Lomilomi

Lomilomi
Lomilomi

Lomilomi literally means “to break up into small pieces with the fingers.” It is a type of healing massage that is traditionally practiced in the Hawaiian islands.

This form of massage involves both physical and spiritual ritual components. Lomilomi originated in the South Pacific and is practiced mainly in the Hawaiian islands, although lomilomi practitioners can also be found in Australia, California, and a few other places in the United States.

When Captain Cook and other European explorers disembarked on the islands of Polynesia, the indigenous people healed their aches and pains with therapeutic massage.

Lou Gehrig’s Disease

motor neurons and muscles affected by Lou Gehrig’s disease
motor neurons and muscles affected by Lou Gehrig’s disease

Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is a neurodegenerative disease of unknown cause that breaks down tissues in the nervous system and affects the nerves responsible for movement. Its common name comes from the professional baseball player whose career was ended because of it.

Description

Lou Gehrig’s disease is a disease of the motor neurons, those nerve cells reaching from the brain to the spinal cord (upper motor neurons) and the spinal cord to the peripheral nerves (lower motor neurons) that control muscle movement.

In Lou Gehrig’s disease, for unknown reasons, these neurons die, leading to a progressive loss of the ability to move virtually any of the muscles in the body. The disease affects “voluntary” muscles, those controlled by conscious thought, such as the arm, leg, and trunk muscles.

Low Back Pain

Low back pain
Low back pain

Low back pain (LBP) is a common complaint—second only to cold and flu as a reason why patients seek care from their family doctor. It may be a limited musculoskeletal symptom or caused by a variety of diseases and disorders that affect or extend from the lumbar spine.

Low back pain is sometimes accompanied by sciatica, which is pain that involves the sciatic nerve and is felt in the lower back, the buttocks, the backs and sides of the thighs, and possibly the calves. More serious causes of LBP may be accompanied by fever, night pain that awakens a person from sleep, loss of bladder or bowel control, numbness, burning urination, swelling or sharp pain.

Low back pain is a symptom that affects 80% of the general United States population at some point in life with sufficient severity to cause absence from work. As mentioned, it is the second most common reason for visits to primary care doctors, and is estimated to cost the American economy $75 billion every year.

Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer
Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a disease in which the cells of the lung tissues grow uncontrollably and form tumors. It is the leading cause of death from cancer among both men and women in the United States.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated that in 1998, at least 172,000 new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed, and that lung cancer accounted for 28% of all cancer deaths, or approximately 160,000 people.

In 2002, the ACS reported that more than 150,000 Americans die from the disease every year. Only 15 percent of people with lung cancer will live five years.

Lutein

Lutein
Lutein

Found in certain fruits and vegetables as well as egg yolks, lutein is a nutrient with a number of potentially beneficial effects. It is a member of the carotenoid family, a group of chemicals related to vitamin A.

While betacarotene, the precursor of vitamin A, may be the most familiar carotenoid, there are almost 600 others whose effects have yet to be extensively studied. Aside from lutein, these include alpha-carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin.

In the plant world, carotenoids like lutein help to give color to sweet potatoes, carrots, and other fruits and vegetables. In people, lutein and zeaxanthin make up most of the pigment in the center of the retina, where vision sensitivity is greatest.

Lycium Fruit

Lycium Fruit
Lycium Fruit

Lycium fruit is used extensively in Chinese herbalism. The fruit are the berries of Lycium chinense and more commonly Lycium barbarum. The roots also have healing properties.

Lycium is a shrub that grows to about 12 ft (4 m) in height. It grows wild on hillsides in the cooler regions of northern China and Tibet. However, it is also grown as a cultivated plant in almost all parts of China and in some other regions of Asia.

Lycium fruit is rich in carotene, vitamins B1 and B12, and vitamin C. The fruit also contains amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), iron, and trace elements essential to the body, including zinc, copper, selenium, calcium, and phosphorus.

Lycopene

Lycopene
Lycopene

Lycopene is a red, fat-soluble pigment found in vegetables, and most commonly found in tomatoes. It is one of a family of pigments called carotenoids.

Carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments responsible for the brightly colored fall leaves and the vivid colors of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. In fruits and vegetables, these pigments range in hue from bright yellow in squash, to orange in carrots, to bright red in tomatoes and peppers.

Although the human body does not produce lycopene, it is readily available through the diet. Minor sources include guava, rosehip, watermelon, and pink grapefruit. However, about 85% of lycopene in the U.S. diet comes from tomatoes and tomato products such as juice, soup, sauce, paste, and ketchup. A diet rich in carotenoid-containing foods is associated with a variety of health benefits.

Lycopodium

Lycopodium
Lycopodium

Lycopodium (Lycopodium clavatum) is a perennial evergreen plant that grows in pastures, woodlands, heaths, and moors of Great Britain, Northern Europe, and North America. It has a slender stem that trails along the ground and vertical branches that grow to 3-4 in (7.5-10 cm).

The plant belongs to the Lycopodiaceae family and is related to mosses and ferns. It is often called club moss. Other names include wolf’s claw, stag horn, witch meal, and vegetable sulfur.

The pale yellow pollen collected from the spores is used to make the homeopathic remedy called lycopodium. The pollen is odorless, water resistant, and highly flammable. For this reason, it used to be a component of fireworks. It was also used to create a coating for pills.

Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, which is also known as Lyme borreliosis, is an infection transmitted by the bite of ticks carrying the spiral-shaped bacterium (spirochete) Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb). The disease was named for Old Lyme, Connecticut, the town where it was first diagnosed in 1975, after a puzzling outbreak of arthritis.

The spiral-shaped bacterium was named for its discoverer, Willy Burgdorfer. The effects of this disease can be long-term and disabling, unless it is recognized and treated properly with antibiotics.

Lyme disease is a vector-borne disease, which means it is delivered from one host to another. It is also classified as a zoonosis, which means that it is a disease of animals that can be transmitted to humans under natural conditions.

Lymphatic Drainage

Lymphatic Drainage
Lymphatic Drainage

Lymphatic drainage is a therapeutic method that uses massage-like manipulations to stimulate lymph movement. Lymph is the plasma-like fluid that maintains the body’s fluid balance and removes bacteria.

Combined with other techniques of complete decongestive physiotherapy, it is used to treat lymphedema, swelling in the limbs caused by lymph accumulation.

Origins

The use of massage and compression techniques to treat swollen arms and legs was pioneered by Alexander Von Winiwarter, a nineteenth-century surgeon from Belgium. These techniques were refined during the 1930s by Danish massage practitioner Emil Vodder into what is now known as manual lymph drainage.

Lysimachia

Lysimachia - yellow loosestrife
Lysimachia - yellow loosestrife

There are several different species of lysimachia (Lythrum salicaria), which is of the Primulae family. The various species are known by a variety of common names, such as willow herb, purple willow herb, long purples, moneywort, rainbows, soldiers, creeping Jenny, and purple and yellow loosestrife.

It is also known through out the world as salicaire, braune, and rother. Other common names include flowering Sally and soldanella, trientalis, and alvet. It has no smell but a slightly bitter taste, with astringent properties.

Lysimachia is a perennial found throughout Europe, Russia, central Asia, Australia, and North America. It is an attractive low-growing plant, with a creeping habit, and deep taproots.

Lysine

Lysine is an amino acid not produced by the body but essential to the growth of protein molecules in the body. It is necessary for tissue repair and growth, and for producing antibodies, enzymes, and hormones. Lysine is found in other protein sources, such as red meats, chicken, and turkey.

Most individuals have an adequate intake of lysine; however lysine levels may be low in vegetarians and low-fat dieters. Without enough lysine or any other of the eight essential amino acids, the body cannot build protein to sustain muscle tissue.

General use

The body only uses L-lysine to build protein. Since amino acid molecules are asymmetrical, each amino acid exists as both a right- and left-handed form, distinguished as “D” and “L” respectively. As a supplement L-lysine is used to treat the herpes simplex virus, help prevent osteoporosis and cataracts, and boost the immune system.

Macrobiotic diet

Grains
Grains

A macrobiotic diet is part of a philosophy of life that incorporates the ancient Oriental concept or theory of yin and yang. The diet itself consists mainly of brown rice, other whole grains, and vegetables. It requires foods to be cooked over a flame, rather than by electricity or microwave.

Origins

The term macrobiotics comes from two Greek words; macro (great) and bios (life). The macrobiotic diet is believed to have originated in nineteenth century Japan, with the teachings of Sagen Ishizuka, a natural healer.

George Ohsawa (1893–1966), a Japanese teacher and writer, introduced macrobiotics to Europeans in the 1920s. Ohsawa claims to have cured himself of tuberculosis by eating Ishizuka’s diet of brown rice, soup, and vegetables.

Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration
Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration (MD) is the progressive deterioration of the macula, the light-sensitive cells of the central retina, at the back of the eye. The retina is the sensitive membrane (soft layer) of the eye that receives the image formed by the lens and is connected with the brain by the optic nerve.

As these macular cells malfunction and die, central vision becomes gray, hazy, or distorted, and eventually is lost. Peripheral (away from the center) vision is unaffected.

Millions of people suffer from MD and it accounts for about 12% of all blindness in the United States. The macula contains the highest concentration of photosensitive cells in the retina. These cells transform light into electrical signals that are sent to the brain for processing into vision. Fine detail vision and critical color vision are located in the macula.

Magnesium

Magnesium
Magnesium

Magnesium is an element (Mg) with an atomic weight of 24.312 and the atomic number 12. In its elemental form, magnesium is a light, silver-white metal. It is a cation, which means that its ion has a positive charge. Of the cations in the human body, magnesium is the fourth-most abundant.

Ninety-nine percent of the body’s magnesium is contained within its cells: about 60% in the bones, 20% in the muscles, 19%–20% in the soft tissue, and 1% circulates in the blood.

Important to both nutrition and medicine, magnesium, like calcium and phosphorus, is considered a major mineral. Magnesium in its carbonate and sulfate forms has been used for centuries as a laxative. The name of the element comes from Magnesia, a city in Greece where large deposits of magnesium carbonate were discovered in ancient times.

Magnetic Therapy

Magnetic Therapy
Magnetic Therapy

Magnetic therapy is the use of magnets to relieve pain in various areas of the body.

Origins

Magnetic therapy dates as far back as the ancient Egyptians. Magnets have long been believed to have healing powers associated with muscle pain and stiffness. Chinese healers as early as 200 B.C. were said to use magnetic lodestones on the body to correct unhealthy imbalances in the flow of qi, or energy.

The ancient Chinese medical text known as The Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Internal Medicine describes this procedure. The Vedas, or ancient Hindu scriptures, also mention the treatment of diseases with lodestones.

Magnolia

Magnolia tree in full bloom
Magnolia tree in full bloom

Many species of magnolia are used in both Eastern and Western herbalism. The Chinese have used the bark of Magnolia officinalis, called in Chinese hou po since the first century A.D. M. officinalis is a deciduous tree that grows to a height of 75 ft (22 m). It has large leaves surrounding a creamy white fragrant flower.

The pungent aromatic bark is used in healing. Originally native to China where it grows wild in the mountains, M. officinalis is now grown as an ornamental for use in landscaping around the world.

Chinese herbalists also use the bud of Magnolia liliflora in healing. The Chinese name for magnolia flower is xin yi hua. Note that in Chinese herbalism, magnolia bark and magnolia flower are considered different herbs with different properties and uses.

Maitake

Maitake
Maitake

Maitake, Grifola frondosa, is a mushroom found growing wild in Japan and in forests in the eastern part of North America, where it grows on dying or already dead hardwood trees.

The word maitake means “dancing mushroom” in Japanese; the mushroom was given this name because people were supposed to have danced for joy when they found it. It is also called “hen-in-the-woods” and can reach the size of a head of lettuce.

Because maitake comes from the polypores group, it produces a bunch of leaf-like clumps that are intertwined. During Japan’s feudal era, maitake was used as currency; the daimyo, or provincial nobles, would exchange maitake for its weight in silver from the shogun, the military ruler of Japan.

Malaria

Malaria
Malaria

Malaria is a serious infectious disease spread by certain mosquitoes. It is most common in tropical climates. It is characterized by recurrent symptoms of chills, fever, and an enlarged spleen. The disease can be treated with medication, but it often recurs.

Malaria is endemic (occurs frequently in a particular locality) in many third world countries. Isolated, small outbreaks sometimes occur within the boundaries of the United States, with most of the cases reported as having been imported from other locations.

Malaria is a growing problem in the United States. Although only about 1400 new cases were reported in the United States and its territories in 2000, many involved returning travelers. In addition, locally transmitted malaria has occurred in California, Florida, Texas, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York City.

Malignant Lymphoma

Malignant Lymphoma
Malignant Lymphoma

Lymphomas are a group of cancers in which cells of the lymphatic system become abnormal and start to grow uncontrollably. Because there is lymph tissue in many parts of the body, lymphomas can start in almost any organ of the body.

The lymphatic system is made up of ducts or tubules that carry lymph to all parts of the body. Lymph is a milky fluid that contains lymphocytes. These, along with monocytes and granulocytes make up the leukocytes, or white blood cells, the infection-fighting and reparative bodies in the blood.

Small pea-shaped organs found along the network of lymph vessels are called lymph nodes; their main function is to make and store lymphocytes. Clusters of lymph nodes are found in the pelvic region, underarm, neck, chest, and abdomen.

Manganese

Manganese
Manganese

Not to be confused with magnesium, manganese is a trace mineral used by some people to help prevent bone loss and alleviate the bothersome symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It may have a number of other beneficial effects as well.

While most of the body’s mineral content is composed of such macrominerals as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, certain trace minerals are also considered essential in very tiny amounts to maintain health and ensure proper functioning of the body. They usually act as coenzymes, working as a team with proteins to facilitate important chemical reactions.

Even without taking manganese supplements, people with an average diet consume somewhere between 2 and 3 mg of the mineral through food and drink. While most authorities agree that manganese is a vital micronutrient, it is not known for certain if taking extra amounts can be helpful in treating osteoporosis, menstrual symptoms, or other problems.

Marijuana

Marijuana
Marijuana

Marijuana (marihuana), Cannabis sativa L., also known as Indian hemp, is a member of the Cannabaceae or hemp family, thought to have originated in the mountainous districts of India, north of the Himalayan mountains. The herb was referred to as “hempe” in A.D. 1000 and listed in a dictionary under that English name.

Supporters of the notorious Pancho Villa first called the mood-altering herb they smoked marijuana in 1895 in Sonora, Mexico. The term hashish, is derived from the name for the Saracen soldiers, called hashashins, who ingested the highly potent cannabis resin before being sent out to assassinate enemies.

Two related species of cannabis are C. ruderalis and C. indica, a variety known as Indian hemp. Indian hemp grows to a height of about 4 ft (1.2 m) and the seed coats have a marbled appearance.

Marsh Mallow

Marsh Mallow
Marsh Mallow

Marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis) is a perennial plant that grows in salt marshes, damp meadows, and on the banks of tidal rivers and seas. It originated in countries adjoining the Caspian Sea, Black Sea, and in the eastern Mediterranean, and is native to Europe and western Asia. Marsh mallow is found in North America along the eastern seaboard.

The plant stems grow to a height of 3-4 ft (1-1.3 m) and have round, velvety leaves that are 2-3 in (5-7.5 cm) long. Pale pink or white flowers bloom in August or September, and the roots are thick and long.

The whole plant is used medicinally. The leaves and flowers are picked when the flowers are blooming. The roots are harvested in the fall, but the plant must be two years old before the root is harvested.

Martial Arts

Martial Arts
Martial Arts

Martial arts cover a broad range of activities that involve fighting techniques, physical exercises, and methods of mental discipline, among other skills. Martial arts originated in the ancient cultures of Asia, and are used today around the world for self-defense, exercise, health, spiritual growth, law enforcement, and athletic competition.

Origins

Very few activities have as many legends and myths surrounding them as do martial arts. Hundreds of practices are included under the title of martial arts, and some of these were passed down in secrecy for many generations.

Furthermore, martial arts developed in countries that have been historically isolated from the Western world. Thus, there are many conflicting theories and opinions concerning the origins of martial arts. What is known is that martial arts began in the ancient cultures of Asia, including China, India, and Japan.

Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy
Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is the scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for the purpose of normalizing those tissues and consists of manual techniques that include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, and/or causing movement of or to the body.

Origins

Massage therapy is one of the oldest health care practices known to history. References to massage are found in Chinese medical texts more than 4,000 years old. Massage has been advocated in Western health care practices at least since the time of Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine.”

In the fourth century B.C. Hippocrates wrote, “The physician must be acquainted with many things and assuredly with rubbing” (the ancient Greek term for massage was rubbing).

McDougall Diet

McDougall Diet
McDougall Diet

The McDougall diet provides the structure of a low-fat, starch-based diet to promote a broad range of such health benefits as weight loss and the reversal of such serious health conditions as heart disease , without the use of drugs.

Origins

The McDougall diet began as a challenge to Dr. John McDougall by one of his patients. The patient simply asked him if he believed that diet is connected to the health problems he saw in his patients.

At that time, McDougall believed the answer to this question was a definite no. The patient challenged him to ask his patients what they were eating, in order to see if there might be any relationship between their eating habits and their diseases. McDougall agreed, and the McDougall diet was born.

Measles

Measles
Measles

Measles is a viral infection that causes an illness displaying a characteristic skin rash known as an exanthem. Measles is also sometimes called rubeola, five-day measles, or hard measles.

Measles infections appear all over the world. Incidence of the disease in the United States is down to a record low and only 86 confirmed cases were reported in the year 2000.

Of these, 62% were definitely linked to foreigners or international travel. Prior to the current effective immunization program, large-scale measles outbreaks occurred on a two to three year cycle, usually in the winter and spring.

Meditation

Meditation
Meditation

Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth.

Origins

Meditation techniques have been practiced for millennia. Originally, they were intended to develop spiritual understanding, awareness, and direct experience of ultimate reality. The many different religious traditions in the world have given rise to a rich variety of meditative practices.

These include the contemplative practices of Christian religious orders, the Buddhist practice of sitting meditation, and the whirling movements of the Sufi dervishes. Although meditation is an important spiritual practice in many religious and spiritual traditions, it can be practiced by anyone regardless of their religious or cultural background to relieve stress and pain.

Medium-chain Triglycerides

fatty acids digestion
fatty acids digestion

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a special class of fatty acids. Normal fats and oils contain long-chain fatty acids (LCTs). Compared to these fatty acids, MCTs are much shorter in length. Therefore, they resemble carbohydrates more than fat. As a result, they are more easily absorbed, digested, and utilized as energy than LCTs.

Medium-chain triglycerides are found naturally in milk fat, palm oil, and coconut oil. Commercial MCT oil, available as liquid and capsules, is obtained through lipid fractionation, the process in which MCTs are separated from other components of coconut oil.

Medium-chain triglycerides were originally formulated in the 1950s as an alternative food source for patients who are too ill to properly digest normal fats and oils.

Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet
Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is based upon the eating patterns of traditional cultures in the Mediterranean region. Several noted nutritionists and research projects have concluded that this diet is one of the most healthful in the world in terms of preventing such illnesses as heart disease and cancer, and increasing life expectancy.

Origins

The countries that have inspired the Mediterranean diet all surround the Mediterranean Sea. These cultures have eating habits that developed over thousands of years. In Europe, parts of Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain, and southern France adhere to principles of the Mediterranean diet, as do Morocco and Tunisia in North Africa.

Parts of the Balkan region and Turkey follow the diet, as well as Middle Eastern countries like Lebanon and Syria. The Mediterranean region is warm and sunny, and produces large supplies of fresh fruits and vegetables almost year round that people eat many times per day.

Melatonin

Melatonin
Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally in the pineal gland at the base of the brain. It is important in regulating sleep, and may play a role in maintaining circadian rhythm, the body’s natural time clock. The hypothalamus keeps track of the amount of sunlight that is taken in by the eye.

The less sunlight, the more melatonin that is released by the pineal gland, thereby enhancing and regulating sleep. Melatonin can also be taken in an over-the-counter supplement mainly sold in health food stores and pharmacies.

General use

A variety of medical uses for melatonin have been reported but its current popularity stems from its promotion as a sleep aid and to reduce jet lag. However, medical experts caution that melatonin is not a harmless substance without risks. Natural melatonin production decreases with age and the decrease is associated with some sleep disorders, particularly in the elderly.

Memory Loss

Memory Loss
Memory Loss

Memory loss can be partial or total. Most memory loss occurs as part of the normal aging process. However, memory loss may also occur as a result of severe emotional trauma or due to brain damage following disease or physical trauma. Memory loss can be described as amnesia, forgetfulness, or impaired memory.

Memory is often classified as immediate (retention of information for a few seconds); short-term (retention of information for several seconds or minutes); and long-term (retention of information for days, weeks, or years).

In short-term memory loss, patients can remember their childhood and past events but fail to remember events that happened in the past few minutes. In long-term memory loss, patients are unable to recall events in the remote past.

Meningitis

Patient in meningitis ward, pediatric hospital, Luanda, Angola
Patient in meningitis ward, pediatric hospital, Luanda, Angola

Meningitis is a potentially fatal inflammation of the meninges, the thin, membranous covering of the brain and the spinal cord.

Meningitis is most commonly caused by infection by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, although it can also be caused by bleeding into the meninges, cancer, diseases of the immune system, and an inflammatory response to certain types of chemotherapy or other chemical agents. The most serious and the most difficult to treat types of meningitis tend to be those caused by bacteria.

Meningitis is a particularly dangerous infection because of the very delicate nature of the brain. Brain cells are some of the only cells in the body that, once killed, will not regenerate themselves. Therefore, if enough brain tissue is damaged by an infection, then serious lifelong handicaps will remain.

Menopause

7 Menopausal dwarfs
7 Menopausal dwarfs

Menopause represents the end of menstruation. While technically it refers to the final menstrual period, it is not an abrupt event, but a gradual process. Menopause is not a disease that needs to be cured, but a natural lifestage transition. However, women have to make important decisions about managing its symptoms, including the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Many women have irregular periods and other problems of perimenopause for years. It is not easy to predict when menopause begins, although doctors agree it is complete when a woman has not had a period for a full year.

Eight out of every 100 women stop menstruating before age 40. At the other end of the spectrum, five out of every 100 continue to have periods until they are almost 60. The average age of menopause is 51.

Menstruation

Menstruation
Menstruation

Menstruation refers to the monthly discharge through the vagina of the blood and tissues that were laid down in the uterus in preparation for pregnancy.

The cyclic production of hormones that culminates in the release of a mature egg (ovum) is called the menstrual cycle, which begins during puberty and ends at menopause. The first menstrual cycle is called menarche.

Hormones that control the menstrual cycle are produced by the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and ovaries. The beginning of a menstrual cycle is marked by the maturation of an egg in an ovary and preparation of the uterus (womb) to establish pregnancy. Menstruation occurs when pregnancy has not been achieved.

Mercurius Vivus

Mercurius Vivus
Mercurius Vivus

Mercurius vivus is the Latin name for a homeopathic remedy made from elemental mercury. The English word quicksilver is a literal translation of the Latin.

Although Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathic medicine, also formulated a soluble preparation of mercury that he called Mercurius solubilis, most contemporary American homeopaths regard them as essentially the same remedies and use them to treat the same symptom profiles.

General use

According to Dr. von Boennighausen, Mercurius vivus is the remedy of choice for acute disorders of the skin and mucous membranes characterized by severe inflammation with pus formation and possibly areas of broken or raw skin.

Mercury Poisoning

Mercury Poisoning
Mercury Poisoning

Mercury poisoning occurs when a person has ingested, inhaled, or had skin or eye contact with the toxic (poisonous) heavy metal mercury and suffers damage to his/her nervous system and other systems of the body.

Mercury, which has the chemical symbol of Hg, is one of a few elements that are liquid at room temperature; and because it easily converts to gas form, it is extremely volatile. There are three forms of mercury circulating throughout the environment, and all three forms are toxic to humans and many other living organisms in varying degrees.

Elemental mercury, also known as quicksilver, is mercury in its metallic (solid), elemental form. Elemental mercury is also referred to as mercury-zero. It is frequently found in the home in glass thermometers.

Metabolic therapies

Metabolic therapies
Metabolic therapies

Metabolic therapies differ considerably according to practitioner; however they typically involve a belief that cancer and certain other diseases are caused by imbalances in a patient’s metabolism.

These imbalances are caused by accumulations of toxins in the body. Treatment involves removing these toxins and strengthening the immune system and biochemical processes.

Origins

The origins of metabolic therapies are as varied as the therapies themselves. One of the best-known proponents was Harold Manners, a biology professor who claimed in 1977 to have cured cancer in mice using injected laetrile, vitamin A, and digestive enzymes. Manner left the academic world and started a clinic in Tijuana, Mexico before he died in 1988.

Methionine

Methionine chemical structure
Methionine chemical structure

Methionine (C5H11NO2S) is an essential, sulfur-containing amino acid. It is the source of sulfur for numerous compounds in the body, including the amino acids cysteine and taurine. The body uses sulfur to influence hair follicles and promote healthy hair, skin, and nail growth.

Sulfur also increases the liver’s production of lecithin (which reduces cholesterol), reduces liver fat, protects the kidneys, helps the body to excrete heavy metals, and reduces bladder irritation by regulating the formation of ammonia in the urine. Methionine is a lipotropic—a nutrient that helps prevent fat accumulation in the liver, and usually helps detoxify metabolic wastes and toxins.

S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM, or SAMe) is an active compound made from methionine and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an enzyme found in muscle tissue. SAMe is manufactured within the body and is found in almost every tissue, but it can also be made synthetically. It acts as a methyl donor in a variety of biochemical pathways.

Mexican yam

Mexican yam plant

Mexican yam is one of some 850 species of yam in the Dioscoreaceae family. It is a perennial plant with twisting, climbing vines that grows in warm tropical climates. There are also some twists and turns related to this plant’s identity and its use as a herbal remedy.

The wild yam (Dioscorea villosa) is a climbing plant that is native to the southeast United States and Canada. Such wild yam species as Dioscorea floribunda as well as Dioscorea villosa are native to Mexico.

These plants are used for the herbal preparations known as Mexican yam and Mexican wild yam. Mexican wild yam also grows in the southeastern United States and Appalachia.

Migraine Headache

Migraine headache
Migraine headache

Migraine is a type of headache marked by severe head pain lasting several hours or more.

Migraine is an intense and often debilitating type of headache. The term migraine is derived from the Greek word hemikrania, meaning “half the head,” because the classic migraine headache affects only one side of the person’s head. Migraines affect as many as 24 million people in the United States, and are responsible for billions of dollars in lost work, poor job performance, and direct medical costs.

Approximately 18% of women and 6% of men experience at least one migraine attack per year. Currently, one American in 11 now suffers from migraines, more than three times as many are women, with most of them being between the ages of 30 and 49. Migraines often begin in adolescence, and are rare after age 60.

Milk thistle

Milk thistle
Milk thistle

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum or Cardus marianum) is a plant used for treating liver disorders, breastfeeding problems, and other illnesses. The active ingredient of the herb, silymarin, is found in the ripe seeds of the plant.

The milk thistle plant has a long stem, green leaves with white spots, and pink to purple spiky flowered head (which true to its name, resembles a thistle). The plant is native to Europe and grows in the wild in the United States and South America. Other common names for the plant include Mary thistle, St. Mary thistle, Marian thistle, and lady’s thistle.

The medicinal benefits of milk thistle have been valued for more than 2,000 years. Written records show that as early as the first century, Romans were using the plant as a liver-protecting agent.

Mistletoe

Mistletoe
Mistletoe

Mistletoe is a parasitic evergreen plant that lives on trees such as oaks, elms, firs, pines, apples, and elms. The parasitic plant has yellowish flowers; small, yellowish green leaves; and waxy, white berries.

There are many species of this plant in the Viscacea and Loranthacea plant families. European mistletoe (Viscum album) and American mistletoe (Phoradendron leucarpum) are used as medical remedies. In addition to Europe and North America, mistletoe is also found in Australia and Korea.

Mistletoe berries are poisonous to cats and other small animals. There is, however, some debate about how toxic the berries are to humans, and there is controversy about whether it is safe to use mistletoe as a remedy. Mistletoe is also known as mystyldene, all-heal, bird lime, golden bough, and devil’s fuge.

Mononucleosis

Mononucleosis
Mononucleosis

Infectious mononucleosis is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, which in teenagers and young adults may result in acute symptoms that last for several weeks. Fatigue and low energy can linger for several months.

Infectious mononucleosis (IM), also called mono or glandular fever, is commonly transmitted among teenagers and young adults by kissing or sexual activity; hence it is sometimes called the “kissing disease.”

By age 35–40, approximately 95% of the population has been infected with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) that causes IM. Although anyone can develop mononucleosis, primary (first) infections commonly occur in young adults between the ages of 15 and 35. Symptoms of IM are particularly common in teenagers.

Morning sickness

Morning sickness
Morning sickness

Morning sickness is the nausea and vomiting experienced during pregnancy, particularly in the first trimester. Although it is called morning sickness, it can and usually does occur at any time of the day or night.

Morning sickness is characterized by extreme nausea and vomiting. It varies widely in intensity; some women experience only minor stomach upset for a very brief time period, while others become so ill that they have difficulty keeping food and fluids down and functioning normally.

In the majority of women, morning sickness symptoms subside toward the end of the first trimester (at 12–14 weeks). However, some women continue to experience nausea well into the second trimester, and some mothers of multiples (twins, triplets, etc.) may have morning sickness throughout their pregnancy.

Motherwort

Motherwort plant
Motherwort

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) is a perennial plant native to Europe and temperate parts of central Asia. It has been introduced into North America and now grows wild there. A different species, called Chinese motherwort (Leonurus heterophyllus), is used by Chinese herbalists in many of the same ways as Leonurus cardiaca is used in the West.

Motherwort grows mainly in poor soil or on wastelands, although it is sometimes cultivated in gardens. The plant grows to about 3 ft (1 m) tall. It has a stem that is often red-violet in color and hairy.

The hairy, palm shaped leaves are a dull green, with the upper surface darker than the under surface. The small flowers range from white to pink to red depending on the plant. Flowers and leaves are dried and used medicinally.

Motion sickness

Motion sickness

Motion sickness is a condition characterized by uncomfortable sensations of dizziness, nausea, and vomiting that people experience when their sense of balance and equilibrium is disturbed by constant motion.

Riding in a car, aboard a ship or boat, or riding on a swing all cause stimulation of the vestibular system and visual stimulation that often lead to discomfort. While motion sickness can be bothersome, it is not a serious illness, and can be prevented.

Motion sickness is a common problem, with nearly 80% of the general population suffering from it at one time in their lives. People with migraine headaches or Ménière’s syndrome, however, are more likely than others to have recurrent episodes of motion sickness.

Moxibustion

Moxibustion
Moxibustion

Moxibustion is a technique used in traditional Chinese medicine in which a stick or cone of burning mugwort , Artemesia vulgaris, is placed over an inflamed or affected area on the body.

The cone is placed on an acupuncture point and burned. The cones is removed before burning the skin. The purpose is to stimulate and strengthen the blood and the life energy, or qi, of the body.

Origins

The actual Chinese character for acupuncture literally translates into “acupuncture-moxibustion.” More than 3,000 years ago, during the Shang Dynasty in China, hieroglyphs of acupuncture and moxibustion were found on bones and tortoise shells, meaning the practice precedes that date. The root word, “moxa” is actually derived from the Japanese.

MSM

Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM
Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM

Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, is also known as methyl sulfone and dimethylsulfone (DMSO2). It is a sulfur-bearing compound that exists naturally in many fruits, vegetables, grains, and animals, including humans.

Its presence and activity was discovered while working with its parent compound, DMSO, of which it is an oxidized metabolite (hence the O2 designation). Although 55,000 papers have been written on DMSO, research on MSM has been more limited.

A wide range of therapeutic benefits are attributed to it, along with a high degree of safety, and a low degree of toxicity. Actor James Coburn, crippled by rheumatoid arthritis, praised MSM’s pain relieving benefits.

Mugwort

Mugwort plants
Mugwort plants

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) also known as common artemisia, felon herb, St. John’s herb, chrysanthemum weed, sailor’s tobacco, and moxa is a perennial member of the Compositae family, and a close relative of wormwood (Artemisia absinthium L.). Mugwort’s generic name is from that of the Greek moon goddess Artemis, a patron of women.

Mugwort has long been considered an herbal ally for women with particular benefit in regulating the menstrual cycle and easing the transition to menopause. The common name may be from the old English word moughte meaning “moth,” or mucgwyrt, meaning “midgewort,” referring to the plant’s folk use to repel moths and other insects.

Mugwort has a long history of folk tradition and use. Anglo-Saxon tribes believed that the aromatic mugwort was one of the nine sacred herbs given to the world by the god Woden.