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Herbal Medicine

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4 billion people, 80 percent of the world population, presently use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care. Herbal medicine is a major component in all indigenous people's traditional medicine and a common element in Ayurvedic, homeopathic, naturopathic, traditional oriental and Native American Indian medicine.


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Symptoms Of Food Allergy

New parents who are looking to understand their baby's behavior and reactions may wonder about the food she consumes. Is a baby's fussiness a milk allergy or colic? Is it something she will outgrow or is it something that requires action? Is the baby's diarrhea or rash a reaction to food sensitivity or a symptom of something else? If you are concerned, ask your pediatrician.

   
The symptoms of an allergic reaction to food include: 
 

Tingling, swelling, and itching of the lips, mouth and throat beginning within seconds of eating the food. 
Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.  Itching and a skin rash.  In severe reactions, shortness of breath and wheezing as well as dizziness and fainting that develop quickly can be signs of anaphylactic shock. Anaphylactic shock, although rare, can be fatal if not treated immediately.  Sometimes, a severe allergic reaction to food can cause breathing difficulties as the upper airways become obstructed. However, this is not that same as asthma, which involves inflammation and bronchoconstriction. You may need to talk to your child's pediatrician to determine if she has asthma, food allergies, or both.   More often than not, it is a protein in the food that initiates an allergic reaction. Doctors believe that younger children are more sensitive to these proteins because their intestines are immature. As a child gets older, his digestive system can better digest new foods.

 

Most children naturally develop a greater tolerance for foods that previously caused allergic reactions. Allergies to milk, wheat, soy, and egg disappear by age five in nearly 70% of food-allergic children. Allergies to peanuts, nuts, and fish, however, are often life-long. These allergies can be severe and minute amounts of the offending food can cause a serious reaction. If a child has a food allergy, the offending food must be avoided in all forms. For example, if a child has a milk allergy, all milk products must be avoided; even the smallest amount found in a baked good can cause an allergic reaction. Children with food allergies should be periodically re-evaluated as they may outgrow allergies and no longer need restricted diets.

 

Recent research has shed some light on the process by which children outgrow their allergies. About half the infants who are diagnosed with food allergies actually have food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome, an inflammation of the small intestine. These infants develop severe diarrhea and vomiting several hours after consuming foods such as milk or soy. Although their response may be serious, tests show that they do not have allergic (IgE) antibodies. Nor do these children suffer anaphylaxis. Once the offending food is eliminated, the symptoms disappear and most children outgrow the sensitivity within 6 to 24 months of diagnosis. Those who do not outgrow the symptoms usually have developed a measurable allergy to the offending food.
 

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Transitional Feeding

At about 5 months of age, the infant enters a transitional period characterized by a decreased rate of growth and an increased level of caloric expenditure for physical activity, developmental readiness and physiologic capacity. While total nutrient requirements continue to increase as a result of growth, the decreasing need for energy and protein per unit of body weight reflects the progressive decrease in rate of growth. You'll probably start your baby on solid food at about 4 to 6 months, when the child can swallow and digest food offered on a spoon. Babies differ in size, appetite and readiness to eat solid foods. When your baby is ready, try one new food at a time so you can quickly rule out any specific food allergies. Your pediatrician will review feedings with you, but generally you'll begin with iron-fortified rice cereal and follow with other cereals such as barley and oatmeal.

 

After a month or so, try strained vegetables, such as carrots, peas, sweet potatoes and green beans, then fruits like applesauce, pears, peaches and bananas. Six month old infants have reached a stage of developmental readiness that permits them to convey a sense of interest in and desire for certain foods that should be respected when possible. With the increased intake of transitional and solid food, milk intake will gradually decline. For mothers continuing to breast-feed beyond 6 months, there is a continuing decline in the volume of milk. Food, at this point, should be a source of enjoyment and contribute to family bonding. By 8 or 9 months, solid foods provide a significant source of energy and other nutrients to supplement the basic intake from human milk or formula. The maturing gastrointestinal and renal systems enable the infant to digest a variety of foods, to metabolize their components, and to excrete unneeded metabolites. Attention should be paid to the types and amounts of food being consumed by the older infant to ensure that nutritional needs are being met. 
 

At around 8 months, a baby is ready for protein foods such as cheese, yogurt, cooked beans, strained meat, chicken and tofu. By 9 months babies can chew, so you can offer them finely chopped fresh meats, vegetables and fruits, even pasta, from the dinner table. It's not necessary to add sugar, salt or other seasoning to baby food. As more and more solid foods are introduced, your baby will probably drink less milk or formula. Caution: Babies may start to get teeth by the age of 6 months, but that doesn't mean they can handle all sorts of solid foods. Avoid small, hard foods such as popcorn, nuts, hot dogs, grapes or small chunks of fruit that could cause a baby to choke. 
 

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The Best Cancer "Phyters"

All fruits and vegetables contribute something valuable to your overall health. But some studies show a relationship between eating particular types of produce and a reduced risk of cancer. 
 

Cruciferous Vegetables 

Like broccoli, cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane, as well as other phytochemicals such as dithiolthiones. These compounds can work by triggering enzymes that may act to block carcinogenic damage to your cells' DNA. Along with broccoli, cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, kale, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, bak choy, collards, kohlrabi, mustard greens and turnip greens. 
 

Garlic And Onions 

The sulfur compounds in garlic and onions (ally sulfides) are the active, possibly cancer-preventing component. They trigger enzymes that may act to excrete carcinogens from the body. 
 

Orange And Grapefruit Juice
 

Along with vitamin C and other nutrients, oranges and grapefruits (especially concentrated in juice form) contain flavonoids, which act as antioxidants and can inhibit cancer cell growth. 
 

Soy
 
Soy foods are high in isoflavones, which block some hormonal activity in cells. Diets high in soy products have been associated with lower rates of cancers of the breast, endometrium and prostate. Soy can be found in soy beans, soy milk, tofu, miso, and some meat-substitute products like "vegetable burgers." 
 

Tomatoes And Tomato Sauce
 

Tomatoes are high in the phytochemical lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. One study found that lycopene had an even more potent ability to stop cancer cells from proliferating than beta-carotene. A diet high in tomatoes, especially when cooked, and tomato sauce has been associated with decreased risk of cancers of the stomach, colon, and prostate.
 

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