Category Archives: Alternative Medicine

Bottles of Generic and Branded Medicine

The Difference between Generic Medicine and Branded Medicine

Bottles of Generic and Branded Medicine

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With hospital bills and regular checkups, keeping your health in tiptop shape is becoming costly nowadays. Factor in the bill for prescription medicine, and you might just find yourself being unable to afford to be healthy. For this reason, more and more people are looking into generic drugs to alleviate the cost of medication without compromising their own health. Yet are they actually keeping themselves healthy by taking generic drugs in the first place?

The short answer to this is yes, they are. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reassures the public that generic drugs and brand name medicine perform the same way. In fact, before a generic drug is approved by the FDA, it has to go through rigorous and stringent approval processes to guarantee its efficacy and to ensure it benefits the patient. It has to prove itself that it has the same bioequivalence as the brand name drug, and that it would not be harmful to the patients. In fact, the FDA website says that it “requires generic drugs to have the same quality and performance as brand name drugs.”

Here are other things you have to know about generic drugs:

  • Generic drugs are expected to be the bioequivalent of their brand name counterparts. In this case, bioequivalence implies that the generic drugs have “the same amount of the same active substance(s), in the same dosage form, for the same route of administration, and meeting the same or comparable standards” to the brand name drugs. This includes having the same amount of the medicine in the bloodstream.
  • Generic drugs are also proven to be just as effective as their brand name counterparts.
  • Generics are significantly cheaper than brand name drugs since they do not have to repeatedly stage clinical trials and pay for marketing, advertising, and promotions. Also, there are many generic brands that often sell the same product (for example, paracetamol). This availability then means that generics are often primed for competition, leading to lower prices.
  • While the active ingredients of both generic drugs and brand name medicines are the same, the inactive ingredients may be different. This is only relevant in cases where the patient be sensitive to one of these inactive ingredients. To be sure, check the ingredients of a generic drug before purchasing it if you have allergies.
  • Generics and brand name medicine often differ in markings, color, and shape.

Overall, while the inactive ingredients may vary, as well as the drug’s physical appearance, generics are expected to perform as well as their brand name counterparts, otherwise they would not be approved by the FDA. After all, the FDA actively monitors and regulates products to ensure that they are safe for public consumption. If adverse effects on a generic drug are reported, then you are reassured that these cases are strictly monitored and investigated to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

With the help of generic drugs and high quality healthcare, you then have the peace of mind that you can afford to be healthy.

Dendritic Cell Therapy

Our patients at New Hope Unlimited receive very individualized protocols using immunotherapy. These protocols include expanding the patient’s own dendritic cells. This is a great little video that shows you an actual dendritic cell attacking an abnormal cell. Dendritic cells are capable of attacking abnormal cells in our body such as cancer cells. Sometimes it is important to do immunotherapy so as to multiple one’s own dendritic cells in order for the body to try to heal itself quicker. Our physicians and staff at New Hope Unlimited believe that the Dendritic Cell Therapy is very important for those who are trying to fight cancer. I hope the video helps you to understand how these great fighters work.

-Dr Fredda Branyon

A Boost For Athlete’s Performance

Img c/o Pexels.

Img c/o Pexels.

The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition has published research that suggests a little dark chocolate may improve performance in fitness training. Beetroot juice is popular among elite athletes, using it as a tool for enhancing their performance due to its high nitrate content. These nitrates in beetroot juice are converted to nitric oxide in the body, causing blood vessels to dilate and in turn reduce oxygen consumption that helps athletes maintain their pace longer.

It has been reported by the Mayo Clinic that chocolate and cocoa may play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease. Cocoa beans contain flavanols, which have antioxidant effects that reduce the cell damage involved in heart disease. Blood pressure can be lowered and vascular function can also be improved. Of course, Mayo Clinic also warns that not all the benefits of chocolate have been confirmed and should be consumed in moderation. The added fats and sugars can lead to weight gain and other health problems.

One of the flavanols in the cocoa bean and dark chocolate is epicatechin. This ingredient increases the production of nitric oxide in the body. Rishikesh Kankesch Patel , a postgraduate research student from Kingston University in London, UK, wanted to know whether dark chocolate could provide similar benefits as beetroot. Nine amateur cyclists participated in a study supervised by sports science field leader Dr. Owen Spendiff and James Brouner, senior lecturer in sports analysis. Each group underwent an initial fitness test to provide a baseline for later comparison, then were put into two groups. Everyone involved swapped one of their daily snacks for 1.5 ounces of chocolate for 2 weeks. Dark chocolate rich in flavanols was consumed by one group, and the other had white chocolate. Two weeks later the cyclists performed a series of cycling exercise tests of moderate exercise and time trials in Kingston’s sports performance laboratory. Their heart rates and oxygen consumption levels were then measured by the researchers.

They all took a break for a week and then switched chocolate types and repeated the 2-week trial and tests. The riders eating dark chocolate used less oxygen when cycling at a moderate pace and also cycled further in a 2 minute flat out time trial. Both dark chocolate and beetroot juice are known to increase nitric oxide, the major mechanism believed to be behind these results. The hope is to potentially include dark chocolate in the diet of endurance athletes. However, it is unclear whether the boost in performance is short term and taking effect within the same day of consumption, or if it takes longer, which is what the current findings suggest. It is important for endurance athletes to be as efficient as possible and many athletes consume beetroot juice for this very purpose but do not enjoy the flavor. The results show that consumption of dark chocolate has altered the participants’ responses to the activity and therefore could enhance their endurance performance.

It is also noted that commercially available chocolate doesn’t generally publish flavanol content on its labels and it is very difficult to determine which dark chocolate would provide the greatest performance benefit based on the label.

So, even though I prefer and “love” light chocolate, this study has convinced me that I need to switch to “Dark” chocolate……and, alas, only in moderation! But if it might give me more endurance and energy, why not, shouldn’t we all?

Dr Fredda Branyon

Do Sleeping Pills Deliver What They Promise?

Img c/o Pexels

Img c/o Pexels

Most drugs carry the risk of side effects and being hooked by a false promise of benefits could actually worsen your health rather than improve it. In this country we pay 50% more than others for the same identical drugs, of which advertising costs are a huge part of that equation. We would save about $94 billion a year if we paid the amount that other countries do and the American Medical Association (AMA) recently called for a ban on drug ads just for the purpose of reining in drug prices.

Huffington Post investigated some falsehoods found in drug ads and actually focused on Belsomra, a next-gen type of sleeping pill that acts on a neurotransmitter. This drug is, at best, a very questionable insomnia treatment. Other research has found that Ambien, Lunesta and Sonata reduced the average time it takes to fall asleep by about 13 minutes and only increases total sleep time by about 11 minutes. In a 5-month period in 2015, FDA received 1,000 consumer complaints about Belsomra in reporting sleep paralysis, next-day drowsiness, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Now why

would anyone in his or her right mind want to take that risk for only 11 minutes more of sleep?

Two of the suicidal attempts actually succeeded in taking their own lives but it would be hard to prove it was the drug that caused it. This company has never tested product on people taking antidepressants or antipsychotic drugs, so it’s questionable what drug interactions there might be. Even with that information, Belsomra is expected to generate more than $300 million in sales this year and the main reason can be credited to Merck spending $96 million to advertise and promote it. Many of the side effects listed for these drugs are often worse than the initial complaint and reason for taking them.

When patients are seeking a drug they are twice as likely to ask their doctor for a particular drug they’ve seen on TV. Another study revealed just how easy it is to get a prescription for a drug you absolutely do not need, merely by asking for it.

The sleep experts maintain and emphasize that therapy and behavioral changes are the best treatments for insomnia and Belsomra provides “clinically meaningless” relief. Sleeping pills will also cause the patient to take quite significant risks. Some of those risks are:

  1. Increased risk for insulin resistance, food cravings, weight gain and diabetes
  2. Amnesia, even of events that occurred during the day
  3. Depression, confusion, disorientation and hallucinations
  4. Increased risk of accidents
  5. Increased risk for dementia in seniors

Other bizarre behavioral reactions that could be both risky and embarrassing are:

  1. Sleepwalking
  2. Sleep-driving
  3. Sleep eating
  4. Sleep-sex or “sexsomnia”
  5. Sleep-texting or sleep-tweeting

How would you like to be around someone going through these bizarre behaviors? Many side effects through one analysis is next day drowning, driving accidents, receiving driving tickets and even worse, sleep paralysis and hallucinations. Who needs that? Certainly not me and I am not willing to take that risk.

Optimizing your light exposure during the day and minimizing light after sunset, addressing mental states that prevent slumber, keeping the temperature in your bedroom below 70 degrees, taking a hot bath 90 to 120 minutes before bed and avoiding TV or using electronics before bedtime are some ways to improve your sleep. Develop a relaxing pre-sleep routine by avoiding alcohol, caffeine and nicotine before bedtime as well as implementing the other suggestions above. Let’s all take a pact to work harder to try the simpler and more natural ways to control our issues rather than taking these useless and expensive drugs.

Dr Fredda Branyon

Boosting Your Mood And Memory With Herbs

Img c/o Pexels

Img c/o Pexels

Peppermint, chamomile, rosemary and lavender smell good but have also been proven to have a large impact on your mood and memory. There are significant benefits for older people, according to new research from Northumbria University.

Researchers from University’s Department of Psychology have found that drinking peppermint tea will improve alertness. Chamomile tea has a calming effect. Just smelling the aromas of rosemary and lavender affected the memory in people over the age of 65. The scent of rosemary enhanced their memory and lavender impaired it.

At the annual British Psychological Society Conference in Nottingham in April of 2016, these findings were presented. The researchers asked, in one study, 180 volunteers to consume either a chamomile or peppermint tea drink and tested their cognition and mood before and then again after drinking. A specified group drank hot water for their comparisons.

Peppermint was found to enhance and arouse both their mood and cognition, which helped to improve their long-term memory, working memory and alertness. Chamomile had a calming and sedative effect that significantly slowed their memory and attention speed.

Another study was done involving 150 healthy people aged 65 and over. They were placed in rooms that had been scented with rosemary and lavender essential oil and some in a control room that had no scent. They then undertook tests that assessed their prospective memory as the ability to remember to do something at a given time. This would include such things as taking their medicine, or after receiving a prompt, perhaps posting a letter after seeing a mail or post box. A mood test assessment was also completed.

Those in the rosemary scented room displayed marked enhanced prospective memory with test scores 15% higher than those who had been in the room with no aroma. Alertness was another enhancement for those in the rosemary-scented room.

However, those who had spent time in the lavender scented room displayed significantly increased calmness and contentedness and had a decrease in their abilities to remember to do something at a given time.

This proves that peppermint has a reputation for being psychologically or mentally alerting. It makes you feel a little brighter and gives you that extra pickup. Those people who had drunk the peppermint tea had better long-term memory and were able to remember more words and pictures that they had seen. Those who had the chamomile were slower in their responses to tasks.

Even Shakespeare said “rosemary is for remembrance” and these tests show that rosemary is indeed associated with being invigorating. Rosemary has the ability to help memory and is very important because it could enable people to remember to take their medications at certain times of the day as needed.

A number of other studies has been done by Northumbria University’s Department of Psychology and found the sage, ginseng, lemon balm and gingko biloba can also have positive improving mental performance. OK, folks! Now we know what to take to calm us down or to liven us up! And…..all by using those natural herbs. Why not try it? What do you have to lose?

Dr Fredda Branyon

What Do We Know About Childhood Cancer?



What Do We Know About Childhood Cancer?

September marks Childhood Cancer Awareness, so it only makes sense that we try to learn more about how children are getting this disease at such an early stage.

Organizations all over the world are struggling to find a cure for such a deplorable disease. It has taken millions of lives and continues to affect more if a proper cure is not created and developed soon. What is worse than cancer among adults is the fact that children can get it to, and the reason remains unclear. All we know is that a bunch of cells in a child’s body suddenly became rogue and attack other cells and tissues that surround it.

Thousands of innocent children annually are diagnosed with pediatric cancer. It is estimates that close to 16,000 young ones below 20 years of age will be affected by the end of the year. It is the disease that kills the most children, killing more than AIDs, diabetes, asthma, cystic fibrosis, and other congenital problems combined.

This is why we have to celebrate September in honor of those children who lost their lives at an early stage, without being given the chance to achieve their fullest potential. Live cut short by a disease we cannot control, at least not yet.

This is why, as adults—as parents, friends, and relatives—we have to fight harder in order to eliminate this threat. We have to help save the lives of innocent children who are and will be diagnosed with this disease.

Progress on Childhood Cancer Research Has Not Been Futile

The good news is that there has been verifiable progress in the fight against childhood cancer. Treatment methods have significantly improved and clinical trials with increased participation are bearing fruit, so much so that mortality rates for a number of childhood cancer has decreased by over 50 percent in a span of three decades.

Advances in scientific research has been satisfactory, which gives light to the possibility of a cancer-free future for children. Under the Obama administration the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act has been signed into law on April 3, 2014, paving the way for the establishment of the Ten-Year Pediatric Research Initiative Fund.

Let Us Do What We Can to Promote Awareness on Childhood Cancer

Since September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we must put our best foot forward and do whatever it is we can to ensure that people are taking the necessary steps to help eliminate cancer and save the lives of so many innocent children. losing children to a disease that we know little of is just too painful to accept. We must encourage scientists, doctors, health care providers, and all the rest who support the cause.

Keep up-to-date with your community’s events and fundraisers, and if childhood cancer is not included, a simple recommendation can go a long way. Check out our homepage and browse through our informative health articles. Share it with friends and family as well!

Time-Tested Natural Cures Doctors Swear By (Part 2)

Time-Tested Natural Cures Doctors Swear By (Part 2)
You don’t have to go to the drugstore every time you feel sick. These old time cures can save you a couple of dollars the next time you have flu or a headache.

It is so easy nowadays to go to your nearest pharmacy and get an over-the-counter drug for your ailment, whether it’s just a simple headache, a back pain, or nausea caused by motion sickness and other related factors. But while some are willing to shell out a couple of dollars for these modern medicines, more and more doctors are going back to nature for answers to these common, troublesome conditions.

Here are more of the old cures that help alleviate common nuisances such as the ones mentioned above.

Butterbur and feverfew are two anti-inflammatory herbs that have proven effective against headaches and migraines.  Similarly, magnesium relaxes overstimulated nerves, and vitamin B12, also known as riboflavin, boosts energy production within nerve cells, leading to migraine relief. Studies have also shown that vitamin D may aid in migraine relief.

For upset stomachs, try teas brewed from ginger, peppermint, chamomile, fennel or licorice.  Instead of commercial antacids, mix a teaspoon or so of baking soda into a mug of warm water.  Water with a little bit of lemon, or even warm saltwater, can also sometimes do the trick.

Salt-Water Gargle

The best remedy for a sore throat is in your kitchen cabinet. While its popularity waned as antibiotics came on the scene, “now if a patient has a sore throat but doesn’t have a fever or real difficulty with swallowing, I suggest gargling with salt and H2O” to clear out mucus and reduce swelling, Hagen said.

Petroleum Jelly

Back in the 1800s, Vaseline was a popular remedy for skin complaints. Though it fell out of vogue in favor of newfangled creams, doctors have a surprising modern-day use for it: applying it to wounds after surgery. “Some patients have allergic reactions to antibiotic ointments, and petroleum jelly works just as well in the absence of infection,” said Dr. Stephen Stone, professor of dermatology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, Ill. You can use it on minor cuts, too.


Ice packs are a classic headache-killer. Newer pain relievers may be more effective, but a recent study shows that migraine

sufferers get great relief from ice packs—especially when placed for 15 minutes on the front of their neck, over the carotid arteries, rather than on their head. For best results, try a bag of ice mixed with salt water.

The more that old remedies pan out in studies, the more likely physicians are to suggest them. Part of the drive for these natural cures is the cost of health care. So trying these at home could save you a trip to the doctor. Consider these golden oldies the next time you’re feeling under the weather.

source: unsplash

Time-Tested Natural Cures Doctors Swear By (Part 1)

Time-Tested Natural Cures Doctors Swear By (Part 1)
You don’t have to go to the drugstore every time you feel sick. These old time cures can save you a couple of dollars the next time you have flu or a headache.
source: unsplash


While the use of modern medicine is still very much recommended by most doctors, old cures for common ailments have never lost their footing in the world of medicine. What is interesting is that these old remedies have been making waves yet again in recent scientific studies. It seems that these time-tested cures still have something vital that medical experts have yet to discover.

While we

wait for the next big medical discovery to be announced, here is what you can learn from these natural medicines.


Ginger has been used for millennia to treat nausea. However, the chances of hearing it from a doctor

 practicing conventional medicine is quite slim. Thankfully though, 21st century physicians are now bridging the gap between conventional and alternative medicine through a series of scientific studies that explore the healing potential of various plants, from the root to their leaves.

Thankfully enough, 21st century research was able to  re-highlight the potential of the wonder root to combat nausea, especially those caused by motion sickness, pregnancy, and chemotherapy.

Now more and more doctors are open to prescribing this root as the actual remedy, instead of the usual prescription drugs and pain relievers. So the next time you feel like you’re going to empty the contents of your stomach, try consuming this special, aromatic root. You can store candied ginger in your fridge, brew ginger tea, or even bake ginger cookies.


This product has been a household name since who knows when. One of the most popular ointments for pain, BenGay has been a top choice among athletes for pain management. The same cannot be said though for the usual exerciser, as some do not want to carry with them the medicinal scent that comes with analgesic heat rubs.

Nowadays, however, it’s in everyone’s bathroom closet or medicine box. Medical professionals do not hesitate to prescribe the ointment to professional athletes as well as to normal individuals who regularly engage in various forms physical activity.


Prunes are a great snack for almost anyone, but has always been known to be the ultimate solution for irregular bowel movement and is most often found in your grandmother’s stash.

But with the recent medical breakthroughs, there is a growing number of scientific evidence that supports its importance in relieving constipation. They have even been rebranded as dried plums to change the common knowledge about them.

From that point onwards, they have become an easy sell, as health-conscious customers started stacking up on these and making them part of their regular diet. This can also be contributed to the growing interest that people have over digestive health and natural food cures. A recent study has even reported that chomping on at least 12 pieces a day is more effective than psyllium supplements.

Discover the rest of the natural cures in the next part of this blog. For the meantime, do not delay incorporating these three into your lifestyle for a healthy mind and body, without having to spend much on expensive medicines.


Things You Need to Know before Going Vegan

Things You Need to Know before Going Vegan

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Being a vegan is not as difficult as you think. Only that, you have to ready yourself for it. You will have to move from eating meat to consuming greeneries and it can’t be that easy if you come unprepared. Below are the things that you should know before you make a decision to become a vegetarian:

Know your reasons.

You should not decide to go vegan all because your best friend is already one. You have to have your own reasons and they should be valid enough to motivate you. For one, you want to start taking better care of your health. Another good reason can be to contribute in saving the lives of animals being slaughtered for human consumption. If you are aware of your intentions, you can begin to focus to attain your goals.

Educate yourself about being vegetarian.
You must equip yourself with sufficient knowledge before shifting to flesh-free diet to avoid disaster. You must familiarize yourself with the entire process, from choosing what to buy in supermarket to learning how to cook them. You must also know the experiences, particularly the difficulties, of beginning vegans and how they are able to cope with these so you can easily picture yourself in their situation.

Broaden your information about vegan recipes.
One of the hardships that you can encounter with your change of diet is your limited knowledge on vegan recipes. Make an effort to learn more new ways to prepare and present your meals to encourage hearty eating. Watch cooking programs, surf the Internet for recipes, and buy cookbooks. Choose those that will not require you to spend much especially if you are on a budget.

See a nutritionist.
You have to see a nutritionist soon as you decide to go vegan. You have to make sure that your body is getting enough calcium, vitamins, protein, iron, and other essential nutrients. You have to identify the non-animal alternatives so you can come up with balanced meals.

Find supermarkets in your area that can give you easy access to ingredients and others.
It is also important that you know where to buy the ingredients that you need for your vegan recipes. This task may not be a hard one especially if you do not prepare those that require complicated components. But, you have to make sure of your accessibility to avoid future problems.

Look for someone who also wants to become a vegetarian.
If you know a family member, a friend or a neighbor who also want to go vegan, it may be a good idea to start together. Having someone who is taking the same journey as yours is an effective drive.

It may be a good idea if you go slower with your shift. Anyway, you have no reason to rush, right? You have a goal and you can attain it even by not working so fast. Becoming a vegetarian in stages will give your body enough time to adjust to your new lifestyle.

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Things You Need to Consider Before Getting an Acupuncture Treatment

Things You Need to Consider Before Getting an Acupuncture Treatment
Before availing an Acupuncture treatment, there are some considerations that need to be check, such as confirming if your Insurance Plan covers the said therapy.

Most of us are likely to be familiar with Acupuncture therapy; it is best known for alleviating pain caused by cancer treatments or age-related diseases like arthritis. But choosing acupuncture over conventional medicine is not as easy as buying an over-the-counter pills. Although acupuncture is FDA-approved, there are still some concerns that you need to arrange before letting acupuncturists conduct its procedures. So here’s what you need to research on before getting an Acupuncture treatment.

Research about the difference between Oriental and Western Acupuncture

There’s a difference between the two. Chinese acupuncture uses the yin and yang approach in healing, where they believe that the body has 2,000 acupuncture points that connects with the “meridian points”. These meridian points are regarded in Chinese medicine as the pathways of qi or vital energy that is highly associated with a person’s overall health; On the other hand, the Western technique offers a more scientific approach, where the acupuncture treatment aims to connect with the body’s nervous system by way of puncturing specific sites in the body.

In what ways can we investigate the distinction from one and the other? You can:

  1. Read a book on acupunctures

  2. Ask an acupuncture practitioner or someone who experienced oriental or western acupuncture before.

  3. Research through government health department websites or email and inquire Chinese Medicine Schools.

Double doubt yourself whether you trust this kind of Holistic Method

It is important to be certain of what medical care you want to avail, especially if it has something to do with flesh penetration. Do not rely on “here-sayers” who tend to overreact on holistic methodology; acupuncture cannot cure cancer nor save you from an incurable ailment. But what it can do is to relieve you from chronic pains, reduce symptoms, and restore balance in your body’s system.

Once you’ve done your research, ask yourself if acupuncture is the treatment for you. Keep in mind that in Holistic medicine you always have a choice and physician can only give suggestions; therefore, you shall be liable for whatever option you will choose. Only advance with the treatment if you are confident that Acupuncture is the best alternative for your condition

Consult your Insurance Plan Provider

You don’t want your acupuncture treatment to be abruptly cut in the middle because of monetary issues. Having an insurance plan can help you pay your session bills. If acupuncture is indeed covered by your Health Insurance then you will have to discuss your options with your doctor so he can refer you to an acupuncture treatment.

If it’s not, you can always opt to pay it out of your own pocket. If money is an issue then there are local “community style” acupuncture clinics which accommodates people in group setting. Although they are more affordable, don’t expect a 5-star treatment lounge during your session, you may have to wait in-line until it’s your turn to be treated.

With these considerations in mind, you can now go and find a licensed acupuncturist to cater to your medical needs. It is better to be well-informed before entering any agreement. Being ready in body and in mind can help you lessen anxiety prior treatment, it can also avoid any concerns that may occur during the Acupuncture therapy. Still, the real intention of this article is to help you open your options for medical care, you can’t settle to what is obliged to you by your Doctor. You should recognize that you can always have a choice.

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