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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“There are so many myths about it,” Todd said. “The most common side effects have to do with immune response, like fever, general malaise or not feeling good. They are reported more with the high-dose vaccine. The immune response is what you want to happen because it is helping you build immunity against the flu.”


Overall, the shot is effective. If you have a fever and flu-like symptoms, be sure to seek medical attention and get tested for the flu so you can take care of yourself.


“Stay home and stay hydrated,” Todd said. “Know the warning signs, like if you have shortness of breath, persistent high fevers despite taking over-the-counter fever reducers and severe headache. Try to catch those complications early on because they are associated with other co-infections like pneumonia. If you were to develop influenza as an older person, you are more at risk of developing pneumonia, so anything you can do to vaccinate yourself against it would be helpful.”


It is not too late to get the flu shot if you haven’t already. Usually the winter months

When it comes to common health issues, pneumonia and the flu are at the top of the list for seniors.


“The flu is associated with more hospitalizations, co-infections and additional complications in the population over [age] 65,” said Lindsey Todd, team leader nurse specialist for clinical services at the Lexington- Fayette County Health Department.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local healthcare providers have recognized seniors are vulnerable to the flu and are responding. “They now target seniors with a vaccine that is a high dose or has an adjuvant in it,” Todd said. “The adjuvant vaccine means they put an additive in it that makes your immune system respond better.”


The regular flu shot is available as well. “It’s better for seniors to get vaccinated with any influenza vaccine than not get it at all, but we recommend they get the one designed for people over age 65,” Todd said.


Vaccines are more effective now compared to the past. “The high- dose vaccine has four times the antigen in it,” Todd said.


The most common question people ask about the shot is if it will make them sick. There may be side effects and that is normal.

SENIORS, PNEUMONIA AND THE FLU

JAMIE LOBER

Jamie Lober is a Staff Writer for Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Jamie Lober

are identified as the flu season, but it can peak as late as May. Other forms of flu and pneumonia prevention come down to lifestyle.


“Any type of immune system support like eating healthy fruits, vegetables, lean meats and grains, washing your hands and wearing masks can help,” said Todd.


The Centers for Disease Control recommends pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for children under 2 years of age, seniors and people with certain medical conditions. They also suggested pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine for seniors, those with certain medical conditions and those who smoke cigarettes.


When you get the vaccines, you are improving the community’s well- being, too. “My big thing is that you are not just getting it for yourself, you are getting it for other people too,” said Todd. “The more people that are vaccinated, the better off everybody is.”