Hair Loss/Weight Loss, herbs for allergies, drug side-effects, herbs with caution, chemo Q&A

Stress, drug toxicity, allergies, fungus, bacteria, disease, genes and many other factors contribute to hair loss. Nutrients for hair include Aloe Vera, biotin, Vit C, B, A, D, and E.

Aloe vera has a long history of popular and traditional use. It is used in traditional Indian medicine for constipation, colic, skin diseases, worm infestation, and infections (Heber 2007). It is also used in Trinidad and Tobago for hypertension (Lans 2006) and among Mexican Americans for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM; Coronado et al. 2004). In Chinese medicine, it is often recommended in the treatment of fungal diseases (Heber 2007). In Western society, Aloe vera is one of the few herbal medicines in common usage, and it has found widespread use in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and food industries. In the case of health, the therapeutic claims for the topical and oral application of Aloe vera cover a wide range of conditions, but few claims have been the subject of robust clinical investigation. The conditions for which clinical trials of Aloe vera have been conducted include skin conditions, management of burn and wound healing, constipation, DM, and gastrointestinal disorders.

I heard some herbal formulas can be used to treat the side effects of chemotherapy. Is that true?
Herbs like Astragalus have immunomodulating effects. They have been studied in humans and have been shown to help reduce some of the adverse reactions induced by chemotherapy. However, they are not appropriate for all patients and larger clinical trials are needed to confirm their safety and efficacy.

I have peripheral neuropathy following chemotherapy. Is there a natural treatment to relieve my symptoms?
Several nutritional supplements, such as glutamine, glutathione, vitamin Bs, vitamin E and alpha-lipoic acid, have been tested as treatments for peripheral neuropathy. Early clinical trials indicate that glutamine may reduce the incidence and severity of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Preliminary studies show that acupuncture can reduce pain and improve nerve function and sensation, and can help relieve peripheral neuropathy associated with chemotherapy. But larger studies are needed to confirm these effects.

Are there any herbs that can help my hair grow back?
Hair loss is a common adverse effect from chemotherapy. Most patients’ hair will grow back after discontinuing treatment. Currently, there is no evidence that herbs can help regrow hair.
What is good for “dry mouth”?Many patients may experience xerostomia (dry mouth) after surgery or radiation therapy for head and neck cancer. Prescription drugs can be used to help relieve this symptom but they are often associated with other side effects. Currently, there is convincing evidence that acupuncture can be used to address this symptom safely and effectively. Patients can consult with a qualified practitioner for more information.
What are phytoestrogens?

These are herbs that have estrogen-like activities. A few popular examples include soy, red clover, flaxseed, and dong quai.
I have estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer. Can I take soy products?
The use of soy products by patients with hormone sensitive cancer remains controversial.
Animal studies show that constituents in soy may stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells and increase risk of metastasis. They can also work against tamoxifen, a drug used for estrogen-dependent breast cancer. However, epidemiological data suggest that soy foods help reduce breast cancer risk and have a positive effect on breast cancer survivors. Soy foods also have other health benefits as they are naturally rich in protein and low in fat. Until more is known, many experts agree that moderate consumption of soy foods is acceptable but concentrated soy supplements should be avoided.
Herb-drug Interactions
Do botanicals interfere with the metabolism of drugs?
Yes, many botanicals interfere with the way a drug is processed in the body: Increased metabolism of a drug reduces its concentration in the blood and may reduce its effectiveness; decreased metabolism of a drug increases its concentration in the blood and can lead to toxicity or increased side effects.
I am taking an anticoagulant drug. Why are there so many dietary restrictions?
Anticoagulant drugs, such as warfarin, have a very narrow therapeutic range. They can cause adverse effects and are prone to interact with other drugs and dietary supplements. Herbs like ginger, garlic, turmeric can interfere with anticoagulants increasing the risk of bleeding. Certain vegetables rich in vitamin K can decrease the therapeutic effects of warfarin.
What Natural Allergy Remedies Work?
Allergies are caused by the immune system’s overreaction to a harmless substance, such as animal dander or pollen. Like allergy medication, some supplements can help by blocking the chemical reactions that result in allergy symptoms.
Most natural allergy supplements come in capsules, tablets, or liquids, and are available in drugstores or health food stores. A few may be more difficult to find. If you’re in an urban area, you might try a naturopathic physician, an herbalist, or other expert in integrative health. Otherwise, your best bet may be stores on the Internet.
Here’s the rundown.
Butterbur. “Butterbur is the Singulair of the herbal world,” says Rakel. “I think of all the allergy supplements, it has the best evidence behind it.” The herb appears to work as a leukotriene inhibitor, which blocks some chemicals that trigger swelling in the nasal passages.
Some research shows that an extract of butterbur root (Ze 339) are just as effective at relieving nasal symptoms as antihistamines like Zyrtec and Allegra. Butterbur has the advantage of not causing sleepiness, a common side effect of antihistamines, even some so-called “non-sedating antihistamines.” “For someone who is driving a car or flying a plane and really needs to avoid the sedative effects of an allergy medication, butterbur is a good alternative,” Rakel says.
You should not eat raw, unprocessed butterbur root, which is dangerous. Look for brands of specialized butterbur supplements that are labeled UPA-free; a certain percentage or milligrams of the helpful compound petasin may also be mentioned. Keep in mind that experts aren’t sure about the safety of using any butterbur supplements in the long term.
Quercetin. Found in wine and many fruits and vegetables, quercetin may work as a mast cell stabilizer. It helps block the release of histamine that causes inflammation. “Quercetin is sort of the herbal equivalent to cromolyn sodium [in the over-the-counter spray NasalCrom],” Rakel tells WebMD. “The evidence is promising.”
I think quercetin is pretty effective and well tolerated,” says Leopold. “It seems to work well for prevention.” However, while lab tests of quercetin are intriguing, we don’t yet have good research for how well it works as a treatment in people. Some experts doubt that enough quercetin is absorbed during digestion to have much of an effect.
• Stinging Nettle. Often used as an allergy treatment, this botanical contains carotene, vitamin K, and quercetin. There’s some evidence that using stinging nettle after the first sign of allergic symptoms can help a bit. Be sure to choose extracts of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) leaf, not the root, which is used to treat prostate troubles. Despite its common use, however, there’s not much research backing up stinging nettle’s effectiveness as an allergy remedy.
• Bromelain. Some studies have found that bromelain is helpful in reducing nasal swelling and thinning mucus, making it easier for people to breathe. It may be particularly useful when added to drug treatment for sinus infections.
• Phleum pratense. A few studies have found that a sublingual tablet made from pollen extracts from Phleum Phleum pratense can reduce some pollen allergy symptoms, such as eye irritation, in people with asthma, as well as help decrease symptoms in people suffering from hay fever. It also allowed people to reduce the dose of their allergy medicine.
• Tinospora cordifolia. Based on one research study, there’s some indication that Tinospora cordifolia, an herbal tablet from India, can reduce allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and nasal discharge. Again, the evidence is only preliminary and its long-term safety is unclear. Though it appeared safe during the 8-week research study, more research needs to be done.
• Combination allergy supplements. A number of natural allergy remedies contain a blend of botanicals. Leopold singles out Sinupret, a combination of European elderflower, sorrel, cowslip, verbena, and gentian root. “It’s seems to be effective and well tolerated,” he tells WebMD, “especially for conditions like chronic sinusitis, which can result from allergies.” It’s been long used in Europe, and there’s some evidence that it helps treat the symptoms of bronchitis and acute sinusitis.

• Other allergy supplements. People use many other supplements to treat allergies, including echinacea, grape seed extract, pycnogenol (pine bark extract), vitamin C, EPA, honey, cat’s claw, albizzia (Albizzia lebbeck), baical skullcup (Scutellaria baicalensis),goldenseal, and spirulina. However, research hasn’t found good evidence that they help. “These supplements might have other benefits,” says Rakel. “But if you’re trying to treat allergies, go with something else.”
Be particularly wary of bitter orange (also called Citrus aurantium), which is sometimes sold as a decongestant. It has compounds similar to those in ephedra and, as a result, may have serious side effects. They include an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart problems, and stroke.

Herbs with Caution!!!
The dozen are aconite, bitter orange, chaparral, colloidal silver, coltsfoot, comfrey, country mallow, germanium, greater celandine, kava, lobelia, and yohimbe. The FDA has warned about at least eight of them, some as long ago as 1993.

Side Effects of some drugs
Common side effects of Zoloft Oral

Inability to have an Erection Severe
Sexual Problems Severe
Altered Interest in Having Sexual Intercourse Severe
Drowsiness Less Severe
Dizzy Less Severe
Chronic Trouble Sleeping Less Severe
Low Energy Less Severe
Excessive Sweating Less Severe
Involuntary Quivering Less Severe
Loss of Appetite Less Severe
Weight Loss Less Severe
Head Pain Less Severe
Feel Like Throwing Up Less Severe
Gas Less Severe
Diarrhea Less Severe
Stomach Cramps Less Severe
Feeling Weak Less Severe
Infrequent side effects of Zoloft Oral:
Feeling Restless Less Severe
Problems with Eyesight Less Severe
Indigestion Less Severe
Incomplete or Infrequent Bowel Movements Less Severe
Pain Less Severe
Temporary Redness of Face and Neck Less Severe
Increased Hunger Less Severe
Yawning Less Severe
Throwing Up Less Severe
Nervous Less Severe
Anxious Less Severe
Rare side effects of Zoloft Oral:
Extrapyramidal Reaction Severe
Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome Severe
Serotonin Syndrome – Adverse Drug Interaction Severe
Cataracts Severe
Sudden Blindness and Pain Upon Moving the Eye Severe
Pancreatitis Severe
Atrioventricular Heart Block Severe
Rapid Ventricular Heartbeat Severe
Slow Heartbeat Severe
Prolonged Q-T Interval on EKG Severe
Spasms of Blood Vessels that Supply the Brain Severe
Vasculitis Severe
Hemorrhage Severe
Liver Failure Severe
Hepatitis caused by Drugs Severe
Bleeding of the Stomach or Intestines Severe
Acute Kidney Disease Severe
Discharge of Milk in Men or Women when Not Breastfeeding Severe
Inflammation of Skin caused by an Allergy Severe
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Severe
Itching Severe
Hives Severe
Lupus-Like Syndrome Severe
Fever Severe
A Feeling of Restlessness with Inability to Sit Still Severe
Rash Severe
Nosebleed Severe
Heart Throbbing or Pounding Severe
High Blood Sugar Severe
Abnormal Liver Function Tests Severe
Life Threatening Allergic Reaction Severe
Giant Hives Severe
Reaction due to an Allergy Severe
Underactive Thyroid Severe
Diabetes Severe
Low Amount of Sodium in the Blood Severe
Decreased Blood Platelets Severe
Deficiency of Granulocytes a Type of White Blood Cell Severe
Behaving with Excessive Cheerfulness and Activity Severe
Mild Degree of Mania Severe
Having Thoughts of Suicide Severe
Hemorrhage of Blood Under the Skin Less Severe
Dry Mouth Less Severe
Breast Tenderness Less Severe
Sun-Sensitive Skin Less Severe


Some hair products with the following ingredients are food for your hair.

Vitamin B6 – normalizes sebum production
Ginseng Extract – provides essential energy
Green Tea Extract (Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract) – powerful free radical scavenger
Saw Palmetto Extract (Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract) – normalizes sebum production
Swertia Extract – promotes blood circulation
Tea Tree Leaf Oil – supports microbial balance and helps prevent flaking
Panthenol – strengthens hair against breakage
Superoxide Dismutase which contains essential skin minerals (Copper, Manganese, and Zinc) –
neutralizes free radicals
Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate – soothes scalp irritation
Zinc PCA – normalizes sebum production


With healthy bodies comes healthy skin:
Beauty tips: I use my DIY Vit C serum, lemon water wash, tea wash and lately, Juice Beauty products I get at Whole Foods Store.

Sleep, exercise, whole foods and be in a state of happiness always.

2 min to care for your face before a shower in the morning and same in the evening. A beautiful face is important, wear it well even when we age. Vit C, A, D and E are important for your skin.

Email Connie at motherhealth@gmail.com for discounts from Life Extension for all your supplements needs.
For liquid iron, vegetarian with Vit C (taken in the morning as iron cancels the absorption of calcium)

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