New study questions Gingko biloba’s safety, Chinese herbalist touts its benefits

Gingko Src: Herbalisl.com

On Thursday, The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) advised consumers to avoid Ginkgo biloba, based on a new government study that showed evidence of the extract causing liver cancer in mice and thyroid cancer in rats. On its Chemical Cuisine guide to food additives, CSPI downgraded ginkgo from “safe” to “avoid.” While extracts from the leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree are legally … [Read more...]

Connecticut One of 26 States Set to Tackle Toxic Chemicals in 2013

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According to Safer States, Connecticut is one of 26 states across the country to consider policies addressing concerns over toxic chemicals in 2013. These states will be tackling concerns such as bans on toxic flame retardants and identifying harmful chemicals in consumer products. According to a Jan. 24 statement, an analysis done by Safer States, a national coalition of state-based … [Read more...]

What You Don’t Know About Your Meds Can Hurt Ya

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On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its latest Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) watch list, which comes out every quarter and identifies potential signs of serious risks or new safety information on drugs. Sixteen drugs turned up in the AERS database during the last three months of 2011, including milnacipran, or Savella, which is a drug used for managing … [Read more...]

Sometimes You Can’t Control The Direction, But You Can Keep on Moving

StompOutDystonia

In January of 2010, I met dystonia head-on for the first time. I was going to teach at a primary school, and I remember feeling a little out of sorts when I left the house the morning—sort of as if I had a migraine aura, but amplified. As I walking into the building, I remember a parent calling out to me, “Are you okay?” Her voice was less concerned and more accusatory. I think I waved her off … [Read more...]

The Fragile Promise of Remission

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by Renée Canada Yesterday was such a gorgeous day. The air was no longer swampy and wet, the sun not scorching and unbearable to be in its path. I opened the bedroom window and deeply breathed in that fresh air, enjoying every breath. Part of the joy I was feeling on Wednesday was that it marked four days since I had last experienced a crippling involuntary muscle movement. I was afraid to write … [Read more...]

Looking Ahead For the Bright Side of Health

Me&Alexei

by Renée Canada Tonight, while brushing my teeth, I slammed down on my derriere for the umpteenth time in the last year. My head fell back until I was laying flat on my back, eyes closing as I temporarily lost consciousness. When I came to, I crawled back to my room. Each movement hurt, as I swayed unsteadily, my knees, back and ribs aching from previous falls and my consciousness once again … [Read more...]

The Cushion at the Bottom of the Stairs

Falling Down the Stairs to Save Time - Sam Brown

by Renée Canada Yesterday was the toughest day I've had in quite a while. I suppose I couldn't expect that recent reprieve to be anything more than temporary. One could hope with all that they have, and even begin to believe. I know I did. In addition to the itching and burning of the conjunctivitis (pink eye) in both eyes that refuses to go away, the discomfort of the styes and other … [Read more...]

The Ups With the Downs

Lunch

by Renée Canada My eyes have been burning for most of the day, so this will be brief. Start with the not so happy news: one sty has turned to three, my eyes are itching and burning, have a very rare cold sore, rash on face and deceptive sore throat still here more than a week later has me admitting I’m stuck in an autoimmune flare. Good news, the rest of my body has been behaving pretty well … [Read more...]

A New Path Toward Healing

This doesn't even include supplements

by Renée Canada Last week, I finally took the big step of firing my rheumatologist. I decided to stop the chemo that I've been on for four months with no significant improvement on my dystonia or the autoimmune diseases we thought were causing it. There had to be a better alternative. After our recent appointment, I told my neurologist that I wanted to try treat my disease naturally.  After … [Read more...]

At a Loss For Words

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by Renée Canada Steven King, one of the modern American masters of storytelling is quoted as saying, “If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time—or the tools—to write. Simple as that.” There is a breed of writers who believe that one should simply focus on jumping immediately to the page and churning through the act and practice of writing. “It's hard for me to believe that people … [Read more...]