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Webmaster | 30. April 2008 @ 16:02

The history of Michigan Maple Syrup is nearly as old as the land itself. Maple syrup is a true American food, and the art of making maple syrup is generally attributed to Native Americans. The native population of North America was producing maple products when Europeans first arrived.

Producing maple syrup is essentially a matter of concentrating the sugar solution to a predetermined level through evaporation. The equipment needed depends on whether you are producing maple syrup for home or commercial use. If you have maple trees in your forest, then you may want to consider producing maple syrup from them. Although equipment has been modernized, the basic process of producing maple syrup remains the same. As more and more people began producing maple syrup, the technology of doing so improved gradually. It is a general rule-of-thumb that each tap will yield 10 gallons of sap throughout an approximate six week season, producing 1 quart of maple syrup. A large proportion of the costs of producing maple syrup are in fixed overhead, but producing real maple syrup is worth the effort and the risk; its sweet, rich flavor has never been successfully imitated.

Pure maple syrup is graded according to Federal USDA regulations, and is based on both color and flavor. Grading standards are the same for most of the United States. Real maple syrup is a pure, natural product with a unique flavor, and is simply the concentrated sap of the maple tree. Making maple syrup is a time-honored tradition in many parts of Michigan, and it is as much of an art as a science. Maple syrup is approximately 33 percent water and 67 percent sugar, and is a 100 % natural and organic product. Maple syrup is only produced in North America, since Europe does not have the proper weather conditions conducive to producing meaningful amounts of sap. Maple syrup is sublime when poured over buttermilk pancakes or waffles, and is considered by many to be the ultimate natural product.

We find most people are unaware of the many different uses of maple syrup, other than the tried and true 'pancakes and syrup'. Try pure Michigan Maple Syrup on ....grapefruit, hot cereal, granola, plain yogurt, winter squash, or sweet potatoes. Use it as a glaze on meat, or poultry and over ice cream for an outstanding dessert. For a special treat put it in coffee, milk or a milkshake. The uses for maple syrup are never-ending.

Maple syrup is one agricultural crop in which there is no surplus. Maple syrup is only produced in North America, since Europe does not have the proper weather conditions conducive to producing meaningful amounts of sap. All maple syrup is not created equal, and maple syrup is a source of pride for the state of Michigan. Maple syrup is boiled even further to produce Maple cream, sugar and candy and is a natural sweetener with many health benefits. Fresh maple syrup is truly one of the first signs of spring.

Michigan Maple Syrup

About the author:Ken Asselin is webmaster for the Buds Best Buys series of shopping websites. You can visit his website at:

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Webmaster | 29. April 2008 @ 16:02

Learn how to transition to a healthy diet now (Part 1).

In this article, I'm going to go back to some basics. I will be giving you specific, concrete action steps you can take right now to transition to a healthy, hopefully raw or mostly raw diet. Even if you're a seasoned raw-foodist, I'm sure you will find some key insights in this article that will help you refine your diet and improve your program. These steps are in no particular order.

STEP #1 - *Workout and Exercise*

It's not possible to be healthy without being fit. We know that, at least intuitively, even if we tend to forget the importance of fitness in a healthy lifestyle, by focusing too much on the importance of diet.

But more importantly, your physical condition has a major impact on your digestion, assimilation, and overall 'nutrition.' For example, your ability to uptake sugar, called 'insulin sensitivity,' is greatly influenced by your level of fitness.

If you are sedentary, insulin sensitivity is greatly reduced. Therefore, sugar is not carried as rapidly as it should to the cells. This can lead to or worsen blood sugar problems of all kinds.

If you've read my book 'The Raw Secrets.' You are aware of the importance of hunger in health. One problem is that most people do not eat when they are truly hungry, and mistake 'appetite' for hunger. Once they learn how to make the distinction, they soon realize that they are rarely if ever truly hungry!

By exercising on a daily basis and eventually engaging in cardio-respiratory activities (jogging, cardio machines at the gym, cycling, etc.) every day, you will awaken that forgotten sense of hunger.

So exercise is very important, and the lack of a fitness program may be one of the reasons why you have difficulty eating a healthy diet.

STEP #2 - *Eat Fruit Before Each Meal*

One of the easiest ways to transition to a raw-food diet is to start eating fruit before every meal, including lunch and dinner. The idea is to eat fruit when you are the most hungry, which is at the beginning of the meal. Eat as much fruit as you desire then, and you will find that you will eat much less of the meal itself!

This is what I call an 'automatic transition strategy.' Just start getting the raw-food in by eating fruit before each meal - just what your mom told you not to do when you were a kid. But now that you're a grownup and that the Standard American Diet didn't work for you, you need to go back to your natural instincts and satisfy your natural sweet tooth by eating as much fruit as you want before every single meal.

STEP #3 - *Learn to Make 7 Raw Food Recipes That You Enjoy*

It's been found that most people know about 7 to 10 good recipes very well, and just rotate them throughout the months, adding in other stuff occasionally for variety.

Or look at when you buy a recipe book. You might try many recipes but eventually you'll only retain a few that you'll continue making for the years to come.

So what I want you to know now is to find 7 simple raw-food recipes that you really like, that are easy to make and that are properly combined. (INSIDER TIP: My recipe book �Instant Raw Sensations� is just about that: )

Ideally, I'd like you to know:

About 2 dressings
About 2 great salads
2-3 smoothies you really enjoy
1-2 more gourmet recipes

Those 7 or 10 recipes should be things you can make often, with ingredients that are easy to find, and some of them should have an instant appeal to your friends and family.

You'll find that once you know what those recipes are, and you can make them without opening a book, that you'll be wondering a lot less often �What should I be eating now?�

STEP #4 - *Get Rid of Cheese and Dairy*

Improving your diet isn't about the things you ADD IN. It's mostly about the things we LEAVE OUT. I know this reality is hard to take, but even if you eat all these fruits and vegetables, drink those fresh juices and make those huge smoothies, you won't really feel great until you remove those offensive foods from your diet that are hurting you.

There's one thing you need to say goodbye to forever, and it's milk and cheese. In a previous article, I talked about the top-5 worst foods, and cheese was one of them.

Really, I see it all the time. People have this thing for cheese. They still eat it occasionally, and they still are addicted to it. (Actually, cheese contains some compounds in it that make it addictive for real, not just in your imagination).

If there would be just one category of food you could remove from your diet and feel much better for it, it's got to be cheese and milk.

STEP #5 - *Eat Fruit in the Morning or Skip the Morning Meal*

The morning meal is the easiest to switch to raw. Most people find that once they start listening to their body, they are actually not truly hungry in the morning.

I've watched how many children generally don't eat in the morning if they are left to themselves and not being force-fed.

My suggestion is that you can skip the morning meal altogether or replace it with a smoothie or some fruit. I know that this goes against all the advice you've heard about 'never skipping meals' or that 'breakfast is the most important meal of the day.' What I'm telling you know is that this advice isn't based on any solid facts.

The 'breakfast' is when you break the 'fast' of the night, and this doesn't have to be at noon. In fact, the French word for breakfast means 'lunch', because for thousands of years the French didn't eat in the morning. When they started doing so, they had to come up with a new word for that meal so they called it 'small breakfast' (petit dejeuner).

Skipping the morning meal or eating some fruit will help you get in touch with your true sense of hunger, which will make it easier to eat raw. Plus, it will be good for a while to help you detox and lose some weight (if that's an issue for you).

As you start exercising more, you will eventually get hungry in the morning, believe me!

About the author:“Frederic Patenaude, is the author of the book "The Raw Secrets". Sign up for his weekly "Raw Vegan Tips,” and as a bonus, get your free "raw recipe of the week". Visit while this bonus is still offered."

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Webmaster | 28. April 2008 @ 16:02

If you always like to accompany your cup of coffee with a chocolate cookie or other chocolate-based treat, or if you usually order a hot chocolate drink, you might not consider yourself a chocoholic, but you certainly make it to the fans' category. But even of chocolate is not your first choice when it comes to desert, you should probably by familiar with at least its main categories, just in case you are asked if you prefer couverture over white chocolate for your ice-cream glace.

- Dark Chocolate can contain anything from 30% to 75% cocoa solids. It has a slightly sweet flavor and a dark color and it is the chocolate type most used in cooking. For everyday cooking and the majority of the recipes for dark chocolate, choose one with around 50% cocoa solids. However, dark chocolate with a higher cocoa solid content will give a richer, more intense, flavor. This chocolate is often called luxury or continental chocolate and has a cocoa solid content of between 70-75%. Occasionally, cooking experts support that it is essential to use a better chocolate, but the recipe should specify when that is the case.

- Milk Chocolate, as its name suggests, contains milk and has lovely creamy, mild, and sweet flavor. It is mostly used as an eating chocolate, rather than in cooking. However it does have its place in chocolate cookery, especially for decorations, and when a milder, creamy flavor is required. It is more sensitive to heat than dark chocolate so care must be taken when melting it.

- White Chocolate contains lower cocoa butter content and cocoa solids. It can be quite temperamental when used in cooking. Always choose a luxury white cooking chocolate to avoid problems and take great care not to overheat when melting it. White chocolate is useful also for color contrast in decoration, creating a dramatic effect when it is placed over darker backgrounds.

- Couverture is the preferred chocolate for professional use, as it retains a high gloss after melting and cooling. Nevertheless, it requires tempering and is only available from specialist suppliers. In case it can be found to special cooking supply stores, it usually is more expensive than regular milk chocolate.

- Chocolate Glace is a chocolate-flavored cake covering which is an inferior product not generally used by true chocolate lovers. However, it has a high fat content, making it easier to handle when making some decorations such as curls or caraque. In case you do not want to compromise flavor too much, but have difficulty making the decorations with pure chocolate, try adding a few squares of chocolate-flavored cake covering to a good quality chocolate.

- Chocolate Chips are available in dark, milk, and white chocolate varieties, and are used primarily for baking and as decoration materials.

- Coco Powder is the powder left after the cocoa butter has been pressed from the roasted and ground beans. It is unsweetened and bitter in flavor. It gives good, strong chocolate flavor when used in cooking.

About the author:Jonathon Hardcastle writes articles for - In addition, Jonathon also writes articles for and

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Webmaster | 27. April 2008 @ 16:02

Millions of people around the world suffer from Asthma, a chronic lung condition characterized by difficulty in breathing. During an asthma attack, the sufferer�s airways become irritated and react by narrowing and constructing. That causes increased resistance to airflow, and obstructs the flow of the air to and from the lungs.

How is asthma treated?

Asthma is treated using two main types of medicines:

* Quick Relief Treatments: also called relievers. These give rapid, short-term treatment and are taken when you have worsening asthma symptoms that, left untreated, can lead to asthma episodes or attacks. You will feel the effects of these medicines within minutes.

* Long-Term Control Treatments: also called preventers, and are for people with persistent asthma, who need long-term control medicines. Preventers are taken every day, usually over long periods of time, to control chronic (long-term) symptoms and to prevent asthma episodes or attacks. You will feel the full effects of these medicines after taking them for a few weeks.

Drugs related to hormones

Drugs, such as those resembling two of our hormones, can help treat asthma. These two hormones are epinephrine (adrenaline in the UK) and hydrocortisone (a steroid). Epinephrine is pumped into our bloodstream when we have a sudden fright or emergency � psychologists often call this state fright or flight. Epinephrine is the quick-acting hormone from the middle of the adrenal glands near our kidneys. It makes your pulse race, your heart thump, and readies your body for emergency action. In asthma, the medicines which resemble adrenaline quickly relieve asthma for a short time, and are from the reliever family.

Hydrocortisone comes from the outer part of our adrenal glands, called the 'cortex'. It is also partly an �emergency hormone� but it works much more slowly, for much longer, and in a completely different way to adrenaline. Medicines which resemble hydrocortisone slowly allow the lining of air tubes in an asthma sufferer to become normal. As a result, your asthma becomes less severe and you are less likely to get asthma attacks. So these steroid medicines are part of the preventer family. Steroids are the most powerful preventers currently available.

Other long-term treatments include:

* Long-acting beta-agonists are bronchodilators, not anti-inflammatory drugs. These medicines are used to help control moderate and severe asthma and to prevent night-time symptoms. Long-acting beta-agonists are taken together with inhaled corticosteroids

* Leukotriene modifiers (such as montelukast, zafirlukast, and zileuton) are long-term control medicines used either alone to treat mild persistent asthma or together with inhaled corticosteroids to treat moderate persistent asthma or severe persistent asthma.

* Cromolyn and nedocromil are used to treat mild persistent asthma.

* Theophylline is used either alone to treat mild persistent asthma or together with inhaled corticosteroids to treat moderate persistent asthma. People who take theophylline should have their blood levels checked to be sure the dose is appropriate.

Be careful. If you stop taking long-term control medicines, your asthma will likely worsen again.

Taking preventers

Inhaled corticosteroids (or steroids for short) are the preferred treatment for controlling mild, moderate, and severe persistent asthma. They are safe when taken as directed by your doctor.

Inhaled medicines go directly into your lungs where they are needed. There are many kinds of inhalers that require different techniques, and it is important to know how to use your inhaler correctly.

Usually the best way to take these medicines is to breathe them in. That is, you inhale them, through your nose or mouth. The reasons you inhale them are: * because you need less of the medicine, * you won't suffer as many side effects, and, * the medicine works more quickly,

The final point is particularly important with the adrenaline-like, fast-acting relievers.

Another advantage is that the hydrocortisone-like steroid preventers you breathe in can be chosen to be biodegradable inside the body. As a result, then can do their work in the lung, but don't get much of a chance to produce any side effects in the rest of your body, because your liver breaks them down.

In some cases, steroid tablets or liquid are used for short times to bring asthma under control. The tablet or liquid form may also be used to control severe asthma.

Taking quick relief medicines

Quick relief medicines are used only when needed. A type of quick relief medicine is a short-acting inhaled bronchodilator. Bronchodilators work by relaxing the muscles that have tightened around the airways. They help open up airways quickly and ease breathing. They are sometimes called "rescue" or "relief" medicines because they can stop an asthma attack very quickly.

These medicines act quickly but their effects only last for a short period of time. You should take quick relief medicines when you first begin to feel asthma symptoms like coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, or shortness of breath. Anyone who has asthma should always carry one of these inhalers in case of an attack. For severe attacks, your doctor may also use steroids to treat the inflammation.

Work closely with your doctor

Many people with asthma need both a short-acting bronchodilator to use when symptoms worsen and long-term daily asthma control medication to treat the ongoing inflammation. Over time, your doctor may need to make changes in your asthma medication. You may need to increase your dose, lower your dose, or try a combination of medications. Be sure to work with your doctor to find the best treatment for your asthma. The goal is to use the least amount of medicine necessary to control your asthma.

Copyright 2006 David Drinkall

About the author:

David Drinkall is a life-long asthma sufferer and is the owner of - He takes both of the main families of drugs discussed in this article every day.

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Webmaster | 26. April 2008 @ 16:02

Hair loss is of concern to most people at one point in their lives. When the time comes they want to know how to stop hair loss. Stopping hair loss can become an easy solution when you first notice that you are losing hair. If you ignore this condition hoping it will go away, you are making a big mistake.

Hair loss is a reflection of your general health. It is a major warning that you have poor health. The poor health condition that you might have can be complex and to reverse it will require some work, since this condition has taken a while on your part to create. The other thing that complicates your poor health condition is that there might be a psychological or stress problem that needs correction.

The first thing you need to look at is if you have a lot stress going on. This stress can come from a recent or past change is your personal relationships. These relationships can be at home, with relatives or at work. You could be working late hours working on difficult problems that create a lot of pressure on you. It could be a divorce you going through or a financial crisis. These problems can be worked out but it takes patience and sometimes courage.

Psychological problems are more difficult to work through. These types of problems create a complete imbalance in your body's chemistry and over time create hair loss. Stopping hair loss from this condition requires therapeutic help and a good nutritional and diet program.

Any stress or psychological problems requires a base line of good nutrition and diet, if you want to stop their effects on hair loss. These problems create a massive depletion of vitamins and minerals that are needed for hair health. Some times it is difficult to get into the habit of eating food that you need to stop hair loss. Changing habits that have been instilled in you since birth are not easy to change. You have patterned you eating habits based on your psychological issues and the stress you have in your life.

If you are experiencing stress, than you need to start changing your diet to replace the depleted nutrients caused by stress. The first vitamin you need to supplement with is the B-vitamins. These vitamins are always used up when you are stressed and they are critical in providing you with good hair. Then, you need to supplement with anti-oxidants. Stress and psychological problems create a lot of free radicals in your body. These free radicals lead to poor blood circulation throughout your body and including your scalp.

Most of us have stress and psychological issue we need to take care of. Start looking at how you can reduce these issues and start supplementing with B-vitamins and anti-oxidants so you can prevent or stop hair loss. You can learn what foods contain the B's and anti-oxidants, but you need therapeutic levels of the B's and anti-oxidants and you can not get these levels from food. You need to get them from supplements.

About The Author Rudy Silva, natural nutritionist, has just introduced his new hair loss e-book call "New Hair Loss Treatments." To find out more details on this e-book, go to:

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Webmaster | 25. April 2008 @ 16:02

High-fructose corn syrup, which is now found in everything from soda to crackers to salad dressing, has been noted by many experts as a possible culprit in the obesity epidemic.

Obesity rates since 1980, for instance, have risen at a rate similar to that of high-fructose corn syrup, and nutritionists often advise avoiding it.

However, now some scientists are saying that there is no evidence linking high-fructose corn syrup to obesity, and theories that have emerged are based on misperceptions or coincidence.

The corn syrup, some experts say, is no worse than refined white sugar, and even the two scientists who first opened the debate that the sweetener may be linked to obesity have backed off, saying their paper was just a "suggestion" for further study.

The two scientists also neglected to raise the issue of high-fructose corn syrup at a panel developed to provide guidelines to consumers about nutritional risks and benefits of beverages.

They felt singling out high-fructose corn syrup would be a distraction, when they wanted to focus on limiting beverages with sweeteners.

New York Times July 2, 2006 (Registration Required)

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

The main expert they cite in this article, Dr. Bray, is one that I have used many times before on this topic and pointed to his classic study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition as the landmark review in this area. Here is a link to the free full-text article from April of 2004.

I consulted with one of my good friends who is a pharmacologist and toxicologist, Russ Bianchi, managing director of Adept Solutions, Inc, a global food & beverage formulation firm in Soquel, CA. He is one of the brightest people I know in the sweetener industry and these are his comments:

Willet and Popkin either do not understand that fructose from HFCS is NOT the same molecule that is in sucrose, or for that matter fruit leveulose, or are taking the latest Corn Lobby tactic of confusing the debate, intentionally, because they have sold out, through smoke and mirrors.

Sucrose raises blood glucose and then crashes it, below fasting baseline, within 25 minutes of ingestions -- A FACT.

HFCS or crystalline fructose or hydrolyzed fructose from insulin, convert to triglycerides and adipose tissue, within 60 minutes of ingestion, not blood glucose -- A FACT.

The cheapest ingredient in the American food chain (profit factor) after air, water and salt is HFCS -- A FACT.

MDs have no nutritional or metabolic training in med school -- A FACT.

MDs have no methodology in their teaching to prevent, as opposed to only treat -- A FACT.

Does HFCS significantly contribute to ill health in the U.S. food chain? Yes, follow the insurance companies scrambling in actuarial panic with a sudden and unexplained spike in heart attack death pay-outs among baby boomers ingesting too much HFCS and telling MDs to warn patients to get off soda and HFCS-laden prducts, for profit -- A FACT.

Are Willet & Popkin liars? -- YES.

Ask Willet why "sugar diabetes" is no longer a term in the medical lexicon. The answer is western medicine has known since 1924 sugar and refined sweeteners cause or trigger diabetes, yet the AMA cut 'sugar' out of the diabetes description in the early '60s because they knew they could make more money on treatment, not prevention or cure ...

They have betrayed The Hippocratic Oath -- "First, Do No Harm ... "

Related Articles:
Six Reasons Why Corn is Making You Fat
Fructose is No Answer for a Sweetener
More Problems with Fructose

Dr Bob the Health Builder
Robert D Bard, OD, FAAO

About the author:Dr Bob the Health Builder

Robert D Bard, OD, FAAO

I attended West Virginia University and graduated from Pennsylvania College of Optometry with a Bachelor of Science degree and a Doctor of Optometry degree.

As a health professional I was always interested in disease prevention but found the medical model � drug companies and doctors � unacceptable. The medical model towards disease is that they want us � the people � to contract disease and they will prevent us from dieing as long as we continue to take their drugs for the rest of our lives. This is their idea of preventive medicine. The population expects prevention to prevent disease before we get sick.

I became overweight and like most people blamed it on me and my eating habits, but I knew that diets and potions on TV DO NOT WORK and therefore put off doing anything until I stumbled across a solution.

In 1999 I began itching and it got worse almost by the day. I started taking antihistamines to reduce the itching and over a 10 month time period visited 4 dermatologists. The first 3 doctors miss diagnosed my problem. The forth discovered the cause but I had to use a pesticide all over my body to correct the condition � I know this seems strange but I had an infestation of Norwegian mites under my skin (I didn�t even know that mites had a pedigree much less a country of origin).

When I used the pesticide to kill the mites I swelled up like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. With this ordeal I gained even more weight and ended up looking like Porky the Pig. I also lost my sense of taste because of all the antihistamines.

In 2002 I did some consulting work for a supplement company and they gave me a gift book by Sherry Rogers, MD. At the same time I had a patient in my office that sensitive to all chemicals including the chemicals from a carpet that was 6 months old and from my cologne. He had to wear a mask filled with carbon just to get through a basic eye examination. After quizzing him about his condition I discovered that over 6 million people in the US can�t function normally because of toxic chemicals � that means holding down jobs and leading a normal life.

Because of this patient I began to investigate toxic chemicals and how they affect people, particularly my health, my taste, and weight problems. With this information I have lost 70 pounds, gone from a jean size of 50 to 40. I feel better, look better, and my big belly that used to catch food is almost gone. (I no longer catch food on my stomach)

I have discovered that the public is one big toxic chemical experiment by industrial food manufactures, chemical companies that control farm chemicals with Genetically Engineered crops, drug companies and companies that want to dump their waste products without protecting the public.

There are some really good people that write books and educate people about health issues, economic issues, environmental issues, food problems but all these people specialize in certain areas. My job as I see it is to be a reporter and filter the important information to my subscribers.

I have also been a farmer for years and one of my discoveries is that our diseased health economy starts with toxic chemicals and crop land.

Unhealthy Soil = Unhealthy Plants and Animals = Unhealthy People

I also think it is terrible that when people retire at the age of 65 that 97% are in poverty in this nation. I believe that I can help people make extra money in retirement through my experience on eBay and other sources of information. I have a free newsletter that discusses health issues and money issues to help people.

Dr Bob the Health Builder.

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Webmaster | 24. April 2008 @ 16:02

The MMR vaccination should protect your child against mumps. However, some people still have doubts about the vaccination so this article may help you to decide whether your child should be vaccinated.

Most cases of mumps are in children aged from 5 to 14, although cases in young adults are on the increase.


The most common symptoms are:

- A high fever, with temperature peaking at around 103F/39.5C.

- Loss of appetite.

- Swelling and pain in the patotid glands which are situated between the ear and the jaw.

- After about one week, other symptoms to appear may include: headache, stiff neck, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting.

The swelling maybe uneven with either one or both sides of the face affected making the child look like a hamster with food in its cheeks.

In rare cases mumps can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and meningitis.

Mumps in adolescent males may result in the development of orchitis, a painful inflammation of the testicles that can, in rare cases, result in sterility. Before the advent of vaccination, whenever a child in the neighbourhood caught mumps mothers used to take their young sons around to the patient's home in the hope that the child would catch mumps. The risk to a young child was thought to be less and the resulting immunity which normally lasts for life would prevent the child contracting the illness later in life when the consequences could be more serious.


Around twenty per cent of infected people will be affected so slightly that they will not even realise they have mumps.

Mumps is a virus and thus will cannot be treated with antibiotics. Like most viral illnesses, mumps can be left to run its course and most children and adults recover in 2-3 weeks as long as there are no complications.

Treat the symptoms with paracetamol or ibuprofen. DO NOT USE ASPIRIN. Unless instructed by a doctor, don't give aspirin to a child who has a viral illness as the use of aspirin in such cases can lead to the development of Reye Syndrome, a serious and potentially deadly encephalitis-like illness.

Give plenty of fluids but avoid acidic fruit juices (lemonade, orange juice etc) as these can increase parotid pain.

A child with mumps doesn't need to stay in bed but should not go to school while still infectious. A doctor can advise when it is safe to return.

About the author:

Tony Luck runs a web site with advice about babies. Also avilable on the site is the famous Chinese Pregnancy chart which is supposed to predict whether the baby you are expecting will be a boy or a girl. Visit the site at

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Webmaster | 23. April 2008 @ 16:02

The philosophy behind tincture is to capture the spiritual and physical essence of the plant. This is done by using the power of ethyl alcohol to dissolve and preserve the herb in question.

The substance used to extract the herbs is known as the menstrum. The herbs you are tincturing are known as the mark. Tincturing will extract and preserve both the water-soluble and alcohol-soluble properties of an herb.

In the interest of taking a more involved stance in their health, many people are turning to homemade tinctures made from fresh or dried herbs. Tinctures have proven to be more powerful and longer lasting than dried herbs. Dried herbs can get moldy or be eaten by insects, tinctures do not. Tinctures will keep up to two years and keep their potency if stored properly. Making your own tinctures will save you quite a bit of money. If you purchase tinctures in a retail store you will get a few ounces whereas if you make it yourself it will yield about a quart.

When purchasing herbs, make sure you are buying from a reputable source. Better yet, grow your own herbs to be sure of the highest possible quality. When growing your own you can make any number of combinations to make up your tinctures. I have also found that when growing my own herbs I get the most enjoyment, knowing not only did I make the tincture but I grew the herbs. I become part of the process from beginning to end.

There are several items that you will need to make your own tinctures. First you need either powdered herbs or fresh cut herbs. Vodka, brandy or rum, 80-100 proof to cover the herbs. Mason jars with lids. Muslin or Cheesecloth that is unbleached. Lastly, labels for the jars.

You will need 7-10 ounces of chopped fresh herbs for every quart of vodka, brandy or rum. I prefer to use fresh herbs when making my tinctures. When using powdered herbs, I use 4 ounces of herbs to one pint of liquid. If you are making a tincture from bitter herbs it is best to use rum as it will mask the taste of the herbs. To make a non-alcoholic tincture use distilled water, glycerol or vinegar. Keep in mind that if you use vinegar the tincture will have to be refrigerated.

Put your herbs in the mason jars and then pour the liquid over them so that it comes up to about an inch above the herbs. Seal tightly and label the jars then put them in a very dark, warm area. Keeping them in a paper bag has worked well for me. You will have to shake the jar everyday, several times a day if you can mange it.

At first check the solution daily to make sure the vodka, brandy or rum still covers the herbs. Let the mixture steep for at least two weeks and up to three months. When you reach the allotted waiting period, line a sieve with the cheesecloth or muslin and pour the liquid thru the sieve into another bottle. Gather up the ends of the cheesecloth and squeeze to extract all of the liquid. You can now fill small bottles with droppers with the tincture for ease in use. Be sure to label the jar with the name and the date.

The dose is one teaspoon tincture in a cup of tea, juice or water taken three times daily.

There are no right formulas for making tinctures. Experiment with different combinations. Be sure you write down the formula so when you come up with a winning combination you will have it on file.

Here are a few ideas for treating colds. Make tinctures from the following herbs:

* echinacea (leaves, flowers)
* elder (leaves, flowers, berries)
* eyebright (leaves, flowers)
* ginger (root)
* peppermint (leaves)
* yarrow (leaves, flowers)
* catnip (leaves

Copyright © 2006 Mary Hanna All Rights Reserved.

This article may be distributed freely on your website and in your ezines, as long as this entire article, copyright notice, links and the resource box are unchanged.

About the author:

Mary Hanna is an aspiring herbalist who lives in Central Florida. This allows her to grow gardens inside and outside year round. She has published other articles on Gardening, Cruising and Cooking. Visit her websites at, and or contact her at

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Webmaster | 22. April 2008 @ 16:02

Bird flu preparation in the United States has become a joint effort of the U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). You may be familiar with the USDA stamp of approval on fresh meats that you currently buy at the supermarket, but this is not their only function. They routinely inspect poultry farms and test domesticated poultry for infection.

At this time, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there is no need for anyone in the United States to wear a �bird flu mask�. But, of course, there are companies that are capitalizing on American fears arising from the deaths in small villages and towns throughout Asia and the Middle East. Some companies will sell you a bird flu mask, while others sell a bird flu preparation kit.

Is a bird flu mask or a bird flu preparation kit actually necessary for the average person living in the United States at this time or anytime in the near future? No, because the strain of bird flu that has killed people does not exist in the United States. Other strains of bird flu have been found in poultry in the U.S., but only one case involved a human and he was a USDA employee doing his job, inspecting poultry farms and taking samples when he contracted a weak bird flu virus. Most USDA employees wear protective clothing. He may have even been wearing a bird flu mask.

The U.S. government's bird flu preparation involving the USDA and the USGS includes testing wild migratory birds in Alaska and elsewhere for a specific virus, H5N1. While collecting these samples, employees may want to wear a bird flu mask, but they know that the virus does not transfer easily from birds to humans. Wild birds are mostly unaffected by the virus. Chickens and other domesticated poultry are another story. This virus kills poultry and it is for this reason that most bird flu preparation efforts are focused on protecting poultry farmers from the financial devastation that losing thousands of chickens, turkeys or other birds could cause.

Most large poultry farmers in the United States keep their birds in large buildings that keep the wild birds out and the domesticated birds in. This is not a new effort at bird flu preparation, but a standard that has been in effect for many years. While farm workers wear protective suits, boots and head coverings, it is unclear whether they wear a bird flu mask.

Scientists expect that if the H5N1 strain arrives in the Americas through migratory birds, they will be able to control it for the most part. There may be some losses of free roaming flocks. There may be farm workers who get sick from the strain and there could be deaths in the United States, but the general public is not at risk, does not need to wear a bird flu mask and does not need a bird flu preparation kit. Practicing good health habits and common sense, taking a daily multi-vitamin and maybe an immune system booster are the only things that a person who lives in the United States, is in reasonably good health and does not work on a chicken farm need do for bird flu preparation. For more information about colds and flus or immune system boosters visit

About the author:Patsy Hamilton has more than twenty years experience as a health care professional and currently writes informational articles for the Immune System Booster Guide. Read more at

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Webmaster | 21. April 2008 @ 16:02

So many people suffer from chronic low back pain. Its the number one reason Americans miss work. Back pain can either come on slow and get worse, or all at once you wake to find you cant get out of bed like a lighting strike out of the blue. Either way its a terrible thing to cope with. When after a few days or a couple of weeks at tops, most people end up going to the doctor. Upon going to the doctor, a lot of the people hurting with low back pain are told by physicians that surgery is needed. This news alone can be devastating in itself. Back surgery required recovery time that most people cant afford to take from work. Back surgery also is very expensive. Not only does it take a to recover and expensive, its also sometimes not even necessary.

So many people have low back surgery when other alternatives could have been used. Other methods of dealing with back pain can be physical therapy, biofeedback, traction, exercise, steroid injections, and electric stimulation therapy of muscles and nerves just to name a few. People that rush into back surgery have found that their back actually hurts worse than it did before the surgery. Some people also need follow up surgery either to correct mistakes made in the initial surgery, or problems in the back that crops up later. Either way this is also devastating. By this time, the patient has been out of work so long, that a financial hardship has occurred, medical bills have piled up, or some people have lost their employment, and find their back pain is no better or even worse.

People needlessly put themselves in this situation. I blame this on a couple of things. Physicians are quick to suggest surgery for the simple reason they do not believe in treating people with pain medicine. Some physicians are more worried about writing prescriptions for pain medication, than the pain your suffering from. This is due to people abusing the system when it comes to prescription drugs, or the lack of knowledge the physician sometimes has towards chronic pain sufferers. Either way the true chronic pain patient suffers tremendously.

When it comes to your back, going under the knife should always be the last resort. Everything under the sun should be tried, and tried again before anyone should have surgery. There are a few exceptions when having back surgery right away is necessary, but for the most part, other measures and therapy are out their and should be used. As a low back pain sufferer myself, though Im not a medical doctor, I would suggest something like this. First find a doctor who believes treating pain with pain medication. Combing physical therapy with pain medication can relieve pain tremendously. Do physical activities such as stretching, walking, sit-ups if possible, this strengthens the muscles around the disc taking the pressure off the nerves that cause such pain. A good program of pain medicine combined with other pain management tactics can do wonders over a period of time. A lot of people have found that the pain has actually went away with this type of therapy.

Worse case scenario, its better to have your back still in tact with pain, compared to the many complications, the severe pain, permanent nerve damage, loss of physical mobility, being unable to work, and even becoming disable due to having low back surgery. Remember no matter what anyone tells you, its your back, not theirs. Its easy for someone to tell you what you should do, but they don't have to walk in your shoes after a failed back surgery.

Copyright 2006 Robert Gould

About the author:

Robert Gould is an advocate in pain managment, helping people who suffer from chronic pain to get the proper pain medication to treat their pain for a better quality of life. For more information go to:

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Webmaster | 20. April 2008 @ 16:02

Understanding how to treat your Acne involves knowing which type of Acne may have. Acne has many variations, ranging in severity from mild to much more serious cases that can cause disfigurement. There are many treatments for acne available on the market, but it is very important to first identify your Acne type before choosing a treatment.

Acne Vulgaris

The most common form of Acne is named Acne Vulgaris. This type of acne can be easily identified by looking at the characteristics of the lesions.

- Whiteheads: When a pore becomes completely blocked by trapping sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria, you will notice a white appearance on the surface. Whiteheads normally will disappear fast than blackheads on your skin. You should resist the temptation to pop these pimples

- Blackheads: When are pore is only partially blocked, the trapped sebum, bacteria and dead skin will have slowly drained to the surface of your skin. The black color is caused by your skins pigment and melanin reacting with oxygen. Blackheads will normally take longer to disappear than whiteheads. You should also resist the temptation to pop these pimples too.

- Pustules: You can identify a pustule by a red circle with a white or yellow center. The pustule will look similar to a whitehead with the difference being inflammation. Pustules are commonly referred to as Zits.

- Papules: The papule is a red, inflamed and tender bump on the skin with no visible head. You should not attempt to squeeze this lesion as you may cause or exacerbate scarring.

- Severe Acne Vulgaris: The sever types of Acne Vulgaris include Nodules and Cysts and will be quite painful. You should consult your dermatologist for treating these types of acne.

Acne Rosacea

Acne Rosacea may look very similar to Acne Vulgaris and often causes confusion. Millions of people are affected by Acne Rosacea, and it mostly strikes people over the age of 30. It will start to appear as a reddish rash on the cheeks, forehead, nose and/or chin. You may also notice small bumps, skin blemishes or pimples in the area. Blackheads are not a symptom of Rosacea. You should consult your dermatologist if you suspect you have Rosacea, because treatment is often very different.

There are other very serious forms of Acne such as Acne Conglobata, Acne Fulminans, Gram-Negative Folliculitis and Pyoderma Faciale. These forms of Acne are very rare, but they can be disfiguring, painful and have psychological effects.

It is always recommended that you consult with your dermatologist to confirm the type of Acne you have and the best treatments available. The above information should only be used as a reference, and only a trained dermatologist can accurately diagnose your Acne.

About the author:

Darren Hoffman provides an Acne Treatment Resource Website with information, treatment options and advice for people suffering from Acne.

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Webmaster | 18. April 2008 @ 16:02

Like most people when I was younger it seemed I could eat anything and not really ever gain weight. Well now that I'm in my forties it appears that those undisciplined days are over for good. After doing a little research I've come to the conclusion that my lack of activity and slowing metabolism is to blame.

Wanting to lose some weight I went out to look for that magic weight loss plan that would offer a painless process for losing weight. After reading and trying several programs I realized that they all seemed to have the same common theme - lower your caloric intake and get off your butt and do something.

If you need to lose some weight, I recommend that you pay close attention to what you eat during the day. Go ahead and count up all of those calories you take in and calculate how many minutes you exercise. It won't take very many days for you to figure out that you take in to many calories and don't exercise enough. Use the information below to help you figure out where you want or need to be.

Calorie Requirements Resting Metabolic Rate represents the minimum energy needs of the body, for day and night with no exercise. Sedentary includes occupations that involve sitting most of the day. Light includes activities, which involve standing most of the day. Moderate may include walking, gardening, and housework. Active includes an occupation that requires manual labor and/or participating in a daily exercise program.

Daily calorie allowance:

Men: Resting -- 12 per lb. body weight. Sedentary -- 16 per lb. body weight. Light-- 18 per lb. body weight. Moderate -- 21 per lb. body weight. Active -- 26 per lb. body weight

Example: I want to reach a weight of 180 lbs, to do so I plan on being moderately active, so my daily caloric intake should be 21 x 180 = 3780 calories per day.

Women: Resting -- 13 per lb. body weight. Sedentary -- 14 per lb. body weight. Light -- 16 per lb. body weight. Moderate -- 18 per lb. body weight. Active -- 22 per lb. body weight

Example: If you want to reach a weight of 130 and maintain that weight and plan on being moderately active, then your caloric intake should be 18 x 130 = 2340 calories per day.

Lastly, no matter what you decide to do go ahead and engage in regular physical activity and reduce sedentary activities to promote health. Good luck!

Copyright 2006 Dennis Watson

About the author:

Dennis Watson has been helping others promote their products or services for years through his Free Classifieds website =>

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Webmaster | 17. April 2008 @ 16:02

Many people may not realize that medical malpractice is a real and ever growing problem. People die everyday from wrong diagnoses and incorrect treatments. The problem is that most of these cases are private and many are never reported. A lot of the population does not know enough about medical practices to know when they are faced with a malpractice problem. They are forced to take the word of the doctor and staff at hand. This may explain why only a small number of claims are filed for malpractice suits and only about half of them actually win the lawsuit.

Physicians have medical malpractice insurance that will cover them in the event someone files a malpractice claim against them. In the past the cost for this type of insurance was a flat rate, but due to the fact that medical malpractice suits are on the rise, the cost for this insurance has also begun to rise. There are not as many providers for this type of insurance as it use to be. This is because medical costs are going up and it is very difficult to make a profit in this business.

Things that can be considered a medical malpractice would be failure to treat a medical problem correctly that causes a new medical problem or makes the existing one worse. If a physician fails to diagnose a disease, detects the problem to late to help the patient or fails to treat the condition correctly after it has been diagnosed it could be considered malpractice. If problems occur during the use of anesthesia or surgery that was due to the fault of the doctor or a member of the staff it could be malpractice. Also prescribing the wrong medication for a patient or medicine that interferes with other known conditions the patient may suffer from is also grounds for malpractice.

Medical malpractice suits are normally always expensive and very complicated. You must be able to provide all of the necessary information to your attorney to have a chance of winning a lawsuit of this nature. This would be information such as a detailed list of the patient's medical history. This would include all doctors and hospitals or clinics that the patient has visited and all treatments that the patients received during this time, even if it seems unimportant. All medicines taken and prescribed must be recorded and a written description of all conversations that have taken place will be needed along with the dates everything took place. A medical expert will review the case and will ultimately be the one to decide if the suit is legitimate.

About the author:

Christian Tylor is a freelance publisher based in Atlanta, Georgia. He publishes articles and reports in various ezines and provides financial resources on

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Webmaster | 16. April 2008 @ 16:02

There are many contaminants that assault us on a daily basis. These toxins are in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the foods we eat, to name just a few. Eating organic food greatly reduces the toxins we consume in our food. Organic food is becoming more popular as people are becoming more health conscious. There are now certain regulations for growing organic foods commercially and many foods, especially eggs, bear an organic certification label.

What is organic food?

Organic food is food that is grown naturally without the aid of commercial fertilizers and chemicals like insecticides, herbicides, and anti-fungal substances. Organic growers use only organic fertilizers and remedies for growing plants. These foods are natural and unrefined. Feeding the animals food that has no chemicals added to it in turn produces organic animal products such as meat, poultry and eggs. For example, chickens and poultry are allowed to roam free as opposed to being kept cooped up in cages, and fruits and vegetables are not chemically ripened.

Advantages of organic food:

There are several advantages for us in eating organic foods:

- There are considerably less toxins in the food as it is grown without the aid of chemicals

- It is often better tasting

- Better for you-there are more nutrients in organic foods and Omega 3 is often found in organic eggs.

How Organic food will improve your health:

A natural diet consisting of unrefined foods, more fiber less chemicals and toxins will improve your overall health in several ways:

- More fiber from fiber rich foods and those that are unrefined will help your digestive system and allow your whole body to function better.

- Some organic eggs are produced from chickens that are fed on vegetarian feed. This will cut down trans fat and animal fat in the eggs. Omega 3 is found in organic eggs, this substance can be good for the heart.

- There is more iron in the yolk of an organic egg. As seen by the pale color of the commercial egg yolk as opposed to the dark yellow/orange of the organic egg.

- Due to the absence of refinement in organic food it is more satisfying and will help you with any weight loss program by encouraging you to eat less.

- Organic fruits and vegetables have more nutrition than commercially grown ones so you will be feeding your body with better food and improve your overall health.

Organic foods are the wave of the future as more people become more educated about their health and the foods that are good for them. At present, prices are a little higher for organic products but it is worth it when you consider the benefits. By switching to organic food you will improve your health and wellbeing and you will also be able to boost your immune system and help your body fight off diseases and toxins.

About the author: Zachary Thompson is a PolySaccharide Sales Consultant. His clients range from pro athletes and actresses, to cancer patients and children with Learning Disabilities. To learn if glyconutrients can help you, visit

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Webmaster | 15. April 2008 @ 16:02

Many people, including some health care practitioners are concerned about mercury and aluminum present in flu shots. This is not a new concern for those who are against flu shots, but it is relevant as the flu season approaches.

The major concern about mercury and aluminum present in flu shots arises from concerns about Alzheimer's and autism. Even among those people who are not against flu shots, some are against mercury and aluminum present in flu shots. Recently, New York State passed a law banning the preservative thimerosal from flu shots and other vaccines meant for children and pregnant women. Thimerosal is mercury based and is known to cause allergic reactions in many people. On top of that, mercury is a known neurotoxin, meaning that it damages nerve cells, and has been linked to autism.

New York State is not against flu shots. In recent years, New York City and other areas of New York have had problems obtaining enough flu vaccine for high risk citizens. The ban came after several studies linked an increase in cases of autism (a condition which is first noted in childhood and is characterized by deficits in communication and social interaction as well as language and learning impairments) to vaccines and flu shots containing thimerosal. Some health care professionals still maintain that the risk of complications from the flu are greater than the risks that may be associated with mercury and aluminum present in flu shots.

Some people are against flu shots, in general, because they or someone close to them had a reaction to the flu shot. Sometimes it is a mild reaction, such as a mild case of the flu. Sometimes it is a more serious condition that may be due to mercury and aluminum present in flu shots. Several people blame the onset of their Chronic Fatigue Syndrome on mercury and aluminum present in flu shots.

It is important to note that these cases are rare. While complications arising form the flu, particularly pneumonia, caused over 60,000 deaths in 2003 in the United States, there were only a few reported cases of complications arising from the flu shot and none of those were life threatening. People who are against flu shots in general focus on the rare, but severe reactions to the vaccine and on the mercury and aluminum present in flu shots. People who are not against flu shots focus on the number of deaths each year that are caused by the flu virus. For more information about the flu or for information about how to boost your immune system naturally, visit

About the author:Patsy Hamilton has more than twenty years experience as a health care professional and currently writes informational articles for the Immune System Booster Guide. Read more at

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Webmaster | 14. April 2008 @ 16:02

The French press produces a very rich, robust coffee. It is the next best brew to an Espresso. Using medium to coarse coffee grounds which when directly infused using slightly cooled boiling water, will create a great blend of aroma and flavor. The French press method is pre-warming the glass beaker with hot water, adding your preferred amount of coffee in the beaker, then adding some slightly cooled boiling water. The plunger cover is then replaced on the beaker. You should then allow the coffee to steep for about four to six minutes. Then you gently press the plunger lid down allowing it to pass through the suspended coffee. This will separate your finished coffee away from the grounds by pressing all the grounds to the bottom of the pot.

Advantages | Disadvantages of your French press

Advantages: Using this technique gives the richest body of coffee (excluding Espresso). The stop time is less, application of pressure is slight, water is hotter, and the ratio of water to coffee is greater. Grounds in this process (steeping) are just under the boiling point, which means no extra boiling or burning which will save the dark, delightful flavor and coffee aroma - with no bitterness. Also there is no paper filter to take away some of the coffee oils - which will help save your delicate aroma.

Disadvantages: The cooling down of the coffee before the steeping pressure has finished. If your coffee beans are ground too fine, it will be harder to press down the plunger lid because of the increased surface tension. And if you do not use the medium to coarse grind, you may have sediment at the bottom of our cup.

Bonus | Using the French press as a foamer to make froth.

Heat a cup of milk (using non-fat has best results) on the stove or in the microwave. Do not overheat; just heat it enough that you cannot put your finger into it. Pour the milk into a rinsed plunger pot. Pump the plunger in the pot for a few minutes and the milk will expand to three to four times its volume creating froth for your cappuccino and latte.

About the author:

Daryl Plaza is the owner of All About Coffee: - a website focused on helping people to understand more about coffee. For tips on coffee machines and coffee recipes check out All About Coffee Makers.

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Webmaster | 13. April 2008 @ 16:02

There are two kinds of bird flu wear protection that a person who will come into contact with infected poultry or just poultry or an infected person. The person should consider wearing either a bird flu respirator or a bird flu mask.

A bird flu masks only helps prevent particles or droplets to be discharged in the environment the wearer is in. The mask is not generally used to filter efficiently or to seal the face tightly. A bird flu respirator is what is considered helpful in reducing the wearer�s chances of exposure to airborne particles such as bird flu. A bird flu mask is often confused like a bird flu respirator because both look alike.

The bird flu mask or respirator should be used by people who think they will come in contact with persons or birds infected with the H5N1 strain. The people who use this should just consider it to be one way of being hygienic way of prevention.

A patient who thinks he or she has been feeling symptoms and knows has been in contact with infected birds should wear a bird flu mask as well. People who often travel a lot, especially to those infected places should also consider bringing a bird flu respirator.

If a bird flu respirator is not present, the bird flu mask will have to do. The mask or the respirator should also be fitted in properly to make it work. However, wearing the mask is still not a guaranteed way you won�t contact the viral disease.

The only time a person working closely with infected birds or persons or just birds is when they are away from the contaminated or possible contaminated area. Then after removing the equipment, remember to thoroughly wash your hands. Then dispose the equipment immediately after going on a safer area. The effectiveness of the respirator last only for 8 hours.

When buying the bird flu mask or respirator, it always has directions or instructions how to properly use it. Always remember when transporting the equipment to protect it from any kind of damage.

The bird flu respirator should be sealing the face very tightly. If the breathing becomes difficult, the respirator might have been damaged. If it is, go to a safe place and change the respirator.

The right way to wear it to know how effective it is, is to fit it snuggly in the face, the metal strip should be atop and the colored part outside. The mask should be firmly placed by positioning the strings right. The metallic strip should be molded at the nose�s bridge.

A bird flu mask or respirator is only a part to help prevent the further damaging of implications of bird flu. It is not a sure fire way to prevent the outbreak, but it is a way to reduce the potential damage.

About the author:

Michael Colucci is a technical writer for - A free site that offers facts on the history, prevention, vaccines and more on the Bird Flu Virus.

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Webmaster | 12. April 2008 @ 16:02

Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction - PTTD

Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD), also known as posterior tibial tendonitis, is one of the leading causes of acquired flatfoot in adults. The onset of PTTD may be slow and progressive or abrupt. An abrupt onset is typically linked to some form of trauma, whether it be simple (stepping down off a curb or ladder) or severe (falling from a height or automobile accident). PTTD is seldom seen in children and increases in frequency with age.

The characteristic finding of PTTD include;

Loss of medial arch height
Edema (swelling) of the medial ankle
Loss of the ability to resist force to abduct or push the foot out from the midline of the body
Pain on the medial ankle with weight bearing
Inability to raise up on the toes without pain
Too many toes sign
Lateral subtalar joint (outside of the ankle) pain

A common test to evaluate PTTD is the 'too many toes sign'. The 'too many toes sign' is a test used to measure abduction (deviation away from the midline of the body) of the forefoot. With damage to the posterior tibial tendon, the forefoot will abduct or move out in relationship to the rest of the foot. In cases of PTTD, when the foot is viewed from behind, the toes appear as 'too many' on the outside of the foot due to abduction of the forefoot.

In advanced cases of PTTD, in addition to the pain of the tendon itself, pain will also be noted at the sinus tarsi. The sinus tarsi refers to a small tunnel or divot on the outside of the ankle that can actually be felt. This tunnel is the entry to the subtalar joint. The subtalar joint is the joint that controls the side to side motion of the foot, motion that would occur with uneven surfaces or sloped hills. As PTTD progresses and the ability of the posterior tibial tendon to support the arch becomes diminished, the arch will collapse overloading the subtalar joint. As a result, there is increased pressure applied to the joint surfaces of the lateral aspect of the subtalar joint, resulting in pain.

There have been many proposed explanations for PTTD over the years since this condition was first described by Kulkowski in 1936. The most contemporary explanation refers to an area of hypovascularity (limited blood flow) in the tendon just below the ankle. Tendon derives most of its' nutritional support from synovial fluid produced by the outer lining of the tendon. Extremely small blood vessels also permeate the tendon sheath to reach tendon. This makes all tendon notoriously slow to heal. In the case of the posterior tibial tendon, this problem is exacerbated by a distinct area of poor blood flow (hypovascularity). This area is located in the posterior tibial tendon just below or distal to the inside ankle bone (medial malleolus).

Tendon is also most susceptible to fatigue and failure at an area where the tendon changes direction. As the posterior tibial tendon descends the leg and comes to the inside of the ankle, the tendon follows a well defined groove in the back of the tibia (bone of the inside of the ankle). The tendon then takes a dramatic turn towards the arch of the foot. If the tendon is put into a situation where significant load is applied to the foot, the tendon responds by pulling up as the load of the body (in addition to gravity) pushes down. At the location where the tendon changes course, the tibia acts as a wedge and may apply enough force to actually damage or rupture the tendon.

Equinus is also a contributing factor to PTTD. Equinus is the term used to describe the ability or lack of ability to dorsiflex the foot at the ankle (move the toes toward you). Equinus is usually due to tightness in the calf muscle, also known as the gastroc-soleal complex (a combination of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles). Equinus may also be due to a bony block in the front of the ankle. The presence of equinus forces the posterior tibial tendon to accept additional load during gait.

Additional contributing factor to the onset of PTTD may include hypertension, diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, smoking or arthritis.

The progression of PTTD may result in tendonitis, partial tears of the tendon or complete tendon rupture. Several classifications have been developed to describe PTTD. The classification as described by Johnson and Strom is most commonly used today.

Stage I
Tendon status Attenuated (lengthened) with tendonitis but no rupture
Clinical findings Palpable pain in the medial arch. Foot is supple, flexible with too many toes sign
X-ray/MRI Mild to moderate tenosynovitis on MRI, no X-ray changes

Stage II
Tendon status Attenuated with possible partial or complete rupture
Clinical findings Pain in arch. Unable to raise on toes. Too many toes sign present
X-ray/MRI notes tear in tendon. X-ray noting abduction of forefoot, collapse of talo-navicular joint

Stage III
Tendon status Severe degeneration with likely rupture
Clinical findings Rigid flatfoot with inability to raise up on toes
X-ray/MRI shows tear in tendon. X-ray noting abduction of forefoot, collapse of talo-navicular joint

An additional consideration in planning for PTTD surgery and diagnosing PTTD pain is the presence of an accessory bone called an os tibiale externum. The os tibiale externum, or what is frequently called and accessory navicular, is a small bone that resides within the body of the PT tendon. The os tibiale externum functions to facilitate motion around the navicular. The os tibiale externum functions much in the same way that the knee cap (patella) works to guide the quadraceps tendon around the knee as it bends. The os tibiale externum can undergo degenerative wear called chondromalacia. The os tibiale externum also can fracture. Therefore, the os tibiale externum must also be considered when diagnosing PT tendon pain and planning surgery for PTTD. Excision of the os tibiale externum during PT tendon correction is common.

Treatment of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction and posterior tibial tendonitis

Treatment for PTTD is dependant upon the clinical stage and the health status of the patient. It is important to recognize that PTTD is a mechanical problem that requires a mechanical solution. This means that treating PTTD with medication alone is fraught with failure. Timely introduction of some form of mechanical support is imperative.

Surgical procedures which focus on primary repair of the posterior tibial tendon have been very unsuccessful. This is due to the fact that tendon heals slowly following injury and cannot be relied upon as a sole solution for PTTD cases. Surgical success is usually achieved by stabilization of the rearfoot (subtalar joint) which significantly reduces the work performed by the posterior tibial tendon.

Stage I may respond to rest, such as a walking cast. Pain and inflammation may be controlled with anti-inflammatory medications. It is important to be sure that Stage I patients realize that the use of shoes with additional arch support and heel elevation, for the rest of their lives, is imperative. Arch support, whether built into the shoe or added as an orthotic, helps support the posterior tibial tendon and decrease its' work. Elevation of the heel, reduces equinus, one of the most significant contributing factors to PTTD. If Stage I patients return to low heels without arch support, PTTD will recur.

Stage II patients, or Stage I patients that do not respond to rest and support, require surgical correction to stabilize the subtalar joint prior to further damage to the posterior tibial tendon. Subtalar arthroeresis is a procedure used to stabilize the subtalar joint. Arthroeresis is a term that means the motion of the joint is blocked without fusion. Subtalar arthroeresis can only be used in cases of Stage I or II where mild to moderate deformation of the arch has occurred and MRI findings show the tendon to be only partially ruptured. Subtalar arthroeresis is typically performed in conjunction with an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure to correct equinus. These procedures require casting for a period of weeks following the procedure.

Stage III patients require stabilization of the rearfoot with procedures that fuse the primary joints of the arch and foot. These procedures are salvage procedures and require prolonged casting and disability following surgery. A common procedure for Stage III is called triple arthrodesis which is a technique used to fuse the subtalar joint, the talo-navicular joint and the calcaneal cuboid joint.

PTTD is a condition that increases in frequency with age and the prevalence of poor health indicators such as diabetes and obesity. As a result, many patients with PTTD are poor surgical candidates for correction of PTTD. Prosthetics such as an ankle foot orthotic (AFO), AirLift Brace or other bracing may be very helpful to control the symptoms of PTTD.

This article was written by Jeffrey A. Oster, DPM, medical directory of

About the author:Dr. Jeffrey A. Oster, DPM C.Ped

Dr. Jeffrey A. Oster is a Board Certified Podiatrist, and Medical Director of

Article may be copied and or distributed with a direct link to

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Webmaster | 10. April 2008 @ 16:02

Chances are if you're one of the millions of people suffering from acne you're also looking for that Holy Grail otherwise known as the zit home remedy. For many people with acne, a real life remedy that truly works to clear up their unsightly blemishes and allow them to achieve a healthy clear complexion would be worth paying for many times over. But the truth is there are several ways to treat zits and the associated blackheads that result from the acne without having to spend a fortune on voodoo methods that may or may not clear your skin up.

Before I get to the treatments let's step back and do a quick refresher on what acne is and how it's caused. Acne is a result of clogged pores on the surface of your skin due to hair follicles that become entangled with the skin's oil glands. There are many causes for this action-taking place with the scientific term labeling this emotionally disturbing event as a disease of the pilosebaceous units. A common myth is that poor hygiene results in acne. Sadly the truth is many people who are extremely well kept in terms of personal hygiene still suffer from acne and zits, which explains why they are looking for the perfect zit home remedy. Acne can affect many parts of the body with the face, chest and back regions the normal suspects. Additional acne related problems include papules, pustules (commonly referred to as pimples), nodules and cysts. Each is a major inconvenience to the individual suffering from these symptoms with the worst cases causing permanent scarring.

Several other contributing factors to the onset of acne related symptoms include the puberty stage experienced by most male and females around the teenage years of their life. Heredity has also been proven to be an early indicator of whether or not you may suffer from acne � especially if your parents suffered at one time in their life. Although many people may use make-up and other cosmetics applied in heavy doses to hide zits and other acne blemishes they actually end up accelerating the problem, which leads to more pimples and zits.

So where is the zit home remedy or cure all in this whole mess? If you watch television then you know all about the commercials supporting the latest zit fighting medicated pads. Odds are they are one of the following over the counter medications: Benzoyl Peroxide (most commercially popular acne medication), Salicylic Acid and Sulfur. Although these treatments have been proven to be effective as zit home remedy solutions they don�t meet the need of most modern day teenagers and that is a cure to acne in less then 24 hours. Research shows that even the best anti-acne over the counter medication can take up to as much as 8 weeks to completely treat acne related conditions.

So as you can see although there really isn't a fast way to cure acne there are several low cost over the counter acne fighting solutions that when combined with gentle cleaning and handling of the infected skin, careful shaving (especially for males) and cosmetics applied in a sensible nature can result in a cleaner, healthier complexion. A zit home remedy plan it�s not, but it can just make a difference in your fight against acne, zits and pimples.

About the author:

Timothy Gorman is a successful Webmaster and publisher of He provides more acne clearing solutions, remedies and zit home remedy information that you can research in your pajamas on his website.

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Webmaster | 9. April 2008 @ 16:02

Dizziness can be a common dysfunction of the human immune system. Dizziness is characterized by several symptoms. The most common sign of dizziness is the sense of the surrounding world going round even as one stands or sits at one place. This type of neurological dizziness is quite different from the dizziness one feels after riding a merry-go-round, for instance. The latter is a forced effect while the former is a disease that needs prompt attention of the physician. Proper medical care and medications can definitely lessen the recurring incidences of dizziness symptoms.

Mentionably, dizziness or the dysfunction leading to the loss of semblance or physical balance occurs when the labyrinth, the main limb of balance located in the inner ear, fails to work properly. When such a situation happens, the brain stops functioning or functions irregularly thereby causing dizziness. Many of us feel dizziness after getting up abruptly or when we suddenly bend down to pick up something from the ground. Dizziness occurs as our heart beats or rhythms get a jolt and there is a fall in our blood pressure level. This is also the cause of light-headedness during the dizzy bouts.

The ailments arising from viral infection of the inner ear are the Benign positional vertigo, Meniere's disease, and Vestibular neuronitis (Viral labyrinthitis). Mentionably, Meniere's disease is a life-long state. But there are instances where this form of dizziness resolves on its own just as in Viral labyrinthitis.

Benign positional vertigo leads to rotational dizziness or vertigo when the patient is made to move in particular positions in specific directions. The generally reported positions are at those times when the head suddenly gets tilted backwards (say, when the driver abruptly jams on the brakes) or while turning on the bed. The aged people are easily susceptible to such syndromes.

People suffering from Meniere's disease also suffer recurring vertigo. They feel fullness in their ears which may also ring or they may not hear anything. Such effects may even last for more than hour. Such fits force the affected person to lie down preceded by bouts of vomiting and nausea.

While Viral labyrinthitis or Vestibular neuronitis can affect kids and the aged, this dizziness disorder is generally seen among many youths. The patients suffering from this form of dizziness also fall ill due to flu or cold. Their heads feel heavy and they fail to keep their body�s natural balance. Try as they might to control themselves, they ultimately fall to vertigo. There may be a feeling of nausea, and they may also vomit. These signs of dizziness may linger on for days on end.

The prominent symptoms of dizziness are a feeling of light headedness. There are several other neurological symptoms like reduced consciousness, convulsions, confusion, headache, and appearances of white spots in front of the eyes. There are reports that many people affected by this disorder black out, have fits, vision gets blurred, feel unreal and/or see stars. More often than not, dizziness is followed by fainting.

Here our primary issue will be neurological dizziness. Dizziness is prompted by glutamate. This chemical causes disproportionate neuronal discharges which leads to the aforementioned symptoms. This syndrome can be life debilitating. If the patient is not provided resuscitation or immediate medical treatment, there may be a scarcity of oxygen. This can adversely affect the functioning of that person�s brain. First aid must be tendered within a minute after the patient suffers from neurological dizziness.

There are many causes of dizziness. Mention may be made of Bulimia Nervosa and Anorexia Nervosa � two of the main eating disorders that are affecting the majority of the X-generation youth. Besides, dizziness can be due to situations that may be emotionally touching. Hyperventilation and low blood pressure are other primary causes of dizziness.

About the author:Nilutpal Gogoi is a writer and a freelance journalist having more than 18 years of service in several audio-visual and print media reputed organizations in North East India. He has published one popular adventure book for children and has published more than 1000 articles for various sites. For more information log on to

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Webmaster | 8. April 2008 @ 16:02

Fibromyalgia, or Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS), is generally characterized by pain in the muscles and bones, multiple tender points located on different parts of the body, trouble sleeping (or waking up still feeling tired). FMS, while different for everyone who has it, tends to come and go throughout life. It is not a deforming, degenerative, life-threatening condition, but for those afflicted with it, it is very real.

For anyone who suffers from Fibromyalgia the symptoms can be almost unbearable at times. Equally unbearable to many can be the side effects of the medications used to treat the condition. Although prescription medications may be necessary for a great number of Fibromyalgia sufferers, there are vitamins that can be taken in conjunction with prescription medication to provide relief from some, although probably not all, of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.

First, before discussing any vitamin supplements that can be beneficial to those suffering from Fibromyalgia, I must stress that you should discuss any diet changes and supplements with your physician before making any changes to your diet. Although not common, certain vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements can react adversely with medications. Be sure to consult your physician before adding anything new to your diet.

I'm going to detail some of the most common and most effective vitamins that can be used to help relieve and manage symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Below is a list of those vitamins:

* Phosphatidyl choline and phosphatidyl serine (300 mg per day) may help depression and improve memory.

* B vitamins help reduce the effects of stress: B-complex (50 to 100 mg per day), B6 (100 mg per day) and niacinamide (100 mg per day) and assist in adrenal function to assist with muscle weakness, pain and sleep disorders and immune function.

* Chromium picolinate (200 mcg with meals) may reduce reactive hypoglycemia which may make your symptoms worse.

* Vitamin C (250 to 500 mg twice per day) reduces swelling and helps your immune system function better.

* Magnesium (200 mg two to three times per day) with malic acid (1,200 mg one to two times per day) relieves pain and fatigue.

* Melatonin (0.5 to 3 mg one time before bed) may help sleep.

* 5-Hydroxytryptophan (100 mg three times per day) may help with depression and insomnia.

* Coenzyme Q10 (50 to 100 mg one to two times per day) improves oxygen delivery to tissues and has antioxidant activity.

* Zinc (30 mg per day) is essential for proper immune function.

Depending on what symptoms you have you can use the list above as a guideline for vitamins to discuss adding to your diet with your physician. Not all people with Fibromyalgia have the same symptoms, for instance you may not have difficulty sleeping or may not have trouble with your immune system. Consider carefully the symptoms you have and then make a list of vitamins you would like to add to your diet.

The vitamins listed above should be used in conjunction with medication and exercise recommended by your physician. Over time you may find that certain medications can be reduced and, possibly stopped altogether. However this is a decision that should be made under medical supervision. The best treatment for Fibromyalgia is an approach that treats your whole body, inside and out with proper diet, exercise and when needed medication.

Copyright 2006

About the author: Steven Godlewski is a self-made millionaire and is currently working with the staff at He has an extensive background in nutrition as well as other health related fields. For more health-related articles see their website at:

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Webmaster | 7. April 2008 @ 16:02

For those who are concerned about avoiding or treating influenza, there may be an herbal and homeopathic alternative. Flu shot medicine or vaccine contains only three strains of dead viruses. Leaving a number of strains, including the strain referred to as the bird flu, that is currently making people very ill in parts of Asia and India.

Echinacea is one herbal and homeopathic alternative. Flu shot medicine is designed to create an immunity to specific strains of flu virus. These viruses are constantly changing, thus the reason for a different vaccine each year. Echinacea is recommended because it stimulates the entire immune system and studies have shown that it is effective in the treatment of influenza. One study in Volgograd showed that echinacea, not only contributed to quicker recovery, but also reduced the risk of post-flu complications. No studies have been done concerning echinacea as a preventative herbal and homeopathic remedy. Flu shot medicine is still considered by most doctors and the Center for Disease Control to be the most effective flu preventative.

There is no herbal and homeopathic alternative flu shot medicine, meaning there are no herbs, botanicals or other natural products that will cause the body to build up an immunity to specific strains of the flu. All herbal and homeopathic products can do is stimulate the immune system allowing the body's natural immunities to these viruses to take over. People who have strong immune systems get fewer colds and flu viruses. People with chronic illnesses and those who have weakened immune systems should not rely on an herbal and homeopathic alternative. Flu shot medicine is still the best choice for these people.

Healthy people consider products that boost the immune system as herbal and homeopathic alternative flu shot medicine. Taken regularly, particularly during cold and flu season, products containing echinacea, beta glucans and other herbal flu remedies (bilberry, green tea, ginseng, turmeric, etc) may prevent colds and flus and complications that may arise from them. Even people who take the flu shot can benefit from these herbal products. They have no side effects and scientific studies, as well as historical use as treatment for colds and other infections, have shown that they can be effective and are completely safe.

In addition to the already mentioned herbal and homeopathic alternative flu shot medicine or remedies, extra vitamin C and essential minerals such as copper, manganese, magnesium and zinc are all important to assist the body's natural immune system in fighting off viruses. Add these to proper diet, adequate rest, an immune system booster and you have a recipe for improved health, as well as a possible herbal and homeopathic alternative flu shot medicine. For more information about how to boost your immune system and protect yourself from colds and flus this year, visit

About the author: Patsy Hamilton has more than twenty years experience as a health care professional and currently writes informational articles for the Immune System Booster Guide. Read more at

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Dan Ho | 6. April 2008 @ 16:02

Discover the Health Benefits of Turmeric

The health benefits of turmeric...

What if I told you there was a nutrient that had a myriad of health benefits, could help with a range of some of the most debilitating health conditions in the Western world, was cheap, and, lastly, was very very tasty.

Sounds too good to be true, I know, but that's exactly what turmeric offers.

The Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is a yellow spice that is used a great deal in Indian cuisine. Its history of use in India and China spans hundreds of years and these cultures have been received its many health benefits without even realizing just powerful it was.

In recent decades researchers discovered just how wonderful this culinary spice really is.

They learned that turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin that harbors both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Antioxidants, as we all now, play an important role in helping prevent free radicals from damaging our body's cells.

In addition, free radical damage often results in inflammation.

Our bodies are designed to fight this inflammation via our immune system...but in the process may become overburdened and, therefore, weakened from battling the constant free radical induced inflammation.

This is one of the best health benefits of turmeric because as both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory it may aid our immune system indirectly.

Also, if you have arthritis, you may be reading more about the turmeric arthritis connection.

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, studies are now suggesting that turmeric may help with arthritis because arthritis is characterized by painful inflammation of the joints.

Other than turmeric arthritis, curcumin, the active ingredient, is believed to help with Alzheimer's because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

In fact, Alzheimer's is a lot more rare in India than it is in the United States and turmeric is used a lot in their curry cooking.

Research has shown that in some towns and villages in India where turmeric use is especially high, there are almost no cases of Alzheimer's.

Keep in mind that this is merely correlation at this point. Nobody knows yet whether turmeric helps prevent Alzheimer's...but the preliminary evidence so far is promising.

Another condition that turmeric is being used for is psoriasis, which is a scaly, painful, and unsightly skin condition. Again, psoriasis is a condition characterized by inflammation....and turmeric's anti-inflammatory properties may be key in helping counter it.

Other studies have shown that turmeric may help lower cholesterol and have heart healthy benefits. It may reduce platelets from clumping together, which may help guard against atherosclerosis and improve blood circulation.

It is now also being studied for a possible role in protecting against certain types of cancer, such as skin cancer and breast cancer.

Some natural health experts believe that inflammation is often at the root of the overwhelming majority of serious health conditions and that controlling this inflammation should be our main focus if we want good health

In our opinion, turmeric's potent anti-inflammatory properties may be the reason the health benefits of turmeric extend so widely.

So, the next time you stay in to cook an ethnic dish, try adding some tasty and healthy turmeric.

About the author:

Dan Ho is chief editor of Nutritional Supplement Info. Visit us now to learn more about the health benefits of turmeric.

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Webmaster | 5. April 2008 @ 16:02

Spondylolisthesis, a condition that can affect athletes in all sports that require a wide range of movement and flexibility, is a degeneration of the exterior portion of the vertabrae in the spine, reducing not only its integrity, but support, flexibility, and strength.

No matter how severe the condition, a patient may experience extreme discomfort, lack of mobility, or even the loss of sensation in an extremity, typically the leg. Adolescents suffering from this condition may often exhibit few symptoms or no symptoms at all.

Spondylolisthesis tends to cause great discomfort in patients and is usually brought on by physical accidents, such as falls or even automobile accidents. While it can occasionally be a pre-existing condition, but it is often worsened because of the accident.

In the highest levels of discomfort, it may be necessary to treat with what is known as spinal fusion, a treatment in which the lower vertebrae of the spine is fused to the affected vertebrae and held in place with titanium screws and rods or, at times, a plate. This surgery can take a maximum of four hours and can be extremely painful for the patient. While recovering, the pain can be terribly severe and requires mobility assistance and physical therapy.

While spinal fusion is painful and can take up to twelve months for recovery to take place, the success rate of this form of surgery is eighty percent, making spinal fusion the prime option of treatment for both patients and their doctors. When paired with special exercise, physical therapy, and changes in daily routine, spinal fusion can assist in alleviating Spondylolisthesis effectively.

This condition is curable and can be treated if detected early enough. Speaking to your physician and an orthopedic surgeon is key, as left untreated, Spondylolisthesis can lead to loss of sensation and bone degeneration. Your health is important and if you find yourself experiencing discomfort in the back, especially the lower back, after an accident or a fall, you should speak to an orthopedic surgeon immediately about testing and possible treatment.

Early detection can save both your health and your bones. Leaving it untreated is risky - a risk you should not be willing to take.

About the author:

Amanda Baker writes for - a website for health, fitness and wellness.

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Webmaster | 4. April 2008 @ 16:02

For many, baking is a chemistry experiment gone horribly wrong, or just maybe, wonderfully correct. The variables of oven heat, local water properties and each manufacturers subtle differences in oil and flour quality can turn the best recipe into a kitchen nightmare. The true secret is to never give up and to keep adjusting your recipe to your own taste.

One of the most common problems with cookie recipes, is what to do with the butter. Butter has amazing properties and flavors that cannot be duplicated by other oils. It does however have one of the lowest melting temperatures of all of the baking oils and can cause your cookie to flatten into a gigantic mess. Solution, integrate some equal parts of shortening into your recipe. For every ounce of butter taken away, add an ounce of shortening. Also ball and refrigerate your cookie dough before putting it onto a pan and into the oven. Lastly double pan your cookies, so the heat is more evenly distributed and no too hot on the bottom side of your cookie. This will eliminate cookies that get burned on the bottom.

I have yet to see a cookie recipe made with all purpose flour that could not be improved by substituting some cake flour into the recipe. Start with a one third substitution and see if this makes your cookie a little lighter and easier to chew. For some super added flavor, use a premium cake mix. I use a spice cake mix in one of my recipes for the most amazing Christmas cookies you will ever taste. Chocolate and vanilla cake mixes do an amazing job as well. If you have a favorite cake mix, it would be a perfect candidate to try in a cookie recipe.

Thirty years ago it would have been very hard to find a chewy cookie. Famous Amos made a fortune selling a nice tasty chocolate chip cookie that was neither soft nor chewy. Today chewy cookies are all the rage. If your recipe doesn't have any brown sugar in it try substituting a portion of brown sugar for regular white sugar. The key is to keep experiment until you have to exact consistency that you desire.

These three baking tips will help you make your perfect cookie. Everyone's taste is different from each others, so don't be disappointed if someone does not care for your baking masterpiece. Remember, never give up and keep experimenting until you have the perfect cookie.

About the author: Jeffrey Dorrian is the webmaster at He has been making handmade soap for six years. "Handmade soap is a little luxury anyone can afford". Premium wholesale soap and old fashioned lye soap.

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Health Guru : Eating Carbs Actually Leads To Weight Loss And Health
Webmaster | 3. April 2008 @ 16:02

Carbohydrates are the single most important food you can eat.

That statement probably goes against everything you've ever heard, so let me explain.

If you don't believe me, take this little test. Think of a carb!

If you're like most Americans, bread, pasta, soft drinks, French fries, sugar, and similar foods probably flew into your mind. Yes, these foods are carbs -- highly processed and refined ones.

And if these are the kinds of carbs you consume on a regular basis, let me warn you, (unless you regularly run marathons), you're most likely either overweight or heading down the road to weight gain.

You may like them, you may consider them "comfort foods," you may think that they couldn't be so bad since they are so predominant in our current diet. But the biological bottom line is that human beings have not evolved to metabolize these types of carbohydrates.

They slow down your metabolism and contribute to every one of the major diseases associated with aging including diabetes, heart disease, dementia and cancer.

In most, cases they are also "empty" calorie foods-the worst possible combination -- high caloric foods, low in nutrients. They deprive you of vital nutrients as well as burden your body with the task of digesting food molecules that aren't giving you anything you need.

Eating them (especially in excess) is a prescription for weight gain. But they're not the end of the carb story. If you're like most people, you may not realize that the wide world of carbs is actually much, much bigger than this limited crowd of processed carbs.

In contrast, natural carbohydrates, which come to your table just like Mother Nature made them, contain many essential nutrients and specialized chemicals that turn up your metabolism via newly discovered plant chemicals call phytonutrients.

So you have a choice: use phytonutrients to spark your metabolism into action, or drown your metabolism with indigestible nutrient-poor carbs.

Our genetic nutritional template goes back 20,000 years. Our ancestors foraged for wild food, like wild berries, grasses, roots, and mushrooms to find life-giving phytonutrients that all humans are designed by nature to eat.

On a recent vacation I found myself in a sea of phytonutrients in the wild islands of Southeast Alaska. I was foraging along with the grizzly bears for bog cranberries, blueberries, nagoonberries, raspberries, and strawberries. These scrumptious berries, bursting with phytonutrients, were smaller, richer in color and taste, (and lower in sugar) than their domestic berry cousins.

Here's a tip: The greater variety and the deeper the color of plant foods you eat, the higher their concentration of phytonutrients. The key is to learn which phytonutrient-dense foods can prevent disease and promote weight loss.

Want phytonutrient power?

Here 's a small sample of the many superfoods that contain these powerful phytonutrients: isoflavones in soy foods, lignans in flax seeds, catechins in green tea, polyphenols in cocoa (yes, chocolate!), glucosinolates in broccoli, carnosol in rosemary, and resveratrol in red wine.

And there are hundreds more that can help you unlock the secret to natural weight loss. All of these compounds -- and dozens more -- will help you fight disease and obesity. These special compounds literally communicate with your genes and turn on messages of health and weight loss. They are key to the success people experience in losing weight on a program I've developed during my 20-years practicing medicine, called UltraMetabolism.

Before you reach for that Cinnabon, know that phytonutrients only occur in whole, unrefined, unprocessed plant foods. All vegetables (and many fruits) score high in phytonutrients, while processed carbs, like bread and pasta, have virtually none.

Here's a shorthand to distinguish between the metabolism boosters and the processed carbs that will only weigh you down:

Anything that has been packaged or put through a machine is processed (like a potato chip). Anything that comes right out of the earth is natural (like a plum).

Don't let all the terminology -- high fat, low-fat, high-carb, low-carb, high glycemic index, low glycemic index, complex carbs and simple carbs -- confuse you. The key is eating whole, real, unprocessed, food found as close to nature as possible. Now you know why your grandmother always told you to eat your vegetables!

Folk wisdom passed down the generations showed how to give the body what it needs. In the early twenty-first century, that wisdom is being confirmed in the research of leading edge scientists. So you can follow these recommendations I offer with total confidence that the latest medical science backs them up.

This new science reveals why you should never do what some ill-advised diets suggest: cut out all carbs. Not a good idea-because you also cut out all the phytonutrients (and the fiber) that only comes from whole plant foods.

Along with their obesity fighting chemicals, vitamins, and minerals to accelerate your metabolism, most whole carbohydrates are filled with healthy plant fiber to slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream.

And for super fast weight loss, you'll want to eat some special "super" fiber foods which I use as my secret weapon with many patients who have had difficulty losing weight. Once you incorporate them into your diet, you'll feel full, experience steady energy, and will never be tempted to overeat.

Here's a guarantee: If you've been consuming highly processed foods such as sodas, chips, and crackers, and you decide to boost your intake of those powerful phytonutrients that I've reviewed, you'll be taking the first step towards re-programming your body for automatic weight loss and health.

My dirty little secret as a doctor is that I never treat anybody specifically to lose weight; I simply help them become healthy using these and other techniques and the weight automatically comes off.

So remember, eat your carbs, but make them the right carbs!

About the author:

Mark Hyman, M.D. is a NY Times bestselling author, lecturer, and practicing physician. Discover how you can program your body to automatically lose weight and find out what special super fiber can help by grabbing an exclusive sneak preview of UltraMetabolism at

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Health Guru : Fetal Alcohol Syndrome - Don't Risk Your Unborn Child
Webmaster | 2. April 2008 @ 16:02

The dangers of consuming alcohol whilst pregnant have only really become fully understood in recent years. When the pregnant woman drinks alcohol, it enters the bloodstream and reduces the ability of the blood in the placenta to provide adequate oxygen to the growing fetus. The infant is born suffering from the same problems as an alcoholic and is therefore subject to withdrawal symptoms from the moment he or she is born. These symptoms include irritability, sleeplessness, and poor appetite.

Around twenty percent of infants born with fetal alcohol syndrome will die shortly after birth. Those that live will have a lifetime of intellectual disability to a varying degree as well as physical disabilities.

The consequences of fetal alcohol syndrome include deformities and impeded development, though there are doubtless other consequences to this condition as well. It is actually a series of defects, the most serious characteristic being a group of deformities of the head. Children born with fetal alcohol syndrome are also likely to suffer from delayed growth and development.

The main problem with growth in an affected child is that of deficiency which results in the child being small and underweight.

There are also facial abnormalities such as small eyes, sagging eyelids, small jaw, defects in ear formation, and sometimes a hole in the roof of the mouth.

Skeletal underdevelopment results in deformities in the ribs and chest bone, dislocated hips, curvature of the spine, and a small head. Sometimes, these children are born with missing fingers or toes.

Another problem is the effect this syndrome has on the organs. Children born with fetal alcohol syndrome are prone to heart defects, kidney problems, and can even suffer from genital malformation.

Fetal alcohol syndrome is relatively rare and takes place only in the children of mothers who are alcoholic or at least drink regularly and heavily during pregnancy.

Approximately one third of children born to mothers who are alcoholic or who drink heavily during pregnancy are likely to suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome. It is even possible for a child to be born with this syndrome when the mother has drunk only a small amount of alcohol but has done so on a regular basis.

Sometimes a child may not suffer from the entire range of problems associated with fetal alcohol syndrome but the alcohol can still cause a child to be born with development problems which have taken place whilst in the uterus. There is some debate about how much alcohol is safe during pregnancy but it is believed that even small amounts, in the first trimester, can be harmful.

Obviously, the best way to avoid this problem is to avoid all alcohol during pregnancy. It is still possible to enjoy social occasions without consuming alcohol and putting your unborn baby at risk. There are many non-alcoholic wines and so forth available these days and this is a much safer option.

Copyright 2006 Anne Wolski

About the author:

Anne Wolski has worked in the health and welfare industry for more than 30 years. She is a co-director of an information portal with many interesting medical articles and also of which has online physicians who can help you with any questions you may have.

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Health Guru : Vitamin B-2
Webmaster | 1. April 2008 @ 16:02

Riboflavin is a common name for vitamin B-2 and was once known as Vitamin G. You will see Vitamin B-2 described as Riboflavin on the back of vitamin bottles and in other food packaging.

An interesting and curious fact about Riboflavin is that it is naturally produced by the bacteria in your gut. Although it may not be produced in sufficient quantities to prevent deficiencies. Intestinal production, however, can reduce the symptoms of a deficient state.

Some experts claim that B-2 deficiency is the most prominent nutrient deficiency in North America. Those who eat a diet largely constructed of refined and fast foods may be at risk. And of course, alcoholics are at higher risk of B vitamin deficiencies. Low-income individuals may also tend to be at higher risk due to diet.

Problems with blood proteins may lead to deficiency. And states that block or reduce the uptake of riboflavin into the cell can also be responsible for a deficient state. Therefore, just having an adequate supply of Riboflavin in your food does not necessarily preclude deficiency.

Brewer's yeast and organ meats are sources that are high in Riboflavin. Lower amounts may be found in milk, eggs, green leafy vegetables and some fruits.

As a side note, I once had a biochemistry teacher whom offered two pieces of advice to his students. He told us to drink a gallon of water per day and to take some brewer's yeast every day. As I remember it, he talked about how brewer's yeast was excellent food for the cellular processes of the body. That was probably due to the fact that brewer's yeast is an excellent source of the b vitamins.

Drinking a gallon of water per day was slightly unusual advice as most experts and nutritionists agree that 2 liters is an adequate intake. This biochemistry teacher was recommending twice that amount. Remember to consult with a physician before changing your diet, supplement or water intake.

Riboflavin is very important in cellular metabolism, the process by which your body produces usable energy. It is important in forming the coenzymes that are necessary to make ATP, which is the energy currency of the cells.

A partial list of deficiency symptoms include fatigue, sensitivity to light and dermatitis. Nerve tissue damage and retarded growth in infants and children can result from a deficiency.

More detailed and technical information about Riboflavin can be found at If you have any doubts about your health as it relates to Riboflavin, ask your doctor for a proper diagnoses and treatment. Each human body is different with different needs and contraindications, that is why it is important to consult your physician.

This article is for information purposes only and is not intended to prevent, treat or diagnose any health issue. If you have or think you might have a health condition or issue, please contact your primary care physician for proper diagnoses and treatment. The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the US FDA as far as I know.

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the author bylines are included and any hyperlinks are left active on web pages. You may make minor editorial corrections only.

About the author:

Dave Snape writes for To Be Informed:

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