HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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Physical manifestations of food addiction can include intense compulsive exercise, obesity and self-induced vomiting.


Recovering from food addiction is somewhat more complicated than recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. People can abstain from drinking alcohol or using drugs, but eating is necessary. Treatment usually entails working with a dietitian, nutritionist or psychologist or other professional trained in dealing with food addiction. There are also programs that help people who are addicted to food. Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous follows some of the tenets of the 12 steps advocated by Alcoholics Anonymous. Treatment should address the individual’s emotional, physical and psychological needs as they work to break the cycle of overeating, purging and abstaining. Successful treatment of food addiction teaches people to abstain from eating their “problem foods” and engaging in their negative eating behaviors. It also teaches them to live their lives and to deal with stress without reverting to their addictive eating habits.


The overarching goal is to replace dysfunctional eating habits with healthy ones through nutritional counseling and to address problems such as depression or anxiety, which may require medication. Some tips that may help include eating mindfully – sitting down to eat, focusing on the food’s taste and texture and chewing slowly; drinking lots of water; and planning your menu and cooking healthy foods at home.


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ARE YOU ADDICTED TO FOOD?

compulsive consumption despite negative consequences, a classic manifestation of addiction. Some researchers prefer to use the term eating addiction rather than food addiction.


People with food addictions are unable to control and stop their eating behavior. They often find themselves spending excessive amounts of time on food and overeating. They eat to reduce negative emotions or increase pleasure. Although they eat more and more, food satisfies them less and less. But cutting down on certain foods may cause anxiety. Conversely, eating may make you feel depressed or guilty. The Yale Food Addiction Scale identified certain foods that appear to have close links with food addiction. These include potato chips, fries, chocolate, cookies, white bread, pasta and ice cream. Someone may develop a compulsion to eat any food that brings them comfort.


Symptoms of food addiction include:


Believe it or not, people can be addicted to food. They can actually develop a chemical dependency on one or more foods. Unlike addictive substances such as drugs and alcohol, we need food to survive. But for some people, eating goes beyond survival and sustenance. Some people can become obsessed with eating, calorie counting and their weight. Eating disorders include bulimia (eating and purging), binge eating and anorexia nervosa, in which a person literally starves herself or himself to death. (The majority of anorexics are female, but men can suffer from anorexia as well.) Food addiction has also been described as a compulsive or uncontrollable urge to eat food that does not relate to feelings of hunger. This behavior may occur in response to emotions such as stress, sadness or anger.


Food addiction appears to be especially common in people who overweight or obese, female and over age 35 years. Many of these people have experienced trauma in their lives and may already have an eating disorder compounding their food addiction. About 5 percent of the general population has a food addiction.


The most common addictive foods are high in sugar, flour, fat, grains and salt. Combining these hyperpalatables affect the brain’s reward center in a way that is very similar to the way drugs and alcohol do. According to www.addiction.com, the combo can trigger an abnormally large release of the pleasure chemical dopamine. Repeated overstimulation of these reward pathways can create brain adaptations that can lead to