is comparable to physicians. In some cases, for specific services, they actually outperform physicians.”

For instance, nurse-midwives or midwives who deliver babies end up using fewer drugs and they are less likely than doctors to make a type of cut called an episiotomy. Groups such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend against episiotomies because they don’t heal as well as the natural tears that occur during childbirth.

Midwives were no more or less likely than doctors to induce labor, perform cesarean sections or use instruments to deliver a baby, Cometto’s team found, and the rates of death of either mother or child were the same among doctors as among midwives.

There were similar findings for treating patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS. “One study compared the effects of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in patients managed by nurses and those managed by doctors. There was no significant dif­ference in the likelihood of ART failure between groups of patients managed by nurses and those managed by doctors,” the researchers wrote. “Nor was there any difference in mortality, failure of viral suppression or immune recovery between the groups.”

When it came to caring for heart disease and diabetes, patients actually seemed to like nurses and other non-doctors better, the report found. This jibes with what nurse-practitioners and physician assistants working in the United States report. “We look at patients in a more holistic manner,” Judy Honig, associate dean at the Columbia University School of Nursing, said in a recent interview.

The Institute of Medicine, which advises the federal government on health matters, says nurses can do more than they already do and can help meet ballooning demands as the population ages and as more people get health insurance and start seeking care.

The United States has more than three million nurses. They already deliver much of the front line health care that Americans need, from giving vaccinations to delivering babies.

Nurse-practitioners are registered nurses who hold graduate degrees and can perform virtually all of the functions of front-line family doctors — depending on the laws of the state they’re in.

Between 1998 and 2010, the number of Medicare patients treated by NPs increased 15-fold to more than 450,000 people, University of Texas Medical Branch researchers found recently. Groups such as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners are calling for even more to be trained.

Physician assistants are also seen as offering a big plug in the health care hole “Currently, there are more than 93,000 PAs throughout the U.S. whose education in general medicine prepares them to be extremely nimble, positioning them very well to address an influx of 20 million new patients entering the health care system,” says Lawrence Herman, president of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

Rand’s Auerbach says integrated clinics, using electronic health records and other technology, can really help fill the gaps. But he notes that not all medical groups are on board with the idea.

“It’s getting over a cultural barrier and learning how to work in teams of providers with different expertise,” Auerbach said. “That is not trivial.”

The American Society of Anesthesiologists recently spoke out against what it sees as the overuse of nurse-anesthetists. “Somehow there has become the notion that you can take physician extenders and replace physicians,” said Dr. Jane Fitch, a former nurse anesthetist who is now a physician anesthesiologist. “We are really concerned about patient safety.”

16 Essential Organic Antibiotics And Antibacterials

1. Oregano oil pills

It is one of the most powerful herbal antibiotics and it is extremely potent.  According to research: Oregano oil was tested in vitro on staphylococcus at Georgetown University Medical Center. Researchers found that even a small amount can provide the same effect as conventional antibiotics. A study published in a popular journal of medicine found that oregano oil has strong antibacterial properties against 5 species of dangerous bacteria, especially Escherichia.

2. Olive leaf

Olive leaves are commonly used as a herbal antibiotic alternative.  According to research: Even though some studies have shown that the leaves cannot be used as a broad spectrum antibiotic alternative, they are sure effective against dangerous stomach bacteria and MRSA, which is considered as an antibiotic resistant bacteria.  Olive leaves

3. Garlic cloves

Garlic is rich in antioxidants. Allicin is one of the most potent active component of garlic, and it is found in freshly crushed or minced garlic. Garlic provides strong beneficial effect due to the synergy of its compounds, and even aged garlic provides promising benefits.  According to research: Studies have confirmed its antimicrobial properties. A study revealed that garlic enhances the action of gentamicin, and antibiotic, and it even negated its damaging effect on kidneys. Another study has shown that garlic helps in treating common cold, and researchers at the University of Maryland say that it also strengthens the immune system. Garlic cloves have antifungal and antiviral properties.

4. Goldenseal

It is an astringent herb and it is commonly used in the treatment of infections of the mucus membranes. Goldenseal is also used in the treatment of inflammations. It contains antimicrobial alkaloids, and berberine is the main alkaloid. Goldenseal stops bacteria from adhering to tissues. It is considered as a strong antifungal and antidiarrheal, and it is efficient in the treatment of protozoa.  According to research: Researchers at the University of NY have confirmed its efficacy against MRSA. Another study conducted at the Egyps Agricultural Center involved fish infected with bacteria. Some of the fish received antibiotics, and others were given goldenseal. The first group has a 84% recovery rate, and the second group showed a 87% recovery rate.

5. Vitamin C

High vitamin C levels are a guarantee of an increased immunity. Diseases and stress decrease vitamin C level. The attention to vitamin C levels is of ultimate importance, especially if the person is under any kind of stress.  According to research: Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in NYC revealed that vitamin C kills resistant cultures in vitro, and they also found that they cannot develop vitamin C resistance.

6. Ehinacea tincture

It has strong antibacterial properties. Use it to treat special conditions of your respiratory, digestive and genitourinary tracts. It also does miracles in the treatment of sore throat.

7. Andrographis paniculata

It is a strong antibacterial. Use it in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections and sinus proplems. It is efficient in treating sore throat, cough and headaches.

8. Manuka honey

Another strong antibacterial. Use it to heal wounds and fight MRSA.

9. Bee propolis

It is a strong antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral. It is great for respiratory infections.

10. Colloidal silver

Amazing antibiotic. Use it to treat upper respiratory ailments and toothache. Colloidal silver has shown to kill over 600 different germ strains. Important is the fact that common antibiotics are only effective against a few of these. Use it to treat ear and sinus infections.  If you have a toothache, over the counter remedies will only mask your pain. Try swishing some colloidal silver for several minutes each day. This will sure relieve your pain and you will never ever have issues with any of your teeth.

11. Oregon Grape

It is a strong antibacterial. Use it to relieve conditions of your intestine and urinary tract.

12. Tea tree oil

It is a strong antibacterial. It has shown to be effective in the treatment of yeast, fungi, and bacterial infections.

13. Grapefruit seed extract

It provides a broad spectrum of antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral and antiparasitic properties.

14. Forsythia suspensa

It is a strong antibiotic.

15. Coenzyme Q10

It is a potent antibiotic, and you can use it to relieve upper respiratory problems, bronchitis, COPD and others.

16. Bromelain

This antibiotic has shown to be efficient in the treatment of upper respiratory issues and bronchitis.


Vaginal Steams

Ladies do you experience pain or discomfort during menstruation?  Please check out this awesome article! This is a repost, the original article can be found

Women need not experience their monthly cycle with pain and discomfort. In this article for Birth Institute, Rosita Arvigo, naprapathic physician and teacher of Maya medicine, shares the wisdom of the vaginal steam. A forgotten treatment that any woman can use at home, vaginal steaming relieves everything from menstrual pain to infertility.

Gretta, a fifteen year old Mennonite girl, sat before me in tears. “I hate my period. I hate it. There’s so much pain that I wish I had not been born a woman.”  Ever since her menses started three years earlier she was confined to bed for three days of each month, taking strong pain relief drugs that could only slightly alleviate the pain.  Her mother brought her to me after all else had failed.  Already, Gretta had seen doctors in Merida, Guatemala City and a host of other professionals to no avail.

I asked the most important question: “Do you see dark blood at the beginning of the cycle and dark blood at the end of the cycle?”

She looked surprised. “No one ever asked me that before, but, yes, always. What does that mean?”

“Well,” I answered, “it means that your uterus needs to be cleansed from within. The dark blood at the onset of your period is what did not flush out the last cycle and the dark blood at the end of the period is from many months, even years of accumulation on the uterine membrane.  The accumulation hardens, darkens and thickens which makes the uterus work and cramp harder to expel the indurated material.”

I gave her a good Maya Abdominal Therapy treatment and found that, as expected, her uterus was very low and sitting on top of the bladder.  It was easy to lift, and I taught her the self-care to do at home every day when not menstruating.

“Do you know what a vaginal steam is?” I asked her mother.

“Actually, yes, I know that my grandmother in Canada used to do them for us, but I forgot all about them.  Do you think it will help?” she answered with a quizzical look.

I gave them a good double handful of fresh oregano leaves to do three consecutive vaginal steams at home.  Fortunately, the timing was right as her menses would begin in about 7 days – perfect. Also, I took the time to explain to both of them that very likely they will see a lot of dark, thick blood pass with the next menses. It might look like coffee grounds, chocolate syrup or even hamburger meat. And, sure enough, that is exactly what happened on the first, second and third day of her period.

“Thanks be to God that you told us what might happen after the treatment and steams because had I not known, I would surely have taken her to the emergency room. It was absolutely shocking! An entire small bucket of gunk passed in three days time and each day her cramps were less and less until on the fourth day she was pain free.”

Vaginal or yoni steam baths are an old, respected treatment for women used by Maya midwives and traditional healers in Central and South America.  The practice is mentioned in early chronicles of  Spanish friars who took  time to record the healing practices of the Maya and Aztec. Bajos (ba-hoes) as they are called in Spanish, are a common and effective treatment for many female complaints, especially those of a serious or chronic nature.  Midwives give them within 1-9 days after childbirth depending on the personal preference and the woman’s condition. They are excellent for dysmennorhea, amenorrhea, ovarian cysts, cervical fibroids and as a general health aid to prevent any of those ailments.  Practitioners of Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy recommend vaginal steams be done regularly. How often depends on the severity of a woman’s condition.

Vaginal steams are also good preventive care.  For those who have normal, pain free cycles, we recommend a vaginal steam be done four times each year just before menses. Menopausal women have reported passing clots and dark, thick blood even a year after menses has ceased.  “Better out than in,” is our motto.  The combination of steam and essential oils from the plants penetrate deeply into the cervix and uterus to dislodge indurated menstrual fluids and pathological accumulations that have not properly sloughed off with each monthly cycle.  Induration of the uterine membrane causes the uterus to cramp fiercely to expel the hardened or thickened accumulation.

How to do a vaginal steam at home

Vaginal steaming at home is a very simple process that involves water, vaginal steam herbs, a blanket, a chair and about an hour of time.  If you have oregano, basil, marigold and rosemary in your garden, pick a double handful of fresh leaves and stems – about a quart jar loosely filled. Use one herb or any combination of the above. If using dried herbs, you need about an ounce of dry plant material.  Other herbs useful for vaginal steam baths include burdock leaves, motherwort, chamomile, yarrow, plantain, squaw vine, lavender and thyme. Please note we do not use essential oils in liquid form for vaginal steams as they are far too concentrated for this purpose. Simmer the herbs in a covered pot with two quarts of water for ten minutes and allow to steep for five minutes.

Remove the pot from the stove and place it under a chair with open slits – a cane, wood or plastic yard chair will work. Some women like to use the toilet by placing a pot inside the commode but others find it slips and slides around too much. The woman removes her clothes including under-wear, from the waist down. Covered with a blanket from the waist down, she sits over the steaming herbs.  This keeps the steam contained under the blanket.  Be sure she feels comfortable with the steam temperature and is not exposed to cold drafts. If it is scaldingly hot, pull the pot away for a few minutes and try again until the steam feels warm and comfortable. Some women say they taste the herbs on their tongues after only five minutes. Wrap her upper body in a dry, warm blanket and be sure that her feet are resting on a carpet or she is wearing warm socks. Lasting about twenty minutes, the steam bath introduces a lot of healing heat and cleansing plant oils into the uterus, cervix and ovaries.

Afterward, the woman should ideally lie in bed for an hour under warm covers or just be sure to stay out of all drafts and keep warm. Bedtime is the best time to do a vaginal steam. How often? When there is pathology with menses, we ask the woman to do three bajos within the week before her period begins. She repeats this monthly until her menstrual fluids are pink and there is no cramping.   For post-partum women the midwife decides when the time is right depending on the condition of the mother.  All things being normal after delivery, the steam bath could be performed as early as the first day or sometime within the next seven to eight days.  Each midwife seems to have a different protocol, but over the decades I have learned that it is anywhere from one to nine days after delivery and may be repeated more than once. For post-partum women the objective is to cleanse the uterine membrane.