arthritis pain

  1. Migraine relief

    I recently came across a new remedy for migraine relief. It involves putting tiny amounts of feverfew and ginger into a little pouch, and then putting it under your tongue.

    But why go through the trouble? Skip the pouch, and just start taking feverfew as part of your daily supplement regimen.

    Feverfew has been shown to help beat migraines before they even start. The trick is to treat it as a preventive and not as a treatment. Instead of taking it only when the pain hits, take it every day as a regular part of your supplement regimen.

    Over time, feverfew can lessen both the number of headaches and their severity.

    Although there hasn't been as much research on ginger and headaches, one study originally designed to test the spice on arthritis pain found that patients got some migraine relief in the deal as well.

    The researchers behind that one say ginger acted like that theoretical aspirin -- blocking the inflammation that leads to pain.

    It's easy enough to test that one yourself: Ginger is available as a supplement, a fresh root, and even in tea.

    But when it comes to migraines, ginger and feverfew aren't your only options. They may not even be your best options.

    Two recent studies have found that two unconventional treatments could make a significant difference: magnetic therapy, and a literal pair of rose-colored glasses.

    Feverfew, ginger, glasses, magnets – believe it or not, these are only the beginning of your natural options. I've got everything else you need to know about migraine relief right here.

  2. Leeches in the emergency room

    Scalpel? Check. Forceps? Check. Leeches?

    Wait... leeches?


    You might not think of bloodsuckers as a staple of the modern operating room... but some of the nation's best surgeons now keep them alongside the most common tools in modern medicine.

    And a recent report in the Baltimore Sun finds that they're being counted on to literally save life and limb.

    Leeches come equipped with their own natural anticoagulant, which stops the formation of clots so they can suck up blood to their little leechy heart's content.

    But doctors have found that the same anticoagulant can also keep blood flowing to and from badly damaged areas--including reattached fingers and toes and skin flaps.

    That might sound a little creepy... and plenty gross... but doctors say it can mean the difference between saving a digit and losing it. Leeches can also help prevent the complications that can lead to additional risky surgeries in trauma patients.

    And while there are no hard numbers to show how often these relics of the Middle Ages are used in today's operating rooms, more than 100 doctors turned up for a recent seminar on the use of leeches.

    The host of the seminar, BioTherapeutics, Education and Research Foundation director Dr. Ronald A. Sherman, told the Sun that it was the biggest audience he's ever had.

    But you don't need to be on the verge of losing a finger or toe to benefit from leeches--because researchers have found another way the creatures can play a major role in modern medicine: pain relief.

    Leeches secrete a powerful painkiller, which is why you don't feel the hundreds of tiny teeth they use to dig in and drink up. And now, researchers believe that painkiller could work as an anesthesia or even help people cope with arthritis pain.

    Of course, I don't recommend experimenting with that at home.

    But don't be too surprised to see Leechynol on the shelf of your local pharmacy one of these days.

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