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Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014
The Natural Way: A look at metformin (07/31/14)
Last week I started with a series of columns in which I described how prescribed drugs can and often do interfere with the absorption of necessary nutrients. This is little known as it is rarely talked about. Nutritional deficiencies can be diagnosed as a new ailment contributing to having yet another prescription written. Common sense tells us the more drugs we take and the longer we take them the risk of nutritional deficiency would increase...
The Natural Way: Prescribed drugs vs. supplements (07/24/14)
In our nutty system which often pits medications/science against nutritional supplements, the bias supporting medicine is usually given top dog status. Dire warnings abound that if you do this drug or that, then these supplements will interfere causing harm...
The Natural Way: Cat's Claw can help fight cancer (07/17/14)
The mysteries of the Amazon and cold science met face to face when a legendary herb gave promise in the battle against cancer. Cat's Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is so useful it has the unpleasant honor of being closely studied by the pharmaceutical industry. ...
The Natural Way: Hormones can have major impact (07/10/14)
Cortisol and DHEA are two hormones closely associated with health, sickness and weight gain. Whether eating to fill an emotional need or grabbing fast food simply because there's no time to prepare something healthy, a stressed-out lifestyle is rarely a healthy one...
The Natural Way: Words hold true after 15 years (07/03/14)
This fall will mark my 15th year with the Citizen. Here is an excerpt from the very first Natural Way column. "What an exciting time it is in which we live. Just as I sit to write this first column on The Natural Way, I become aware of the awe typifying any new venture...
The Natural Way: A few tricks up my sleeve (06/19/14)
Like you, I have to see medical doctors from time to time and I'm a problem for some of them. I insist that I have the final say over what I do with my body and insist my medical team respect my choices. I do listen closely to their advice and do use prescribed drugs at times. But if a natural choice works better for me that is where I go first...
What to do for dementia (05/29/14)
This is an amazingly beautiful world; it can also be equally cruel. No where is this more easily seen than with the ailment of Alzheimer's disease. While there has been much attention given to this type of dementia recently not much has been said about the natural approach. The natural supplements can mostly be used alongside the prescribed drugs...
THE NATURAL WAY: Bug bites and how to treat them -- naturally (05/22/14)
We all deal with patterns that are predictable such as colds and flu in the winter, allergies in both the spring and fall and chiggers/ticks/skeeters and Brown Recluse bites in the summer. We are smack dab in the middle of the part of the country where the Brown Recluse prefers to live. ...
Know the best ways to treat anxiety (12/12/13)
Any time of the year can be emotionally tough but holidays and upcoming Federal budget fights in January can add worry and tension. While everyone feels blue or down every now and then, anxiety and tension is different. Anxiety and tension have different sources though they almost always include being tightly wound. People who worry, fret, think too much, ponder too much, plan too much and who have a hard time relaxing/resting/sleeping are likely uncomfortable from anxiety and tension...
The Natural Way: The science of staying healthy (07/19/13)
If you decide to take charge of your health and make well informed choices then use science to guide you. Science is the measure of usefulness on those things that are physical in our world. If you have an illness or cancer then there is a physical manifestation of something that can have profound meaning behind it. ...
COMMENTARY: The Natural Way: Something good for diabetes, cholesterol (06/27/13)
Listen up everyone, I've found a supplement that is shown to be excellent for pre-diabetics, type 2 diabetics and also for those with high cholesterol. This is clinically studied in people and tested in the laboratory. The herbal supplement is called Berberine which has been used by the old grannies and now has been discovered by medical science...
The Natural Way: Blueberries have tons of benefits (06/06/13)
Fresh black/blueberries aren't too far in the future as summer develops. Strawberries have already been delectable. Dark chocolate and delicious berries make for a delectable treat that is amazingly good for you. Both share high levels of antioxidants plus much more. ...
COMMENTARY: The Natural Way, Yes Virginia: Chocolate is good (05/16/13)
With Mother's Day and Easter behind us I think it is important to remind everyone that chocolate is a health food. Of course this is to assuage any guilt for eating to much of this alltime delectable. Worldwide chocolate is a favorite delight with roots reaching deep into time. Recently, modern science has been uncovering some of the benefits beyond the making amends by a spouse in the doghouse...
The Natural Way, Aug. 2 edition (08/02/12)
What would it be like if a very safe and easily digestible common vitamin could be taken that would have far ranging benefit to our health? Suppose this inexpensive ordinary vitamin wasn't so ordinary any longer. Suppose, as well, that it was beneficial for staying healthy, a well-known remedy for colds and flu, boosted our immune system health, slowed down the effects of aging and was proven in studies to have an effect on cancer and its metastasis (spread)?...
The Natural Way, July 26 edition (07/30/12)
This has been quite a week. My last column about finding a way to get off of acid reducers hit a nerve, people have been asking about adding fluoride to the water, medical marijuana and finally the heart wrenching shootings in Colorado. What do heartburn, fluoride, marijuana and violence have in common?...
The Natural Way, July 19 edition (07/18/12)
Folks, I think I've done it. Getting off of a daily dose of over the counter acid reducer named ranitidine also known as Zantac was something I thought I couldn't do. This is an older style acid reducer used for chronic heartburn, gastro-esophageal reflux disease, or GERD, and for other medical reasons like hiatal hernia symptoms. Generally, it has been replaced by a newer drug class called proton pump inhibitors (PPI) like Prilosec and Nexium...
All about statins for reducing cholesterol (07/12/12)
Using a class of drugs called statins for reducing cholesterol in the blood is one of the most common prescriptions. It was well known a decade ago that statins like Lipitor can cause side effects. The most common one and serious one has to do with damage to muscles causing aches and pain as muscles break down...
Get the benefits of veggies even if you hate them (07/04/12)
Suppose you just hate to eat veggies? Those green things that cook down to grey soft globs of goop that instantly take you back to your mother's cooking. How do you get the health benefits of veggies if you'd rather eat hot dogs and cheese? Take barley capsules daily. The barley family is very large but the family member goes by the Latin name hordeum vulgare that I'll be describing...
The Natural Way (09/30/10)
I like to keep up with news. Mostly, I get this from reading newspapers, medical specialty reporting outlets and television. News reported through my medical specialty source sometimes will make it to the general media such as TV or print. I always find it interesting to see how the info is reported. Sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised at other times annoyed at the inherent bias...
The Natural Way (02/23/09)
Emergencies happen suddenly and catch us off guard. We have to draw on resources that we've put away for that rainy day. If we haven't anticipated basic needs then we get caught short and life gets much more difficult and this happens quickly. Natural weather events can happen at any time like the ice storm we just experienced. But an ice storm is just one of the emergency challenges. What natural supplements and products should we have on hand?...
The Natural Way (02/04/09)
Can you imagine that the MD who writes a health column for the big newspaper basically believes supplementation to be useless, potentially harmful and irrational? Amazing isn't it that this sort of bias still exists and comes from a well educated science-based professional. Trouble is, his opinion still carries a lot of weight, especially for those who don't think for themselves. Contrast this with what I found about the nutritional supplement N-Acetyl Cysteine, also called NAC...
Natural Way (12/17/08)
I'm not surprised. Just released to the public and published in major newspapers is a story on the reduction of heart attack but an increase in cancer rates. The story I read glows with a bragging tone of the amazing reduction of heart attack and it continues with a sobering warning that cancer is showing up more and more often, better go out and get more drugs...
The Natural Way (11/19/08)
Sometimes odds and ends accumulate and you really have to do a yard sale. For me, the push to get this sort of cleansing done is having the stack of small things get bigger to the point where the messiness demands attention. The stack gets big because of small odds and ends. We humans tend to do well with an herbal cleanse in the spring and fall so here is my attempt to get rid of odds and ends before the year is out...
The Natural Way (10/20/08)
Every year there is a push for everyone to get a flu vaccination. Since flu usually happens in January and February the push generally happens in November and December. I'm already reading newspaper articles supporting getting the vaccine earlier. I'm not sure why that is. ...
The Natural Way (09/24/08)
Like you I see the commercial on television that boastfully claims that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is natural and that it comes from good old down to earth corn. In fact I see the know-it-all mom pushing a big pitcher of juice sweetened with HFCS on not only her kids but also the newly converted mother's kids, too. Why would anyone want, or need, to add a super sweetener to a good fruit juice?...
The Natural Way (08/21/08)
Suppose you just hate to eat veggies? Those green things that cook down to grey soft globs of goop that instantly take you back to your mother's cooking. There she is insisting you eat at least one bite before leaving the dinner table and you become six years old again...
The Natural Way (07/16/08)
Is global warming causing you to sweat or is it the dog days of summer? Global warming is about the Earth adjusting herself and we can't do very much about the higher temperatures and humidity. We all need to do the little things we can on the big level to help all of us survive the adjustment. However, we can attend to our physical needs when we sweat too much...
THE NATURAL WAY (06/25/08)
Ask anyone if they should drink orange juice if they have a cold or a flu and they will look at you like you are crazy for asking. They would say, "Of course you increase citrus as it is a very good source of vitamin C known to benefit your immune system." Orange juice is just one of many grocery items known as a medical food...
The Natural Way (05/28/08)
Bobcat Fever is a topic I've written on before. To a large extent this column is just a rework of a column I wrote for The Lovely County Citizen back in November of 2006. I think it is very important to bring it up again as I have gotten several more e-mail stories similar to the one in this column, already this year. ...
THE NATURAL WAY (05/14/08)
Listen up folks, here is a new supplement that everyone needs to know about. It is called Naringin. It changes slightly during digestion into Naringenin. It is a completely natural food product which comes from grapefruit and is a flavanoid. The digestibility of the Naringin is only about 15 percent of the swallowed amount but we don't need very much to accomplish a great deal...
THE NATURAL WAY (04/02/08)
Is an organically labeled fruit or veggie what all of us should be buying?   Many people spend a lot more money than they would if they didn't buy organic. Many of these same people struggle to make ends meet and yet they buy expensive veggies, meat, starches and fruit just because they are labeled with that one magical word -- organic. Is this the best way to be sure of nutrition and health from our food?...
The Natural Way (03/12/08)
Are you ready? The jonquils are in full bloom the daffodils are getting ready. Evenings are longer and warm enough to enjoy while the days are still a little chilly. Must be close to springtime and sneezes, itchy eyes and nose. The green cloud of pollen we get every year is still a month or so away...
THE NATURAL WAY (02/27/08)
What can one person do? Why do we name it Global Warming when it is really Global Pollution? Are we humans really so vain that we have to separate ourselves from the filth we produce and blame weather change for the mess we have created? Can real clean up of the environment be based upon what one person does? I'm old enough to be frustrated and cynical...
The Natural Way (02/13/08)
Like many of you I have been e-mailed an article with the subject line "John Hopkins -- Latest findings on Cancer." I don't think this is an authentic paper from Johns Hopkins University. With that being said, I do agree with almost everything in the letter. But a couple of points are simply not accurate and not correct...
The Natural Way (01/23/08)
This is the time of the year for hearty foods. Acorn, butternut, Hubbard and spaghetti squash are plentiful and cheap as are root veggies such as parsnips, potatoes and carrots.   Storing them in a cool yet dry area at home will keep them fresh for a long time. ...
The Natural Way (01/09/08)
Eczema, seborrhea and psoriasis are all conditions that cause red eruptions often with scale on the skin and scalp.   Eczema is found most anywhere on the body while seborrhea looks similar but involves sebaceous (oil) glands of the skin and psoriasis can be found anywhere but is usually on elbows and knees. ...
THE NATURAL WAY (12/19/07)
We've had our first snowfall of the year. While winter has been hanging around for a while, the old man is no longer a wallflower. I truly enjoyed the magic and the quiet but also realized the need to write a column on colds and flu which can't be too far away...
THE NATURAL WAY (12/05/07)
Plastic, poison, and power in the New World Order I was listening to a segment on National Public Radio in which author Mark Shapiro described the thrust of his new book Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products -- Who's at Risk and What's at Stake for American Power...
THE NATURAL WAY (10/24/07)
The headline read “7 diseases cost state billions, study says” published on Tuesday, Oct. 9 in the large Arkansas daily newspaper. That is billions with a B. Arkansas has the third-highest number of diseases per capita beaten only by West Virginia and Tennessee. We are killing ourselves and creating much of our own poverty...
THE NATURAL WAY (10/03/07)
Lonely people and people who have limited social lives tend to have high levels of chronic inflammation. In these people there is a much higher incidence of heart attack, stroke, dementia and Alzheimer's as they age.   We all know many elders outlive their friends and family leaving them lonely. ...
THE NATURAL WAY (09/05/07)
Sometimes my work is very frustrating. I'm not the kind of guy who gets frustrated with individual people. I know and trust that individuals try to do what is best for them. Rather, I get frustrated with systems that individual people get caught up in...
THE NATURAL WAY (08/22/07)
School starts soon. Kids typically hate it while parents typically love it. Marketers jump into selling everything from computers to pencils to the trendiest kids' clothes. I saw a sample table at a semi-local large club store featuring back-to-school supplements. This is a clever marketing approach, though a bit of a stretch...
THE NATURAL WAY (08/08/07)
"Getting a disease or having a heart attack is caused by genetics or is just a role of the dice." "If it runs in your family, then it's going to get you too." These are common beliefs that are not as true as you may think. Medicine knows there are many cofactors that go hand in hand with any illness...
The Natural Way (07/11/07)
A full head of healthy and shining hair often starts to disappear in the early twenties for men and during menopause and later for women. For men, hair loss hits during the hormonal prime and for women, as the hormones begin to shift. Clearly, there is a connection to hormone levels and hair quality and quantity...
Resveratol without the wine (04/04/07)
Resveratrol is a unique compound found in red wine. Red wine is made from red grapes but the grape juice doesn't have any resveratrol at all. It is only found in the skins and seeds. It protects the grape against fungus.
Must be Springtime (03/21/07)
I found the first tick attached to a shoulder the other day. It was about the size of the top end of a Bic pen. Lots of people are sneezing and the daffodils are in full bloom. Evenings are longer and warm enough to enjoy while the days are still a little chilly. Must be Springtime...
Diabetes (03/07/07)
We Arkansans, both young and old, collectively have one of the highest rates of Type 2 diabetes in the United States. The long-term effect of this imbalance is profound and, if not corrected, devastating.
Foods from California (02/21/07)
Even though I had lived and schooled in Miami, Florida, there were many life's experiences not available to me. Or I simply wasn't aware of them. One of the most enjoyable was discovering foods Californians ate that I hadn't seen before.
Decrease in cancer deaths (02/07/07)
A recent example of this is the reporting and commentary in the major newspapers that cancer deaths have decreased in the U.S. over the last several years. The numbers clearly show a decrease even though there are more aging people who are more prone to the disease. This really is good news.
The Natural Way (11/15/06)
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is an amazing herb backed by tradition and supported by science.
the natural way (10/05/05)
Jim Fain I couldn't help but be amazed at the number of health-related articles in the large daily newspaper.
the natural way (09/21/05)
Jim Fain Many natural health practitioners enthusiastically praise the benefits of a hormone called DHEA or dehydrepiadrosterone.
the natural way (09/08/05)
Jim Fain I saw an embroidered couch pillow that spoke loudly. It said so much in just a few words; the embroidery painstakingly done underscored the beauty and simplicity of the need in our time.
the natural way (08/24/05)
Jim Fain Where do ailments come from? In our industrialized world we have not only industrialized sickness but also evolutionized bugs in addition to those created in the beginning of time.
the natural way (08/10/05)
Jim Fain Do you remember the carnivals when you were a kid? Most of the time there would be an assortment of colorful performers and, almost always, someone who would guess your age and, if wrong, you'd get a stuffed animal or maybe an ashtray.
the natural way (08/10/05)
Jim Fain Do you remember the carnivals when you were a kid? Most of the time there would be an assortment of colorful performers and, almost always, someone who would guess your age and, if wrong, you'd get a stuffed animal or maybe an ashtray.
the natural way (08/10/05)
Jim Fain Do you remember the carnivals when you were a kid? Most of the time there would be an assortment of colorful performers and, almost always, someone who would guess your age and, if wrong, you'd get a stuffed animal or maybe an ashtray.
the natural way (07/27/05)
Jim Fain Spider veins are known as superficial varicose veins. You see them as wiggly red/blue or black decorations just under the surface of the skin.
the natural way (07/13/05)
Jim Fain Last year I worried that with too much rain I would miss our weekly outdoor market. This year I worry that with too little rain the selection will suffer.
the natural way (06/29/05)
Jim Fain I noticed the U-PICK signs sprouting up along the roadside for blueberries. That means blackberries will make a major debut soon at our local open-air markets.
the natural way (06/15/05)
Jim Fain Some salt is good for you. Our bodies need a balance of salts to work properly. As the days get hotter and we sweat more this becomes all the more true as salts leave our body through the skin.
the natural way (06/01/05)
Jim Fain Our friends...the bugs. Not the ones that go scattering when you turn the light on at home but the ones who have real estate inside your gastro-intestinal tract.
the natural way (05/18/05)
Jim Fain Leaves of three - leave them be! This is the time of the year to be on the look out for Poison Ivy and Oak.
the natural way (05/12/05)
Jim Fain There is no human creation greater than the creation of the human. Everything we create has enough flaws built in naturally and normally that it should give us pause as to our sense of importance.
the natural way (05/04/05)
Jim Fain Celebrex, Vioxx and now Aleve (naproxen) have all hit mainstream news as increasing the risk of heart troubles if taken on a regular basis over a period of time.
the natural way (04/27/05)
Jim Fain Patterns are predictable - colds and flu in the winter, allergies in both spring and fall and chiggers, ticks and skeeters in the summer. To be ready, I have to plan ahead and order products on a seasonal basis.
The Natural Way (03/31/05)
The mysteries of the Amazon and cold science met face-to-face when a legendary herb gave promise in the battle against cancer.
The Natural Way (03/04/05)
Jim Fain We are coming out of winter. Mother Nature has given us an automatic way of protecting ourselves during winter and scarce times; we put on extra weight we don't need.
The Natural Way (02/02/05)
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) has been around for a long time and in some circles has a near legendary reputation. There certainly are tried and true benefits from the use of this herb, but the legend may or may not be true.
the natural way (01/19/05)
If I were going to choose just one antioxidant out of dozens that standout, the choice would be surprisingly easy.
The Natural Way (01/16/05)
We live in a world that is hard to understand, sometimes impossible. Some people rely on science to sort things out, some use faith and most people use a little bit of both flavored with the practicality of luck.
The Natural Way (01/06/05)
By: Jim Fain, Ph.D. Celebrex, Vioxx and now Aleve (naproxen) have all hit mainstream news as increasing the risk of heart troubles if taken on a regular basis over a period of time. These medicines are usually given to people who have chronic pain often associated with joints.
The Natural Way (12/16/04)
A drawing ointment is very old-fashioned goo, which is typically tawny or black in color. In fact, it is often called a black ointment, drawing salve, or unguent.
The Natural Way (12/09/04)
I get "white coat" blood pressure every time I get it checked in a medical office. Maybe it's the smell of the room, anticipation of getting a shot or just that this measurement is "official" and will forever be in disagreement with what happens in the quiet privacy of my own space.
The Natural Way (12/06/04)
A couple of Sundays ago I was surprised to see Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes in the middle of an African desert. She was munching on a piece of cactus saying it was cucumbery and wondering if she was going to feel hungry later in the day.
The Natural Way (11/24/04)
Wow, a monster burger with double cheese and double bacon is being offered by a national chain and found right here in Arkansas.
The Natural Way (11/17/04)
I fixed an acorn squash for dinner the other night. The recipe was simple.
The Natural Way (11/10/04)
Ever wonder if there is a cholesterol-lowering supplement that reduces the bad stuff, raises the good and protects your liver at the same time?
The Natural Way (11/01/04)
Can you rid yourself of athlete's foot and prevent kidney stones with an herb? Maybe so if you believe the German Medical Commission E. An old and almost forgotten herb is well-documented for these purposes and many more. Agrimony is the herb and it has many healing benefits.
The Natural Way (04/16/03)
Although we try to take good care of ourselves, even with the help of good fortune, our bodies bear the brunt of wear and tear every day we live.
The Natural Way (04/09/03)
SARS is in the news a great deal these days. This is a shortened way of saying Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome.
The Natural Way (04/02/03)
Springtime is bursting forth - I've already been asked about brown recluse spider bites and poison ivy. We get our fair share of itchies and nasties from both bugs and plants.
The Natural Way (03/27/03)
Our world is changing quickly. In no other time has there been so much worldwide dialogue on the benefits and drawbacks of war and peace. Our world has been speaking out almost in a democratic manner. Our behavior as a nation has been, and is, in question by so many throughout the differing nations. At times of great change, anxiety levels increase.
The Natural Way (03/12/03)
Many natural health practitioners enthusiastically praise the benefits of a hormone called DHEA or dehydrepiadrosterone.
The Natural Way (03/05/03)
Burning feet? Muscle cramps or weakness? Fatigue depression and sleep troubles? May be a lack of pantothenic acid in your diet.
The Natural Way (02/26/03)
Two herbs that are very common here-about are comfrey and sassafras. Both are held in high esteem by the traditional herbalist for a number of reasons.
The Natural Way (02/21/03)
I just love it when I read our conservative, large, regional newspaper and see an article confirming what I and many have been saying for a long time.
The Natural Way (02/12/03)
Last fall I wrote about a hot new product on the market called coral calcium. I reported to you I thought calcium was a good daily supplement for most people.
The Natural Way (02/06/03)
I heard the other day the groundhog came out and saw its shadow. This means six more weeks of winter, so some people say. If this is true, then we have only six more weeks until spring.
The Natural Way (01/30/03)
"Weight loss made easy," screams the catch line of the advertising. Who doesn't want something for nothing? Trouble is, our bodies have saved up energy (calories) and stored it as fat.
The Natural Way (01/22/03)
Maybe I'm getting old. On the front page of the business section of a major newspaper is the picture of four bulls and the proud rancher/owner.
The Natural Way (01/16/03)
Emotional health may be the prime influence on physical health.
The Natural Way (01/08/03)
When I was a kid tromping around the Everglades I was careful to step around the Saw Palmetto plant.
The Natural Way (01/02/03)
Ever get the sense that we keep repeating the experiences of the ones who lived before us?
The Natural Way (11/20/02)
Another new product on the market that warrants attention is a blend of patent-pending extracts from Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense.
The Natural Way (11/13/02)
Xanthoparmelia scabrosa is almost an unknown herb here in the U.S.
The Natural Way (11/06/02)
Did I miss the fall season? Are we already stepping into winter weather?
The Natural Way (10/30/02)
With chilly weather, bordering on cold, body aches and pains will increase.
The Natural Way (10/23/02)
Coral calcium continues to be a hot product on the market. The ads show the beauty of a Polynesian island lined with palm trees surrounded by emerald green water.
The Natural Way (10/16/02)
More and more scientific studies are proving the value of vitamin E. Three newly-published papers presented in prestigious journals all show real benefit for having vitamin E in your diet.
Jim Fain
The Natural Way