All posts by RX Integrative Solutions

Bottle Drinking Water – How Safe Is It?

Keurig Dr Pepper just announced a voluntary recall of their Penafiel Mineral Spring Water due to higher than allowed levels of arsenic.

http://news.keurigdrpepper.com/2019-06-21-Keurig-Dr-Pepper-Announces-Voluntary-Withdrawal-of-Unflavored-Penafiel-Mineral-Spring-Water-that-Does-Not-Meet-FDA-Bottled-Water-Quality-Standards.

What brand of bottled water do you prefer and why?  Do you worry about product safety?

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) Tea for Relaxation

Lavender is one of many beautiful and fragrant herbs that attracts butterflies and bumble bees, and will repel moths, mosquitos, and flies from the garden. Lavender flowers (buds) can be used as a tea for their relaxing and calming effect (Basch).

There may be as many as 160 active constituents in lavender including linalool (a terpene), linalyl acetate, B-caryophyllene, B-myrcene, alpha-ocimene, B-ocimene, and terpinen-4-ol. Calcium, iron, and vitamin A are also found in lavender.

We’re still learning about lavender’s pharmacology from animals. In a study by Harada et al, adult male mice were tested using a linalool scent delivered in a light/dark box. Some of the mice in the study had the sense of smell (active group) and others did not (control group). The mice in the active group that were exposed to the linalool scent over 30 minutes experienced anxiolysis. The control group did not. The positive effect in the active group was negated by flumazenil, a medication that reverses the effects of benzodiazepine anxiolytics like Valium, Ativan, and others. The authors concluded that the linalool effect was mediated by GABA transmission via benzodiazepine-responsive GABA receptors.

Lavender may also work by modulating T-type calcium channels in the body, providing yet another possible therapeutic effect that deserves more research in humans. Calcium channels play a role in neuron excitability, neuroprotection, sensory processes, sleep, and pain (Alaoui, Ayaz, Kopecky).

Lavender side effects may include sun sensitivity, headache, and allergic reaction, among others.

If you are consuming lavender tea, taking lavender dietary supplements, or using topical lavender essential oil in aromatherapy, please be sure to first discuss the appropriateness of this herb/essential oil with your health care provider or pharmacist to determine if it is safe and right for your health goals. This includes a thorough review by your trusted healthcare professional of any drug/lavender interactions and potential side effects.
For more information please visit https://www.drugs.com/mtm/lavender.html and https://www.gardenmandy.com/types-of-lavender-plants/.

Recipe for Lavender Tea

Add the 1 Tbsp fresh, or 1-2 tsp dried, lavender flower buds to a teacup (mug).
Bring 8 oz – 10 oz water to a boil.
Pour the hot water over the lavender flower buds, steep for 5 minutes. Place a small plate or lid over the top of the cup to keep the steam inside, further infusing the tea.
Remove the plate (lid) from the cup and add honey or agave, sweetening to taste.

Drying Out Fresh Lavender Flowers

If you want to dry out fresh lavender flower buds from your garden, harvest the lavender just before it fully blooms, and cut the flowering stalks right above the leaves. Bind the stalks with the buds into bundles and hang them upside-down in a dark, cool, and dry place for 2 and 4 weeks. Lightly brush the stalks and the lavender buds should fall off, to be stored and used later for tea.

References

1. Alaoui. Modulation of T-type Ca2+ channels by lavender and rosemary extracts. PLoS One. 2017 Oct 26;12(10): e0186864.
2. Ayaz. Neuroprotective and anti-aging potentials of essential oils from aromatic and medicinal plants. Front Aging Neurosci 2017; 9:168.
3. Harada. Linalool odor-induced anxiolytic effects in mice. Frontiers in Behav Neurosci 2018;12: Article 241.
4. Kopecky. T-type calcium channel blockers as neuroprotective agents. Pflugers Arch 2014; 466 (4): 757-765.
5. Basch. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Miller). J Her Pharmacother 2004;4: 63-78.

Dr. Rosenbaum really listened to my concerns/input and responded with appropriate and practical advice and suggestions.  She really seemed to understand where I was coming from in our conversation which was reflected in the written assessment.  I especially appreciated her emphasis on spiritual wellness.

–  Barbara Pohlman (2019)

 

OTC Pain Patches, Wraps, TENS Units – Oh, What A Relief It Is!

Introduction
The use of topical analgesic patches,  thermal wraps, or TENS units is one way to manage ACUTE pain instead of taking oral opioid narcotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including acetaminophen.

Please first discuss the use of topical analgesic patches, wraps, or TENS units with your primary care physician (PCP) before trying them out for CHRONIC pain, as she/he knows your medical and surgical history, medication allergies, and is in the best position to guide your pain management if you are already taking other oral analgesic medications.

Popular active ingredients in analgesic patches include methyl salicylate, menthol, camphor, capsaicin, and lidocaine. Advantages of patches over oral analgesics include delivery of medication directly to the involved area, avoidance of most GI-related side effects, and ease of administration. Disadvantages can include skin burns (as some patches contain irritating ingredients).  Patches with metal backing should not be used at the same time as heating pads or thermal wraps to avoid skin burns.  Any OTC analgesic patch can cause unwanted skin irritation, reddening, burning, or medication allergy in those who are sensitive to any ingredients.  Wraps can cause excess heat and TENS units can cause excess nerve stimulation.

Topical analgesic products work as counter-irritants, local anesthetics, thermal (heat) generators (wraps), or electrical nerve stimulators (TENS units).

Medications included in counter-irritant patches are classified into three categories, that:

• increase local blood flow (methyl salicylate)
• cool the skin area (like menthol, camphor)
• intentionally irritate/redden the skin area and distract from a deeper pain underneath it without increasing blood flow to the skin area (capsaicin)

Methyl salicylate is an analgesic, an anti-inflammatory agent, can dilate local blood vessels and raise skin temperature.

Menthol (oil of wintergreen), derived from Mentha piperita (peppermint), cools the skin and increases skin blood flow by dilating blood vessels.

Capsaicin, derived from hot chili peppers, works by depleting substance P in the nerve endings and is thought to temporarily decrease the number of nerve fibers in the involved skin area. It takes up to six weeks for pain sensation to return once capsaicin topical therapy is discontinued so skin monitoring is advised.

Lidocaine, a local anesthetic, is thought to interrupt the pain signal by its action on damaged peripheral nerves and may be useful in treating neuropathic pain. For most people, the amount of lidocaine absorbed through the skin is not problematic. However, for some in whom unpredictably higher lidocaine absorption and blood levels occur, the cardiac properties/side effects may be a concern. OTC lidocaine patches are to be used as directed on the package label for up to 7 consecutive days MAX.

Thermal analgesic wraps (e.g., ThermaCare) can increase both local skin and muscle blood flow. Wraps contain activated charcoal heat cells, iron powder (for conductivity), and sodium chloride.

Icy Hot Smart Relief TENS Unit Starter Kit, example of an FDA Class II approved medical device, uses nerve stimulation to help relieve back & hip or knee & shoulder pain. TENS stands for ‘transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.’

Quell is a new FDA Class II approved medical device that is somewhat costly. It’s called a wearable technology that also uses nerve stimulation to allay pain.

In general, TENS units work by sending pulses to the nerves in a particular area and up the spinal cord. This is thought to reduce pain signals from reaching the brain by triggering the release of our own endorphins.

Patch/Wrap Safety Tips
• Wash your hands with soap and water after applying
• Do not reuse
• Do not use for longer than 7 days without consulting your PCP for advice
• Apply 30 minutes after a shower; remove one hour before a shower
• Dispose of safely to avoid unwanted exposure to children and pets

TENS Unit Safety Tips
• Do not combine with heat wraps or topical medication-containing patches
• Do not combine with oral Rx or OTC pain medications unless instructed to do so by your PCP
• Start with the lowest level of electrical stimulation/intensity and increase if needed to manage your pain

More well-designed, long term studies involving OTC analgesic patches/wraps/TENS units are needed. Please talk with your pharmacist for more information on how to properly use topical OTC analgesic patches/wraps/TENS units.

This information is not meant to be a substitute to medical advice from your PCP.

 

#healthandwellness  #holistichealth

What Do Older Men, Restful Sleep, and Heart Health Have In Common?

Senior men having difficulty sleeping at night due to extended periods of interrupted breathing may be at increased risk of heart-related death.  This problem is thought to be due to poor oxygenation (study indicator) stemming from sleep apnea and other related factors, according to an Australian study in European Heart Journal (2018). Researchers Linz and Baumert reported that men with ≥ 12 minutes of oxygen saturation below 90% during their sleep cycles increased risk of heart-related death by nearly 60% in the study. The importance of restful, well-oxygenated sleep in relation to health and healing cannot be underestimated for many reasons.  If you suspect you are one of the individuals with sleep apnea or other sleep-related health issues, please talk with your primary care physician and ask for a sleep study to uncover the root cause of your problem and get help.

Dr. Rosenbaum’s Upcoming Seminars/Workshops

Please ‘Like’ us on www.Facebook.com/rxintegrativesolutions to receive an ongoing list of seminars and workshops conducted by Dr. Cathy Rosenbaum.

Health & Wellness Seminar Topics for Your Church/Support/Corporate/Civic Group:

  • Health & Wellness Trends For The Future – Oh, The Places We’ll Go!
    * Pharmacogenomics, the Future of Personalized (Precision) Medicine & Gene Therapy (Disease Cures vs Treatment)
    * The A to ZZZZ’s of Sleep Health
    * Memory Health: Even Elephants Forget Sometimes!
    * Bottled Water Sources/Plastics/Filtration Systems- What You Don’t Know May Hurt   You!
    * Taking the ‘Poly’ Out of Polypharmacy (Overprescribing of Medications)
    * Eight Balance Points for Healing: Building Integrative Health & Wellness Tool Kits That Fit Your Health Goals & Lifestyle Choices
    * Herbs of the Bible
    * Homegrown Medicinal Herbs & Teas
    * Debunking Myths About Dietary Supplements
    * Medical Marijuana: The Healthcare Professional’s Perspective
    * Caregiving: From Compassion Fatigue to Compassion Satisfaction
    * The Truth About OTC Diagnostic Tests (e.g., Hair Analysis, Iridology, Electrodermal Testing, Antioxidant Skin Fold Testing, Saliva Testing,
    Thermal Biofeedback, Electromyography Biofeedback, More)
    * Antioxidants & Chemotherapy – Dance Partners or Double-Edged Swords?
    * Antioxidants & Health
    * A Primer of Nontraditional Medicine Practices in the Greater Cincinnati Area
    * Let’s Have Some Applause for Menopause
    * Men’s Health: Everything You Want to Know but Are Afraid to Ask
    * Vitamin-Crazed Insurance Policies: Are Multiple Vitamins Really Needed Throughout Life?
    * The Holistic Approach to Wound Care Management
    * The Holistic Approach to Managing Stress
    * Essential Oil Aromatherapy for Healing: Does This Modality Pass the Sniff Test?