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, Natural Alternatives, Issue #05
October 02, 2005
Natural Alternatives for Your Total Health

October, 2005

Hello, and welcome to this edition of my Natural Alternatives Newsletter!

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Nature is the Physician of all Disease ~ Hippocrates





By Amber Roedel

Results show that drinking apple cider vinegar (ACV) and honey everyday keeps you healthy.

The detoxifying elements found in apple cider vinegar have been proven to heal and cleanse. Apple cider vinegar detoxifies the body of pollutants caused from the air we breathe, unnatural food consumed, and anything else unnatural that can be absorbed through the skin.

Apple cider vinegar contains over forty vitamins and minerals. ACV releases toxins from the liver and has helped arthritis patients, people with high blood pressure, and skin conditions. Other ailments helped by consuming apple cider vinegar high cholesterol, insomnia and fatigue, liver and kidney problems, asthma, weight loss and more.

Apple cider vinegar has been used for thousands of years starting out with the Egyptians. ACV was a prime medicine before prescription drugs came out onto the market. After pharmaceuticals entered the world, people forgot about alternative healing methods that can cure aches and pains that we spend thousands of dollars on each year.

"I originally started drinking ACV for body detoxification," Mandy Brown said. "I found a decrease in cravings for junk food and sugar and an increase in energy."

Brown has had a success with the natural cleaning drink since she began to drink ACV over two years ago.

"It doesn't taste that great at first, but I started to enjoy the taste after a couple of weeks," Brown added.

The process takes a couple of minutes and results take from three days to one week. Put two to three tablespoons of ACV into a glass and dilute with water. You can add as much or as little water you prefer. It is recommended diluting with water so the acids in the vinegar do not hurt your teeth. Adding honey to the vinegar can bring more results. Honey helps digestion and also contains vitamins and enzymes. Although honey adds to the healing, it is not necessary because ACV has its own healing properties.

Laurie Balcom has experienced her own miracles drinking apple cider vinegar and honey. Balcom experienced severe breakouts of eczema like symptoms on her feet for eleven years. She expressed how painful it was to walk and to even put on a pair of shoes with her condition. As her condition got worse she saw several doctors from disease doctors to dermatologists.

"I was prescribed prednisone; methotrexate; hydroxyurea; several steroid ointments for topical therapy (too many to list), antibiotics and elavil for depression, oh and lets not forget all the blood work that always had to be done because of the side effects of the medications," said Brown about her experiences of being prescribed many drugs.

"I also had skin cultures, chest x-rays, and allergy test," Brown added. "Within two years the Doctors changed my diagnosis several times as well, they went from eczema to dyshidrotic eczema / palmer-plantar psoriasis and fungus, contact dermatitis and back to eczema."

Balcom expressed, "I drank apple cider vinegar and honey and within twenty four hours I started to see and feel a difference with my skin condition."

Balcom said that after two weeks of using ACV there was a difference. Her "eleven year dilemma" with her so-called eczema was over.

"I have been drinking apple cider vinegar and honey for seven years now and have yet to be disappointed," Balcom said. "I used to have allergies really bad to the point I was hospitalized twice. Since I discovered apple cider vinegar I have not had another allergic reaction." Balcom added that she lives by ACV and will drink it for the rest of her life.

"It only takes a couple of minutes every day to drink ACV and the results are definitely worth it, I would recommend it to everybody," Brown said. "There are no dangers in drinking ACV because it is all natural and contains so many nutrients."

The most common apple cider vinegar is found at health food stores and local grocers.

By Terry Tang

American medicine cabinets are beginning to look more like spice racks. Whether it’s religion, personal preference or sheer curiosity, more people are seeking herbal relief in place of or to supplement conventional medicinal remedies.

The same plants that have contributed to centuries of patient care in other countries still fall under the label of “alternative” in America. But nutritional supplement manufacturers and herbalists are seeing more indications that this alternative is gaining acceptance.

“Basically, from what customers tell me, drugs are poison, and they want to heal themselves as naturally as possible from some source,” said Dannica Carle, second assistant manager at The Vitamin Shoppe in Gilroy. “Everyone is looking to heal themselves naturally, and they swear by them.”

Since hitting the mass-market in the late 1990s, demand for herbal products grew at a healthy rate, then leveled off at the turn of the century. Last year, however, according to the Nutrition Business Journal, the industry raked in $4.2 billion and saw a 3-percent growth.

But controversy still surrounds herbal medicine’s effectiveness, and there are still difficulties in regulating the industry.

Some critics argue that herbal supplements exaggerate their importance, and there is no federal regulation that guarantees that a specific amount of the main herb listed on a supplement is actually in the supplement.

Having manufacturers conform to a uniform standard is difficult when dealing with botanical products, said Dr. Susan Folkman, director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. Environmental conditions surrounding an herb’s growth can affect its potency. As a result, it is extremely difficult to have every brand held to the same standard.

“Herbs from hill A may be different from hill B,” Folkman said. “There are no standards for manufacturing. A compound that says it contains ginkgo may only contain a small amount of it. There’s no regulation. Sometimes compounds may have contaminants that can be very dangerous. A lot of things go into problems of not having standardization.”

While there’s no guarantee about herbal remedies that are put onto shelves, if there is a concern about the safety of one, the federal Food and Drug Administration must first prove that it is too risky for public consumption before the product can be taken off the market, according to the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act.

That leaves much of the research into an herbal remedy’s safety to the consumer, as conventional medicine doctors may not be familiar with different herbs or supplement brands. Folkman recommended one Web site,, as a resource for those looking into herbs. The site gives results of studies and reports on herbal remedies and also lets visitors know which ones have been recalled.

While there is currently no FDA standard for herbal medicines, the American Herbal Products Association says manufacturers have their own code of ethics that goes beyond state and federal expectations and are regulated by other governmental agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and more. And Karen Robin, a spokeswoman for the association, says it’s unfair to apply pharmaceutical expectations to products the association believes should be classified as food. After all, Grant Ferrier, editor of the Nutrition Business Journal, believes herbal remedies pose less risk than pesticide-laced food.

“Herbal products are still fairly new and many traditional doctors have lots of uncertainty about them because they weren’t exposed to them. There’s some risk in any consumer product,” Ferrier said. “Quality and contamination issues are certainly not demonstrably higher in herbal supplements.”

But Dr. Harley Goldberg, director of Complementary and Alternative Medicine at Kaiser Permanente, Santa Teresa, said while herbal products may not be drugs, they can have effects on the body what food can do.

“If we know something strong enough has a good effect, its’ also strong enough to have a side effect,” Goldberg said. “If that’s the case, the safest situation is to be able to know what that is so we can use good judgment when we choose to use it.”

The lack of federal regulation hasn’t seemed to dim the popularity of herbal remedies.

The Vitamin Shoppe has seen a rise in the number of people seeking support for a range of issues, from menopausal hot flashes to prostate health. Customers can select from tablets, liquids, teas or tinctures made from a variety of plants. Garlic extract and capsules are often snapped up to maintain cardiovascular health and cholesterol levels. Cinnamon and echinacea are popular methods for easing the on-set of a cold. Other ailments that drive people to use botanical choices, said Carle, include pain stemming from arthritis and joint inflammation.

Tablet incarnations of Asian herbs are also much sought after. Ahnna Goossen of Gilroy, a licensed acupuncturist-herbalist, works with 100 different bottles of organic Chinese herbs that have been boiled into a brew and then condensed into pills. According to Goossen, herbs are very effective in aiding digestive problems, hormone imbalances, pneumonia recovery and bronchitis. “The basic concept is you want the energy to be flowing and these herbs help facilitate the flow of energy to attain balance within the body,” Goossen said.

Whether taking health-store supplements or herbs from an herbalist, patients need to watch what else they’re taking in. Harmful side effects can occur when taking in both herbal and conventional drugs. For example, taking both aspirin and herbs for headaches can result in bruising, Goossen said.

Putting together a formula of different herbal treatments for a patient is like custom-tailoring a new suit. Many personal factors such as lifestyle and stress are taken into account. And despite their natural roots, herbs in any form are not meant to be shared among friends.

“If you were to not know what you’re doing, you could get into trouble,” Goossen said. “Chinese herbal remedies are safe, but you need to know when and where to use them. If someone is using Chinese herbs for their joints, they don’t combine it with Coumadin, which is for blood-thinning. You’d have an additive effect. If you’re going to be taking herbs, you need advice from someone who knows what they’re doing.”

Carle says it’s imperative to remind people to look into an herbal treatment prior to consumption. With these products not having government backing, store keepers need to be conscientious when helping patrons.

“We always tell the customers they need to check with their doctors because that’s very important,” Carle said. “We can’t give advice like doctors can. We’re just here to help.”

Thank you for reading and have a nice day!

Livia P.
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

P.S. If you have a comment or suggestion, just reply to this e-mail. Your feedback is important to me.



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This newsletter is for educational purposes only. It is your right to educate yourself in health and medical knowledge, to seek helpful information and make use of it for your own benefit, and for that of your family. You are the one responsible for your health. You must educate yourself in order to make decisions in all health matters. My views and advices are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medicine, but simply a help you to make educated changes in order to help your body heal itself. If you have a medical condition or concern you should consult your physician.


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