March 2007 Ageless herbal newsletter
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS) and Yuppie ‘flu'.
The 1st diagnosis of this disease was made in the late 1930’s, as an immunological neurological disorder and was termed “myalgic encephalomyelitis” (ME).
The World Health Organization (WHO) has accepted this disease as a disease of the central nervous system since 1969. In the early 1990’s the terms “post viral fatigue syndrome” (PVFS) and “chronic fatigue syndrome” (CFS) also started to be used to name the disease.
CFS is commonly misdiagnosed as depression, hypochondria, Lyme disease or Epstein Barr. An overall lack of information and general awareness has led to patients being stigmatized as lazy or hypochondriacs. The term “yuppie flu” that is sometimes used to describe the disease also gives a false idea that the disease found only amongst wealthy overachievers, who suffer a type of burnout, but CFS is found amongst all population groups, young and old. Various centers of disease control and prevention throughout the world now accept CFS as a serious illness and are doing much to promote public awareness.
One of the great difficulties in diagnosing the disease is that there is no diagnostic tool of any kind, and diagnosis is usually made by a process of exclusion. The disease is regarded as very controversial by the medical profession, as many doctors refuse to diagnose it, largely due to the belief that a disease, which has almost no biomedical markers, must be psychological in origin. Psychiatrists who are proponents of “cognitive behavioral therapy,” support this belief and claim that the disease can be cured by psychotherapy and exercise.
The symptoms of CFS are extreme fatigue and exhaustion, usually worsened by any activity, either mental or physical; Pain, including muscle pain, joint pain, lymph node pain, sore throat, stomach pain, chest pain, neuralgia and painful skin sensitivity. Sleep disturbance, problems with cognitive functions and confusion, anxiety, depression, hormonal imbalances, dizziness and poor temperature control are also common symptoms.
Some people seem to get better after a few months, but some show severe debilitating symptoms for their whole lives. Some patients found that the onset of the disease was immediate and severe, following a period of high stress or illness, and others reported a gradual decline in health over a few months. Full recovery seems to be rare and relapses are reported to be common.
There seems to be no one identifiable cause for CFS, although genetics and stress have been found to be integral factors in the development of CFS. Treatment may vary greatly from one patient to the next, depending on what symptoms are presented.
In 1989, a study was published in Australia, documenting the loss of immunological integrity in 100 CFS sufferers. It was found that 33% of the test subjects had a decreased immune response and that 55% had no immune response at all. This leads one to assume that treatment should include a diet of foods rich in anti-oxidants and supplementation with an immune booster, such as Ageless Herbal Tri-Mushroom blend.
Researchers have also found that replacing metal tooth fillings with ceramic fillings relieved symptoms in some patients. Allergies and allergic reactions are also speculated to be a root cause for the disease, as a constant allergy can negatively affect the immune system. Studies done on cats show that damage to the ascending reticular activating system in the brain (known to be associated with the sleep function) also produces symptoms very similar to those of CFS.
Depending on the symptoms presented, doctors treat CFS with tricyclic anti-depressants, antiviral drugs (valganciclovir is reported to have a high rate of success), immune enhancers and pain medication. Psychiatric therapy coupled with drugs and graded activity has been found to be effective, especially amongst children.
It seems as if a great amount of research still has to be done before we really understand this baffling and controversial disease, which is socially, mentally and physically debilitating.
(Vaccinium Oxycoccos or V. Macrocarpon)
Small Cranberries, most commonly served as a sauce with turkey on the American Thanksgiving holiday, are one of the 3 fruits that are native to North America – the other two are blueberries and Concord grapes.
Naturally, this tart and tasty berry was a staple in the diets of the American Indians, who introduced the use of the berry to the Pilgrims when they landed at Plymouth Rock.
The Indians mashed Cranberries and mixed the mush with cornmeal to make bread, ate them raw or dried and made a survival ration called “pemmican”, a mixture of game and cranberries, to take with them when they went to hunt.
A cranberry poultice was applied to wounds to draw out poison, and the juice was also used to dye their rugs and blankets a lovely shade of red.
European sailors eventually started taking barrels of Cranberries to sea with them, as a source of vitamin C, to prevent scurvy.
The small Cranberry is classified as V. Oxycoccus and the large as V. macrocarpon. The large Cranberry is native to most parts of the Northern Hemisphere and the small Cranberry is native to North America.
Cranberry is an evergreen shrub, with dark green leaves that turn bronze in winter, with pink flowers followed by round red fruits.
The word Cranberry stems from the older word, Craneberry, which refers to the resemblance the plants tiny stem and pink blossoms have to the back, neck and beak of cranes.
Cranberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and anti-oxidants, containing anthocyanins. The berries are considered excellent for the treatment of urinary infections as well as kidney disorders.
It was originally thought that the acidic nature of the herb prevented the growth of bacteria in the bladder, but it has now been proven that cranberries contain a compound that prevents the adhesion of E. coli bacteria to the bladder wall lining. Since the E. coli cannot adhere to the lining, the bacteria are excreted. The herb is therefore an excellent remedy for treating bladder and urinary tract infections. It is also of use in cases of incontinence and cystitis.
For more information on cranberries please visit www.Ageless.co.za/herb-cranberry.htm
To look at our Ageless Herbal Urinary Health Capsules please visit www.Ageless.co.za/hz12.htm
Roman Chamomile essential oil is produced from the Anthemis Nobilis plant and German Chamomile from the Matricaria Chamomilla plant.
The Roman and German Chamomile both oil have excellent calming properties, but Roman Chamomile is more effective for irritation and impatience and is useful to calm you when you feel disagreeable.
It is also great to use in treating PMS and other menopausal problems, as well as being indicated for use for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Ancient Egyptians dedicated Chamomile to the sun – to cure fevers, and to the moon – for its cooling and calming qualities. It was already recognized for its ability to calm nervous complaints and was used in shampoos, to bring out the natural golden color of hair, in cosmetics and perfumes.
German Chamomile oil contains Azulene, a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, that is only present in the essential oil – only a small quantity is needed for it to be effective.
Both Chamomile oils are extracted from the flowers by steam distillation, with the Roman yielding 1.7% from fresh flowers and German Chamomile yielding about 0.2 – 04%.
Roman Chamomile oil is used for irritable, impatient, colicky and teething children. Women find it great for relieving PMS and sufferers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or M.E. find it of benefit when used in a vaporizer or burner – to help them relax and sleep restfully.
German chamomile oil also has a calming effect on the mind and the body. It is a miracle worker on the skin, relieving red, dry and irritated skin, calming allergies, eczema, psoriasis and all other flaky skin problems. It is high in (-a) Bisabolol, which promotes granulation (healing) and regenerates tissue.
Both Roman and German Chamomile have calming and relaxing properties, especially on the nervous and digestive systems, easing the sleep patterns of sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, regulating and easing the menstrual cycle. They have soothing and healing influences on the skin, as well as being a potent remedy for inflammatory conditions.
Both oils can be used in a burner, vaporizer, blended massage oil or cream and can be added to a bath.
For the correct dilution rates and for more information on Chamomile oil, please visit: www.essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/camomile.htm