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Listen, we all have those days when every little thing seems to be going wrong, and so we’re just feeling grumpy as hell. It happens to even the brightest rays of sunshine among us. But those of us who tend to dwell in their bad moods for an extended amount of time should take caution: A new study just published in the journal Science Advances found our negative emotions—even just incidental frustration due to a spilled cup of coffee or getting stuck in a traffic jam—can actually have a significant impact on our social judgment. Specifically, those negative emotions can make us less likely to trust people.

In an experiment that I’m surprised anyone volunteered for, researchers spent some time riling up a group of (willing!) participants in a lab setting by threatening to give them tiny, unpleasant electric shocks—and sometimes following through on that threat. When participants were adequately pissed off and anxious, they then were asked to participate in a trust exercise where they had to decide how much money they wanted to invest in an unknown partner who may or may not pay them back. Compared to people who hadn’t been made upset before taking part in the trust exercise, the folks in a bad mood trusted their partner significantly less.

The researchers also had these upset participants hooked up to an MRI scanner while they did the exercise, and the scans showed their negative emotional state seemed to be directly affecting their brain functioning. One brain region called the temporoparietal junction, which is involved in understanding other people’s thinking, was “significantly suppressed by negative affect,” a news release explains, and that region’s connection to the amygdala (which evaluates social threat) was also shuttered. For the folks who hadn’t been aggravated beforehand, the strength of temporoparietal junctions’ connection to other parts of the brain involved in social recognition actually predicted how much they trusted their partners.

In other words, a person’s frustrated mood essentially short-circuited their brain in a way that led them to not trusting the people around them.

“Negative affect suppresses the social cognitive neural machinery important for understanding and predicting others’ behavior,” the researchers said in the news release. “Negative emotions, even if they are incidental, may distort how we make important social decisions.”

Being able to trust other people is crucial for maintaining our daily relationships with everyone from our co-workers and friends to our family and lovers. Feeling like you’re under threat from everyone around you is a fast track to unnecessary conflict and self-isolation. If you’re someone who tends to simmer and stew in their frustrations or anxieties, it’s important to recognize how that negative energy can be affecting your relationships—even if the thing that set you off has nothing to do with anyone you’re interacting with. Studies like this one show how much our emotions can affect our brain itself, which in turn affects our judgment and behavior toward others.

No one’s saying you need to be happy 24/7 or all your relationships will suffer. This research just suggests there’s a lot of incentive for trying to develop positive ways to respond to life’s most annoying happenings, from spilled coffee to scheming scientists trying to shock you with electricity.

Instead of letting the emotions eat you whole in such instances, psychologist and life coach Danielle Dowling, Psy.D., recommendsmaking a point to simply acknowledge your emotion, sit with it, and then release it. “Practicing mindfulness enables you to calm stress and soothe yourself,” she writes. “In a state of mindfulness, you make space to step back, reflect, and thoughtfully respond—rather than spontaneously react—to the varying ups and downs of life.”

When in doubt, keep a trusty meditation app and some soothing essential oils ready on hand to help yourself rebound and get back to a better place quickly.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/negative-emotions-trust-people-study?otm_medium=onespot&otm_source=inbox&otm_campaign=Daily+Mailer&otm_content=daily_20190316&otm_click_id=7dc3245edab3f60759e3c122bcf10b51&os_ehash=4366f4a34c67ce527584ae17c656bb4bd17ce861

Tiny but mighty, this reproductive organ affects your whole body.

Ovaries are fig-shaped glands that lie on either side of the uterus and are crucial to a woman’s reproductive system—and have other important roles in the body as well. Here’s everything a woman needs to know about her ovaries: where they’re located, how they function, and what to look out for to keep them healthy.

What exactly do your ovaries do?

The job ovaries are most famous for is housing a woman’s eggs, which are microscopic and filled with DNA (half of her DNA, to be precise, so if the egg fertilized by a sperm, containing half of a man’s DNA, together they can create an embryo). Each month, a dozen or so eggs can develop, but only one—or two, in the case of twins—matures, leaves its ovary, and makes its way through the fallopian tube to the uterus, where it may or may not meet sperm.

Ovaries have another essential job besides long-term storage for eggs: They also produce hormones. Mainly, they’re creating estrogen and progesterone, associated with women’s reproductive health, but the ovaries produce some testosterone as well. All of these hormones leave the ovaries and go coursing through your body via your bloodstream. They keep not just the reproductive system healthy but contribute to bone, muscle, and brain development as well.

How many eggs are in your ovaries—and what exactly happens to them?

You’re born with ovaries that contain 1 to 2 million eggs. By puberty, that number dwindles to 300,000, and at menopause you’re left with none. Many of them say sayonara through the natural process of celldeath (called apoptosis). Because eggs are so microscopic, they’re just reabsorbed into the body. About 400 eggs go through the ovulation process during your lifetime. Until all your eggs are gone, ovulation occurs each month—an egg pops through an ovarian follicle and out of the ovary, then travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus. Follicles then release hormones to prepare the lining of the uterus for pregnancy. But if the egg isn’t fertilized, hormone secretion stops, and you get your period. Egg quality drops over time—one reason it’s harder to conceive in your late 30s and beyond.

What does it mean if your ovaries hurt?

Ovarian cysts

If a follicle doesn’t rupture to release an egg, it can swell with fluid and develop into a cyst. Most cysts are small and painless, and you’re unlikely to know you even have one until a pelvic exam; they usually go way on their own and are rarely precursors to cancer. In some people, a cyst may cause abdominal pain, a feeling of belly fullness, and irregular periods.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is another condition that can arise. Characterized by symptoms like acne, weight gain, acne, irregular periods, or increased body hair growth, it affects up to 20 percent of women and means your ovaries produce too many male sex hormones; this keeps follicles shut, spurring cysts to form. Birth control may help manage it.

Ovarian cancer

More than 20,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. Ovarian cancer is often called a silent killer, because tumors are rarely detected at an early, easier-to-treat stage. Because your ovaries are located near your bladder and intestines, symptoms include: bloating, abdominal, back, or pelvic pain, indigestion, diarrhea or constipation, frequent urination, feeling unusually full, and loss of energy or appetite. Because these warning signs are easy to ignore, pay attention to your body—and make sure you check in with your doctor if you experience them more than 12 times per month.

What happens to your ovaries during menopause?

Menopause is when the ovaries put their figurative feet up and relax, and the few years leading up to it can be an unpredictable time called perimenopause. As your ovaries age, they might not always pick up on the signal from your hormones that it’s time to release an egg, which results in more hormones being secreted, throwing things off balance. This can lead to wildly varying periods, mood swings, sleep issues, and hot flashes. Luckily, your doctor can help you find ways to control these pesky symptoms.

How to keep your ovaries healthy

There are three easy ways to keep your ovaries in tip-top shape:

  • Get an annual pelvic exam: This can help your doctor catch issues like cysts and tumors that often don’t cause symptoms.
  • Don’t smoke: Chemicals in cigarette smoke damage the genetic material eggs are made up of and cause them to die off faster; this can lower fertility or bring on menopause earlier.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: This helps keep hormones, and thereby your period, regulated and can help ease PCOS symptoms.

Source: https://www.prevention.com/health/a26678040/ovaries-definition/

Intelligence Test (Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)

Story highlights

  • The research suggests that genes aren’t what’s driving the decline in IQ scores
  • “It’s not that dumb people are having more kids than smart people,” researcher says

IQ scores have been steadily falling for the past few decades, and environmental factors are to blame, a new study says.

The research suggests that genes aren’t what’s driving the decline in IQ scores, according to the study, published Monday.
Norwegian researchers analyzed the IQ scores of Norwegian men born between 1962 and 1991 and found that scores increased by almost 3 percentage points each decade for those born between 1962 to 1975 — but then saw a steady decline among those born after 1975.
Similar studies in Denmark, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Finland and Estonia have demonstrated a similar downward trend in IQ scores, said Ole Rogeberg, a senior research fellow at the Ragnar Frisch Center for Economic Research in Norway and co-author of the new study.
“The causes in IQ increases over time and now the decline is due to environmental factors,” said Rogeburg, who believes the change is not due to genetics.
“It’s not that dumb people are having more kids than smart people, to put it crudely. It’s something to do with the environment, because we’re seeing the same differences within families,” he said.
These environmental factors could include changes in the education system and media environment, nutrition, reading less and being online more, Rogeberg said.
The earlier rise in IQ scores follows the “Flynn effect,” a term for the long-term increase in intelligence levels that occurred during the 20th century, arguably the result of better access to education, according to Stuart Ritchie, a postdoctoral fellow in cognitive ageing at the University of Edinburgh whose research explores IQ scores and intelligence and who was not involved in the new study.
An intelligence or IQ test.

Researchers have long preferred to use genes to explain variations in intelligence over environmental factors. However, the new study turns this thinking on its head.
Intelligence is heritable, and for a long time, researchers assumed that people with high IQ scores would have kids who also scored above average. Moreover, it was thought that people with lower scores would have more kids than people with high IQ scores, which would contribute to a decline in IQ scores over time and a “dumbing down” of the general population, according to Rogeberg.
Anyone who has seen the film “Idiocracy” might already be familiar with these ideas. In the scientific community, the idea of unintelligent parents having more kids and dumbing-down the population is known as the dysgenic fertility theory, according to Ritchie.
The study looked at the IQ scores of brothers who were born in different years. Researchers found that, instead of being similar as suggested by a genetic explanation, IQ scores often differed significantly between the siblings.
“The main exciting finding isn’t that there was a decline in IQ,” Ritchie said. “The interesting thing about this paper is that they were able to show a difference in IQ scores within the same families.”
The study not only showed IQ variance between children the same parents, but because the authors had the IQ scores of various parents, it demonstrated that parents with higher IQs tended to have more kids, ruling out the dysgenic fertility theory as a driver of falling IQ scores and highlighting the role of environmental factors instead.
What specific environmental factors cause changes in intelligence remains relatively unexplored.
Access to education is currently the most conclusive factor explaining disparities in intelligence, according to Ritchie. In a separate study that has not been released, he and his colleagues looked at existing research in an effort to demonstrate that staying in school longer directly equates to higher IQ scores.
But more research is needed to better understand other environmental factors thought to be linked to intelligence. Robin Morris, a professor of psychology at Kings College in London who was not involved in Ritchie’s research, suggests that traditional measures of intelligence, such as the IQ test, might be outmoded in today’s fast-paced world of constant technological change.
“In my view, we need to recognize that as time changes and people are exposed to different intellectual experiences, such as changes in the use of technology, for example social media, the way intelligence is expressed also changes. Educational methods need to adapt to such changes,” Morris said.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/13/health/falling-iq-scores-study-intl/index.html?fbclid=IwAR09PXY3TrGGkbXX_FiD2wKiBGzkF-hObxiDEcfn8GibONNmfHWVaW3NJqE

If spending time with your partner feels like it drains everything out of you, you might be in a toxic relationship. But it’s not always that easy to tell when you’re in a relationship that’s toxic versus one that’s going through a rough patch. We talked to two relationship experts about how to identify a toxic relationship, and what to do if you’re in one.
Julie Schwartz Gottman, PhD, a clinical psychologist and the co-author of Eight Dates: Essential Conversations For A Lifetime Of Love, defines a toxic relationship as “one that makes you feel worse about yourself.” She adds, “Not only that, but it may also be one that evokes fear in you, for either yourself or your children.”
If a relationship is abusive — verbally, emotionally, or physically — then it’s toxic, Dr. Gottman says, but there are also relationships that are toxic but not abusive. She gives two examples: one in which a partner has a sex addiction, repeatedly cheats on their partner, and is unwilling to get help and one in which a partner has a drug addiction and is spending all the couple’s shared savings, putting them into bankruptcy. “Those are toxic relationships, but they’re not necessarily abusive,” she explains.
Andrea Syrtash, relationship expert and author of He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s A Good Thing): How To Find Love Where You Least Expect It, has a similar definition. She says a toxic relationship is “one that feels unstable, draining and/or constantly combative (emotionally and in some cases, physically).” She adds, “Relationships should generally bring out our best, but a toxic relationship does the opposite. People tend to undermine each other in a toxic relationship.”
If you think you might be in a toxic relationship, consider these questions:

1. Are you afraid of your partner?

This fear can be present without physical violence. Dr. Gottman reminds us that abuse may not be physical, but can also appear as “expressions of contempt that you’re hearing from the partner, such that it makes you feel horribly shamed, it makes you want to shrink into nothing.”

2. Is your partner willing to change?

If your partner doesn’t seem to care about your unhappiness or complaints, and won’t put in the effort to meet your needs, Dr. Gottman says, “that’s not good.”

3. How has this relationship affected your self-esteem?

Self-esteem may decrease if the beginning of a relationship coincides with an outside event, such as the loss of a job, Dr. Gottman explains. But if your self-esteem has seriously dropped because of the relationship, that’s something to be concerned about.

4. How do you feel when you’re around your partner?

This is a good general question to ask, says Syrtash. “If you realize you’re often on the defense or arguing, this may be the first clue,” she explains. “My general rule is if you’re questioning if something isn’t healthy or right, you probably already know the answer to that. It’s important for people to listen to their instincts.”
Both Syrtash and Dr. Gottman say that toxic relationships can sometimes become healthy again. “Depending on what makes a relationship toxic or unhealthy, it’s possible to work together (usually with a trained therapist) to improve it,” Syrtash says. “However, in most cases, a toxic dynamic is hard to build from. Trust and respect are the foundation of a good relationship, and in a toxic one, these are often missing.”
Dr. Gottman says that she and her husband Dr. John Gottman have treated many people in toxic relationships, and she’s found that “if people are willing to make changes, I definitely think that some toxic relationships can be changed.” However, she adds that in relationships with characterological domestic violence — meaning that one partner causes serious harm to the other, “takes absolutely no responsibility for the violence, and typically blames the victim for it” — she would not advise trying to mend the relationship. In these cases, she says, “the only thing the victim can do is get the heck out of Dodge and find safety for herself.”

Find sunburn relief with these at-home solutions from dermatologists.

You know the drill: To prevent sunburn, you have to apply and reapply sunscreen all day long if you want to keep your skin looking youthful and, more importantly, minimize your risk of skin cancer.

But maybe you didn’t realize you missed a spot, your tube of sunscreen was expired, or your hat didn’t protect you as well as you thought it would. Despite your best efforts, you’ve wound up with a lobster-red sunburn—and boy, is it painful and itchy.

At this point, there’s nothing you can do to reverse the long-term damage those harmful UV rays have left on your skin. Still, dermatologists say there are steps you can take to soothe your sunburn and get relief in the moment. While prevention is key, try these sunburn remedies to feel better fast. You’ll encourage your skin to heal, tamp down the redness and pain, and learn the ultimate lesson: Don’t forget your sunscreen!


Draw a sunburn-soothing bath

Rear view of blond woman in bath
LAFLORGETTY IMAGES

Skip the soap

After a long day in the sun, the first thing you probably want to do is rinse off—but you should think twice before sudsing up. Soaking in a bubble bath and using soap can dry and irritate sunburned skin. A cool bath (sans bubbles) is a better option.

If you must use soap while you wash, reach for something mild like Johnson’s Baby Head-to-Toe Wash and carefully rinse it all off—leftover soap residue can be extremely drying, which will only make your sunburn feel worse.

Mix in baking soda

For added relief, mix baking soda into your bath water, which has been shown to help relieve inflammation and itching, says board-certified dermatologist Frederic Haberman, MD, of Haberman Dermatology & Cosmetic Center in New York and New Jersey. It works best when it dries on the skin, so plan to air-dry instead of toweling off.

Add a splash of vinegar

Apple cider and white vinegar are other sunburn soothers you probably have in your kitchen. Vinegar is a great astringent (thanks to its antiseptic properties) and helps relieve sunburn pain, says Carl Korn, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Los Angeles. Simply mix 1 cup of your preferred vinegar in with your cool bath water to spur your skin’s natural healing process, he suggests.

Soak in soothing oatmeal

Another option: Add oatmeal to your bath. Colloidal oatmeal helps tamp down inflammation and reduces itching, says dermatologist Michael Schreiber, MD, and you can find the ingredient in many Aveeno products, like their soothing bath treatment. You can also simply grind up plain oats in your food processor and add to your tub. Mix the oatmeal treatment with cool bath water and soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Afterward, gently pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Rubbing your skin to dry off will only irritate it further.


Calm inflamed skin

Folk remedies for sunburn
IMAGE(S) BY SARA LYNN PAIGEGETTY IMAGES

Reach for ice

Follow your urge to reach for something cold, but make sure to do it right. Wrap an ice pack in a damp cloth and hold it over the burn. This will absorb some of the heat from your skin, constrict blood vessels, and reduce swelling.

Ice-cold water is also an option. Pour water and ice into a bowl, soak a cloth in the liquid, and place it over the burn. Repeat this process every few minutes as the cloth warms. Apply the compress several times a day for 10 to 15 minutes, Dr. Schreiber says.

…or frozen veggies

Improvise, if necessary, says Dr. Haberman. “You could even take a bag of frozen peas, for instance, and use that. But make sure to wrap it first so that you’re not placing the icy package directly against your skin.”

Tame it with tea

The tannic acid in green and black tea may help pull heat form a sunburn, while catechins (an antioxidant compound) repair skin damage, research shows. This can be particularly helpful if you’re burned around your sensitive eye area. Simply soak two tea bags in cool water and place them on top of closed eyes to decrease swelling and help relieve pain.


Stop the itch

A Tube of Hydrocortisone Cream
TIM GRIST PHOTOGRAPHYGETTY IMAGES

Use a rash-relieving powder

If your burn becomes itchy, add a Domeboro Soothing Soak Rash Relief powder packet to your ice water compress, suggests Thomas Gossel, PhD, RPh, a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Ohio Northern University. The aluminum acetate in the powder keeps skin from getting too dry or itchy.

Opt for witch hazel

Witch hazel can also ward off uncomfortable, itchy skin and has been shown to have long-lasting anti-inflammatory relief, says Dr. Haberman. To soothe larger areas, moisten a cloth with the astringent and place it over your sunburned areas. For smaller areas, dip cotton balls into the liquid and gently blot on.

Use hydrocortisone

Minimize itching, soothe skin irritation, and reduce inflammation with a topical lotion, spray, or ointment containing 1% hydrocortisone, such as Cortaid or Cortizone-10. Hydrocortisone has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it will reduce redness and ease the pain of mild sunburns, says dermatologist Coyle S. Connolly, DO, of Connolly Dermatology in New Jersey. “Use 2 or 3 times a day.”


Hydrate (and heal) dry skin

aloe vera juice with fresh leaves
JOANNAWNUKGETTY IMAGES

Moisturize strategically

After you’ve rinsed off, smooth on a natural bath oil. Let it soak in for a minute, and then apply a moisturizing cream or lotion, such as Eucerin Skin Calming Lotion, to lock in moisture. This is an important step, says dermatologist Rodney Basler, MD, or you may find that your skin feels drier than before. For added relief, chill your moisturizer in the fridge before applying.

Slather on aloe vera

“We’re starting to see evidence in medical literature that aloe vera may really help wound healing,” says Dr. Basler. If you have an aloe plant, simply break off a leaf and apply the juice. Pure, organic aloe vera gel is the next best thing—especially if you chill it Look for one that does not contain alcohol, colors, and fragrance that could further irritate the skin.

Load up on water

You need to drink plenty of water to help counteract the drying effects of a sunburn, says Gossel. But if you can’t guzzle fast enough, snack on hydrating fruits and vegetables, like watermelon, cucumber, strawberries, tomatoes, grapefruit, and cantaloupe—all of which are more than 90 percent water


Minimize pain and irritation

Skin peeling
BARCINGETTY IMAGES

Blow up your air mattress

Sleeping with a nasty sunburn can be challenging, but you need to rest for your body to recover. Try sprinkling talcum powder on your sheets to minimize chafing and friction, Dr. Haberman suggests. An air mattress might also help you sleep more easily since it retains less heat. Pro tip: If your legs or feet are burned, elevate your legs above heart level to help reduce swelling, Dr. Basler says.

Pop an aspirin

This old standby can help relieve the pain, itching, and swelling of a mild to moderate burn. “Take two tablets every 4 hours,” says Dr. Basler. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen will work just as well; follow label instructions for dosages.

Try an OTC anesthetic

If your burn is mild, an OTC anesthetic can relieve pain and itching, says Gossel. Look for products that contain benzocaine, benzyl alcohol, lidocaine, or diphenhydramine hydrochloride, such as Americaine Benzocaine Topical Anesthetic Spray. Aerosols are easier to apply than creams or ointments but never spray them directly onto your face. Instead, put some on a piece of gauze or a cotton pad and pat it on your face to avoid contact with your eyes.

Pro tip: If you’re worried that you’ll develop an infection, Dr. Schreiber recommends using an OTC antibacterial ointment like Neosporin.

Resist the urge to peel

Blisters are a sign of severe damage, and they must be treated with care. If they bother you and they cover only a small area, you may carefully drain them, Dr. Basler says. However, do not peel the top skin off; you’ll have less discomfort and danger of infection if air does not come in contact with sensitive nerve endings.

To drain the fluid, first, sterilize a needle by holding it over a flame. Then puncture the edge of the blister and press gently on the top to let the fluid come out. Do this three times in the first 24 hours, and then leave the blisters alone, says Dr. Basler.


How to prevent sunburn

Don’t make the same mistake twice. After you’ve gotten burned, it takes 3 to 6 months for your skin to return to normal, Dr. Schreiber says. “When you get a sunburn, and the top layer of skin peels off, the newly exposed skin is more sensitive than ever. That means you’ll burn even faster than you did before if you’re not careful.”

Be aware of your sun exposure and protect yourself with a sunscreen that contains a minimum of SPF30. Look for one that contains zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or avobenzone, which block both ultraviolet A and B rays, says Norman Levine, MD, a dermatologist in Tucson, Arizona.

Apply sunblock liberally about 30 minutes before heading outside, even when it’s overcast, and don’t forget to protect your lips, hands, ears, and the back of your neck. Reapply every two hours. Wearing protective clothing like hats, lightweight long-sleeved tees, and cover-ups can also help to keep your skin protected.


When should you call a doctor for sunburn relief?

Some burns are simply too severe to be treated at home, says Dr. Basler. Consult a doctor if you experience nausea, chills, fever, faintness, extensive blistering, general weakness, patches of purple discoloration, or intense itching. Be aware that if the burn seems to be spreading, you could have an infection compounding the problem.

You should also contact your physician if you’re taking prescription medications. Certain drugs, like antibiotics, tranquilizers, and antifungal medications can increase your sensitivity to the sun and cause reactions, says Dr. Basler. Oral contraceptives, diuretics, drugs for diabetes, and even PABA-containing sunscreens may also increase your risk of sunburn.

Source: https://www.prevention.com/beauty/a20513758/natural-sunburn-cures/

We live in an amazing time, don’t we? There’s boundless information about anything we want to learn about—right at our fingertips! Sorting through this mass amount of information can take some time and effort because for every solid, evidence-based articles there are five that are overstated or bogus. The result of this? Google is both an amazing tool to educate yourself and an endless vortex of conflicting information.

This is particularly true in the world of herbal medicines and natural health remedies. Because so many herbs have been used for centuries in traditional medical systems—like ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, and Native American medicine—the evidence on many herbs is largely anecdotal.

But that is not always the case! As a functional medicine practitioner, my job is to fuse the best of both ancient and modern medicine to provide the most evidence-based yet natural tools to enhance one’s wellness. Here are five of my favorite well-researched herbs that you can incorporate into your routine:

1. Ginger

This popular herb has been used for centuries for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Most of ginger’s health benefits are believed to come specifically from the bioactive compound gingerol.

While ginger can help with a variety of ailments, the majority of studies surrounding ginger focus on its ability to calm digestive distress and soothe nausea. When it comes to nausea, studies have actually shown that ginger is just as effective as the anti-nausea medication Dramamine with fewer, if any, side effects. For those with gut problems, ginger has carminative and antiemetic abilities that help break down gas and support the proper function of the digestive system, including bowel movements. Since it’s also anti-inflammatory, it can work to calm an irritated gut.

The great thing about ginger is that you can easily incorporate it into your daily life. You can add fresh ginger to basically any recipes, or it can be taken in tea form before and after meals. If you’re a fan of ginger, you could also consider adding galangal broth into your routine. Galangal is another root part of the same rhizome family of plants as ginger with a similar, yet more potent, flavor. Galangal broth is a great vegan alternative to bone broth.

2. Rhodiola

Anyone who knows me knows I am obsessed with adaptogens—the kingdom of plant and herbal medicines that can help restore balance to almost every area of the body—and rhodiola is no exception. Often referred to as the stress calmer, Rhodiola rosea is a flowering plant whose root is used to help reduce stress, alleviate anxiety, and enhance sleep quality.

For my patients dealing with adrenal fatigue, this is a great choice as it works to support your sympathetic nervous system—the stress control center of your body—by regulating cortisol levels. Because of its assistance in overcoming fatigue, it’s often used specifically as an energy booster. In fact, it’s been shown to help enhance endurance in athletes.

Because it is such a powerful energy booster, it can be overstimulating for sensitive individuals, so being mindful of dosage is important for those just trying rhodiola for the first time. Make sure to listen to your body and adjust dosage or stop if necessary.

3. Lemon Balm

For being easy to find and having such a light, refreshing flavor, lemon balm packs an extremely intense punch against viruses. Also known as Melissa officinalis, this lemon-scented member of the mint family is a next-level antiviral. It has been shown to be particularly effective at fighting the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1)—the same group of viruses that cause cold sores, mono, chickenpox, shingles, and chronic fatigue (Epstein-Barr virus).

In one randomized, double-blind trial of 116 patients with cold sores, researchers saw that 96 percent of those who used lemon balmextract five times a day on their cold sores had a complete clearing after eight days. Another study using lemon balm essential oil had similar results, with participants showing improvements within 72 hours.

4. Dandelion

With the constant onslaught of toxins in our everyday lives, it’s important to make regular detoxing a priority and finding ways to make our lives a cleanse. Since the rise of autoimmune conditions can be correlated to the rise in modern-day toxin use, it’s more important than ever to incorporate regular detoxing protocols into your day.

To many of us, dandelions are just the annoying weeds that sprout up in our yards every year. But for those looking to enhance their health, dandelions are one of the best tools we have for supporting our detoxification pathways. For starters, they’re packed with B vitamins, which act as fuel for methylation—your body’s biochemical superhighway that controls your ability to detox. Additionally, dandelion supports your liver, your body’s main detox organ due to its polysaccharide content.

5. Astragalus

It seems like we could all use a little immune boost, especially during cold and flu season, and no one does it better than astragalus. This root adaptogen is both antibacterial and antiviral and has the ability to boost immune-regulating T-cells. It also works to restore balance to Th1 and Th2 pro-inflammatory cytokines, which need to be balanced for your immune system to function properly.

So there you have it! Five herbs that are definitely worthy of adding to your routine and turning to when you need to fend off stress, detox, or give your immune system a boost.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/herbs-that-really-work

Here’s how to differentiate between normal sleep struggles and an actual health issue.

If you typically have trouble falling or staying asleep, you might often ask yourself: Could I have a sleep disorder? It’s estimated that up to 70 million—or one in five—Americans suffer from a chronic sleep disorder, and there are 90 different types. (Crazy, right?). So, it’s certainly a possibility.

But just because you’re having trouble snoozing doesn’t mean there’s definitely something seriously wrong. Not everybody has the capability to fall asleep quickly, sleep through the night, or log eight hours of sleep—especially as they age, says Michael Perlis, PhD, director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

To find out if your symptoms might be cause for concern, keep reading. If anything below is consistently an issue, it’s worth bringing it up to your doctor.

1.You have trouble falling asleep

Man unable to sleep while wife sleeps comfortably unaware
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If it takes you 30 minutes or longer to fall asleep most nights, that could be a sign of insomnia or another sleep disorder, according to the U.S. Library of Medicine.

It’s important to understand that most people experience problems sleeping from time to time. But if you have trouble falling asleep three nights or more each week, and that continues for more than a month, you may have what doctors call “chronic insomnia,” per a report from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

2.You have intense dream-like visions

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If you have “vivid” dream-like visions or experiences just before falling asleep or as you’re waking up, these could be symptoms of narcolepsy, per the NHLBI.

Feeling suddenly weak or sleepy when you laugh or experience strong emotion is another signaccording tothe U.S. National Library of Medicine.

3.You snore

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Frequent and loud snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, which stems from problems breathing during sleep, according to the NHLBI. If your partner says your snoring features gasping or snorting, or includes stretches when you don’t seem to be breathing, these are all signs of sleep apnea.

4.You can’t sleep through the night

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“Everybody wakes up one to five times a night—everybody. But for most healthy people, these awakenings are so brief that they may not remember them well or at all,” Dr. Perlis says. But lying awake at night for 15 or 30 minutes—or longer—can be a sign of insomnia or a related sleep disorder.

Meanwhile, shorter and more frequent awakenings, like if you’re waking up 10 or more times a night, could also be something “medically related,” he adds. Sleep apnea, for example, could cause these sorts of frequent awakenings, he says.

5.You’re totally pooped during the day

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If you often feel very sleepy during the day, especially in the morning hours, that could be a sign that you’re suffering from a sleep disorder, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Taking frequent naps and falling asleep at odd times during the day are also signs of a sleep disorder, per the U.S. Library of Medicine.

6.Your legs feel tingly when you’re in bed

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Creeping, tingling, or crawling sensations in your legs—especially in the evening or at night in bed—are all indicative of restless leg syndrome (RLS), according to the NHLBI. If these sensations go away when you move or massage your legs, they could be caused by RLS, which might be messing with your sleep.

Source: https://www.prevention.com/health/sleep-energy/g26595350/sleep-disorder-symptoms/