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Love Your Liver With Milk Thistle
October 13, 2022 03:47 PM
You may have heard of milk thistle before, but you might not be familiar with all of the ways that this traditional herbal remedy can be used. Studies have shown that milk thistle extract can help to maintain healthy liver function and support the body's normal detoxification processes.* In addition, milk thistle has also been traditionally used to support digestive health. Keep reading to learn more about the many benefits of milk thistle.
The liver is a vital organ that plays an important role in detoxification and metabolism. Milk thistle has long been used as a natural way to support liver health. The active compound in milk thistle, silymarin, is a potent antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage.* Clinical studies have shown that milk thistle may help to maintain healthy liver function and support the body's natural detoxification processes.*
In addition to its liver-supporting properties, milk thistle has also been traditionally used to support digestive health. Silymarin can help to reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and promote a healthy gut environment.* One clinical study showed that milk thistle extract was effective in relieving symptoms of functional dyspepsia, such as bloating, abdominal discomfort, and Belching.*
Milk Thistle is a Traditional Herbal Remedy with Many Benefits
As you can see, milk thistle is a traditional herbal remedy with many potential benefits. If you are looking for a natural way to support liver function or digestive health, milk thistle may be worth trying. Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before taking any new supplements, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medication.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your healthcare provider before taking this or any other dietary supplement if you are pregnant, nursing or have a medical condition or take medication as directed on the label.
Prepping basics: 5 Effective natural remedies for ulcers
April 25, 2019 04:41 PM
Peptic ulcers occur when an individual's digestive juices cause damage to the walls of the intestines or stomach. Usually, peptic ulcers are caused by H. pylori, a bacteria that causes inflammation in the digestive tract. Burning pain is the most commonly known symptom of a peptic ulcer. Other symptoms include belching, heartburn, bloating, nausea, and weight loss. Aloe vera taken orally is one natural remedy for ulcers. Cabbage juice, chamomile, and honey also all fight peptic ulcers without the negative side effects of medication. While ulcers are usually just irritating, they will become debilitating if left untreated.
"Ulcers are common, and how they appear and their corresponding symptoms depend on their cause and where they develop on your body."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-06-natural-remedies-for-ulcers.html
Belching, intestinal gas and bloating: Tips for reducing them
June 15, 2017 09:14 AM
Bloating can hurt and can make your clothes not fit correctly. It isn't comfortable. Your skin can feel too tight. You feel large and cumbersome. Gas can embarrass you in public. It can be hard to hid it from others. Belching is the same way. This gives ways to lessen these. This will help you avoid humiliation and discomfort. It's great health advice since many suffer from these problems. They are normal but still aren't fun to deal with.
"Taking your time can help you swallow less air. Try to make meals relaxed occasions; eating when you're stressed or on the run increases the air you swallow."
Read more: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gas-and-gas-pains/in-depth/gas-and-gas-pains/art-20044739
What Health Benefits Juniper Berry Oil Posses
February 19, 2014 03:18 PM
What is juniper berry
With regards to Super foods, berries are right on top of the agenda on the grounds that they are packed with gainful cell reinforcements. One such berry that can help you a great arrangement is the juniper berry oil and through the years, experimental exploration has indicated what a wonder it is.
Organically talking, the juniper berry isn't a real tree grown foods yet the juniper's seed cone. It's viewed as a berry as a result of its scales. The juniper is an evergreen tree and there are obviously 6 types of this tree whose berries are palatable and utilized for a ton of useful purposes.
Juniper berries oil are widely utilized within European cooking, particularly meat based arrangements as it gives one of a kind quality. Gin significant others likewise may be amazed to discover that juniper berries are the essential element in gin. However the juniper berry is eminent for its notoriety as a home grown answer for an unimaginably long rundown of conditions and afflictions.
How it makes a difference
The juniper is truth be told a helpful tree as a large portion of its parts are utilized for a medicinal readiness or the other. In this way, the berries, leaves, bark and even oil determined from the berries and wood are utilized within different ways.
Benefits of juniper berry
Basically a severe berry, the juniper berry holds various unpredictable oils or key oils, strand, vitamin C, flavoring and entire parcel of dynamic fixings that makes it the achievement healer that it is. Note that juniper berries might be taken as teas and the squashed berries could be connected on the skin also for an assortment of sicknesses.
Here is a glance at a portion of the employments of the juniper berry and how it can help us lead healthier lives:
Juniper is recognized to be a herb with the most astounding consequences for kidneys. It is additionally used to cure different urinary tract contaminations and it can uproot uric harsh corrosive from the figure. Juniper makes the kidneys work rapidly and the form transforms more pee, making it a great diuretic additionally.
People confronting water maintenance issues can feel a great deal of alleviation with the juniper berry and its oil due to its diuretic lands.
Oil from the juniper berry has a disinfectant impact and it comes as an extraordinary easing to individuals experiencing urethritis and cystitis.
Suffering from digestive issues? The Berry may very well be your reply as it can help diminish tooting and colic and help processing. It additionally moves issues, for example, bloating, Belching and acid reflux. As a digestive help, it is remarkable as it expands the longing, soothes gas and expansions the generation of gastric harsh corrosive.
Juniper berry oil additionally has calming qualities and it is of superb assistance to those experiencing joint inflammation, gout and different conditions, for example, ailment. These joint related ailments happen due to the liquid maintenance around these joints and the juniper berry with its diuretic activity assuages this weight extensively.
Skin afflictions, for example, dandruff, skin inflammation and contender's foot can additionally be treated with topical provision of the juniper berry.
Juniper helps in invigorating the muscle tone and discernibly decreasing the impacts of ageing for generally individuals.
Menstrual spasms are frequently a significant number of the most troublesome parts of a lady's life; however these can additionally be lessened fundamentally with the assistance of the juniper berry. Numerous cultivators even utilize the juniper to enhance the uterus tone and to help the individuals who have moderate or late beginning periods.
Concentrated oils of the juniper are utilized topically for lung clogging and hack while it is additionally pivotal in helping those experiencing respiratory contaminations. The unpredictable oils help in clearing up bronchial entries and disposing of bodily fluid.
It has a high convergence of insulin and aides in mending the pancreas.
Essential oils extricated from juniper berries can help in soothing toothache and making gums stronger. It can additionally be utilized to oversee hair fall.
Finally, the juniper berry is utilized by numerous to thin down and since it even scrubs the poisons from the form, it is an extraordinary general purifier also.
Juniper does have some noteworthy symptoms and its vital that you're attentive to them before you begin utilizing them as any type of medicine.
Avoid the juniper berry oil in the event that you have extreme kidney issues as it can disturb the issue and cause further harm.
If you utilize more than the endorsed sum, chances are that you could experience the ill effects of loose bowels, kidney torment, high circulatory strain, quick pulse and purplish pee.
When taken inside, it can affect the assimilation of iron and different minerals.
Open wounds are best not treated with juniper on the grounds that it can cause inconvenience and swelling.
Juniper causes uterine fits and could prompt brought down ripeness, so ladies who are endeavoring to get pregnant must escape juniper.
Pregnant ladies ought not to utilize juniper as it can cause uterine compressions and reason a premature birth.
Diabetics must be cautious while utilizing juniper as it can raise the levels of glucose in the form.
Juniper when taken in prudent sums and with individuals, who don't have the shown issues as said above, could be a blessing as it furnishes them with a considerable measure of help.
Why Is DDS Acidophilus A Better Form Of Friendly Bacteria?
April 03, 2012 10:34 PM
Every day, there is constant battle going on between the healthy bacteria who try to create a healthy environment in the digestive tract and the bad bacteria who try to establish dominance. Along with healthy, beneficial bacteria, your gastro-intestinal tract is susceptible to many harmful bacteria that can enter the body through food and water. And if these bad bacteria keep on multiplying unchecked, they create a bacterial imbalance that can affect your digestive health and lead to problems such as bloating, gas pain, constipation, Belching or diarrhea. These harmful bacteria cannot be completely eliminated from the digestive system, but healthy bacteria can be added to the environment of your digestive tract that can counteract the action of bad bacteria. These healthy bacteria also known as probiotics give relief from many types of digestive discomfort, defend your GI tract from free radicals and thus support your immune system function.
Many Bacterial Strains
There are many strains of healthy bacteria such as lactobacillus DDS, lactobacillus fermentum, Bifidobacteria bifidum etc. which boost your digestive health. DDS Acdiophilus is by far the most popular strain commonly used due to its multiple benefits in promoting the digestive health. Researched by Metchnikoff and Dr. Shahani's, L. acidophilus DDS is grown and produced under specific conditions and has properties of great significance for digestion and nutrition as well as other physiological conditions like health and prophylaxis. Till now, this strain is well studied to find its beneficial role in achieving optimal digestive health. It works as a prophylactic, nutrient and antibiotic.
Beneficial Properties Of DDS
The beneficial properties of DDS acidophilus, based on proper research and documentation are:
1. Lactobacillus DDS helps in production of enzymes such as proteases and lipases which help in digestion of proteins and fats.
2. It helps in production vitamin B (and folic acid), which plays the role of biocatalyst in digestion of food.
3. DDS acidophilus produces natural antibiotics such as acidophilin that protect digestive gut from harmful bacteria.
4. It helps in maintaining the integrity of intestinal walls so that maximum absorption of nutrients can occur.
5. It aids digestion and helps you prevent digestion related problems. Lacyobacillus DDS inhibits the growth of toxic producing microorganism in the body, such as yeast and hence inhibits recurrent yeast infections.
6. L. acidophilus DDS helps in alleviating the symptoms of lactose
7. Intolerance by producing large quantities of lactase enzyme, which help in digestion of milk based products.
8. Studies have shown that DDS acidophilus contain antitumor and anti-carcinogenic properties.
9. Due to their antibiotic properties, lactobacillus inhibits several gastrointestinal and uropathogens, thereby preventing many urinary, digestive and vaginal infections.
It helps in metabolism of calcium and reduction of serum cholesterol levels. Hence lactobacillus supplementation helps in preventing as well as curing osteoporosis.
The benefits of DDS acidophilus are not only limited to digestive system but this exceptionally powerful strain of probiotic bacteria helps in supporting your immune system, energy levels and overall well-being. Lactobacillus is widely researched than any other strain of healthy bacteria that promote optimal digestion.
DDS acidophilus strain is available in supplement form that can be taken to enhance digestive health.
Is Cod Liver Oil Good For My Health? The Answe Is Yes!
July 20, 2011 12:26 PM
Cod liver oil can be obtained from the liver of cod fish. Cod fish is a cold water migratory fish with dark spots, five fins and a barbell on the chin area. This fish commonly dwells in the lower regions of deep waters. This kind of fish is ravenous, feeding on smaller fishes and other sea animals. Generally, the maximum weight of cod fish caught is approximately 12 kilograms. However, the largest cod fish ever caught is about six feet in length and 91 kilograms in weight. Cod fish is popular because of its pleasant tasting flesh and liver oil.
Cod liver oil is very beneficial to the human system. It contains high concentrations of essential omega – 3fatty acids such as Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA). EPA is responsible for the maintenance of cardiovascular health. It also has anti – inflammatory property thus effective as a relief treatment for arthritis. DHA, on the other hand, is the fatty acid which is responsible for the health and normal functioning of the brain and eyes. These fatty acids are especially important for pregnant women. Fatty acids are important for the development of the fetus’s nervous system. With its effects on brain functioning, fatty acids can also prevent depression.
Cod liver oil is also very rich with vitamins A and D. Vitamin A is significant for good eyesight and healthy skin and strong shiny hair. Vitamin D is also important because it improves calcium absorption thus helping you to have strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D also plays a significant role in immune system health and the regulation of blood glucose levels thus reducing the risk of Diabetes Mellitus Type 2.
Today, cod liver oil can already be acquired by taking supplements. Cod liver oil supplements are relatively safe. In rare cases, cod liver oil can have little unwanted effects such as gastric upset, heartburn and Belching. Experts highly recommend that you take cod liver oil with meals to prevent adverse effects. Indeed, cod liver oil has many health benefits but this does not ensure that supplementing in higher doses than recommended is alright. Cod liver oil is a potent blood – thinning agent thus increasing the risk of bleeding when taken in higher dosages. Excessive amounts of vitamin A and D may also bring about nausea and loose bowel movement.
The recommended dosing of cod liver oil varies depending on the purpose. To decrease triglyceride levels and lower blood pressure, scientific research recommends 20 milliliters of cod liver oil daily. For individuals with high cholesterol levels, consume 30 milliliters of cod liver oil daily.
To be safe, experts recommend that you should consult your doctor before beginning cod liver oil supplementation. It is important that you should discuss your health status and any other medications taken whether prescribed or not. Those who are taking antihypertensive, anti - platelet and anticoagulant medications must take cod liver oil supplement cautiously. Cod liver oil might further slow blood clotting thus increasing the risk of bleeding or may cause your blood pressure to be very low.
Digestive Essentail Enzymes
January 04, 2009 10:29 AM
Years of researching various health-promoting herbs, vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements has led to the conclusion that enzyme therapy is one of the most valuable ways to maintain and promote good health. Not very many of us actually understand the enormous role that enzymes play in health maintenance, with many of us actually being enzyme depleted due to the over-consumption of cooked enzyme-less foods and the under-consumption of raw whole foods. The human digestive system was designed for a diet that is full of raw plants and fruits, but many foods today are processed, refined, heated, and fragmented.
By eating foods that have lost their own natural enzymes, the pancreas and other organs that supply digestive enzymes are over-worked. This results in enzymatic function in other areas of the body to become compromised, which leads to disastrous health implications. Replenishing enzymes through diet and supplementation is an easy way to make up for the typical diet that is full of mostly dead foods.
The human digestive system is one of the most perfectly designed systems in the body, typically functioning without problems. This means that if we are eating the right foods in the right way, then we should not have to rely on antacids, H2 antagonists, proton-pump inhibitors, and laxatives. Burping, Belching, and bloating, no matter how often they occur, are actually not normal. It is ironic that the human body has a system that is far more impressive than any other machine built by humans, but we suffer from breakdowns all the time such as abdominal cramps after eating, inordinate amounts of gas, sluggish colons, and an overall lousy feeling after eating.
Statistics prove that we are not eating the right foods, and even if we were, many of us are not properly absorbing all of their nutrients because we consume huge amounts of sugar, drugs, caffeine, alcohol, and highly processed refined foods that prevent normal digestive processes. Being under constant stress and eating on the run, along with our unhealthy food choices, creates an environment inside our body that causes common cases of heartburn and indigestion, possibly leading to ulcers and colon disease.
Enzymes are protein molecules that are responsible for thousands of physiological reactions that take place in the human body. They initiate and control almost every biochemical process that occurs in the body, with nearly three thousand individual enzymes being identified to date. Enzymes help our body to digest food, repair tissue, and eliminate dangerous toxins. Digestive enzymes break down food particles, which allows them to pass through the intestinal wall and enter the bloodstream. The enzymes that are found in the blood transform nutrient particles into tissue that is found in muscles, nerves, organs, and glands.
Enzymes also contribute to the process that stores sugar in the liver and muscle tissue and preserves fatty tissue. Additionally, digestive enzymes are part of the chemical reaction that creates urea. Some enzymes even help to detoxify our blood and tissue by allowing our immune system to attack foreign material. Lastly, metabolic enzymes help create energy in our body on a cellular level by converting foot to energy, which then fuels nearly every mechanism in the body. Do you get enough enzymes on a daily basis?
Milk Thistle May Help With Cirrhosis, Gallstones, and Hepatitis Liver Problems
November 14, 2007 12:34 PM
Milk thistle, botanically Silybum Adans, is a member of the daisy family that is native to the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa but has also been introduced to California and parts of the eastern side of the USA, and can help with problems such as cirrhosis, gallstones and hepatitis. Although it has been recorded as being used in medieval times as a tonic for the liver, it is only relatively recently that its chemical components have been investigated. Analysis indicated the presence of hitherto unknown flavonoids which were given the name of silymarin. In general, flavonoids are strong antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables that eat up the free radicals that cause so much damage to our bodies.
Free radicals are very unstable molecules that are generated through pollution, such as smoking, car fumes, perticides etc, and that destroy body cells accelerating aging. They also oxidise the low density lipids (LDL) that carry water-insoluble cholesterol through the blood to the arteries where it is needed to repair damage, resulting in excess deposition and the atherosclerosis that can cause strokes and heart disease.
Antioxidants mop these up like a sponge, and are some of the healthiest types of molecules that we can consume. The silymarin group of flavonoids are particularly attracted to the liver where they act as antihepatoxic agents that prevent the liver from becoming poisoned. But why should the liver be poisoned I can hear you ask, and what are the poisons involved? Can we avoid them? It is a very relevant question, and one that will make you wonder, every time you leave your home, especially if you live in a big city or an industrialized area.
Smoking cigarettes, working with volatile organic compounds that you can breathe in, such as paint and printing ink solvents, the exhaust fumes of cars and diesel engines, factory chimneys Belching out tons of smoke, analgesics such as paracetamol, pesticides on your fruit and vegetables that you have failed to wash off, alcohol, etc, etc, etc…
All of these have to be removed from your body or you will die, awash with all these poisons that you have ingested, some deliberately and some not. The organ that does this is your liver: the powerhouse chemical plant of your body that carries out millions of biochemical reactions every day. Your liver converts all of these poisons into molecules that can be flushed away through your body naturally. However it places great stresses upon it, and even your liver needs a rest sometimes, or even just a little rejuvenating tonic would keep it happy.
Milk thistle has been used for just that purpose, especially when the liver has been toxified with excess alcohol, pesticide poisoning or even hepatitis. The silymarin initially coats the cells of the liver by binding to the cell membranes of the cell walls, so that the toxins are hindered from entering the cells. Its antioxidant properties then neutralise any free radicals present that are causing the damage to the liver cells.
It also helps to stimulate the production of proteins to help the healing process, and reduces the fibrosis that is the development of fibrous masses outside the liver cells caused by damaged cells excreting materials such as collagens outside the cells into the general body of the liver. Finally, milk thistle helps to prevent the activity of the immune system in causing inflammation of the damaged cells.
Silymarin acts very specifically on the liver, and is often used by physicians in the treatment of such liver conditions as jaundice, hepatitis, liver cancer and cirrhosis. In addition to its own effects it appears that it stimulates the production of glutathione that is also a very powerful natural tripeptide antioxidant produced by the body when it is under oxidative stress. Its effect on cancer and some diseases is not curative, but to allow the liver to continue to detoxify the body when otherwise it might fail and lead to toxicity problems from which the patient might not be able to recover.
Due to the remarkable regenerative powers of the liver, milk thistle is able to stimulate it into repairing its damage and grow fresh cells to replace the damaged ones. This is the reason for its effectiveness in otherwise very serious degenerative diseases. It is often prescribed by doctors for patients who are taking a number of different medications. Which help the liver to metabolize these medications, since without it, it might struggle to provide the true efficacy of the prescribed drugs.
So far we have been concentrating on the liver, but milk thistle has other properties not connected directly with the hepatic function. It can help to promote the production of bile in the gall bladder and so give the digestive system a boost when needed, where it also acts as a mild laxative. However, it can also help patients suffering from both lose stools and constipation due its effect. It can also help to relieve gallstones, though medical tests are generally carried out first to ensure that they are not too large for the milk thistle to handle.
It is also an anti-inflammatory, and is useful in the treatment of acne and other inflammatory responses, and also for inflammations in the gall bladder, kidney and bladder. There are few serious side effects, although, as milk thistle rids the body of toxins, these toxins can cause problems such as diarrhea, headaches and abdominal pain. Keep in mind that you are releasing poisons from the liver into your system so that they can be expelled by the usual means, and they will put up a fight along the way. However, the milk thistle will usually win in the end.
There currently appear to be no long term issues with taking milk thistle as a supplement over a long period, and it is good way to maintain a healthy liver. Keep in mind that the liver is the body’s chemical plant, where most of the biochemical reactions of life take place, and without we cannot survive. It makes sense, therefore, to look after your liver, and milk thistle is one way of doing that; some would say the best way.
So remember that, although milk thistle may help with cirrhosis, gallstones and hepatitis liver problems, you should be prepared for a short struggle before it wins the day. Always consult your family physician for a clear diagnosis before self prescribing herbs as treatment. Your physician can advise you as the correct course of action to take once diagnosed with a liver blood test first. But, to boost overall health and wellness milk thistle is a great herbal supplement to take on a daily basis.
Peppermint Oil for IBS
March 24, 2007 11:01 AM
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a painful and frequently frustrating disorder of the intestines that’s often difficult to treat. Fortunately, there are scientifically studied natural products that effectively reduce the distressing symptoms of IBS.
Q. What is IBS?
A. IBS causes crampy pain, gassiness, bloating, and alterations in bowel habits. IBS is termed a functional disorder, because when the colon is examined, there is no visible sign of disease. While IBS causes significant pain and distress, no actual damage is occurring in the intestines.
There is a wide variability in IBS. Symptoms may be mild and fairly well tolerated. Or, the pain, discomfort, and bowel dysfunction may be disabling, limiting social interactions, employment, or travel.
While some individuals with IBS have diarrhea (frequent, loose stools with an urgent need to move the bowels), others have constipation (hard, infrequent stools that are difficult to pass). And, still others may experience both. Individuals with IBS also may have painful abdominal cramps and feel an urgent need to move the bowels, but are unable to do so.
A. The small intestine receives digestive material from the stomach and delivers it to the large intestine (colon). About two quarts (2,000 ml) of digestive material enter the colon from the small intestine every day. The colon absorbs water and salts from the material, which is progressively moved through the colon. This progressive movement continues until most of the fluid and salts are absorbed into the body and stool is formed. The stool passes to the left side of the colon, where it is stored until a bowel movement occurs.
Because researchers haven’t been able to find actual damage in the colon, it once was suggested that individuals with IBS have emotional problems or are overly susceptible to stress. While stress may cause symptoms of IBS to intensify, it doesn’t cause the condition.
Recent study has determined the colon muscle of an individual with IBS spasms after only mild stimulation. It’s thought the symptoms of IBS are produced by hyperactivity of the intestines. In other words, the intestines of individuals with IBS are more reactive to stressors and diet than usual. Almost everyone has experienced abdominal queasiness in response to everyday stress or certain foods. This may result in a brief bout of diarrhea or an upset stomach. However, this response is exaggerated in individuals with IBS.
Q. How prevalent is IBS?
A. IBS is very common. In fact, it’s one of the most frequent problems seen by family physicians. It’s the most common disorder diagnosed by gastroenterologists (physicians specializing in the treatment of digestive disorders). The overall prevalence rates range from 10% to 20% of the general population in most industrialized countries. As a result, the pain and disabling symptoms associated with IBS result in significant socioeconomic costs, as wall as reduction in quality of life for many individuals.
A. Normal bowel function varies from person to person. Some people move their bowels daily, while others may only have two to three stools a week. A normal bowel movement is soft, formed, and is easily passed without cramping or pain.
IBS, however, causes abdominal cramps and pain, which are often severe and disabling. Bowel movements may be irregular and alternate between diarrhea and constipation. The diarrhea may be quite loose and watery. Mucous may be passed. There is often much straining, urgency, and feeling of incomplete evacuation (emptying). Abdominal bloating and passing of gas is common. Nausea, lack of appetite, heartburn, and Belching may also be present. Sleep may be disrupted resulting in fatigue and lack of energy. Understandably, persons with IBS often feel anxious and depressed.
Diagnosis of IBS is usually based on the continuous presence or recurrence of these symptoms for at least three months. Other intestinal conditions must be ruled out. These include Chron’s disease, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, inflammatory conditions of the stomach or pancreas, ulcers, infectious disease, or gastroesphageal reflux disease.
Q. Are there clinically demonstrated natural alternatives to the over-the-counter drugs prescribed by my doctor?
A. Yes, both enteric-coated peppermint oil and clown’s mustard (in combination with other herbs) have significant scientific research behind them. Both have been demonstrated to benefit individuals with IBS.
Q. What is clown’s mustard and what does it do?
A. The scientific name for clown’s mustard is Iberis amara. Other names for this herb are wild candytuft and bitter candytuft. Clown’s mustard is a white-flowering plant from Spain, where it grows in dry soil on hillsides and in cornfields. It is also grown in Britain, France, and the United States. Iberis amara is a member of the Brassicaceae family. Iberis refers to its place of origin, the Iberian Peninsula. Amara means bitter. The key components of clown’s mustard are glycosides and flavonoids that have specific actions on gastrointestinal tract tone.
Q. Is there scientific evidence that clown’s mustard benefits people with IBS?
A. There has been very impressive research on clown’s mustard (in combination with other herbs). And, it has been used with great success in Germany for many years to treat IBS and other gastrointestinal diseases.
In a study of an herbal combination containing clown’s mustard, 20 patients were given the herbal combination for three to 32 days. They all had been diagnosed with chronic functional disorders for at least one to 20 years. The symptoms the patients experienced included pressure and pain in the abdomen, Belching, heartburn, vomiting, nausea, fullness, lack of appetite, constipation, and diarrhea. The patients have been treated for their problems with a variety of antacids, anti-spasmodic agents, and motility-inducing substances. For the purposes of the study, the patients stopped taking these medications and received treatment only with the herbal combination.
Abdominal pressure and pain in the abdomen was the most common of all the experienced symptoms, with 11 of the patients rating it as severe. After six days of treatment, only sic of the patients continued to rate their abdominal pain and pressure as severe. After two weeks, this symptom had completely resolved for 16 of the patients. Diarrhea had been rated as severe in five of the patients. By day 14, only one patient continued to have moderate diarrhea.
Medications prescribed and taken for cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases often cause gastrointestinal problems. Because these conditions are chronic, these medications must be taken for a long time, often for life. With long-term use, these medications can cause erosion of the stomach lining and actual ulcers. Many of these medication-caused symptoms are similar to IBS symptoms: pressure and pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, abdominal fullness, and lack of appetite. Most, if not all, of the individuals who have gastrointestinal problems caused from medications experience two or more of these IBS symptoms.
Forty patients who were taking medications for various types of cardiovascular disease and arthritis, and who are experiencing gastrointestinal problems related to their medications, were enrolled in a study. These symptoms included pressure and pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, abdominal fullness, and lack of appetite. Twenty patients received clown’s mustard combined with other herbs that support gastrointestinal motility. Three days after the trial started, a significant improvement of all s symptoms was noted in those taking this combination. By day 14, abdominal pressure and pain, nausea, and heartburn were completely eliminated in the herbal combination group. Several other clinical trials that were conducted in Germany report similar results.
Q. How does this herb compare to prescription drugs?
A. A study compared clown’s mustard (combined with other herbs) to Reglan (metoclopramide), which is frequently prescribed to reduce the symptoms of IBS. While metoclopramide is a very effective medication, it also has numerous side effects. Metoclopramide can cause fatigue, anxiety, agitation, jitteriness, insomnia, yellowing of the skin or eyes, changes in vision, hallucinations, and seizures. Because of these serious side effects, metoclopramide must not be taken longer than 12 weeks.
In comparison study, 77 subjects were randomized to receive treatment of either clown’s mustard in a combination with other herbs, or metoclopramide. All subjects had pain and pressure in the abdomen, cramping, abdominal fullness, nausea, heartburn, and lack of appetite. The subjects took 20 drops of their assigned treatment after meals three times daily. The duration of treatment was one to two weeks.
In both groups, a parallel improvement of all symptoms was observed. At no point in the study was a statistically significant difference in symptoms found. Both treatments significantly reduced pain and pressure in the abdomen, cramping, abdominal fullness, nausea, heartburn, and lack of appetite. In short, both metoclopramide and the clown’s mustard herbal combination worked well at reducing the symptoms of IBS.
However, side effects occurred more frequently and severely in the metoclopramide group. Given the lack of differences noted between the products at reducing symptoms of IBS, it would seem sensible to choose the treatment with the fewest reported side effects and no limits on duration of use.
A. Peppermint oil has been shown to relax intestinal smooth muscle. In Great Britain, peppermint oil is currently being prescribed for IBS by physicians and it has been used as a digestive aid and to soothe upset stomachs for generations.
Peppermint oil has also been studied for use in an important examination of the colon. A colonoscopy is a procedure of viewing the interior lining of the large intestine (colon) using a colonoscope, a slender, flexible, hollow, lighted tube about the thickness of a finger. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine supports the idea that even people who are not at risk for colon cancer should have this test. The American Cancer Society recommends that men and women at average risk of colon cancer should have a colonoscopy every 10 years, beginning at age 50.
During a colonoscopy, individuals are sedated and almost no discomfort is experienced. The insertion of the colonoscope into the rectum and up through the colon causes some spasming. This is a natural and expected event and the physician performing the exam administers medications that effectively reduce the spasms.
A recent study compared the use of peppermint oil and commonly used medications to reduce the colonic spasming in colonoscopy. The peppermint oil was introduced directly into the colon. Effective reduction of colon spasming was observed in 88% of the patients.
In a critical review and meta-analysis of peppermint oil for irritable bowel syndrome published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, eight randomized controlled trials were identified. The studies collectively showed peppermint oil is superior to placebo in improvement of the symptoms of IBS. Because of the good results of these trials, the authors of the review urged additional study of peppermint oil in IBS.
However, straight peppermint oil is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream from the stomach. In recent studies comparing enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules and non-enteric coated oil, both preparations provided effective symptom relief. However, the studies concluded the enteric-coated capsules delivered the benefit of the peppermint oil directly to the intestines. In the treatment of IBS, enteric-coated supplemental peppermint is most definitely preferred.
In fact, an enteric-coated peppermint oil capsule containing rosemary and thyme is extremely effective in the treatment of IBS. All three of these oils are classified as volatile oils, derivatives found in plants that impart taste and aroma. The combination of peppermint, thyme, and rosemary oils in enteric-coated capsules provides significant relief in IBS-related pain.
Q. Can clown’s mustard and other herbs be taken with enteric-coated peppermint oil?
A. Yes, peppermint oil capsules and clown’s mustard can be used together. However, depending on the symptoms, individuals with IBS may want to start with one supplement and then add the other if needed.
Q. How do consumers find these formulas?
A. Fortunately, herbal combinations containing clown’s mustard and enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules are both available at health food stores, natural product supermarkets, pharmacies, and from health professionals. Most knowledgeable sales personnel and health professionals can direct consumers to the most effective products.
Q. What should customers look for when purchasing peppermint oil?
A. As mentioned before, enteric coating of the peppermint oil is extremely important. The coating prevents the oil from being absorbed in the stomach. The enteric coated-capsule moves through the stomach to the small intestine and eventually to the colon, where it is released for maximum benefit.
Q. What is the dosage for peppermint oil?
A. The German Commission E approved peppermint oil for the treatment of irritable colon. In enteric-coated form, the Commission E recommends 0.6 ml per day. Enteric-coated peppermint capsules are available.
Q. Are there side effects or other contraindications?
A. Sometimes, the enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules may cause a transient burning sensation in the rectum when moving bowls. Reducing the dose will correct this.
Individuals who must refrain from alcohol should not take clown’s mustard in an herbal tincture, which may contain alcohol.
Q. What else can IBS patients do to feel better?
A. Food allergies or food intolerance may be associated with IBS. Dairy products and certain grains may trigger a painful episode of IBS. Determining those foods that initiate the problems and eliminating them from your diet can be very helpful.
Many people report their symptoms occur after a meal. Hyperactivity of the intestine of IBS is the response. Often, the strength of this response after a meal is in direct relation to the number of calories and he amount of fat in the meal. Reducing saturated fat, limiting calories, and increasing fiber intake may be helpful.
Stress also stimulates the intestinal hyperactivity. Relaxation training may reduce some IBS symptoms. Listening to therapeutic audiotapes, hypnosis, counseling, and biofeedback all have been shown to improve the healing response in persons with IBS.
IBS can be painful and frustrating, capable of causing much distress. While currently there is no cure for IBS, the symptoms can be managed. The pain, abdominal discomfort, and bowel problems of IBS all respond well to treatment with the use of key herbs, including clown’s mustard, and enteric-coated peppermint oil. These herbal combinations can be both effective and safe in treating IBS. Clown’s mustard and enteric-coated peppermint oil are both effective front-line natural alternatives for IBS treatment.
Betaine HCI and Pepsin
January 28, 2007 08:41 PM
Betaine HCI and Pepsin
Betaine HCl is a form of HCl used as a nutrient to supplement the stomach’s own production of HCl, or stomach acid. While occasional indigestion may be a result of acid irritating tissue in the structure above the stomach known as the esophagus, a line of research suggests that the cause of this irritation may actually be less than optimal stomach acid production. Stomach acid is normally produced by the parietal cells of the stomach and the function of stomach acid is to break down food that enters the stomach into smaller fragments and nutrient components. These components move through the stomach into the small intestine where they are further broken down by digestive enzymes in the upper part of the small intestine. The individual nutrients that result from the digestion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates can then be absorbed and assimilated by the body and used for metabolism and growth. However, optimal stomach acid production is certainly a major step for the efficiency of the digestive process. Less than ideal stomach acid production prevents foods from being broken down properly and places an added burden on the remainder of the digestive process, including enzyme production from the pancreas.
As mentioned earlier, the presence of optimal stomach acid is necessary for the digestion and absorption of critical nutrients. Amino acids and other peptides from proteins, minerals, vitamin B12 and folic acid are examples of nutrients that require proper levels of stomach acid for their absorption and usage. The presence of adequate acid in the stomach is also required for the conversion of the digestive enzyme pepsin. Pepsin is produced in the stomach from its precursor pepsinogen, which is secreted by cells known as chief cells, and functions to help with the digestion of proteins. Pepsin breaks proteins down into their amino acid components. Since stomach acid is essential to the process of absorbing our nutrients from food, lack of sufficient acid production may lead to decreased health and general well-being.
Ideal stomach acid production is also essential for maintaining a healthy bacterial balance in the intestines. Firstly, acid production in the stomach itself provides a protective barrier that keeps the stomach environment safe. Secondarily, low levels of stomach acid can lead to improperly, incompletely, or poorly-digested food fragments that may cause an imbalance in the growth of normal bacterial flora in the intestines. Achieving the correct balance of flora is a key to maintaining proper digestive function and overall health.
Research also suggests that the body’s capacity to produce stomach acid normally declines as we age. Moreover, stress and other factors may impact proper stomach acid production. Occasional heartburn, bloating, Belching, discomfort, and a "sour stomach" may often result from this. Food that we eat enters the stomach through the esophagus, or food pipe. At the junction of the esophagus with the stomach is a muscular structure known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When food enters the stomach for digestion, the LES normally contracts, narrowing the passageway between the esophagus and the stomach and preventing the backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus. A major trigger for the process of tightening the sphincter is the presence of sufficient stomach acid.
When sufficient stomach acid is sensed, the LES will close. However, in conditions where there is a lack of stomach acid, the sphincter remains open, allowing stomach contents, including acid, to flow back through the opening, potentially creating a sense of irritation and discomfort. Adequate stomach acid production is an essential criterion for the sphincter to function properly and prevent the backflow of stomach contents.1
A recent study assessed the incidence and causes of low vitamin B12 levels in elderly patients. The researchers suggest that the incidence of decreased vitamin B12 in the elderly, based on results of some epidemiological studies, is as high as 30-40%. When they looked at the possible causes of low B12 levels in 200 individuals that they followed, they found that food-B12 malabsorption accounted for 60-70% of the cases.2 In other words dietary B12 is bound to foods, generally animal proteins. The protein is normally broken down in conjunction with acid and pepsin in the stomach. However, low production of stomach acid may decrease the efficiency of this process and vitamin B12 remains bound to the protein source, leaving it unavailable to be absorbed. The absorption of countless other nutrients may also be impacted by low stomach acid and pepsin levels.
Gentian is an herb that is native to parts of Europe and Asia. The root has been used extensively by traditional herbalists to support digestive function due in large part to its bitter constituents. Its present day use as a therapeutic herb dates back to the Romans and Greeks, and related species have even been used in the Indian Ayurvedic system. Various traditional texts classify gentian as a bitter tonic and digestive stimulant, due to its ability to promote the secretion of digestive enzymes. The German Commission E has approved the use of gentian for digestive support, which leads to an increased secretion of saliva and digestive juices.3
Supplementation with the combination of nutrients and cofactors present in Betaine HCl Pepsin & Gentian supports the normal digestive function of the stomach and helps to ensure that the body maintains the efficiency of nutrient absorption from the foods that we eat. Gentian serves to stimulate digestive secretions in the stomach, priming it to digest the food that we eat, while supplemental Betaine HCl and pepsin provide support to the body’s innate production of these digestive factors.
Take 1 capsule with each meal, or as recommended by a healthcare professional.
1. Wright, Jonathan V., MD and Lane Lenard, PhD. Why Stomach Acid is Good For You. New York: Evans, 2001. 2. Andres E, et al. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) deficiency in elderly patients. CMAJ 2004; 171(3): 251-259. 3. Blumenthal M, Goldberg A and J Brinckmann, eds. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 2000.
Assists Digestion of Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats
September 03, 2005 01:30 PM
Assists Digestion of Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats
Digestive enzymes are produced by the pancreas and secreted into the duodenum (upper small intestine), where proteins, carbohydrates and fats are broken down prior to absorption. As we age, the body’s capacity to produce enzymes may decline. Moreover, stress and other health difficulties can impact enzyme production. Overeating sometimes causes incomplete digestion. Heartburn, bloating, Belching, discomfort, and a “sour stomach” often result.
Supplementation with the enzymes in Best For Digestion supports replenishment of the body’s enzyme level, helping to relieve the burden on an overworked pancreas. Digezyme® contains a neutral protease which, like the body’s intrinsic protein-digesting enzymes, is active in the neutral to alkaline pH range. In addition to amylase for starch digestion and lipase for fats, Digezyme® also supplies lactase, which acts on milk sugar, and cellulase, which breaks down cellulose.
Benefits of Enzyme Supplementation
Enzyme supplementation promotes improved digestion and delivery of vital nutrients to the system. This benefits good health in many ways, including better elimination, improved energy levels and maintenance of healthy body weight. Enzymes also help prevent accumulation of undigested foods in the large intestine, which can be a source of toxicity for the body.
Supports Digestive Function According to Ancient Principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Disturbed digestion, whether from overeating or generally poor digestive-organ function, results in sluggish movement of food through the alimentary canal and sub-optimal nutrient absorption. In traditional Chinese medical theory, the functions of transporting food and assimilating nutrients are governed by the stomach and “spleen.” The “Qi,” or vital functional energy of these organs, is complimentary in action. Stomach Qi “descends” as food travels downward through the digestive tract. Overeating and poor digestion interfere with the stomach’s normal descending function, resulting in “food stagnation.” If stomach Qi “rebels upward,” the result is nausea and vomiting. The herbs in Best For Digestion, which include stomach tonics such as Ginger root, assist the descending function of the stomach, and have been traditionally used as remedies for “food stagnation.”
The “spleen” in Chinese medicine encompasses the digestive role of the pancreas. Spleen Qi normally “ascends.” This can also be explained from a Western perspective. When nutrients are absorbed, they enter the circulation through intestinal capillaries, travel upward to the liver via the hepatic portal system, and continue up to the heart, eventually to be circulated throughout the body. Several of the herbs in Best For Digestion are traditional “spleen tonics” that support the ascending of spleen Qi, thus assisting optimum nutrient absorption.
Digestive Enzymes and Traditional Chinese Herbs: A Novel Approach to Better Digestion
Combining digestive enzymes and Chinese herbs that support digestive function is a unique new approach to better digestion. Whether the problem is temporary “food stagnation” or a more long-term need for improved digestive organ function, Best For Digestion provides valuable assistance.
2. Chinese Herbal Materia Medica compiled and translated by Dan Bensky and Andrew Gamble©1986, Eastland Press, Inc., Seattle, WA.
3. Barillas, C., Solomons, N. Effective reduction of lactose maldigestion in preschool children by direct addition of ß-galactosidases to milk at mealtime. Pediatrics 1987;79(5):766-72.
4.DiPalma, J., Collins,M. Enzyme replacement for lactose malabsorpiton using a beta-d-galactosidase. J Clin Gastroenterol 1989;11(3):290-3.
June 25, 2005 09:56 AM
Fresh Rub: A fresh clove of garlic can be used directly on warts and verrucae. When added to the diet, it works as a prophylactic against infection, helps to reduce high blood cholesterol and improves the cardiovascular system. Eating garlic regularly can also help to lower blood sugar levels.
Juice: Garlic juice can be taken for digestive disorders, infectious diseases and for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Capsules: Powdered garlic can be taken in capsules and can be purchased in deodorized form. Garlic capsules are a convenient way to supplement the diet with garlic and are good for heart disease, high blood pressure and to fight infections of any kind. Pearls: Pearls are capsulized garlic oil which have been deodorized and are sometimes used as an alternative to the capsules.
(Note: Garlic pearls which have been deodorized are sometimes less potent in their biochemical action. Garlic’s strong, pungent odor compounds are excreted through the lungs and the skin. Eating fresh parsley and lemon juice can help to neutralize garlic odor on the breath.)
Maceration: Garlic cloves can be steeped in water overnight and taken as a treatment for intestinal parasites. Aged Oil: Considered by some to be a superior form of garlic. Storage: Fresh garlic can be stored in a cool, dry, dark place. Garlic extracts and oils should be kept in dark bottles and can be refrigerated.
Recommended Usage: Garlic pills and extracts should be taken as recommend on their labels. If using garlic in cooked form, it can be eaten abundantly. Raw garlic is stronger and should not be eaten indiscriminately as gastric upset might occur. Capsules and pills are best taken with meals.
Safety: Garlic is considered safe when taken in reasonable amounts however it is very heating and when ingested in excess can irritate the stomach. Taken in therapeutic doses during pregnancy or while nursing may cause some gastric upset. Placing fresh, raw garlic or garlic oil directly on the skin may also cause irritation or contact dermatitis. When using garlic externally, apply a layer of olive oil to the skin first.
Very high dosages of garlic tincture have been known to cause leukocytosis. Garlic does not have to be consumed raw to be effective. Moreover, the typical odor of garlic does not always have to be present in order for it to still posses health benefits. If you experience side effects such as a burning sensation when urinating, heartburn, flatulence or Belching, you may want to use a processed garlic extract. To avoid garlic breath, deodorized forms of garlic are available. If taken properly, the safety and efficacy of garlic has been well established.