Dr Akilah El – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

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Category Archives: Heart Attacks

11 Surprising Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper, known scientifically as Capsicum frutescens, is a chili pepper that originated in French Guiana and gets its name from the territory’s capital city of Cayenne. For those who love spicy foods, cayenne, also available in powdered form, adds a fiery note to the dishes in which it’s used. Capsaicin, the plant-based compound that accounts for cayenne’s intense heat, also endows it with a surprising array of healing properties, many of which have been confirmed in research studies.

Here are 11 health benefits of cayenne pepper:

1: Fights Irritations

For ulcers, sore throats, diarrhea and coughs, cayenne pepper is a sure remedy. It offers relief from any of the mentioned irritations.

2: Cure for Cold and Flu

Cayenne pepper helps in getting rid of congested mucus in the nasal cavity, hence offering relief from flu and cold.

3: Fungal Remedy

For cases of attack from fungal pathogens such as phomopsis and collectotrichum, cayenne pepper has been found to effectively prevent their formation.

4: Prevents Migraine

Cayenne pepper is capable of triggering a response in a different part of the body hence reversing brain’s focus to the ‘new pain’ region. As a result of this ‘false alarm’, nerve fibers loses the substance P which is responsible for pain and the anticipated pain is lowered to a great deal.

5: Assists in Digestion

By stimulating the digestive tract, cayenne pepper helps in improving enzyme production as well as gastric juices. As a result, the body is able to break down food as well as toxins. If you suffer from intestinal gas by promoting intestinal peristaltic motion necessary for both assimilation and secretion of waste products of digestion., aiding in both assimilation and elimination.

6: Assist in Blood Clotting

Cayenne pepper aids in lowering atherosclerosis by encouraging fibrinolytic action and warding off factors that cause blood clotting. Consequently, risks of heart attack or stroke are minimized.

7: Detoxifier

Cayenne pepper is a stimulant in a class of its own. It speeds up lymphatic processes as well as the rhythmic reaction in the digestive system. As we know, the heating up process in the body leads to detoxification. Moreso, cayenne pepper stimulates sweating hence loss of body waste through the skin is initiated.

8: Relieves Joint-Pain

Cayenne is rich in a compound known as capsaicin. This substance triggers a certain pain momentarily on the skin. A chemical message is triggered into the joint from the skin, resulting in relief from pain.

9: Fights Cancer

It has been found through studies that cayenne pepper fights certain types of cancers such as lung cancer in smokers due to their capsaicin content. The study elucidated that capsaicin halts tumors which form as a result of tobacco smoking, in the lungs.

10 : Weight Loss

Cayenne pepper has been linked to weigh loss due to its ability to improve metabolism which means burning excess fats to release energy. Cayenne eaters have been observed to eat less due to loss of appetite especially if they took it as breakfast.

11: Prevents Hypertension

Cayenne pepper helps to restore blood pressure levels normal. In the same mechanism it uses to fight artherosclerosis, it unblocks arteries hence improving blood flow. This way, the blood pressure is kept on check. Pepper reduces the risk of arthrosclerosis; it simultaneously lowers the risk of hypertension.

 

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How To Relieve Constipation Naturally

What is Constipation?

Constipation is one of the most common digestive complaints in the United States. The normal frequency of bowel movements varies widely from person to person, from once or more a day to three times a week. In general, however, you are likely constipated if you pass a hard, dry stool less than three times a week.

Constipation can also make you feel bloated and uncomfortable and you may find yourself straining during bowel movements.

Although constipation can affect anyone, it’s more common in women and in people over age 65.  It also tends to occur during pregnancy, after childbirth or surgery, with certain medications such as opioid pain relievers, and with some conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

Natural Remedies for Constipation

1) Fiber

A diet low in fiber may play a role in constipation. Insoluble fiber, which passes through the body almost unchanged, gives stools bulk and a soft texture, making them easier to pass.

Foods that are high in insoluble fiber include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Try wheat bran, brown rice, or whole grain bread.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the intestines. Prunes and figs can be added to breakfast or eaten as a snack.

Another option is to sprinkle one teaspoon of ground flaxseeds over any meal. They can be found in packages at the health food store or some grocery stores. They have a mild, nutty taste.

Fiber supplements are also available, the most popular being psyllium husk supplements such as Metamucil.

Add fiber to your diet gradually to avoid bloating and gas. Also, be sure to drink enough water otherwise fiber can have the opposite effect and be constipating.

2) Fluids

Making sure you drink enough fluids such as water may help some people with constipation. Fluids make bowel movements softer and easier to pass.

Watch your consumption of alcoholic beverages and caffeinated beverages such as coffee and cola drinks, which can be dehydrating.

3) Stimulant Laxatives

Many herbal laxatives and “dieter’s teas” are called stimulant laxatives, or anthranoid laxatives. They include herbs such as:

  • Cascara sagrada
  • Rhubarb
  • Aloe
  • Senna
  • Buckthorn

Some of these herbs, such as senna, are approved as over-the-counter treatments for constipation. Although they are meant to be short-term treatments, in reality, people can become dependent on them and use them for weeks, months, or even years at a time in order to have a daily bowel movement.

They should not be used for longer than a week unless under medical supervision. Prolonged use may cause the bowels to lose the ability to move on their own, and has been linked to chronic diarrhea, potassium depletion leading to muscle weakness and potentially dangerous irregular heart rhythms, and kidney or liver impairment.

4) Probiotics

Probiotics, such as lactobacillus acidophilus, are live microbial organisms that are naturally present in the digestive tract. Some of the ways they are thought to promote health include suppressing the growth of potentially harmful bacteria, improving immune function, enhancing the protective barrier of the digestive tract, and helping to produce vitamin K.

There is some preliminary evidence that probiotic supplements may improve constipation. For example, one study looked at the effect of a probiotic beverage containing a strain of beneficial bacteria called Lactobacillus casei Shirota (65 milliliters a day) or a placebo in people with chronic constipation. The probiotic drink resulted in significant improvement in severity of constipation and stool consistency.

Another study examined the effectiveness of another strain of probiotics on constipation in children and found no effect. Eighty four children between two and 16 years of age with constipation took lactulose (a laxative) plus a probiotic supplement containing lactobacillus GG or lactulose alone. After 12 and 24 weeks, lactobacillus was not more effective than lactulose alone at treating constipation.

5) Acupressure

Acupressure is a traditional healing practice that involves the application of finger pressure to specific acupuncture points on the body.

A point that is often recommended by acupuncturists for constipation is Large Intestine 4. Although it hasn’t been studied for constipation, it is a simple home remedy that may work for some people. The point is at the highest spot of the muscle between the thumb and index finger when they are brought close together. Caution: do not use this point if you are pregnant.

With your thumb or middle finger at a 90 degree angle to the skin, apply gradually increasing pressure. Hold for three minutes. The pressure should not be painful or uncomfortable.

6) Magnesium

A deficiency of the mineral magnesium may contribute to constipation. Magnesium is found naturally in foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains and in supplements.

Magnesium is needed for normal muscle function, including intestinal muscles. One recent study examined the intake of magnesium with constipation in 3835 women. Low magnesium intake was associated with constipation.

Other Tips

  • Engage in regular physical activity. Not getting enough physical activity can lead to constipation.
  • Don’t put off the urge. The longer you delay when the urge to have a bowel movement strikes, the more water gets absorbed from stool and the harder it becomes to have a bowel movement.

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and board-certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

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Couch Potatoes Have Higher Risk of Having A Heart Attack After Sex

Sex and exercise can trigger heart attacks in older people who don’t get much of either, a new analysis finds. The risk is low, but it’s a good reminder that slackers should change their exercise habits gradually, especially in middle age.

People who exercise regularly have a much smaller risk of having a heart attack immediately after sexual or physical activity, said lead author Dr. Issa Dahabreh of Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

“It would be really bad if someone thought our paper means people should not exercise,” Dahabreh said. “If anything, it’s the opposite.”

The analysis, appearing in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association, combined results from 14 studies involving more than 6,000 patients.

The studies involved only people who’d had heart attacks or had died suddenly from a heart problem. The studies looked at what the people were doing during the hour or two before their heart attacks and compared that to the same people’s activity on normal days with no major heart problems.

That study design is used to try to answer the question, “Why did the heart attack occur now?”

Physical activity and sex increased the risk of heart attack by a factor of about three, according to the analysis of the pooled results. Exercise increased the risk of sudden cardiac death by nearly five times. The researchers didn’t find a triggering relationship between sex and sudden cardiac death, that is, a sudden death from a heart problem.

The risk for any one person is extremely low.

“If you were to follow 10,000 people for a year and if they all decided to increase their physical activity by an hour a week, you could expect to see two to three more heart attacks,” Dahabreh said.

That risk is offset for most people by the benefits of exercise. The more frequently people exercise, in general, the less risk they have of exercise or sex triggering a heart attack.

Most of the patients in the studies were in their late 50s and early 60s, but the findings are a cautionary tale for people in any age group who are slowing down.

Exercise might even be considered cross-training for sex, said Mercedes Carnethon, a heart disease researcher at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, who wasn’t involved in the research.

“Engaging in regular physical activity is a requirement for maintaining a long, safe, healthy sex life,” Carnethon said.

“If this isn’t more motivation for people to maintain some degree of physical activity, I’m not sure what is,” Carnethon said. “Get out and walk. Do something.”

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