Mouth pain while sleeping due to teeth grinding

Home Remedies for Teeth Grinding

Mouth pain while sleeping due to teeth grinding

Have you ever wondered what the cause of bruxism or teeth grinding is? 

Why is it important to pay attention to bruxism? 

What can happen if you don’t take the appropriate steps to keep your teeth strong and healthy? 

The following are some common reasons a person may be experiencing sleep bruxism and awake bruxism.

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Caffeine Intake
  • Smoking 
  • Heavy Alcohol Consumption
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Depression 

Depending on your daily habits, making lifestyle changes can not only improve your everyday life by reducing psychological stress, but can also improve your overall health and reduce bruxism. 

At first glance, these changes may seem unrelated, but stress manifests in different ways. Consuming alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine can take a toll on our bodies in many ways. Sleep disorders, if left untreated, can cause many issues as well. 

Girl at Dentist

Oral Hygiene is Critical

Let’s explore what can happen if you ignore your oral health. There are several dental problems associated with bruxism that result in long-term damage:

  • Painful teeth
  • worn tooth enamel
  • flattened biting surfaces
  • damaged fillings and crowns
  • Chipped or cracked teeth

Other possible side effects have to do with muscle tension. This would include facial pain, sore jaw muscles, ear pain, and neck pain.

Headaches and fatigue are also associated with bruxism.

Other Contributing Factors Leading to Bruxism

In addition to the lifestyle choices that can lead to bruxism, other factors can lead to teeth grinding.

As mentioned previously, a person’s stress level is a primary factor; how much stress you internalize within your given personality type can increase your risk.

If you have a competitive or hyperactive personality, this can increase your chances of bruxism during sleep as well as during the day.

It’s also important to consider how medications may affect you.

Though it may be an uncommon side effect, some psychiatric medications and certain antidepressants can cause bruxism.

Bruxism can also be a trait that is passed down through families.

Lastly, other medical conditions are associated with bruxism, such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, sleep apnea, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Natural Remedies for Bruxism

There are severe cases requiring conventional treatments from a healthcare provider, but the good news is that several natural remedies can be effective in preventing further damage, assisting with stress management, and improving sleep quality. 

One such treatment is to wear a night guard. Often you can wear the night guard on the lower teeth only. In addition, you can get custom-made mouthguards from your local dentist. This will prevent further damage to your teeth during the night.

Additional home remedies to add to your daily routine include placing a warm compress on your jaw, such as a heating pad or a hot towel, to help relax the muscles. 

There are also relaxation techniques, such as opening your mouth as wide as you can and touching your tongue to your front teeth, which will help to relax your jaw. 

Massage therapy is still another way to lessen sore muscles. When massaging facial muscles, it helps to use essential oils.

Meditating, yoga, and deep breathing are alternative therapies that also reduce stress.

A healthy plate of food

Eat Healthy Whole Foods

Lastly, good nutrition is essential. Drinking herbal tea to help relax your mind and body will allow you to get better sleep.

Turmeric milk is always a good option. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, reducing the pain from your sore muscles.

Vitamin C benefits the adrenal glands. It can be found in many fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits, peppers, papaya, guava, strawberries, and many more.

You can also opt for supplements. Vitamin B-rich foods such as potatoes, vegetables in the cabbage family, fish, chicken, and seafood decrease psychological stress and help fight depression.

Magnesium-rich foods like boiled spinach, black-eyed peas, avocados, bananas, yogurt, fish, dark chocolate, and flaxseed aid in relaxation and help regulate mood.

Whatever remedy you choose, the first step is taking time for yourself and being mindful of how you are helping your body to be healthy and resilient.

Michael Brown in Lab Coat with arms crossed

Michael J. Brown, RPh, BCPS, BCPP

Mr. Brown is a Clinical Pharmacist specializing in pharmacotherapy and psychiatry.

Read Michael’s story here.

Feel free to send Michael a message using this link.


Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click on, or make a purchase through a third-party link.

9 Best Herbs For Focus

herbs in a mortal and pestal

Are you looking for something to improve your concentration?

 Do you want increased energy levels and mental clarity? 

This post will review several herbal supplements that can improve brain function, boost energy levels, and enhance cognitive performance.

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is an herb that has been used for centuries to promote calmness, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve cognitive function. Some studies suggest that it may help improve focus and concentration.

A study published in the journal “Nutrients” found that lemon balm extract improved cognitive performance and mood in healthy young adults. The researchers attributed these effects to the herb’s ability to modulate neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine, which is involved in learning and memory.1

Lemon balm, in combination with valerian root, passionflower, and butterbur extracts (Ze 185), has been shown to decrease the need for benzodiazepines in some patients.2

 These studies suggest that it may be a useful natural remedy for improving cognitive function and reducing stress and anxiety. 

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba

Like lemon balm, Ginkgo Biloba has a variety of health benefits. It is a powerful antioxidant that can decrease oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals. One study published in 2002 showed Ginkgo Biloba may enhance memory in healthy individuals 60 years of age and older.3

Another study showed Ginkgo Biloba was effective in improving mental status scores in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment.4

It is important to note that not all studies have confirmed these findings. 

Ginko Biloba is a very popular natural herb, and in the book “Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbs for Longevity and Well-Being,” it is named as her number one herb of longevity.

Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola is an herb related to parsley. This ayurvedic herb has been used for wound healing, circulation, and burns. 

Gotu kola (Centella Asiatica) is an herb that has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to improve cognitive function, memory, and concentration. Some studies have investigated the effects of gotu kola on focus and concentration.

One study found that a combination of gotu kola and Bacopa monnieri (another herb traditionally used for cognitive enhancement) improved cognitive function, attention, and working memory in healthy adults.5

An article in Trends in Food Science & Technology concluded  C. asiatica can be neuroprotective and targets multiple disease pathways to fight neurodegenerative disorders.6


Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an adaptogenic herb that has been routinely used in Ayurvedic medicine to improve cognitive function, including memory, concentration, and mental focus. Some studies have investigated the effects of ashwagandha on mental focus.

One study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements found that ashwagandha root extract improved cognitive function, including attention and information processing speed, in healthy adults.7

A separate study found Ashwagandha can enhance memory, reduce brain aging and stress.8

A review of several studies published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine found ashwagandha has potential as a natural cognitive enhancer, particularly for improving memory and attention.9

Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa monnieri is an herb traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to enhance cognitive function, including memory and focus. Several studies have investigated the effects of Bacopa monnieri on focus and concentration.

One study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that Bacopa monnieri improved cognitive function and processing speed in healthy older adults.10

 Another study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that Bacopa monnieri improved memory consolidation and attention in healthy adults. This study also showed Bacopa has an anxiolytic effect as well.11

A review of several studies published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology concluded that Bacopa monnieri has potential as a cognitive enhancer, particularly for improving memory and attention.

Green Tea

Green Tea

Green tea is a popular beverage that contains a variety of compounds, including caffeine and L-theanine, that may have cognitive-enhancing effects.

One study published in Phytomedicine found that green tea improved memory, attention, and brain function.12

Another study found that higher consumption of green tea is associated with a lower incidence of cognitive impairment in humans.13

More research is needed to grasp the effects of green tea on focus and concentration. These studies suggest that the combination of caffeine and L-theanine in green tea may have cognitive-enhancing benefits. It’s important to note that green tea and its extracts do contain caffeine, which can have side effects like jitteriness, insomnia, and increased heart rate, especially in high doses or in individuals who are sensitive to caffeine.

Asian Ginseng

Asian Ginseng

Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) is an herb that has been traditionally used in Chinese medicine to enhance cognitive function, including memory, concentration, and mental clarity. Some studies have investigated the effects of Asian ginseng on mental focus.

One study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that a single dose of Asian ginseng improved cognitive performance, including attention, working memory, and reaction time, in healthy young adults.14

Another study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that daily supplementation with Asian ginseng extract improved cognitive function and mood in middle-aged adults with age-related cognitive decline.15

A review of several studies published in the Journal of Ginseng Research concluded that Asian ginseng has potential as a natural cognitive enhancer, particularly for improving attention and cognitive processing speed.16

While Asian ginseng appears to have promising effects on mental focus, more research is needed to fully understand its benefits and optimal dosages.

Rhodiola rosea

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola rosea is an herb that has been traditionally used in Russia and Scandinavia to improve physical and mental performance, reduce fatigue, and enhance mood. In addition, some studies have investigated the effects of Rhodiola rosea on focus and concentration.

One study published in Molecules stated Rhodiola is effective in treating stress-related conditions and disorders.17

Another study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that Rhodiola rosea extract improved cognitive function and reduced mental fatigue in physicians working night shifts.18

A review of several studies published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine concluded that Rhodiola rosea has the potential as a natural cognitive enhancer, particularly for improving mental fatigue and stress-related cognitive dysfunction.

Holy Basil

Holy Basil

Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), also known as tulsi, is an herb that has been commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to enhance cognitive function and reduce stress and anxiety. Some studies have investigated the effects of holy basil on focus and concentration.

One study published in the International Journal of Ayurveda Research found that holy basil extract improved cognitive function, including attention, memory, and executive function, in healthy adults.
Another study from the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine found that holy basil extract improved cognitive function and reduced stress in healthy older adults.19

A review of several studies published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal showed those who consumed Holy Basil had a positive change in mood and/or cognitive function regardless of age, gender, formulation, dose, or study quality.20

pharmacist Michael

If you are having trouble concentrating, the first step is to be sure you are eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep. Exercise can also help. 

Medicinal herbs can be a good choice as well. I suggest finding a popular herbal blend such as Brain & Focus by Sunshine Nutraceuticals. 

This product is specially designed to improve memory and focus by utilizing vitamins, minerals, and natural herbs. It is crucial to take care of your physical and cognitive health. 

Always remember that just because some of these herbal remedies listed do not have robust clinical studies to support them, that does not mean they are ineffective. Clinical trials are expensive, and drug companies are unwilling to spend money on them if they cannot get a good return on their investment.

Michael Brown in Lab Coat with arms crossed

Michael J. Brown, RPh, BCPS, BCPP

Mr. Brown is a Clinical Pharmacist specializing in pharmacotherapy and psychiatry.

Read Michael’s story here.

Feel free to send Michael a message using this link.

food dehydrator and air fryer

Air Fryer vs Dehydrator: What is the Difference?

food dehydrator and air fryer

What is the difference between an air fryer and a food dehydrator? Do you need both? This post will explain the difference between these two kitchen appliances and why you might want to purchase them.

Air Fryers

An air fryer is a cooking appliance containing a heating element and a powerful fan introduced in 2010. Air fryers have become wildly popular because food can be cooked quickly with fewer calories and fat than a deep fryer. These appliances come in two main configurations. Those with cooking baskets and those resembling convection ovens. Multi-functional models allow baking, toasting, dehydrating, and more. Air fryers cook food around 400 degrees Fahrenheit, producing a browned, crispy crust and a juicy center.

Is Cooking in an Air-Fryer Healthy

Many people believe foods cooked in an air-fryer are automatically healthier. This is not necessarily true. It all depends on what type of food you start with. If you cook processed frozen foods such as french fries or fried mozzarella sticks in your air-fryer, you will still end up with processed food. There have also been concerns over air fryers increasing the risk of burned foods. Charring is thought to increase cancer risk. A study done in 2015 found that air-frying potatoes and other starchy foods can decrease the production of acrylamide by 90% when compared to deep-fat frying.1

Acrylamide is thought to cause pancreatic cancer in humans. It has also been linked to other types of cancers in animals.

Another study published in 2017 found that cooking sardines in an air fryer can produce cholesterol-oxidizing products or COPs. These substances have been linked to chronic heart disease and cancer. This study also showed adding fresh aromatic herbs to the sardines decreased the production of COPs.2

This is another reason to use fresh herbs while cooking.

The advantages of Air fryers

  • Food can be cooked more quickly.
  • Less fat and calories than deep frying.
  • Most appliances are easy to clean.
  • Very easy to use.

The Best Air Fryers

I have done a lot of research on air fryers and currently own two. I have one in my main house and another in my beach apartment. Air fryers produce delicious food. This cooking method is ideal for chicken, pork chops, and homemade french fries. I have listed my favorite air fryers below. When purchasing one of these appliances, consider the following:

Amount of counter space available.

  • Size of the family to feed.
  • Other settings (toaster, convection oven, rotisserie, bake, etc.
  • Ease of cleaning.
  • Energy consumption.
  • Budget.

This is the main air fryer I use. With this appliance, you can air fry, bake, dehydrate, toast, keep warm, and more. The Ninja Foodi also stands up when not in use, saving counter space. If you have the budget, this is the product I would suggest purchasing. We have had this model for a couple of years and use it many times per week. It does a great job.

If you are looking for a high-end appliance that looks great and is an outstanding performer, the Breville Smart Air Fryer Pro is for you! This model is more expensive than the Ninja Foodi but has many of the same functions. It also has a dehydrator setting and is the best option for kitchens with high-end appliances.

For those who are looking for a small, budget-friendly air fryer, the Cosori Air Fryer Pro LE is a great choice. This air fryer is dishwasher-safe and very quiet.

dehydrated food on tray

Food Dehydrators

A food dehydrator is an appliance that takes water out of foods. They work by circulating air at low temperatures for a prolonged period of time. This appliance contains a heating element that creates hot air. A built-in fan circulates the heated air around the food, which sits on trays inside the unit. The process of drying food slowly at low temperatures preserves the taste and nutritional content of the food. The low moisture content of the food produced by the dehydration process keeps molds, yeasts, and bacteria from spoiling the food leading to a much longer shelf-life. Dehydrated snacks in grocery stores are expensive and often contain sulfur dioxide as a preservative. Eating whole foods is always a good idea. 

The advantages of owning a food dehydrator include:

  • Dehydrated food lasts longer than hydrated food.
  • Snacks made in a dehydrator are generally healthier than those purchased in the store.
  • Only one ingredient is needed.
  • Dehydrated snacks are more flavorful and lighter.
  • Fresh herbs can be dried, producing more flavorful food and cost savings.
  • A food dehydrator can be used to make potpourri.
  • Beef Jerky, dehydrated fruit, and dried homemade pasta encourage eating whole foods, which decreases the consumption of harmful food additives and chemicals.
  • Money can be saved by dehydrating food before it spoils.

A conventional oven is not a good choice when dehydrating food because the temperature is too high to dry the food correctly. Low heat is required to produce delicious dried foods. Food dehydrators also use less energy than a traditional oven. 

Types of food dehydrators

Food dehydrators come in two different configurations. Those with pull-out shelves and those with shelves that stack. It is just a matter of preference, as both functions fine. As mentioned above, you can also purchase an air fryer that functions as a food dehydrator as well. If you have the budget, this is my recommendation. The Ninja Foodi and the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro are great options for both functions. See our other recommendations for food dehydrators below. 

This beautiful, high-end appliance can dry thin slices of fruits and vegetables. You can also use it to make beef jerky, dried herbs, and more. This unit has 11 Trays with plenty of Drying Space.

The Elite Gourmet is for you if you are looking for a budget-friendly food dehydrator. The Elite Gourmet has a compact size and a temperature range from 95ºF to 158ºF. It works very well and is available at a low price.

There is a big difference between an air fryer and a food dehydrator. Air fryers use high heat for cooking foods quickly, while food dehydrators remove water from foods with low heat over a long period of time. As mentioned in this post, some air fryers have a dehydrator function available. I have listed my favorite appliances for air frying, dehydrating foods, and a combination of the two. I use my air fryers weekly and find a significant difference in the taste of the food. My favorite thing to cook is chicken breast. I use the chicken to make wraps, salads, and chicken burritos throughout the week. In 20 minutes, I can have perfectly cooked chicken breast. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me using the link below.


Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click on, or make a purchase through a third-party link.

Michael Brown in Lab Coat with arms crossed

Michael J. Brown, RPh, BCPS, BCPP

Mr. Brown is a Clinical Pharmacist specializing in pharmacotherapy and psychiatry.

Read Michael’s story here.

Feel free to send Michael a message using this link.

Lady crying with mirror with lines of cocaine and a syringe

What do Cross-Addiction and Cross-Dependence Mean?

Lady crying with mirror with lines of cocaine and a syringe


Cross addiction, or addiction transfer, occurs when a person is addicted to more than one substance or activity. Remember, addictive behaviors don’t only apply to substances. People can become addicted to gambling, sex, food, shopping, video games, work, and cell phones. 

A classic example of cross-addiction is when a person is addicted to alcohol and another substance. Alcohol use disorder and drug addiction are often seen together and can lead to negative consequences such as poor health, decreased productivity, and legal trouble. 

We know that those who abuse alcohol are at higher risk of using other substances, including prescription medications. They may also be at higher risk of becoming addicted to gambling. Alcohol impairs judgment. Why do you think the casinos in Las Vegas give free alcoholic drinks to those who gamble? 

teenagers drinking at a party

It is important to remember that people don’t become addicted to substances by choice. Addiction can occur for a variety of reasons. 

  • It may result due to peer pressure. 
  • Post-op patients may be prescribed a new substance for pain control and may obtain pleasurable feelings while using this substance. They may continue to use it even in the absence of pain. 
  • People with poor coping skills may use addictive substances to numb the pain of a lost job, relationship, or the death of a loved one. 
  • Patients with bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions may develop new habits while trying to self-medicate. 

When patients have a mental illness and abuse substances, we refer to them as dual-diagnosis patients.

multiple drugs of abuse pictured


Cross-dependence has three different meanings.

The first is the ability of one substance to prevent withdrawal symptoms of another substance.

A classic example is using methadone to avoid the withdrawal symptoms from heroin or other opiates.

As healthcare professionals, we use this to help keep opiate addicts from using heroin and other dangerous street drugs.

woman snorting cocaine

Another definition of cross-dependence is when a patient rapidly becomes dependent on a substance related to another drug to which the patient already has a tolerance or dependence. This can happen, for example, with two addictive drugs, both opiates. This can lead to a dangerous balancing act where the patient tries to get the desired effect of the substances without overdosing.

The third definition of cross-dependence is when the person simultaneously depends on more than one substance or activity. This is the concept of cross-addiction. 

The most common cross-addictions are drugs to alcohol and drugs or alcohol to gambling. 

The patient may also substitute one addiction for another. For example, a patient suffering from cocaine addiction may start playing video games to take their mind off their drug of choice. Video games can release dopamine from the brain, which leads to positive reinforcement and an increase in the time spent playing video games. What started as a coping mechanism to try to abstain from cocaine use could result in the development of a video game addiction.

Cross-addiction and cross-dependence are concepts that must be considered when treating patients with substance addiction. 

Many treatment centers are available to help those suffering from drug dependence and other addictions. The first step in recovery is admitting a problem and finding support groups to help or seeking inpatient treatment when necessary. 

Developing healthy coping skills BEFORE you need them is the key to preventing addiction. 

Other aspects include mental health issues, chronic pain, a family history of addiction, and environmental factors that may lead to compulsive behaviors and an increased risk of addiction.

We must all remember that mental health disorders are no different than other medical conditions. 

They involve a different organ. The brain is the most complex organ in our body, and there are many things we still don’t understand. 

What we do know is the average person can become a drug addict at any time. 

As a society, we are responsible for caring for our population’s poor and vulnerable members. This includes those with mental health issues. 

The only way to be sure not to become addicted to a substance is total abstinence. This is also true of the activities that people may become addicted to. I am not suggesting never to eat or have sex but being aware of your actions and what habits you are forming. 

I hope everyone reading this will develop coping skills to help weather the storms that life creates. 

Remember, if you are addicted to anything and want help, 

call 1-800-662-HELP (4357). 

This is the greatest gift you can give yourself if you are suffering from an addiction.


Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click on, or make a purchase through a third-party link.

Michael Brown in Lab Coat with arms crossed

Michael J. Brown, RPh, BCPS, BCPP

Mr. Brown is a Clinical Pharmacist specializing in pharmacotherapy and psychiatry.

Read Michael’s story here.

Feel free to send Michael a message using this link.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

The Power of Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Your Ultimate Guide to a Healthy Diet

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection, and it plays a crucial role in the healing process. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, it can lead to a wide range of health issues, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and even cancer. The good news is that you can combat chronic inflammation through your diet by incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your meals. In this article, we’ll explore the power of anti-inflammatory foods and provide you with the ultimate guide to a healthy diet.

What are Anti-Inflammatory Foods?

Anti-inflammatory foods are nutrient-dense foods that have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. They are typically rich in antioxidants, which are compounds that neutralize harmful molecules called free radicals that can damage cells and contribute to inflammation. Anti-inflammatory foods also contain other beneficial nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, which can help to promote overall health and well-being.  Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods are listed below.

Leafy Greens

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are excellent sources of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They are also high in fiber, which can help to reduce inflammation in the gut and support digestive health.



Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are packed with antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. They are also low in sugar compared to other fruits, making them a healthy and delicious addition to your diet.

Salmon on cutting board with lemon

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body and protect against chronic diseases, such as heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds, are excellent sources of healthy fats and antioxidants. They can help to lower inflammation in the body and promote heart health.

Tumeric root and powder


Turmeric is a spice that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It contains a compound called curcumin, which has potent anti-inflammatory effects. Adding turmeric to your meals or drinking turmeric tea can be a flavorful way to incorporate this powerful anti-inflammatory food into your diet.

Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a healthy fat that is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.

Whole Grains

Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and oats, are high in fiber and other nutrients that can help to reduce inflammation in the body. They are also a healthier option compared to refined grains, such as white rice and white bread, which can contribute to inflammation and other health issues.

Green Tea

Green Tea

Green tea is loaded with antioxidants called catechins, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Drinking green tea regularly can be a healthy habit that promotes overall health and well-being.


Ginger is another spice that has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries. It contains a compound called gingerol, which has anti-inflammatory effects and can help to reduce inflammation in the body.

Colorful Vegetables

Vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, and sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can help to lower inflammation in the body. Including a variety of colorful vegetables in your diet can provide a wide range of nutrients that support overall health and well-being.

family passing around healthy food

Incorporating Anti-Inflammatory Foods Into Your Diet

A healthy diet is the foundation of overall well-being, and incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your meals can have a significant impact on your health. Anti-inflammatory foods are packed with nutrients that can reduce inflammation in the body, lower the risk of chronic diseases, and promote optimal health. If you’re looking to boost your health and harness the power of anti-inflammatory foods, here are some easy ways to incorporate them into your diet.

  1. Start with Leafy Greens: Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, are versatile and can be easily incorporated into your diet. You can add them to your salads, sauté them with garlic and olive oil, or blend them into smoothies. Leafy greens are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and other beneficial nutrients that can help to lower inflammation and promote digestive health.
  2. Add Berries to Your Meals: Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, are not only delicious but also packed with antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties. You can add them to your breakfast bowl, mix them into yogurt, or enjoy them as a healthy snack. Berries are low in sugar compared to other fruits and can be a tasty and nutritious addition to your diet.
  3. Incorporate Fatty Fish: Fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their anti-inflammatory effects. You can grill or bake fish for a tasty main course, or add canned fish to salads, wraps, or sandwiches. Omega-3 fatty acids can help to reduce inflammation in the body and protect against chronic diseases.
  4. Snack on Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds, are easy to snack on and can be added to a variety of dishes. You can sprinkle them on top of salads, blend them into smoothies, or enjoy them as a standalone snack. Nuts and seeds are packed with healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants that can help to lower inflammation and support heart health.
  5. Spice it Up: Spice it up with Anti-Inflammatory Herbs and Spices: Many herbs and
    spices have potent anti-inflammatory properties. Include herbs like
    turmeric, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, and basil in your cooking to add
    flavor and potential health benefits.
  6. Use Olive Oil for Cooking: Olive oil is a healthy fat that is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and can be used for cooking or as a dressing for salads. Replace unhealthy oils with olive oil in your cooking to reap its anti-inflammatory benefits.
  7. Opt for Whole Grains: Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and oats, are easy to incorporate into your diet as a healthy carbohydrate source. You can use them as a base for salads, stir-fries, or as a side dish. Whole grains are high in fiber and other nutrients that can help to lower inflammation and support digestive health.
  8. Sip on Green Tea: Green tea is a refreshing and healthy beverage that is loaded with antioxidants called catechins, which have anti-inflammatory properties. You can enjoy green tea hot or iced, and you can add lemon or honey for added flavor. Sipping on green tea regularly can be a simple habit to boost your health.

Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet can have numerous benefits for your body, including reducing inflammation, supporting heart health, enhancing digestive health, boosting immune function, supporting brain health, aiding in weight management, and promoting overall well-being. By making simple changes to your eating habits and including more of these nutrient-rich foods in your meals, you can take proactive steps towards optimizing your health and well-being. Always consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before making any significant changes to your diet, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

Michael Brown in Lab Coat with arms crossed

Michael J. Brown, RPh, BCPS, BCPP

Mr. Brown is a Clinical Pharmacist specializing in pharmacotherapy and psychiatry.

Read Michael’s story here.

Feel free to send Michael a message using this link.

Retail Pharmacist

Is Pharmacy a Good Career Choice?

Retail Pharmacist

Should you go to pharmacy school to become a

I’m going to give you some reasons why it’s a great idea to become a pharmacist.

There are so many things you can do with a pharmacy degree.

A lot of people think of a pharmacist as somebody who works at a Walgreens or CVS

pharmacy behind the counter and hands you prescriptions while giving you advice on how to take
your medications. 

That is one thing that you can do as a pharmacist, and that can be
rewarding, especially if you enjoy people. 

If you like seeing little kids and helping the public, retail pharmacy is a great place to be.

You can work one or two days a week and make as much money as many
people who work five days a week.


mom with 3 kids

If you are a mom and you want to spend some time with your kids, pharmacy is a great profession.  There are a lot of companies that will allow you to work when you want to work. 

There are also places that you can work as a pharmacist besides retail pharmacy,  let’s talk about some of those.

Hospital Pharmacy

Hospital pharmacy is different than retail pharmacy. The advantages are you have more clinical input with regard to drug therapy. The doctors ask you a lot more questions and it is more intense. There are specialties you can go into within the hospital as well.

You might want to be an ICU pharmacist or an emergency room pharmacist. You can
specialize in working with mothers and newborns or chemotherapy. There’s a lot of different things that a
hospital pharmacist can do. 

Most hospitals are open 24 hours a day, so there’s a chance that you may have to work evenings and overnight.
That is the downside of hospital pharmacy, but it is the type of hospital pharmacy I really enjoy. 

I’ve worked in hospitals for a large part of my career.

A lot of pharmacy schools are pushing residency right now, especially for hospitals. I can tell you that I just hired a pharmacist that hasn’t even graduated from pharmacy school. It is not true that you cannot get a hospital job without a residency. There may be some cities where it’s more difficult to do, but it’s certainly not impossible. They’ve been advocating for residency for years, but I have personally witnessed many pharmacists getting hired without it. Don’t think you must do a residency to get hired at a hospital.

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Pharmacy Management

Every pharmacy needs a manager. You can be the manager of a drug store, a hospital pharmacy, a compounding pharmacy, etc. Pharmacy managers keep the pharmacy staffed, look over the profit and loss statements, figure
out how to be more productive and how to save money.  They manage the staff, do evaluations, and are usually involved in many projects.   Managers often spend a large portion of their days in various meetings.

College Professor


Pharmacists can work in academics.  You can be a pharmacy instructor. A lot of people like this job because it’s Monday through Friday, nine to five, and the stress probably isn’t as high. You get to teach the new generation of pharmacists how to be successful which can be very rewarding.

Ambulatory Care Pharmacy

Ambulatory care clinics are usually connected to a hospital system. These pharmacists work in a clinic and see patients.  They help them with various types of drug therapy.  Ambulatory care pharmacists specialize in anticoagulation, hypertension, psychiatry, diabetes, HIV, and other chronic illnesses.

Ambulatory care pharmacists usually work Monday through Friday during the day.

Compounding Pharmacy

Compounding pharmacists make drugs that are not available by bigger manufacturers.  They make creams, ointments, suppositories and other dosage forms that are not commercially available.  They may need to make products to remove ingredients that a patient is allergic to.  They may also make medications that are on backorder from the manufacturer.

Nuclear Pharmacy

A lot of people don’t know about nuclear pharmacy. This is what I did for about 12 years of
my career. Nuclear pharmacy is where you make, test, and distribute radioactive drugs for diagnostic

What are the advantages of this type of pharmacy?  You usually get paid more and you don’t deal with the public.  

Disadvantages include being on-call, which I did not like, poor working hours, and radiation exposure. 

Long Term Care

Another type of pharmacy is long-term care. These pharmacies distribute drugs to nursing homes, memory care
units and skilled nursing facilities throughout the area. As a pharmacist, you would double check the
prescriptions that the technicians enter into the computer system, and check the
bubble packs.  You can also consult, which I kind of enjoyed, and that’s where
you go into the nursing home and make sure that they’re doing things the way they’re
supposed to do. Are the medications appropriate for the patient? You make
recommendations based on age, renal function, lab values, etc.


 The last type of pharmacy that I want to talk about is telepharmacy. This is where you work from home, sign into a computer and verify orders from multiple hospitals, possibly in multiple states. When I did this, I had
a license in 15 different states, and worked for nine different hospitals simultaneously.  Telepharmacists process orders and dose different drugs based on hospital protocols. You can also work for insurance companies or retail pharmacies as well. So there are opportunities for pharmacists to work from home. The disadvantage of telepharmacy is the pay is less and the hours are less than ideal. If you want to stay home with your children, this could be a good option.

Should you take the plunge and go to pharmacy school? The answer to that question is up to you.  As described in this post, there are many different opportunities available.  The work schedule is flexible depending on the field of pharmacy you choose.  I have always had more than one job ever since I’ve been a pharmacist.  This has allowed me to make a pretty good living. 

Pharmacists help people. It makes you feel good knowing that you’re helping your patients and the healthcare system
in general.  If you’re interested in pharmacy, the one thing that I would strongly recommend is going to a pharmacy and shadowing a pharmacist. When I went to pharmacy school, I had no idea what I was getting into. 

I wanted to be a veterinarian but ended up as a pharmacist.  I am not complaining, pharmacy has been good to me. 

Decide what you want to do and go for it. I think pharmacy is a great career.  

If you have any questions about pharmacy school or if you want to talk to me directly, send me an email at:

 [email protected]

Michael Brown in Lab Coat with arms crossed

Michael J. Brown, RPh, BCPS, BCPP

Mr. Brown is a Clinical Pharmacist specializing in pharmacotherapy and psychiatry.

Read Michael’s story here.

Feel free to send Michael a message using this link.


Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click on, or make a purchase through a third-party link.

man with trigeminal neuralgia pain

Home Remedies for Trigeminal Neuralgia

man with trigeminal neuralgia pain

Do you suffer from trigeminal neuralgia (TN)?


Are you looking for a home remedy to help with the symptoms?


Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerves in the face. These nerves, also called the 5th cranial nerves, are composed of three branches. The three branches V1(ophthalmic), V2(maxillary), and V3(mandibular) are responsible for transmitting nerve impulses from the face to the brain. They also assist with motor functions such as chewing. Trigeminal neuralgia, also known as Fothergill’s disease, usually occurs in those fifty years of age and older and is more common in females.

Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click on, or make a purchase through a third-party link.

lady with ice pack on side of face

Trigeminal Neuralgia Symptoms

  • Electric shock-like feeling on one side of the face.
  • Pain may be caused by applying makeup, brushing teeth, chewing, or touching the face.
  • Painful attacks may become more frequent and worsen over time.
  • Pain attacks may last from seconds to a few minutes.
  • Pain that doesn’t respond to traditional pain medication.
  • Light sensitivity.
  • Spontaneous facial pain.
dentist working on patients mouth

Causes of Trigeminal Neuralgia

We are not certain as to what causes trigeminal neuralgia. We think it is the result of trigeminal nerve compression. Blood vessels can press against the nerve and if the nerve is damaged, pain may occur. Other possible causes are:

  • Facial trauma.
  • dental procedures.
  • Tumors or cysts.
  • Malformed blood vessels.
Blue medication capsules

Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatment

Medications: Traditional painkillers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are generally ineffective against trigeminal neuralgia. Prescription medications are often utilized, specifically anticonvulsants. These include:

Carbamazepine (Tegretol)

Phenytoin (Dilantin)

Gabapentin (Neurontin)

Topiramate (Topamax)

Side Effects of Anticonvulsants: The main side effects of these types of medications are drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. Please consult your physician or pharmacist for more specific information.

Surgical Treatment: There are several surgical options available to treat trigeminal neuralgia.

Microvascular Decompression Surgery (MVD): This procedure works by inserting a cushion between the vessel and part of the trigeminal nerve. An incision is made behind the ear and a small portion of the skull is removed. This procedure helps approximately 80% of sufferers and is thought to be the longest-acting treatment. Risks of MVD include:

  • Hearing loss
  • Facial numbness
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Paralysis
  • Leaking of CSP

Rhizotomy: This is an outpatient procedure and is also effective in about 80% of patients. The patient is placed under general anesthesia and a hollow needle is placed through the cheek. The affected nerves are treated with heat (electrical current) or chemicals (glycerin or glycerol). This procedure takes about 30 minutes and pain relief is immediate.

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Prevention:  If you know things that cause trigeminal neuralgia flare-ups, avoid them. Examples include windy weather, spicy foods, and rubbing certain areas of the face. Keep a food diary to determine if particular foods can cause pain. Some common culprits are bananas, caffeine, and citrus fruits. Hot and cold liquids can also cause flare-ups. If this happens, using a straw might help.

Medical History and Neurological Exam:  One of the best ways to help trigeminal neuralgia pain is to remove the underlying cause. To discover the source of the electric shock-like pain, a medical history should be obtained. Other disease processes such as diabetes can lead to nerve pain and make the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia worse. A complete neurological exam can help to differentiate trigeminal neuralgia from other types of neuropathic pain conditions. 

Electrical Stimulation: Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) are treatment options that use electrical current to block pain signals transmitted by damaged nerves. These options are non-invasive, well-tolerated, and can be a good option for trigeminal pain management.

Topical Pain Relievers:  Topical agents have the advantage of working locally. This typically leads to fewer side effects. There are several creams, ointments, patches, and rubs that can be used to treat painful episodes. In the hospital where I practice, we use lidocaine ointment and patches, Diclofenac gel, and menthol creams for pain relief.

Nutritional Supplements: Several natural products can help relieve nerve pain. When selecting a pain management strategy, side effects are important. I believe natural supplements should be tried before prescription medications because the side effects of anticonvulsants are usually more severe and can negatively affect the quality of life.

Turmeric: Turmeric contains curcumin which has been shown to help with pain and inflammation. This includes nerve pain. Curcumin may promote the regeneration of nerves after nerve injuries. Curcumin has also been shown to inhibit nerve pain transmission.1

Another study showed that curcumin can promote nerve regeneration after nerve fibers are damaged.2

pharmacist Michael

Trigeminal neuralgia is a painful condition that can interfere with daily activities and diminish the quality of life. The intense pain of trigeminal neuralgia can be treated with anticonvulsant medication, topical pain relievers, and turmeric. There are also outpatient and inpatient surgical procedures available. Electrical stimulation is a less intrusive option and may also be effective. Always remember to consider natural remedies such as acupuncture as well. 


I believe it is always prudent to try natural remedies and nutritional supplements before prescription medications and surgical procedures whenever possible. The side effects of medications and the surgical risks can be extensive. 


If you think you may be suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, it is a good idea to visit a neurologist. Review your treatment options and pick the one that best fits your situation. If you have any questions about this topic or any other health and wellness issue, please feel free to contact me using the author box below. I am always willing to help.


Thank you for reading this blog post and enjoy a happy, healthy life.

Michael Brown in Lab Coat with arms crossed

Michael J. Brown, RPh, BCPS, BCPP

Mr. Brown is a Clinical Pharmacist specializing in pharmacotherapy and psychiatry.

Read Michael’s story here.

Feel free to send Michael a message using this link.

Lady suffering from menopausal symptoms

The Best Herbs for Female Hormone Balance

Lady suffering from menopausal symptoms

What are the best herbs for female hormone balance?

Are you a female who suffers from a hormonal imbalance?

Are you post-menopausal?

Are you looking for a way to restore hormonal balance without prescription medications?

Female hormonal imbalance can cause many annoying symptoms such as:

  • Weight Gain
  • Mood swings
  • Menstrual changes
  • Vaginal Dryness
  • Hair Loss
  • Low Libido
  • Increase in Acne
  • Digestive problems
  • Hot Flashes
  • Night Sweats

Several herbal remedies can help restore hormonal balance. This post will examine herbal supplements that can help balance female hormones. 



Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb. Adaptogens help our body adapt to stress by normalizing physiological processes. Ashwagandha has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine for its many positive medicinal effects on the body. For example, Ashwagandha is thought to improve the hormonal imbalances in females that can lead to cramping, irregular periods, fertility issues, and the negative symptoms of menopause.

Ashwagandha has been shown to improve sexual function in healthy women.1

Dong Quai

Dong Quai is a plant in the same family as carrots, celery, and parsley. The roots of the Dong Quai plant have been used to treat the symptoms of menopause.

It is thought to act similar to estrogen, and because of this, dong quai may interact with estrogen-containing medications. Dong quai may also interact with Warfarin, and other blood thinners, which may increase bleeding risks.

chaste berry


The chaste tree berry is the fruit of the chaste tree. This berry is also known as monk’s pepper because monks were thought to use this to decrease sexual desire in the Middle Ages.

Even though sample sizes were small, clinical studies have shown extracts of chasteberry can effectively treat premenstrual syndrome, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and latent hyperprolactinemia.2

These results suggest chasteberry may help restore female hormone balance, especially concerning prolactin, progesterone, and possibly estrogen.

red clover

Red Clover

Red clover is a flowering plant that belongs to the bean family. Red clover has been shown to be effective in treating hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms.3

There are interactions between red clover and some medications. Check with your physician or pharmacist if you plan to take this supplement. This is true, especially if you take blood thinners, tamoxifen, or hormone replacement therapy.4

Red clover also possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This herb can be consumed in herbal teas or supplement forms.

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose (EPO) is a flowering plant native to North and South America. Its flowers are closed during the day and open at sunset. EPO is made from the plant’s seeds and contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and other omega-6 fatty acids.

GLA has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties. GLA may also affect hormone levels which could explain its use in relieving PMS symptoms, including hot flashes. One study found EPO was able to reduce the severity of hot flashes when compared to a placebo.5

EPO has also been used for breast tenderness and pain, although studies have not shown it to be more effective than a placebo.

Fenugreek Seed

Fenugreek is an herb native to West Asia, parts of Europe, and Iran. This herb has been used to stimulate milk production in new mothers. A study published in 2014 concluded that Fenugreek Seed reduced dysmenorrhea symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, headache, syncope, and fatigue.6

Avena sativa

Avena Sativa

Avena sativa is the Latin name for the common oat. Oats are often consumed as oatmeal for breakfast. Some people believe oats can increase blood flow, increase sexual desire and help to relieve menstrual cramping. Oats may also remove testosterone from binding sites.

Black cohosh

Black Cohosh

The roots of black cohosh are often used to relieve premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menstrual cramps, and menopausal symptoms. However, rather than increasing estrogen levels, it is thought that black cohosh may increase the effects of estrogen.

Black cohosh may cause headache, rash, and an upset stomach and may also have negative effects on the liver. Black cohosh should not be combined with hepatotoxic medications.

maca root

Maca Root

Maca root, also known as Peruvian ginseng, is a vegetable belonging to the brassica (mustard) family. It is native to the Peruvian Andes mountain range and has been used as a food and herbal medicine for 2000 years in Peru.7

Maca may help with specific menopausal systems such as hot flashes and poor sleep.

Although few extensive clinical studies have been conducted on the use of maca for the treatment of menopause, a systematic review conducted in 2011 found maca to be more effective than a placebo.8

More research needs to be completed to evaluate this herb’s safety and effectiveness in treating menopause.

I believe herbs available today may decrease the need for hormone replacement therapy in women. Hormone imbalance in women can reduce their quality of life. Many of these herbal supplements can also help with other ailments, as noted below:

Ashwagandha: stress, depression, anxiety, improved memory, insomnia, inflammation

Dong quai: Premature ejaculation

Chaste berry: Acne, infertility

Red clover: Cancer, heart disease, bone loss

Evening primrose oil: Acne, eczema, skin health, hypertension, nerve pain, heart health, bone pain

Fenugreek seed: cholesterol, heartburn, appetite suppressant, inflammation, diabetes

Avena sativa: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gout, anxiety, constipation, gallstones

Maca root: Erectile dysfunction, fertility enhancement, anemia, and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

I have attempted to include the best herbs available today to help balance hormonal issues in women. In addition to these natural products, there are other terrific options available to help, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Mindfulness
  • Yoga
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Biofeedback and relaxation training
  • Hypnosis

As a society, I believe we are too quick to turn to prescription medications. As a pharmacist, I recognize that every drug has side effects. The combination of medicines can also cause harmful effects. I firmly believe alternative approaches should be tried for many ailments before prescription drugs. Always remember the five pillars of health:

  1. Eat Whole Foods
  2. Drink Plenty of Water
  3. Exercise
  4. Get Enough Sleep
  5. Foster Spiritual and Mental Health

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me. My contact information is available in the author box below.

Michael Brown in Lab Coat with arms crossed

Michael J. Brown, RPh, BCPS, BCPP

Mr. Brown is a Clinical Pharmacist specializing in pharmacotherapy and psychiatry.

Read Michael’s story here.

Feel free to send Michael a message using this link.

ear exam

Home Remedies for Ear and Throat Pain

representation of ear pain

Are you looking for home remedies for ear and throat pain?

This post will cover over-the-counter pain medications and other remedies to combat these common conditions.

If you have a high fever or severe pain that does not resolve, please go to your local urgent care center or seek medical treatment. Ear and throat pain can be caused by a bacterial infection which may require antibiotic treatment.

Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click on, or make a purchase through a third-party link.

Diagram of the inside of the human ear

Otitis Externa

Swimmer’s Ear 

Swimmer’s ear, also known as otitis externa, is an infection of the outer opening of the ear and ear canal caused by bacteria or fungi. Otitis externa is a common cause of ear pain. Risk factors for this type of infection include:

  • swimming.
  • Using Q-tips or other foreign objects in the ear.
  • Allergies.
  • Use of hearing aids or earbuds.
  • Irritation or scratches in the ear.

Some Symptoms of Otitis Externa Include:

  • Pain and discharge from the affected ear. Discharge may initially be clear and may change to pus.
  • Redness of ear.
  • Fever.
  • Swelling of lymph nodes.
  • Some hearing loss.


ear exam

Otitis Media (Inner Ear Inflammation)

Acute Otitis Media (AOM) is an ear infection occurring in the middle ear (behind the ear drum). This infection is common in young children but can also occur in adults. The most likely cause of AOM is the dysfunction or obstruction of the eustachian tubes. The infection can be caused by viruses or bacterial and, at times both.1

Chronic ear infections may be caused by an abnormality of the mucous membranes that line part of the inner ear. These membranes help form a barrier to infection.

Otitis media is usually treated with an antibiotic such as Augmentin (amoxicillin and clavulanate). A cephalosporin, doxycycline, azithromycin, or clarithromycin may be used in patients with a penicillin allergy.

Symptoms of AOM

  • Ear pain (mild, moderate, or severe)
  • Muffled hearing
  • Fever



Treatment of Ear Infections

As with most conditions, the best treatment for ear infections is prevention. First, try to keep the ears clean and dry. Refrain from scratching the inside of the ear and remove excess wax buildup with Debrox (Carbamide Peroxide 6.5%). Always follow the directions on the box.

If using ear drops, always follow directions. A cotton ball can be placed in the ear after instilling the medicine to help keep it in the ear.

Treatment of Ear Pain

For ear pain, utilize OTC pain relievers such as acetaminophen and Ibuprofen. If you prefer natural remedies, turmeric with ginger is a great choice. The heat from a warm washcloth (warm compresses) or a heating pad can also help with the pain.

Some have suggested placing a few drops of olive oil into the ear. This can soften the earwax making it easier to remove. Olive oil may also possess antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

When to Seek Medical Advice

Inner ear infections often require antibiotics. It is essential to treat these infections because Otitis media can lead to facial paralysis, meningitis, and hearing loss. If you believe you have an inner ear infection or the treatments above are ineffective, seek medical care.


Throat Pain

We have all suffered from a sore throat during our lifetime. Sore throats can be caused by:

· Bacterial infections

· Viral infections

· Allergies

· Exposure to toxic chemicals or smoke


What are some good treatments for a sore throat?


The best treatment I have found for a sore throat is to coat the throat with hard candy, throat lozenges, or cough drops. Then, add an OTC pain reliever. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be used for pain. Turmeric can also be used with ear pain if you prefer natural products.


Other home remedies may help with a sore throat.


Gargling with salt water

 Mix ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt with 8 ounces of warm water and gargle. This can help relieve pain, clear mucous, and kill bacteria. Just gargle with the solution and spit it out. Do not swallow the salt water.


Popsicles can coat your throat and provide a cold sensation that can help deaden the pain.

 Mouth Hygiene

Even with a sore throat, brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing each day is important. Also, limit what you eat to soft, bland foods to prevent irritating the throat. 

Strep Throat

Strep throat is caused by bacteria and often starts with the rapid onset of a sore throat with pain during swallowing. There may also be a fever and swollen lymph nodes.  

If you have problems breathing, become dehydrated, cough up blood or have difficulty swallowing, you should seek medical care.


Some variants of COVID-19 have a severe sore throat as a symptom. I recently had the Omicron variant, producing one of the worst sore throats I have experienced. Omicron is known to cause sore throat and headache. As a reminder, if you end up with COVID, my supplement suggestions are:

  • Vitamin D3/K2 – 5000 units/day
  • Vitamin C – 1000 mg/day
  • Zinc 50mg/day
  • Quercetin to help the zinc penetrate cells

Ear and throat pain are common problems. As with any sickness, I believe prevention is key. Be sure to take care of your body. Our immune system can be improved by eating whole foods, drinking plenty of water, exercising, and getting adequate sleep. Probiotics can also help.

Over-the-counter products such as acetaminophen and Ibuprofen can be used for both ear and throat pain. Turmeric can also help with pain and inflammation.


Michael Brown in Lab Coat with arms crossed

Michael J. Brown, RPh, BCPS, BCPP

Mr. Brown is a Clinical Pharmacist specializing in pharmacotherapy and psychiatry.

Read Michael’s story here.

Feel free to send Michael a message using this link.

Picture of seas moss growing on rocks

Is Sea Moss Good for Acid Reflux and Other Medical Conditions?

Picture of seas moss growing on rocks

Is sea moss good for acid reflux?
What are some other health benefits of sea moss supplements?


Sea moss (Chondrus crispus), also known as Irish moss, due to its red color, is an edible plant that grows in tidepools in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Sea moss isn’t a moss but a type of algae or seaweed. For this reason, sea moss is also known as red algae. This plant has a rich nutrient profile and is full of essential nutrients.

Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click on, or make a purchase through a third-party link.

Sea Moss and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

I attended pharmacy school between 1985-1988 at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. I remember one lecture where the professor poured an acidic solution into a beaker and added Gaviscon liquid. The Gaviscon floated to the top and created a barrier. This demonstration showed how Gaviscon could protect against GERD.

GERD is a common medical condition worldwide. See the diagram below. The United States population is especially prone to this disease.

Global distribution of the burden of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Sample-size weighted mean estimates of the prevalence of at least weekly heartburn and/or regurgitation in each country.1

Common GERD symptoms include:

  • Heartburn: Especially after eating or at night
  • Poor Sleep: Pain and discomfort causes night awakenings
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Chest pain
  • Belching
  • Vomiting

GERD can result in decreased work productivity and negatively impact the patient’s quality of life.2

GERD is also a risk factor for throat cancer and Barrett’s esophagus.3

What does this have to do with Sea Moss?

Gaviscon contains sodium alginate, which is also found in sea moss. Sodium alginate can form a barrier between the stomach and the esophagus, protecting the esophagus from stomach acid. Typically, the top portion of the stomach has a valve-like sphincter (lower esophageal sphincter) that closes, protecting the esophagus from the acid found in the stomach. However, when this “valve” doesn’t completely close, stomach acid can leak into the esophagus, causing the pain we know as heartburn and the other symptoms listed above.

One way to treat heartburn is to form a barrier between the stomach and the esophagus: Gaviscon or sea moss can accomplish this. In addition, I always use nutritional supplements over OTC medications or prescription drugs whenever possible.

Sea Moss and Weight Loss

We have talked about weight management in previous posts. Lifestyle changes, exercise, whole foods, adequate sleep, and water intake all help keep our weight in check. Sea moss contains fiber which makes us feel full. If we aren’t hungry, we tend to eat less. Less food equals fewer calories. We all know that controlling our weight is good for our overall health.

man holding stomach in pain

Sea Moss and Digestive Health

Sea moss can help improve gut health. We can use it as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are substances that feed gut bacteria. To read more about the importance of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, read “Probiotics, Gut-Brain Axis and Psychiatry.”

Irish moss is also high in fiber which can increase bulk in the gut and help relieve constipation and promote regular healthy bowel movements. The gentle laxative effect of sea moss provides a natural remedy for constipation. Sea moss can also help detoxify the body by removing heavy metals and toxins from the GI tract.

Red seaweed may also help relieve gas and bloating. For example, a study published in March of 2021 found the supplementation of red seaweed in cows reduced enteric methane production by more than 80%.4

Sea Moss May Help Some Thyroid Disorders

Our thyroid gland, located in the neck, is responsible for producing thyroid hormones (T3 and T4). Iodine is a trace element not produced by the human body and is necessary to make these thyroid hormones. T3 and T4 are essential to promote growth and brain development in children and help regulate metabolism in adults.5

Hypothyroidism is present in about 5% of Americans aged 12 years and older.6

Hypothyroidism has many causes, including Hashimoto’s Disease (an autoimmune disorder), surgical removal of thyroid gland tissue, radiation treatment with I-131, some medications, and iodine deficiency.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight Gain
  • Thinning Hair
  • Depressed Mood
  • Dry Skin
  • Muscle Pain
  • Sensitivity to Cold
  • Goiter (Swollen thyroid gland

Irish moss has a high iodine content and can help relieve some thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism. However, it is important to follow dosing recommendations to avoid ingesting too much iodine.7

Sea Moss and Nutrition

Sea moss is packed with vitamins and essential minerals. The rich zinc content of Irish moss and vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and folate can help support the immune system. In addition, sea moss has b vitamins to help increase energy levels and contains antioxidants that may reduce oxidative stress at the cellular level. Sea moss also contains vitamin k, which helps blood clotting and helps build strong bones. Irish moss is also a rich iron source. Iron is vital for red blood cell production, is essential for a healthy pregnancy, and can improve athletic performance.8

Sea moss has many health benefits. This edible plant can help relieve the symptoms of acid reflux and is an excellent digestive aid. It can help with weight loss by creating a feeling of fullness due to its fiber content. Irish moss is a prebiotic that helps feed bacteria in the gut, promoting a healthy digestive system. Thyroid issues resulting from a lack of iodine can also be helped by consuming sea moss. Sticking to the recommended dosage is essential because too much iodine can also be detrimental to health.

Sea moss is a nutritious food containing many essential vitamins and minerals. It has fewer side effects than OTC or prescription drugs. Irish moss is also high in antioxidants.

Sunshine Nutraceuticals has recently added sea moss to our product line. Our supplement contains 500mg Organic Irish Moss, 500mg Organic Bladderwrack, 400mg Organic Burdock and 5mg BioPerine per serving (2 capsules).

If you have any questions about sea moss or any other nutraceutical supplement, feel free to contact me. My contact information is available in the author box below.

Michael Brown in Lab Coat with arms crossed

Michael J. Brown, RPh, BCPS, BCPP

Mr. Brown is a Clinical Pharmacist specializing in pharmacotherapy and psychiatry.

Read Michael’s story here.

Feel free to send Michael a message using this link.