Articles and Q&A's



October 2013

Echinacea Immunity Boost

Old Man Winter is just around the corner and people are gearing up for flu and cold prevention. Despite the advent of many other herbal immune stimulants, Echinacea is still the king of all herbs for flu and cold. Canadians spend over 20 million a year on this immune stimulator. Taken at an early stage of a cold or flu, most people find it very effective in shortening the illness and lessening symptoms. Taken intermittently during health, it seems to help cut down the incidence of getting sick. Combinations with Golden Seal, Vitamin C, Zinc, Thymus extract, Baptisia, Thuya and other herbs seem to work even better. Recently the use of Echinacea has been broadened to include repeated chest and skin infections, as well as in sports medicine to prevent exertion-induced immuno-suppression. A special preparation of Echinacea Angustifolia called Anz Ease® has been found to be very effective for relieving stress especially panic attacks.
Echinacea Image © Amdiederich | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images
October 2013

Avoid the Flu: Update Your Mug-Shots

Undoubtedly, a flu shot is the most effective way to prevent yourself from getting the flu this season. Yet, there are many misconceptions out there that keep some people away from getting their annual flu shots. Select BC Pharmacists, such as ourselves (Fred and Christine), have been trained to provide injection services as of 2009; we can give you shots ranging from the flu, shingles, pneumonia, hepatitis, MMR (measles/mumps/rubella), etc. What exactly are you getting with a “flu shot”? Is it safe? Is it for me? Read on for the necessary info to make a responsible, informed decision about the flu vaccine, as well as the next most viable alternatives.
Sick Woman Image courtesy of Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
September 2013

When you gotta go, you gotta go!

Don’t you find it annoying to be woken up from a wonderful dream by the urge to…pee? Having a poor night’s sleep can literally ruin your day, not to mention sleep deprivation could have severe consequences, be it stress, irritability, cognitive impairment, memory lapses, compromised immunity, or a strain on personal relationships. NOCTURIA refers to the need to wake up and void at least once a night. This affects many of us, no matter our sex or race, but as we age, we become more prone to this bothersome trend. POLYURIA (frequent urination) and nocturia can be related to various medical conditions which must be investigated by your physician (eg. overactive bladder, benign prostate enlargement, renal failure, diabetes mellitus, heart failure, peripheral edema, liver diseases, sleep disorders, etc.). As part of our series on sleep, we will look at a few supplements that could help you combat nocturia.
September 2013

Red Reishi, the "Heavenly Herb"

There are two categories of mushrooms, namely culinary mushrooms used for food and medicinal mushrooms used for promoting health. Medicinal mushrooms include Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa), Shitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes), Cloud mushroom (Coriolus versicolor), Cordycept (Cordyceps sinensis), and Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum). These mushrooms contain polysaccharides, beta-glucans, triterpenes, ganoderic acid, amino acids, and other phytonutrients that have many effects such as antioxidant, antitumor, immune-modulation, cardiovascular, antiviral, and antibacterial effects. Some of these have been used in the Orient for 4000 years. Among the medicinal mushrooms, Reishi mushroom is regarded by the Chinese and the Japanese as the king of herbs. In fact the Chinese call it “Ling Zhi” which translates to “Miraculous herb from Heaven”.
August 2013

Alternatives to Botox

Botox Cosmetic™ is the trade name for medicinal Botulinum toxin type A. Botulinum is the name of a bacterium. This micro-organism produces a toxin that paralyses muscles. When used cosmetically, the toxin is injected into the skin where it paralyses the cutaneous muscle fibers thereby relaxing the skin so fine lines and wrinkles are attenuated. Restylane® and Perlane® are hylauronic acid gels injected into the skin. Hyaluronic acid works by attracting and retaining water thereby making the skin fuller, firmer and tighter. Botox™ and Restylane® injections are definitely quick fixes for established wrinkles. However they can be painful, costly, have to be done by a plastic surgeon, have potential allergic and infective complications, and last only a few months. Repeated use may also lead to a rigid and unnatural look.
August 2013

HCG

Q: I used to buy HCG on line for my weight control but apparently this has been removed from the Canadian market. Is there a close substitute for HCG? A: HCG has been publicized by TV and radio talk shows as a weight reduction miracle. Cloverdale Pharmasave compounds a homeopathic mixture called Metabolic Syndrome Mix that works the same way if not better than HCG. It has homeopathic ingredients that activate and balance hormones in the same way as HCG.
August 2013

Homeopathic Travel Kit

This continuous sunny weather is inviting many travellers to pack up and leave home. On your way, health accidents may happen and it would be nice if you have something on you that can help you out. Let’s talk about some of the possible medical problems that you may encounter. Read through the following paragraphs and mark down the remedies that you would like to bring along. Go to a natural pharmacy and get the staff to help you assemble your personal First Aid Travel Kit. I never leave home without mine.
July 2013

The Woman's Word by Lorna Vanderhaeghe

The Woman's Word by Lorna Vanderhaeghe - Issue 7
July 2013

Make Friends: Stop Snoring!

Laugh and the world laughs with you; snore and you sleep alone. Snoring typically increases as we age due to changes in anatomy and medication use. It affects up to 25% of us, and if you include sufferers of “secondary snoring”, then the numbers rise dramatically. But snoring is harmless, right? Well, yes and no. Physically, even if you can endure the pillows and elbows tossed at you by your spouse or trip companions, snoring can be a sign of things such as a sinus infection, nasal congestion, deviated septum, or obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the temporary blockage of airflow during sleep for 10 seconds or more, resulting in less oxygen getting to the blood, thus causing the heart to pump harder, increasing blood pressure, and ultimately increasing the risk of congestive heart failure and stroke. Snorers may also not reach the deeper sleep stages, which are required for an appropriate night’s rest. This can be dangerous in that it renders the person less alert for their daily activities (eg. driving, crossing street, going up and down stairs).
July 2013

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

If you have frequent abdominal cramps, a lot of gas, on and off diarrhea at times alternating with constipation, feeling stressed out but experience no marked weight loss or profound tiredness, you may have IBS. IBS should not be mistakened as IBD. IBS is Irritable Bowel Syndrome while IBD is Inflammatory Bowel Disease referring to Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. As the name “syndrome” implies, IBS is not a disease entity. It is a group of symptoms and signs caused by oversensitivity of the intestinal mucosa leading to irregular contraction. In a normal subject, bowel contents are being driven along by coordinated serial contractions called peristaltic waves. In IBS, the overly responsive mucosa causes massive contraction of bowel segments giving rise to stomachache and cramps. Excessive large bowel contractions cause diarrhea. Interestingly constipation can also be a symptom of IBS. When the bowel contraction and relaxation pattern is lost bowel content can no longer be effective driven along, resulting in constipation. An abnormal bowel environment creates excessive gas. IBS happens more often in anxious personalities and is definitely related to stress. Food allergies have been implicated in many cases. Because IBS is a functional abnormality, IBS seldom causes bleeding, weight loss and malaise. If there is blood or significant constitutional symptoms then there may be structural damages to the bowel, in which case you may be IBD (Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease). IBS is a nuisance whereas IBD is a life threatening condition.
July 2013

DHA for Memory & Children

Q: How does DHA help improve my memory and how does it help children in their cognitive development? A: The omega-3 fatty acid, Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) is a major component of our brain and nervous tissues. Adequate intake is essential to maintain brain function and development. As well DHA will benefit neuropathies. It is found mainly in cold ocean fish oils. Ordinary fish oil preparations unfortunately contain more EPA than DHA.
June 2013

Tasty Omega-3s!

Q: I want to get my family started on an Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplement, but I'm concerned that my kids won't like the taste. Are there any good-tasting fish oil supplements out there?