Heartburn or GERD can Kill

Heartburn is a common annoyance. The busy lifestyle, quick meals, fatty or spicy foods all contribute to the occasional need of a chewable pain reliever. The acceptance of heartburn as an inconvenient, but natural, part of the daily grind can blind you to the warning that a severe heartburn symptom can bring.

Heartburn as a Disorder

Heartburn can be a symptom as well as a disorder. Simple heartburn or GERD can be controlled and dealt with. However, heartburn can signal the presence of a much more serious problem. If it’s heartburn, you will have a burning sensation in the chest usually after eating. There may be a spread of the burning to the throat, sometimes accompanied by a bad taste, difficulty in swallowing, belching, coughing, hoarseness and/or wheezing.

It can become worse by lying down or bending over or by eating. Relief can come from an antacid. While the more severe heartburn symptoms may be mistaken for a heart attack, simple heartburn is usually not made worse by exercise. If there is any concern that the pain may signal a heart attack, get help quickly.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cordyceps sinensis - Medicinal Mushroom for Stamina and Strength

By Dr. Markho Rafael

From high elevations of the Tibetan plateau comes a minute fungus known as Cordyceps sinensis. It parasitizes on caterpillars and sprouts out of their dead carcasses. [1] With 95% of the world's mushroom species still undiscovered, it's a small wonder that a tiny fungus from a remote and sparsely populated area is not only described but revered the world over as one of the most highly prized medicinal mushrooms on the planet.

The extreme unlikeliness of this remote, rare, and insignificant fungus's claim to fame speaks volumes in and of itself as to its value and potency.

Cordyceps sinensis has been used in China for two millennia to increase strength, stamina and vitality, and more specifically as an aphrodisiac. The earliest record is from 200 AD in the form of a Chinese book titled The Classic Herbal of the Divine Plowman. Modern science appears to confirm what Traditional Chinese Medicine tells us about this mushroom.

Later research in China and Japan has indicated that Cordyceps possesses important anti-tumor and immune stimulating properties. [4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]

In particular, a number of studies indicate its potential usefulness in cases of leukemia. [13, 14, 15, 16] In 2002, the U.S. National Institute of Health began Phase I screening of cordycepin in the treatment of leukemia. Cordycepin is an active compound from Cordyceps sinensis.

Affirming the traditional Chinese use of Cordyceps as an aphrodisiac, a modern trial found a 64% improvement in men with erectile dysfunction. [17] A possible explanation for this effect may be that Cordyceps helps dilate blood vessels, as demonstrated by two other studies. [18, 19]

Some more areas of potential interest for Cordyceps extract include reducing cholesterol, [20] supporting liver function (post-hepatitic cirrhosis), [22] and kidney health. [21]

However, Cordyceps' popularity is primarily based on its effect on physical empowerment by helping to increase stamina and endurance. [23, 24, 25] Part of the explanation to this may be, as mentioned earlier, that it has an effect on improving blood-flow by dilating blood vessels. Another reason may be the similar effect it has on also helping to dilate respiratory passageways, which was demonstrated by two studies on bronchitis and asthma. [3, 26]

In 1993, Cordyceps made headlines when nine Chinese athletes gave it credit for the world records they set at that year's Chinese National Games. [27, 28]

Additionally, Cordyceps extract is rich in anti-oxidants, [29] polysaccharides, and many more recently discovered potentially therapeutic compounds, [8, 30, 31] plus undoubtedly a host of others yet to be discovered.

Finally, a few additional areas where modern research on Cordyceps has shown some promising results, as listed by Paul Stamets in his book Mycelium Running, include: Lymphoma; lung cancer; viruses; bacteria; nerves (stress); blood pressure. [134]

Note: The statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Never use any herb (or mushroom) except as advised by a licensed medical practitioner.

Credit: Thank you to Paul Stamets for source material.

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