Category: Alternative Medicine

Alternative Medicine Gangrene


Definition: Gangrene is a term used to describe the decay or death of an organ, tissue, or bone caused by a lack of oxygen and nutrients. It is a complication resulting from tissue injuries (such as frostbite), the obstruction of blood flow, or the processes of chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus. Externally, the hands …

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Alternative Medicine Gamma-linoleic acid

Gamma-linoleic acid

Description: Gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) is an omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid made in the body from linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid (EFA). GLA is the product of the body’s first biochemical step in the transformation of a major essential fatty acid, linolenic acid (LA), into important prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are essential to the proper functioning of …

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Alternative Medicine Gallstones


Definition: Gallstones are solid crystal deposits that form in the gallbladder, a pear-shaped organ that stores bile until it is needed to help digest fatty foods. These crystals can migrate to other parts of the digestive tract, causing severe pain and life-threatening complications. Gallstones vary in size and chemical structure. They may be as tiny …

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Alternative Medicine Fungal infections

Fungal infections

Definition: Fungi are types of parasitic plants that include molds, mildew, and yeast. A fungal infection is an inflammatory condition in which fungi multiply and invade the skin, the digestive tract, the genitals, and other body tissues, particularly, the lungs and liver. Fungal infections of the skin are often called ringworm or tinea. Description: Microscopic …

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Alternative Medicine Frostbite and frostnip

Frostbite and frostnip

Definition: Frostbite is localized tissue injury that occurs because of exposure to freezing or near freezing temperatures. Frostnip is a milder cold injury that does not cause tissue loss. Description: In North America, frostbite is largely confined to Alaska, Canada, and the northern states. In recent years, there has been a substantial decline in the …

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Alternative Medicine Fritillaria


Description: Fritillaria is the processed bulb of Fritillaria cir-rhosa, a flowering plant in the Liliaceae family. A perennial temperate herb, it grows in mountain slope and sub-alpine meadows, usually on open, stony, and moist hillsides. In the West, fritillaria is most commonly regarded as an ornamental garden plant. By contrast, it is traditionally valued as …

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Alternative Medicine French Green Clay

French Green Clay

Description: French green clay is a substance that is used for external cosmetic treatments as well as some internal applications by practitioners of alternative medicine. It was used in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome to treat a variety of skin problems and digestive disorders.From the standpoint of mineralogy, French green clay belongs to a subcategory …

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Alternative Medicine Fractures


Definition: A fracture is a crack or break in a bone. It results from the application of excessive force through injuries, such as a fall or a hard blow. Description: Up to the age of 50, more men suffer from fractures than women because of occupational hazards. However, after the age of 50, more women …

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Alternative Medicine Foxglove


Description: Foxglove, also called Digitalis purpurea, is a common biennial garden plant that contains digitoxin, digox-in, and other cardiac glycosides. These are chemicals that affect the heart. Digitalis is poisonous; it can be fatal even in small doses. It was the original source of the drug called digitalis.Foxglove is a native of Europe. It was …

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Alternative Medicine Food poisoning

Food poisoning

Definition: Food poisoning is a general term for health problems arising from eating food contaminated by viruses, chemicals, or bacterial toxins. Types of food poisoning include bacterial food poisoning, shellfish poisoning, and mushroom poisoning. The medical term for food poisoning is gastroenteritis. Description: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are …

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Alternative Medicine Folic acid

Folic acid

Description: Folic acid is a water-soluable vitamin belonging to the B-complex group of vitamins. These vitamins help the body break down complex carbohydrates into simple sugars that can be readily used for energy. Excess B vitamins are excreted from the body rather than stored for later use. This is why sufficient daily intake of folic …

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Alternative Medicine Fo ti

Fo ti

Description: Fo ti is the American name for the herb Polygonum multiflorum. Polygonum is a member of the Polygonaceae family of plants. In Chinese herbalism, fo ti is called he shou wu or ho shou wu. Other names are fleeceflower and Chinese cornbind. In Japan the herb is called kashuu. It is one of the …

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Alternative Medicine Flower remedies

Flower remedies

Definition: Flower remedies are specially prepared flower essences, containing the healing energy of plants. They are prescribed according to a patient’s emotional disposition, as ascertained by the therapist, doctor, or patients themselves. Origins Perhaps the most famous and widely used system is the Bach flower remedies. This system originated in the 1920s when British physician …

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Alternative Medicine Flaxseed


Description: Flaxseed (also called linseed) comes from the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum), which belongs to the Linaceae plant family. The flax plant is a small, singlestemmed annual that grows to about 2 ft (0.6 m) tall and has grayish green leaves and sky-blue flowers. Historically, flax has been cultivated for thousands of years. Linen made …

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Alternative Medicine 5-HTP


Description: The acronym for 5-hydroxy tryptophan (or 5-hy-droxy-L-tryptophan) is 5-HTP, a compound found primarily in the brain. This compound is made from tryptophan, a natural amino acid inherent in foods. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means that it cannot be made by the body. It must be obtained from food, particularly proteins. In …

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Alternative Medicine Fish oil

Fish oil

Description: Fish oils are derived from such cold-water fish as salmon, cod, tuna, or mackerel. They have recently acquired a new visibility as dietary supplements because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids, together with the omega-6 fatty acids, are important components of a healthful diet. The body cannot manufacture them, therefore …

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Alternative Medicine Fibromyalgia


Definition: Fibromyalgia is described as inflammation of the fibrous or connective tissue of the body. Widespread muscle pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points characterize these conditions. Many individuals with fibromyalgia describe the symptoms as similar to the aches and pains of a severe case of the flu. Fibrositis, fibromyalgia, and fibromyositis are names given to …

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Alternative Medicine Fibrocystic breast disease

Fibrocystic breast disease

Definition: Fibrocystic breast disease is a general term that refers to a variety of symptoms and diagnoses, including breast lumpiness, tenderness, and a wide range of vaguely-defined benign breast conditions. The term is also used diagnostically to describe the appearance of breast tissues viewed under the microscope, on x-ray film, or on ultrasound equipment. Description: …

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Alternative Medicine Feverfew


Description: Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium or Tanace-tum parthenium) is named for one of the herb’s traditional medicinal uses as a febrifuge, from the Latin febrifu-gia, indicating its fever-reducing action. This European native of the Compositae (Asteraceae) or aster family has naturalized throughout North and South America, escaping from cultivation. It can be found along roadsides and …

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Alternative Medicine Fever


Definition: A fever is a rise in body temperature to greater than 100?F (37.8?C). Description: A healthy person’s body temperature fluctuates between 97?F (36.1?C) and 100?F (37.8?C), with the average being 98.6?F (37?C). The body maintains stability within this range by balancing the heat produced by the metabolism with the heat lost to the environment. …

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