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Monday, 07 October 2019 14:14

What Is Holistic Medicine?

Holistic medicine is a form of healing that considers the whole person -- body, mind, spirit, and emotions -- in the quest for optimal health and wellness. According to the holistic medicine philosophy, one can achieve optimal health -- the primary goal of holistic medicine practice -- by gaining proper balance in life.

Holistic medicine practitioners believe that the whole person is made up of interdependent parts and if one part is not working properly, all the other parts will be affected. In this way, if people have imbalances (physical, emotional, or spiritual) in their lives, it can negatively affect their overall health.

A holistic doctor may use all forms of health care, from conventional medication to alternative therapies, to treat a patient. For example, when a person suffering from migraine headaches pays a visit to a holistic doctor, instead of walking out solely with medications, the doctor will likely take a look at all the potential factors that may be causing the person's headaches, such as other health problems, diet and sleep habits, stress and personal problems, and preferred spiritual practices. The treatment plan may involve drugs to relieve symptoms, but also lifestyle modifications to help prevent the headaches from recurring.

Principles of Holistic Medicine

Holistic medicine is also based on the belief that unconditional love and support is the most powerful healer and a person is ultimately responsible for his or her own health and well-being. Other principles of holistic medicine include the following:

  • All people have innate healing powers.
  • The patient is a person, not a disease.
  • Healing takes a team approach involving the patient and doctor, and addresses all aspects of a person's life using a variety of health care practices.
  • Treatment involves fixing the cause of the condition, not just alleviating the symptoms.

Holistic Medicine: Types of Treatments

Holistic practitioners use a variety of treatment techniques to help their patients take responsibility for their own well-being and achieve optimal health. Depending on the practitioner's training, these may include:

  • Patient education on lifestyle changes and self-care to promote wellness. This may include diet, exercisepsychotherapy, relationship and spiritual counseling, and more
  • Complementary and alternative therapies such as acupuncturechiropractic care, homeopathy, massage therapy, naturopathy, and others
  • Western medications and surgical procedures

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Monday, 30 September 2019 21:11

Professional Hijama (Cupping therapy)

Hijama (Cupping Therapy) in an professional environment using the correct tools by experienced practitioners

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During a cupping treatment, a cup is placed on the skin and then heated or suctioned onto the skin. The cup is often heated with fire using alcohol, herbs, or paper that’s placed directly into the cup. The fire source is removed, and the heated cup is placed with the open side directly on your skin.

Some modern cupping practitioners have shifted to using rubber pumps to create suction versus more traditional heat methods.

When the hot cup is placed on your skin, the air inside the cup cools and creates a vacuum that draws the skin and muscle upward into the cup. Your skin may turn red as the blood vessels respond to the change in pressure.

With dry cupping, the cup is set in place for a set time, usually between 5 and 10 minutes. With wet cupping, cups are usually only in place for a few minutes before the practitioner removes the cup and makes a small incision to draw blood.

After the cups are removed, the practitioner may cover the previously cupped areas with ointment and bandages. This helps prevent infection. Any mild bruising or other marks usually go away within 10 days of the session.

Cupping is sometimes performed along with acupuncture treatments. For best results, you may also want to fast or eat only light meals for two to three hours before your cupping session.

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Monday, 02 September 2019 14:01

What Is Cupping Therapy?

 What is cupping?

Cupping is a type of alternative therapy that originated in China. It involves placing cups on the skin to create suction. The suction may facilitate healing with blood flow.

Proponents also claim the suction helps facilitate the flow of “qi” in the body. Qi is a Chinese word meaning life force. A famous Taoist alchemist and herbalist, Ge Hong, reportedly first practiced cupping. He lived from A.D. 281 to 341.

Many Taoists believe that cupping helps balance yin and yang, or the negative and positive, within the body. Restoring balance between these two extremes is thought to help with the body’s resistance to pathogens as well as its ability to increase blood flow and reduce pain.

Cupping increases blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed. This may relieve muscle tension, which can improve overall blood flow and promote cell repair. It may also help form new connective tissues and create new blood vessels in the tissue.

People use cupping to complement their care for a host of issues and conditions.


Cupping was originally performed using animal horns. Later, the “cups” were made from bamboo and then ceramic. The suction was primarily created through the use of heat. The cups were originally heated with fire and then applied to the skin. As they cooled, the cups drew the skin inside.

Modern cupping is often performed using glass cups that are rounded like balls and open on one end.

There are two main categories of cupping performed today:

  • Dry cupping is a suction-only method.
  • Wet cupping may involve both suction and controlled medicinal bleeding.

Your practitioner, your medical condition, and your preferences will help determine what method is used.


During a cupping treatment, a cup is placed on the skin and then heated or suctioned onto the skin. The cup is often heated with fire using alcohol, herbs, or paper that’s placed directly into the cup. The fire source is removed, and the heated cup is placed with the open side directly on your skin.

Some modern cupping practitioners have shifted to using rubber pumps to create suction versus more traditional heat methods.

When the hot cup is placed on your skin, the air inside the cup cools and creates a vacuum that draws the skin and muscle upward into the cup. Your skin may turn red as the blood vessels respond to the change in pressure.

With dry cupping, the cup is set in place for a set time, usually between 5 and 10 minutes. With wet cupping, cups are usually only in place for a few minutes before the practitioner removes the cup and makes a small incision to draw blood.

After the cups are removed, the practitioner may cover the previously cupped areas with ointment and bandages. This helps prevent infection. Any mild bruising or other marks usually go away within 10 days of the session.

Cupping is sometimes performed along with acupuncture treatments. For best results, you may also want to fast or eat only light meals for two to three hours before your cupping session.


Cupping has been used to treat a wide variety of conditions. It may be particularly effective at easing conditions that create muscle aches and pains.

Since the cups can also be applied to major acupressure points, the practice is possibly effective at treating digestive issues, skin issues, and other conditions commonly treated with acupressure.

2012 review of studiesTrusted Source suggests cupping therapy’s healing power may be more than just a placebo effect. The researchers found that cupping therapy may help with the following conditions, among others:

However, the authors acknowledge that most of the 135 studies they reviewed contain a high level of bias. More studies are needed to assess the true effectiveness of cupping.

There aren’t many side effects associated with cupping. The side effects you may experience will typically occur during your treatment or immediately after.

You may feel lightheaded or dizzy during your treatment. You may also experience sweating or nausea.

After treatment, the skin around the rim of the cup may become irritated and marked in a circular pattern. You may also have pain at incision sites or feel lightheaded or dizzy shortly after your session.

Infection is always a risk after undergoing cupping therapy. The risk is small and usually avoided if your practitioner follows the right methods for cleaning your skin and controlling infection before and after your session.

Other risks include:

  • scarring of the skin
  • hematoma (bruising)

Your practitioner should wear an apron, disposable gloves, and goggles or other eye protection. They should also use clean equipment and have regular vaccines to ensure protection against certain diseases, like hepatitis.

Always research practitioners thoroughly to protect your own safety.

If you experience any of these issues, consult your practitioner. They may offer remedies or steps you can take before your session in order to avoid any discomfort.


Most medical professionals don’t have training or a background in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Your doctor may be cautious or uncomfortable with answering questions related to healing methods like cupping.

Some CAM practitioners may be particularly enthusiastic about their methods, even suggesting you skip over conventional medical treatments advised by your doctor.

But if you do choose to try cupping as part of your treatment plan, discuss your decision with your doctor. Continue with regular doctor visits related to your condition to get the best of both worlds.

Cupping therapy isn’t recommended for everyone. Extra caution should be taken for the following groups:

  • Children. Children under 4 years old shouldn’t receive cupping therapy. Older children should only be treated for very short periods.
  • Seniors. Our skin becomes more fragile as we age. Any medication you may be taking might have an effect as well.
  • Pregnant people. Avoid cupping the abdomen and lower back.
  • Those who are currently menstruating.

Don’t use cupping if you use blood-thinning medication. Also avoid cupping if you have:

  • a sunburn
  • a wound
  • a skin ulcer
  • experienced recent trauma
  • an internal organ disorder

Cupping is a long-practiced treatment that may help ease the symptoms of both temporary and chronic health conditions.

As with many alternative therapies, keep in mind that there haven’t been extensive studies performed without bias to fully assess its true effectiveness.

If you choose to try cupping, consider using it as a complement to your current doctor visits, not a substitute.

Here are some things to consider before beginning cupping therapy:

  • What conditions does the cupping practitioner specialize in treating?
  • What method of cupping does the practitioner use?
  • Is the facility clean? Does the practitioner implement safety measurements?
  • Does the practitioner have any certifications?
  • Do you have a condition that may benefit from cupping?

Before beginning any alternative therapy, remember to let your doctor know that you’re planning to incorporate it into your treatment plan.


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Wednesday, 28 August 2019 07:46

I Tried Cupping and Here’s What It Was Like

In 2009, I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I’d been experiencing debilitating periods and enduring pain throughout the month. Two surgeries in the span of six months revealed I had an extremely aggressive case. At just 26 years of age, my doctor informed me that a hysterectomy was in my very near future.

Medically, I was doing everything that could be done. I went on a drug that made my hair fall out and caused me to feel nauseous almost every single day. It was supposed to put me into temporary menopause and hopefully buy me some time to make decisions about what to do next. I was consulting with a fertility specialist about the potential for pursuing in vitro fertilization before it was too late. And I was seeing an acupuncturist in the hopes of alleviating some of my other symptoms.

I loved acupuncture, if only because it was the one thing I was doing that actually made me feel as though I might have some control. My acupuncturist was amazing, teaching me a bit more about my body at each and every session.

Then came the day when she told me she wanted to try something new. That’s when I first experienced cupping. And it wasn’t as sexy as Michael Phelps or Gwyneth Paltrow make it out to be, let me tell you.

Is this healing or torture?

My acupuncturist’s previous method of torture had always been going for my ears. I’m telling you, there are certain points around your ear that will send zings down your entire spine when someone places a needle in them. When she went for my ears or my toes, I always knew I had to breathe deeply in order to stop myself from leaping off the table.

But she swore my ears were connected to my ovaries, so I let her stick me every time.
This day was different, though. After working on my ears, toes, and eyelids (yes, my eyelids) for a while, my acupuncturist told me to turn over on my stomach. “We’re going to try cupping you,” she announced.
Having no idea what she was talking about, I immediately had to stifle a laugh. (Am I wrong, or is there just something that sounds a little dirty about that?)
She started pulling out some massage oils and other goodies. I actually got excited. For a minute there, I thought I was about to get a serious massage, the kind that a girl who is in a constant state of pain lives for. When she started dripping the oils down my back and rubbing them in, I was sure this was about to be my best appointment yet.

Then, I heard her say, “OK, this might hurt a bit.” Seconds later, I felt the life being sucked out of me.

I wish I was joking, but I’m not. She had placed a cup on my back and I could immediately feel it attempting to suck every inch of skin I had into it. You know when you’re a kid and you suck a cup to your mouth and it kind of suctions there? Yeah, this was nothing like that.

It really and truly sucked the breath out of me.

When I regained my composure four cups in, I finally asked her how the heck she got them to pull so tight. She laughed and responded, “Fire.”

cuppingShare on Pinterest

Bye-bye, tension

So basically, without me realizing it, there were matches being lit above my back, too. I later learned she used those to suck all the oxygen out of the cups before quickly placing them on my back. That lack of oxygen was what then caused the seal.
At least, that’s how I think it worked. I honestly couldn’t pay enough attention to figure it out. My life force was being drained — that kind of makes it hard to concentrate.
The whole ordeal lasted no more than five minutes. And once I got used to the shock of each cup being placed, I realized it wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t even painful, really. I don’t know how to explain it. It was just a very weird, intense feeling.

But I can say for sure, when she pulled those cups off of me, all the tension that had been building up in my back for months was gone.

Completely gone.

And I remembered why I loved my acupuncturist so much.

She rubbed me down with oils again and told me not to shower until the morning. She also advised me to keep my back covered, saying something about all my pores being open and in need of protection. I smelled like a eucalyptus factory and knew I would have to wash everything I touched in the next 24 hours. But I didn’t care.

My back felt amazing!

Then I got up and saw it in the mirror.


Even in feeling the intensity of those cups, I had never expected to see the two rows of hickies that were already forming down my back. I realized very quickly I would not be wearing backless dresses anytime soon, although I give Jennifer Aniston major props for being confident enough to walk down the red carpet with cupping marks on her back.

How I became a cupping convert

For days after my excruciating appointment, I was sore. But it was a good sore. The kind you get after an intense workout or massage.

And so, I was a convert. Over the next few years, I let my acupuncturist cup me a handful of times. I still can’t say whether or not it had an effect on my overall health (my IVF cycles failed, and it wasn’t until I had aggressive surgery with one of the top endometriosis specialists in the country that I truly found relief). But I can say that cupping and acupuncture were both big factors in my maintaining some semblance of health and wellness over the years of battling a chronic condition.

They might not have cured me, but these treatments did help me to manage my symptoms and to feel proactive in my care.

Plus, those marks were like badges of honor to me. They were the physical proof that I was doing everything in my power to be well.

And at least in that, there was something to find strength in.


What conditions might cupping help with and who should and shouldn’t try it?


Cupping is great for anyone experiencing acute and chronic pain, headache, common cold, cough, painful menstruation, stress, and anxiety. However, it is not advised for those with skin irritations or a high fever. Also, pregnant women should avoid cupping on their stomach and lower back.

Raleigh Harrell, LAcAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice

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Monday, 29 July 2019 16:23

9 Teas That Can Improve Digestion

People have been drinking tea to help treat digestive issues and other illnesses for thousands of years.

Peppermint, a green herb from the Mentha piperita plant, is well known for its refreshing flavor and ability to soothe an upset stomach.

Animal and human studies have shown that menthol, a compound in peppermint, improves digestive issues (1Trusted Source2Trusted Source3Trusted Source4Trusted Source).

Peppermint oil is sometimes used to improve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), an inflammatory condition that affects the large intestine and can cause stomach pain, bloating, gas, and other unpleasant symptoms (5Trusted Source).

A 4-week study in 57 people with IBS found that 75% of those who took peppermint oil capsules twice per day reported improvements in symptoms, compared with 38% of those in the placebo group (6Trusted Source).

Peppermint tea may provide benefits similar to those of peppermint oil, although the tea’s effects on human digestion have not been studied (1Trusted Source).

To make peppermint tea, soak 7–10 fresh peppermint leaves or 1 peppermint tea bag in 1 cup (250 ml) of boiled water for 10 minutes before straining and drinking it.

SUMMARYPeppermint may help improve symptoms of IBS and other digestive issues, but studies on peppermint tea’s effects on digestion are lacking.

Ginger, scientifically known as Zingiber officinale, is a flowering plant native to Asia. Its rhizome (underground part of the stem) is popularly used as a spice worldwide.

Compounds in ginger, known as gingerols and shogaols, can help stimulate stomach contractions and emptying. Thus, the spice may help with nausea, cramping, bloating, gas, or indigestion (7Trusted Source8Trusted Source9Trusted Source).

A large review found that taking 1.5 grams of ginger daily reduced nausea and vomiting caused by pregnancy, chemotherapy, and motion sickness (9Trusted Source).

Another study in 11 patients with indigestion found that taking supplements containing 1.2 grams of ginger significantly shortened stomach emptying time by nearly 4 minutes, compared to a placebo (10Trusted Source).

Research comparing the effects of ginger tea and ginger supplements is limited, but the tea may provide similar benefits.

To make ginger tea, boil 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of sliced ginger root in 2 cups (500 ml) of water for 10–20 minutes before straining and drinking it. You can also steep a ginger tea bag in 1 cup (250 ml) of boiled water for a few minutes.

SUMMARYGinger has been shown to improve nausea and vomiting and may help with other digestive issues. Ginger tea can be made from fresh ginger root or a dried tea bag.

Gentian root comes from the Gentianaceae family of flowering plants, which grows worldwide.

Different varieties of gentian root have been used to stimulate appetite and treat stomach ailments for centuries (11Trusted Source12Trusted Source).

The effects of gentian root are attributed to its bitter compounds, known as iridoids, which can increase the production of digestive enzymes and acids (13Trusted Source).

What’s more, one study in 38 healthy adults found that drinking water mixed with gentian root increased blood flow to the digestive system, which may help improve digestion (14Trusted Source).

Dried gentian root can be purchased from a natural food store or online. To make gentian root tea, steep 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) of dried gentian root in 1 cup (250 ml) of boiled water for 5 minutes before straining. Drink it before meals to aid digestion.

SUMMARYGentian root contains bitter compounds that may stimulate digestion when consumed before meals.

Fennel is an herb that comes from a flowering plant scientifically known as Foeniculum vulgare. It has a licorice-like taste and can be eaten raw or cooked.

Animal studies have shown that fennel helps prevent stomach ulcers. This ability is likely due to the herb’s antioxidant compounds, which can fight damage associated with ulcer development (15Trusted Source16Trusted Source).

It may also help relieve constipation and promote bowel movements. However, it’s not understood exactly how and why fennel acts as a laxative (15Trusted Source).

One study in 86 elderly adults with constipation found that those who drank a fennel-containing tea every day for 28 days had significantly more daily bowel movements than those who received a placebo (17Trusted Source).

You can make fennel tea by pouring 1 cup (250 ml) of boiled water over 1 teaspoon (4 grams) of fennel seeds. Let it sit for 5–10 minutes before pouring through a sieve and drinking. You can also use freshly grated fennel root or fennel tea bags.

SUMMARYFennel has been shown to help prevent stomach ulcers in animals. It may also help promote bowel movements and thus help improve chronic constipation.

Angelica is a flowering plant that grows all over the world. It has an earthy, slightly celery-like taste.

While all parts of this plant have been used in traditional medicine, angelica root — in particular — may aid digestion.

Animal studies have shown that a polysaccharide in angelica root may protect against stomach damage by increasing the number of healthy cells and blood vessels in the digestive tract (18Trusted Source19Trusted Source).

For this reason, it may also help fight intestinal damage caused by oxidative stress in those with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory condition that causes sores in the colon (20Trusted Source).

What’s more, one test-tube study on human intestinal cells found that angelica root stimulated the secretion of intestinal acids. Therefore, it may help relieve constipation (21Trusted Source).

These results suggest that drinking angelica root tea may promote a healthy digestive tract, but no human studies have confirmed this.

To make angelica root tea, add 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of fresh or dried angelica root to 1 cup (250 ml) of boiled water. Let it steep for 5–10 minutes before straining and drinking it.

SUMMARYAnimal and test-tube studies have shown that angelica root protects against intestinal damage and stimulates the release of digestive acids.

Dandelions are weeds from the Taraxacum family. They have yellow flowers and grow worldwide, including in many people’s lawns.

Animal studies have shown that dandelion extracts contain compounds that may promote digestion by stimulating muscle contractions and promoting the flow of food from the stomach to the small intestine (22Trusted Source23Trusted Source).

A study in rats found that dandelion extract also helped protect against ulcers by fighting inflammation and decreasing the production of stomach acid (24Trusted Source).

Hence, drinking dandelion tea may promote healthy digestion. However, research in humans is limited.

To make dandelion tea, combine 2 cups of dandelion flowers and 4 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove it from heat and let it steep for 5–10 minutes. Strain it through a colander or sieve before drinking.

SUMMARYDandelion extract has been shown to stimulate digestion and protect against ulcers in animal studies. Human studies are needed.

Senna is an herb that comes from flowering Cassia plants.

It contains chemicals called sennosides, which break down in the colon and act on smooth muscle, promoting contractions and bowel movements (25Trusted Source).

Studies have shown that senna is a highly effective laxative in both children and adults with constipation from different causes (26Trusted Source27Trusted Source28Trusted Source).

One study in 60 people with cancer, 80% of whom were taking opioids that can cause constipation, found that more than 60% of those who took sennosides for 5–12 days had a bowel movement on over half of those days (28Trusted Source).

Thus, senna tea may be an effective and easy way to find relief from constipation. However, it’s best to only drink it on occasion so you don’t experience diarrhea.

You can make senna tea by steeping 1 teaspoon (4 grams) of dried senna leaves in 1 cup (250 ml) of boiled water for 5–10 minutes before straining. Senna tea bags are also available at most health food stores and online.

SUMMARYSenna is commonly used as a laxative, as it contains sennosides that help promote contractions of the colon and regular bowel movements.

Marshmallow root comes from the flowering Althaea officinalis plant.

Polysaccharides from marshmallow root, such as mucilage, can help stimulate the production of mucus-producing cells that line your digestive tract (2930Trusted Source31Trusted Source).

In addition to increasing mucus production and coating your throat and stomach, marshmallow root may have antioxidant properties that help decrease levels of histamine, a compound released during inflammation. As a result, it may protect against ulcers.

In fact, one animal study found that marshmallow root extract was highly effective at preventing stomach ulcers caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) (32Trusted Source).

While these results on marshmallow root extract are interesting, more research is needed on the effects of marshmallow root tea.

To make marshmallow root tea, combine 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of dried marshmallow root with 1 cup (250 ml) of boiled water. Let it steep for 5–10 minutes before straining and drinking it.

SUMMARYCompounds in marshmallow root may stimulate mucus production and help coat your digestive tract, providing relief from stomach ulcers.

Black tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. It’s often brewed with other plants in varieties like English Breakfast and Earl Grey.

This tea boasts several healthy compounds. These include thearubigins, which may improve indigestion, and theaflavins, which act as antioxidants and may protect against stomach ulcers (33Trusted Source34Trusted Source35Trusted Source).

One study in mice with stomach ulcers found that 3 days of treatment with black tea and theaflavins healed 78–81% of ulcers by suppressing inflammatory compounds and pathways (36Trusted Source).

Another study in mice found that black tea extract improved delayed gastric emptying and resulting indigestion caused by a medication (34Trusted Source).

Therefore, drinking black tea may help improve digestion and protect against ulcers, but more research is needed.

To make black tea, steep a black tea bag in 1 cup (250 ml) of boiled water for 5–10 minutes before drinking it. You can also use loose black tea leaves and strain the tea after steeping.

SUMMARYDrinking black tea may help protect against stomach ulcers and indigestion due to compounds in the tea that act as antioxidants.

While herbal teas are generally considered safe for healthy people, you should be cautious when adding a new type of tea to your routine.

Currently, there is limited knowledge regarding the safety of some teas in children and pregnant and lactating women (37Trusted Source38Trusted Source).

What’s more, some herbs can interact with medications, and herbal teas may cause unpleasant side effects like diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting if consumed in excess (39Trusted Source).

If you want to try a new herbal tea to improve your digestion, start with a low dose and take note of how it makes you feel. Also, be sure to consult your doctor first if you are taking medications or have a health condition.

SUMMARYAlthough teas are generally considered safe for most people, some teas may not be appropriate for children, pregnant women, or those taking certain medications.

Herbal teas can provide a variety of digestive benefits, including relief from constipation, ulcers, and indigestion.

Peppermint, ginger, and marshmallow root are just some of the many types of teas that may help improve digestion.

If you want to start drinking a certain tea to aid your digestion, be sure to confirm the appropriate amount to brew and how often to drink it.



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Tuesday, 25 June 2019 20:57

Cupping (Hijama) Therapy Leicester

Cupping Therapy Leicester

Al Ihsaan Integrative Medicine & Hijama


Effective Cupping Treatments

Dry Hijama: 
One or more cups are placed on the body with suction for up to half an hour.

Dynamic Hijama: 
Oil is applied, which allows the cup to be moved over the body with suction. This is more effective than a massage.

Wet Hijama
The same process as dry Hijama, with small incisions made under the cup to extract toxic blood.

Fire Cupping:
Different special glass cups are placed on different parts of the body using a flame to create the suction.

It is useful to relieve stress and tension build up in muscles after an intensive workout at the gym or sports.


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Clover honey is popular due to its sweet, mildly floral taste.

Unlike other common sweeteners like table sugar, it’s rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that may benefit your health.

This article reviews the uses, nutrition, and health benefits of clover honey.

Clover honey is a thick, sweet syrup made by honeybees that collect the nectar of clover plants. It’s mild in taste and light in color, making it a popular choice among honey enthusiasts.

Clover plants are very common, weather-hardy, and a preferred nectar source for honeybees, which is why clover honey is widely available (1Trusted Source2Trusted Source).

Clover honey has a more complex flavor than table sugar, and many people use it to sweeten tea, coffee, and desserts.

Additionally, due to an increasing interest in healthier alternatives to sugar, food manufacturers are offering more honey-sweetened foods and drinks (3Trusted Source).

Clover honey is also commonly used in cold and cough medicines and home remedies due to its unique health-promoting properties, including its antibacterial qualities and soothing effect on sore throats (4Trusted Source).

SUMMARYClover honey is a popular, widely available type of honey. It’s used as a sweetener and as a natural remedy for coughs and colds.

Clover honey is high in sugar but also provides some nutrients.

One tablespoon (21 grams) of clover honey contains (5):

  • Calories: 60 calories
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbs: 17 grams

This type of honey is mostly carbs in the form of natural sugars. However, it also offers small amounts of different vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc (6).

What’s more, it’s rich in antioxidant compounds that can benefit your health (7Trusted Source).

SUMMARYClover honey mostly consists of natural sugars but contains different vitamins and minerals as well. It also packs health-boosting antioxidants.

Clover honey offers several potential health benefits.

Antiviral and antibacterial potential

Clover and other types of honey have antiviral and antibacterial effects.

In a study comparing the antibacterial capacity of 16 different types of honey, the clover variety had the strongest antibacterial action against harmful Staphylococcus aureus cells — equivalent to a 2.2 mg dose of the antibiotic kanamycin (8Trusted Source).

In addition, it’s an effective antibacterial dressing for wounds, such as burns and scratches, as bacteria cannot develop resistance to honey (9Trusted Source).

In one 3-month study in which clover honey was used as a dressing for 30 different diabetic foot wounds, 43% of wounds healed completely, and another 43% were significantly reduced in size and bacteria count (10Trusted Source).

Clover honey may be a potent antiviral as well.

One test-tube study found that applying a 5% clover honey solution to skin cells infected with the chickenpox virus significantly decreased the virus’s survival rate (11Trusted Source).

Keep in mind that fresh, raw honey may have stronger antibacterial properties than varieties that have been pasteurized or stored for a long period (12Trusted Source).

Rich in antioxidants

Clover honey is packed with antioxidants, which are compounds that can prevent or reduce cellular damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. This may lower your risk of diseases (7Trusted Source13Trusted Source14Trusted Source15Trusted Source).

In a rat study, clover honey extract reversed liver damage caused by free radicals, likely due to the extract’s antioxidant capacity (16).

Clover honey is particularly high in anti-inflammatory flavanol and phenolic acid antioxidants. Flavanols may improve heart and lung health, whereas phenolic acids strengthen your central nervous system (17Trusted Source18Trusted Source19Trusted Source).

Fewer downsides than table sugar

Though honey is mostly sugar, it has several unique benefits that make it a better choice than table sugar or other sweeteners, such as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

Some studies indicate that honey may be better for heart health and weight control than table sugar (20Trusted Source21Trusted Source22Trusted Source).

In a 6-week study in 60 people consuming either 70 grams of honey or table sugar daily, people in the honey group had lower total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides, as well as higher HDL (good) cholesterol levels (23Trusted Source).

In addition, a study in 80 children observed that a single dose of honey caused a smaller blood sugar response than an equal dose of table sugar — including in participants with type 1 diabetes (24Trusted Source).

However, though honey is healthier than table sugar, it’s still considered an added sugar and should be limited.

Diets high in added sugars — no matter the type — are associated with obesity and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers (25Trusted Source26Trusted Source27Trusted Source).

For optimal health, less than 5% of your daily calories should come from added sugars (28Trusted Source).

SUMMARYSome studies indicate that clover honey is antiviral and antibacterial. It’s also rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Yet, though it may be healthier than table sugar, it’s still an added sugar and should be consumed in moderation.

The nutrient content, flavor, and color of honey depend on the type of nectar from which it is made, as well as processing and storage time.

Alongside clover honey, other light-colored and mild-tasting types include alfalfa, orange blossom, and wildflower honey. These varieties are similar in antioxidant content (29Trusted Source).

However, buckwheat and manuka honey, which are often used medicinally, are much darker in color and richer in flavor, which could be a result of their higher mineral and antioxidant content (29Trusted Source30Trusted Source31Trusted Source).

Manuka honey, made from a plant native to New Zealand, is also prized for its powerful medicinal potential (3233Trusted Source).

Though it has more antioxidants than clover honey, one test-tube study found that 5% solutions of manuka and clover honey, respectively, were equally effective at stopping the spread of the chickenpox virus (11Trusted Source).

Nonetheless, if you’re using honey for medicinal purposes, you may want to choose a darker variety, such as buckwheat or manuka.

Raw honey

Unpasteurized and unfiltered raw honey of any kind is a healthy choice for many people, as it’s richer in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than pasteurized varieties (12Trusted Source3435Trusted Source).

It also contains pollen, which may offer benefits, such as stimulating your immune system, decreasing inflammation, and protecting your liver from free radical damage (36Trusted Source).

Raw honey, including from clover plants, can be purchased online and in stores. What’s more, locally harvested raw honey is available at many farmers’ markets.

Note that you should not eat raw honey if your immune system is compromised. Additionally, honey products should not be given to children under the age of one year due to the risk of serious illness (37Trusted Source38Trusted Source).

SUMMARYClover honey is one of several light-colored and mild-tasting types of honey. Darker varieties, such as buckwheat and manuka, are richer in antioxidants. Raw honey — including raw clover honey — may be more beneficial than processed honey.

Clover honey is a popular, light-colored, mild-tasting honey variety that provides various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

It may offer powerful antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory effects.

Though it’s slightly healthier than table sugar, it should be used in moderation.



Thursday, 20 June 2019 07:41

Is Sitting Too Much Bad for Your Health?

Modern society is designed for sitting.

As a result, people spend more time in a seated position than ever before.

However, you may wonder whether excessive sitting could have negative health effects.

This article tells you whether sitting is bad for your health.

Sitting is a common body posture. When people work, socialize, study, or travel, they often do so in a seated position.

However, that doesn’t mean that sitting and other sedentary behaviors are harmless. Over half of the average person’s day is spent sitting, doing activities such as driving, working at a desk, or watching television.

In fact, the typical office worker may spend up to a whopping 15 hours per day sitting. On the other hand, agricultural workers only sit for about 3 hours a day (1Trusted Source2Trusted Source).

Your everyday non-exercise activities, such as standing, walking, and even fidgeting, still burn calories.

This energy expenditure is known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), the lack of which is an important risk factor for weight gain (3Trusted Source).

Sedentary behavior, including sitting and lying down, involves very little energy expenditure. It severely limits the calories you burn through NEAT.

To put this into perspective, studies report that agricultural workers can burn up to 1,000 more calories per day than people working desk jobs (4Trusted Source).

This is because farmworkers spend most of their time walking and standing.

The fewer calories you burn, the more likely you are to gain weight.

This is why sedentary behavior is so closely linked to obesity.

In fact, research shows that people with obesity sit for an average of two hours longer each day than do people with a normal weight (5Trusted Source).

Sedentary behavior is consistently linked to more than 30 chronic diseases and conditions, including a 112% increase in your risk of type 2 diabetes and a 147% increase in heart disease risk (67Trusted Source).

Studies have shown that walking fewer than 1,500 steps per day, or sitting for long periods without reducing calorie intake, can cause a major increase in insulin resistance, which is a key driver of type 2 diabetes (9Trusted Source10).

Researchers believe that being sedentary may have a direct effect on insulin resistance. This effect can happen in as little as one day.

While regular exercise is always recommended, it doesn’t completely offset all the health risks of sitting too much.

One study measured metabolic markers in 18 people following different exercise protocols. One hour of intense exercise did not make up for the negative effects of inactivity when other hours were spent sitting (11Trusted Source).

Additionally, a review of 47 studies found that prolonged sitting was strongly linked to negative health outcomes, regardless of exercise levels (6).

As expected, the negative effects were even greater for people who rarely exercised.

People in Western societies spend too much time sitting.

While relaxing can be beneficial, you should try to minimize the time you spend sitting during the workday.

If you have a desk job, one solution is to get a standing desk or go for a few short walks during your workday.

Minimizing sedentary time is just as important for health as a nutritious diet and regular exercise.

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