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Dear Dr. Eva:
I've developed arthritis in my lower spine, probably as a combined result of too much heavy lifting most of my life, as well as stress and the irritation from it (such as raised cortisol levels) and maybe even overly acidic. I've taken glucosamine, and I take Ambrotose, and about 2 months ago, I heard a story about a woman who took apple pectin (1tsp/day) along with grape juice and within one year had no arthritis. She was 65. She's now 85 and still no arthritis (She still took the pectin/grape juice all those years since 65). What other foods or supplements can I take to facilitate the healing process?

Thank you for your question. It is very timely since the baby-boomer generation is reaching the age where the inevitable wear and tear of life may start to take its toll.
Two things about glucosamine: It is probably one of the most safe and effective anti-arthritis supplements, but you need to be sure you are taking glucosamine sulfate. There are other forms on the market, glucosamine hydrochloride, and N-acetyl-glucosamine, and they are not the same. Be sure to read the products labels when you are buying. The sulfate form is preferred, and all of the over 300 scientific investigations that were done used this form.
The dosage in these studies was 500mg. three times a day. Significant improvement of pain and joint stiffness occurred in 4 weeks. But if you do not want to take pills three times a day, taking the whole 1500mg. at one time. The longer it is taken, the more cumulative and long-lasting the results.
The pectin cure sounds very interesting and I'm not sure if the grape juice plays a very significant role other than a tasty way to get the pectin into the system. Grape juice does contain flavonoids, antioxidants, resveretrol and anthocyanadins (substances associated with the pigments in plants), so it may be of benefit.
Pectin does have a role in helping to restore function, elasticity and pain-free movement to joints and other connective tissues (tendons, ligaments, and even arteries). This process begins after 1 to 3 weeks of consistent pectin consumption. Once pectin begins working, it works 24 hours per day as long as a daily intake of pectin is maintained (2 grams minimum).
High acidity has been associated with gout and other painful conditions. Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium, are minerals that push the body's pH to the more basic, or alkaline. So foods high in these minerals are recommended such as dark, leafy greens, nuts, fruits and vegetables like celery.
There are many other herbs, vitamins and minerals that can be of benefit in beating arthritis, but one that deserves mentioning is the herb, turmeric. It is a potent anti-inflammatory, it not only reduces inflammation of the joints, but it reduces general inflammation throughout the body. Since we now know that inflammation plays a role in almost every disease process, turmeric could be very useful in many health conditions, not just arthritis.

Republished from The Well Being Journal, July/August 2006

Dear Dr. Eva:
What are natural antibiotics I can use prior to and after dentistry and for any other reason? And, related, what are the probiotics I could take to restore beneficial flora if I have to take a drug antibiotic.

Some natural foods/nutrients/supplements that can be considered anti-microbial and immunity-enhancing are:
Garlic; medicinal mushrooms (shitake, maitake, reishi); berberine-containing herbs like goldenseal, Oregon grape root, and barberry; echinacea; essential fatty acids; vitamin A, 25,000 I.U. daily, B-6, 25 to 50 mg. daily, C, 3,000 to 6,000 mg. daily, E, 400 I.U. daily; folic acid, 400 mcg. daily; the minerals zinc, 15-50 mg. daily; and selenium, 400 mcg. daily.
Colloidal silver has some antibiotic activity. It is also wise to eat whole foods, minimize sweets, and drink plenty of water.
Depending upon what kind of dental procedure you are to have done, you may want to explore taking the following items:
For mercury fillings removal:
In addition to the suggestions above, for several days prior to and after the visit, , take chlorella, or any other green juice, like wheat grass, barley green, blue-green algae, spirulina, etc. These high-chlorophyll foods help chelate mercury out of the body, as does cilantro tincture, either internally or rubbed on the wrists.
Insist that the dentist use a rubber dam. (Some dentists don't use them for removal because the high-speed bur can tear the dam, and a new dam would have to be reapplied, taking up too much time.)
Be sure the high-powered suction is used. This can eliminate some of the gaseous mercury generated by the removal process.
There are many excellent tooth-colored non-mercury filling materials available to dentists today. Make your choice known to the dentist ahead of time, and if the dentist does not respect your choice to have no mercury in your mouth, find another dentist.
Root canals:
Although this procedure is controversial (Read the "Root Canal Cover-up" by George E. Meinig), dentistry wants to "save the tooth" at all costs. The pulp chamber of a tooth communicates with the body's main blood supply. If a root canal is necessary due to an abscessed tooth, conventional antibiotics are often prescribed because the infection can spread to the bone, and into the systemic circulation, a very dangerous state of affairs, with the potential of septic shock. Usually the antibiotics only need to be taken for a few days, and a probiotic supplement containing lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidus, and rhamnosus, with fructo-oligosaccharides in freeze dried form is best taken 12 hours from the doses of the antibiotics and afterwards for several d ays to insure re-establishment of the beneficial bacteria in the gastro-intestinal tract.
Other conditions:
Antibiotics are also often prescribed prior to dental procedures for people who have had heart valve replacements, or have known valve damage, and even for those who have had joint replacement surgeries. This is again, a precaution, in the event that a procedure like having teeth scaled could cause bacteria to enter the main bloodstream from the mouth. Many of the bacteria in the mouth are anaerobic, meaning they thrive in an oxygen-deprived environment, like the spaces between the teeth, in pockets surrounding the teeth, etc., so it is very important to practice good oral hygiene, brushing and flossing daily.

Republished from The Well Being Journal, September/October 2006

Dear Dr. Eva:
I am 17 years old and am worried I might have GERD. Spicy foods or foods with garlic or onions in particular upset my stomach so much I am embarrassed to go out for pizza with my friends. My stomach gets bloated, I start belching, and just feel so uncomfortable, I can hardly stand it. My dad has been diagnosed with GERD, and I was wondering 1) is it hereditary, and 2) is there something natural I can do instead of taking medication like my dad does?
MML, Seattle, WA

Dear MML,
GERD, or Gastro-Esophageal-Reflux-Disorder is a problem whereby stomach contents either put undue pressure on the stomach, producing considerable discomfort, or actually regurgitate back up into the esophagus after a meal. GERD seems to be becoming more common these days, but there are many natural steps you can take to prevent and treat GERD and related disorders.
Although there are hereditary conditions such as abnormal or absent gastrin production in the stomach, GERD could be more of a familial problem than a hereditary one, meaning a family who eats together, or more specifically a family who eats alike, tends to have similar problems. But each person is a unique individual with a unique makeup, and some people have a sensitivity, allergy or intolerance to spices such as garlic and onions. Sometimes the combination of spices with tomato sauce compounds the problem, because tomatoes are quite acidic (as in pizza). Once allergy is ruled out and/or treated, a person can do a lot to enhance proper digestion.
First, the drinking of ice-cold sweet soda pop with a meal should always be avoided, yet, that is what millions of Americans do at EVERY meal! Your saliva should be what is moistening your food, and in fact is very important for proper digestion.
Second, eating slowly and regularly is important. So if you do not eat all day long (like many teenagers) and then eat a spicy meal, "wolfing" it down because you're so "over-hungry," your digestive capabilities can become overwhelmed.
Third, many people mistakenly associate GERD with heartburn and excess acid, when it is exactly the reverse that is most probably occurring. Bloating, indigestion and belching, are more often associated with LACK of stomach acid, so what is happening in your stomach is that the soda and pizza are actually fermenting, causing your symptoms. The pH of the stomach is about 1.4. If there is not enough acid, the food will not break down properly. Antacids, or stronger acid blocking drugs just make the problem worse and can cause far-reaching complications by shutting down acid production altogether!
Aboca's Gas & Bloating Phytosolution, containing cooling, healing, carminative herbs such as fennel, anise, cumin, caraway, chamomile and peppermint, all designed to neutralize and move gas through the digestive tract, combined with pure vegetable charcoal to absorb any incomplete products of digestion, can be very effective in taming GERD and other digestive problems. And one of the most wonderful things about using herbs rather than drugs with all their side-effects, is that an herbal preparation like Gas & Bloating Phytosolution can actually correct a problem when used over time, and then can be used on an as needed- only basis. Try Gas & Bloating Phytosolution today, and see if your digestive problems don't resolve, and please pay attention to how and what you eat.

*Product statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Gas & Bloating Phytosolution is useful in balancing digestive function, thus reducing indigestion, bloating and intestinal gas, frequently accompanied by abdominal discomfort.*
Gas & Bloating Phytosolution capsules contain vegetable charcoal as well as herbs with carminative, eupeptic and soothing activity. Essential oils are also particularly useful because of their tonic properties and stimulation of gastric and biliary secretion. The pleasant-tasting tea has all the benefits of the herbs and essential oils without the charcoal.*

Dear Dr. Eva:
My doctor wants to put me on hormones for menopausal symptoms. I am not keen on that idea, but the hot flashes and heart palpitations are bothersome. Do you have something natural that can help me? And how long do these symptoms last?

Dear Anonymous,
Thank you for your timely question. With the boomer generation entering their 50's, there are a lot of women going through menopause right now. And although it is a natural event in a woman's life, the symptoms sometimes accompanying menopause do need to be addressed.
Synthetic hormones, like those in the birth control pill, or hormones such as Premarin, or horse estrogen-the name itself being an acronym (pre-gnant mare's ur-in-e)-should only be used as a last resort, or after hysterectomy, and then, only for a short duration. Many women have been taking estrogen for 10, 20, or more years, and have suffered from various forms of cancer, circulatory system diseases such as thrombophlebitis, thromboembolisms, etc. Recently, Wyeth, the manufacturer of Premarin and Prempro sent out warnings to health practitioners to prescribe these products for short-term use only and to monitor the patient's health during treatment.
It is too little, too late for many.
In fact, medicine has been errant in focusing on estrogen. Only recently has progesterone's importance been acknowledged, since it is the first of the hormones to become depleted as women approach menopause (anywhere from 40 to 55).
Aboca's Menopause Health Phytosolution, is an herbal formula designed to address all the symptoms of menopause. It contains freeze-dried extract of black cohosh, a phyto-estrogen, or a plant that mimics estrogen in the body, without any dangerous side effects. It also suppresses LH (lutenizing hormone) and is a potent pain reliever. It has historically been used for female reproductive complaints of all kinds.
Chaste tree herb is included to help balance and normalize hormonal levels, which can fluctuate tremendously during menopause. It tends to enhance progesterone levels.
Menopause Health Phytosolution also contains motherwort, hawthorne and sage extracts, all three of which can be helpful for "racing heart," palpitations and hot flashes - in particular, hot flashes accompanied by perspiration. Passionflower herb completes this formula and is a powerful relaxant and sedative, especially helpful for insomnia. Passionflower is said to have possible aphrodisiac properties and is effective in treating (and don't laugh) hysteria.
Menopausal symptoms can occur intermittently or consistently for anywhere from a year to ten years, so it makes sense to explore natural alternatives like
Menopause Health Phytosolution, which can only enhance your good health.


Two interesting questions came to us this last month and I would like to share them and our answers with you:

Can Aboca's Natural Laxative Phytosolution be used by children?

Since Natural Laxative Phytosolution is indicated for acute, stubborn constipation, and since it contains some purgative herbs, it is best to try some other means with children, such as prunes, or prune juice, or other high fiber fruits and vegetables. However, Natural Laxative Phytosolution is perfectly safe for occasional use by adults or children over 12 years of age.

Can taking a formula like Aboca's Sleep & Relax Phytosolution, which contains California poppy, cause a person to test positive for opiates on a urine test?

Because all members of the poppy family do contain variable amounts of opiates, the answer is yes it is possible, as well as eating poppy seed bagels, strudel, etc., depending on the sensitivity of the test, and how long before the test the poppy-containing items were ingested.

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