Search Term: " Astragalus "
Why astragalus is good for your nervous system
May 13, 2019 04:14 PM
Historically used in ancient Chinese medicine, astragalus extract has a plethora of benefits, including the ability to regrow nerves. This specific benefit was verified by a study conducted in Taiwan, where researchers administered the extract to lab rats in hopes of finding out how well in aided in cell regeneration. The results proved that just three grams of astragalus extract per day can help promote neuronal electrophysiological function, which is directly related to the regeneration of cells.
"These results, which were published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, indicate that astragalus is beneficial for the nerves and inflammation."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-26-why-astragalus-is-good-for-your-nervous-system.html
Study: Astragalus can improve symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension
May 10, 2019 02:20 PM
Astragalus is known in Chinese medicine because it has been used by the Chinese for centuries as a medicinal herb. Recent researchers have backed up the healing claims of the plant. In a new study that was done in China, Chinese researchers have discovered that polysaccharide extracts from astragalus can be effective against pulmonary arterial hypertension. To carry out the study they fed rats with monocrotaline in order to induce pulmonary arterial hypertension in them. Then they gave the rats 200 milligrams per kilogram of astragalus polysaccharides once in every two days for a period of two weeks. The results were positive. It was found that the polysaccharides of astragalus reduced the hypertension of the pulmonary artery induced by monocrotaline in rats. There were other benefits that were discovered. The treatment with the polysaccharide of astragalus also eliminated oxidative stress, promoted vasodilation, and reduced inflammation in the rats. All these suggest that astragalus lowers the blood pressure in individuals. The findings of the study were then published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine with the authors stating that astragalus can be used to eliminate symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension in individuals.
"In China, astragalus is one of the herbs commonly prescribed to help with diabetes management. Research has also shown that the active compounds in astragalus may help in reducing blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. Lab trials have shown that it improves metabolism, reduce blood sugar levels, and aid in weight loss."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-17-astragalus-improves-symptoms-of-pulmonary-arterial-hypertension.html
Even CBD can help reduce hypertension.
The incredible immune booster many have never heard of
June 24, 2018 05:54 PM
Astragalus, also known as Huangqi or Milkvetch, is a relative of the pea plant with remarkable adaptogenic qualities that can help boost your resilience against various types of physical and mental stress. Astragalus delivers a potent mix of anti inflammatory, antibacterial and immune system-boosting compounds that can help bolster your natural defense system and stimulate production of antibodies. Astragalus is easily grown in the garden in most U.S. regions, and can be prepared for consumption as an oil, tea, tincture, etc.
"For medical use, the root is made into powder, herbal decoctions, tea, capsules and ointments."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/the-incredible-immune-booster-many-have-never-heard-of/
5 Trending Adaptogenic Herbs To Reduce Anxiety And Depression
May 30, 2018 09:16 AM
Adoptogenic herbs are herbs that help the body to achieve balance. There non-specific nature is actually their strength, as the herb works to alleviate stress, by boosting what's lacking and reining in what's excessive, from nose to toes, across the body. And since it's all about stress, the herb makes no distinction between physical or emotional stresses. Studies have shown that various psychological conditions, such as anxiety, chronic stress, acute stress and depression are impacted in a positive way by adoptogenic herbs, such as Astragalus, Holy basil, and Asian Ginger.
"Everyone in the health world wants a piece of the adaptogenic action, and it’s not without reason."
Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/5-trending-adaptogenic-herbs-to-reduce-anxiety-and-depression/
Forget superfoods! Expert reveals the ten super HERBS that can help relieve stress, improve ...
October 13, 2017 01:14 PM
There are many kinds of herbs out there and they help with many ailments. People have used them for millennia in teas and other forms. This talks about stress relief. It gives 10 of the best herbs for this. Stress is a huge problem so it helps to have something to relieve it. Many lives will be improved by this. These herbs ave other great benefits as well so should be part of a healthy diet.
"Most of us know the benefits of superfoods such as broccoli, kale and goji berries. But now, an expert has revealed how superherbs - such as holy basil, astragalus, and nettle leaves - can significantly improve our health."
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4948922/Ten-super-HERBS-improve-health.html
Protect yourself from flu season with these natural cold remedies
December 11, 2016 10:59 AM
The common cold is an infection of your nose and throat caused by viruses. We typically catch between two and four colds a year. There is some evidence suggesting that people with higher levels of vitamin D may have a reduced risk of catching the common cold. Astragalus root has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to strengthen immunity and prevent colds and flu. Studies have found that Astragalus has antiviral properties and stimulates the immune system, although there have been no clinical trials examining the effectiveness of Astragalus against colds in humans.
"For instance, elderberries have been used as medicine since the Stone Age, according to Melanie Grimes, scholar, academic, author and homeopathic expert."
Adaptogens: Herbs That Can Help In Fighting Stress
It has been proven through various researches that cortisol hormone in your body can cause stress by effecting its physiological system like adrenal glands or thyroid, etc. The anxiety and irritation caused by the elevation of cortisol can cause a number of health problems including diabetes, weight gain, depletion of energy level and risk of heart problems etc. Most researchers have found adaptogenic herbs as the best and effective natural source of fighting stress caused by the elevation of cortisol in the body.
A group of plants that can be used for fighting stress caused by the increase of cortisol hormone in the body are known as Adaptogens. They can help in protecting and restoring the body by balancing its hormonal growth. Some of the popular herbs used for this purpose may include Ashwagandha, American Ginseng, Astragalus, Asian Ginseng, Eleuthero, Cordyceps, Maca, Holy Basil, Schisandra and Rhodiola.
Here's a brief description about these herbs:
Ashwaganda: It is also known as Indian ginseng as Ayurvedic medicine science uses it since thousands of years not only for fighting stress but also for regulating your immune system by lowering the level of cortisol hormone.
American Ginseng: This adaptogenic herb is also known as Panax Ginseng as it belongs to the botanical family of Panax. Normally two types of Ginseng are used for relieving stress including American and Asian ginseng.
Asian Ginseng: Researches have proved it to be one of the most popular adaptogens that can help in improving your ability to handle stress along with your mental performance due to its antidepressant and antioxidant properties which can lower the levels of your blood sugar and blood pressure. Though American and Asian ginsengs belong to the same medicinal group, their healing properties are different from each other.
Astragalus: The root of this herb is used in various Chinese medicine to reduce the effect of stress along with boosting your immunity level. It can reduce the receptor binding ability of cortisol, a stress causing hormone.
Eleuthero: It reduces the symptoms of adrenal fatigue due to its Panax Ginseng like properties. It soothes the stimulated adrenal glands producing stress causing hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
Cordycep: It is a kind of fungus which has antioxidant properties to help you in fighting stress along with boosting your immune system.
Maca: It is a root vegetable that is used to reduce the risk of various health problems like arthritis and diabetes etc. caused due to increased stress along with increasing your libido. Along with wide variety of nutrients, it also provides healthy fiber to your body.
Holy basil: Tulsi is another popular name of this adaptogenic herb. Along with boosting your immune system it also helps you in fighting stress and regulating blood pressure.
Schizandra: The berries of this adaptogenic herb are used for making various stress relieving medicines and general tonics in China.
Rhodiola: According to various health experts it helps in reducing physical fatigue along with stress related problems like mental stress etc. due to its antioxidant properties.
What Herbs Are Good For Boosting The Immune System?
March 25, 2012 03:11 PM
Herbs for Immunity
The immunity system comprises a network of organs, cells and tissues that are responsible for your overall wellness. The status of your immunity system mainly depends on your feeding habits. The foods you eat supply you with vital nutrients and minerals that help protect you from diseases. The white blood cells in your body are also endowed with the role of defending your body against diseases. There are herbs that help increase the number of white blood cells, while others produce immunity cells thus boosting your immunity system. The following are the best herbs that are good for boosting the immune system:
Astragalus is a traditional Chinese herb that is locally known as Huang-Qi. The roots of this herb are used for a wide range of purposes, one of which is to boost the immune system. This is because of its ability to increase the number of T-cells and interferon.
Astragalus is also used to treat inflammatory conditions, liver problems, viral and bacterial infections, lack of appetite, short breath, stomach ulcers, flu, common cold, diabetes, stress, hypertension and body weakness. This herb also interferes with the growth of cancerous tumors, and has thus been used as a natural aid during chemotherapy treatments.
Echinacea is a group of herbs popular within the American market, which are also known as black susans, Indian head, American cone flower, or Kansas snake root. The popular species of Echinacea are E. pallid, E. purpurea and E. angustifolia.
These herbs have been used for ages as natural immune boosters because of their ability to increase the number of WBC as well as spleen cells in your body. They also increase the number of natural immune chemicals such as immuno globin, interferon and interleukin. When White Blood Cells increase, they give your body maximum protection against antigens that interfere with your overall wellness. The phenolic compounds found in the flowers, roots and leaves of Echinacea herbs are the ones that facilitate this immuno stimulating function.
They are also natural remedies for common colds, respiratory infections, skin complications and Urinary tract infections. These herbs can suppress your immunity if taken habitually. Therefore, it is recommended that you use the herb only when you suspect infection. It is also advisable for you to limit the intake of Echinacea to a week because overuse may generate unbearable symptoms.
This herb is also known as Ground Raspberry, Yellow Root, Orange Root, Wild Curcuma, Indian Dye, Indian Paint, Jaundice Root or Indian Plant. It is a medicinal herb that contains berberine, canadine and hydrastine alkanoids. Golden seal also contains vital vitamins and minerals that are needed for strong immunity system.
One of the benefits of Golden Seal is that it serves as an immuno stimulant, especially when blended with echinacea. It has also been used to treat various medical conditions such as inflammation, herpes and common cold. It also has tonic and antiseptic qualities. You can also use it externally to cure sores and itchy sensations.
So if you want an immune boost, give one of these herbs a try!
Can Astragalus Help Boost the Immune System?
February 24, 2011 01:31 PM
What we refer to as the herbal Astragalus is actually a large number of plant species in the family Fabaceae, the same group of shrubs that we commonly identify as peas, beans, or legumes. Many of these species have been utilized in folk medicine of different communities all over the world, but the majority of herbal extracts made available as nutritional supplements today come from Astragalus propinquus, or Astragalus membranaceus.
Astragalus may be best known for its touted modulating effects to the immune system largely owing to the fact that it has enjoyed a very long history as a health tonic both in the East and the West. It is an important ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine, valued for its reinvigorating effects to what they call defensive energy of life. It is known by the name of Huang Qi in China, where most of the recent studies on this herb take place.
Regulates Interferon Releases
There are a number of studies that link Astragalus to HIV in that it is purported to combat replication of viruses and inhibit growth of pathogenic microbes. To be more specific, it is believed to have an influence on the production of proteins called interferon, or IFNs. A type of white blood cell in the employ of the immune system called lymphocytes release interferon whenever the body detects the presence of viruses, bacteria, parasites, or even tumors. In addition, IFNs activate natural killer cells, which target cells infected with viruses and tissues afflicted with tumor, and program them to die.
Stimulates the Healing Process
It is also postulated that Astragalus has an augmenting effect on the healing process by interfering with inflammatory agents. There are organic compounds called eicosanoids that are released by the body in larger amounts to facilitate healing of wounds or infections through the process of inflammation. These compounds work hand in hand with the immune system in removing the pathogens that cause infections and initiate the reversal of damages done by these pathogens. If inflammation takes place longer than it is supposed to, the area affected will have to deal with prolonged pain, redness, and swelling. Astragalus works on the principle of maintaining healthy releases of eicosanoids, the reason why it is used as a treatment for arthritis, dermatitis, asthma, and other autoimmune diseases.
Produces Homeostatic Effects
Astragalus has shown to be involved in many metabolic processes, maintaining stability of organic compounds from the foods we eat that reach the circulation. There have been mentions that it is particularly good for the lungs, adrenal glands, and alimentary canal by improving their functions and acting as a buffer to any unwanted debris that may attack the cells that make up these organs.
Be reminded that Astragalus has been associated with a long list of health benefits, but none of these have yielded strong scientific support. It is safe to assume that testimonials are influenced by anecdotal evidence and initial results of studies that are yet to be concluded.
Have you tried Astragalus?
Skin Infections - Abscess
April 26, 2010 03:21 PM
When puss accumulates in a tissue, organ, or confined space in the body due to infection, an abscess can be formed. Abscesses may be located either externally or internally, and can often result from an injury or a lowered resistance to infection. An abscess can form in the brain, lungs, teeth, gums, underarms, abdominal wall, gastrointestinal tract, ears, tonsils, sinuses, bones, breasts, kidneys, prostate gland, rectum, scrotum, or almost any other body part. Infections are the most common disorders found in humans and they can be produced by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. A boil is an external abscess.
The affected area can become swollen, inflamed, hot, red, and tender. The individual may also experience fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, and alternating bouts of fever and chills. In some severe cases, blood infection and/or rupture of the abscess can occur. The material that is found inside of an abscess consists of living and dead white blood cells, dead tissue, bacteria, and/or toxins. All of which must be discarded from the body. An abscess that suddenly appears is often referred to as acute, while those that are present for a period of days or weeks is often termed to be chronic. A chronic abscess is more resistant to treatment because of the damage being more severe and widespread. On the other hand, acute abscesses are less extensive and generally respond to treatment within a matter of days.
An abscess that is treated should usually begin to heal in a few days, with complete healing resulting in a week or two. An abscess that does not show any signs of healing within this amount of time can be an indication of problems in the immune system. Although complications are rare, they can include bleeding or recurrence of the abscess. An abscess is basically a sign that the body is trying to rid itself of impurities. These impurities can consist of cells that are deficient in nutrients, which often stems from poor diet and exposure to environmental pollutants, chemicals, and other harmful substances. Eating junk food cluters the system with foods that lack nutrients and prevents cellular wastes from being eliminated efficiently, as it causes problems like constipation and sluggish liver, spleen, and kidney function.
The following herbs are beneficial for healing abscesses and cleansing the blood: burdock root, cayenne, dandelion root, red clover, and yellow dock root. Chamomile tea is also good for treating dental abscesses and consuming distilled water with fresh lemon juice along with three cups of Echinacea, goldenseal, and Astragalus or suma tea is also helpful. An Echinacea tea of extract in warm water can be used as a mouthwash for dental abscesses. Also, a poultice that combines lobelia and slippery elm bark is a great soothing way to fight infections. Milk thistle, when taken in the capsule form, is good for the liver and aids in the cleansing of the bloodstream. Also, tea tree oil, applied externally, is a potent natural antiseptic that kills infectious organisms without harming healthy cells. This solution will destroy the bacteria, hasten healing, and prevent the infection from spreading.
Herbs like the above mentioned ones are available at your local or internet health food store. Always choose name brands to ensure quality and purity of the herbal supplement you purchase for consumption.
Colostrum, Vitamin C, Echinacea, Goldenseal, Pau D'arco, Garlic, Astragalus
June 19, 2009 11:05 AM
There are many supplements and herbs that compliment the supplementation of colostrum. Among these are Echinacea, vitamin C, garlic, goldenseal, pau d’arco, Astragalus, and beta carotene (vitamin A).
Echinacea is one of the most well-known and respected herbal supplements when it comes to the maintenance and strengthening of the immune system. Various Echinacea species have yielded an impressive variety of chemical constituents which possess pharmacological properties. This suggests that there is some form of synergistic action that occurs between the compounds in order to achieve therapeutic benefits. The main therapeutic properties are found in polysaccharides, flavonoids, caffeic acid derivatives, essential oils, polyacetylenes, and alkylamides. These constituents are responsible for a large number of immuno-stimulatory, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.
Echinacea has several effects on the immune system, including the alternate complement pathway, which enhances the movement of white blood cells into the areas of infection. Echinacea also affects many of the immune system’s cells that are responsible for slowing viral and bacterial infection. The aerial portion of Echinacea is known to be effective in warding off viruses such as influenza, herpes, and vesicular stomatitis, by blocking virus receptors on the cell surface. Echinacea is also able to indirectly kill viruses by encouraging the production and release of interferon, which is a substance that is capable of blocking viral RNA.
Vitamin C is one of the most well-known nutrients for promoting basic immune functions, with its benefits being known for many years. It is effective in reducing the severity and duration of colds and flu. Also, it has the ability to act as an immuno-stimulant by enhancing white blood cell production, increasing interferon levels and antibody responses, promoting the secretion of thymic hormones, and improving connective tissue. Vitamin C can be found abundantly in various fruits in vegetables, which means that it can often be consumed in acceptable amounts without supplementation through broccoli, sweet peppers, collards, cabbage, spinach, kale, parsley, melons, potatoes, tangerines, and Brussels sprouts, just to name a few.
Garlic is one of the most commonly used medicinal herbs, as it is found throughout the world and has been employed for various therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. Commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine and ayurvedic medicine, it has recently received much attention in the US media as well as other Western countries. Recent research has found that garlic possesses some powerful capabilities when it comes to the immune system and the body’s ability to fight infection. Garlic produces antiviral and antibacterial capabilities that stimulate and improve performance by the body’s immune systems. Additionally, garlic kills viruses and protects the body from invading virus cells by enhancing the body’s immune functions.
Goldenseal is native to North America, where it helps with a wider variety of ailments, including infection. Goldenseal is effective in combating invasion of colds and flu by stimulating the immune system and the activity of macrophages, which are one of the body’s defense mechanisms against viruses, bacteria, cancer cells, and other invaders.
Pau d’arco is also known for its powerful antiviral, antibiotic, and immune system enhancing capabilities. It has been shown to actively inhibit the activity of several viruses such as: both herpes viruses, the influenza viruses, polioviruses, and vesicular stomatitis virus.
Astragalus, which is extremely popular in Chinese herbal medicine, is an immune system enhancer. It has the ability to reduce the severity and length of the common cold through its application. Vitamin A, which has long been known to be effective in fighting infectious diseases, has antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Vitamin A deficiencies can manifest themselves through increased infection by cold and flu viruses.
Along with the above, it is also important to eat healthful foods (fruits and vegetables), drink plenty of fluids, exercise, avoid smoking, avoid consuming alcohol, get plenty of rest, and reduce stress in order to increase the benefits that colostrum supplementation provides. Natural supplements can help boost the immune system and help one live a healthier longer life.
BerryOxidants - Food-Sourced Antioxidant Protection
April 12, 2009 11:07 AM
BerryOxidants - Food-Sourced Antioxidant Protection
2 tablets contain:
Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) 1,000 mg
Grape Seed Extract (Proanthodyn™) 150 mg
Green Tea Leaf Ext (95% polyphenols, 150 mg 35% ECGC)
Turmeric Rhizome Ext (95% curcumin) 150 mg
Polygonum cuspidatum Root Ex 100 mg (8% total resveratrols)
Bromelain 100 mg
Quercetin 100 mg
Ginkgo Leaf Extract (50:1) 60 mg
Silymarin (from milk thistle seed ext) 60 mg
Hawthorn Berry Extract (4:1) 50 mg
Rosemary Leaf Extract (5:1) 50 mg
Citrus Bioflavonoids 50 mg
Lecithin 50 mg
Grape Skin Extract (20% polyphenols) 50 mg
Astragalus Root Extract (10:1) 50 mg
Cabbage Floret & Stem 50 mg
Cranberry Fruit Ext (90% solids) 50 mg
Sweet Cherry Fruit Ext (10:1) 50 mg
Holy Basil Leaf Ext (2% ursolic acid) 50 mg
Olive Leaf Ext (15% oleuropein) 40 mg
Rutin 40 mg
Lycium Fruit Extract (4:1) 40 mg
Strawberry Fruit 40 mg
Açai Fruit Juice Powder 40 mg
Organic Amla Fruit 40 mg
Pomegranate Seed Ext (40% elagitannins) 20 mg
European Elder Berry Ext (5% flavones) 20 mg
Mangosteen Fruit Rind Extract 20 mg (standardized to 95% flavonoids & 40% mangostins)
Raspberry Leaf Ext (40% elagitannins) 10 mg
White Mulberry Fruit Ext (10:1) 10 mg
Blueberry Leaf Ext (20% chlorogenic acid) 10 mg
Bilberry Fruit Ext (25% anthocyanidins) 5 mg
Vitamins and Herbs
April 03, 2009 02:52 PM
The whole human body is made up of cells that contain their own genetic material. In a healthy body, these cells divide at a controlled rate, growing and repairing damaged tissues and replacing dying cells. This predetermined rate of cell division is what keeps our bodies healthy. If cells keep multiplying when new ones are not necessary, a mass of tissue, often known as a tumor, is formed. This tumor can be either benign or malignant.
Benign tumors are not cancerous and can occur anywhere in the body. Benign tumors do not cause a threat to health, do not metastasize, and do not grow back if removed. Malignant tumors are cancerous and are usually serious. Often times, they can be life-threatening. Malignant tumors grow uncontrollably, interfere with normal metabolic and organ functioning, and have the ability to metastasize and invade other tissues. If a portion of a cell’s DNA is damaged, the cell can become abnormal. When an abnormal cell divides, it forms new cells that are a photocopy of the damaged genetic material. This ongoing process occurs constantly within our bodies. The majority of the time our bodies have the ability to destroy these abnormal cells and maintain a sort of cellular equilibrium. If a crucial part of the DNA is destroyed and the abnormal cells cannot be controlled any longer, cancer forms. All cancer cells have two things in common: growing uncontrollably and having the ability to metastasize. The immune system does not recognize cancer cells as dangerous or foreign.
Although the exact cause for the cell damage that initiates the cancer process is unknown (theoretically free radical damage causes DNA damage), the chain of events that leads to cancer is very complex, and each individual body reacts differently. It is a combination of genetic, behavioral, environmental, and lifestyle factors that are thought to be involved in turning normal cells into abnormal cells, and abnormal cells into cancer.
There are also factors that are believed to slow the process, while other factors can speed up the process. Possible contributors to the development and growth of cancer can be divided into three categories: external, internal, and lifestyle. External factors include unhealthy workplace environments and exposure to air and water pollution, chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides. Included in the internal factors include both genetics and infections. Lifestyle factors are those we personally can most readily control, such as diet, smoking, drinking, and sun exposure. External and lifestyle factors account for 80 percent of cancer deaths in the United States.
Just as each of us looks different, each of our bodies has its own unique composition. Some of us may react adversely to what some of us react well to. This is why some treatments prove to be successful for some, but not for others. This is why dietary wellness and prevention is so important. If we can keep our bodies healthy and avoid known cancer-causing agents, we have a good defense against cancer in the first place.
The following nutrients and supplements are designed for persons who have been diagnosed with cancer, as well as for those who wish to enhance their chances of avoiding the disease: coenzyme Q10, colostrum, DMG, garlic, IP6, melatonin, MSM, proteolytic enzymes, selenium, 7-keto DHEA, shark cartilage, SOD, vitamin A, shiitake extract, acidophilus, chromium picolinate, flaxseed oil, grape seed extract, kelp, l-carnitine, multienzyme complex, a multi-mineral complex, multivitamin complex, NAC, raw glandular complex, taurine, and vitamin B complex. Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: Astragalus, birch, burdock root, cat’s claw, chaparral, chuchuhuasi, cranberry, dandelion, Echinacea, fennel, green tea, licorice root, macela, milk thistle, parsley, pau d’arco, red clover, suma, cardamom, cayenne, ginger, rosemary, sage, thyme, turmeric, ragwort, wood sage, curcumin, essiac, noni, olive leaf extract, rosemary, and boswellia.
All of the above listed herbs and vitamins can help restore the body to good nutrition and help boost the immune system so the body can find and fight back against cancer. Natural vitamins and herbs are available at your local or internet health food store. When purchasing supplements, look for name brand vitamins like Solaray and Source Naturals to ensure you receive quality and you get what you pay for.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Natural vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
April 01, 2009 05:35 PM
Infertility is typically defined as a failure to conceive after a year or more of regular intimate activity during the time of ovulation. This term can also refer to the inability to carry a pregnancy to term. About 6.1 million American couples are impaired when it comes to their ability to have children, with 2.1 million of these couples being infertile. The exact cause of the problem can be extremely difficult to pinpoint, as ovulation, fertilization, and the passage to the fertilized ovum through the fallopian tube and to the uterus are extremely complex processes. In order for pregnancy to occur, many events must work together perfectly.
In 40 percent of infertile couples, problems that affect the male partner are either partially or wholly the cause of infertility. Infertility in men is usually the result of a low sperm count or an anatomical abnormality. There are a variety of factors that can result in a low sperm count. Among these factors are alcohol consumption, endocrine disorders, exposure to toxins, radiation or excessive heat, recent acute illness or prolonged fever, testicular injury, and rarely, mumps-induced wasting of the testicles. An abnormal enlargement of veins that drain the testicles, referred to as varicoceles, can cause infertility in men. This is because the veins of the testes are no longer able to moderate the temperature of the testicles correctly, which can negatively affect sperm.
The most common causes of infertility in women include an ovulatory failure or defect, blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids. Additionally, some women are able to develop antibodies to their partners’ sperm, which causes the woman to almost be allergic to them. Chlamydia, a transmitted disease which affects 4 million Americans each year, also causes many cases of infertility. There are also psychological issues, such as stress or fear of parenthood, which can also contribute to infertility.
However, in most cases, stress is usually the result of infertility, not the cause of it. Sperm abnormalities account for about 41 percent of infertility cases. The following reasons are the most common to explain why couples cannot conceive: the woman has endometriosis; the man has abnormal sperm, a low sperm count, or erectile dysfunction; the woman’s fallopian tubes are blocked; ovulation takes place rarely or irregularly; the couple is unable to have complete intimate relations; the cervical mucous attacks and kills the sperm; the woman does not manufacture enough progesterone to carry a baby to term; the woman is over thirty-four; and/or one or both members of the couple eats a poor diet and experiences too much stress. The following nutrients are extremely beneficial in helping one or both partners deal with infertility: selenium, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, zinc, DMG, octacosanol, phosphatidyl choline, essential fatty acids, l-arginine, manganese, proteolytic enzymes, pycnogenol, raw orchic glandular, raw ovarian glandular, 7-keto DHEA, vitamin A, and vitamin B complex. Also, the following herbs have been shown to be beneficial in dealing with infertility: Astragalus, damiana, ginseng, sarsaparilla, saw palmetto, yohimbe, dong quai, false unicorn root, gotu kola, licorice root, wild yam root, green oat, and yin-yang-huo. It should also be noted that heavy use of Echinacea, ginkgo biloba, and St. John’s wort may cause infertility in men, and should be avoided.
Infertility can be a complicated and mentally depressing due to lack of pregnancy by both men and women. Depression can lead to more stress and needs managed by a health care provider. Always consult your doctor when you think you are infertile. Natural vitamins like the ones listed above are available at your local or internet health food store. Look for name brands vitamins to ensure you receive quality supplements.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Cold And Flue Remedies
March 16, 2009 03:42 PM
Echinacea, zinc, vitamin C, and garlic are all the most well-known and respected supplements concerning the maintenance and strengthening of the immune system. Echinacea contains polysaccharides, flavonoids, caffeic acid derivatives, essential oils, polyacetylenes, and alkylamides, which contribute to the herb’s therapeutic benefits. These constituents are responsible for a variety of immuno-stimulatory, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.
Echinacea possesses the ability to enhance the movement of white blood cells into infected areas of the body. Echinacea also affects many of the immune system’s cells that are responsible for slowing viral and bacterial infection. Additionally, this herb enhances the performance of macrophages in the immune system, which are responsible for engulfing foreign material like bacteria, viruses, and dead cellular matter. Echinacea also has the ability to kill viruses that indirectly encourage the production and release of interferon, which is a substance that potentially blocks the transcription of viral RNA.
Zinc has been recognized for an extended amount of time as a protection against colds. It is well known that zinc deficiencies are linked to immune system-related disorders as well as the increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. Zinc throat lozenges have become very popular in treating colds over the last few years. One recent study found that zinc is not only beneficial to the immune system, but also necessary for its optimal function.
Vitamin C is one of the most well-known nutrients for battling the effects of colds and flu. Its benefits have been known for years, with a large body of research indicating its effectiveness in reducing the severity and duration of colds an flu. Additionally, vitamin C acts as an immunostimulant by enhancing white blood cell production, increasing interferon levels and antibody responses, promotes secretion of thymic hormones, and improves connective tissue.
There is conflicting information on how much vitamin C one should take, but most experts agree that the FDA’s recommended dietary intake is not sufficient. Many doctors suggest taking large doses, as much as 10,000 mg when suffering from a cold or flu. One of the great things about vitamin C is that it can be found abundantly in many fruits and vegetables. The best food sources include broccoli, sweet peppers, collards, cabbage, spinach, kale, parsley, melons, potatoes, tangerines, and Brussels sprouts.
Garlic, which is extremely well known as a culinary additive, is actually one of the most commonly used medicinal herbs as it is found throughout the world and employed for various therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. It is common in Chinese herbal medicine and has recently received a great deal of attention in the U.S. and other Western countries. Recent research has found that garlic possesses powerful capabilities relating the immune system and the body’s ability to fight infection. Garlic possesses antiviral and antibacterial capabilities and has been shown repeatedly to simulate and improve performance by the body’s immune systems. Studies on garlic have shown that it has the ability to actually kill flu and cold viruses. Garlic also can protect the body from invading virus cells by enhancing the body’s immune functions.
Additional herbs and natural supplements that are useful in fighting cold and flu viruses include goldenseal, pau d’arco, Astragalus, licorice, peppermint, and beta carotene. No matter what you choose to do by way of a doctor or natural alternative, supplements such as these discussed have zero side effects if taken as recommended on the bottles label. Natural vitamins and herbs can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
February 23, 2009 11:54 AM
Mononucleosis is an infectious viral disease that is most often caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. More rarely, it can be caused by cytomegalovirus. Both of these viruses are members of the herpes family. Once the virus enters the body, it multiplies in lymphocytes. Mono then affects the respiratory system, the lymphatic tissues, and glands in the neck, groin, armpits, bronchial tubes, spleen, and liver.
Symptoms of mono include depression, extreme fatigue, fever, generalized aching, headache, jaundice, and loss of appetite, sore throat, pain on the upper left side of the abdomen, puffy eyelids, swollen glands, and sometimes, a bumpy, red rash. Additionally, the spleen may become enlarged and liver function may be affected. Meningitis, encephalitis, and rupturing of the spleen are very rare complications that may develop as a result of mono.
The virus’s associated with mono are extremely contagious, often being transmitted from person to person by close contact such as kissing, which explains why mono is often referred to as the “kissing disease.” The disease can also be spread by sharing food or utensils, as well as through sexual contact or through respiratory droplets. The incubation period for mono is about ten days in children and thirty to fifty days in adults. A lot of mononucleosis cases occur in the military and in colleges, as living conditions are crowded and sleeping patterns are inadequate. High school students also have a high incidence of this disease. Mono is most common among children and adolescents, as about 90 percent of people over age thirty-five have mono antibodies in their blood, which means that they had the disease at some point in their lives, although many do not even know they had it.
The symptoms of mononucleosis are very similar to those of influenza, which often results in mono often being mistaken for it. However, with mono, the symptoms tend to be more persistent, with acute symptoms usually lasting from two to four weeks, and fatigue persisting for three to eight weeks after the other symptoms disappear. The disease can even linger for a year or more in some individuals. It can also produce recurring, but successively milder, attacks. If the immune system has been compromised by an organ transplant, HIV/AIDS, or other viruses, the mono symptoms can be extremely serious and chronic.
Mononucleosis is diagnosed through a blood test called a spot test. This test reveals the presence of specific viral antibodies and also confirms the presence of mono. Additionally, a liver function test can assist in the diagnosis.
The following nutrients are considered to be extremely important in dealing with mononucleosis: acidophilus, proteolytic enzymes, vitamin A with mixed carotenoids, and vitamin C with bioflavonoids. Other nutrients that have proven to be both important and helpful include: DMG, a free-form amino acid complex, garlic, vitamin B complex, zinc lozenges, maitake extract, reishi extract, shiitake extract, a multivitamin and mineral complex, and raw thymus glandular.
Astragalus and Echinacea are also beneficial in boosting the immune system, while cat’s claw has immune-enhancing properties that act against viral infections. Dandelion and milk thistle are beneficial in protecting the liver. Goldenseal helps to fight infection, while olive leaf extract helps to inhibit the growth of viruses that cause mono. Pau d’arco balances the bacteria in the colon and spirulina contains phytonutrients that are helpful in boosting the immune system.
Whether you want to combat mono symptoms naturally or use prescription drugs, always consult your family physician before taking matters into your own hands. A correct diagnosis is important to how one might want to combat sickness in general. Natural vitamins like the ones listed above are available at your internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
June 25, 2008 01:44 PM
Tea is soaked in culture and history, with its roots dating back to ancient China. Chinese legend says that tea was created more than 5,000 years ago when the leaves fell into the boiling water of an early emperor. From there, tea has become a popular drink, with a culture of its own. True teas are made from the dried leaves of the tea plant, which was first cultivated in China and found growing wild in India. The different processing techniques are used on the leaves of the tea plant in order to produce the many different styles. Green tea is produced by steaming the fresh-picked leaves, followed by heat-drying, while black tea is made by allowing the tea leaves to ferment completely before firing. Oolong teas are made by partially fermenting the leaves before firing while white tea is the least processed of all the teas, with it not being oxidized or rolled by instead, dried by steaming.
Anything that doesn’t come from the Camellia sinensis plant is known as an herbal tea. Herbal teas contain herbs and spices that are often used for health purposes. Rooibos, which is the popular herbal tea, is also referred to as red tea, is full of polyphenols and flavonoids which help reduce cellular damage that is caused by free radicals which weaken natural defenses. Red tea also contains many beneficial vitamins and minerals and helps to reduce cramping and gas.
Other herbal tea blends are made for various symptoms such as PMS, energy, weight control, and detoxing. An herbal tea blend that is comprised of Astragalus, cranberry, rooibos, and three types of Echinacea can help to support the body’s natural defense system. Peppermint blend teas alleviate digestive disorders and insomnia, while Holy Basil tea helps to alleviate stress, lowers cortisol levels, and promotes a sense of well-being. All ingredients in an herbal tea have a purpose. The herbs and spices improve well-being and contribute to an active, balance, and healthy lifestyle.
A quality herbal tea looks at several aspects of the ingredients. Each herb is looked at for its medicinal value before being included in a tea. Higher quality herbs mean that a higher price is paid for the starting bulk materials, making the price of the finished tea product more expensive. Where the herbs are grown, how they are grown, and how they are harvested are all very important pieces of information to tea makers, who all want the best quality available for their tea formulas. The most important fact to tea makers is that the herbs are organic, and if they’re not organic, that they are wild-crafted, meaning that they go through quality control procedures to make sure that there are no chemical pollutants, heavy metals, or toxins in them.
Finally, the cut of the herbs is also especially important when creating teas, with tea bag cut producing the most effective single serving healthful tea. A tea bag cut means that they are small enough to be broken down and extract all the valuable components are able to be extracted out of the herbs in the shortest amount of time. Herbs should also be large enough that they don’t pass through the filter bag and leave residue in the cup. Herb quality and freshness is also very important, with the color of the herbs being vibrant and the smell obvious.
May 31, 2008 10:15 AM
The immune system protects the body from disease, illness, parasites and other abnormalities. The immune system is a delicate balance of things working together to keep the body well. When something is out of line, the body is more susceptible to colds, viruses and more serious diseases. That's why it is so important to take care of your body and strengthen your immune system with Astragalus.
Boost your immune system to strengthen the heart and lungs, protect the eyes, heal the skin and improve the body's functions. You can enhance your immune system with an herbal boost of Astragalus, also known as huang-qi. Astragalus is an herb from the legume family. It has been used for many years in Chinese medicine and made its debut in the U.S. in the 1980s. It is used to enhance the immune system, for chronic hepatitis, in cancer therapy, to prevent colds, help fight upper respiratory infections and prevent heart disease.
Astragalus contains powerful antioxidants that strengthen the body in many ways. It acts as an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and diuretic. It increases the production of immune cells to heal the body.
Poor eating habits, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, drugs, alcohol, environmental toxins, stress and lack of sleep chip away at the effectiveness of your immune system to fight disease. Each of these things takes away from your overall health and well-being. They break down the healthy functioning of your immune system. When this happens, you can expect to feel weak and run down, to be susceptible to colds and the flu and more likely to be affected by disease. When your immune system is not functioning well, germs can easily penetrate the body and wreak havoc on your organs.
Protecting the Immune System
Choosing a healthy lifestyle is the single most important factor in protecting your immune system. You can cause serious damage to your body by filling it with toxins. This includes inhaling cigarette smoke, consuming alcohol, drinking sodas and other sugary drinks, and eating too many pre-packaged foods. By eliminating these things, you will be able to better protect your health. Make healthy lifestyle changes to boost your immune system. Get plenty of sleep, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, stop smoking and get more exercise on a daily basis. Stop and think about everything before you put it in your body. Consider the damage you may be doing to yourself by breaking down your immune system.
Astragalus Helps Strengthen Your Immune System
Lifestyle changes are important for your total health. There are some other things you can do to enhance your immune system though. Taking the herb Astragalus is one example. It helps the body adapt to its surroundings and cope with the bacteria and germs you frequently come in contact with. When your defenses are low, it's easy for bacteria and germs to invade your body and make it a toxic environment.
You know your immune system isn't working properly if you catch cold after cold. Your body is more susceptible to illness. Your goal should be to make your defenses strong and keep illness at bay. The Astragalus herb can help.
Beyond Bran Fiber
December 25, 2007 08:35 AM
At one point in time, when you went to the health food store you usually only had choice of wheat bran, which is a good source of the insoluble fiber that helps your digestive system stay on track, or oat bran, which contains the soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol. Although both of these bran’s are still popular, as they have good reason to be, remaining excellent sources of dietary fiber, these days store shelves are gathering more and more fiber supplements ranging from encapsulated forms to powders and specialized to deal with a variety of health concerns.
Insoluble fiber has the ability to draw water into the intestines, preventing constipation and keeping waste matter from decaying within the body. However, it is the many types of soluble fiber that science has recently started investigating for health benefits. Part of soluble fiber’s value is closely related to its mechanical action, as it forms a thick gel within the digestive track that moves slowly to stop sugar from entering the body too quickly, therefore, helping to keep glucose levels down and carrying some fat and sugar out of the body completely. Additionally, when soluble fibers gel up it helps to reduce blood level cholesterol by trapping bile preventing the bile from doing its action (breaking down fats in the digestive tract so the body can absorb it). Unlike insoluble fiber, soluble fiber undergoes fermentation inside the colon to produce fatty acids that do a little bit of everything, including: helping the body digest food, protecting against polyps, stimulating immunity, increasing mineral absorption, and helping to keep cholesterol and glucose levels in check.
Soluble fiber is getting large amounts of research reviews. One study concluded that people who ate the least fiber are 63% more likely to have high levels of CRP (C-reactive protein). CRP is an inflammation marker that is associated with cardiovascular risk. Another study proved that flax seed improved glucose control. Another fiber source, psyllium, has been shown to bring relief to people with Chron’s disease, an inflammatory intestinal disorder.
Flax seed and psyllium are two of the best known types of soluble fiber available, but there are other types that aren’t as well known. Others including arabinogalactan (AG) have been shown to have a special affinity for natural killer cells. Beta-glucans are another form of fiber that can help boost immunity. Lignans, which are found in flax, have been shown to cause lower breast-cancer rates. Fenugreek is a spice that is rich in galactomannan, a heart-healthy fiber. Some fiber formulations pair up different kinds of fiber with complementary herbs. An example of this is Garcinia cambogia and Gymnema sylvestre, which can be used for glucose control; or Astragalus, Echinacea, olive leaf, and shiitake to assist the immune system. Some supplements even provide natural enzymes which help prevent bloating.
It is, of course, important to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. However, thanks to supplementation that is designed specifically for certain health concerns, it has become much easier to find the additional fiber that is needed by your body, no matter what kind of fiber that is. A large selection of fiber bran supplements can be found at your local or internet health food store.
Air Defense from Now Foods
October 03, 2006 01:36 PM
When it comes to good health, you are constantly on the frontline of defense against an Army of environmental invaders. Exhaust, smoke, airborne toxins and a flurry of other environmental antagonists can make it difficult for even the healthiest of individuals to keep their guard up. Factor this into today’s fast paced, on the go lifestyles, and the need for powerful immune supporting nutrition becomes all to real.
Introducing New Air Defense Immune Booster, from Now Foods. This optimally balanced immune system supplement was scientifically formulated to provide some of the industry’s most trusted cellular safeguards, in one convenient, easy to use formula. One of its most impressive compounds is Paractin – a patented extract of Andrographis Paniculata that has been shown in studies to significantly increase the immune system’s production of interferon gamma (IFNg). Interleukin-s (IL-2), and T-cells. Collectively, these infection-fighting cells make up the body’s primary line of defense against scores of everyday threats.*
Many experts agree that the upcoming flue season could potentially be one of the most devastating and widespread on record. Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated Paractin’s ability to significantly increase cell-mediated immunity (CMI) in response to stresses, such as those commonly encountered during seasonal changes. By stimulating the body’s natural defense mechanisms, Paractin has been shown to increase the body’s production of cytokines – a key factor in healthy immune system response.*
Each serving delivers an impressive 1,000 mg of free radical quenching vitamin C along with an herbal complex of Astragalus, Elderberry, Echinacea, ImmunEnhancer AG (Arabinogalactan, from Larch Tree) and Olive Leaf. Our expert formulators have also included immune-supporting minerals, such as Zinc and Selenium. This advanced, one-of-a-kind formula unites some of the most trusted nutritional compounds available today, and was scientifically formulated to support healthy immune function during seasonal changes and year-around!
HERBAL EXTRACTS FOR IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPORT
December 23, 2005 12:27 PM
For years, Nature’s Apothecary’s reputation for producing high quality natural products, specifically multi-herb and single herb extracts and aromatherapy products, has been unparalleled. This family-owned, environmentally-conscious herbal extract company has laid deep roots on the front range of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, and in the natural products industry as well. NOW® is proud to continue their tradition of excellence in providing only the highest quality natural herbal extracts with the purchase of this premier liquid herbal extract supplier. We’re committed to using the same processes and procedures that have made the Nature’s Apothecary line one of quality and longevity.
Nature’s Apothecary herbal extracts are created with pure herbs grown on small organic farms, or herbs that have been ethically hand-harvested with respect for the earth, just as herbalists have done for thousands of years. While the various herbs used in these formulations offer a broad range of health benefits, two of the most important are immune system enhancement and detoxification. Herbs have a long history of usefulness in these categories. There is evidence of the use of herbs by Stone Age humans, who either cultivated or gathered hundreds of herbs and plants for a variety of uses. The histories of various cultures are filled with references to the use of herbs. Ancient Sumerians, Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Chinese, Europeans, and American Indians – all used herbs to heal and to nourish. Herbs that support the immune system and provide detoxification benefits were, and still are, very popular. Two of the most effective are Astragalus and Shiitake Mushroom.
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is a member of the legume family and is considered an adaptogenic herb in traditional Chinese medicine, where it has been safely used for centuries. Native to central and western Asia, specifically China, Korea and Taiwan, Astragalus offers a unique benefit found in very few herbs - it seems to selectively support immune system function by stimulating certain immune functions and depressing others. One reason is that Astragalus has a high selenium content, a trace element with documented immune system benefits. It also contains polysaccharides and flavonoids, which support healthy immune system function as well as minimizing the effects of free radicals on various membranes. The mechanisms of action through which Astragalus supports immune system function are varied. It has shown promise as a means to stimulate “resting” immune system cells, increasing their activity. Research shows that Astragalus supports the body’s production of immunoglobulins, macrophages, T cells and natural killer (NK) cells, the grunts of the immune system’s army. Astragalus has been shown to support healthy cardiovascular function by protecting membranes from oxidative stress as a result of free radical damage.
Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes) is a culinary delight with some serious health benefits. The name Shiitake is from a combination of shiia, the Japanese word for a variety of chestnut tree, and take, the Japanese name for mushrooms.
Shiitake is also referred to as the Forest Mushroom and the Black Forest Mushroom. Indigenous to Eastern Asia, primarily Japan and China, Shiitake is Japan’s leading agricultural export, accounting for about eighty percent of the world’s Shiitake production. While it’s culinary reputation is well-known, Shiitake is also a medicinal herb with a long history of use. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Shiitake is well-regarded and has been used to treat a variety of ailments. Modern research has shown that Shiitake supports healthy immune system function and cardiovascular health, primarily due to the naturally-occurring nutrients found in Shiitake. It contains an excellent B vitamin profile, as well as amino acids, protein, iron, and beta glucan, a major structural component in the cell walls of most fungi, including Shiitake. Beta glucan has been shown to support healthy immune system function by stimulating the activity of phagocytes, white blood cells and NK (natural killer) cells, vital components of the body’s immune system defenses. Astragalus and Shiitake Mushroom are just a few of the immune supporting herbal extracts to be found in the Nature’s Apothecary line. With over 250 SKU’s, Nature’s Apothecary is your best source for high-quality, effective herbal extracts.
Your Cells Supercharge Your Cells
December 20, 2005 11:30 AM
Your Cells Supercharge Your Cells
The differences between aging and growing old are poles apart. Sure, they may sound similar in nature. But when you think about it, the two are as different as night and day. Growing old is about retirement and travel and enjoying what you’ve worked an entire life for. Aging, on the other hand, summons images of wrinkled skin, brittle joints, cloudy minds and medicine cabinets full of prescriptions. It’s safe to assume that the majority of us want to look, live, and feel better as we grow old. Not the opposite. Many of us are on the right track - committed to a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a well-balanced diet. And yes, these do serve as a solid foundation for good health during our golden years. It is our cells, however, that ultimately determine who grows old, and who just ages.
Still, slowing the proverbial hands of time is not all about health clubs and organic produce. If you want to grow old gracefully, you must nurture the ten trillion cells that defi ne you physically. Why? Because these cells are constantly under attack by free radicals - unstable molecules that either lack, or have an unpaired number of electrons. They scour the body in search of stable cells, and do whatever they can to rob them of their electrons, a process more formally known as oxidation. Considering that it’s environmentally impossible to completely avoid contact with the billions of airborne toxins that cause free radicals, the only other option is to safeguard your healthy cells. Making the commitment to a healthy lifestyle is the fi rst step in the process, and can be accomplished by eating healthier foods, exercising on a regular basis, and paying close attention to what you are exposed to environmentally.
The next step is to nourish and protect your cells. The best way to do this is to consume foods that are rich in antioxidants and other cell-friendly nutrients. Unfortunately, this task is often much easier said than done. Today’s average adult is busier than ever, making it far more diffi cult to consume fresh, unprocessed meals 100% of the time. This does not, however, imply that all hope is lost. Over the years, the nutritional sciences have made stunning advances that afford you the opportunity to live your life while still safeguarding the integrity of your most basic building blocks. Here are a few of the best.
Antioxidants work at the cellular level to paralyze the free radicals that cause oxidation throughout the body. Some of today’s most popular nutrients and dietary supplements fall into this category. They include vitamins A, E, and C, Selenium, Zinc, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Lycopene, Lutein, CoQ10, in addition to a host of others. And though similar in function, each of these free radical fi ghters has a unique role within the body.
Take CoQ10 for example. It’s present in every cell of the body, and is especially important for cardiovascular support. Lutein has been used extensively to prevent oxidation in the macular regions of the eyes. Zinc is a powerful immune system booster that has become extremely popular during cold and fl u season. Alpha Lipoic Acid is both fat and water soluble, and is commonly referred to as the “universal” antioxidant based on its ability to quench free radicals anywhere in the body.
Immune Boosting Herbs
Herbs such as Astragalus, Olive Leaf, Rhodiola, Echinacea, Panax Ginseng and Ashwaganda have been used for centuries to help support healthy cells and strong, responsive immune systems. They’ve also been shown to exhibit natural synergistic effects when used together. Today, they remain one of the most popular ways to naturally promote all-around wellbeing. When it comes to supporting healthy cells, NOW is pleased to offer one of the best selections of antioxidants, herbs and immune support formulas. Be sure to look for these and other great products at fi ne health food retailers, nationwide.*
OPCs (proanthocyanidins) are high-powered polyphenol antioxidants that belong to the fl avonoid family. Grape seed extract, pine bark extracts such as pycnogenol and enzogenol, bilberry, gingko biloba, resveratrol and others all fall into this category. Research continues to suggest that OPCs work in the same manner that traditional antioxidants do, however their ability to eradicate free radicals is much greater and more versatile. Equally appealing, OPCs can easily cross the blood barrier of the brain to help protect brain and neural tissues from the damage caused by oxidative stress.
Throughout history, many civilizations have relied on organic mushroom extracts to encourage wellness. What we know now is that mushrooms such as Shiitake, Maitake, Reishi and others are rich in 1,3 Beta-glucans - soluble fi ber compounds that help support both innate and adaptive immunity. In addition, the active compounds in some mushrooms have been shown to stimulate the production of microphages, T cells, and other natural killer cells. These biological warriors serve at the front line when it comes to responding to bacterial attacks. They are of immeasurable value to the immune system, though drastically lacking in today’s average diet. In just the past few years, more and more healthconscious individuals have learned fi rst-hand how benefi cial they can be in the preservation of healthy cells.
AHCC® Fact Sheet - from Now Foods.
December 08, 2005 10:20 AM
AHCC® Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 6/30/05
LIKELY USERS: People needing increased activity of their Natural Killer cells; People seeking improved immune system response; People with a need for tissue repair; People with oxidative challenges; People seeking to increase liver function People defying aging or with a need to improve cellular integrity.
KEY INGREDIENTS: AHCC® (Active Hexose Correlated Compound)
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: AHCC® is a proprietary extract produced from specially cultivated and hybridized mushrooms. According to extensive research in humans, as well as numerous non-clinical studies, AHCC®supports immune system function through its effects on macrophages and NK (Natural Killer) Cells. NK cells and the intercellular mediators they produce are critical for the maintenance of healthy cell cycle function. AHCCR® has also been shown possess antioxidant properties, and supports healthy liver function.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES: AHCC® (Active Hexose Correlated Compound) is a patented ingredient that has been the subject of research studies. It is supported by the scientific staff in the laboratories of both NOW Foods and the raw material supplier, both of which have a mutual interest in protecting the integrity and efficacy of this product.
AHCC® is a rich source of polysaccharides such as beta glucan 1,3 and activated hemicellulose produced by enzymatic modification of organic medicinal mushrooms, including shiitake. It also has been shown to support normal levels of macrophages and cytokines, further strengthening the immune system.
This formula is suitable for vegetarians and is offered in Vcaps.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: As a dietary supplement, take 2 Vcaps® 3 times daily, preferably on an empty stomach.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Antioxidants, Astragalus, Colostrum, Dr. Verghese Liver Formula, Immune Renew, Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C), Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP-6),
PRODUCT SPECIFIC: None
GENERAL: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. When taking any new supplement, use common sense and cautiously increase to the full dose over time to avoid any potential problems. Packages may contain moisture or oxygen controlling packets or canisters that are not intended for consumption. In order to maintain maximum freshness, please do not remove these from your bottle (until the bottle is empty). Please recycle your container.
DISCLAIMER: Information given here may vary from what is shown on the product label because this represents my own professional knowledge and understanding of the science underlying the formula and ingredients. The information in this review 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.
Aviles H, Belay T, Fountain K, Vance M, Sun B, Sonnenfeld G. (2003) Active hexose correlated compound enhances resistance to Klebsiella pneumoniae infectin in mice in the hindlimb-unloading model of spaceflight conditions. J Appl Physiol 95:491-496.
Burikhanov RB, Wakame K, Igarashi Y, Wang S, Matsuzaki S (2000) Suppressive Effect of Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC®) on Thymic Apoptosis Induced by Dexamethasone in the Rat. Endocrine Regulations 34:181-188. Matsui Y, et al. (2002) Improved prognosis of postoperative hepatocellular carcinoma patients when treated with functional foods: a prospective cohort study. J Hepatol. 2002 Jul;37(1):78-86. PMID: 12076865 Matsushita K, et al. (1998) Combination therapy of active hexose correlated compound plus UFT significantly reduces the metastasis of rat mammary adenocarcinoma. Anti-Cancer Drugs 9:343-350. Sun B, Wakame K, Mukoda T, Toyoshima A. Kanazawa T, Kosuna K (1997) Preventive Effects of AHCC® on Carbon Tetrachloride Induced Liver Injury in Mice. Nat Med 51(4):310-315.
Ye SF, Ichimura K, Wakame K, Ohe M. Suppressive effects of Active Hexose Correlated Compound on the increased activity of hepatic and renal ornithine decarboxylase induced by oxidative stress. Life Sci. 2003 Dec 19;74(5):593-602. PMID: 14623030 Ye SF, Wakame K, Ichura K, Matsuzaki S (2004) Amelioration by active hexose correlated compound of endocrine disturbances induced by oxidative stress in the rat. Endocr Regul 38(1):7-13.
Astragalus Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 01:15 PM
Astragalus Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 02/10/05
LIKELY USERS: Everyone seeking a healthy immune system; Those lacking energy
KEY INGREDIENTS: Astragalus Root Extract Powder 70% polysaccharides (200 mg)
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: A Chinese “tonic herb” used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for night sweats, diarrhea and lack of energy. Tonic herbs are often known as “adaptogens”, helping the body adapt to stresses and modulating immune system responses. Some reports credit Astragalus with shortening colds and strengthening the heart.Astragalus additionally contains triterpene glycosides, also known as astragalosides.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT INFORMATION: Vegetarian formula.May be useful to maintain the patient’s immunity in dialysis patients, those with liver problems and those who have suffered from strokes, according to Chinese studies (not as a treatment for those conditions!).
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: For everyday use take one to five caps per day, either with meals or on an empty stomach.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Immune Renew, Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP-6), I3C, Pometrol, mixed carotenoids and other antioxidants.
CAUTIONS: Pregnant & lactating women, children and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. Do not take with AIDS drugs or if you have an autoimmune disease, though there is some (not enough) evidence that Astragalus may balance immune function for at least one autoimmune disorder. This information is based on my own knowledge and these references, but should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as specific product claims.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
REFERENCES: 1. Ooi VE, Liu F. Immunomodulation and anti-cancer activity of polysaccharide-protein complexes. Curr Med Chem. 2000 Jul;7(7):715-29.
Immune Renew Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 01:07 PM
Immune Renew Fact Sheet Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 02/10/05
LIKELY USERS: Everyone seeking a healthy immune system; People on low carb diets or non-whole grain diets that are lacking dietary beta-glucans
KEY INGREDIENTS: Astragalus Root Extract Powder 70% polysaccharides (200 mg). Proprietary blend of 8 organically grown “medicinal mushrooms” (200 mg)
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Vegetarian formula. Polysaccharides in these US-grown mushrooms grown on organic brown rice include 1,3 Beta-glucans and terpenoids. Beta-glucans may stimulate the immune system in different ways. Triterpenoids may act as mild anticoagulants. Each mushroom may have a different effect; for example, one may stimulate T-cells and another Natural Killer cells, aiding in immune defense. Mushrooms have reported beneficial effects on liver health and promoting normal cell growth.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT INFORMATION: Some extracts from these kinds of mushrooms have been used medicinally in Japan and China. The mushrooms include Turkey Tail, Sun Mushrooms, Maitake, Cordyceps, Phellinus, Lion’s Mane, Reishi and Shiitake. The Astragalus extract also contains naturally occurring astragalosides. Mushrooms may help maintain normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: For everyday use take one or two caps per day, either with meals or on an empty stomach.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Vitamin C to break down beta-glucan structures for better absorption, Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP-6), I3C, Pometrol, mixed carotenoids and antioxidants
CAUTIONS: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. Do not take with AIDS drugs or if you have an autoimmune disease. Use with caution if using anticoagulants or blood pressure medication, as these mushrooms may have mildly synergistic effects to those drugs. Do not use if you have mold or mushroom allergies (or any sensitivities to mushrooms, cheese, etc.), which can potentially result in hives, rashes, breathing difficulties (including dry mouth or throat), stomach distress, diarrhea, or any other unusual side effect.
This information is based on my own knowledge and these references, but should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as specific product claims.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1. Hobbs C. Medicinal Mushrooms. Santa Cruz, CA: Botanica Press, 1995
Dr. Verghese, M.D. Liver Detoxifier & Regenerator Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 12:16 PM
Dr. Verghese, M.D. Liver Detoxifier & Regenerator Fact Sheet Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 02/10/05
LIKELY USERS: People with exposure to toxins that stimulate liver activity; People with exposure to infections that may have damaged liver tissue
KEY INGREDIENT (S): Milk Thistle extract (Silymarin), Glutathione, NAC, Bupleurum extract, Grape Seed Extract, Dandelion Root extract, Artichoke Leaf, Schisandra and about a dozen additional herbs, along with synergistic ingredients
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: This formula was developed by a physician based on his clinical experience.
Artichoke leaf has antioxidant properties and restores healthy growth to liver cells.
Bupleurum may promote normal cell growth, immune function and is a staple of Chinese liver formulas. Dandelion Root may serve as a natural down-regulator of inflammatory chemicals in the body. NAC supports liver Glutathionestores (antioxidant, detoxifier, heavy metal chelator). Schisandra protects liver cells from toxins and may help to regenerate damaged cells. Milk thistle’s antioxidant Silymarin improves liver function tests and protects liver cells against oxidative damage. It also protects liver cells by blocking and removing toxins from the liver. Silymarin aids in regenerating injured liver cells and blocks fibrosis.
OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES: Samuel Verghese, M.D. (AM), Ph.D., BCIA-EEG, DAAPM, holds a degree in Alternative Medicine and specializes in Nutritional, Ayurvedic and other Alternative Health Solutions. He is certified as a BCIA-EEG Associate Fellow.
AMOUNT TO USE: Three or more capsules a day, preferably with meals.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Antioxidants (supports liver detoxification), Alpha Lipoic Acid, EGCg Green Tea Extract, Astragalus, medicinal mushrooms (shiitake, reishi), SAM-e (may improve bile flow and promotes methylation to detoxify chemicals), TMG, lecithin, thymus glandular extract, Cordyceps.
AVOID: acetaminophen, alcohol, iron supplements (also red meat, fortified flour)
CAUTIONS: This formula should not be used by pregnant women, nursing mothers children or those with liver problems unless recommended under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Please notify your physician about your supplement use if you are using any drugs! Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1. Salmi HA, Sarna S. Effect of silymarin on chemical, functional and morphological alterations of the liver. A double-blind controlled study. Scand J Gastroenterol 1982;17:517–21.
Clinical Applications of Herbal Medicine
November 08, 2005 06:29 PM
Clinical Applications of Herbal Medicine by D. Paul Barney, M.D.
1. Infertility (Damiana Ginseng Blend) (SP-1) – Impotency, Hot flashes, hormonal imbalance, menstrual problems.
2. Arthritis (Devil’s Claw Yucca Blend) (SP-2) – Rheumatism, Bursitis, Gout.
3. Respiratory Distress (Pleurisy Root Blend) (SP-3) – Bronchitis, Asthma, Pneumonia, T.B. Cough, Sore Throat, Colds, Hay fever.
4. Skin Disorders (Herbal Skin Blend) (SP-4) – Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne, Rash.
5. Diabetes (Uva Ursi Dandelion Blend) (SP-5) – High Blood Sugar.
6. Water Rentention (Cornsilk Blend) (SP-6) – Edema, Cystitis, Gout.
7-A. Yeast Infection (Goldenseal-witch Hazel Blend) (SP-7A) – Vaginitis.
7-B. Heavy Mentral Flow (Cranesbill Blend) (SP-7B) – Menorrhagia, Menorrhea.
8. Heart Trouble (Hawthorn Motherwort Blend) (SP-8) – Weak heart muscle, Arrythmia, Angina, Short of Breath, Palpitations.
9. High Blood Pressure (Garlic Valerian Blend) (SP-9) – High cholesterol, blood pressure.
10. Pain (White Willow Blend) (SP-10) – Headache, Migraine, Pain for Backache, Inflammation, Spasms, fever.
11-A. Blood Health (Dandelion Yellow Dock Blend) (SP-11A) – Infections, Acne, Gout, Exposure to Toxins.
11-B. Poor Circulation (Cayenne Blend) (SP-11B) – Phlitis, Cold Extremities, Varicose Veins, Diabetes.
12. Constipation (Butternut Cascara Blend) (SP-12) – Constipation.
13. Liver (Dandelion Milk Thistle Blend) (SP-13) – Hepatitis, Jaundice, Alcohol Cirrhosis, Sluggish Bile Flow, Gallstones, Psoriasis.
14. Nervous Tension (Valerian Blend) (SP-14) – Anxiety, Emotional, Fear, Hysteria, Restlessness.
15. Low Energy – Fatigue (Cayenne Ginseng Blend) (SP-15) – Boost Energy, Reduce Fatigue.
15-B. Male Stamina Blend (SP-15b) - Boost Libido.
16. Prostate (Saw Palmetto Blend) (SP-16) – Prostate cancer, Slow Urination.
17. Insomnia (Valerian Hops Blend) (SP-17) – Improve Sleep.
18. Obesity (Chickweed Celery Blend) (SP-18) – Reduce Weight.
19. Glandular & Nervous System Tonic (Goldenseal Gentian Blend) (SP-19) – Support Proper Glandular function and strengthen the nervous system.
20. Gastrointestinal (GI Blend) (SP-20) – Ulcers, Flatulence, Upset Stomach, Colic, Diverticulitis, Gastritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
20-B. Stomach Blend (Mastic gum, Marshmellow) (SP-20b) - Aids in digestion, stomach problems.
21. Infections (Echinacea Goldenseal Blend) (SP-21) – General infections, Flu, Fever, Sore Throat.
22. Caugh & Sore Throat (Bayberry Horehound Blend) (SP-22) – Colds, Bronchial Congestion, Inflammation.
23. Eyes (Eyebright Blend) (SP-23) – Eyestrain, Infection, Conjunctiuits, Dry/Inflamed.
24. Parasites – Worms (Garlic Black Walnut Blend) (SP-24) – Reduce Worms in colon.
25. Environmental (Algin Blend) (SP-25) – Pollution, Heavy metal, Recovery from illness.
26. Thyroid (Kelp Blend) (SP-26) – High, Low, Goiter.
27. Digestion (Papaya Peppermint Blend) (SP-27) – Dyspepsia, Colic, Gas, Heartburn, Antibiotic use, Pancreatic Insufficiency, Dependence on Laxatives.
28. Health & Body Tonic (Sarsaparilla Ginseng Blend) (SP-28) – Stress, Malaise, Fatigue, System Imbalances, Debilities.
29. Degenerative Disorder (Red Clover Blend) (SP-29) – Cancer, Addisons, Skin, Rheumatism.
30. Mental Stamina (Peppermint Ginseng Blend) (SP-30) – Memory Loss, Dementia, Poor Concentration.
31. High Cholesterol (Apple Pectin & Herbs Blend) (SP-31) – Control Cholesterol.
32. Hemorrhoids (Aloe witch Hazel Blend) (SP-32) – Phlebitis, Periodontal Swelling.
33. Allergy (Clay &Herbs Blend) (SP-33) – Hay Fever, Allergies.
34. Healing (Horsetail-Plantain Blend) (SP-34) – Ulcers, Broken Bones, Cuts, Wounds, Lacerations.
35. Low Blood Sugar (Licorice Gota Kola Blend) (SP-35) – Hypoglycemia.
36. Motion Sickness (Ginger Blend) (SP-36) – Nausea, Upset Stomach, Poor Digestion, Morning Sickness.
37. Antioxidants (Antioxidant Herb Blend) (SP-37) – Scavenge free radicals.
38. Hair (Herbal Hair Nutrients Blend) (SP-38) – Feed your Hair.
39. Depression (St. John’s Wort Blend) (SP-39) – Anxiety, Chronic Fatigue, Mononucleosis.
40. Immune Deficiency (Astragalus Blend) (SP-40) – Weakness, Chronic Disease, AIDS.
The Immune System - with Kyolic Garlic
July 11, 2005 05:23 PM
The immune system is our body's natural defense system that keeps us healthy. Without it, invading organisms, which we come into contact with constantly, would cause illness and disease. There are many components of the immune system, including natural killer cells, T&B cells, macrophages and many others. Collectively, this network mainly functions against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.
It is possible for the immune system to be suppressed. Things like stress, unhealthy habits, lack of nutrition, genetics, and other factors damage the immune system, which leaves us vulnerable to disease.
The immune system can benefit from proper, and constant care. A healthy immune system can mean the difference between getting mildly sick versus something much worse. If you are looking for ways to boost your immune system via nutritional supplements, here are a few that might interest you:
Aged Garlic ExtractTM (AGE): Numerous scientific studies have been conducted on AGE in relation to its effect on the immune system. Studies suggest that Aged Garlic Extract may support various immune factors,1-5 such as the ability of immune cells to engulf foreign organisms, T-lymphocyte activity,3 natural killer cell activity1,2 and antibody generation.6 Anti-fungal (Candida albicans-yeast) properties have been shown, and antiviral (herpes1,7, influenza8,9) properties have also been noted. Aged Garlic Extract has also been shown to modify, directly or indirectly, the function of immune cells, which play a leading role in allergic reactions including inflammation.10 In addition, Aged Garlic Extract has been shown to improve age-related deterioration of the immune response.
For your convenience AGE is available as a liquid, and in a capsule, such as the Reserve, FORMULA 100 (tablet or capsule), or as the One Per Day (caplet).
AGE also comes in combination with other herbs and nutrients that may further enhance the immune system. We have formulated a couple of products containing Aged Garlic Extract, specifically for the immune system due to the additional ingredients added that work as an extra boost in this area. Firstly, FORMULA 103 (brown/orange label) in addition to Aged Garlic Extract contains Astragalus, a potent herb demonstrating immune stimulating properties12-17 and vitamin C as Ester-C® (a unique form of Vitamin C) which may support healthy immune function.18 Another product, FORMULA 105 (pink/purple label), contains Vitamins A, C, E, selenium and green tea extract, which are very potent antioxidants. Antioxidants attack free radicals that cause damage to our body, leading to illness and aging. Please keep in mind that the various antioxidant functions attributed to AGE may also help to boost the immune system.
Kyo-Green® is another one of our superb products. Mixing Kyo-Green in a juice or beverage may help to provide extra nutritional support since it is a source of vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, superoxide dismutase (a very potent anti-oxidant enzyme) and other nutrients. A test tube study by Dr. Lau from Loma Linda University showed that Kyo-Green may provide nutritional support for the immune system by enhancing the activity of macrophages (immune cells that engulf foreign agents).19 Two teaspoons of Kyo-Green also provide the nutrients in a serving of vegetables so this product may function as an easy way to provide extra nutrition for the whole body.
For those who may be interested in a more potent immune boosting formula, please try our Kyo-Green Harvest Blend The Harvest BlendTM contains all of the ingredients in the Kyo-Green, except for the kelp. However, in addition to these ingredients, other active ingredients are added to make forty-four ingredients in total, which may give the immune system a powerful kick. To help support your health there are many different greens, an immune-boosting herbal blend, antioxidant fruits and veggies, immune-enhancing mushrooms, an enzyme active sprout blend, a super energizing blend, special phytonutrients important to immune health, and a nutritious fiber blend. Please read the specifics on each of these constituents, available from the technical information available on this website.
Finally, Kyo-Dophilus® is a probiotic supplement made of a combination of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacteria bifidum, and Bifidobacteria longum, which help to maintain a healthy balance of the intestinal microflora and increase our first line of devense in the guy by enhancing macrophages and other immune factors by releasing immune boosting materials. This potent supplement of beneficial bacteria is also ideal for those taking antibiotics, those who are traveling or for those who just want to insure a plethora of beneficial bacteria in their intestinal tracts. Antibiotics are not selective in the bacteria that they kill off. When our friendly bacteria are wiped out, the bad guys have a window of opportunity to take over, as they grow much quicker than our friendly bacteria, and cause us problems. The lactic acid (friendly) bacteria have been shown to produce vitamins, enzymes and antimicrobial compounds that may improve the environment in the intestinal tract. Studies also suggest that friendly bacteria may help to increase resistance to some microbial infections.20-21 Kyo-Dophilus has demonstrated incredible stability at room temperature maintaining more than one billion live cells per capsule through its three-year shelf life. A minimum of one billion live cells per day is considered to be necessary to obtain desired effectiveness from a probiotic supplement. Kyo-Dophilus also comes in tablet form, in a nine-strain formation known as Kyo-Dophilus® 9, and in a smaller form for children, Kid's Kyo-Dophilus®.
Supplying your immune system with adequate nutrition may promote health and ward of illness. If you give the body the tools it needs to heal it-self, it is amazing what it is capable of.
Immune Health - Herbs to Maintain A Healthy Immune System
July 01, 2005 04:21 PM
Immune Health By Ellen J. Kamhi, Ph. D. with Dorie Greenblatt The immune system has been receiving a lot of media attention, especially since the rise in recognized immune system deficiency diseases. The efficient functioning of the immune system is of paramount importance to everyone, adults and children alike, since it controls our ability to fend off illness, whether it is a common cold or more deadly disease. The immune system is made up of a combination of specialized cells, chemicals, tissues and organs. These include the lymph nodes, thymus gland, spleen, bone marrow and tonsils, as well as specialized white blood cells, which recognize and engulf invading microorganisms and cellular debris.
The ability of the immune system to function optimally is influenced by many factors. These include inherent genetic makeup, environmental influences (such as pollution, pesticides, hormones, artificial flavoring/colorings in food), obesity, stress levels, exposure to infective agents, etc. Specific research suggests that consuming excessive amounts of sugar interferes with immune function. We can aid our immune system by eating a high amount of organic green vegetables, whole grains and nuts, while cutting down on 'junk food' consumption. Stress reduction, through prayer, meditation, yoga and moderate exercise can also help.
Herbs may be used in two different ways to help the immune system. Tonics strengthen the immune system over time, while strong immune system stimulants have a more immediate action, and are used during an acute infection.
Herbal tonics work to help maintain a dynamic balance in the body and usually need to be taken long-term. Astragalus is said to build "Wei chi". "Chi" is the Chinese concept of life energy force. "Wei chi" is thought of as 'protection'. Current scientific studies confirm the positive benefits of Astragalus on the immune system. One study by the National Cancer Institute demonstrated Astragalus' ability to help strengthen resistance of the immune system, especially to viral infections. Reishi, called the "mushroom of immortality", has been used for centuries as an overall tonic. Chinese physicians have used Ligustrum berries specifically for their immune-enhancing activities. They are often combined with Astragalus for a synergistic effect. Coptis is another Chinese herb that contains the bitter yellow compound, berberine. This herb helps the immune system prevent infections. Many of these herbs can be found in the unique combination formula called Immunotonic™ (alcohol-free). Immunotonic™ offers the ideal way to experience the benefits of many herbs in one convenient supplement.
Other immune system tonic herbs include Siberian Ginseng and Schisandra. Siberian Ginseng is an adaptogen that helps to balance the immune system. It gives strength and fortitude, especially when dealing with environmental stress. Schisandra has been shown to build non-specific resistance, improve brain function, increase work capacity and build strength.
Osha Root has been used traditionally by both Chinese and Native Americans (who called it Chuchupate) for colds and flues, sore throats and other health ailments requiring a higher level of immune support. Echinacea is a well-researched and respected immune system stimulant. (Refer to our Echinacea article for further information). It helps increase the activity of white blood cells, which engulf invading microorganisms. Thuja is an herbal extract from the Northern White Cedar tree. It is a strong immune stimulant that Native Americans used for colds, coughs, bronchitis and other respiratory infections. Possibly the mushroom with the greatest capability of stimulating the immune system is the Maitake. It is known as the "dancing mushroom" because it was so highly prized that whoever found some would dance for joy. Maitake contains specific chemical components that have been scientifically studied for their strong immune enhancing effects; (refer to Maitake Bio-Beta-Glucan™ article for further information). Nature's Answer® combines these herbs in Immune Boost™, a combination formula for use during acute illness and infections. Try it along with the combination formula Echinacea & Goldenseal. Nature’s Answer® offers a selection of all these herbs in liquid and/or capsule forms. Check with your local health food store, or visit www.naturesanswer.com, for more information.
Children can often use a boost to their immune system to help ward off colds and flues. Nature's Answer® comes to the rescue with three alcohol-free formulas specifically designed for their special needs - E-KID-nacea™, E-KID-nacea Plus™, and NatChoo™. All of these outstanding formulas help promote a healthy immune system.
Heart Health - Heart-Healthy Herbs & Tonics
June 30, 2005 09:39 AM
Heart Health By Ellen J. Kamhi, Ph. D. with Dorie Greenblatt Heart attacks and other circulatory problems head the list of modern day health threats. Care of the heart includes proper diet, exercise and effective handling of stress. An ideal way to provide nourishing support to the heart and related organs is through the use of herbs. Herbs have been used throughout history as part of a heart-healthy program. (Note that the well-known prescription heart medication, digitalis, was originally extracted from the herb Foxglove.) They provide a wide range of medicinal benefits not only for the heart, but for heart-supportive organs and related body systems as well. Herbs help the heart in several ways. Some are “tonics” for the heart and cardiovascular system. Others specifically aid with circulation. In addition, many herbs contain relaxing properties, which help decrease the negative effects of stress. As we frequently see in the herbal kingdom, there is often an overlap of therapeutic benefits between herbs, ultimately benefiting the user! Furthermore, combining herbs can have a more powerful or synergistic effect – meaning that the blend of two or more herbs is even more beneficial than the actions of any single herb!
A tonic herb is one that aids the body in a non-specific, balancing fashion, usually over a long period of time. Traditional Chinese Medicine considers tonics to be the most important class of herbal remedies, often called "superior" medicine.
First and foremost of the heart tonics is the European herb, Hawthorn, traditionally used in England to decorate the maypole. Hawthorn has a normalizing effect upon the heart, improving cellular metabolism while strengthening the heart's contractions, thereby improving the rate of blood flow throughout the body. It also helps maintain the integrity of the venal and arterial walls, as well as exhibiting anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Hawthorn is without a doubt the best long term heart tonic, useful for a variety of imbalances and for maintaining overall cardio-vascular health. An ideal formula for Hawthorn is Nature’s Answer®’s Hawthorne Berry, Leaf and Flower liquid herbal extract supplement (alcohol- free, organic alcohol).
Other herbs offering tonic actions to the heart include Astragalus and Dong Quai, especially when used together. Well-known as an immune tonic, Astragalus has been used traditionally to support the heart, and is considered one of the "superior" Chinese herbs. Its properties help lower blood pressure while increasing endurance. Astragalus’s ability to stimulate the body’s circulation is further enhanced when combined with Dong Quai, an herb traditionally used as a “blood builder”. Nature’s Answer® offers both herbs in alcohol-free and organic alcohol liquid herbal extract forms.
Any discussion of support for the heart would be inadequate without mentioning the essential and nourishing benefits of bio-flavonoids. Bio-flavonoids have the specific ability to regulate the permeability of capillaries and increase the strength of capillary walls. They are powerful anti-oxidants and free radical scavengers. Nature’s Answer® offers an outstanding bio-flavonoid formula -- Bio-Flavonoids & Rose Hip (organic alcohol), a truly tangy and delicious liquid supplement.
Other Heart-Healthy Herbs
Cayenne (a hot red pepper), has a long history of use to support the heart in many cultures. Best known as a potent circulatory stimulant (making it very useful for cold hands and feet), cayenne strengthens the heart, arteries and capillaries. This herb is added to many formulas to act as a "carrier" herb, which helps deliver active constituents to the body. Nature’s Answer®’s Cayenne liquid herbal extract formula (organic alcohol) is a powerful supplement for Cayenne support. Another overlooked herb for the heart is Cactus Grandiflorus found in Nature’s Answer®’s Cactus Grandiflorus liquid herbal extract supplement (organic alcohol); (new name: Night Blooming Cactus Formula). This herb, also called Cereus Grandiflorus, is a cactus flower extract that is useful to strengthen a weak heart and regulate irregular heartbeats.
Ginkgo Biloba, an herb well-recognized for its support of brain functions, has applications in maintaining the cardio-vascular system. It acts as both an anti-oxidant and circulatory stimulant. Ginkgo Biloba increases circulation, especially to the small venules and arterioles, including those which nourish the heart directly. An exceptional supplement featuring Ginkgo Biloba would be Nature’s Answer®’s Ginkgo Leaf liquid herbal extract formula (alcohol-free, organic alcohol).
Ideal Stress Reducers
Linden or lime blossom, another herbal remedy from Europe, provides nutritional support for the cardio-vascular system with a relaxing action on the arteries of the heart. Linden is useful with muscular tension and tension headaches as well. This makes it an excellent herb for heart difficulties relating to stress or anxiety, such as hypertension. You can find this herb in Nature’s Answer®’s Linden Flower liquid herbal extract (organic alcohol). Motherwort, as found in Nature’s Answer®’s Motherwort liquid formulation (organic alcohol), is yet another herb that has a long history of use for the heart. As a relaxing nervine, it may be particularly helpful in situations where anxiety or tension may affect the pulse.
As stated earlier, herbs used in combination can have a more synergistic, or powerful effect than when used alone. Nature’s Answer® offers an array of outstanding combination formulas for heart support. One such product is called Hawthorne CT (alcohol-free; new name: CardioNutriv™), a unique liquid herbal extract featuring Hawthorn, Linden and Cayenne herbs. TenseEase™(alcohol-free) is a second formula that blends Hawthorn and Linden with other stress relieving herbs.
As you see, liquid herbal extracts can be wonderful natural adjuncts to your program of sensible eating and exercise. Nature provides many useful herbs to support, nourish and protect the heart, heart-supportive organs and related body systems. Ultimately, remember to smile, relax and breathe deeply -- it'll do you and your heart a world of good!
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
SPECIFIC ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH ECHINACEA
June 24, 2005 03:54 PM
SPECIFIC ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH ECHINACEA
Combinations that Enhance Echinacea
What is the difference between the types of Ginseng?
June 17, 2005 12:45 PM
What is the difference between the types of Ginseng?
Ginseng has been used for thousands of years by the Chinese and Native Americans. The Chinese name, Ren Shen means "Man-Root" because it is shaped like a human. There have been over 3,000 scientific studies published on Ginseng. Studies have examined the anti-tumor, anti-infective, nervous system, lipid lowering, and anti-fatigue activity of ginseng. Experimental research indicates that Ginseng helps the body adapt to stress, protects the body against radiation, and increases sperm count, and stabilizes blood sugar levels.
Ginseng can differ depending upon the species, the way it is prepared, and of course the dose administered. There are two main kinds of Ginseng: American and Asian. American Ginseng, Panax quinquefolium, grows wild in many states although it is cultivated mainly in Wisconsin. American Ginseng generates body fluids and is said to clear heat. Those who can benefit most from American Ginseng are individuals that are under stress, athletes, and people who feel hot and thirsty. They may also have coughing, or coughing up blood, which indicates heat according to traditional Chinese Medicine.
Asian Ginseng, Panax Ginseng, is usually imported to the US from either China or Korea. It is traditionally used to treat cold syndromes, which include cold limbs, weak pulse, exhaustion, and shortness of breath. White Ginseng usually refers to untreated ginseng, and is said to be less warm than red Ginseng. Typically red Ginseng is steamed and cured with other herbs giving it a dark red appearance; most Korean Ginseng is red.
A common substitute for Ginseng in the US and China is Codonopsis, known botanically as Codonopsis pilosula. It has similar effects to Asian Ginseng: it is not as strong and not nearly as expensive. Eleuthero Ginseng, sometimes referred to as Siberian Ginseng, is really not ginseng at all but is in fact a distant cousin. It belongs in a different botanical species: Eleutherococcus Senticosus. Eleuthero Ginseng grows in northern China and Russia. Although it is used to help the body adapt to stress, it is less specific as a medicinal herb than Asian or American Ginseng.
Traditional herbalists rarely use ginseng by itself. Herbs are usually combined with other ingredients in order to increase clinical benefits and reduce negative reactions. For example, Generate Pulse Powder (Sheng Mai San) is a traditional combination, which often combines America Ginseng with herbs to moisten the lungs; therefore it can be used for chronic cough that is difficult to expectorate, and shortness of breathe. Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan is an ancient formula that has been used for at least one thousand years to treat patients who are exhausted, feel cold, and may have weak limbs and/or chronic loose stools. In this ancient formula, Ginseng is combined with Astragalus and other harmonizing herbs, which help the body assimilate ginseng. Modern formulas with Ginseng or Codonopsis, have been used to help people overcome serious conditions such as impotence, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and fibromyalgia. Modern Ginseng formulas have also been used in conjunction with western medical approaches to treating patients with HIV, and patients undergoing chemo and radiotherapy.
Asian Ginseng is considered a "big gun" and should not be indiscriminately used especially by itself. Headache, elevated body temperature, digestive upset, rash, fever, irritability, and insomnia are possible signs that Ginseng is not appropriate. It should not be taken at the same time as caffeine or other stimulants. Good quality Ginseng is expensive. Superior grade Ginseng can run several thousand dollars per pound. For this reason, it makes no sense to shop for the cheapest Ginseng or Ginseng products.
Astra 8 - Boost immune system your primary defense against colds...
June 15, 2005 10:29 AM
Astra 8 Defense Builder
Defense Builder Herbal Formula is one of the most popular and effective herbal formulas available. It is the basis for many of the immune products found in natural food stores today. Astra 8 is the only one, however, recommended by name in books, on video, and in periodicals. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), these herbs are especially used for people who worry, think too much, eat sweets and feel cold and tired. In TCM terms, these herbs tonify Lung, Spleen and Kidney Qi and strengthen Wei Qi. Western medicine considers many of these herbs adaptogenic in that they help body adapt to stress. Astragalus, ligustrum, ginseng, and ganoderma (Reishi) found in Astra 8 are carefully balanced by additional herbs necessary to help you digest and assimilate these proven tonic herbs. For additional defensive system toning and energy enhancement, use with Power Mushrooms.
Astra-8 Defense BuilderEnhance immune system:
Pep Up and Go!
June 14, 2005 05:45 PM
Pep Up and Go!
by Harris Parker Energy Times, February 2, 2000
Feel your energy flagging?
You've lost count of the number of phone calls you fielded all afternoon-the last was from your son, who missed the late bus home from school-and colleagues needing your decision are lined up outside your office. Your husband has invited clients home for dinner. You wilt like a new hairdo on a damp August day and pray for a miracle to jump-start your engine.
Your pep quotient depends on three essential ingredients: nutrients you consume through your diet and supplements, how much you exercise and your sleep schedule.(Of course, if you're troubled by any kind of disabling, ceaseless fatigue accompanied by mental fuzziness, joint pain, sore throat, swollen glands, headaches and other chronic distress, consult your health practitioner.)
Vitamins and Energy
Certain nutrients are called vitamins because scientists consider them to be crucial for vitality. They generally function as coenzymes, partnering with the enzymes that are catalysts for the chemical reactions constantly taking place in our bodies. Our need to replenish our store of vitamins, which may merge with cell, muscle, enzyme, hormone, blood and bone structure once they have been absorbed, depends on their rate of utilization, according to The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book (Avery) by Shari Lieberman, PhD, and Nancy Bruning.
While a low-fat diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables helps supply important nutrients, a B complex supplement and a balanced multivitamin can guarantee daily vitamin levels.
Be Energetic with B Vitamins
Vitamins, especially the B vitamins, play extremely important roles in producing cellular energy. The chart on page 39 lists the key vitamins and describes their effects as well as the consequences of not getting enough of them. Their benefit is felt most profoundly in the energy producing process known as the Krebs cycle (which we'll explain in a moment).
Vitamins B2 and B3, for example, supply the major building blocks for substances that are called flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD and FADH) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD and NADH), which are critical elements of energy production in the Krebs cycle as well as a process called oxidative phosphorylation.
Hundreds of Reactions
Even though you may never have heard of NAD and NADH, these molecules are found in very many places throughout your body; they play a role in hundreds of biochemical reactions in all kinds of cells. B vitamins also combine with other materials to build coenzymes, chemicals which help form other chemicals necessary for cellular energy. B vitamins are crucial: miss out on one or more and you may break these metabolic chains necessary for peak energy.
Energy to Spend
The main energy currency of every cell single cell is ATP: a chemical called adenosine triphosphate. This material is used by cells for every imaginable task including reproduction, growth, movement and metabolism. Specialized metabolic cycles within the cell are designed to generate ATP.
Consequently, the more ATP our cells create, the more energy can be generated. The raw materials used to make cellular energy are glucose (blood sugar) and "free" fatty acids. The best way to supply your cells with the sugar they need is to consume complex carbohydrates which also supply fiber and other nutrients. When you eat carbohydrates, they are made into glucose which is stored as a starch called glycogen in muscles and the liver. Your body can rapidly turn glycogen into glucose for extra energy. (The process of making energy from glycogen yields carbon dioxide and water as well as ATP.)
The first step in making glucose into energy is called glycolysis. This complicated process requires nine different steps. During these steps, glucose is made into a substance called pyruvate. The process of glycolysis requires ATP, but yields twice as much ATP as is present when it starts.
From here, the process gets a little more complicated as pyruvate enters into a complex chain of events in tiny cellular structures called mitochondria. (Many metabolic events take place in the mitochondria.) The pyruvate molecules are converted to a molecule known as acetyl coenzyme A and eventually made into carbon dioxide, water and more ATP.
This process is known as the Krebs cycle or citric acid cycle. It also involves a series of events known as oxidative phosphorylation in which NADH formed during the Krebs cycle is oxidized to form ATP.
Why is fat such a concentrated source of energy? Free fatty acids enter the Krebs cycle to help generate ATP much more efficiently than glucose - producing roughly six times more energy per gram than glucose.
And Don't Overlook. . . . . .other supplements that may aid energy production: • Alpha Lipoic Acid, an antioxidant that works in the fatty tissues of cell membranes and in cells' watery interiors • Coenzyme Q10, also known as ubiquinone as it exists everywhere in the body, acts like a vitamin because it stimulates some reactions. CoQ10 protects cell membranes, especially of the heart, against oxidation and toxins.
Ginsengs: Energy Generators
With their legendary and slightly mysterious characteristics, the ginsengs are greatly respected natural energy boosters. " Perhaps no herb has excited so much interest in medical circles as ginseng, and yet, strangely, it does not actually 'cure' any one particular ailment," reports Michael Hallowell, the author of Herbal Healing (Avery) and a frequent lecturer on botanic medicine. "Rather, its virtue lies in its tremendous power as a tonic and invigorator. Russian athletes are prescribed large amounts of ginseng because researchers in Moscow have shown that it not only improves stamina, but also increases the efficiency with which blood is pumped to the muscles."
What are the physiological mechanisms that allow ginseng to bolster your get up and go? In order to unravel the legend and lore of ginseng, the first step is understanding the intricacies of the three types: • Asian (Panax ginseng), which produces the strongest and most profound stimulation; • American (Panax quinquefolium), which soothes at a more subtle level; • Siberian (Eleutherococcus senticosus), a stamina booster embraced by a wide range of athletes. All three varieties are treasured for their ability to help people adjust to stress.
The ginsengs are adaptogens, "biologically active substances found in certain herbs and plants that help the body and mind adapt to the changes and stress of life," says Stephen Fulder, MD, author of The Book of Ginseng and Other Chinese Herbs for Vitality (Inner Traditions). "Stress is not an illness in itself. Stress is change, our ability to adapt to all the changes that occur in life, emotional or physical, from exercise, work, chemicals, drugs, food, radiation, bacteria, disease, temperature, or simply too many late nights or too much fun."
The body reacts to stress by producing the hormone adrenaline, which throws the whole body into a state of alert. Metabolism, blood pressure and circulation accelerate; immunity and resistance drastically decline; performance suffers.
Enter the ginsengs, with their varied, subtle tonic qualities. The Greek name for this herb, "panax," means "panacea" or cure-all. But the Chinese, who first referred to it 2,000 years ago, more literally called it "ren shen" or "person root," in reference to its physical resemblance to a miniature human form.
" Most exhibit medicinal properties, but each species has a different chemical makeup and has a unique application in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)," says Kim Derek Pritts, author of Ginseng: How to Find, Grow and Use America's Forest Gold (Stackpole). "In general, all true ginseng contains biologically active saponins (chemicals similar to human hormones), essential oils, carbohydrates, sugars, organic acids, nitrogenous substances, amino acids, peptides, vitamins and minerals."
Building Vital Energy
All the ginsengs strengthen, nourish and build Qi, the TCM concept describing basic vital energy circulating through our bodies. Every physical and mental function, from breathing, thinking, nutrition and circulation, is regulated by Qi. Although many of the Native American tribes used the abundant, indigenous Panax quinquefolium ginseng extensively, particularly to increase mental acuity and boost fertility, the herb never has been as popular in North America as it is in Asia. American ginseng traditionally has been a lucrative export crop to China, where the wild native variety suffers from overharvesting. Even today, according to Paul Bergner in The Healing Power of Ginseng & the Tonic Herbs (Prima), 95% of the American ginseng crop is exported to China, where XiYang Shen, or "western sea root," as it is called, is immensely valued and costs double what it does here.
Jacques MoraMarco, author of The Complete Ginseng Handbook: A Practical Guide for Energy, Health and Longevity (Contemporary), as well as a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of Eastern medicine, suggests American ginseng for a slight energy boost. The moderate effect of American ginseng is considered a more appropriate tonic to the intensity of our pace and diet.
Variations on a Theme
In TCM terms, American ginseng cools and moistens, as well as lubricates and strengthens the body. It is reputed to reduce fevers and night sweats and alleviate hot, dry lung problems like smoker's cough. With its emollient qualities, American ginseng is considered to treat dry, wrinkled skin effectively.
The Bolder Energizer
Asian ginseng, which includes red Korean panax, is a bolder energizer taken by those who feel depleted from anemia, blood loss, cardiovascular weakness, injury, shock or trauma, as well as the disabling effects of age. In general, Asian ginseng is warming and stimulating, urging the body to run faster.
Siberian ginseng, though botanically not a true ginseng, still acts similarly to Asian ginseng in its reputed power to control stress, boost energy, support the immune system, enhance performance and increase longevity. Called Wu Cha Seng in Chinese, Siberian ginseng is perceived by natural practitioners as an ideal herb for the healthy who want to lift both stamina and endurance. Experts believe it counteracts the effects of cortisol, the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to injury, pain or emotional turmoil.
Natural Energy Boosters
The herbal pharmacopeia includes several other natural energy boosters available in various forms-shakes and bars for those on the run-loaded with nutrition absent from commercial snacks. Some choices: • Ginkgo biloba-used in Chinese medicine to heat the body and increase sexual energy. Ginkgo enthusiasts take this herb to increase the supply of oxygen to the brain and generally increase circulation. • Gotu kola-may stimulate the central nervous system and help eliminate excess fluid, thereby reducing fatigue. • Astragalus-a Chinese herb that enhances energy and builds the immune system. It is credited with strengthening digestion, improving metabolism, increasing appetite, combating diarrhea and healing sores. • Schisandra-also a Chinese herb, treats respiratory illness, insomnia and irritability and rejuvenates sexual energy. Its mild adaptogens help the body to handle stress. • Licorice-is a favored endocrine toner in Chinese medicine. It is reputed to support the adrenals, the pair of small glands directly above the kidneys that secrete steroidal hormones, norepinephrine and epinephrine, the "fight or flight" hormones. People with high blood pressure or edema, or pregnant women, should avoid it. • Ashwagandha-an Ayurvedic herb used for thousands of years in the traditional healing of India as a potent strength builder for men and women.
Experienced herbal practitioners acquire an impressive and fascinating store of knowledge and experience-you'll find it helpful to visit one as you begin your course of ginseng or other energy-boosting herbs.
When you visit a TCM practitioner, you'll notice that she evaluates your body's condition through an extremely careful examination of all the different systems: Several pulse points are felt in order to ferret out and detect troubling abnormalities. The condition and color of the tongue is observed to decipher digestive disorders. In addition, your urine may be examined to determine other imbalances and specific health problems.
In many cases, your TCM practitioner will recommend ginseng as an adaptogen that can give you an overall boost. When taking ginseng, follow the directions on the package. Note: in some cases, you may want to consume a little bit less if you suffer headaches, insomnia or high blood pressure. Consult your health practitioner if you are afflicted with either acute inflammatory disease or bronchitis.
Then take comfort in the eternal soothing wisdom of Chinese Traditional Medicine. In the first century A.D., the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (The Divine Husbandman's Classic of the Materia Medica) effusively described ginseng and the tonic herbs in this beguiling and intriguing manner: "The first class of drugs...are considered to perform the work of sovereigns. They support human life and they resemble heaven. They are not poisonous regardless of the quality and duration of administration."
Botanical Arsenal - Plants can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly ...
June 13, 2005 10:31 AM
Botanical Arsenal by Fred Thomas Energy Times, May 3, 1999
The complexities surrounding the various types of cancer stem from the variety of ways in which these diseases can wreak their havoc. Luckily, the equally complex world of plants contains novel compounds that can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly progress.
Research into these botanical compounds is mushrooming. An example: The mighty maitake, a fungus with flair, alternately known as the king (it can grow as large as a basketball, worth its weight in silver to the ancient Japanese); the prince; the Hen of the Woods (it sticks out of from trees when it grows in the wild); and the dancing mushroom to those who leaped for joy when they found one growing in its native northeastern Japan.
Researchers today dub it with a new moniker: Herbal Heavyweight.
Mushroom with Potential
The maitake, with such other medicinal mushrooms as shiitake and reishi, historically has been eaten to promote general well-being and vitality. In the modern lab, however, scientists focus on the potent immune enhancing powers of maitake, which spotlight its cancer fighting potential.
Twenty years ago, maitake, Grifola frondosa, was an obscure, largely unavailable mushroom. A series of significant Japanese studies then catapulted it into prominence-and popularity.
Hiroaki Nanba, PhD, of the department of immunology at Kobe Women's College of Pharmacy on Kobe, Japan, and a leading international researcher on maitake, conducted the preliminary tests on the mushroom, demonstrating that it stimulates immune function and inhibits tumor growth.
In 1986, Dr. Nanba fed powdered maitake to mice injected with tumor cells; 86.3% displayed inhibited tumor growth.
Dr. Nanba and his colleagues went on to run additional mouse tests, finally reporting that this potent mushroom "directly activates various effector cells (macrophages, natural killer cells, killer T-cells, etc.) to attack tumor cells."
From then, maitake mushrooms were headed to fame as cancer ninjas.
Stoking The Immune Engine
Like other mushrooms, maitake is rich in complex polysaccharides, immunomodulators that successive tests after Dr. Nanba's have shown to be effective in cancer and AIDS treatment.
The polysaccharides in maitake have a unique structure, rendering them some of the most powerful to be studied (Chem Pharm Bull 1987:35:1162-8).
What makes maitake a particularly hot property is beta-D-glucan, its primary polysaccharide. Studies show that the body absorbs it readily, at which point it effectively stimulates interleukin-1, natural killer cells and macrophages, anti-tumor warriors that battle solid cancers (Chemotherapy 1990;38:790-6; also International Conference on AIDS, Amsterdam, 1992).
Effective And Safe
In addition to lab tests, trials on people have shown that maitake may offer powerful therapy against liver and stomach cancer (studies in China), breast and colon cancer (US research) and Kaposi's Sarcoma, the virulent cancer attacking AIDS sufferers.
Importantly, studies show that no side effects or interactions accompany maitake's efficacy.
Maitake fortunately has won the interest and enthusiasm of the scientific community. Currently, researchers at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, headed by Denis Miller, MD, are completing an exhaustive test of the anticancer and immunostimulatory actions of maitake on folks with advanced colorectal cancer. These investigators hypothesize that the polysaccharide beta-glucans derived from the fruitbody of maitake fight tumors and boost immune function. "Though it cannot be said that maitake ...[is] the cancer cure," said Dr. Nanba in his closing remarks at the Adjuvant Nutrition in Cancer Treatment Symposium in Tampa, Florida, in October 1995, "one can safely say that they do maintain the quality of life of patients and improve the immune system, resulting in the possible remission of cancer cells with no side effects."
More Bodily Benefits
Maitake maven Dr. Nanba also has tested-with strongly positive results-the effect of maitake on blood glucose, insulin and triglycerides in mice, whose levels of all three substances declined when they were fed the mushroom (H. Nanba working paper, Anti-Diabetic Activity by Maitake Mushroom, 1994).
With colleagues, Dr. Nanba showed that maitake lowered blood pressure in hypertensive rats (Chem. Phann. Bu//36:1000-1006,1988). Other studies suggest it may accelerate weight loss.
This admirable adaptogen (meaning it helps the body adapt to stress and normalize its functions) is water soluble and may be eaten in food or taken as a supplement. Vitamin C is believed to intensify maitake's beta-glucans and enhance their absorption.
It's not just what you eat that may help protect against cancer, but what you drink as well. Research from China and Japan, where tea is the everyday drink and rates of several cancers like breast and prostate are lower, may persuade you to turn over a new leaf in your own beverage choice. One of the first studies to spark interest in tea came from Shanghai (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, June 1, 1994), where people who drank two to three cups a day were found to have about a 60% reduction in the risk of cancer of the esophagus. The reason: tea leaves contain compounds called polyphenols, potent antioxidants.
In fact, in tests at the University of Kansas, three of these, known as catechins, far outshone the common antioxidant vitamins C and E. Clinical trials are just starting, but early results are encouraging. A team of Chinese scientists reported that in a third of people with precancerous mouth sores who drank three cups of a mixture of green and black tea the lesions shrank significantly.
Researchers at the Saitama Cancer Center in Japan found that green tea seems to improve the prognosis of breast cancer. They followed a group of women with early-stage tumors for seven years. Those who drank more than five cups of green tea a day were only half as likely to suffer a recurrence as patients who consumed fewer than four cups a day.
And at the University of Indiana, toxicologist James Klaunig found that the lungs of cigarette smokers who drank the equivalent of six cups of tea a day suffered 40 to 50 percent less damage from the toxins in smoke, potentially lowering their risk of lung cancer and other pulmonary problems. Simultaneously, research from Purdue University suggests tea's cancer-discouraging powers go beyond being an antioxidant. Scientists Dorothy and D. James Morre showed that a tea catechin dubbed EGCG inhibits a growth-promoting enzyme on the surface of many cancer cells-happily without affecting normal cells. And researchers at the Ohio State University College of Medicine found that EGCG counteracted another enzyme, urokinase, that helps cancer cells spread. To top it off, Mayo Clinic scientists recently showed that EGCG prompted prostate cancer cells to commit suicide (Cancer Letters, Aug. 14, 1998).
So far, most tea research has focused on green tea, and investigators agree it's more potent than the black tea most Americans favor. But because both kinds come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis (it's the processing that makes the difference as black tea is fermented, green tea isn't) both contain cancer-fighting polyphenols, just in different quantities. As long as the tea you drink (even decaffeinated) is fresh brewed, it's likely to provide some benefit; powdered and prepared teas probably don't. And adding milk may dilute the effect.
Astragalus Against Tumors
Astragalus, an herb commonly used in Asia to boost stamina, has impressed western doctors for its potential for helping people cope with chemotherapy. As John Diamon, MD, W. Lee Cowden, MD and Burton Goldberg point out in the Definitive Guide to Cancer (Future Medicine), "Astragalus appears to protect the liver against the harmful toxic effects of chemotherapy and may be effective in treating terminally ill liver cancer patients." (They cite a study in the Jrnl of Ethnopharmacology 1990, 30:145-149.) In addition, they point out, research in Japan supports using a ginseng-Astragalus combination to improve the function of natural killer (NK) cells which can boost immunity (Japanese Jrnl of Allergy, 37:2, 1998, 107-114).
Other studies confirm Astragalus' potential in fighting off cancer. Research at the General Hospital of PLA, Beijing, showed that flavonoids (pigments) in Astragalus could help protect cell membranes from oxidative damage caused by ultraviolet exposure (Chung Kuo Chung Yao Tsa Chih, 21(12):746-8; 1996 Dec).
A study of laboratory animals at Cunma University in Maebashi, Japan, found that Astragalus could help preserve immune function against the harmful side effects of chemotherapy (Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih, 15(2):101-3, 1995 Feb).
Like a flame attracting moths, garlic bulbs have irresistibly drawn the attention of medical researchers. A study at Aarhus University, Denmark, found that skin cells in laboratory dishes treated with garlic supplements lived longer, healthier lives than untreated cells (Jrnl Ethnopharm, 1994. 43:125-133).
Meanwhile, a long list of research demonstrates that garlic's phytochemicals may fight tumors and reduce the carcinogenicity of the pollutants and chemicals that assault us daily. A study in China reported in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine showed that garlic helped slow tumors in lab animals (1983, 11:69-73). Another study in the Journal of Nutrition found that compounds in garlic could "suppress the growth of human colon tumor cells" (126, 1355-1361).
Added to those benefits, Robert A. Nagourney, MD, reports in the Journal of Medicinal Food (1:1, 1998, 13-28), garlic may "modify the carcinogenicity of foodstuffs." In other words, studies show that garlic can make chemicals in foods like pork less likely to cause your cells to become cancerous. (Ind J Physiol Pharmacol, 39:347-353).
DNA, the stuff that genes are made of, face constant threats from free radicals, caustic molecules that can alter cellular structure and possibly cause genetic mutations that lead to cancer. But research into what are called oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC), flavonoids (pigments) derived from fruits vegetables, grape seed extract and the bark of maritime pine trees shows that OPC may be able to shield DNA from injury.
In particular, studies of a grape seed extract called Activin have demonstrated this substance can help liver cell DNA escape a destructive process called peroxidation (FASEB, 11:3, 2/28/97).
In these experiments, Activin demonstrated the ability to inhibit the growth of tumor cells as well as slow the replication enzymes of HIV viruses. This protective ability proved to be more potent than that of vitamin C, beta carotene and vitamin E.
What does the future promise to reveal? Scientists believe that many unexamined plants probably contain undiscovered phytochemicals that hold great potential for helping us fight the cancer epidemic.
Certainly, if the next few years produce as many results as the past decade, the next millennium will witness a long line of cancer-prevention discoveries. Before long, you should be able to take advantage of these potent substances.
As you gulp your garlic, tip your tea cup, mull your maitake, acquire Activin and await your Astragalus, you may meditate on what may soon be added to our growing anti-cancer arsenal. Undoubtedly, scientists with a botanical bent will be uncovering more coveted anti-cancer secrets before too long.
Acupuncture nutrient Connection
June 12, 2005 05:53 PM
Acupuncture nutrient Connection by Robert Gluck Energy Times, November 1, 1998
The theory behind the practice of acupuncture confounds western science. This therapy, originating in Asia, is based on the concept that currents of energy called meridians flow through your body. However, no one has ever been able to conclusively demonstrate the existence of these meridians.
Despite the evasiveness of these energy streams, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) holds that alterations in these energy flows can disrupt health and cause pain. Consequently, an acupuncturist punctures your skin with specialized needles to redirect the body's vital energy.
Despite the fact that western scientists have not been able to find satisfactory evidence of the existence of these energetic meridians, studies show that acupuncture works and is especially effective at relieving pain. This therapy has been used to alleviate a variety of conditions including chronic pain, nausea and even mental illness. In addition, some practitioners apply it to those trying to shake off the chains of drug addiction. (More recently, many practitioners now also successfully use acupuncture to relieve physical problems in animals.)
Of course, no matter what your perspective on this therapy, acupuncture's no panacea. While you might use acupuncture to relieve the discomforts of chemotherapy, you wouldn't use this technique as your primary weapon against a dangerous disease like cancer. Still, this reliable therapy occupies a welcome spot as an adjunct to many mainstream therapies. Consequently, many mainstream practitioners accept the validity of using acupuncture and many managed care companies reimburse this therapy. Some HMOs even keep a list of approved acupuncturists that they make available to enrollees.
Acupuncture East and West
The practice of acupuncture dates back at least 2200 years ago in Asia. Only during the last forty years has it become well-known and widely available in the United States. Today, 29 accredited acupuncture schools train practitioners in North America. In addition, traditional healers in Belize (south of Mexico) have been found to use a form of acupuncture derived from traditional Mayan medicine.
Is the use of acupuncture by Mayan shamans coincidence? Or further evidence that acupuncture meridians really exist? No one knows for sure, although some experts believe the Mayan use of this therapy supports the notion that the original ancestors of the Mayans migrated from Asia.
Acupuncturists insert needles into the body to relieve pain or enhance bodily functions. TCM holds that acupuncture, and the manipulation of these tiny needles, moves and manipulates qi (pronounced chee), the body's energy force.
"Acupuncture is a method of balancing the body's energy," says Carol Alexander, an acupuncturist at the North Jersey Health and Pain Relief Center in Hackettstown, New Jersey. "Disease occurs because of an imbalance...Insertion of the acupuncture needles into meridians will bring about the balance of qi." Alexander has practiced acupuncture for 10 years and studied at the Tri-State School of Traditional Acupuncture in Stanford Connecticut.
Alexander says patients sometimes suffer a blockage of qi or display too much or too little qi. The manipulation and placement of the acupuncture needles vary according to the need for adjusting meridian energy flow.
Acupuncture can be used to prevent disease and, if disease is already rampant, it can be used to help the body correct the problem.
In conjunction with her use of acupuncture needles, Alexander rarely prescribes single herbs but uses combinations of whole herbs that are very specific for different diseases and disease patterns. "Certain herbs, such as ginseng, are very prized in Chinese medicine," Alexander notes.
"Astragalus is an herb used in China and around the world to tonify the qi and increase qi energy as well as stimulate the immune system."
Alexander uses licorice root for assisting digestion and for helping women with menopausal discomforts. On the other hand, she recommends whole food concentrates like bee pollen granules for enhancing the immune system, peppermint for treating gastro-intestinal problems plus fiber supplements as well as the antioxidant/antihistamine quercetin, coenzyme Q10 and melatonin.
"In terms of classes of nutrients, I use a lot of whole food concentrates: the green concentrates like barley greens, wheat grass powder, spirulina and blue-green algae," Alexander says. "These are high in minerals, antioxidants, nutrients and fatty acids. I also use some soy products because the isoflavone concentrates are very much anti-cancer."
The Fine Points of Acupuncture
Acupuncture needles are very fine, as thin as hairs. They are available in a variety of diameters and lengths. When an acupuncturist inserts these needles, the sensation is that of mild pinpricks. (The needles enter the body at depths of only 1/8th inch to two inches.) In many cases people experience mild pleasure during needle manipulation.
"From a Western point of view it's important to explain that there is a distinct function of acupuncture treatment and that is to increase circulation," Alexander says. "We do stimulate nerves and we know that with the stimulation of nerves many neurochemicals and neurotransmitters are released. They move through the nerves and find receptor sights, some in the brain, some in other parts of the body."
By stimulating nerves, acupuncturists can calm inflammation and deaden pain. These effects are believed to be linked to the release of endorphins and dinorphins, powerful painkillers and anti-inflammatories that the body produces for itself. Most acupuncturists use this therapy as part of an overall, multi-faceted treatment plan.
"Qi is what makes you different from a sack of chemicals," points out David Molony, an acupuncturist at the Lehigh Valley Acupuncture Center in Catasaqua, Pennsylvania who studied at the Nanjing Traditional Medicine Hospital in China and has lectured at Cornell University.
What You Need
"You can manipulate qi with acupuncture, herbs and diet. Because people's bodies work differently, there are different approaches. When you ask the question what nutrients and herbs are effective at enhancing acupuncture, it depends on what the person needs, according to an Oriental Medicine diagnosis."
An Oriental Medical examination, Molony says, begins with a long list of health questions designed to reveal factors that contribute to disease. A practitioner measures your pulse in several different places along your arm, inspects your tongue, may press on your stomach, sniff your general odor and closely examine your nails and skin for signs of problems.
"You take in everything you can," adds Molony, a board member of the Acupuncture Society of Pennsylvania and former board member of the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. "This gives you clues that you need in order to make your diagnosis."
Acupuncturists use nutrients and herbs that complement the treatment, as well as dietary and lifestyle counseling. Some acupuncturists don't specialize in herbal remedies, so these practitioners might go to a specialist like David Winston for advice. Winston, an herb expert skilled in Cherokee, Chinese and Western eclectic herbal medicine, works as an instructor, lecturer and consultant.
"In China, acupuncture is considered a complementary therapy; you generally don't go for treatment and get purely acupuncture," says Winston who is working on a book about saw palmetto. "Herbal medicine, diet and qi gong are important therapies in their own right and acupuncture is one of those therapies. Qi gong is a form of martial arts that focuses on unique breathing and visualization methods. Qi is not exactly energy, it's energy in movement; it's what makes the blood move."
Acupuncture is used to open blockages that sometimes build up in what TCM practitioners characterize as excessive heat or cold. These hot and cold spots do not always literally refer to the temperature of the body but are meant to depict changes in the character of the body's vital energy.
Chinese acupuncturists don't necessarily treat diseases, but target clusters of physical discomforts. Winston says, "Herbal formulas change depending on the 'symptom pictures.' Somebody could have acute appendicitis but the symptom picture could vary. Usually Chinese acupuncturists use herbs like isatis (a very cold, drying herb that's a powerful anti-bacterial agent) and coptis (a powerful anti-bacterial herb)."
Americans often visit acupuncturists complaining of back pain or some type of musculoskeletal problem-a wrenched knee, a ligament that hasn't healed properly or perhaps a torn rotator cuff. "If the injury is hot to the touch, it's red, it's inflammatory-that's a condition where there's excessive heat and in that condition the acupuncturist would give herbs that are cooling and anti-inflammatory such as the root of large leaf gentian."
Pain that Moves
If someone suffers pain that moves, pain that is sometimes exacerbated by damp or humid conditions, acupuncturists often prescribe clematis root, a wild variety of the garden plant that is an anti-spasmodic, or acanthopanax, a relative of Siberian ginseng used for damp pain.
"If there's pain with excessive dampness," Winston says, "acupuncturists might use duhuo, a drying herb that opens the meridians."
Molony agrees with Winston that when it comes to choosing herbs to enhance acupuncture, accurate analysis of the root cause of the health problem is paramount to making the right decisions. For example, if a person is qi deficient and her tongue is thickly coated, she may not be processing her energy properly. Phlegm builds up, decreasing energy. "What you want to do is give them herbs that move phlegm, like citrus peel, and combine that with acupuncture points that move phlegm also," Molony says.
For stimulating metabolism, Molony uses lactoferin-processed colostrum from cows. He uses ginseng and atractylodes as qi tonics and he adds herbs like magnolia bark or atractylodes alba.
He believes antioxidants are helpful too, as preventive medicines, including vitamins C and E. These valuable nutrients disarm the harm that reactive molecules can wreak within the body.
So how important are herbs and nutrition to enhance acupuncture's effectiveness? Acupuncturists seem to agree that healthy doses of antioxidants (such as vitamins C and E plus antioxidants from grapeseed extract) as well as specialized herbs, turn this therapy into a highly effective healing tool. Those wanting to benefit from this penetrating technique should stock up on nutrients. Then sit back, relax, kick off your shoes and let the acupuncturist do her stuff.
Battle Fatigue! Don't passively accept chronic exhaustion and weakness.
June 10, 2005 10:06 PM
Battle Fatigue! Don't passively accept chronic exhaustion and weakness. by Joanne Gallo Energy Times, December 6, 1999
Most folks wouldn't seek the distressing distinction of suffering chronic fatigue syndrome. Aside from a dizzying array of discomforts associated with the malady, the lack of a definitive cause, and few remedies offered by the medical establishment, scornful skeptics lob accusations of laziness or boredom or just plain moodiness. "Snap out of it!" they say, with little sympathy or understanding. "Just get moving!"
But if you're one of more than 3 million Americans affected by chronic fatigue, you know your problem is not all in your head. Your symptoms are real and they extend far beyond mere tiredness. In addition to a debilitating sense of fatigue that can make everyday existence feel like an overwhelming struggle, you may suffer from impaired concentration and memory, recurrent sore throats, nagging headaches, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes and fitful sleep. The persistence of any one of these effects alone could be debilitating, but the overall diminished capabilities of the chronic fatigue sufferer can become the most discouraging aspect of the disease.
But before you give up hope on kicking this energy-sucking ailment, look to natural ways to boost your immune system and regain your stamina for a more healthy and productive life. New research points to powerful, energy enhancing supplements which, combined with a nutritious diet and stress reducing techniques, can help you reclaim your body from a swamp of sluggishness.
Part of the public's misconceptions about chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may stem from vague definitions of exactly what it is and its causes.
In the '80s, CFS was often mentioned in the same breath as the Epstein-Barr virus, which garnered much notoriety as the "yuppie flu": a state of chronic exhaustion that often plagued young, overworked professionals, as the media trumpeted. CFS was initially thought to be the result of the Epstein-Barr virus, and the two were often considered to be the same thing. Since the Epstein-Barr virus causes mononucleosis, the term "chronic mono" was also thrown around to refer to long-lasting states of fatigue.
Today, CFS is defined as a separate disorder from the Epstein-Barr syndrome. Researchers have found that CFS is not caused exclusively by the Epstein-Barr virus or any other single infectious disease agent. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, CFS may have multiple causes, in which viruses or other infectious agents might have a contributory role. Some of these additional possible culprits include herpes simplex viruses, candida albicans (yeast organisms), or parasites.
According to the CDC, a person can be definitively diagnosed with CFS when she or he experiences severe chronic fatigue for six months or longer that is not caused by other medical conditions, and must have four or more of the following problems recurrently for six consecutive months: tender lymph nodes, muscle pain, multi-joint pain without swelling or redness, substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration; sore throat, headaches, unrefreshing sleep and postexertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours.
Even if you are not diagnosed with CFS, you could still probably use some help in fending off fatigue. You may suffer from another poorly understood condition like fibromyalgia, which causes similar symptoms of exhaustion and pain with additional stomach discomfort. You may cope with another ailment like hypoglycemia or low thyroid function that zaps your energy. Or you could be like almost every stressed-out American adult trying to do it all at the expense of your well-being. Though researchers still search for a definitive cause for CFS, one thing is certain: Constant stress and poor nutritional habits weaken the immune system's ability to ward off a host of debilitating viruses and organisms. So before you run yourself down and succumb to a chronic condition, learn how you can build up your defenses now.
Some of the most exciting new research in CFS treatments focuses on NADH or Coenzyme 1, an energy-enhancing nutritional supplement. This naturally-occurring substance is present in all living cells including food, although cooking destroys most of it. Coenzymes help enzymes convert food and water into energy and NADH helps provide cellular fuel for energy production. It also plays a key role in cell regulation and DNA repair, acts as a potent antioxidant, and can reportedly improve mental focus and concentration by stimulating cellular production of the neurotransmitters dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin.
A recent study conducted at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC, and reported in the February 1999 issue of The Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, showed that chronic fatigue sufferers improved their condition significantly by taking Enada, the stabilized, absorbable, oral form of NADH. The researchers found that 31% of those who took the supplement achieved significant improvement in relief of their symptoms, and a follow up study showed that 72% achieved positive results over a longer period of time.
Coenzyme-A and Coenzyme Q-10 (Co-Q10) are related coenzymes also necessary for energy production.
According to Erika Schwartz, M.D., and Carol Colman, authors of Natural Energy: From Tired to Terrific in 10 Days (G.P. Putnam's Sons) CoQ10 in combination with the nutrient carnitine enhances cellular energy production, thereby boosting energy levels. Coenzyme-A is required to initiate the chemical reactions that involve the utilization of CoQ10 and NADH for the production of energy at the cellular level.
Another important energy-enhancing nutrient is D-ribose, a simple sugar that is crucial to many processes in your body. D-ribose stimulates the body's production of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, an energy-rich chemical compound that provides the fuel for all body functions. D-ribose is essential to the manufacture of ATP and maintaining high levels of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles.
In addition to these new nutrients, a host of more familiar vitamins and minerals can help banish fatigue. According to Susan M. Lark, M.D., author of the Chronic Fatigue Self Help Book (Celestial Arts) nutritional supplements help stimulate your immune system, glands and digestive tract, promote proper circulation of blood and oxygen, and provide a calming effect. Some of Lark's recommended nutrients for building and regaining strength include:
Vitamin A: Helps protect the body against invasion by viruses that could trigger CFS, as well as bacteria, fungi and allergies. Supports the production and maintenance of healthy skin and mucous membranes, the body's first line of defense against invaders. Also supports the immune system by boosting T-cell activity and contributing to the health of the thymus, the immune-regulating gland.
Vitamin B Complex: Depression and fatigue can result from the body's depletion of B vitamins, which can occur from stress or drinking too many caffeinated beverages. Studies have provided preliminary evidence that CFS patients have reduced functional B vitamin status (J R Soc Med 92 , Apr. 1999: 183-5). The 11 factors of B complex are crucial to glucose metabolism, stabilization of brain chemistry and inactivation of estrogen, which regulate the body's levels of energy and vitality. n Vitamin C: Helps prevent fatigue linked to infections by stimulating the production of interferon, a chemical that can limit the spread of viruses. Helps fight bacterial and fungal infections by maintaining healthy antibody production and white blood cells. Also necessary for production of adrenal gland hormones which help prevent exhaustion in those under stress.
Bioflavonoids: Help guard against fatigue caused by allergic reactions; their anti-inflammatory properties prevent the production of histamine and leukotrienes that promote inflammation. Bioflavonoids like quercetin are powerfully antiviral.
Vitamin E: Has a significant immune stimulation effect and, at high levels, can enhance immune antibody response.
Zinc: Immune stimulant; improves muscle strength and endurance. Constituent of many enzymes involved in metabolism and digestion. n Magnesium and Malic Acid: Important for the production of ATP, the body's energy source. Magnesium is also important for women who may develop a deficiency from chronic yeast infections.
Potassium: Enhances energy and vitality; deficiency leads to fatigue and muscle weakness.
Calcium: Combats stress, nervous tension and anxiety.
Iodine: Necessary to prevent fatigue caused by low thyroid function, as it is crucial for the production of the thyroid hormone thyroxin.
In addition to nutrients to bolster your immunity, herbal remedies can also help suppress viral and candida infections. Garlic is a powerful, natural antibiotic, while echinacea and goldenseal have strong anti-infective abilities. Other botanicals help combat tiredness and depression: stimulating herbs such as ginger, ginkgo biloba, licorice root and Siberian ginseng can improve vitality and energy. For anxiety, moodiness and insomnia try passionflower or valerian root, which both have a calming effect on the central nervous system.
Eating For Energy
Supplements can only do their best if you eat a nutritious diet. Start by cutting out large quantities of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, dairy products, red meat and fat.
But what are the best foods when trying to restore energy or recover from illness? "High nutrient content foods with a good balance of proteins and carbohydrates," answers Jennifer Brett, ND, interim clinic director and chair of botanical medicine at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine.
"You want foods with high nutritional value-that's where vegetables end up looking better than fruit."
Brett enthusiastically pushes that "universal food," as she calls it: chicken soup.
"In China," she says, laughing, "they do make chicken soup, and they do think of it as healing, because they add Astragalus and shiitake mushrooms. Vegetable soups with chicken or fish have high nutritional value and are easy to digest."
The same principle applies to juices, Brett says. Juices are a good way to tastefully get more phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables into your diet. Toss in protein powder, and you can make a complete meal in your blender.
"You get more energy from juicing," she explains, "more accessible nutrients and carbohydrates that are not bound up in fiber." Brett's additional recommendation: oatmeal.
"It's got protein and carbohydrates combined with a lot of minerals, which you may not get from a sugary cereal," she says. "Sure, they spray some vitamins on them, but if you don't drink the milk in the bottom of the bowl, you'll miss out on them. You might as well take a multivitamin."
Look to fiber for superior energy enhancement. Natural Energy author Schwartz calls it downright "miraculous": "In terms of conserving precious energy, fiber-rich foods are your cells' best friends," she writes. "It takes smaller quantities of them to give you a full, satisfied feeling. They release all their benefits slowly, which allows the cells to extract nutrients with much less effort. Then these fiber-rich foods graciously leave the body with ease and efficiency." Among these "slow burn" foods that Schwartz says raise blood sugar slowly and steadily and maintain energy evenly:
Alfalfa sprouts-high in fiber and low in cholesterol.
Apples-one medium unpeeled provides 10% of the recommended daily fiber dose; unlike sweeter fruits, which are rich in healthful fiber, they help regulate blood sugar.
Broccoli-along with such greens as cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collard greens and broccoli rabe, it's packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals n Brown rice, wild rice, other whole grains-fiber treasure troves, including barley, quinoa, millet and buckwheat.
Corn-excellent fiber source.
Lentils and other legumes-high in fiber, delicious beans are rich in culinary possibilities.
Oat bran and wheat bran-mix into yogurt or add to cereal for the best available access to fiber.
Popcorn-an excellent snack.
Citrus for More Energy
If constant colds and infections are draining your energy, healthy helpings of citrus fruit may be the pickup you need. According to Robert Heinerman, in Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Juices (Parker), citrus fruit have been used for more than a thousand years as natural remedies for a wide variety of ailments:
Kumquat juice is supposed to help clear up bronchitis. Lemon juice with a pinch of table salt eases a sore throat. Lime juice in warm water soothes aches and cramps from the flu. Tangerine juice can break up mucous congestion in the lungs. Along with citrus' vitamin C, these fruits also supply carotenoids, antioxidants that provide disease-preventing benefits. Citrus also often contain calcium, potassium, folate (a B vitamin that fights against heart disease), iron and fiber.
Fruits are loaded with phytochemicals, naturally occurring chemicals that give fruit their vibrant colors. Yellow, red and orange fruits are also high in flavonoids, like quercetin, a substance which fights cancer. Quercetin also aids in prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration, according to author Stephanie Beling, MD, in her book Power Foods (Harper Collins).
Even the US Department of Agriculture agrees on this flavonoid's benefits, noting in its phytochemical database that quercetin is an "antitumor promoter, antiasthmatic, anticarcinogenic, antiplaque, cancer-preventive, capillariprotective." (Quercetin is also available as a supplement.)
Don't Avoid Avocados
For a vitamin rich food, few items beat the avocado which holds vitamins E and C as well as some B vitamins (B6, niacin, riboflavin). A significant source of beta carotene, though not nearly as much as carrots or sweet potatoes, avocados also contain high amounts of the minerals potassium, magnesium, copper and zinc.
Just 15 grams of avocado delivers about 81 international units of vitamin A as beta carotene. Beta carotene, a carotenoid in fruits and vegetables, is converted to vitamin A in the body. This vitamin, aside from providing antioxidant protection from damaging free radicals, is necessary for good eyesight, healthy skin and healing.
In addition, the avocado, like all of these healthy foods, tastes great. Which means that you can pep up and not have to sacrifice taste for zest.
Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
Remember that the path to wellness begins in your mind. Stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation and massage and aromatherapy can have a great rejuvenating effect on your body. If you can learn to handle stress effectively instead of letting it control you-and strengthen your system with the right nutrients and diet-you'll find that fatigue can be a sporadic visitor rather than a chronic companion.
Immunity - The Big Picture
June 10, 2005 09:51 PM
Immunity: The Big Picture by Brian Amherst Energy Times, August 3, 1999
Your body wants to be well. Outfitted with a battalion of defenses for strategic deployment, your immune system explodes with resistant force at the first sign of infective invasion.
Think of the time a tiny splinter embedded itself in your thumb. By bedtime, the spot rose and reddened; by morning, white blood cells had launched their campaign, building a hot, throbbing fortification. By day's end, the bit of wood was propelled to the surface and ejected by the immune system warriors. Once again, a foreign assailant was summarily ousted.
The Protective Force
"Supporting the immune system is critical to good health. Conversely, good health is critical to supporting the immune system." So write naturopathic doctors Michael T. Murray and Joseph E. Pizzorno in their Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima).
Maintaining the immune system requires a comprehensive program of wholesome diet, resilient attitude, fitness enhancing activity and nutrients keyed to the clear and specific needs of this energetic machine.
The all-star lineup for immune sustenance: a high-potency multiple vitamin/mineral formula, vitamins C and A, bioflavonoids, isoflavones, zinc and selenium, antioxidants like ActiVin (grape seed extract) and pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark), as well as the botanicals echinacea and Astragalus.
But optimal partnering with your immune system also benefits from understanding its workings.
Lymph, a milky fluid consisting of water protein and immune cells, is the essence of the immune system. Powered by muscle movement (an important reason why exercise boosts immunity), the lymphatic system collects and transports lymph to the lymph nodes. These nodes contain certain immune cells and filter out invading antigens, as well as produce antibodies, before siphoning the lymph out into the bloodstream.
If you've ever had "swollen glands," that means your lymph nodes have been in overdrive.
Macrophages are the immune cells that filter lymph, consuming bacteria and cellular debris while protecting the lymph system from invasion and damage.
The White Blood Cell Album
In Monocytes collect cellular trash after infections and can trigger immune responses; eosinophils can eliminate foreign particles and, with basophils, are involved in immune response.
In Lymphocytes include varieties of T cells, which work with other white blood cells or attack and destroy foreign tissue, cancer cells or virus-infected cells; B cells that produce antibodies that bind to bacteria, viruses or tumors; and natural killer cells (NKCs) that destroy cancerous or virally-infected cells.
(Based on information in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine; The Road to Immunity: How to Survive and Thrive in a Toxic World (Pocket Books) by Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin; and the Johns Hopkins Family Health Book (Harper Resource).
Keep the System Sound
"But you must always be sure to maintain the mind-body-spirit link," he told Energy Times. "For the mind, it could be exercise, yoga or meditation. Evidence shows improved immune system responses from these therapies. And in any case, you never read in the headlines that somebody has been admitted to the emergency room overdosing on meditation.
"Intentionality also is an important part of the mind link: believing you are going to fare well. For your spirit, you must ask yourself such questions as, Do I feel connected to others?
"For the body, a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement. Much depends on your community: I live on Long Island, where there is a high incidence of breast cancer, so I would recommend green tea and isoflavones from soy products for women."
Dr. Benjamin stresses moderation in the use of immune-intensifying supplements, among which he cites mixed carotenoids, zinc and vitamin E.
The Soy Solution
In a study conducted by the University of Southern California at Norris and published in the March 4, 1998 Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers reported that genistein, an active component of soy products, short-circuits the ability of tumor cells to elude destruction by the immune system due to an excess of defensive stress proteins.
Genistein seems to make cancer cells vulnerable to the immune response. Researchers at Wake Forest University told participants at the January 1999 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that dietary or supplemental soy fed to monkeys counteracted cell proliferation that is a cancer precursor.
That Championship C
Immune cells are known to accumulate and retain high levels of vitamin C. Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York now understand how that happens: Proteins called growth factors (which control growth and production of immune cells) also increase those cells' ability to take up vitamin C.
These researchers, reporting in the April 1998 issue of the journal Blood, explain that the additional glucose that the growth factors pump into immune cells (for enhanced energy), plus extra vitamin C, intensify immune response.
And folks with higher levels of vitamin C in their blood serum experience less cell damage from free radicals that leads to cancer, heart and pulmonary disease and other chronic conditions.
Scientists at the University of Buffalo (addressing the June 13, 1997 meeting of the Society for Epidemiologic Research) deduced from studying population groups that high levels of vitamin C are associated with low oxidative stress and lower risk of cell damage.
From A to Zinc
In Colostrum, the pre-milk liquid produced by mammals during the first 24 to 48 hours after birth, took the spotlight recently as a supplement imbued with multiple immune factors and natural antibiotics that augment body's immune response. A 1992 study showed that bovine colostrum might be able to reduce and prevente infections in immune deficient folks, especially those with AIDS.
In University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute researchers found for the first time (on laboratory animals) that vitamin D appreciably inhibits widespread prostate cancer by binding to cancer cells and triggering cell death or their transformation to benign cells.
In Vitamin E exerts formidable immune-enhancing influence on both antibody and cell-mediated immunity. One fundamental study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (245, 1981: 53-58) established conclusively that vitamin E deficiency results in significant impairment of immune function. Later studies demonstrated that it reduces prostate cancer by up to one-third.
In Coenzyme A, described as a metabolic enzyme, takes part in starting numerous body processes that provide energy for the immune system. If you ever run short of this enzyme, fat processing within your body would grind to a halt.
in Researchers looking at a substance with the tongue twisting name 3-acetyl-7-oxo-Dehydroepiandro-sterone, believe it aids immunity by quelling stress hormones.
in Mushrooms contain natural substances called polysaccharides, believed to enhance immunity. In particular, maitake mushroom, which conveys the immune booster beta-D-glucans, is reputed to help fight infections and drop blood pressure.
in Men and women taking selenium supplements for 10 years had 41% less total cancer than those taking a dummy, according to a January 1997 study by Cornell University and the University of Arizona. Other studies have shown it to reduce the risk for colon cancer by about 60%. n Zinc may provide immediate protection against the all too common cold. Scientists at the University of Florida were the first to apply genetic fingerprinting methods like those used in criminal and paternity investigations to understand how nutrients directly affect human immune cells.
The study, in the April 1998 Journal of Nutrition, demonstrates that zinc signals cells to make the protein metallothionein, which protects against infections, toxins and other stressors.
Phytochemicals a la Carte
n Isoflavones from soy, fight angiogenesis, the process by which new blood vessels form to supply nutrients to cancerous growths. n Sulforaphane in broccoli, kale and cabbage activates anticancer enzymes.
n Omega-3 fatty acids in cold water fish block the synthesis of prostaglandins, natural compounds in the body that promote tumor growth.
n Ginger contains antioxidant compounds, each more potent than vitamin E. Recent studies on mice show ginger can prevent skin tumors. n Rosemary contains carnosol which deactivates carcinogens and helps limit the effects of prostaglandins.
Sometimes the world can look like a dangerous place, especially when you're sick and tired much of the time. But in the search for immunity, menus of health help like this ensure that no matter what your immunity needs, a boost can be yours with the proper nutrient selection.
CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX - Health Secrets from the Rainforest
June 01, 2005 09:59 AM
Standard pharmaceutical drugs came into common use only around the turn of the century. Before that, herbal preparations were administered for health concerns. Today, in nearly every country in the world, herbs are used by health care practitioners as the focal point of health care. Only in the United States is the otherwise widespread use of herbs missing in mainstream culture. But now modern scientific investigation is confirming the benefits of herbal supplementation, which is paving the way for us to reclaim and implement herbs into our everyday lives.
The primary need for preserving the rainforests
Rain Forest Herbs
Scientists’ knowledge of the varied rain forest flora is far from complete. The plants which have been thus far identified are so elaborate in molecular structure that it’s difficult to understand how these molecules function, let alone how to reproduce them. What is known is that the biodiversity of the rain forest yields numerous biologically active plant constituents which can have a profound influence on supporting the body through times of imbalance. Preserving the rain forest means preserving these precious herbs and the unique constituents contained within them.
Cat’s Claw Defense Complex contains powerful rainforest herbs
A Synergistic Blend
Source Naturals CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX harnesses the power of some of the most complex botanicals on earth into a synergistic blend of defense-enhancing herbs, each with a unique set of compounds which complement the body’s natural physiology. Source Naturals CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX is the first step in the rediscovery of a long-standing herbal tradition. Source Naturals was the first full-line supplement company to introduce the herbal superstar, Cat’s Claw, and the first to offer it in a combination formula. CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX provides 2000 mg of Cat’s Claw per four tablets – more than many companies’ single ingredient Cat’s Claw products! It combines powerful rain forest herbs like Pau D’Arco and Western herbs such as Aloe Vera and St. John’s Wort with legendary Chinese herbs (Reishi Mushroom and Astragalus). Source Naturals Cat’s Claw Defense Complex also includes two categories of antioxidants for broad spectrum support.
How we ensure quality and potency
Cat’s Claw & Pau D’Arco – Peruvian Jungle Discoveries
Cat’s Claw was discovered in the depths of the Peruvian Amazon jungle. Researchers have discovered that components extracted from the herb can bolster the body’s innate defenses, address discomforts associated with stress, and support intestinal health. Source Naturals uses only the highest quality Cat’s Claw inner bark – which is at least twenty years old, the amount of time it takes the bark to reach its peak biological activity– and uses a careful process to insure that harvesting the bark doesn’t weaken or destroy the plant. Like all of our herbs, each shipment of Cat’s Claw is also routinely inspected and tested by a trained herbalist to ensure maximum quality and potency. Pau D’Arco is also native to the South American rain forest and, like Cat’s Claw, has a high concentration of active constituents – a combination of anthraquinones and naphthoquinones, primarily lapachol – in the bark of the plant. Each daily dosage of CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX contains 100 mg of Pau D’Arco bark and 100 mg of concentrated Pau D’Arco bark extract for broad spectrum support.
Herbs — Adaptogens for Balance
Of the Chinese herbs, Siberian Ginseng is one of the best known adaptogens. Adaptogens have a balancing effect, helping us adapt to increased stress levels and other changes, like different altitudes or time zones. Thus, supplementation with Siberian Ginseng can help prevent stress-related health concerns. Schizandra, a small creeping vine with red berries, is a Chinese adaptogen which helps regulate the body’s functions and cleanse it of toxins.
Herbs that energize the body and build resistance to impaired bodily function
The trio of Chinese mushrooms – Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake – has been used by Chinese herbalists for centuries, and provides the highest quality natural support for the body’s defenses. Modern science has revealed the true power behind Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake: high levels of polysaccharides – long chain sugar macromolecules which are known for their protective and cleansing abilities. CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX utilizes only the mycelia biomass of Reishi (200 mg), Shiitake (200 mg), and Maitake (150 mg) to ensure the highest level of activity. Astragalus is the premier tonic – or internal strengthener – of Chinese herbalism. In addition to helping energize the body, Astragalus also builds resistance to weakness and to impaired bodily function. Isatis is a cooling herb which has been shown to have a broad spectrum inhibitory action in in-vitro studies, and helps support normal liver function. Used for thousands of years, the aloe plant has been treasured for its varied uses both externally and internally. Aloe Vera juice is high in mucopolysaccharides, which have been found to have powerful protective capabilities. CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX provides 200 mg of aloe (200:1 concentration) extracted from the whole leaf of the plant.
Why St. John’s Wort is powerful and useful
It is generally agreed that hypericin and pseudohypericin, two bioflavonoids which are the active constituents in St. John’s Wort, probably act as monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, which current research has shown are powerful as internal cleansing agents. St. John’s Wort is particularly useful because of its ability to cross the Blood-Brain Barrier, through which many elements are unable to pass.
The liver’s health is essential because of its responsibility for over 500 different functions
Antioxidants and Plantioxidants – Supporting Complete Health
Source Naturals CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX includes key liver-supporting antioxidants like Zinc, Beta Carotene, and Vitamin C – nutrients that help protect the liver from stress and pollution induced free radical damage. These three nutrients are also wellknown for their ability to help strengthen the body’s resistance and move through imbalances quickly. The liver is responsible for over 500 functions, including converting vitamins to their active forms, and processing and eliminating waste products from the body; therefore its health is vital. Plantioxidants™ is Source Naturals’ term for Plant-Derived Antioxidant Bioflavonoids. Though most people are only aware of the vitamin and mineral antioxidants, the latest scientific research has indicated that the plant kingdom may provide the most potent antioxidants in the world. Plants, trees, and citrus fruits all contain bioflavonoids (also called polyphenols) – a large group of restorative compounds with similar chemical structures which help protect the body from the ravages of oxidative damage due to free radicals. Some of the Plantioxidants included in CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX are: Quercetin, which helps inhibit the body’s sensitivity to dangerous particles in the air; Proanthodyn, which promotes tissue repair by helping to strengthen collagen and elastin, the two primary structural components in cartilage; Silymarin, which promotes liver-tissue regeneration and optimizes liver-cell function; Green Tea, a remarkably potent antioxidant; and Ginkgo, which is renowned for helping transport oxygen to the brain.
The way to naturally bolster the body’s defenses
A Holistic Natural Answer
The natural world provides us with a seemingly endless supply of complex herbal compounds with unreplicable and unique constituents so varied and numerous that most doctors aren’t even aware of their existence. Source Naturals would like to change that with CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX – the natural way to bolster the body’s innate defenses. All the ingredients included are at optimal potencies, and in the forms best absorbed by the body. The result? The most powerful, holistic product available to help maintain the structure and function of the natural defenses – Source Naturals CAT’S CLAW DEFENSE COMPLEX.