Herbs and Supplements

  1. Treatment of Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy

    Treatment of Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy

    Go natural to keep your prostate healthy

    The Europeans have been way ahead of us on the use of saw palmetto in the treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH).

    Since there's no loss of libido or sexual function with saw palmetto and it works so well to alleviate BPH symptoms, why wouldn't patients and doctors choose the herbal product?

    Why haven't American doctors taken up the cudgel and fought for better and safer passage for their patients?

    And surely-even taking the "need" to protect drug company profits into consideration-there will be an explosive increase in the use of saw palmetto for BPH now that the bible of the medical plumbers, the Journal of Urology (JU), has come out unequivocally for using it as the treatment of choice in early BPH.

    The JU study was the first American one to prove the efficacy of a saw palmetto "blend," as the authors called it. The blend was a combination of saw palmetto, nettle root, and pumpkin seed oil.

    It is somewhat of a mystery how palmetto works. It doesn't cause hormonal changes, which is why Proscar works-and destroys your sex life. Let me modify that. It works a little, sort of, and destroys your ability, or even desire for sex. Urine flow tests prove unequivocally that palmetto is the superior product.

    If you are having serious problems with your right of passage (like pain or bleeding), I recommend you see a urologist. BUT, if you have no other signs of disease of the prostate, you can give palmetto a try without seeing a urologist. If it works, and your urine flow is normal again, then passing on the urologist will save you time, misery, and money.

    Saw palmetto is available just about everywhere these days, and the other two ingredients in the "blend" used in the study--nettle root and pumpkin seed oil--are available in most health food stores. Follow the dosage recommendations for the brand you choose.

    Shakin' up the mainstream,
    Dr. William Campbell Douglass II, MD

  2. Don't forget folic acid

    Don't forget folic acid

    In the November 29 installment of Daily Dose ("Out fox Parkinson's"), I reported to you about the benefits of folic acid (folate) in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Well, it seems that researchers are just beginning to grasp folate's wide potential. A study done at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden has found a link between low levels of folic acid and incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD).

    Researchers followed 370 healthy volunteers, ages 75 and older, for three years, regularly monitoring their levels of folic acid and vitamin B12 (which is closely related to folate) and tracking the incidence of dementia diagnosed within that time frame. They found that subjects with low levels of these nutrients were twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease as those subjects with adequate levels.

    You can begin to increase your levels of folic acid and vitamin B12 (as well as vitamin B6) by eating citrus fruits and fresh green leafy veggies like spinach. But since our soil is so depleted of nutrients, you'd be wise to take nutritional supplements too. Take 800 micrograms each of folic acid and vitamin B12 (by mouth). In addition, take 500 milligrams of B6 (by mouth) per day. These nutrients are available in health food stores and many pharmacies.

  3. Butterbur is nothing to sneeze at

    According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, the herb butterbur is an effective treatment for hay fever.
  4. Give arthritis the devil

    A double-blind study examined the effects of the herb devil's claw on osteoarthritis of the hip or knee. In the study, 122 people with osteoarthritis were given either devil's claw supplements or diacerhein, a prescription "super drug," for four months.
  5. Over the counter and out of your mind

    Studies done at Yale University revealed that some so-called psychotic patients were actually suffering from a chronic overdose of Benadryl.
  6. When big-hearted is bad

    Although it goes against everything you've ever heard, there is no credible evidence that exercise prolongs life. I discussed this in an earlier edition of Daily Dose. Today, let's look specifically at exercise and your heart.
  7. Ironing out a dangerous diet

    The point of this little story is that blindly prescribing iron to patients can be futile and even dangerous. I first reported on the dangers of excessive iron in one's diet in 1987 in Health Freedom News, the journal of the National Health Federation.
  8. Mother Nature's secret weapon

    Your best defense against threats from within - viruses, bacteria, chemicals, parasites, fungi, tumors, etc. (it's a jungle in there) is a well-armed immune system.
  9. Gut check

    Ten years ago, I was talking with a young doctor about peptic ulcer disease. As it turned out, he had never heard that it is caused by a bacterium, even though, at that time, it had been decisively proven to be caused by the germ H. pylori.
  10. From the mouths of babes

    Scientists and nutritional experts attribute this to Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, not to be confused with DHEA), an omega-3 fatty acid that is an essential structural component of the brain and retina." And it's not too late to put DHA to work for you.

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