Complementary medicines and weight management

Complementary medicines and weight management

Cohen, M. Complementary medicines and weight management, Australian Family Physician, August 2006 35(8) 605-606 

Abstract

 

The medical and social need for effective weight loss interventions has resulted in a plethora of products and services aimed at helping people to lose weight. Certainly one of the holy grails of medicine is to find a safe and effective weight loss remedy that bypasses the need for caloric restriction or exercise. Unfortunately the laws of thermodynamics suggest that matter (and that includes fat) cannot be created or destroyed, but can only be converted from one form to another. This means that the only way to reduce body weight is to expend more calories than consumed. This law however does not preclude a medicine from helping to achieve weight loss by limiting appetite or increasing metabolic rate and there are a number of complementary medicines that claim to achieve this. Many of these products are available over-the-counter and are backed by marketing campaigns that appeal to consumer desire for natural products. 

Traveller’s funny tummy; reviewing the evidence for complementary medicine

Traveller’s funny tummy; reviewing the evidence for complementary medicine

Cohen, M. Traveller’s Funny Tummy; Reviewing the evidence for complementary medicine. Australian Family Physician, May 2007

Abstract

 

The gastrointestinal system is sensitive to both the place and means of travel and traveller’s diarrhoea and motion sickness are among the most prevalent travel related conditions. There is now evidence to suggest that both of these ailments may be treated with safe and inexpensive complementary medicines.

Detox: Science or Sales-pitch?

Detox: Science or Sales-pitch?

Cohen, M. Detox: Science or Sales-pitch? Australian Family Physician, 2007, 36(12) 1009-1010

Abstract

 

There is no question that the world is becoming increasingly toxic, with worldwide dissemination of industrial chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals and radioactive elements. Many of these toxins have demonstrated harmful effects including cancer, reproductive, metabolic, and mental health effects. It is also known that many toxins undergo bioaccumulation through the food chain and that synergistic effects can occur whereby combinations of toxins can be more potent than the sum of individual toxins.

Human consumption of agricultural toxicants from organic and conventional food

Human consumption of agricultural toxicants from organic and conventional food

Oates, L, Cohen, M, (2009) Human consumption of agricultural toxicants from organic and conventional food. Journal of Organic Systems. 4 (1) p48-57

Abstract

 

Over the past 60 years both the number of agricultural toxicants in use and rates of toxin-related diseases have increased dramatically, and countless studies attest to a link between the two. While data from residue surveys confirms higher levels of toxicants in conventionally farmed produce, few studies directly assess
whether consuming organic produce results in a reduction in pesticide exposure in humans or confers any health benefits. Future research needs to confirm whether and to what extent agricultural toxicant levels vary between consumers of organic and conventional produce before attempting to draw any conclusions about
the potential health implications of such differences.

Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum): A herb for all reasons

Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum): A herb for all reasons

Cohen, M., (2014)Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum): A Herb For All Reasons. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine 5(4): 251-59

Abstract

 

The predominant cause of global morbidity and mortality is lifestyle-related chronic diseases, many of which can be addressed through Ayurveda with its focus on healthy lifestyle practices and regular consumption of adaptogenic herbs. Of all the herbs used within Ayurveda, tulsi (Ocimum sanctum Linn) is preeminent, and scientific research is now confirming its beneficial effects. There is mounting evidence that tulsi can address physical, chemical, metabolic and psychological stress through a unique combination of pharmacological actions. Tulsi has been found to protect organs and tissues against chemical stress from industrial pollutants and heavy metals, and physical stress from prolonged physical exertion, ischemia, physical restraint and exposure to cold and excessive noise. Tulsi has also been shown to counter metabolic stress through normalization of blood glucose, blood pressure and lipid levels, and psychological stress through positive effects on memory and cognitive function and through its anxiolytic and anti-depressant properties. Tulsi’s broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, which includes activity against a range of human and animal pathogens, suggests it can be used as a hand sanitizer, mouthwash and water purifier as well as in animal rearing, wound healing, the preservation of food stuffs and herbal raw materials and traveler’s health. Cultivation of tulsi plants has both spiritual and practical significance that connects the grower to the creative powers of nature, and organic cultivation offers solutions for food security, rural poverty, hunger, environmental degradation and climate change. The use of tulsi in daily rituals is a testament to Ayurvedic wisdom and provides an example of ancient knowledge offering solutions to modern problems.