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.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Multiple chemical sensitivity—also known as MCS syndrome, environmental illness, idiopathic environmental intolerance, chemical AIDS, total allergy syndrome, or simply MCS—is a disorder in which a person develops symptoms from exposure to chemicals in the environment.

With each incidence of exposure, lower levels of the chemical will trigger a reaction and the person becomes increasingly vulnerable to reactions triggered by other chemicals.

Medical experts disagree on the cause of the syndrome, and as to whether MCS is a clinically recognized illness. In a 1992 position statement that remained unchanged as of early 2000, the American Medical Association’s Council on Scientific Affairs did not recognize MCS as a clinical condition due to a lack of accepted diagnostic criteria and controlled studies on the disorder.

Multiple Sclerosis

A woman with multiple sclerosis disease
A woman with multiple sclerosis disease

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, degenerative disease of the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS is comprised of the brain and the spinal cord. In the CNS, the nerves are covered by a protective layer called the myelin sheath. Myelin helps keep the nerve healthy.

It also improves nerve conduction. In multiple sclerosis, inflammation causes the nerves to gradually lose this myelin cover. This repeated inflammation and erosion leads to scarring (sclerosis), which impairs the nerve’s ability to conduct impulses.

Eventually, even the nerves themselves are affected. Because the nervous system controls and coordinates a number of body functions, patients with MS gradually lose a variety of functions, including memory and the ability to see, speak or walk.

Mullein

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)
Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) also known as great mullein, is a dramatic biennial herb of the Scrophulariaceae or figwort family. The family name of this European native may have derived from the word scrofula, a disease that is now understood to be a form of tuberculosis.

In Ireland mullein was widely cultivated as a remedy for tuberculosis. The seed is said to have arrived on the North American continent in the dirt used as ballast in old sailing vessels. At least five species of mullein have naturalized in North America.

This sturdy and adaptive herb is found on roadsides, rocky and gravely banks, and in marginal areas throughout the world. It thrives in full sun and adapts well to arid conditions. The seeds of this hardy plant, particularly V. blattaria, may remain viable as long as 70 years.

Mumps

Mumps
Mumps

Mumps is a relatively mild short-term viral infection of the salivary glands that usually occurs during childhood. Typically, mumps is characterized by a painful swelling of both cheek areas, although the person could have swelling on one side or no perceivable swelling at all.

The salivary glands are also called the parotid glands; therefore, mumps is sometimes referred to as an inflammation of the parotid glands (epidemic parotitis). The word mumps comes from an old English dialect word that means lumps or bumps within the cheeks.

Mumps is a very contagious infection that spreads easily in such highly populated areas as day care centers and schools. Although not as contagious as measles or chickenpox, mumps was once quite common. Prior to the release of a mumps vaccine in the United States in 1967, approximately 92% of all children had been exposed to mumps by the age of 15.

Muscle Spasms and Cramps

Muscle Spasms and Cramps
Muscle Spasms and Cramps

Muscle spasms and cramps are spontaneous, often painful muscle contractions.

Most people are familiar with the sudden pain of a muscle cramp. The rapid, uncontrolled contraction, or spasm, happens unexpectedly. Sometimes it can happen during or following athletic activity or a workout. It can also happen with either no stimulation or some trivially small one. The muscle contraction and pain last for several minutes, and then slowly ease.

Cramps may affect any muscle, but are most common in the calves, thighs, feet, and hands. While painful, they are harmless, and in most cases, not related to any underlying disorder. Nonetheless, cramps and spasms can be manifestations of many neurological or muscular diseases.

Myopia

Myopia is the medical term for nearsightedness. People with myopia see objects more clearly when they are close to the eye, while distant objects appear blurred or fuzzy. Reading and close-up work may be clear, but distance vision is blurry.

Myopia affects about 30% of the population in the United States. To understand myopia it is necessary to have a basic knowledge of the main components involved in the eye’s focusing system: the cornea, lens, and retina.

The cornea is a tough, transparent, domeshaped tissue that covers the front of the eye (not to be confused with the white, opaque sclera). The cornea lies in front of the iris (the colored part of the eye). The lens is a transparent, double-convex structure located behind the iris. The retina is a thin membrane that lines the rear of the eyeball.

Light-sensitive retinal cells convert incoming light rays into electrical signals that are sent along the optic nerve to the brain, which then interprets the images. In people with normal vision, parallel light rays enter the eye and are bent by the cornea and lens (a process called refraction) to focus precisely on the retina, providing a crisp, clear image.

Myotherapy

Myotherapy
Myotherapy

Myotherapy is a method for relieving pain based on the application of pressure at trigger points throughout the body. Trigger points are defined as hypersensitive locations in the muscles that cause pain in response to undue stress. They may be caused by occupational or other injuries as well as by disease, physical stress, and emotional stress.

Trigger points rarely occur in the same location where the pain is felt. Myotherapy is founded on the notion that relief of tension in the muscle followed by revitalization of the relieved muscle through stretching, promotes healing and reduces the disposition of the muscle and the nerve to cause further pain.

Origins

Myotherapy developed out of trigger point therapy, a method of pain relief developed by Dr. Janet Travell. Fitness expert Bonnie Prudden decided to investigate certain parallels that she perceived between the injection of pain relievers into nerve locations in trigger point therapy and the potential to relieve pain similarly through external physical pressure on the nerve points.

Myrrh

Myrrh tree
Myrrh tree

Myrrh (Commiphora molmol, C. abyssinica, or C. myrrha) is a close relative and member of the Burseraceae family, native to the eastern Mediterranean, Ethiopia, the Arabian peninsula, and Somalia.

Myrrh is a shrubby desert tree known variously as gum, myrrh tree, guggal gum, guggal resin, didin, and didthin. Myrrh is an Arabic word meaning bitter. The highly valued aromatic gum resin of myrrh has a bitter, pungent taste and a sweet, pleasing aroma. A particularly treasured variety of myrrh is known as karam or Turkish myrrh.

Myrrh grows to a height of about 9 ft (2.7 m). The light gray trunk is thick and the main branches are knotted with smaller branches protruding at a right angle and ending in sharp spines.

Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy
Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by uncontrollable episodes of sleepiness during the day. Episodes can last from a few seconds to more than an hour and can significantly interfere with daily activities.

People with narcolepsy often fall asleep suddenly, anywhere at any time, even in the middle of a conversation. They may sleep for just a few seconds or for up to a half hour, and then reawaken feeling alert until they fall asleep again.

The condition affects one of every 2,000 Americans. Sleep apnea (difficulty in breathing while sleeping) is the leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness. Narcolepsy is the second leading cause.

Native American Medicine

Native American Medicine
Native American Medicine

According to Ken “Bear Hawk” Cohen, “Native American medicine is based on widely held beliefs about healthy living, the repercussions of disease-producing behavior, and the spiritual principles that restore balance.”

These beliefs are shared by all tribes; however, the methods of diagnosis and treatment vary greatly from tribe to tribe and healer to healer.

Origins

The healing traditions of Native Americans have been practiced in North America since at least 12,000 years ago and possibly as early as 40,000 years ago. Although the term Native American medicine implies that there is a standard system of healing, there are approximately 500 nations of indigenous people in North America, each representing a diverse wealth of healing knowledge, rituals, and ceremonies.

Natrum Muriaticum

Natrum Muriaticum
Natrum Muriaticum

Natrum muriaticum is the homeopathic remedy commonly known as table salt or sodium chloride. Salt is the second most common substance in nature, water being the first. Salt is an important component in regulating the balance of body fluids.

Salt is a constituent in both body fluids and tissues. Excessive salt intake inhibits proper absorption of nutrients and weakens the nervous system, while a lack of salt creates a lack of fluid, resulting in an emaciated and withered appearance.

Salt was not extensively used for medicinal purposes until the time of Samuel Hahnemann, the father of homeopathy. While ancient physicians did employ salt in the treatment of liver enlargement and other swellings, salt had little medicinal value until Hahnemann’s studies of the remedy in the early nineteenth century.

Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy

Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy
Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy

Natural hormone replacement therapy (NHRT) is the use of non-synthetic, bio-identical hormones (estrogens, progesterone, and/or testosterone), derived from plants ), to treat hormone imbalances and deficiencies. The first oral contraceptive pill was originally derived from Dioscorea species, wild yam; later soy was used as the precursor for oral contraceptive hormones.

Origins

Chinese medicine has made use of phytohormones for thousands of years. Natural progesterone was first crystallized from plants in 1938. NHRT was developed in the late 1970s and became available commercially in the early 1980s. By 1989 micronized (very finely ground) progesterone was developed for better absorption into the bloodstream.

The use of NHRT has increased as women have become increasingly dissatisfied with conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) because of ineffectiveness, side effects, and/or growing concerns about risks, especially breast and uterine cancer risk.

Natural hygiene diet

Natural hygiene diet
Natural hygiene diet

The natural hygiene diet is a system of healthy living whereby moral, physical, and environmental pollution is strictly avoided, and natural healthy food is chosen in preference over processed food. The principle is to provide everything the body needs to be healthy, and to avoid anything that may hinder health and well being.

Origins

Actually, early in the twentieth century, there were similar “natural hygiene” movements or health culture societies advocating exercise, the consumption of healthy foods, and massage. The American Natural Hygiene Society was founded in 1948, and as such is the oldest and largest natural hygiene organization in the world. The Society publishes the Health Science magazine.

The British Natural Hygiene Society was founded in 1959 by Keki Sidhwa and two other natural hygienists. Their magazine, Hygienist, which is published quarterly, was started in 1959, making it the oldest natural hygiene publication. Both organizations aim to educate and inform, and they can also recommend practitioners and clinics.

Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine is a branch of medicine in which a variety of natural medicines and treatments are used to heal illness. It uses a system of medical diagnosis and therapeutics based on the patterns of chaos and organization in nature.

Naturopathy is founded on the premise that people are naturally healthy, and that healing can occur through removing obstacles to a cure and by stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities. The foundations of health in natural medicine are diet, nutrition, homeopathy, physical manipulation, stress management, and exercise.

Naturopaths are general practitioners who treat a wide variety of illnesses. They believe in treating the “whole person”—the spirit as well as the physical body—and emphasize preventive care. They often recommend changes in diet and lifestyle to enhance the health of their patients.

Nausea

Nausea
Nausea

Nausea is the sensation of having a queasy stomach or being about to vomit. Vomiting, or emesis, is the expelling of undigested food through the mouth.

Description

Nausea is a reaction to a number of causes that include overeating, infection, or irritation of the throat or stomach lining. Persistent or recurrent nausea and vomiting should be checked by a doctor.

A doctor should be called if nausea and vomiting occur:
  • after eating rich or spoiled food or taking a new medication
  • repeatedly or for 48 hours or longer
  • following intense dizziness

Neck Pain

Neck Pain
Neck Pain

Neck pain is a nonspecific symptom of discomfort that has a number of possible causes. Depending on the cause, neck pain may be experienced as limited to the neck itself (localized), or as radiating to the shoulders and upper arm.

The patient may experience the pain as a dull ache, a sharp stabbing or burning sensation, or a feeling resembling a muscle cramp. Neck pain is often accompanied by stiffness or difficulty in moving the neck.

Causes and symptoms

Possible causes of neck pain include:

Neem

Neem tree
Neem tree

Neem is a compound that has a long history of use in both traditional Indian medicine and Ayurveda. Many of the popular herbal treatments in these two systems are still derived from it.

Neem is a large evergreen tree, Azadirachta indica, in the mahogany family. It grows naturally in India and Sri Lanka, and has been successfully transplanted to other regions including West Africa, Indonesia, and Australia.

The tree has small white flowers and produces a smooth, yellow-green fruit. All parts of the tree have medical uses. In India, neem is sometimes called “the village pharmacy.” Over 100 pharmacologically active substances have been identified in this plant, and it has many traditional applications.

Nettle

Nettle
Nettle

Nettle is a member of the Urticaceae family, which includes as many as 500 species worldwide. Many species are tropical. The stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) grows wild in nitrogen-rich soil on the edges of fields, stream banks, waste places, and close to stables and human habitations throughout the United States and Europe.

This fibrous perennial is found throughout the world in temperate regions from Japan to the Andes Mountains. The plant seeds itself, and, in favorable conditions, nettle spreads freely from its tough, creeping yellow root.

The hairy, erect, single stalks grow in dense clusters giving the plant a bushy look. The square stems produce heart-shaped, alternate leaves with pointed tips and deeply serrated edges. Leaves are dark green on the top and are a paler green and downy on the underside. The plant grows as tall as 4 ft (1.2 m).

Neuralgia

Neuralgia
Neuralgia

Neuralgia describes a variety of rare and painful conditions in which shooting, stabbing, burning, pain; electric-like shocks; or tingling, pins and needles, or numbness occur along the course of a nerve, usually in the head or neck.

Neuralgia attacks tend to by cyclic, often coming and going without warning. They can last for minutes, hours, days, or longer, depending on the patient, and range from mild to debilitating. Often, no physical cause can be found, although some forms of neuralgia may be triggered when nerves are compressed by injuries, arteries, tumors, or, in rare cases, as the result of nerve damage from multiple sclerosis.

Neuralgia is an uncommon condition, with trigeminal neuralgia occuring most often. Other types are occipital neuralgia, glossopharyngeal neuralgia, and postherpetic neuralgia. Most neuralgia patients are 50 or older, although younger patients can be affected as well.

Neural Therapy

Neural Therapy
Neural Therapy

Neural therapy is a comprehensive healing system that focuses on the relief of chronic pain and long-term illness. These symptoms, practitioners say, can be stopped by injecting local anesthetics into scars, acupuncture points peripheral nerves, and glands. Other, less-invasive methods may also be used to correct “short circuits” and restore electrical conductivity in the body.

Origins

The earliest known use of neural therapy was in 1925, when two German doctors treated migraine headaches by injecting a local anesthetic (Novocain) into the veins. The injections immediately aborted not only the headaches but also a number of other symptoms (dizziness, nausea, a visual “flashing” sensation) also associated with migraine.

In 1940, Dr. Ferdinand Huneke, a German physician, found that injecting procaine (Novocain) into an osteomyelitis scar on a patient’s leg seemed to instantly cure chronic pain in her shoulder. Now called the lightning reaction or Huneke phenomenon, it showed that injuries in one part of the body may cause symptoms elsewhere in the body.

Neurolinguisitic Programming

Neurolinguisitic Programming
Neurolinguisitic Programming

Neurolinguistic programming (NLP) is aimed at enhancing the healing process by changing the conscious and subconscious beliefs of patients about themselves, their illnesses, and the world. These limiting beliefs are “reprogrammed” using a variety of techniques drawn from other disciplines including hypnotherapy and psychotherapy.

Origins

NLP was originally developed during the early 1970s by linguistics professor John Grinder and psychology and mathematics student Richard Bandler, both of the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Studying the well-known psychotherapist Virginia Satir, the hypnotherapist Milton Erickson, the anthropologist Gregory Bateson, and others whom they considered “charismatic superstars” in their fields, Grinder and Bandler identified psychological, linguistic and behavioral characteristics that they said contributed to the greatness of these individuals.

Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Niacin, also known as Vitamin B3, is important for the normal function of many bodily processes. Like other B vitamins, it is water-soluble and plays a role in turning food into energy, as well as in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.

Niacin can also act as an antioxidant within cells, which means it can destroy cell-damaging free radicals. In conjunction with riboflavin and pyridoxine, it helps to keep the skin, intestinal tract and nervous system functioning smoothly.

General use

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of niacin for infants under six months is 5 mg. Babies from six months to one year of age require 6 mg. Children need 9 mg at one to three years of age, 12 mg at four to six years, and 13 mg at seven to 10 years.

Night Blindness

Night blindness
Night blindness

Night blindness is the inability or reduced ability to see in dim light or darkness. It also refers to the condition in which the time it takes for the eyes to adapt to darkness is prolonged.

Description

Night blindness, also called nyctalopia, is a symptom of several different diseases or conditions. All of the possible causes of night blindness are associated with the way in which the eye receives light rays. Light travels through the cornea and lens and lands on the retina at the back of the eye.

The retina is composed of photoreceptors. Photoreceptors are specialized nerve cells that receive light rays and convert them into electrical signals, which are then transmitted to the brain, creating an image.

Margarine

Margarine
Margarine

Hydrogenation, the process used to make liquid oils solid at room temperature, made possible a shift from animal fat to vegetable fat as a substitute for butter.

The resulting product — which may be blended with other milk products or animal fats (such as lard or tallow) and salt for taste — is margarine. It has been used as a butter substitute since the late 19th century. Sometimes it is referred to as oleomargarine or oleo. Oleo means oil and refers to the vegetable oil base of margarine.

Like butter, regular margarine is about 80 percent fat (actually, law requires this percentage of fat for the product to be labeled margarine) and has the same number of calories. One tablespoon contains about 100 calories and 11 grams of fat.

Noni

Noni
Noni

Noni, the common name for Morinda citrifolia, is a medicinal herbal substance derived from the noni tree, which is found in various areas of the South Pacific. Other names for the herb include morinda, Indian mulberry, nona, nonu, Polynesian bush fruit, Tahitian noni juice, and cheesefruit.

The noni tree is an evergreen shrub, up to 20 ft (6 m) tall, that grows in tropical areas of the South Pacific, including Australia, Malaysia, the West Indies, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Hawaii. Its branches and trunk are coarse, tough wood, and the leaves are glossy, oval, and dark green.

Year-round, the tree yields a small fruit, which is cream-colored and about the size of a small potato. The noni fruit is noted for its bitter taste, unpleasant smell, and reportedly strong healing properties. Other parts of the plant also are used medicinally, including the leaves, bark, flowers, and roots.

Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds
Nosebleeds

A nosebleed is characterized by bleeding from the interior of the nasal cavity. It can be caused by heat, dry air, trauma to the nose, certain medications, or a medical condition.

Description

Anterior nosebleeds, or bleeding of the nose that comes from near the nose opening, are the most common nosebleeds in children. Children are twice as likely to experience nosebleeds as adults are. Bleeding that originates from deep within the nasal cavity is known as a posterior nosebleed, the type usually experienced by adults.

Causes and symptoms

The most common causes of nosebleeds are:
  • Low humidity. Hot and dry climates can dry out the nasal cavities.
  • Nasal trauma. Injuries to the nose can cause bleeding. Excessive nose picking can also injure the interior of the nose.
  • Cold, allergies, and sinus infections. Excessive nose blowing and irritation to the mucous membrane can cause bleeding.
  • Medications. Bleeding can be triggered by Certain medications, particularly those with anticoagulant (or blood thinning) properties.

Notoginseng root

Notoginseng root
Notoginseng root

Notoginseng root is a frequently prescribed herb in Chinese medicine. The scientific names for the plant are Panax notoginseng and Panax pseudoginseng. The herb is also referred to as pseudoginseng, and in Chinese it is called Tien qi ginseng, San qi, three-seven root, and Mountain paint.

Notoginseng belongs to the same scientific genus, Panax, as Asian ginseng. In Latin, the word panax means “cure-all,” and the family of ginseng plants is one of the most famous and frequently used of all families of herbs.

Notoginseng grows naturally in China and Japan. The Chinese refer to it as “three-seven root” because the plant has three leaves on one side and four leaves on the other.

Nutmeg

Nutmeg
Nutmeg

Nutmeg is known by many names, such Myristica fragrans, mace, magic, muscdier, muskatbaum, myristica, noz moscada, nuez moscada, and nux moschata. Nutmeg is most commonly used as a cooking spice, comes from the fruit of a 50 ft (15 m) tall tropical evergreen tree.

This tree grows in Indonesia, New Guinea, and the West Indies. The bark is smooth and grayish brown with green young branches and leaves. The oblong, fleshy fruit, called the nutmeg apple, contains a nut from which nutmeg is made. The dried nut and essential oil are both used as medicine.

Nutmeg is used in both Western and Chinese herbal medicine. It is most popular as a spice in food and drinks, and is also used in cosmetics and soaps. In ancient Greece and Rome, where nutmeg was rare and expensive, people thought it stimulated the brain. The Arabs have used nutmeg since the seventh century.

Nutrition

Food pyramid
Food pyramid

Good nutrition can help prevent disease and promote health. There are six categories of nutrients that the body needs to acquire from food: protein, carbohydrates, fat, fibers, vitamins and minerals, and water.

Proteins

Protein supplies amino acids to build and maintain healthy body tissue. There are 20 amino acids considered essential because the body must have all of them in the right amounts to function properly.

Twelve of these are manufactured in the body but the other eight amino acids must be provided by the diet. Foods from animal sources such as milk or eggs often contain all these essential amino acids while a variety of plant products must be taken together to provide all these necessary protein components.

Nux vomica

Nux vomica
Nux vomica

Nux vomica is the homeopathic remedy that is created from the seeds of the strychnos nux vomica tree. Also known as poison nut or vomiting nut, this tree is an evergreen tree that is native to East India, Burma, Thailand, China, and Northern Australia.

The tree belongs to the Loganiaceae family and has small flowers and orange colored fruits that are the size of an apple or orange. Inside the fruit are five seeds surrounded by a jelly-like pulp.

The ash gray seeds are round and measure 1 in (2.5 cm) in diameter and are .25 in (0.6 cm) thick. The seeds are coated with downy hairs that give them a satiny appearance.