Stay Healthy This Flu Season

The Italian word âinflenzaâ (influenza) was introduced into English in 1743 to describe illnesses that were influenced by the movement of the moon, planets, and stars (1). This flier is an early 20th century example of a public service announcement related to the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, an outbreak which killed an estimated 50-100 million people worldwide. The devastation caused by the pandemic was certainly the result of a strong flu strain, but poor prevention measures and questionable treatment options- smoking cigars, dousing the patient with ice water, bloodletting, and gargling with salt water- produced a death toll that is staggering compared to deaths in the United States over the last 30 years (3,000-to-49,000/year) (2).  Continue reading…


Beating the Winter Blues

beating the winter blues

Growing up in the Louisville area I never considered how the weather affected my mood or productivity. It wasn’t until I moved back from Albuquerque, which averages sunshine 278 days per year, after two winters that I realized how much better I feel when I see the sun on a regular basis (1). Since deciding Louisville would be my home in 2004, days with sunshine average 195, I have sought ways to supplement my affinity for our closest star (2). Besides no feeling alone by knowing other people suffer from the occasional “winter blues,” between 1.4% in high sunshine states to 9.7% in northern states, research has shown sub-clinical Seasonal Affective Disorders (S.A.D.) can be lessened or effectively managed with several easy to implement behaviors (3).  The article covers the effectiveness of many behaviors, everything from supplements to prayer, and examines how the treatment effects both sub-clinical and clinical depression.  Given the breadth of information I’ll cover a few of free and low cost treatments in this article, if you want to read the full article a link is located at the bottom of the page. Continue reading…


Better living Through Herbs

It was a warm day, the kind of day most of us would yearn for right now, but I wasn’t enjoying the warmth, my allergies were terrible. I usually suffered through the congestion and headaches, but that year I actually went to my doctor, she saw me quickly and filled a prescription for a nasal spray to treat my symptoms. Looking forward to relief I quickly went to the pharmacy and inhaled the mist before I left the parking lot. By the time I got home I was sniffling less, but a side-effect of the script filled me with terrible anxiety. After a call to my doctor failed to offer a solution I remembered Weeds of Eden, a local herb store on Bardstown Road, and made a trip down there, hoping for a solution.  Continue reading…