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The Healing Properties Of Bee Propolis
December 27, 2012 10:11 AM
Bee propolis is a substance produced by bees to safeguard their hives from foreign matters. It consists of amino acids, raisins, waxes and fatty acids. It's basically a sticky resin and comes from the barks and buds of the conifer trees that bees can gather and then store within its special abdominal glands.
Does Bee Propolis Have Healing Properties?
Well, there are several health benefits associated with propolis.
Health Benefits of Bee Propolis Skin Infections:
Due to its anti-flammatory properties, propolis heals your skin from any minor scalds and burns. You can apply it on the affected part on the skin surface. Its Antifungal and antibiotic effects help prevent any wound infections alongside other skin disorders.
Just as it protects your bee hive against fungi and bacteria, propolis is quite effective in the elimination of fungal and bacterial infections within the mouth area. Cold sores, dental caries and oral yeast infections are examples of such infections. It is sold in form of mouth rinse and lozenges in most countries.
Viral and bacterial infections:
Propolis' antibacterial properties guard your body against bacteria which cause gastrointestinal diseases and tuberculosis. It is also considered as an effective antiviral agent that could prevent the onset of flu, common colds and the H1N1 swine flu.
Propolis' potent antiviral properties can help in hindering the entry of herpes virus into your body. The virus, if allowed, will cause further infection in the body cells.
Propolis, based on clinical tests, was found to contain essential properties which could help to treat and prevent cancer. Trials show that this substance is able to inhibit tumor growth by blocking the supply of blood to the affected cell. Propolis also helps in boosting your immune system, offering you a great opportunity to fight off any devastating cancer effects on the body.
The Healing Properties Of Propolis
December 21, 2012 03:36 PM
Bee propolis is a substance produced by bees to safeguard their hives from foreign matters. It consists of amino acids, raisins, waxes and fatty acids. It's basically a sticky resin and comes from the barks and buds of the conifer trees that bees can gather and then store within its special abdominal glands.
Does Bee Propolis Have Healing Properties?
Well, there are several health benefits associated with propolis.
Health Benefits of Bee Propolis
Skin Infections: Due to its anti-flammatory properties, propolis heals your skin from any minor scalds and burns. You can apply it on the affected part on the skin surface. Its Antifungal and antibiotic effects help prevent any wound infections alongside other skin disorders.
Oral Hygiene: Just as it protects your bee hive against fungi and bacteria, propolis is quite effective in the elimination of fungal and bacterial infections within the mouth area. Cold sores, dental caries and oral yeast infections are examples of such infections. It is sold in form of mouth rinse and lozenges in most countries.
Viral and bacterial infections: Propolis' antibacterial properties guard your body against bacteria which cause gastrointestinal diseases and tuberculosis. It is also considered as an effective antiviral agent that could prevent the onset of flu, common colds and the H1N1 swine flu.
Genital Herpes: Propolis' potent antiviral properties can help in hindering the entry of herpes virus into your body. The virus, if allowed, will cause further infection in the body cells.
Cancer: Propolis, based on clinical tests, was found to contain essential properties which could help to treat and prevent cancer. Trials show that this substance is able to inhibit tumor growth by blocking the supply of blood to the affected cell. Propolis also helps in boosting your immune system, offering you a great opportunity to fight off any devastating cancer effects on the body.
What Makes Curamin Such A Good Natural Pain Remedy?
March 07, 2012 06:57 AM
Curamin: A Natural Anti-Inflammatory
When nerve endings become irritated, they cause pain. This is because of factors such as lack of sleep, hormonal imbalance, stress, nutritional imbalance, etc. Pain is generally symptomatic of some dysfunction or inflammation in our body and the first reaction for those suffering from it is to reach out for a pain killer. This is where Curamin comes in.
Curamin is a proprietary formula and a curcumin based supplement. Curcumin is a beneficial compound found in turmeric, a popular Indian spice. Turmeric has been used since centuries in the field of alternate medicine like Ayurveda because of its many medicinal properties. The compound, curcumin in fact, has the ability to reduce pain by supporting the body's ability to respond to swelling and inflammation. It has been found equivalent to some popular allopathic pain killers. Apart from this, it also has antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, Antifungal and anticancer properties and has been found to promote anti depressant and cognitive enhancement benefits.
Curamin is a product having a formula based on this particular compound of turmeric and is therefore extracted out of natural ingredients and has been found to have minimal side effects. Curamin, apart from other ingredients, also contains a strain of curcumin that has a high absorption factor which makes it several times more effective and stronger than plain curcumin products. It not only balances the body's response to inflammation but also has been observed to have a consistent and long lasting effect. Therefore, this makes curamin the most effective form of curcumin available.
Studies have established that curamin is safe and does not interfere with kidney, liver or stomach functions. The safe dosage recommended by the company is two pills twice a day for pain alleviation and not more than 8 pills within a 24-hour period. An overdose of such herbal products may sometimes cause intestinal discomfort at the most.
Main Ingredients of Curamin
Curamin has four principle ingredients that have an overall effect on inflammation caused in the bones and joints due to arthritis or overuse and exercise. These ingredients include: DL-phenylalanine or DLPA is a two part amino acid that acts as a positive mood enhancer by preventing the breakdown of enkephalin compound and also helps in the production of brain chemicals like dopamine and norepinephrine. Boswellia that helps to prevent the activity of the inflammatory enzyme. Curcumin which helps block multiple pathways within the body to retard and stop inflammation. Nattokinase which is an enzyme that helps the fast absorption of the ingredients through the body by promoting blood flow and improving circulation.
Benefits of Curamin
Curamin has helped people suffering from problems like arthritis, migraines, bursitis, and soreness caused by accidents or injuries. It also helps build resistance and immunity to inflammation concerned especially with the bones and joints.
Curamin, being a plant based product has no toxic effects and is available with many natural medicine practitioners and pharmacies. It is a very effective natural alternative to allopathic drugs and painkillers that over a long term use cause many side effects, some of which are potent.
If you are in pain, try curamin today!
What Is The Difference Between Echinacea Angustifolia And Purpurea?
December 18, 2011 08:26 PM
In the advent of natural medicine these days it is important for us to also know what we are dealing with. We may feel that it is better because it is all natural but still, just like prescription drugs, herbal medicine also has its attractiveness to those who want to take advantage of people’s needs and momentary lapses of judgement. It does not mean that it is all natural it is good for the body right away, we also need to find out if it is exactly what we need or what we expect it to be. These herbal medicines and supplements in the market today come from plants and they are derived from it by various types of processing. As an example, we can look at Echinacea Angustifolia And Purpurea and what the differences are.
Both of them are species of this plant and we will only be able to understand more about those two if we are able to know their mother so to speak. It is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants and those two are part of the family and it has 7 other brothers and sisters so to speak because there are 9 species all in all including both the E Angustifolia and E. Purpurea. In modern natural medicine it has been known to have a lot of health benefits and the main one being its ability to support the immune system and help activate white blood cells to improve bodily functions. Other studies have learned that it has the ability to influence the increased production of interferon which is an essential part of the body’s defensive response to any viral attacks that may cause infections.
This flowering plant is believed by some to be a miracle plant especially in the natural medicine world. It has shown to have amazing healing powers and this is what makes it a popular part of alternative medicine. Throughout US history it has been used by native Americans and frontiersmen as tonic and somewhat of a cure all treatment for various ailments and rightfully so because in modern science it has been proven to have amazing antiviral and Antifungal properties which makes it an effective treatment against infections, certain diseases, common colds and flu. Other uses that it may have are being a treatment for inflammation, skin ulcers and upper respiratory infection which needs more studies to be done but early results seem promising.
This specie is not as popular as the other but it also can be effective. It basically is a perennial with long stems and long lasting lavender coloured flowers. It also has the power to help the immune system be stronger and is commonly made as a tea. Studies have shown that it has a mild natural antibiotic characteristic and its extracts has been known to have the ability to increase white blood cell count as well however it is helpful to note that it is better in smaller doses than in large ones.
Both forms posses the same properties primarily immune boosting properties; either one is good to use to help strengthen the body in times of cold and flu and disease.
How Does Grapefruit Seed Extract Help Fight Candida Yeast Infections?
August 08, 2011 06:51 PM
Grapefruit seed extract is processed from the seeds, pulp, and vesicles of the sour citrus fruit known as grapefruit. Nutrition experts have attributed several medicinal properties to the plant. In addition, practitioners of herbal medicine make use of the seeds and membranes of the fruit in health tonics. It has long been linked to the treatment of earache, sore throat, digestive problems, and yeast infections.
Citrus x paradisi is a hybrid species of pomelo and orange. Its fruits are much larger than oranges but smaller than pomelos, growing up to 15 centimeters in diameter on average. It is widely known as a naturally occurring hybrid, like sweet orange. The juice of popular varieties of the fruit comes in colors red and pink in respect to its ripeness. Some cultivars are sweet, but most are sour at the same time.
Many organic compounds isolated from grapefruit have long been observed to show pharmacological activity. For one, consumptions of the fruit itself have been reported to interact with numerous drugs. It either enhances the potency of drugs or inhibits their pharmacological activities. Researchers have enumerated a long list of drugs whose bioavailability increase in the presence of grapefruit extracts.
Proponents of grapefruit seed extract believe that it possesses antibacterial, antiviral, and Antifungal properties. They began promoting its medicinal uses at the turn of the 20th century. At that time, physicians took note of the many benefits tied to grapefruit in the earlier century. Furthermore, they produced the first extracts from the seeds and white membranes of the fruit mixed with glycerin.
Grapefruit seed extract is an all natural remedy for Candidiasis. As its name suggests, Candida yeast infections are caused by different species of fungi that belong to the genus Candida. These fungi are part of the normal flora of the human body that comprises bacteria and other microorganism. While they are not harmful in general, they are capable of producing harm and spurring inflammation.
Oral thrush is one form of Candidiasis that infects mucus membranes located in the mouth cavity. Populations of yeast build up in the surface of the mouth and bring on inflammatory responses. The infection often appears as cream-colored deposits or slightly raised red patches. Candidiasis of the skin, sex organs, and other parts of the body look similar as they are all inflammatory in nature.
The effectiveness of grapefruit seed extract in the treatment of Candidiasis yeast infections has been compared to conventional medications. Its use is supported by anecdotal evidence that is largely positive. While the results of studies are conflicting at best, researchers have compared the extract to benzethonium chloride, a chemical compound that displays strong antibacterial and Antifungal activity.
Grapefruit seed extract is a viable remedy for Candidiasis yeast infections. In fact, it may be used as a therapeutic prophylactic for infections caused not only by fungi but also viruses and bacteria. Due to its putative effect, it is added as an active ingredient to many personal care products.
How Do I Eliminate Parasites Naturally from the Colon?
April 11, 2011 09:36 PM
Intestinal parasites infect over 3 billion people worldwide. These worm-like organisms populate the gastrointestinal tract and interfere with the absorption of foods. In children they may slow the normal progress of physical growth and intellectual development. In adults they cause muscle weakness, vitamin deficiencies, and susceptibility to fatigue. People from all over the world may acquire parasites from contaminated water and infected soil. Deworming is an effective way to get rid of these parasites. Fortunately, there are many herbs reputed for their anthelmintic benefits.
Allium sativum, the popular spice known as garlic, is the best known anti-parasitic herb. Its wide distribution in every continent has enabled cultures from all over the world to take advantage of its medicinal uses. Garlic contains the organic compound allicin, which is the primary substance responsible for warding off worms and bugs that attack the plant. This is the same compound that destroys intestinal parasites, notably threadworms.
Juglans nigra, or black walnut, is recommended specifically for the removal of pathogenic microorganisms, yeast infections, and intestinal worms. It is a flowering tree that belongs to the hickory family, and anthelmintic extracts are derived from the juice of unripe walnuts. Its Antifungal effects are very visible after topically applied to fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. When taken orally, it has been noted to be particularly helpful against tapeworms.
Hydrastis canadensis, called orangeroot or goldenseal in the vernacular, is historically noted for its ability to ease anomalies of the alimentary canal. It is rich in the alkaloid berberine, which restores health to the damaged epithelial tissues of the intestinal walls and expels invasive microorganisms. In recent years it has been observed to act against the parasites E. histolytica, G. lamblia, and Plasmodium as well as the bacterium E. coli.
Artemisium absinthium, better known as wormwood, is an ingredient of traditional herbal preparation used for deworming in the Mediterranean region. The discovery of sesquiterpene lactones in the plant explained its bitter taste and supported its centuries-old use as a vermifuge. Recent studies point to its activities inside the human body that inhibit growth of the parasites Giardia, Plasmodium, A. lumbricoides, and S. mansoni and effectively expel them.
Seeds of pumpkin cultivars that belong to the species Cucurbita pepo have a long-standing association with the natural expulsion of intestinal parasites. Pumpkin Seed oil has a milder effect than other herbs but guaranteed to be the safest of all anthelmintic herbal remedies. It is most effective against tapeworms and roundworms. For better results, it is consumed in large quantities with ample liquids, and often ground into a pulp beforehand.
Syzgium aromaticum, or Cloves, refers to the dried flowering buds of the plant commonly used as a spice. It is often linked to Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine and known for the treatment of digestive ailments. Its oil has been proven effective against infections induced by certain strains of bacteria and fungi. It contains sesquiterpenes that are believed to kill intestinal worms.
If you have worms, you can experience fatigue, malnutrition, and leaning development delays or mental foggyness. Taking an herbal remedy to help expel worms of any kind should be used with a yearly detox and cleans to maintain good health and wellness.
Why Should I be Using a Natural Mouth Wash?
March 18, 2011 04:51 PM
Natural Mouth Wash, Should you Switch?
Natural mouth washes have been around since time immemorial. Earliest accounts point to their use in treatment of gingivitis, but only recently have they played an important role in oral hygiene. The discovery of antiseptic compounds, such as chlorhexidine, has brought mouth washes into mainstream popularity. Their commercial value remains strong although new studies seem to favor the use of natural mouth washes.
Provides Excellent Antiseptic Properties
Salt solution is among the earliest of all natural mouth washes. It is easy to prepare and proven to aid against mouth infections. In Greek and Roman antiquity, physicians recommended a mixture of salt and vinegar, which does kill certain microorganisms in the mouth cavity known to cause dental carries. This has also been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine in allaying mouth pains and promoting periodontal health.
The ancient text of Jews, the Talmud, records the use of olive oil for gum problems. Today plant-based oils are widely accepted to display excellent antiseptic properties, and there is scientific consensus that most essential oils are potent enough to denature pathogenic microorganisms. Aloe vera, cinnamon, fennel, tea tree, myrrh, and peppermint are becoming increasingly popular as ingredients for natural mouth washes largely owing to their desirable scents in addition to being potent bactericides.
Avoids Bad Effects of Synthetic Compounds
The appeal of natural mouth washes lies in the absence of chemical compounds suspected to be harmful to the oral mucosa and the entire mouth cavity. Parabens are a group of chemicals that are commonplace in the cosmetic industry. Among all chemicals present in mouth washes, they are the most controversial in that studies have associated them to carcinogenic effects and estrogenic properties.
It is a well-established fact that sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, a chemical derived from lauryl alcohol and sulfate trioxide, is an irritant whether consumed or topically applied to body surfaces. Moreover, their presence in toothpastes and mouth washes has been linked to higher incidence of aphthous ulcers, or what we refer to as canker sores. Natural mouth washes do not contain SLS, but are known to mimic the antimicrobial properties of SLS to teeth and gums.
Synthetic dyes have long been recognized as irritants to the endothelium that line the mouth, and a few are known carcinogens in animals. Triclosan, an Antifungal and antimicrobial agent widely used in many types of disinfectants, is now tied to disturbances in the endocrine system. Natural mouth washes are products that can be replicated at home, with the use of ingredients that are all-natural and at the same time devoid of identified irritants.
Relieves Inflammatory Oral Problems
Natural mouth washes are just as effective as those that contain compounds derived from reactions of organic compounds. In the past few decades synthetic compounds have been commercially touted to be effective against inflammation, but there is also a resurgence of interest in naturally occurring compounds, which are equally helpful in inhibiting inflammatory mediators present in the mouth.
If you are using a commercial mouth wash, changing to a natural mouth wash can free you from consuming chemicals that might cause cancer.
Do the switch today!
Anise Seed Is Anti-Fungal Herb And Much More!
February 23, 2011 01:44 PM
Anise Seed And Your Health
Anise seed, or simply aniseed, refers to the seed pods of the herbaceous plant native to the Mediterranean and Southwest Asia. It is famed for its moderate flavor, which is similar to fennel, licorice, and tarragon. The plant species, Pimpinella anisum, has been part of many cuisines on both the West and the East, incorporated in aromatic, sweet-tasting dishes. There is a wide array of uses for anise in the food industry, especially in recent years because of its health benefits. For centuries, it has been utilized to treat digestive problems, and the recent discovery of its high phytochemical levels has been reported to show antibacterial and Antifungal properties.
The first undisputed mention of anise seed was in Naturalis Historia by Pliny the Elder, which recorded its widespread use as a breath freshener, a therapeutic remedy for insomnia, and a cure for insomnia. Some translations of biblical accounts also recorded the use of the seeds in ancient Israel and surrounding areas. By the time of Roman antiquity, it had become a popular spice added to seafood dishes, valued for of its sweet fragrance. In the Indian subcontinent and nearby regions, anise has up to now been used as a digestive, taken after meals to avoid indigestion, especially after feasts.
The English herbalist John Gerard noted in his encyclopedia Generall Historie of Plantes the carminative effects of anise seed, which means it decreases pressure in the lower esophagus, thereby removing related digestive ailments such as excessive flatulence. It has become quite commonplace in Europe, not only due to its presence in traditional medicine, but also its increasing visibility in the food and beverage industry. It is used in soups and stews, in confectionery, adding a very strong sweet flavor. Anethole, an organic compound extracted from aniseed is added to liquor to produce a cloudy appearance.
Phytochemical Content or Anise Seed
Anise seed is known to contain many different phytochemicals that are polyphenolic and phytoestrogenic. It has high levels of phenylpropenes, a class of polyphenols that are present in essential oils, the reason why aniseed is one of the most common ingredients used in aromatherapy. These organic compounds have shown to lower the body temperature, act on the nervous system to relieve pain, and have a positive effect on epileptic seizures. In addition, it creates strong phytoestrogen-like activities in the human body, relieving cramps during menstrual period.
Anethole is widely believed to be responsible for the antimicrobial activities of anise seed, acting against bacteria, yeast, and other types of fungi. It is a bacteriostatic antibiotic and a bactericide, which means it inhibits the growth of bacteria by interfering with bacterial cellular metabolism responsible for their replication and, at the same time, actively kill them. This explains why anise seed is effective as a breath freshener in the old days, and removes digestive ailments related to bacteria. Interestingly, aniseed is also anthelmintic; it expels parasitic worms from the body.
That being said, keep in mind that the benefits of anise seed are largely therapeutic.
Anise Seed is one of those herbs you want to keep in the medicine cabinet for quick use when needed.
Green Foods Can Boost Improve Wellness
April 19, 2010 10:29 AM
Green foods are phyto-foods that typically contain a high amount of chlorophyll, which is the substance that gives plants their green color. Also, chlorophyll allows the plant to use sunlight to access nutrients from the soil. These plants contain some of the most important nutrients, which includes vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids, antioxidants, protein, amino acids, enzymes, and fiber. The high content of nutrients found in green foods makes theme extremely valuable for keeping the body in optimum health. Some green foods include algae, cereal grasses, and legumes.
Green foods are not always green in color. There are a variety of colors that can be found in the green foods category. Some greens include spirulina, chlorella, blue-green algae, wheatgrass, barley, alfalfa, broccoli, spinach, parsley, cabbage, rice grass, kale, and celery. Additionally, there are red, yellow, and orange green foods. These include the tomatoe, cranberry, cayenne, red and yellow peppers, orange juice, grapefruit, pineapple, brown rice, papaya, and squash. There is also a blue group of green foods, which includes grape skin extract, black cherry, beet juice, and elderberry. The white group of green foods includes apple pectin, garlic, and onion.
There are four green foods that are especially beneficial to the body. The first of these is baby broccoli. The federal diet recommendation for adults includes at least three cups of dark leafy greens in a week. This includes broccoli, kale, mesclun, and spinach. Broccoli sprouts are great because they contain more vitamins than the adult version. There is no need to take your greens as juice, unless you prefer them that way, as the full vegetable provides the body with much more fiber. Secondly, it is believed that the Chinese may have lower cancer rates because of their consumption of green tea.
Green tea should be consumed when it is freshly brewed, as bottled or instant tea has little key catechins to work as antioxidants. One may need to take green-tea pills or expect to spend a good deal of time brewing and drinking to get the full benefits. Research shows, concentrated green tea pill that are equal to eight to sixteen cups a day is required in order to boost the production of enzyme enough to make carcinogens less toxic. The third is limes, which are plentiful in vitamin C and act as a potent antioxidant. Scientists have shown that vitamin C, and potentially other antioxidants, can indeed inhibit the growth of some tumors. Lastly, it has been found that garlic may be responsible for blocking the formation of potent carcinogens in the liver. Additionally, it acts as a natural Antifungal and possesses antibiotic like properties.
Green foods have gradually risen in popularity, as many individuals are becoming more and more concerned about their health. When they think they are not getting enough essential nutrients in their diets, they often turn to green foods. Everyone could benefit from the addition of green foods to their diet. This is especially true for those individuals who are in poor health. Additionally, athletes are in need of extra nutrients. This is because they often put their bodies under stress because of the intense training they go through.
Green food supplementation could help the body grow muscle and bone tissue. Pregnant women, along with those developing fetuses, could definitely use the extra nutrients, especially during development stages. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by green foods, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
Myth: Agave Nectar is adulterated or mixed with HFCS.
April 08, 2010 04:08 PM
There are two methods of making the Agave Nectar from the juice of the plant. One uses a non-GMO enzyme and the second is via thermal hydrolysis. Both process achieve the same goal which is to separate the naturally occurring Fructans which are complex sugar molecules into their simple sugar components fructose and glucose.
Unlike the process of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), which creates fructose out of the glucose from the starch found in milled Corn, Agave Nectar simply separates Fructans or Inulin, a complex naturally occurring sugar into Fructose and Glucose.
Our producers do not use any sort of chemicals in the process and no foreign material is being added such as HFCS. Filtration and evaporation of excess moisture are the rest of the process. The evaporation is done in a vacuum evaporator.
No research has pointed that Blue Agave contains Anodin and Dinordin, the steroid derivatives with contraceptive effects that could lead to a miscarriage. This is clearly a cruel scare tactic. The truth is that there are many types of saponins and they are in a lot of foods we eat. Most beans and legumes, soya beans, onions, paprika, alfalfa - these all contain various saponins. Saponins are phytosterol compounds that occur naturally in some plants. Saponins have antimicrobial and Antifungal properties, along with anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating properties.
From the prehispanic times, the only sweet treat available to Indians in Mexico was the cooked leaves of the agave plant. They are still in markets all over Mexico. If there would be any kind of dangerous substance, this would be the absolute extreme case of exposure to it; not a single case of any problem has ever been reported, this goes back over 700 years.
Agave Nectar in its present form has been sold for over 12 years all over the world, including western Europe, Japan and the U.S.. The product has a proven record of safety and is deemed safe by the FDA and all regulatory bodies all over the world and there has never been a report of agave nectar linked to a miscarriage.
Madhava's Agave Nectar does not contain corn syrup, corn products, or any adulteration of any sort. Guaranteed. Our Agave Nectar is 100% pure from the agave plant with no additives whatsoever.
We package our agave nectar at our facility in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. Madhava's Quality Control representatives routinely visit and inspect all our suppliers’ facilities in Mexico. The suppliers are Organically Certified and 3rd party audited or currently in the process. In addition our facility in Colorado is USDA Organic Certified and we are routinely audited.
October 15, 2009 10:44 AM
The cinnamon plant is a small evergreen tree that grows between thirty two and forty nine feet tall. This plant belongs to the Lauraceae family and is native to Sri Lanka. The leaves of the plant are ovate oblong in shape and approximately two to seven inches in length, while the flowers, which have a distinct odor, are greenish in color. The fruit is a purple berry about one-centimeter and contain a single seed. The flavor of cinnamon is the result of an essential oil which makes up about 1/2% to 1% of its composition. This oil can be prepared by roughly pounding the bark, macerating it in seawater, and quickly distilling the whole. The oil is of a golden-yellow color, with the characteristic odor of cinnamon and a very hot aromatic taste.
Cinnamon has been known from ancient times, with the first mention of particular spice in the Old Testament being of cinnamon. In this, Moses commanded the use of sweet cinnamon and cassia in the holy anointing oil. Additionally, cinnamon is also mentioned elsewhere in the bible. This herb was so highly prized among ancient nations that it was often looked upon as a gift fit for even God. Cinnamon was imported to Egypt as early as 2000 B.C. The herb is also alluded to by Herodotus and other classical writers. Cinnamon was too expensive to be commonly used in funerals of ancient Rome. However, the Emperor Nero is said to have burned a year’s worth of the city’s supply at the funeral for his wife in 65 A.D.
Cinnamon can be harvested by growing the tree for two years and then coppicing it. About a dozen shoots will form from the roots in the next year. These shoots are then stripped of their bark and left to dry. Only the thin inner bark is used, while the outer woody portion is removed. Each dried strip of cinnamon are then cut into lengths of about five to ten centimeters for sale.
Cinnamon has been around for thousands of years. It is revered as a spice and also as a healing agent. Cinnamon was included in embalming oils by the Egyptians. This herb was used in China to treat fever, diarrhea, and menstrual problems dating as far back as 2000 BC. Cinnamon was a major trade commodity during the ancient times. Cinnamon grew in the southern regions of Asia originally. This herb is used to help relieve upset stomachs, reduce milk flow, stop excessive menstrual flow, and alleviate back pain. Research has also determined that cinnamon contains components that possess Antifungal and antibacterial capabilities. This herb is found in some toothpaste, which allows it to help some decay-causing bacteria. Cinnamon is also helpful for promoting healthy blood sugar levels.
The dried bark of the cinnamon plant is used to provide alterative, analgesic, antibacterial, Antifungal, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, sedative, stimulant, and stomachic properties. Primarily, cinnamon is beneficial in treating abdominal pain, candida, diarrhea, gas, gastric disorders, and indigestion.
Additionally, this herb is also extremely helpful in dealing with arthritis, asthma, backaches, bloating, bronchitis, cholera, coronary problems, fevers, excessive menstruation, nausea, nephritis, parasites, psoriasis, rheumatism, upset stomach, vomiting, and warts. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by cinnamon, please contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Kava Kava Root
September 05, 2009 12:11 PM
Kava is an ancient crop of the western Pacific. The word kava refers to both the plant and the beverage that is produced from its roots. Kava is a tranquilizer that is primarily consumed to relax the body without disrupting mental clarity. The active ingredients found in this herb kavalactones. Kava extract is marketed as an herbal medicine in some parts of the Western world, fighting against stress, insomnia, and anxiety. It has been concluded that this herb is more effective than a placebo at treating short-term social anxiety. Safety concerns have been raised over liver toxicity, but research indicates that this may be largely due to use of stems and leaves in supplements, which were not indigenously used.
Kava is used by many island communities in the Pacific in their ceremonial drinks as a mild sedative and relaxant. Among these include Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. This herb was used to relax the body and mind and to promote restful sleep. Kava is considered to be an important herb for pain relief. It is also helpful for insomnia and nervous conditions.
This herb is recommended to be used as a strong muscle relaxant. It is considered to be one of the most powerful of all of the herbal muscle relaxants. Kava is used as an analgesic sedative, for rheumatism, for insomnia, and to relax the body.
Studies have determined that kava contains anticonvulsant and muscle-relaxing properties. This may be extremely helpful to those people who have stress-related muscle tension or seizures. Those individuals who drink kava often relate the effects to a sense of tranquility and sociability. The herb helps to achieve a feeling of well-being and relaxation. Kava seems to have an advantage over other drugs that are prescribed for anxiety and insomnia because it does not seem to lose effectiveness over time. A variety of studies have shown that there is a significant benefit for individuals who are suffering from anxiety. This is extremely promising for those individuals who require long-term therapy for anxiety disorders. Kava is not addictive and is free of associated complications. This is different from many of the medications that are routinely prescribed.
Kava also provides benefits as an analgesic for pain relief. The chewed leaves of this herb cause numbness in the mouth. This anesthetic activity is similar to cocaine and it lasts longer than benzocaine.
The root of the kava plant is used to provide alterative, analgesic, anesthetic, Antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, and sedative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium and magnesium. Primarily, kava is extremely beneficial in dealing with insomnia and nervousness.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating anxiety, asthma, bronchitis, fatigue, pain, rheumatism, uterine infections, vaginitis, and venereal diseases. It is important to consult your health care provider before taking this herb so that you do not have any adverse reactions to medication which is associated with this herb. In order to obtain more information on the many beneficial effects provided by kava, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
August 27, 2009 02:40 PM
Garlic is very popular because of its health benefits. A perennial plant and member of the lily family, the bulb of the garlic plant is used for many medicinal purposes. Garlic was used by the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Egyptians. The Chinese used this herb at least three thousand years ago to treat various ailments. The Egyptians ate garlic while building pyramids to increase their strength and endurance. Hippocrates suggested that this herb be used for treatment of uterine cancer. Native Americans used garlic to fight abdominal cancer, while the Europeans used this herb during the plague years to provide immunity. The main historical uses of garlic were to treat colds, coughs, toothaches, earaches, diarrhea, infection, arteriosclerosis, headaches, dandruff, tumors, worms, and hypertension.
Garlic is nature’s antibiotic. This herb is very effective in fighting bacteria which may be resistant to other antibiotics. The herb stimulates the lymphatic system in order to throw off waste material. Garlic is different from other antibiotics in the fact that it has the ability to stimulate cell growth and activity. This herb rejuvenates all body functions. Garlic opens up blood vessels, reducing hypertension. It is known as a health-building and disease-preventing herb.
Several studies have linked garlic to a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. This herb has been found to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, while lowering blood pressure, increasing immunity, and reducing the blood’s clotting ability. Research suggests that eating the equivalent of one-half to one clove of garlic daily can decrease total serum cholesterol levels by about nine percent. Anticoagulant capabilities have also been found in garlic by German researchers. Garlic is able to benefit those individuals who are suffering from peripheral arterial occlusive disease, which is better known as blood clots in the legs.
Garlic also contains antitumor properties, with studies showing it having the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer-causing nitrosamine. The National Cancer Institute even recommends adding more garlic, onions, and other similar vegetables to the diet. This would lower the risk of developing stomach cancer. Results from one study showed that garlic may be toxic to some cancer cells. It may encourage the immune system to spot the invaders and destroy them, allowing a natural immune process to destroy tumor cells.
Garlic is believed to stimulate the lymphatic system by ridding itself of toxins. The Russians consider garlic to be a natural antibiotic, which is why they consume it regularly. This herb is often used to prevent disease and heal the body. It is nourishing for the entire body, especially the heart, circulation, stomach, spleen, and lungs. Additionally, it has been used to stimulate circulation and to help the immune system function more effectively. Some believe that this herb may help prevent some forms of cancer, heart disease, strokes, and infections.
In summary, the bulb of the garlic plant is used to provide adaptogen, alterative, antibiotic, anticoagulant, Antifungal, antineoplastic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, diaphoretic, digestive, expectorant, febrifuge, rubefacient, stimulant, and vulnerary properties. Primarily, garlic is extremely beneficial in dealing with asthma, blood impurities, high blood pressure, bronchitis, cancer, candidiasis, poor circulation, colds, colitis, coughs, infectious diseases, ear infections, fevers, flu, fungus, gastric disorders, heart disease, indigestion, infection, liver disorders, lung disorders, parasites, blood poisoning, prostate problems, respiratory problems, and staph/strep infections.
This herb is also good for treating acne, allergies, arthritis, childhood diseases, diabetes, diarrhea, edema, emphysema, gallbladder problems, hypoglycemia, insomnia, kidney ailments, pneumonia, rheumatism, sinus problems, ulcers, warts, and worms.
Garlic is a wonderful all purpose herb that can be found at your local or internet health food store. Always look for name brands when buying garlic to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
August 19, 2009 03:31 PM
Kombucha is also known as Manchurain tea or mushroom. It is not an official member of the fungi family. Actually, it is a symbiotic culture of genus Saccharomyces yeast and xylinum bacteria. Kombucha dates back as far as two thousands years in East Asia. Originally, it was used for healing in Japan, China, and Korea. Kombucha use spread with the beginning of trade. Merchants took the kombucha plant to Russia and then to Eastern Europe. Although it is not technically a fungus, it contains many similar healing properties. Because of this, it is often recommended along with members of the mushroom family.
This herb is usually placed in a nutrient solution of distilled water, black tea, and sugar. The process of brewing kombucha was introduced in Russia and Ukraine at the end of the 1800s. However, it did not become popular until the early 1900s. The kombucha culture is known locally as chayniy grib and the drink itself is referred to as grib, tea kvass, or simply kvass. Then, it undergoes chemical changes which make it beneficial for human consumption. The chemical reactions that occur in this process are very complex. The kombucha feeds on sugar, thus producing glucuronic acid, lactic acid, vitamins, amino acids, and some antibiotic solutions.
The healing properties are thought to be due to the production of glucuronic acid, B-complex vitamins, C vitamins, and lactic acid. Like all foods, there must be some care taken when preparing and storing kombucha, or else contamination may result. Keeping this herb safe and contamination-free is a concern to many home brewers. Key components of food safety when brewing kombucha include a clean environment, proper temperature, and low pH.
Russian studies have uncovered the presence of substances in the kombucha tea that contain antibiotic properties. The tea was found to prevent the growth and colonization of other yeasts and bacteria. The kombucha plant is also believed to help with a wide variety of conditions. It seems to have a detoxifying effect on the entire body, which makes it extremely beneficial for invigorating the whole body.
Research done in Germany led by Dr. Valentin Koehler found that kombucha has the ability to increase the function of the immune system. It does this by boosting levels of interferon. Kombucha contains many different cultures along with several organic acids, active enzymes, amino acids, and polyphenols. Due to the acidic fermentation process used in it’s brewing. Kombucha contains ethyl alcohol in amounts that vary from 0.5% to 1.5%. The range depends on the anaerobic brewing time and proportions of microbe. Commercial preparations of this herb are typically 0.5% in order to comply with distribution and safety procedures.
The entire kombucha plant is used to provide antibacterial, antibiotic, Antifungal, and immuno-stimulant properties. Primarily, this herb is extremely beneficial in dealing with immune deficiencies and effects of toxins. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by kombucha, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
August 10, 2009 12:52 PM
The Cherokee tribe used scullcap as an emmenagogue. It was also used historically as an anti-convulsant. An Asian scullcap has been used by Chinese physicians as a tranquilizer, sedative, and to treat convulsion. The herb was used in the eighteenth century as a treatment for rabies by some physicians. Later, it was recommended by eclectic physicians for insomnia, nervousness, malaria, and convulsions. The herb was officially listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1863 to 1916. It was also found in the National Formulary from 1916 to 1947.
This herb is responsible for treating a variety of conditions. Among these include pain, anxiety, high blood pressure, and epilepsy. scullcap is well known for its ability to calm the nerves and also to help with all nervous system conditions. Additionally, it has been used to treat infertility, fatigue, inflamed tissues, digestion, coughs, and headaches. Some herbalists consider scullcap to be one of the best nervine herbs that is available. It has been used as a nerve tonic. It also can promote a feeling of well-being and promote relaxed sleep. Some people recommend scullcap for problems that are associated with drug and alcohol withdrawal, as it may lessen the severity of the symptoms. Traditional uses of this herb have included infertility, regulation of sexual desire, and as a remedy for cramps and pain.
Research one in both Europe and Russia has proven the benefits of scullcap as a tranquilizer as well as a mild sedative. The herb is recommended for use in nervous conditions in order to induce sleep and relaxation. Some evidence has shown that Asian scullcap contains component which inhibit the enzyme sialidase. This enzyme is known to increase in certain disease states like cancer, infections, and inflammations. Another study done in vitro found an antibacterial and Antifungal activity in scullcap. Some early evidence has also been found of scullcap’s ability to treat high blood pressure. The herb is used and prescribed widely in Europe. Studies using animals in Japan showed that scullcap has the ability to increase the levels of good cholesterol and prevent serum cholesterol levels from rising. This study was done on rabbits, as they were fed a high-cholesterol diet. These findings suggest that scullcap may also act as a heart disease and stroke preventive.
The entire scullcap herb is used to provide alterative, analgesic, antibacterial, Antifungal, antispasmodic, febrifuge, nervine, and sedative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamins C and E, and zinc. Primarily, scullcap is extremely beneficial in treating anxiety, high blood pressure, convulsions, epilepsy, infertility, insomnia, nerve problems, and restlessness.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with alcoholism, poisonous bites, childhood diseases, chorea, poor circulation, coughing, delirium, drug withdrawal, fevers, hangover, headaches, hydrophobia, hypertension, hypoglycemia, insanity, neuralgia, pain, palsy, Parkinson’s disease, rabies, rheumatism, rickets, spasms, spinal meningitis, thyroid problems, tremors, and urinary problems. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by scullcap, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
July 14, 2009 02:23 PM
Kava kava has been traditionally in ceremonial drinks as a mild sedative and relaxant used by many island communities in the Pacific such as Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. Today it is still used to relax the body and mind and promote a restful sleep. Kava kava is now generally considered an important herb for insomnia and other nervous conditions, as well as a beneficial reliever of pain. Drinking 100 to 150 ml of kava tea is enough to put most people into a deep sleep within thirty minutes. Unlike alcohol and other sedatives, the use of kava does not actually result in any morning hangover. The kava drinker usually awakens having fully recovered normal physical and mental capacities. Those people who drink smaller amounts of kava kava have been shown to express a sense of tranquility, sociability, and contentment.
Kava kava has the ability to function as an anesthetic, analgesic, anticonvulsive, Antifungal, and sleep inducer. Studies preformed on animals have shown that kava kava possesses anti-convulsant and muscle-relaxing properties. The key components of kava kava, kavalactones, seem to act primarily on the limbic system, an ancient part of the brain that affects all other brain activities and is the main contributor to emotions. Kava seems to promote sleep and relaxation by altering the way the limbic system influences emotional processes.
Due to its amazing abilities, kava kava is considered to be one of the most powerful of the herbal muscle relaxants. It is often recommended to treat rheumatism, insomnia, and to relax the body. Additionally, it possesses antiseptic properties that can help with bladder infections. Kava kava can also be applied directly to wounds.
A giant benefit of kava kava is that it does not seem to lose effectiveness over time, unlike other synthetic drugs that are often prescribed for anxiety and insomnia. Due to its ability to induce sleep, recent studies have showed kava kava to be a huge benefit for people that are suffering from anxiety. Another study looked into the effects of kava kava on women who are suffering from menopause. Forty women who had menopause-related symptoms were split into two groups of twenty women. These women were treated for eight weeks. One group was given kava kava three times daily, while the other group was given a placebo. After only one week into the study, the women who were taking kava kava demonstrated significant improvement. Stress and anxiety were reduces, along with the general mood of women being better and symptoms of menopause were much less notable. No side effects from this study were noted.
The beneficial effects of kava kava make it to be an excellent herb for the nervous system. In order to naturally promote a sense of well-being and contentment naturally, kava kava should be looked into. This ability is something that shouldn’t go unappreciated in the busy and stressful world that we live in today. In order to obtain more information on the beneficial effects of kava kava extract, try speaking with your local health food retailer.
April 08, 2009 04:40 PM
Alfalfa was considered to be a miracle herb in ancient times, as the Arabs called it the “Father of Herbs.” This herb has been cultivated for more than two thousand years. When the Medes and the Persians invaded Greece in 400 B.C., they began cultivating alfalfa in that region. This was primarily because of its ability to survive even the roughest of climates. The roots of the alfalfa plant can extend as long as sixty-six feet into the subsoil. The Romans later discovered that alfalfa was excellent for their horses. North America was introduced to alfalfa thanks to the Spanish. Here in North America, the herb was used to treat arthritis, boils, cancer, scurvy, urinary tract disorders, and bowel problems.
The health benefits of alfalfa have been document thanks to modern research. This herb has been shown to be one of the most nutritious foods available. Herbalists consider this herb to be beneficial for many problems, with some even recommending it for any sickness due to the way it helps the body absorb protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients. Additionally, alfalfa is helpful in removing poisons and their effects from the body. It is also thought to neutralize the acidity of the body and help to break down carbon dioxide. Alfalfa is actually used to treat recovery cases of narcotic and alcohol addiction. It has also been found to help in cases of anemia by building blood.
Alfalfa is great because it contains both antibacterial and Antifungal properties. This makes the herb a great body cleanser, infection fighter, and natural deodorizer. Alfalfa has also been used to clean teeth that are stained. Specifically, the extracts of alfalfa produce antibacterial activity against gram-positive bacteria.
Alfalfa is great for helping with milk production in nursing mothers. This herb can also stimulate appetite. This herb has also been researched and found to help lower cholesterol levels. Additionally, research has found that alfalfa can neutralize cancer. Alfalfa has been found to help in healing ulcers and treating arteriosclerosis, allergies, diabetes, and in strengthening the capillaries and blood vessels. Often, alfalfa is used to treat appendicitis, water retention, urinary and bowel problems, muscle spasms, cramps, and digestive problems.
The leaves and flowers of this herb are used in order to provide healing effects. The properties of alfalfa include: alterative, antibacterial, Antifungal, antirheumatic, bitter, blood purifier, deodorant, diuretic, and nutritive. The primary nutrients that are provided by alfalfa include essential amino acids, chlorine, chlorophyll, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, E, E, and K.
Alfalfa is primarily used to help with cases of anemia, arthritis, diabetes, contaminated kidneys, and pituitary problems, loss of appetite, blood impurities, hemorrhages, nausea, and peptic ulcers. Additionally, alfalfa can be beneficial when dealing with alcoholism, chronic appendicitis, allergies, high blood pressure, body odor, bursitis, cancer, high cholesterol, muscle and stomach cramps, gastric disorders, gout, intestinal problems, jaundice, absence of lactation, weak muscles, nosebleeds, stained teeth, and urinary problems. For more information on the healing effects of alfalfa, please contact your local health food store.
December 23, 2008 11:44 AM
Although it is important to stress that the fatty acids found in flax are essential, flax also contains substances called lignans. Lignans are special compounds that demonstrate impressive health benefits, as they seem to be responsible for assisting the immune system in many ways, along with helping to prevent some types of cancers.
Because flax contains lignans, it is an even more beneficial to the body when consumed in this form. Flax is one of the most abundant sources of lignans, a type of phytoestrogen that interferes with estrogen metabolism in animals and humans. This property gives lignans the ability to help in the prevention of both fat and hormone-sensitive types of cancer. Lignans also benefit the body by providing antibacterial, Antifungal, and antiviral activity that helps the immune system to function optimally.
All of the benefits of flax are still yet to be known, but it has been established that flax is also a good source of fiber. There have been several studies which confirm that flaxseed can be a cholesterol-lowering agent similar to oat bran, fruit pectin, and other food ingredients that contain fiber. Because flax packages both omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber together, it presents two ingredients which provide healthy blood lipid patterns. Flaxseed contains beneficial amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber, giving it potential cancer-fighting ability especially in colon cancer.
When selecting a healthy diet, it is important to consider your sources of essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are fragile and easily damaged by air, high temperatures, and food processing, so you are unlikely to get all of the EFAs that you need, even if you are careful to use vegetable oils for cooking. Most of the oil that we consume today has been heavily processed, which damages essential fatty acids. When choosing flax oil, you’ll want to take into account the same considerations, looking for oil that has not been damaged by processing and is packaged to block all light from contact with the oil.
Not all flax oils are the same, with there being a great deal of variation in quality and purity as a result in differences of how the oil is expressed. Most flaxseed oils are mechanically pressed out through an expeller, in which great amounts of heat and pressure can be generated. The higher the temperature, the better the yield of oil, but the lower the quality of oil. Many manufactures willingly sacrifice quality for quantity. The best way to measure the quality of oil is by taste, with the degree of bitterness being a close approximation of the level of lipid peroxides. The best source of high quality flaxseed oil can be found in health food stores where inventory turnover is highest.
Some good guidelines to go by in selecting a good flaxseed oil include: making sure the flaxseed oil is derived from 100% certified organic flaxseed; making sure the oil is as fresh as possible and not past the expiration date; making sure that the oil is expeller-pressed or cold pressed; using flaxseed oil that is high in lignans to gain the most benefit.
Guarana Seed Extract
November 17, 2008 11:24 AM
Guarana comes from the Amazon basin, and has been used by the natives of the Amazon rain forest to treat conditions such as diarrhea, arthritis, fatigue and even to reduce hunger. It is, in fact, a climbing plant of the Sapondacaea family, although it is the fruit for which it best known. Each contains a single seed that contains around five times the amount of caffeine of a similarly sized coffee bean.
An interesting piece of trivia is that the reason why such seeds are rich in caffeine is that the substance is poisonous to certain pathogens that would otherwise attack the berry. The same is - true of all seeds that contain caffeine: it is a means of self-defense. Obviously it is an effective defense since the berries appear to relatively immune to such common plant diseases.
Guarana is named after the Guarani tribe of South America, and the language is spoken by many in the area around Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil, and also parts of Argentina. In fact over 67% of Paraguayans speak the language. There is a myth that when child of the Guarana village was killed by an evil god, a more benevolent deity planted the child's left eye in the forest and the right eye in the village. The left eye gave rise to the wild form of the plant, and the right eye the cultivated form.
This likely came about because of the appearance of the fruit when it is split open: it has the appearance of eyeballs. However, what is true is that Guaranis made tea from the seeds, and also a bread known as guarana bread by mashing the powder into a dough and shaping it into a cylindrical bread. It is dry roasted and milled to a fine powder, also known as Brazilian cocoa, but it has never quite managed to compete commercially against the coffee! However, it has its local adherents to whom it is a staple drink.
However, back to the health benefits of the seed. They were recognized as early as the 17th century when Father Felip Betendorf introduced it into Western civilization, but over the centuries since then it has been found that even in spite of the caffeine content it has been demonstrated to have brain-boosting properties and able to increase tasks requiring mental attention. It is certainly known to be an energizer, and able to give a boost to your brain when you really need it. So why should this be, and how does it do this?
The flavor is a bit like chocolate, hence its nickname of Brazilian cocoa, and has been approved by the FDA as a food additive. Extracts from the berry have been shown to possess strong antioxidant properties, and also act as bactericides and fungicide, few of which can be put down the caffeine content. In fact the seed has been proposed for use in the food industry as a natural antioxidant and preservative and as stated below, that is more acceptable to people than synthetic chemicals.
This is probably in response to the fact that synthetic antioxidants are in decline whereas the natural antioxidants such as vitamins, C and E and the various tocopherols and carotenoids are increasing in prominence due to them being more readily accepted by the consumer than the synthetics such as butylhydroxytoluene(BHT). These antioxidants are commonly used as food preservatives, in that they slow down the oxidation of foodstuffs, and people are increasingly feeling that natural products are preferable for this application than synthetic.
Guarana seeds have been found to be exceptionally high in proanthocyanadins with powerful antioxidant properties. They are fatal to free radicals and help to prevent cardiac disease and to improve cellular activity. They also display antimicrobial and Antifungal activity. Chemically, they consist of up to 60% starch, pectins, saponins, proteins, and the aforementioned caffeine (3% - 5%). The guarana paste can contain up to 7% caffeine that can be dangerous to those with cardiac problems.
Guarana also contains tannins at levels of up to 12%, including catechin and some proanthocyanadins. The astringency of these tannins represents a problem to their use in the beverage and food industry, although the substance is regarded as safe by the FDA. They have little if any nutritional value and can react with alkaloid and proteins to form unwanted complexes. Were it not for tannins guarana would be more acceptable to the food industry.
However, it is for their energy-boosting properties that the guarana berries and seeds are most prized by many. The fact they it has been traditionally used as a stimulant and aphrodisiac indicates that there is something behind these claims. Studies on mice, hamsters and other animals have supported these effects. It has been found to posses the two desirable properties (to some) of stimulating the nervous system and curbing the appetite.
Consequently, it is used in diet and weight loss pills, and also to maintain high energy levels. In fact weight loss pills are used by many people to maintain their energy levels while not eating. This is a definite bonus to those that want to lose weight, but dislike the lethargy that a strict diet can cause.
There is a downside to that of course, and that is insomnia and an increased heartbeat, and also nervousness and feeling 'on edge'. Once people stop using guarana they suffer withdrawal symptoms such as nervousness, irritability and headaches.
The upshot is that it is basically the high caffeine content of guarana that allows its use as a stimulant that can boost not only energy, but also reduce appetite and act as an effective weight loss supplement. However, used excessively it can lead to nervousness and while it is included as an ingredient in many foods and drinks, you should be careful when using it as an energizing supplement if you have any heart problems at all.
Otherwise, guarana is used to energize the body naturally, and is not only very commonly used for this purpose in South America, but also increasingly so in the USA and elsewhere with some very good results.
August 23, 2008 11:59 AM
Acidophilus is correctly named Lactobacillus acidophilus, and is one species of Lacobacillus used commercially in the preparation of certain types of yoghurt. The name refers to the fact it is found in milk (lacto), is rod-like in shape like many bacteria (bacillus) and it likes acidic conditions (acidophilus). It not only likes them, but creates them.
In fact, acidophilus thrives at a pH of 4-5 or less, and occurs naturally in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals, and also the mouth and vagina. It ferments milk to lactic acid, and dies in the presence of sunlight, excessive moisture and at high temperatures. Some, but not all, strains are probiotic, or ‘friendly’ bacteria that aid digestion and help to protect against harmful bacteria and their toxic emissions.
The fermentation of nutrients by friendly bacteria produce acids, such as the lactic acid previously referred to, hydrogen peroxide and other substances hostile to harmful organisms, and also reduces the population of harmful bacteria by competing for their food. There are additional health benefits that shall be discussed later, but first some comments about the stability of acidophilus to heat.
The growth rate of acidophilus reaches an optimum at around 36-37F (2.2C), and it tends to die off at temperatures much above this over a period of time. It also tends to be sensitive to oxygen and moisture, and if exposed to heat, moisture and oxygen, a supplement will lose its potency over time. This is true of all such supplements, and after purchase must be quickly refrigerated. It is possible, however, to purchase stabilized forms of acidophilus that die off slower than normal. This extra resistance is built in during the manufacturing process, and many forms of acidophilus claim to be stable. Although there will never be a truly stable form of the probiotic, these stabilized versions do last longer than those not claimed to be so.
During manufacture, the bacteria are first concentrated by removing the excess liquid by means of sedimentation, ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis and centrifuging. A substance is then added to protect the bacteria from the shock of freezing and the acidophilus freeze dried. A stabilizer is then added to maintain its properties between freezing and consumption.
It has also been found that bacteria grown at higher pH levels last longer than those at lower pH. The packaging is also important, and since the bacteria are sensitive to oxygen, nitrogen flushing the bottles will improve the stability of the product. Glass bottles are less porous than plastic, and so is the preferred packaging material for maximum stability and life. Another factor is refrigeration. If you keep the bottle in the fridge it was last a lot longer than at room temperature, but take care not to freeze it since acidophilus does not freeze well. If it is not refrigerated then it will quickly lose its potency.
The form in which you take the supplement is immaterial regarding the potency: at least initially. However, through time the powder will become less potent quicker, because it will adsorb oxygen and moisture. Otherwise the form in which it used is immaterial. So, yes, acidophilus can be stabilized, but only for a while, and if allowed to warm up to room temperature in the presence of oxygen will quickly degrade, although this takes more than just a day or two.
Many health benefits are claimed for Lactobacillus acidophilus, although your daily consumption to achieve these should be at least 2 billion CFU, and preferably 5 billion. You can also fortify the bacteria with a prebiotic of fructooligosaccharides (FOS). These provide nutrition for the acidophilus and accelerate its growth.
One thing to be careful of is assuming that yoghurt contains acidophilus. It does not contain sufficient to be of benefit to you. Commercial yoghurt acidifies over time and kills off the bacteria, so commercial yoghurt sitting on a supermarket shelf has very little beneficial bacterial content. Natural yoghurt is better, and certainly contains beneficial bacteria, but not enough to make a significant difference. A supplement is therefore needed if you are to keep your intestinal tract sufficiently healthy. If you cannot take dairy products, acidophilus is available in non-dairy form. The major health benefits they impart are:
1. Digestive Problems.
Acidophilus can control many types of digestive disorder, particularly traveler’s diarrhea. In fact if you are traveling to countries where drinking water might be a problem, also take some acidophilus and this will tend to prevent you from becoming ill. Even if you drink bottled water, there are still washed salads, beverages made with local water and showers and the like whereby you could ingest some dodgy water.
Acidophilus, especially when supported by FOS, helps both to hydrate the feces, and improve their transport through the colon, an also to improve the general health and well-being of your entire intestinal system.
3. Yeast Infections (Candidiasis)
Acidophilus possess Antifungal properties that kill off yeasts, particularly Candida albicans found in the vagina. This is due to the lactic acid produced by the bacteria, and there is evidence that gastrointestinal yeasts are affected in the same way by the oral probiotic. Furthermore, when bacteria and yeasts are killed off by medication, including friendly bacteria, the sites they occupied on the intestinal walls become free and acidophilus should be present to take these up and prevent any more yeast or bacterial infections. That is one reason why probiotics should be taken immediately after a course of antibiotic treatment.
4. Immune System Support
Lactobacillus acidophilus is believed to modify the balance of microbes in the intestine so as to lead to an enhanced production of antibodies, and white blood cells with increased phagocytic activity. The bacteria also appear to have some reducing properties, which can also give support to the immune system through the resultant antioxidant properties.
However, by far the most important property of probiotics are their properties in acidifying the intestinal tract, and so rendering them less attractive to harmful pathogens, and in producing hydrogen peroxide which has a similar effect. They also produce natural antibiotics, and there is now doubt that a supplement of acidophilus will provide you with several health benefits and also make you feel fitter and more alert.
Don’t Live With Pain, Live Pain Free – Curamin Is The Answer
April 24, 2008 04:32 PM
Fact, more than 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Chronic, meaning pain that continues daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly, pain may which never end with out help. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, pain is the primary reason people seek the advice of a doctor or health practitioner, and the number one reason people take alternative medicine.
A new revolutionary dietary supplement for pain and inflammation is now available on the market. Introduced by Terry Lemerond, this new formula called Curamin has changed thousands of lives. This formula contains three anti-inflammatory herbs and one amino acid that can help one live a more normal pain free life.
The first ingredient: Curcumin is a substance found in turmeric. Curcumin contains curcuminoids which have been shown to reduce inflammation and pain. Turmeric is an ayurvedic herb discovered in India and brought over to the United States has demonstrated amazing results. Turmeric has been cooked with and used as a medicine for over 2000 years. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin which has demonstrated six important properties. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, Antifungal, and anti-cancer properties. As you can see this herb has made quite a name for its self.
The second ingredient is Boswellia. Boswellia contains boswellic acid which is the active ingredient in this herb as well. This herb has also demonstrated its natural ability to fight inflammation and more. Research suggests that Boswellia’s active ingredient can actually modulate the expression of the genes involved in the body’s inflammation response thus giving itself an anti-inflammatory name.
The third ingredient is DLPA an amino acid also known as DL Phenylalanine. This amino acid can help the body product more serotonin in the brain. D-phenylalanine can actually help reduce chronic pain through the production of serotonin. Serotonin helps one feel more relaxed and level headed this is something everybody needs when it comes to pain that drives them crazy all day long. Those people consuming MAO inhibitors and anti-depressants need to avoid DLPA with out a doctor’s supervision.
The forth and last ingredient in Curamin is nattokinase. Nattokinase is an extract from fermented soy cheese. For thousands of years natto has been consumed by the Japanese people with out even know the health benefits of its consumption. Nattokinase can help the body fight blood clots, thin the blood, and fight pain and swelling.
This new formula Curamin has the three top herbs that fight inflammation in the body, when combined with DLPA, this product has the amazing ability to fight pain by attacking the source of pain, inflammation.
Recommended doses for curamin are 2 capsules in the morning and 2 more capsules in the evening after work. Some may need a stronger dose at first, this is where one should take 4 capsules at one time in the morning for the first few days then step back to 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening.
We have free samples available upon request and back the curamin product with a 100% satisfaction guaranteed. So if you are un-satisfied, just return the unused portion of the product for a full refund of the purchase price minus shipping costs.
So what are you waiting for? Are you ready to live pain free? Give curamin a try!
March 08, 2007 12:27 PM
Revita, the most efficient hair growth stimulating shampoo available in the market is the final result of DS Laboratories efforts on cutting edge research. Revita is a powerful and unique SLS/SLES free combination of active ingredients specially designed to maintain scalp vitality and act on folicle dysfunctions in order to achieve best results in short periods of time. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate, commonly used low cost detergents in shampoos and cleansers, are linked to skin irritation, skin drying and hair loss due to follicle attack. Revita is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate free, providing a high quality scalp skin safe shampoo product.
Revita was developed with a cost-no-object approach. Revita’s compounds have been chosen based exclusively on their properties, quality and efficacy (in the opposite of the majority of available products, which are usually developed with production costs in mind). The final result is a very high quality shampoo product with absolutely no equivalent competitor in the market. Revita combines costly first line compounds at high concentrations like Caffeine at 4.0%, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Seed Extract at 1.0% and Spin Traps (SOD Mimic) at 0.1% with other top level ingredients which make Revita a unique product in its class.
To improve the efficacy of this synergic combination, DS Laboratories developed a unique “chemical free” extraction process that keeps original properties and clinical efficacy of final components. Through gentle mechanical compression, Revita’s compounds are obtained as pure and chemically preserved active molecules.
Revita starts acting on your scalp and hair follicle since the first day of use. The time you will need to note the first results will depend of the severity and duration of your hair loss. No matter how long or how intense your hair loss is, using Revita on daily basis will improve the vitality of your scalp, maintaining the quality of your hair and stimulating new hair growth.
Through the synergic interaction of very effective compounds, Revita brings you a highly effective product designed to maintain scalp vitality and act on hair loss. By combining an antioxidant effect, anti-DHT properties, powerful hydrating molecules, hair growth stimulants and structural amino acids, Revita brings you the most effective hair growth stimulating shampoo available.
Apple Polyphenol (procyanidin B2 and C1) - phytochemical concentrate found in the skin of unripe apples that acts as potent antioxidant. It protects cells against free radicals, reactive atoms that contribute to tissue damage in the body. These chemical compounds are being studied extensively in labs around the world for their health effects in major diseases including treatment of hair growth. Studies showed that after sequential use, an increase of almost 80% of hair diameter and an increase in number of total hairs was shown, with no side effects.
In 2000, Japanese researchers presented their findings to the international community on the hair growth effects of apple polyphenols - specifically one known as procyanidin B-2. They identified two successful compounds- one from chardonnay grapes, and one extracted from unripe apples. The procyanidin B-2 fraction clearly outperformed the grape extract. "Procyanidin B-2 purified from apples," stated the research team, "shows the highest activity of more than 300% relative to controls."
In the same year, in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial, nineteen men with male pattern baldness were studied with a daily topical application of a 1% procyanidin B-2 solution, extracted from apples. Ten other balding men served as controls, receiving a placebo solution. After 6 months, the study concluded:
• The increase in number of total hairs and terminal hairs in the procyanidin B-2 group subjects was significantly greater than controls.
• 78.9% of subjects showed an increased mean value of hair diameter.
• "Procyanidin B-2 therapy shows promise as a cure for male pattern baldness."
Following the revelations, an attempt was made to further understand the mechanism by which the remarkable hair growth effects occurred. The results were published in the prestigious British Journal of Dermatology: Procyanidin B-2, extracted from apples, promotes hair growth: a laboratory study, Br J Dermatol. 2002 Jan;146(1):41-51. In this study, the researchers concluded that procyanidin B-2 acts to diminish protein kinase C isozymes, which play an important role in the hair growth cycle. Procyanidin B-2 seems to promote hair growth by down regulating PKC in both the anagen (active growth phase) and telogen (resting phase) of the hair follicle. When the anagen phase is prolonged, and the telogen phase is shortened, increased hair growth results.
Two more clinical trials and a total of seven published studies have now confirmed the surprising hair growth-promoting effects of apple procyanidins. Here is a summary of those findings:
• Total Number of Hairs: Significantly Increased
• Total Number of Terminal Hairs: Significantly Greater
• Increase in Hair Diameter: 78.9% Positive • Ratio of Thicker (terminal) Hairs: Significantly Higher
• Hair Follicle Activation: Intensive
In the most exciting development yet, Japanese researchers released a new study late in 2005. Once again, procyanidin therapy was proven successful in regrowing hair in subjects with male pattern baldness. The new study, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, confirmed the findings of earlier studies, showing clear improvement in the number of hairs and the density of hairs in the treated area. Building on the success of earlier trials, the study was extended to 12 months in the procyanidin group, and proved that longer term procyanidin therapy was even more successful than prior 4 and 6 month trials.
Cooper Peptides - Cooper Peptides have two main properties: (1) potent tissue protective anti-inflammatory agents that limit oxidative damage after tissue injury, and (2) tissue remodeling activation agents, that is, the processes for removal of damaged protein and scar tissue and their replacement by normal tissue. Studies at numerous universities and research institutes have found copper-peptides to improve hair transplant success, increase hair follicle size, stimulate hair growth and reduce hair loss.
Research scientists at the University of San Francisco Wound Center stumbled upon very interesting results. Their discovery was made while applying a synthetically formulated compound, Copper Peptide, to severe wound areas on several patients. During this process something unusual happened. Not only did the wounds heal about 30 percent faster, but a significant stimulation of the follicular cells occurred. As a side effect, these tripeptide complexes actually grew hair around the wound area.
The discovery was so startling that they then applied the same Copper Peptide complex to a female patient who had suffered roughly 90 percent alopecia (hair loss) for years. After about six months of use, she had recovered almost 100 percent of her hair. Dr. Loren Pickart, the leading authority in Copper Peptide technology, describes it as being like a protein injection to the scalp.
Tests were then conducted with chemotherapy patients and recent hair transplant recipients, all with great success in stimulating newer and stronger hair follicles.
Spin traps – are very special compounds that were originally utilized in measuring free radical activity because they react with free radicals both in vitro and in vivo, producing stable complexes. The most commonly used spin trap and the standard which measures new ones is PBN - alpha-phenyl- N-tert butyl nitrone. Hundreds of studies have been conducted over the last ten years that have tested PBN and other “spin traps” in numerous conditions. Later it was discovered that these spin traps had powerful free radical quenching abilities in living systems and could treat a variety of conditions. Spin traps could provide unique protection against free radical damage that complements and enhances the activities of the classical antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E.
Spin traps modulate NF kappa-B regulated cytokines and inducible nitric oxide synthases that are implicated in pro-inflammatory disease conditions. A method for ameliorating a cellular dysfunction of a tissue such as the treatment of hair loss and stimulation of hair growth comprises administering a nitroso or nitrone spin trap to the affected tissue. These agents inhibit the reaction of superoxide and nitric oxide to produce peroxinitrite. Scientists discovered that nitrone and nitroso spin traps have properties in the body for ameliorating cellular dysfunction in tissue attributed, in part, to high energy oxygen and hydroxyl free radicals, and enhancing recuperation of the tissue. Alpha-phenyl-N-tert butyl nitrone (PBN) can be administered, for example, as an anti-alopecia agent to stimulate hair growth.
Spin traps can be administered to the skin to be treated, such as the scalp. Depending on the type of hair loss or alopecia being treated and the conditions thereof, the stimulation of hair growth can usually be obtained by topical application, preferably repeated daily application. The utility of topically applied spin traps is not limited thereto, however, and the stimulation of hair growth can include an increased rate of growth, increased hair diameter, follicular neogenesis, and the like; inhibiting hair loss or alopecia from progressing.
Ketoconazole - Topical ketoconazole shows itself to have an anti-DHT binding effect in the scalp. Nevertheless, it is likely that ketoconazole exhibits other methods to its anti-hair-loss effect. One such theory of ketoconazole anti-alopecia effects may be on its activity upon the removal of sebum, a fatty substance that accumulates in the scalp around the hair follicles. In addition, ketoconazole is an Antifungal medication and is significant for people combating hair loss since acting as an Antifungal agent it reduces scalp irritation caused by fungal colonization or infection. Reduction of the inflammatory process that occurs in male pattern alopecia is crucial.
If we first examine the role of androgens, specifically dihydrotestosterone (DHT), we find that this hormone has been thought to slowly "choke" the growth of the hair follicle by inhibiting the function of an enzyme in the hair follicle called adenylate cyclase. Suffice it to say that when DHT concentrations remain high in the scalp, we see terminal (thick, coarse) scalp hair become reduced to vellus hair (fine, thin peach fuzz). On March 04, 2001, at the American Academy of Dermatology Meeting in Washington DC, scientists presented the findings of a study done on 1% ketoconazole shampoo which had good news for hair loss sufferers. In the study presented, one hundred male volunteers with mild to moderate dandruff and somewhat oily scalp, were using in a double-blind fashion either a 1% ketoconazole shampoo or a 1% zinc pyrithione shampoo, 2-3 times a week for 6 months.
Analysis of the different parameters set up in the study shows that the hair diameter gradually increased with ketoconazole use (+8.46%) over a 6 month period, whereas the diameter showed a trend to decrease with zinc pyrithione use over the same period (-2.28%). The sebum excretion rate was reduced with ketoconazole (-6.54%) while it increased with zinc pyrithione (+8.2%) over the same period of time. The number of hairs shed over a 24-hour period was reduced by 16.46% with ketoconazole and 6.02% with zinc pyrithione after 6 months. Finally, the percentage of hairs in the anagen phase increased by 6.4% and 8.4% respectively during the study.
The results are similar to a previous study done on 2% prescription strength Ketokonazole where it was shown that use of 2% ketoconazol yielded an increase in hair shaft diameter similar to what was achieved by the control group using 2% Minoxidil and a non-medicated shampoo.
Rooibos - Rooibos or Red Bush Tea - a hardy shrub indigenous to the North Western Cape of South Africa – is an exciting new botanical ingredient with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties well documented in medical literature. In alternative medicine Rooibos is often prescribed for nervous tension, allergies, stomach and digestive problems. Results from an independent study also showed a significant improvement in hair loss. Studies were initiated at an independent laboratory (Dermascan, France) to study the effect of the use of Rooibos in a hair lotion on a group of healthy persons who were suffering from the problem of hair loss. A 90 day trial was conducted comparing a hair lotion containing Rooibos with a placebo lotion.
After 90 days results showed a significant increase of the hair growth in the lotion containing Rooibos compared with the placebo. An increase in the hair growth was observed with 89% of the volunteers with no undesirable reactions (irritation or allergy). The participants were next asked to fill in a questionnaire. When the results were tallied, 67 percent rated their hair loss as zero or low, 78 percent saw a low to medium improvement, 45 percent saw a low to medium regrowth of hair, and 63 percent considered their hair had become smoother and shinier.
Conclusion: results show that most of the volunteers had a remarkable improvement in both the increase of hair growth and the decrease in hair loss.
MSM - Sulphur is present in protein-rich foods containing high levels of the amino acids methionine and cysteine. These foods include meat, fish, legumes, nuts, eggs, and vegetables, especially onions. However, sulphur has recently become a popular nutritional supplement and topical treatment thanks to the discovery of methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM.
The use of MSM as a nutritional supplement and topical application is relatively recent. An American chemist named Robert Herschler, began studying MSM in 1955. However, another man, Dr. Stanley Jacob with Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, is considered by many to be the father of MSM. Dr. Jacob found that simple marine life like algae and plankton convert inorganic sulphur to organic sulphur compounds. These compounds are known as dimethylsulfonium salts. These salts are transformed into dimethyl sulfide (DMS), which is released into the atmosphere and is converted by ultraviolet light into dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). When DMSO oxidizes, it turns into MSM and is absorbed by plants that become food for animals and humans. MSM is a white, crystalline powder that is odorless and nearly tasteless. When taken as a dietary supplement, MSM proved to have the same health benefits as DMSO without side-effects such as bad breath, itchy skin, nasal congestion, and shortness of breath. Why does MSM help with the development of stronger hair? Various scientific studies have proven that MSM contributes a definite normalizing effect on body functions. The sulfur normally provided to the body by MSM is required for healthy collagen and keratin which are essential for healthy hair, skin and nails. MSM also has proven antioxidant benefits which can disrupt or alter damaging chain reactions of lipid peroxidation in the cell membranes.
MSM has been widely used as a dietary supplement without any reports of allergy or intolerance related to its use. Supplements of MSM are comfortably assimilated without side effects. There are no known contraindications.
Caffeine 4% - Active caffeine ingredient helps to regulate the effects of testosterone levels. Male pattern baldness is known to occur in individuals with sensitivity to testosterone, causing damage to hair follicles that eventually leads to baldness. Caffeine is a xanthine alkaloid compound that acts as a stimulant in humans. Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, having the effect of warding off drowsiness and restoring alertness.
The independent study at the University of Jena used hair samples from the scalps of young men entering into the first stages of hormone-related hair loss. The study relied on a hair organ culture that used four different types of testing samples. The first was a nutrient-based sample, the second a testosterone only sample, the third was a caffeine only sample and the fourth a mixture of caffeine and testosterone.
According to the research, the results showed that the samples containing the caffeine nutrient helped to stave off hair loss and encouraged new hair growth, while the sample that relied on testosterone only led to increased hair loss. But perhaps the most impressive was the testosterone and caffeine sample, which helped to prevent further hair loss.
The results showed that using the caffeine treatment average growth was increased by around 46 per cent and the life cycle of the hair was extended by 37 per cent, when compared to the control study.
Carnitine Tartrate - L-Carnitine, a vitamin-like nutrient, occurs naturally in the human body and is essential for turning fat into energy. Active energy metabolism is an essential prerequisite for the growth of strong and healthy hair. In biological systems ATP acts as the universal energy currency. One of the most potent bio-actives that significantly increases cellular ATP content is carnitine tartrate.
Statistical evaluation demonstrated a significant increase in ATP equivalents in human hair roots treated with carnitine tartrate, showing that carnitine tartrate is an ideal ingredient for hair care formulations, providing energy for the optimal environment to produce strong and healthy hair. Throughout the test period ATP content within plucked hair follicles was determined twice daily using a commercially available test kit. Statistical evaluation of baseline adjusted values demonstrated a significant increase in ATP equivalents in human hair roots treated with carnitine tartrate. These effects were absent in the placebo group, thus underlining the stimulating activity of carnitine tartrate.
The outstanding bio-activity of carnitine tartrate was furthermore demonstrated in a second study, assessing the effects after a single application of a shampoo formulation supplemented with carnitine tartrate. Again, ATP levels in plucked human hair follicles were significantly increased.
Amino Acids: Ornitine, Taurine, Cysteine - Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, from which hair is created. They are assembled in the correct sequence by stem cells to form keratin, a complex and immensely strong hair protein. Vital amino acids have to be replaced consistently, as damage is accumulated over time. We can replace a combination of these lost amino acids directly into the hair, where they are shown to provide significant tensile benefits to the hair shaft.
Hair is composed primarily of proteins (88%). These proteins are of a hard fibrous type known as keratin. Keratin protein is comprised of what we call "polypeptide chains.” The word, polypeptide, comes from the Greek word "poly" meaning many and "peptos" meaning digested or broken down. In essence, if we break down protein, we have individual amino acids.
Many (poly) amino acids joined together form a "polypeptide chain". Two amino acids are joined together by a "peptide bond", and the correct number of amino acids placed in their correct order will form a specific protein; i.e. keratin, insulin, collagen and so on. The "alpha helix" is the descriptive term given to the polypeptide chain that forms the keratin protein found in human hair. Its structure is a coiled coil. The amino acids link together to form the coil and there are approximately 3.6 amino acids per turn of the helix (coil). Each amino acid is connected together by a "peptide bond". The peptide bond is located between the carbon atom of one amino acid extending to bond with the nitrogen atom of the next amino acid. In many individuals the extremities, including the top of the head, are the most difficult places to maintain blood flow. Follicles which are constantly deprived of blood, and therefore nutrients, cannot produce hair properly. Lack of proper nutrients, amino acids, minerals and vitamins can certainly hamper hair growth.
L-Arginine is a semi-essential amino acid synthesized by the body from L-Ornithine. Arginine + Ornithine support protein synthesis because they are involved in the transport and storage of nitrogen. The usage of taurine corrects the "rigidification" of the connective sheath that surrounds the Pilosebaceous unit and hair follicles, specifically those affected by pattern hair loss. This is a novel and previously undisclosed angle on hair loss treatment that has yet to be touched upon in any of the medical literature or prior publications.
The amino acid, l-cysteine speeds up hair growth and increases hair shaft diameter resulting in fuller hair. L-cysteine has been reported to facilitate longer hair growth, beyond what is genetically programmed. L-cysteine also provides potent antioxidant protection to the hair follicle. Users of topical n-acetyl-cysteine have reported hair regrowth.
Emu Oil - The emu, dromaius nova hollandiae, is a flightless bird part of a group called ratites which also includes the ostrich and the kiwi. Modern Australians learned early on from the Aborigines the many valuable qualities in the emu and its oil. The earliest research studies in emu oil come from Australia, and Australia continues to export emu oil to this day.
In the United States today there is a growing network of research labs interested in emus and their incredible oil. Emu oil is rendered from a thick pad of fat on the back of the bird that was apparently provided by nature to protect the animal from the extreme temperatures in its Australian homeland. Emu oil is deep penetrating and super hydrating to the skin - an all-natural tissue nutrient. Michael Hollick, MD, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine, Physiology, and Dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine conducted a study involving emu oil and hair growth. His study found that there was a 20% increase in growth activity of skin that received emu oil compared to skin that received corn oil. Looking at the hair follicles Dr. Hollick realized they were much more robust, the skin thickness was remarkably increased suggesting that emu oil stimulated skin growth and hair growth. Additionally, the study showed that over 80% of hair follicles that had been "asleep" were woken up, and began growing.
Emu oil is anti-inflammatory, which may be in part why it stimulates hair growth. Emu Oil has also been shown to be a 5 alpha reductase inhibitor in target tissues when topically applied, which likely contributes significantly to its hair growth properties. A third important property of emu oil is that it is bacteriostatic.
Emu Oil contains a multitude of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) which helps to "feed" the skin. Consumers who suffer from natural forms of baldness have reported hair re-growth. Since Alopecia Areata only suppresses the hair follicle (vs. killing the hair follicle), emu oil may have an effect to assist with hair regrowth.
Biotin – Biotin is a member of the B-vitamin family and a major component in the natural hair manufacturing process -- it is essential to not only grow new hair, but it also plays a major role in the overall health of skin and nails. The beneficial effects of biotin on hair may be linked to its ability to improve the metabolism of scalp oils. Biotin when absorbed by the scalp may promote hair growth and it is able to penetrate the hair shaft making it expand which actually thickens the hair cuticle.
Biotin is used in cell growth, the production of fatty acids, metabolism of fats and amino acids. It plays a role in the Krebs Cycle, which is the process in which energy is released from food. Biotin is so important to hair health, that many dermatologists prescribe biotin supplements to their patients as part of their medical treatment for hair loss.
After applying Revita with a gentle massage, you should leave it on the scalp from 1 – 2 minutes before rinsing. Then repeat and leave on the scalp for 3 – 5 minutes. If desired, follow with a high quality conditioner. For optimal results, Revita should be used at least 5 times per week.
This formulation is contraindicated in individuals with a history of sensitivity reactions to any of its components. It should be discontinued if hypersensitivity to any of its ingredients is noted.
Q. Is Revita safe ?
A. Revita primarily contains compounds that are not only safe in topical use, but actually dramatically enhance overall skin health. The other active ingredients such as Ketoconazole have been tested in clinical studies and have been shown safe.
Q: Can I use hair sprays, mousses, gels, etc.?
A: Hair spray, gel, and other styling aids are not recommended since they tend to clog the hair shaft. However, you can use them while using Revita.
Q: Can I have my hair colored or permed while using Revita ?
A: While there is no evidence that coloring or perming hair can lead to or even worsen hair loss, it is generally not recommended for people with hair loss. If you are experiencing hair loss then perming and coloring hair is not recommended. However, this will not interfere with Revita.
Q: What is SLS/SLES free ?
A: SLS means Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and SLES means Sodium Laureth Sulfate, commonly used low cost detergents in shampoos and cleansers. They are linked to skin irritation, skin drying and hair loss due to follicle attack. Revita is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate free, and that means that Revita does not irritate you scalp and preserves your hair follicale health.
Q: Can I blow dry my hair after using Revita ?
A: Extreme heat damages the proteins in the hairs making them fragile. Nevertheless, if you need or want to blow dry your hair, you can do it after using Revita.
Q: Who is a candidate for Revita ?
A: Ideal candidate is someone with little hair loss or at the beginning stages of hair loss, since it is much easier to prevent hair loss then to grow new hair. Someone who is concerned with hair loss prevention should start using Revita immediately.
Q: What type of results should I expect with Revita ?
A: When deciding to use Revita, it is important to have realistic expectations. Depending of severity and duration of your hair loss, it could take some time to see hair growth. In fact, during the first 2 weeks of treatment you may actually notice increased hair loss as old hairs are being pushed out and the hair follicles start growing new hair. Do not become alarmed with this and just stick to the treatment.
Q. Does Revita have any systemic side effects ?
A. No, when used as directed, Revita active ingredients have a long history of use both orally and topically.
Q. Does Revita work for women?
A. Yes. In most cases, the cause of hair loss in women is surprisingly similar to men. Fortunately for women, estrogen helps to protect the hair follicle from the destructive effects of DHT. However, many women develop thinning hair and loss due to fluctuation of estrogen levels and/or over production of DHT. Revita can help protect the hair follicle from DHT resulting in a thicker, fuller and healthier hair.
Q. I am using other topical treatments. Can I use Revita at the same time ?
A. Yes. Revita has no side effects and does not cross react with other topical treatments. You can safely opt to use Revita with other products, and we strongly recommend the association with Spectral.DNC for more severe hair loss or Spectral.RS for thinning hair.
Q. Do I need to use Revita for a long time ?
A. Once you have reached the desired results, you should continue to use Revita as your regular shampoo to maintain the revitalized hairs and a healthy scalp.
Q: Is stress a factor in hair loss?
A: When the body is under significant physical and emotional stress it is possible that the immune system will produce anti-bodies that attack hair follicles, and this results in bald patches or diffuse loss. Stress-induced loss will respond very well to Revita and you should keep using Revita as your regular daily shampoo to keep your scalp healthy.
Scratching the Surface
September 19, 2006 09:12 AM
Persistent yeast infections may indicate a body out of balance.
Say the words “yeast infection” to the average woman and she’ll probably start to squirm. The burning, the itching we’ve all been there. Yeast’s miseries drive millions of desperate woman to seek relief each year.
Yeast infections (also known as yeast vaginitis) start when candida albicans, a naturally occurring fungus, starts growing excessively, producing itchy discomfort and a whitish discharge. Most every woman will endure a vaginal infection at least once during her lifetime, and many of these episodes will be caused by candida. (Bacteria or Trichomonas vaginalis may also be to blame; to be sure have the necessary testing done.)
When yeast strikes repeatedly you should look for an underlying cause. One of the biggest is the extended use of certain prescription drugs, particularly antibiotics, birth control pills or steroids. Another is the presence of undiagnosed diabetes. If you’ve been on meds, or have other diabetes symptoms such as excessive thirst or fatigue, see your practitioner.
A number of alternative health authorities—though by no means all-see recurring yeast vaginitis as part of a systemic candida infection, also called candidiasis. They believe it occurs when intestinal yeast over-growth causes the bowel wall to “leak” partially digested food and toxins into the blood, causing such symptoms as depression, digestive woes, fatigue, irritability and rashes even weight gain. The solution lies in a diet that tightly restricts sugar and other carbohydrates. To learn more www.yeastconnection.com.
Ditching the itch
In addition to addressing the underlying causes of persistent yeast infection you should also tame the beast where it lives. Fortunately, there are safe, natural therapies that can make life a lot more comfortable. Tea tree oil, a natural antiseptic available in both liquid and suppository form, may help, and aloe Vera gel can provide welcome itch relief. To bolster the effects of these topical treatments, some herbalists suggest taking cinnamon or the rainforest herb pau d’arco in supplemental form. Garlic, known for its Antifungal properties, is another time-tested option.
After disposing of the harmful critters, replace them with helpful organisms. Organic plain yogurt, both eaten and applied directly, is a good source of these beneficial bacteria, especially when you add acidophilus or other probiotic supplements. Cutting down on your sugar consumption is always a good idea no matter what, as is upping your fiber intake (Oat bran is a good source).
To help keep things cool and airy, a little wardrobe management may be in order. Avoid tight, synthetic fabrics (sorry, but those cute spandex pants have just got to go) in favor of looser garments made with natural fibers, especially white cotton underwear. If swimming’s your thing, don’t spend to much time sitting around in a damp suit—change into something dry as soon as possible.
If you have got an itch that won’t go away, don’t just scratch. Learning what’s really going on is the better way to experience sustained relief. –Lisa James.
Allibiotic CF Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 01:37 PM
Allibiotic CF Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 03/09/05
LIKELY USERS: People seeking support of the immune system and intestinal flora
KEY INGREDIENTS: Allicin (“AlliSure” patented, stabilized allicin from fresh garlic); Olive Leaf Extract (Olea Europaea with 18% minimum Oleuropein content); Elderberry extract, from fruit/berry, 60:1 concentrate (equivalent to 2,500 mg. of fresh berries of Sambucus nigra); Oil of Oregano (wild oregano from Origanum vulgare) ImmunEnhancer AG (trademarked Arabinogalactan from Larch Tree, Larix occidentalis)
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: AlliSure is the clinically tested, patented and stable form of allicin. Not allicin potential, but actual allicin. Allicin represents the immune supporting nutrients of raw garlic, and is chemically similar to penicillin, though with different physical properties. AlliSure shares garlic’s abilities to help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and also has been shown to raise levels of a key T cell to enhance immune system function. Like raw garlic, AlliSure has antimicrobial properties linked to its ability to react with sulfur-containing metabolic enzymes. Allicin is also shown in studies to play a role in controlling blood sugar and abnormal cell growth.
Black Elderberries have strong antioxidant properties, containing flavonoids like anthocyanidins. They have been studied in relation to inhibition of viral replication and of minor inflammations.
Olive Leaf has been used as an antioxidant, cholesterol and blood viscosity regulator, and vasodilator. But its most important use has been as a way to help the body deal with undesirable organisms in the vital respiratory and intestinal areas.
Oil of Oregano (wild oregano, wild marjoram) contains carvacrol and thymol, which are responsible for much of its antimicrobial activities. It also has some anti-inflammatory effects.
Arabinogalactan from Larch tree bark (ImmunEnhancer AG) can help speed the immune system’s response to undesirable organisms and is often compared to Echinacea. It has also been shown to promote the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT INFORMATION: Patented and trademarked ingredients enhance quality controls and have clinical research. Rosemary Oil provides antioxidant protection for the capsule contents. Enteric coating protects the capsule from stomach acid to deliver its contents past the stomach. This helps to assure full potency and reduces the possibility of the oils repeating.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: One softgel twice daily, preferably with meals. Try one before using the full dose.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Probiotics, Antioxidants, D-Flame
CAUTIONS: Pregnant & lactating women, children and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. Discontinue use if any uncomfortable side effects occur. This information is based on my own knowledge and references, and should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as a specific product claim.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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Chowdhury AK, Ahsan M, Islam SN, Ahmed ZU. Efficacy of aqueous extract of garlic & allicin in experimental shigellosis in rabbits. Indian J Med Res. 1991 Jan;93:33-6.
Eilat S, Oestraicher Y, Rabinkov A, Ohad D, Mirelman D, Battler A, Eldar M, Vered Z. Alteration of lipid profile in hyperlipidemic rabbits by allicin, an active constituent of garlic. Coron Artery Dis. 1995 Dec;6(12):985-90. PMID: 8723021
Elkayam A, Mirelman D, Peleg E, Wilchek M, Miron T, Rabinkov A, Oron-Herman M, Rosenthal T. The effects of allicin on weight in fructose-induced hyperinsulinemic, hyperlipidemic, hypertensive rats. Am J Hypertens. 2003 Dec;16(12):1053-6. PMID: 14643581
Feldberg RS, Chang SC, Kotik AN, Nadler M, Neuwirth Z, Sundstrom DC, Thompson NH. In vitro mechanism of inhibition of bacterial cell growth by allicin. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1988 Dec;32(12):1763-8.
Focke M, Feld A, Lichtenthaler K. Allicin, a naturally occurring antibiotic from garlic, specifically inhibits acetyl-CoA synthetase. FEBS Lett. 1990 Feb 12;261(1):106-8.
Hirsch K, Danilenko M, Giat J, Miron T, Rabinkov A, Wilchek M, Mirelman D, Levy J, Sharoni Y. Effect of purified allicin, the major ingredient of freshly crushed garlic, on cancer cell proliferation. Nutr Cancer. 2000;38(2):245-54. PMID: 11525603
Patya M, Zahalka MA, Vanichkin A, Rabinkov A, Miron T, Mirelman D, Wilchek M, Lander HM, Novogrodsky A. Allicin stimulates lymphocytes and elicits an antitumor effect: a possible role of p21ras. Int Immunol. 2004 Feb;16(2):275-81. PMID: 14734613
Rabinkov A, Miron T, Mirelman D, Wilchek M, Glozman S, Yavin E, Weiner L. S-Allylmercaptoglutathione: the reaction product of allicin with glutathione possesses SH-modifying and antioxidant properties. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Dec 11;1499(1-2):144-153. PMID: 11118647
Rabinkov A, Miron T, Konstantinovski L, Wilchek M, Mirelman D, Weiner L. The mode of action of allicin: trapping of radicals and interaction with thiol containing proteins. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1998 Feb 2;1379(2):233-44. PMID: 9528659
Sela U, Ganor S, Hecht I, Brill A, Miron T, Rabinkov A, Wilchek M, Mirelman D, Lider O, Hershkoviz R. Allicin inhibits SDF-1alpha-induced T cell interactions with fibronectin and endothelial cells by down-regulating cytoskeleton rearrangement, Pyk-2 phosphorylation and VLA-4 expression. Immunology. 2004 Apr;111(4):391-9. PMID: 15056375
Shadkchan Y, Shemesh E, Mirelman D, Miron T, Rabinkov A, Wilchek M, Osherov N. Efficacy of allicin, the reactive molecule of garlic, in inhibiting Aspergillus spp. in vitro, and in a murine model of disseminated aspergillosis. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2004 May;53(5):832-6. Epub 2004 Mar 24. PMID: 15044429
Tsai Y, Cole LL, Davis LE, Lockwood SJ, Simmons V, Wild GC. Antiviral properties of garlic: in vitro effects on influenza B, herpes simplex and coxsackie viruses. Planta Med. 1985 Oct;(5):460-1. PMID: 3001801
Uchida Y, Takahashi T, Sato N. [The characteristics of the antibacterial activity of garlic (author's transl)] Jpn J Antibiot. 1975 Aug;28(4):638-42. PMID: 1099271
Yasuo Yamada and Keizô Azuma. Evaluation of the In Vitro Antifungal Activity of Allicin. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1977 April; 11(4): 743–749.
Duke JA. CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1985, 423.
Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Jaenicke C, et al. (eds). PDR for Herbal Medicines. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics, 1998, 1116–7.
Mascolo N, Autore G, Capasso G, et al. Biological screening of Italian medicinal plants for anti-inflammatory activity. Phytother Res 1987;1:28–31.
Murkovic M, Abuja PM, Bergmann AR, et al. Effects of elderberry juice on fasting and postprandial serum lipids and low-density lipoprotein oxidation in healthy volunteers: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Eur J Clin Nutr. Feb2004;58(2):244-9.
Newall CA, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996, 104–5.
Yesilada E. Inhibitory Effects of Turkish Folk Remedies on Inflammatory Cytokines: Interleukin-1Alpha, Interleukin-1Beta and Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha. J Ethnopharmacol. Sept1997;58(1):59-73. Youdim KA, Martin A, Joseph JA. Incorporation of the elderberry anthocyanins by endothelial cells increases protection against oxidative stress. Free Radical Biol Med 2000;29:51–60.
Zakay-Rones Z, Varsano N, Zlotnik M, et al. Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama. J Alt Compl Med 1995;1:361–9.
OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT:
American Herbal Products Association. Use of Marker Compounds in Manufacturing and Labeling Botanically Derived Dietary Supplements. Silver Spring, MD: American Herbal Products Association; 2001.
Bennani-Kabchi N, et al. Effects of Olea europea var. oleaster leaves in hypercholesterolemic insulin-resistant sand rats. Therapie. Nov1999;54(6):717-23.
Bisignano G, et al. On the in-vitro antimicrobial activity of oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol. J Pharm Pharmacol. Aug1999;51(8):971-4. Gonzalez M, et al. Hypoglycemic activity of olive leaf. Planta Medica. 1992;58:513-515. Visoli F, et al. Oleuropein protects low density lipoprotein from oxidation. Life Sciences. 1994;55:1965-71. PDR for Herbal Medicines, 2nd edition. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company; 2000:557.
Petroni A, et al. Inhibition of platelet aggregation and eicosanoid production by phenolic components of olive oil.Thromb Res. Apr1995;78(2):151-60. Pieroni A, et al. In vitro anti-complementary activity of flavonoids from olive (Olea europaea L.) leaves. Pharmazie. Oct1996;51(10):765-8. Zarzuelo A, et al. Vasodilator effect of olive leaf. Planta Med. Oct1991;57(5):417-9. OREGANO OIL (OIL OF OREGANO, WILD OREGANO, WILD MARJORAM):
Dorman HJ, et al. Antimicrobial agents from plants: antibacterial activity of plant volatile oils. J Appl Microbiol. Feb2000;88(2):308-16. Force M, et al. Inhibition of enteric parasites by emulsified oil of oregano in vivo. Phytother Res. May2000;14(3):213-4.
Hammer KA, Carson CF, Riley TV. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and other plant extracts. J Appl Microbiol 1999;86:985–90.
Kelm MA, Nair MG, Strasburg GM. Antioxidant and Cyclooxygenase Inhibitory Phenolic Compounds from Ocimum sanctum Linn. Phytomedicine. Mar2000;7(1):7-13. Lamaison JL, et al. Medicinal Lamiaceae with antioxidant properties, a potential source of rosmarinic acid. Pharm Acta Helv. 1991;66(7):185-8.
Ponce MM, Navarro AI, Martinez GMN, et al. In vitro effect against Giardia of 14 plant extracts. Rev Invest Clin 1994;46:343–7 [in Spanish].
Stiles JC, Sparks W, Ronzio RA. The inhibition of Candida albicans by oregano. J Applied Nutr 1995;47:96–102.
Tantaoui EA, Beraoud L. Inhibition of growth and aflatoxin production in Aspergillus parasiticus by essential oils of selected plant materials. J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol 1994;13:67–72. ImmunEnhancer AG (Larch tree Arabinogalactan)
Corado J, et al. Impairment of Natural Killer (NK) Cytotoxic Activity in Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection. Exp Immunol. 1997;109:451-457. Currier NL, Lejtenyi D, Miller SC. Effect over time of in-vivo administration of the polysaccharide arabinogalactan on immune and hemopoietic cell lineages in murine spleen and bone marrow. Phytomedicine. 2003 Mar;10(2-3):145-53. PMID: 12725568
Egert D, et al. Studies on Antigen Specificity of Immunoreactive Arabinogalactan Proteins Extracted from Baptisia tinctoria and Echinacea purpurea. Planta Med. 1992;58:163-165. Gonda R, et al. Arabinogalactan Core Structure and Immunological Activities of Ukonan C, An Acidic Polysaccharide from the Rhizome of Curcuma longa. Biol Pharm Bull. 1993;16:235-238. Hagmar B, et al. Arabinogalactan Blockade of Experimental Metastases to Liver by Murine Hepatoma. Invasion Metastasis. 1991;11:348-355. Kelly GS. Larch arabinogalactan: clinical relevance of a novel immune-enhancing polysaccharide. Altern Med Rev. 1999 Apr;4(2):96-103. Review. PMID: 10231609
Kim LS, Waters RF, Burkholder PM. Immunological activity of larch arabinogalactan and Echinacea: a preliminary, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Altern Med Rev. 2002 Apr;7(2):138-49. PMID: 11991793
Levine PH, et al. Dysfunction of Natural Killer Activity in a Family With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1998;88:96-104. Robinson RR, Feirtag J, Slavin JL. Effects of dietary arabinogalactan on gastrointestinal and blood parameters in healthy human subjects. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Aug;20(4):279-85. PMID: 11506055
Rolfe RD. The Role of Probiotic Cultures in the Control of Gastrointestinal Health. J Nutr. Feb2000;130(2S Suppl):396S-402S.
Salyers AA, Vercellotti JR, West SE, Wilkins TD. Fermentation of mucin and plant polysaccharides by strains of Bacteroides from the human colon. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1977 Feb;33(2):319-22. PMID: 848954
Uchida A. Therapy of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Nippon Rinsho. 1992;50:2679-2683.
HERBAL FIRST AID KIT
July 11, 2005 09:44 PM
HERBAL FIRST AID KIT
It is important to know the area where you will be going to determine plants that will be available in case they are needed and access to emergency help if necessary. The herbal first aid kit is meant to be used for minor conditions that may occur while traveling. Any serious condition should be seen by a health care professional. Gathering herbs along the trail can be fun as well as useful. Simple plant remedies can be brought along in the first aid kit. Major injuries require immediate medical attention by a professional. Minor problems can often be taken care of with simple herbal remedies. Supplies can be obtained from the local health food store or by collecting plants locally.
Along with the herbs, a few supplies should be part of the kit available at the local drugstore or market.
ALOE VERA: Aloe is great for minor skin abrasions, burns and as a natural laxative. It is excellent to soothe and repair damage from a sunburn. Aloe can be applied to stings and bites to soothe and heal.
TEA TREE OIL: Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and contains many antibacterial, Antifungal and antiviral properties. It helps to speed the healing process and is excellent to apply externally on wounds to promote healing and prevent infection. It is also a natural bug repellent and can soothe and promote healing after bites and stings.
ECHINACEA: One of the most often used herbs, echinacea is useful for pre venting infection by stimulating the immune function. It can be found in herbal salve preparations and applied directly to the wound. A salve can also be applied to skin irritations from contact with poison ivy or oak. LAVENDER: Lavender is a natural bug repellent and can be applied topically to bites and stings.
GINGER: Ginger root is excellent for an upset stomach. It is effective when used to combat motion and altitude sickness. Studies have found ginger to be just as effective when treating motion sickness due to riding in the car, boating or flying in and airplane, as over the counter remedies which often have side effects such as drowsiness. Ginger can be made into a tea or taken in capsule form. ARNICA: Arnica can be applied externally to areas of bruising and swelling, but not to broken skin. It can help to reduce inflammation.
PLANTAIN: A poultice of plantain can help reduce inflammation when applied to the affected area. It can also help with bites, stings, scratches and cuts. GARLIC: Along with being a natural antibiotic to help prevent infection, garlic also helps to keep mosquitoes away. They don’t seem to like the scent of garlic. Capsules or pills should be taken internally.
CAYENNE (CAPSICUM): This is effective for both internal and external bleeding. Externally, apply pressure and raise affected area. Sprinkle cayenne powder over the wound. MINT: Mint leaves, often found growing in the wild, can be made into a tea to help with digestion and calm the nerves. Some members of the mint family include peppermint, spearmint, catnip and horsemint.
FEVERFEW: This daisy like plant found growing in the wild, can help with migraine headaches and inflammation.
Chew the leaves, make into a tea or take in capsule form. Some have developed mouth irritations from chewing the leaves.
Tea Tree Oil Fights Staph Infection
There is much concern regarding the overuse of antibiotics leading to drug resistant strains of bacteria. Some forms of bacteria are difficult to control as they change form. Tea tree oil holds promise as an effective treatment for inactivating Staphylococcus aureus.
A study reported in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, (1995; 35: 421-45), and lead by Dr. C. F. Carson, researched tea tree oil at the University of Western Australia. The results were significant. Tea tree oil successfully inactivated the staph bacteria which was resistant to methicillin, a salt of penicillin. It is a versatile substance with a broad spectrum of capabilities. It is generally used topically.
Blueberries for Health
Blueberries are packed full of nutritional value. A study published in the Food and Nutrition Re s e a rch Br i e f s , January, 1997, found that two-thirds of a cup of blueberries had more antioxidants than the recommended daily amounts of vitamins E and C. Blueberries were followed by Concord grape juice, strawberries, kale and spinach in their antioxidant content.
Antioxidants are an important part of optimal health. They protect the body from free radical damage which can lead to a variety of conditions such as aging, cancer, heart disease and other diseases. Adding blueberries could aid in p rotecting the body and strengthening the immune response.
Worldwide Concern About Antibiotic Overuse
A recent report called for doctors throughout the world to be careful in administering antibiotics needlessly. Overuse of antibiotics has lead to germ mutations resistant and untreatable with current antibiotics. Pediatricians in the United States have received a brochure from the American Academy of Pediatrics urging them to take precautions before prescribing. Antibiotics are not always the answer as they do not work on viral infections which cause the common cold, sore throats and some ear infections. Staphylococcus aureus is one example of an antibiotic resistant strain. Over 90 percent of this staph strain are resistant to penicillin and other antibiotics. And other bacteria are also developing a resistance to antibiotic therapy. Save antibiotics for conditions that require their use.
Aloe Vera, Woodland Health Series
Aloe vera is one of the most widely used plants for medicinal purposes. It has been used for over 4,000 year for its therapeutic benefits. Aloe Vera, a pamphlet written by Deanne Tenney, offers valuable information and up to date research on the aloe vera plant.
The benefits of the aloe plant are truly amazing. It has been used to treat burns, radiation burns, skin disorders, wounds, scratches, sunburn, dermatitis, constipation, digestion, ulcer, kidney stones, bacterial and viral infections, and to relieve pain. It is widely used for skin disorders, but its benefits go far beyond the skin.
As a natural home remedy, there are few plants more valuable than the aloe. It is a simple and easy way to treat minor injuries. The plant contains antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, anesthetic and tissue healing properties. The Aloe Vera pamphlet offers historical as well as modern uses for this ancient plant. Aloe Vera is available through Woodland Publishing.
Tea Tree Oil, Woodland Health Series
Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, a shrub-like tree found in Australia. It contains significant medicinal value and beneficial properties. Another pamphlet in the Woodland Publishing Health Series, Tea Tree Oil offers historical uses as well as current scientific information.
The essential oil of the tea tree leaves is one of the most powerful essential oils. It is used extensively in Australia, and popularity is growing throughout the world. It contains antibacterial, antiviral, and Antifungal properties helping to prevent and heal infection.
Tea tree oil has been used successfully for many conditions such as athlete’s foot, acne, burns, warts, vaginal yeast infections, ringworm, skin rashes, herpes, cold sores, canker sores, insect bites and in preventing infection to name a few. Tea tree oil is a natural alternative that can be used effectively for extended periods of time without.
Fight Hay Fever - Help Your Sinus...
July 11, 2005 09:15 PM
The National Institute of Health’s branch of Allergy and Infectious Diseases re p o rt that 40 to 50 million Americans suffer from allergies in one form or another. Many experience food allergies that a re treated somewhat diff e rently from hay fever allergies. Hay fever comes from airborne allergens, generally from pollen or pollutants.
The symptoms of allergy occur when an immune system is overactive. The immune system often recognizes something as foreign and treats it as foreign by attacking it, when in fact it really isn’t a substance the body should be concern e d with. This over-activity of the immune system leads to the release of substances including histamine that cause the symptoms of hay fever.
The most common symptoms include a runny nose and itching eyes and scratchy throat. Sometimes, an allergy will precede a sinus infection by causing swelling in the nasal membranes preventing fluids f rom exiting the sinus passages. An infection then ensues. However, most people who feel pressure over their sinuses, never develop an infection and so can be adequately treated with the supplements mentioned here. Many people experience a tickle or a shallow cough that comes from the throat rather than the lungs. They may also experience a change in emotions, becoming quite irritable or moody.
These airborne allergies can often be g rouped by season. Those people sensitive to tree pollens usually have more severe allergies in the springtime. Those sensitive to grasses are often worse in mid-summer. Those allergic to weeds have their symptoms peak in the fall. There are some unfortunate people who have allergies all summer long who may be allergic to a few plants in each group. Those who have symptoms of allerg i e s all winter long probably are allergic to molds and mildew or household animals and dust mites. On occasion, it takes a real detective to determine from where the allergies come.
There are several methods used to diagnose a cause of an allergy. In a scratch test, drops of an allergen are put on small scratches on the arm or the back. Are action is considered positive if swelling or redness occur around the scratch. A blood sample can also be used to meas ure antibody response to certain allergens. It is often helpful to determine the allergen which cause the hayfever to reduce the symptoms. There are also practitioners who use kinesiology or electronic devices to determine the cause of allergies.
The most common treatment of allergies is with antihistamines. Their side effects include drowsiness and drying of the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth. Many of the newer prescription antihistamines don’t cause drying but often have serious drug interactions and the consumer must be very careful in combining the prescription antihistamines with Antifungal drugs, and blood thinning as well as asthma medication. There are some natural products that can be taken to decrease allergy symptoms. They are often equally effective without the side effects of antihistamines.
One of the more popular is quercetin. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found in red apples, red onions, brussels sprouts, kale, peas, bell peppers, pears and asparagus. It is also found in bee pollen and propolis, two plant materials found in the beehive. It is possible to consume a fair amount of quercetin through your diet. If you have allergies, however, diet is often not enough and you may need a supplement to get enough quercetin to ontrol your symptoms. It appears quercetin decreases allergic symptoms by stopping the release of histamine. If you start taking quercetin and other nutritional supplements I will mention below before an allergy attack, they are likely to be more effective. However, don’t let that discourage you from taking them even after the symptoms have started. A common dose is 300mg to 600mg per day.
Bromelain is a nutrient often extracted f rom pineapple. Found in many digestive formulas, it is an enzyme that helps absorption. If it is found in a combination formula, chances are, it is there to help with the absorption of the other nutrients such as quercetin. Bromelain also has an anti-inflammatory effect. When someone develops allergy symptoms, part of the reason is due to the inflammatory response to substances such as histamine that are released as the allergy takes hold. This causes inflammation in the tissues which then manifests with redness and swelling.
Vitamin C is useful in many conditions including hay fever. Higher doses are often required in the treatment of allergies: 2,000mg is beneficial and you can take up to 4,000mg or more during acute symptoms. It also stabilizes capillaries, reducing the swelling in the throat, nasal passages and around the eyes. If you are taking a multi-vitamin or a combination product that contains Vitamin C, I still recommend additional supplementation.
Stinging nettle is probably a plant many a re familiar with, especially if it has come into contact with your skin, but it also has an historical use in the treatment of allergy. In fact, in double blind studies it was shown to decrease the symptoms of allergy, specifically runny nose.
The active component of the ephedra herb is ephedrine, an alkaloid. It is used in OTC asthma medication. As a natural herb, ephedra in small doses can be v e ry useful in decreasing the symptoms of colds, asthma, cough and in this case, hay fever. It is in many Chinese and American formulas that I use and I feel v e ry comfortable using 100mg to 200mg of ephedra that contain small doses of 2.5mg to 8mg of ephedra alkaloids per day. I feel comfortable using dosages of up to 15mg of ephedra alkaloids .
Feverfew is another herb with a variety of uses. You will find it in headache formulas, in fever reducing formulas, and many hay fever formulas. Like bromelain, it has an anti-inflammatory effect and reduces the swelling that occurs during a hay fever attack.
Homeopathic formulas can also be useful to reduce hay fever. There is no re ason why the herbs I’ve mentioned cannot be combined with homeopathic formulas. You may want to take them at separate times of the day.
So, if you suffer from hay fever, don’t give up. You can use these nutrients singly or in combination. You can take a formula that contains all of them and then add to that additional vitamin C for instance, or additional nettle. It may require trial and error to find the right amounts in combination that will work for you.
YEAST INFECTIONS AND GARLIC
June 25, 2005 10:13 AM
YEAST INFECTIONS AND GARLIC
Garlic has proven over and over that it is an effective Antifungal agent. For anyone suffering from recurring yeast infections, garlic should be added to the diet. Its compounds are ve ry active against candida albicans which causes yeast infections. Some studies h a ve shown that garlic is more potent in treating yeast infections than nystatin, gentian violet and six other reputable Antifungal agents.3 6
Yeast infections plague millions of Americans and can cause conditions such as thrush, vaginal yeast infections and intestinal yeast disorders. Candida albicans has been linked to a wide variety of symptoms including chronic fatigue, depression, infertility and allergies.
Much of the scientific research done on garlic has centered around its antimicrobial activity, especially against infectious fungi like C. albicans which causes yeast infections. Chicks that were inoculated with the C. albicans organism were cured after ten days of ingesting garlic.37
A study reported in Mycologia in 1977 concluded that garlic significantly inhibited all isolates of yeast-like fungi that were tested. Once again, it is important that the allicin component of garlic is present in order to receive the Antifungal effect. Some research has suggested that raw garlic was not effective against yeast infections, while aged extracts were very good. An added bonus of using garlic to treat yeast infections is that no clinical stains of C. albicans have been known to become resistant to garlic therapy.
Because high blood sugar is also related to a higher risk of yeast infections, garlic therapy has an additional advantage. Garlic compounds have demonstrated their ability to lower blood glucose levels which would help to decrease one’s risk of developing a yeast infection.
Cancer and Echinacea
June 24, 2005 03:45 PM
Cancer and Echinacea
Some experts believe that over the last 40 years, science has lost its battle with cancer. Progress has been slow and cancer mortality rates continue to rise despite the enormous amount of money spent on research. While most of us are aware of potential carcinogens which surround us at every turn, most of us do not take a preventative approach.
In other words, even if we eat nutritiously and try to protect ourselves from toxin exposure, cancers still develop. The role of the immune system in cancer pre vention is significant to say the least. Why some people develop cancerous tumors and others do not may be linked to immune function.
We’re all aware of the new emphasis on antioxidants today. Likewise, stimulating and strengthening the immune system may also provide significant protection against certain types of malignancy. It’s time to concentrate on why some of us don’t get cancer instead of focusing all our attention on why some of us do.
In addition to boosting the immune system, echinacea has been shown to increase pro p e rdin levels in the body which may be responsible for its anti-cancer activity. By increasing the production and secretion of interferon, echinacea may help enable the body to neutralize carcinogens.15
USDA researchers have found that echinacea contains a tumor inhibiting compound. This compound is an oncolytic lipid-soluble hydrocarbon. This particular substance which is found in the essential oil of echinacea, has shown its ability to inhibit lymphocytic leukemia and other types of cancers.
One theory concerning this activity is that it probably does not involve creating a cytotoxic effect directly on cancer cells, but rather stimulates the action of anti-cancer cells such as natrual killer cells already present in the body.
The fact that echinacea inhibits the enzyme, hyaluronidase may also be a factor. The same type of mechanism that breaks down the protective barrier around cells so that disease microbes can enter is thought to occur in the initial stages of tumor formation. Because echinacea prevents the formation of hyaluronidase, it may play a role in preventing the development of certain types of cancer.16
Allergies and Echinacea
German research has demonstrated echinacea’s ability to treat certain allergic reactions.17 It may be the cortisone-like activity of echinacea which accounts for its anti-inflammatory action. In the case of allergic reactions, the immuno-suppressive action of echinacea kicks in.
An allergy occurs when the immune system becomes overly stimulated by the presence of an allergen. Each time that the allergen enters the body an allergic response is initiated. Echinacea can temper this cascade of symptoms by stabilizing mast cells, which are responsible for the histamine release which creates havoc with our bodies. This action results in a substantial reduction of allergy symptoms.
The fact that echinacea actually suppresses the immune system is nothing less than remarkable. This herb might be referred to as “the botanical with a brain.” In other words, it can either stimulate or inhibit immune response as determined by the status of the body. Synthetic drugs do not have this ability.
Healing Stimulation by Echinacea
Because echinacea has antiseptic pro p e rties, it can be used both internally and externally to heal conditions such as bed sores, boils, burns, ulcers and wounds of any kind. The inulin Echinacin B content of echinacea extracted from the rhizome gives echinacea its wound healing pro p e rties. It also accelerates the production of granulomatous tissue which is necessary for tissue healing in the body. 18
Russian studies have shown that echinacea also helps to stimulate healing in wounds and prevents blood clotting.19
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Echinacea
Because echinacea contains the polysaccharides inulin and echinacin it may be helpful in fighting stubborn viral infections such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Anytime the immune system becomes c o m p romised due to exhaustion, allergies, or depression, viral and bacterial invasion can occur. The chemical compounds contained in echinacea promote improved resistance to all septic or infectious conditions.20
Prostate Disorders and Echinacea
Echinacea is believed to be one of the best herbs in the treatment of enlarged prostate glands or other prostate disorders .21 Its anti-inflammatory properties are believed to help decrease swelling and irritation. Tests on mice have shown that using echinacea to control inflammatory responses has resulted in a decrease in edema or swelling.
Weight Loss and Echinacea
When combined with chickweed, echinacea has been used to promote weight loss.22 Scientifically, there is a lack of data to explain this particular effect.
Echinacea and Skin Damage
Any type of skin damage, whether caused by injury or infection can be treated with echinacea. One of the major actions of this herb is its ability to inhibit a specific enzyme that weakens connective tissue cells when they are exposed to certain microorganisms. This enzyme is called hyaluronidase .23 Whenever skin cells have been compromised by infectious organisms, echinacea can help prevent the spread of infection and speed the healing of the skin by preventing the break down of skin tissue at the cellular level. The anti-hyaluronidase action of echinacea, especially when applied as a poultice, can significantly prevent infection and enhance healing in burns, cuts, and abrasions.
In addition, topical applications of echinacea are valuable in treating snake and insect bites. German research suggests that echinacea extracts and salves can benefit a variety of inflammatory skin conditions including: psoriasis, eczema, and herpes.24
Yeast Inf ect ions and Echinacea
Yeast infections are caused by an fungus called Candida albicans. This particular organism has been the subject of intense interest, research and controversy over the last several years. Standard medical therapies for yeast infections usually involve the use of antibiotics and Antifungal drugs which can, in themselves, compromise the immune system. In laboratory tests using control groups, subjects who received echinacea we re compared to those who took standard Antifungal treatments. In these cases, better results we re obtained with the echinacea.25 It is the polysaccharides contained in echinacea which seem to enhance the resistance of the immune system against the Candida fungus. This finding again stresses that echinacea may have important therapeutic applications for anyone who is in a weakened state and susceptible to opportunistic infections.26 Echinacea in both external and internal forms can be used to treat yeast infections. It has been suggested that anyone who has recurring yeast infections should consider adding echinacea extract to their repertoire of health supplements.
Inflammation, Arthrit is and Echinacea
Some laboratory tests have demonstrated that echinacea has certain anti-inflammatory pro p e rties which can help prevent or decrease the inflammation and swelling typically found in arthritis sufferers. Unlike the inflammatory response of the body to infections, the chronic inflammation of joint diseases such as arthritis is not desireable. In these cases, echinacea can help to inhibit chronic inflammation. Its effect is considered equal to approximately half of that resulting from steroid drugs like cortisone in arthritic patients.27
Apparently, echinacea contains a specific factor which prevents inflammation and swelling when observed in certain laboratory tests. This particular tonic action may be quite helpful for people who suffer from chronic arthritis. Arthritis symptoms result from an immune response which creates inflammation in the joints. As is the case with allergies, when arthritis is present, echinacea inhibits the inflammatory action of the immune system.
It is interesting to note that another component of echinacea actually boosts the inflammatory response when it is appropriate. For this reason, wounds respond well to echinacea.
Steroids are commonly prescribed for inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Because steroid drugs have so many negative side-effects, echinacea may prove to be an invaluable treatment for improper immune system reactions that cause conditions like arthritis.
HIV and Echinacea
At this writing, the possible role of echinacea on HIV has not been established. While some preliminary studies look promising, much more research is needed to determine whether or not echinacea’s stimulation of immune function will benefit AIDS patients.
June 24, 2005 01:13 PM
Because 20th century medical practices have routinely over - prescribed antibiotics, the notion of a natural antibiotic with virtually no side-effects is intriguing to say the least. Echinacea is one of several herbs which possesses antibacterial, antiviral and Antifungal properties. In a time when new life-threatening microbes are evolving and pose the threat of modern-day plagues, herbs such as echinacea are particularly valuable. More and more health practitioners are focusing on fortifying the immune system to fight off potential infections rather than just treating infection after it has developed.
Echinacea is enjoying a renaissance today. During the late 1980’s, echinacea re-emerged as a remarkable medicinal plant. In addition to its infection fighting properties, echinacea is known for its healing properties as well. As was the case with so many herbs, echinacea lost its prestige as a medicinal treatment with the advent of antibiotics. It has experienced a resurgence over the last two decades.
Echinacea has several other much more romantic names including Purple Coneflower, Black Sampson and Red Sunflower. It has also become the common name for a number of echinacea species like E. angustifolia, E. purpurea, and E. pallida. The genus derives its name from the Greek word echinos which refers to sea urchin. This particular association evolved from the prickly spiny scales of the seed head section of the flower. Historically, echinacea has sometimes become confused with Parthenium integrifolium.
The word echinacea is actually apart of the scientific latin term, echinacea angustifolia, which literally translated means a narrow - leafed sucker. The plant grows wild as a perennial exclusively in the midwestern plains states, but can be cultivated almost anywhere . Echinacea leaves are pale to dark green, coarse and pointy. Its florets are purple and its roots, black and long.
Echinacea has a strong Native American link in the Central Plains. Native Americans are credited with discovering the usefulness of this botanical without knowing its specific chemical properties. It was routinely used by Na t i ve Americans to treat toothaches, snakebite, fevers and old stubborn wounds.
Native Americans thought of echinacea as a versatile herb that not only helped to fight infection, but increased the appetite and s t rengthened the sexual organs as well. The juice of the plant was used to bathe burns and was sprinkled on hot coals during traditional “sweats” used for purification purposes. It is also believed that some Native Americans used echinacea juice to protect their hands, feet and mouths from the heat of hot coals and ceremonial fires.1 According to Melvin Gilmore, An American anthropologist who studied Native American medicine in the early part of this century, Echinacea was used as a remedy by Native Americans more than any other plant in the central plains area.
In time, early white settlers learned of its healing powers and used the plant as a home remedy for colds, influenza, tumors, syphillis, hemorrhoids and wounds. Dr. John King, in his medical journal of 1887 mentioned that echinacea had value as a blood purifier and alterative. It was used in various blood tonics and gained the reputation of being good for almost every conceivable malady. It has been called the king of blood purifiers due to its ability to improve lymphatic filtration and drainage. In time, echinacea became popular with 19th century Eclectics, who were followers of a botanic system founded by Dr. Wooster Beech in the 1830’s. They used it as an anesthetic, deodorant, and stimulant.
By 1898, echinacea had become one of the top natural treatments in America. During these years, echinacea was used to treat fevers, malignant carbuncles, ulcerations, pyorrhea, snake bites and dermatitis. In the early twentieth century, echinacea had gained a formidable reputation for treating a long list of infectious disease ranging from the commonplace to the exotic. The Lloyd Brothers Pharmaceutical House developed more sophisticated versions of the herb in order to meet escalating demands for echinacea.
Ironically, it was medical doctors who considered echinacea more valuable than eclectic practitioners. Several articles on echinacea appeared from time to time in various publications. Its attributes we re re v i ewed and, at times, its curative abilities ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. In 1909, the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry of the American Medical Association decided against recognizing echinacea as an official drug, claiming that it lacked scientific credibility. It was added to the National Formulary of the United States despite this type of negative reaction and remained on this list until 1950.
Over the past 50 years, echinacea has earned a formidable reputation achieving worldwide fame for its antiviral, Antifungal and antibacterial actions. Consumer interest in echinacea has greatly increased, particularly in relation to its role in treating candida, chronic fatigue syndrome, AIDS and malignancies. Practitioners of natural medicine in Eu rope and America have long valued its attributes. In recent, years, German research has confirmed its ability to augment the human immune system. Extensive research on echinacea has occurred over the last twenty years. Test results have s h own that the herb has an antibiotic, cortisone-like activity.
Echinacea has the ability to boost cell membrane healing, protect collagen, and suppress tumor growth. Because of its immuno-enhancing activity, it has recently been used in AIDS therapy. Research has proven that echinacea may have p rofound value in stimulating immune function and may be particularly beneficial for colds and sore throats.3
Mane Attraction - lustrous Hair...
June 14, 2005 08:19 AM
Mane Attraction by Chrystle Fiedler Energy Times, February 12, 2004
Everyone wants thick, lustrous hair. Think of the allure attached to the locks of Samson and Lady Godiva and-fast-forward to the present-the full heads of Antonio Banderas and Julia Roberts.
" We're naturally attracted to hair as humans; it catches the light, it frames the face, we like the feel of it," says Catherine Jones, ND, LAc, a resident naturopathic physician at Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle, Washington. "Fair or not, historically in many cultures, rich, thick hair has been a sign of fertility and strength."
Along with that allure, latching onto natural ways to have great-looking hair gives you the benefits of looks and health. Every hair starts with a shaft that grows from a root. "The root is contained deep within the hair follicle," says Dr. Jones. "Each one has a sebaceous or oil gland, which supplies the hair with necessary lubrication as it approaches the surface of the scalp." Each hair follicle has its own growth cycle, including a resting period, the telogen phase, when hair falls out. Because of these constant hair phases, each of us loses, on average, about 100 hairs a day.
" The number of hairs the average person loses in a day tends to increase in the fall as the leaves fall from the tree and tends to decrease in the spring as the bulbs emerge from the soil," Dr. Jones says. "We really are connected to nature." Stress-due to rapid weight loss, infection, anemia, prolonged illness, hormonal changes, hypoactive thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions, eczema or psoriasis-can influence hair growth and loss.
Hair consists of proteins, lipids (fats), carbohydrates and pigment (gray hair has reduced pigment; white, none at all). Each shaft's structure is divided into a medulla, a cortex and an outer cuticle. " The cuticle is coated with an outside lipid-like layer, which protects the hair," says Dr. Jones. "As the hair grows out of the follicle, the cortex and cuticle become keratinized and harden." Dry or damaged hair is more susceptible to breakage. "The condition of the cuticle affects how the light reflects off the hair, giving it highlights and luster," Dr. Jones says. "Luster is affected both by what occurs inside the body as the hair is developing and what happens to the hair after it has grown from the shaft."
Sun, heat, moisture, pollution and hair products, dyes and bleaches can all dull the hair. "Applying chemical solutions to the hair, color, permanent waves or curl relaxers, damage the protein molecules that wrap around the shaft, leaving hair brittle and dull," says Christina Pirello, author of Glow: A Prescription for Radiant Health and Beauty (HP Books).
Conditioners and oils can leave a residue or weigh hair down. Hair sprays and products that contain alcohol can dry and damage the hair, as can using blow dryers and curling irons.
To combat hair-raising havoc, feed your hair natural nutrients for health. Silica and plants that contain silica/silicon both strengthen hair and promote growth. "Silica is a good mineral for hair health," says Walter Siegordner, founder of The Aurora Group, a personal care company. "It helps in the keratinization process of the cells that produce hair."
" Silica is a mineral that is involved in the synthesis of bone and connective tissue," adds Dr. Jones. "The hair follicle contains connective tissue so silica may promote the health and function of the follicle itself." Silica-containing herbs include nettles (Urtica dioica), horsetail (Equisetum arvense), oatstraw (Avena sativa) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa).
Sea plants like seaweed and kelp also provide vital nutrients. "Sea plants are essential ingredients in many natural shampoos and can be used to fortify damaged hair," says Pirello. "They're rich in vitamin A that prevents the build-up of dead skin cells, which can clog the hair follicles, inhibiting the growth and health of the hair, and also contain vitamin B, linked to the prevention of oily hair, baldness and dandruff. Calcium found in sea plants is essential to the structure of the hair shaft."
Eaten on s daily basis, sea plants are rich in nutrients that help maintain healthy, shiny hair, free of split ends, Pirello says. Try wakame in soups and salads, kombu or kelp in bean and vegetable dishes, nori in sushi, and hiziki and arame as side dishes. Since hair health is affected by digestive health, the fiber found in whole grains also helps. "Fiber prevents accumulation in the intestines that can result in the formation of toxins," says Pirello.
Miso, she adds, is especially good hair food. It "is rich in living enzymes that ease digestion, fortify the quality of the blood nourishing the body and hair, and provide us with essential oils, vitamins and minerals."
Key nutritional support includes adequate protein and amino acids, essential fatty acids such as cold-pressed flax seed oil and fish oil, copper, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, biotin, iron and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Zinc and selenium can help combat the effects of hyperthyroidism, which can result in thinning, lackluster hair.
Vitamin C can boost adrenal health. "When the adrenals are overtaxed and become fatigued, hair follicles will go into a resting phase," says Dr. Jones. (If you have a medical condition, she adds, check with your health care practitioner first before taking supplements.)
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, hair is associated with the kidneys' qi, energy that originates in these organs, and with blood quality. " From the traditional Chinese perspective, excess amounts of fat, protein, dairy, sugar, alcohol and salt in the diet acidify the body, damage the Kidney qi and are not good for the hair," says Dr. Jones. A diet rich in vegetables and grains is a great way to support healthy hair. "Iron and mineral-rich foods are considered blood builders and hair tonics. Foods such as blackstrap molasses, seaweed, nettles, and the herb polygonum multiflorum (also known as He Shou Wu and Fo-Ti) have been used throughout the years. Fo-Ti has also been used to prevent graying of the hair and support the immune system."
" Hair is extremely strong but at the same time it's extremely delicate," says Barsoum Bouchar, a cosmetologist and owner of the Virtuoso Salon in Birmingham, Michigan. "Many products work against the hair texture, so the cuticle is always raised. This causes tangles and split ends. With blow dryers, chemicals, colors and styling elements, the hair is tremendously abused." If you don't have to chemically treat the hair, he says, don't.
When replenishing the hair it's important to remember that it's composed of 97% protein and 3% moisture, says Bouchar. Shampoo cleanses the hair and removes buildup. "A moisturizer brings moisture back into the hair and smoothes the cuticle down, which is what makes hair shiny and gives it bounce. The one key ingredient in both shampoo and moisturizers is aloe vera. It heals the hair." " Avoid products with harsh surfactants like sodium laurel sulfate and propylene glycol," warns Siegordner. "These decrease the circulation in the scalp, reducing the pathway for nutrition to the hair bulb." Conditioners that aren't natural can also cause build-up. "When you apply heat to the hair through blow drying or styling, you end up 'burning' the hair," says Bouchar.
To stimulate hair growth, add a few drops of essential oils of rosemary, lavender and thyme to jojoba and almond oils, and rub into the scalp. Leave it overnight and then rinse it off. " Essential oils have antimicrobial and Antifungal properties, stimulate the circulation to the hair follicles and combat dryness. They also smell good," says Dr. Jones.
For hair that's not chemically treated, "a vinegar rinse cleanses the hair, removes build-up and boosts shine," says Bouchar. Use one part vinegar to ten parts water, apply after a shampoo, comb though and rinse it off. To naturally lighten the hair, use the same ratio in a lemon rinse for five minutes for, say, four days in a row, and then stop.
If you want to color your hair, choose natural elements, too. "The best natural dye is henna," says Bouchar. "It's organic, just like hair is." Blonde hair becomes warmer with a coppery tone, brunette hair takes on a mahogany hue, gray hair looks like highlights.
To find a good natural hair stylist, Bouchar suggests asking which products they use and why. If your hair is chemically treated, it's especially important to work with a stylist you trust for the best care.
Keep your eye on the big picture when it comes to hair health. "Be proactive and treat the body holistically," urges Dr. Jones. "Nourish the glands, the organs and the vessels that are responsible for getting the necessary nutrients to the hair follicle. Pay attention to the physical, emotional and mental aspects of health. Once hair is lost it may come back but it will likely be thinner than it was before. It's important to take care of what you have."