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The Best Natural Over-the-Counter Sinus Remedies: Effective Solutions for Your Sinus Problems
April 30, 2022 11:04 AM
Sinus problems are a common occurrence during the winter months. Cold weather, dry air, and allergens can all contribute to sinus congestion and inflammation. If you are looking for an over-the-counter sinus remedy that will provide relief from your symptoms, you have come to the right place! In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most effective over-the-counter sinus remedies on the market. We will also provide tips on how to choose the right one for you. So don't suffer any longer - read on for information on the best over-the-counter sinus remedies available today!
What are the most common symptoms of sinus problems?
Sinus problems are very common, and the symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the issue. One of the most common symptoms is a feeling of congestion or fullness in the sinuses. This can be accompanied by pain and pressure in the forehead, cheeks, or around the eyes. Other common symptoms include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, and fatigue. In some cases,sinus problems can also lead to fever and difficulty breathing. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor so that you can get proper treatment.
What are the causes of sinus problems?
Sinus problems are a common and often frustrating issue, with a wide range of underlying causes. From environmental irritants like pollen and dust to infectious agents like bacteria and viruses, there are an almost limitless number of possible culprits behind sinus troubles. Additionally, certain foods, medications, or other habits can also affect the delicate balance of mucus in the sinuses. Ultimately, understanding the various factors that influence a person's susceptibility to sinus problems is the key to effectively managing these conditions. By identifying any triggers or risk factors one can minimize the impact of sinus issues on everyday life.
What are the best natural over-the-counter sinus remedies available today?
Sinusitis is a condition that affects the sinuses, the small, air-filled cavities located around the nose and eyes. It occurs when these cavities become inflamed, often due to a viral infection. Sinusitis can be extremely painful, causing congestion, headaches, and facial pain. While there are many over-the-counter medications available to treat sinusitis, some people prefer to use natural remedies. One popular natural remedy is steam inhalation. This involves inhaling steam from a pot of Boiling water or from a humidifier. The steam can help to loosen mucus and reduce inflammation. Another popular option is saltwater irrigation, which involves using a neti pot or nasal sprayer to rinse the sinuses with warm saltwater. This can help to flush out irritants and ease congestion. Natural remedies are often safe and effective, making them a good option for treating sinusitis.
Luckily, there are a number of effective natural over-the-counter remedies that can help to alleviate symptoms like congestion and inflammation. For example, nettle leaf is a popular herb with a long history of use in naturopathic medicine. Rich in minerals and anti-inflammatory compounds, it can help to clear out toxins from the sinuses while also soothing swelling and reducing pain. Other possible remedies include quercetin, an antioxidant found in many fruits and vegetables that has been shown to have antihistamine effects, and anti-histamine formulas containing herbs or plant oils that naturally regulate histamine levels. Ultimately, the best remedy for your individual sinus issues will depend on your specific symptoms and preferences.
Nettle leaf to relieve sinus allergy symptoms.
As we have said, allergies are a common problem, affecting millions of people worldwide. They can cause a range of symptoms, from mild sniffling and sneezing to severe congestion and difficulty breathing. Many people rely on over-the-counter medications to alleviate their allergy symptoms, but these drugs can have undesirable side effects. Fortunately, there are natural alternatives that can be just as effective in relieving allergy symptoms. One such remedy is nettle leaf. Nettle leaf has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including allergies. It works by inhibiting the release of histamine, which is one of the main compounds that triggers allergy symptoms. In addition, nettle leaf has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce congestion and swelling. If you're looking for a natural way to relieve your allergy symptoms, nettle leaf may be worth trying.
Quercetin and allergies
Quercetin is a potent antioxidant that has been found to be effective in preventing and treating a variety of health conditions, including allergies. Many people are familiar with quercetin as an antihistamine, an effect that is due to its ability to inhibit the production of "histamines" in the body. Histamines are the chemicals responsible for triggering allergic reactions such as watery eyes, runny nose, itching, and sneezing. By blocking their production, quercetin can effectively reduce or even eliminate these symptoms. Furthermore, quercetin has also been found to strengthen lung function by reducing inflammation in the airways and protecting against oxidative damage. Overall, quercetin may be an ideal natural remedy for alleviating allergy symptoms.
Cayenne and Allergies
Cayenne is a popular spice that is prized for its pungent, spicy flavor. In addition to being used in cooking, however, cayenne has also been shown to be an effective remedy for certain allergies. Studies have found that the active ingredient in cayenne, capsaicin, can help to block inflammatory responses in the body and neutralize histamine, the chemical that triggers allergic reactions such as sneezing and watery eyes. As a result, regular consumption of cayenne may help to reduce allergic symptoms and improve overall quality of life for those affected by allergies. Whether through fresh peppers or cayenne powder or supplements, incorporating this powerful spice into your diet may be a great way to treat your seasonal allergies naturally.
Is there a supplement that combines them all? Yes, Solaray Sinus Source?
Yes, there is a supplement that combines all the key ingredients typically found in nature-based sinus cleansers and decongestants. This supplement is called Solaray Sinus Source, and it contains a combination of three active ingredients: nettle leaf, quercetin, and cayenne pepper. Each of these ingredients has been shown to provide natural relief from sinus problems, helping to reduce inflammation, congestion, and other unwanted symptoms. By combining these powerful botanicals into one convenient formula, Solaray Sinus Source provides a safe and effective way to support healthy sinuses. So if you're looking for a natural solution to your sinus woes, look no further than this powerful blend!
How to fight the flu effectively with elderberry
April 24, 2019 02:24 PM
Elderberry syrup is a potent antiviral that offers excellent protection against influenza A and B, staph, salmonella poona, and herpes simplex. According to a double-blind Israeli study, people who took elderberry syrup at the first signs of flu symptoms experienced improvement within two days. Another study conducted by Norwegian researchers confirmed similar findings. Elderberry syrup is bad news to the vaccine industry because pharma strongly promotes the notion that the flu vaccine is the only protection available to us. Elderberry is also available as lozenges, tinctures, or dried berries. It is available at most health food stores and can be consumed alone or with honey and cinnamon.
"Measure your liquid and mix in up to equal amounts of honey, then heat gently and stir to combine. I like to add a stick of cinnamon, a few whole cloves and a teaspoon of ginger root during the boiling process for synergetic effects and flavor."
Read more: https://www.naturalhealth365.com/elderberry-syrup-flu-2801.html
Can ginger, turmeric and lemon juice reduce blood sugar?
February 22, 2019 08:54 AM
There has now been a new recipe developed that has the ability to reduce blood glucose levels in those looking for a way to keep their sugar levels in balance. The recipe is quite simple, and the ingredients are likely already in your pantry ready for use. Just take one lemon, some ginger, and one full liter of water. Chop both the lemon and ginger into boiling water so that it can absorb all of the nutrients.
"If the analysis shows the 70-90 milligrams before meal - your blood sugar levels are normal."
Read more: https://www.legit.ng/1215271-can-ginger-turmeric-lemon-juice-reduce-blood-sugar.html
Here's How to Actually Remove Pesticides From Fruits and Vegetables
June 04, 2018 01:16 PM
Pesticide residue now commonly occurs on all fresh produce (including organic produce which uses natural pesticides). Those who believe pesticide consumption is directly linked to serious diseases like cancers can follow four at-home tips to drastically reduce the ingestion if pesticides. These include rinsing with water, soaking in a vinegar solution and then rinsing with cold water, using a rinse or spray made by combining water and baking soda, lightly Boiling the produce, or removing the outer skin or peel even after rinsing.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh5RWjaRKpY&rel=0
Drink This Tea Once a Day to Burn Fat Fast
April 25, 2018 01:17 PM
We all know the basics of losing weight. They consist of diet and exercise. But isn't it helpful if there are other things that can aid in this process? Making a Bay Leaf and Cinnamon tea is one way to help. There are so many reasons why this combination is so healthy for you, but the effects of this tea help get rid of toxins that will then make it easier to lose weight. Just put two cinnamon sticks and ten bay leafs in Boiling water, then let is slowing steep for 15 minutes. Just two cups a day is all that is recommended to get the benefit.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAFzBeTIg4Q&rel=0
What is Okra Good For? 5 Wonderful Benefits of Okra
September 21, 2017 09:14 AM
Okra is a versatile plant that can provide both nutritional as well as health benefits. In terms of cooking, Okra can be prepared to your preference through roasting, boiling, frying or stewing. It can also be steamed to extract a gooey substance that can then be further utilized as a thickener in other recipes.
But Okra also has numerous health benefits as well. It is effective at filtering your blood, aiding in the treatment of kidney deisease. It acts as an antioxidant and is particularly useful in protecting you from liver diseases. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels leading to the belief that it is a viable alternative treatment for those affected by diabetes. It also has been shown to be an effective alternative for treating depression.
But perhaps the most exciting application is the possibility it presents in the treatment of breast cancer. This is currently being studied, but so far it seems that extracts gathered from Okra have shown promise in reducing the growth rate of cancer cells, and in eradicating some existing cancer cells. So this is an exciting development that bears further investigation.
Given the vast list of proven and potential benefits previously listed, Okra seems to be a vegetable that we should all be giving serious consideration to adding to our diets.
"Okra extracts were used in a study performed to treat human breast cancer cells due to its high lectin content. The treatment both reduced cancer cell growth by 63 percent and killed 72 percent of the cancer cells."
Read more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgEOZOi-2Uo
Add This To Your Coffee Every Morning, And You'll Forget The Overweight Problem!!
August 26, 2017 05:14 AM
You can lose weight by adding cinnamon to your morning coffee. First grind the coffee, and then add the cinnamon and the water. After Boiling, you should drink the coffee, and make sure that you don't eat any pastries with it.
If you don't care for cinnamon you can also add coconut to your coffee. This provides a possibly more appealing taste than the cinnamon.
Whichever you choose, it is also recommended that you combine the enhanced coffee with a balanced diet and regular exercise.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lSG2QS-0rE&rel=0
"All this favors well the loss of weight. You can drink this coffee throughout the day, not forgetting the principles of healthy eating. The effect will soon appear."
Home Remedies To Cure An Ear Infection | Health tips
July 05, 2017 12:14 PM
If you want to know how to cure an ear infection, this video is for you. The short video does an overview of the most common and effective home remedies to cure an ear infection. The remedies covered include using saline water and coconut oil. The video also provides specific instructions on how to prepare and administer these solutions. You are also informed about ear wax and how the ear functions from a medical standpoint, and how these remedies will help.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejfX_vufopQ&rel=0
"One more home remedy we can do with coconut oil. Coconut oil, coconut oil is also a natural anti-microbial agent."
Drink It With A Single Blow And Your Liver Will Look Like The One You Had At 20!!
June 26, 2017 12:14 PM
The liver is the organ that suffers most from a poor diet, which is the organ that does most of the work in cleaning the bodies blood. By Boiling a handful of peppermint in two liters of water, letting stand, and then straining, it can be combined with the juice from a lemon, orange, and a half tablespoon of lemon zest to create a drink that will cleanse the body and liver. If the taste is too acidic a teaspoon of honey can be added. This cleanse should be taken for a week at a cup per day. It is also recommended that the person taking this cleanse take care of their body by avoiding tobacco and alcohol while drinking two liters of water a day and eating carrots, nuts, and foods rich in fiber as well as whole grains. They should also get about eight hours of sleep to maintain a healthy system.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpBH4b1Ms5w&rel=0
"While people are becoming more interested in feeling good, it is also true that we are still interested in seeing each other well."
Sure You Did Not Know That This Root Helps You Lose Weight By Speeding Up Your Metabolism, Learn How
June 25, 2017 12:14 PM
There is actually a super food that will speed up your metabolism and increase weight loss. It is the root ginger. Ginger has a number of useful benefits including reduction of nausea and vomiting and is used by people with diabetes. The way that ginger works to help you loose weight is by increasing your metabolism through raising your body temperature. Your body then burns calories trying to stay cool. Ginger can be eaten by Boiling the root with lemon and drinking it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQUDs7jGu-s&rel=0
"That is why in this article we will teach you how to use ginger so you can lose weight naturally."
How To Make Bittergourd Tea To Reverse Diabetes, Stop Gout Or Lower Blood Pressure!
May 31, 2017 12:14 PM
Diabetes is a disease that cannot be cured but can be maintained if taking the right medicines. People will often take insulin for diabetes to help regulate their blood sugar. However, this video says that Bittergourd tea can help to not only lessen the changes or diabetes but lower your blood pressure and stop gout as well. The tea's natural ingredients help to reduce the risk in these diseases because of its health benefits. People use this as a natural home remedy.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHnL4uOciZk&rel=0
"Fresh Bittergourd can help you as well, cut it into chunks and add it to your Boiling water."
How to disinfect water in a survival situation
May 30, 2017 07:14 AM
We can survive for weeks without food, but only a day or two without water. It also helps regulate body temperature, making it the most important factor.The most reliable method for purifying water is to boil it for 5 to 20 minutes or invest in a commercial water filter. Most of us know that boiling water will make it safer to drink. If you can, once you're done filtering the water (see above), consider boiling it too.You can't physically carry enough water to see you through a complete trip. so you'll need to find it along the way.
Read more: How to disinfect water in a survival situation
Natural Recipe To Improve Heart Function!!
May 24, 2017 12:14 PM
Beginning with a message prompting the viewer to check the "warning" section on the channel description, as well as a disclaimer regarding the information presented, the video details a natural remedy for heart health consisting of Boiling herbs, oils, and lemon juice into a concoction for daily use. The recipe is given in a bulleted list, though at some points the English seems broken. It ends with a recommendation to like the video and subscribe to the channel.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5XKtIF5sTY&rel=0
"You want to keep your heart healthy, Today's recipe is simple and can help you reduce any disorder due to a certain heart disease."
Boil This 2-Ingredient Raw Honey and Cinnamon Mixture to Shed Belly Fat Off Your Waistline!
May 05, 2017 04:59 AM
Do you want to shrink the waist line? Many people do but find that it is a whole lot easier said than done. Or, maybe you're just not using the right techniques to trim that belly fat and get the waist that makes you feel like a million bucks. All you need is this mixture and you can soon watch the pounds melt away. You probably have these two items in the pantry already, so it is time to get that weight gone.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsdrCabkjps&rel=0
"The dream of numerous people, and especially women, is to be able to lose weight without being on a strict healthy diet."
Doctors Are Speechless: Boiling Only Two Ingredients WILL HELP YOU LOSE ALL OF YOUR BODY FAT RAPIDLY
April 04, 2017 04:44 AM
Losing body fat is not easy job to do, and it takes a lot to burn it off. When people lost weight they lose the water weight first but their fat still remains which makes them believe they aren't losing any weight. However, this video shows two key ingredients that will help will help burn fat easily. The two key ingredients are honey and cinnamon. They have a man in the video of his before and after pictures.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGRBK-w-LS4&rel=0
"People nowadays really care about their body weight. Women especially dream of losing weight quickly and effectively, but we often hear or see that they didn’t acquire the desired results. Body fat is something that is very difficult to get burned."
This Cancer-Causing Chemical May Be in Potatoes, Cereal and Your Morning Coffee, Too
March 15, 2017 11:59 AM
Acrylamide, a chemical created when carbohydrate rich foods are cooked at high temperatures can be found in potato chips, French fries, cereal, toast and coffee among other foods. The chemical has been shown to cause cancer in animals with mixed studies in humans. It can be avoided by shortening cooking times or Boiling instead of frying or baking/broiling and don't overcook your food. Soak your potatoes before cooking and avoid potato chips. Keep in mind it firms from plant-based foods so be aware when you cook these types of foods
"In November 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a consumer update advising people to reduce consumption of foods in which acrylamide is plentiful, noting this toxic byproduct is found in 40 percent of calories consumed by the average American."
Five natural alternatives to sugar
February 25, 2017 07:59 AM
Sugar is not good for everyone. Diabetics for example need to limit it. This gives five alternatives they can try. They can take sugar's place and are worth looking into because they could improve your health greatly. You might even find you prefer one of these to sugar once you see its health benefits.
"artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup are out -- and a whole slew of natural alternatives have popped up in their place."
A Natural Pain Reliever And Anti-Inflammatory - Akuamma Seeds
Natural Pain Reliever And Anti-Inflammatory
The Akuamma seeds originate from the Akuamma tree also referred to as Picralima nitida. The seeds have an extremely bitter nature and was commonly used as a pain killer in West Africa, mainly in Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Ghana.
The seeds were also used to treat malaria and diarrhea as it contains an anti diarrhea, anti inflammatory and muscle relaxant properties.Traditionally the seeds were taken orally and were often crushed or powdered. A hospital in Ghana began manufacturing the powder in a standardized 250g capsules.
The drug prompted medical research as it was sold countrywide and was accepted as safe and effective pain killers.The seeds contain five alkaloids with akuammine, being the main alkaloid. Akuammine stimulates the uptake of glucose and was used to treat diabetes mellitus in Nigeria.
Soaked in Boiling water, Pricalima nitada barks, have proven to be effective in the treatment of tryponosomiasis or chagas diseases. The roots of the Akuamma tree can also be boiled and cooked for management of intestinal problems and stomach aches.
This seed is a natural pain killer, it should not be mixed with prescription drugs, and only adults 18+.
Typical dosages: is
Traditional Uses of Blessed Thistle
All that you may need to know about antioxidants
November 05, 2013 10:00 PM
All that you may need to know about antioxidants
Oxidants are elements whose main role is to protect your cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radicals, on their part, are molecules that may be produced by the body when it breaks down food. These molecules may also be produced when your body is exposed to environmental factors like tobacco smoking and radiation. It is worth noting that free radicals have the ability of wrecking damage to cells and causing such diseases as cancers and heart complications. Over the years, studies have consistently revealed that diets high in antioxidants are essential in preventing diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular diseases.
Main Source of Antioxidant
The main source of antioxidants is fruits and vegetables. Amazingly, all foods rich in antioxidants are high in fiber, low fat, and are also excellent sources of important vitamins and minerals. It is also important to add that fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants have bright colors, including purple, yellow, red and orange.
Type of Antioxidant
The five main types of antioxidants are beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, Zinc, and selenium. Others are lucopene and lutein. Beta-carotene (and other carotenoids), can be derived from a long list of fruits and vegetables. Some of these are asparagus, apricot, broccoli, water melon, sweet potato, kale, mango, turnip and peaches.
Vitamin C, as a major and critical antioxidant, can be obtained from kiwi, broccoli, honeydew, kale, orange, papaya, nectarines, strawberries, and snow peas among others.
Vitamin E, another major vitamin antioxidant, can be derived from spinach, red peppers, sunflower seeds, papaya, pumpkin and carrots among others.
Zinc and selenium are other antioxidants that are essential in maintaining overall body health and boosting the immune system. Common sources of zinc include red meat, poultry, oysters, dairy products, and whole grain foods. Selenium, on the other hand, can be obtained from foods such as tuna, nuts, whole grains, and beef.
Fact About Antioxidant
The most important fact to realize is that popular sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. Where possible, these foods should be eaten raw or steamed. Boiling will do more harm than good.
cooking Beet roots
October 24, 2012 05:21 PM
It is a matter of personal taste when you actually harvest the beetroot. The smaller ones are sweeter but the older, larger ones still have plenty of flavor. First of all, remove the green tops and leaves from the roots making sure you leave a two inch stem, wash and rinse thoroughly in cold water. Leaving a short stem ensures that nutrition is not lost from the roots when they are boiled.
Place the prepared beetroot in a large pan of Boiling water. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the skins soften. While you're waiting for the beetroot to cook, thoroughly wash the bottles, lids and rings making sure you rinse them well. Next, add salt to each jar. You will need 1 teaspoon for a quart jar and half this for a pint jar.When the beets have cooked for 15 minutes, drain the beetroot and peel the skins. They should come away easily but there are little reluctant.
Ginger And Its Use To Help In Stomach Upset
June 29, 2012 01:39 PM
Ginger is the root of an herbal plant that is usually consumed as medicine or used in food as a spice to help in digestion system in your stomach. The rhizomes are usually very juicy, fleshy and with mild taste when young. These can be pickled in vinegar as a snack or sometimes be cooked as an ingredient in a variety of food. It can also be added to Boiling water to come up with ginger flavored tea. The same is also used to make candy. When it matures, it appears dry and its juice is extremely potent. It is still used as a spice in most foods. The uses are unlimited but in this article, we are going to discuss how it helps with stomach upset.
History of Ginger
Throughout history, ginger has been used for stomach upset in many places around the world. After a very heavy feast, ancient Romans would consume it to help soothe their full stomachs. Chinese and other ancient mariners used it to sustain seasickness. Indians used it as a universal medicine as they believed it treated everything.
Current Uses of the herb
Currently, research has shown that ginger truly does help ease an upset stomach. There are many ways through which it can be used to relieve an upset stomach. A good example is by taking it before meals. It enhances a good environment for digestion before the food gets to the stomach. This will ensure that digestion kicks off immediately after the food is consumed and hence prevents stomach upset. People with motion sickness can take ginger to help suppress the symptoms.
How it works
Ginger has two component; gingerol and shogaol. These are the components that enhance the function of digestive juices like saliva, bile and other gastric secretions. When these juices are stimulated to work efficiently, they enhance digestion in an individual starting from as early as when the food is still in the mouth. This ensures that all digestion steps are undergone effectively without skipping. When whole and dry food get to the stomach, it becomes hard to digest as the stomach has no teeth to help break it down and lubricate it for swift movement. Ginger is also known to help the stomach muscles in effective movement of food. If the tract muscles do not give enough room for movement, indigestion may occur. That is what leads to nausea in an individual. The herb curbs the serotonin receptors to ensure there is no vomit message sent to the brain. Ginger also helps in the immediate emptying of the stomach contents to the small intestine.
Ginger works to help reduce stomach upset which can arise as a result of operation, overeating, sea and motion sickness. The effectiveness of this medicinal herb should not be undermined as it has helped many to get the desired relief from the uncomfortable feeling of stomach upset. Use it when you feel nauseas or even to help relieve you of gas from the stomach.
Catuaba bark and its benefits
October 18, 2010 08:21 PM
Catuaba Bark (Erythroxylum catuaba) is a small tree that grows and produces yellow and orange flowers. Its shape is oval, yellow colored and looks like a small inedible fruit. In Brazil, the catuaba bark belongs to the family Erythroxylaceae and grows mostly northern part in Amazonas in and many other areas. Today, in the mid-forests of Brazil the trees are harvested in the form of catuaba and are sold all over the world.
There are two types of catuaba, one is Big Catuaba and the other is Small Catuaba. The Big Catuaba is also known as Trichilia catigua that grows up to 6-10 meters tall in the mahogany family in Brazil. It is cream colored and referred as catigua and angelim-rosa. The Small Catuaba, also known as Erythroxylum catuaba grows up to 2-4 meters tall in Brazil. The Tupi Indians an indigenous tribe of Brazil came to know first the various incredible benefits of catuaba. They learnt that it has sex-enhancing properties.
Later the Tupi Indians came to know about many other health benefits it provided like pain relieving, control of fatigue, reducing nervous and depression, sharpening memory. They were so impressed with the incredible and powerful action of catuaba that they spread the knowledge of its benefits to other Brazilian tribes and even praise the herb by singing songs. It is traditionally drunk by the Tupi Indians as a bark decoction by Boiling it in water to make tea. This would improve sexual interest in people who lack sexual interest. Catuaba bark is a potent and a natural aphrodisiac. It remarkably enhances male's reproductive system, although this herb is primarily used to improve erection in men, it was found to be effective as libido-enhancing element for both men and women. It prevents us from feeling agitated and also helps in combating forgetfulness and dementia.
People feel more relaxed and energetic after taking it. Many others reported benefits of catuaba that it relieves from insomnia, hypertension, restless sleeping patterns and memory loss. It is non toxic in nature and is equal to aromatic oils, tannins and alkaloids. Now-a-days this herb is available in all health food stores in the form of capsules with dosage of 500-1000 mg. You can also obtain the bark in tincture or powder. The significant feature is that it causes no side effects at all. Many researches conducted in Japan stated that the catuaba bark contains antibacterial and antiviral compounds as well. Many other studies also stated that it has relaxing effects and it tones the overall body functions.
Still various studies and research are going on Catuaba bark, since it also promises to prevent opportunistic HIV infections. If it is really does then it will be a great achievement to mankind.
October 16, 2009 03:57 PM
Cornsilk is an herbal remedy that is made from stigmas, which are the yellowish thread-like strands, found inside the husks of corn. Stigmas are found on the female flower of corn and are a member of the grass family. This part of the corn plant measurers four to eight inches long and is collected for medicinal use before the plant is pollinated. Cornsilk can also be removed from corn cobs for use as a remedy. If fertilized, the stigmas will become dry and brown, with yellow corn kernels develop. Native to North America, corn now grows around the world in warm climates. Cornsilk is also known as mother’s hair, Indian corn, maize jagnog, Turkish corn, yu mi xu, and stigmata maydis.
Once used by the Inca tribe, cornsilk is thought to have originated in Central America. Traditionally, this herb was used to treat urogenital infections. Cornsilk is also used for bladder complaints, as it has a great cleansing effect on the urea as it circulates. This herb is also extremely valuable for the treatment of renal and cystic inflammation. Cornsilk helps with kidney problems, inflamed bladder, and prostate gland problems. This herb may be helpful for bed-wetting that is caused by an inflamed bladder. Additionally, it works to rid the body of morbid deposits by using the antiseptic properties that it is equipped with. Cornsilk has been used by physicians as a diuretic for conditions of cystitis.
Some herbalists believe that cornsilk is best when it is used fresh. However, it also can be found in dried forms. Although cornsilk is typically collected from the female flower or from corn cobs, cornsilk is available commercially in powdered and capsule form and as an extract. Cornsilk is often brewed as a tea and is considered to be very soothing as a beverage. This tea or infusion can be made by pouring one cup of Boiling water over two teaspoons of dried cornsilk. Then, the mixture is covered and steeped for ten to fifteen minutes. It is recommended that this tea be consumed three times each day. Additionally, a tincture of one teaspoon of cornsilk can be taken three times each day. This tincture can be purchased over the counter or made at home. At home, it is made by mixing the herb with water or alcohol at a ratio of 1:5 or 1:10. Cornsilk can also be purchased in capsule form with the usual dosage for 400-mg capsules being two capsules with meals three times daily.
The silk of cornsilk is used to provide alterative, antilithic, antiseptic, cholagogue, diuretic, demulcent, lithotriptic, mucilant, and mild stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are silicon, PABA, and vitamins K and B. Primarily, this herb is extremely beneficial in dealing with heart conditions, kidney problems, urinary incontinence, and urinary problems.
Additionally, this cornsilk has been proven to be extremely helpful in treating arteriosclerosis, bed-wetting, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cystic irritations, gonorrhea, obesity, and prostate problems. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by cornsilk, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
August 19, 2008 08:38 PM
Folic acid is an important vitamin to the developing fetus in that it aids cell development, particularly those cells involved in the development of the baby's spine. A deficiency can result in neural tube defects, in which the neural tube, down through which the central nervous system passes, fails to close properly.
However, let's first discuss the substance itself so that its function in that process can be more easily understood. Neither should we ignore the other benefits that folic acid gives us, or the problems we can have in the event of a deficiency.
Folic acid is a form of Vitamin B9, sometimes referred to as Vitamin M. Its anionic form is known as folate, which is the form in which it is frequently offered in supplements. Incidentally, it gets its name from the Latin for leaf, so is from the same root as foliage. It is water soluble, and like Vitamin C can be leached through the body if not immediately used.
It is available naturally from leafy and green vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, spinach and peas, but is also available in fortified breakfast cereals, sunflower seeds and some fruits. You would not normally suffer a deficiency, but if you are taking anticonvulsants, have liver problems or undergoing kidney dialysis, then you might need a supplement. Pregnancy, of course, is the important case in which a supplement should be taken, although, surprisingly, many mothers-to-be are unaware of this.
New body cells need folate for their production, particularly when they are dividing and growing rapidly such as during pregnancy and in infancy. The formation of DNA depends on many chemical entities, among them four nitrogenous bases, of which three, thymine and the two purine bases, adenine and guanine, depend on folate for their synthesis. If the growing fetus is lacking folate then DNA synthesis will be hindered. This retards cell division and growth.
Among the conditions this can cause are a form of anemia known as megaloblastic anemia, and neural tube deficiencies, where the sheath that surrounds the main nerve canal up the spine fails to close properly. The best known of such neural tube defects is spina bifida, though any condition caused by a lack of cell division can also occur. Anemia can be contracted by both adults and children, since production of red blood cells takes place constantly throughout your lifetime. These are the reasons why folic acid or folate is used in breakfast cereals.
The biochemistry is fairly simple to understand, and is important because it explains the importance of two other B vitamins, B3 and B12, in DNA synthesis. The initial stages are a six step reaction that forms methyl tetrahydrofolate from folate, starting with the reduction of folate to dihydrofolate, and then a further reduction to the tetrahydrofolate (THF). Vitamin B3 (in the form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) is an essential cofactor for these reductions. Vitamin B12 is necessary as an acceptor for the methyl-THF so that it can continue along the biochemical pathway - now that is too complex to discuss here!
However, the inference you can rightly draw from this is that a deficiency of Vitamin B12 can cause what is known as a 'methyl trap', whereby the methy-THF cannot be used, and so a deficiency in Vitamin B12 can lead to the same symptoms as a folic acid or folate deficiency.
The implications of that are that vitamin B12 is also an essential component of a pregnant woman's diet. The problem here is that this vitamin is available only from animal sources, including dairy products. Its presence in vegetable organisms such as certain algae and fungi has been proposed, but it is believed that the cobalamin (chemical term for the vitamin) from these sources is not bioavailable to humans.
Vegans, therefore, who do not eat dairy products, will need a Vitamin B12 supplement in addition to folic acid or folate, particularly when they are pregnant and with young growing children. In this respect, a vegan diet is unsuitable for young children until their rapid growth period has stabilized.
For those of you wondering why the biochemistry above was discussed: that is your answer. Such discussions can frequently explain why certain supplements are necessary, or certain diets should be reconsidered under particular circumstances. Such things are easier to understand and accept when the logic behind them are explained. A folic acid supplement taken from the onset of pregnancy up to 12 weeks at least, and also a Vitamin B12 supplement in the case of those with a low meat intake, should prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
A daily supplement of 0.4 mg should be sufficient, along with a diet rich in green vegetables, fortified cereals and breads and oranges. Your greens are best steamed since prolonged Boiling destroys folic acid - as it destroys Vitamin C. One source of folic acid that you might read about is liver, and its additional iron content might lead you to believe this to be a good component of your diet when pregnant. However, although normally a very nutritious food, liver should be avoided during pregnancy due to its high Vitamin A content. This can be harmful to your baby.
Finally, there are some circumstances under which the dose during pregnancy should be greater. If you have previously had a child with a neural tube defect, or have an NTD yourself (or your partner), if you are diabetic, if you have celiac disease (a gluten allergy) or are taking anti-epileptic medication, you should increase your dose to 5 mg (milligrams) for which you will likely need a prescription from your physician.
NTD is rare, so don't over-worry much about it, but take the above precautions to put your mind at rest since pregnancy is not a time during which you should be nervous but to enjoy. That will pass on to your growing baby, which will then itself be happy.
Can the Fatty Acid CLA Help me Lose Weight ?
July 14, 2008 03:28 PM
CLA is conjugated linoleic acid, a compound known as a trans fatty acid due to its stereochemistry, and while trans fatty acids are generally regarded as harmful, CLA is not because it is conjugated. This means that it has alternate single and double bonds in the backbone carbon chain, and the overall energy of the molecule is therefore reduced.
Linoleic acid itself is one of the omega-6 fatty acids, the 6 referring to the double bond at the sixth carbon from the omega and of the carbon backbone chain. It is believed to be the cause of heart disease and obesity due to its increasing use in the diet at the expense of omega-3 fatty acids. When the molecule is conjugated, however, the fatty acid has different chemical properties to the standard isomer, and natural CLA is mainly found in cattle products, such as beef and dairy products.
Conjugated linoleic acid is present in cattle because it is formed when linoleic acid is converted to oleic acid by rumen bacteria, that are responsible for the microbial fermentation of the feed of ruminant animals such as sheep and cattle. When oleic acid is formed, so too is CLA. However, the form used in supplements is manufactured from vegetable oils, and therefore suitable for use by vegetarians. The usual vegetable oils used are safflower oil and sunflower oil.
It is believed to possess several beneficial properties, including antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, but it is for its ability to reduce body fat that it is best known to most people. A growing amount of information is being collected on the use of CLA as a supplement in the weight loss industry, although there are as yet no definitive mechanisms that explain its action. However, recent studies have indicated it possess properties that can help to reduce the levels of low density lipoproteins in the blood, and reduce the possibility of atherosclerosis due to LDL oxidation by free radicals.
It is also theorized that CLA in some way regulates the prostaglandin biosynthesis that controls the level of hormones in the body that can regulate growth. An increase in growth hormones is one way in which athletes promote an increase in muscle bulk, while reducing their fatty tissue mass. CLA is also purported to increase thermogenesis, and so promote the loss of body fat and overall weight.
Although most studies on the effect of conjugated linoleic acid in reducing body weight have been carried out on animals, recent animal studies have indicated that might not so much reduce weight, as to increase muscle bulk while reducing that of body fat. The end result, therefore, is not a loss of weight, but a leaner body that has more muscle and less fat. All it needs is the results on animals to be transferred to humans, and this, of course, is frequently the case. However, initial studies on the use of CLA in the human diet have been very positive, so the signs are good.
Most scientific progress in human biochemistry has been obtained by virtue of prior studies on animals. These studies, of course, have been beneficial to the animals, making them leaner and much fitter than they otherwise would have been. It is believed that the same will be true of humans taking CLA as a supplement. In fact, recent studies are split about 50/50 with regard to the effects on humans.
While some studies have shown no benefit, about an equal number have shown a positive benefit in the reduction in the mass of fat in the body. Some of the negative studies may have been flawed in measuring total body weight, and not the relative amounts of muscle and fat, and also basing their results on people already with a low level of fat in their body. In that respect, then, the results look very favorable, and taking CLA as a supplement is likely to help you to reduce fat and increase muscle, if not altogether lose total body weight. However, is that not the end result that most people want? They might not want to be lighter in weight, just to have more muscle mass and less fat tissue.
In a study shown at a 2002 Experimental Biology meeting, it was shown that is was possible to substantially reduce body fat mass by taking CLA alone, and when it was taken in association with guarana, both the size and the number of fats cells in the body were reduced by 50%. However it has also been shown that CLA can be oxidized by free radicals shortly after ingestion, and that sesame lignans help to prevent this. Since sesame lignans can also be used in conjunction with CLA to reduce fat by increasing the level of fatty acid oxidation in the liver, than the benefit of CLA seems obvious.
The antioxidant effect of CLA is one possible explanation for its anti-cancer properties, though there are others. Its antioxidant properties also have an anti-catabolic effect, in that it can help to prevent the wastage of muscle tissue. The FDA has published studies that attest to these anti-cancer properties. Diabetics, however, should consult with their physician before taking CLA as a supplement, since there is a body of thought that it reduces sensitivity to insulin. Others believe the opposite, so more studies might be needed in this aspect of the substance before it can be said to be safe for use by diabetics.
Over recent years, the American diet has increased significantly in its content of the undesirable linoleic acid, due to its ubiquitous presence in margarines, and has reduced in CLA due to modern farming methods. Cattle feeding techniques have resulting in a reduction of CLA in meat products and milk, although eggs are still a rich source, and the CLA in eggs can resist temperatures used in normal cooking methods such as frying, Boiling, etc.
It is this CLA deficiency in the diet that has been proposed as one of the reasons for the current obesity problem in the USA. The European diet contains more beneficial fatty acids in general than the American diet.
However, there is an increasing body of evidence being accumulated that collectively that suggests almost unequivocally that CLA can help you lose body fat. Unless you are diabetic, there are few if any contra-indications and an increasing number of people are finding it effective not only to lose body fat, but to replace it with hard lean muscle.
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.
Una de Gato (Cat’s Claw)
April 26, 2008 09:36 AM
Una de Gato, otherwise known as cat’s claw, is properly Unicaria tomentosa. It has been used as an herbal medicine for at least two thousand years by the people of Central and South America who gave it the name vilcacora.
It grows in jungle areas and rainforest in South America and Asia, and gets its name from the small claw-like thorns at the base of the leaves. One of the environmental benefits of the Una de Gato is that when it is harvested at three feet above the ground, it grows back to its full size of up to 100 feet within a few years when it can be harvested again to three feet. Cat’s claw has been given dietary supplement status by the FDA.
The Peruvian Asháninka tribe has used the plant as a contraceptive and for the treatment of rheumatic conditions, diabetes, acne, diarrhea, cancer, urinary tract diseases and as an anti-inflammatory, and many of the studies of cat’s claw have centered on this tribe. The studies quickly showed the active ingredients to be alkaloids, both tertracyclic oxindole alkaloids and pentacyclic alkaloids that have been found both in the bark and in the root.
The extract is obtained by Boiling both the inner part of the bark and the root, each of which differs in concentration of the various alkaloids. The root is believed to better for its anti-inflammatory powers due to the quinovic acid glycoside it contains, although the relative concentrations of the various alkaloids can vary according to the time of year and to the chemotype of the plant.
Cat’s Claw comes in two chemotypes, each of which differs in the relative concentrations of the two different alkaloid types. One predominates in the pentacyclic alkaloids that strengthen the immune system, and the other chemotype in the tetracyclic alkaloids that counter that effect and reduce the speed and strength of the contractions of the heart. It is not possible to tell which chemotype a particular plant is until it has been chemically tested. They look exactly the same and it is possible for both to grow sided by side. However, the root is generally richer in alkaloids, and sells at about twice the price of the bark. Alkaloids are not the only active ingredients in Una de Gato, and it also contains tannins and phytochemicals that have an antioxidant effect and are useful free radical scavengers. They have been studied for their effects in the treatment of HIV and cancer, though mainly due to the glycoside content that will be discussed shortly. The National cancer Institute has confirmed some anti-cancer properties of quinovic glycosides derived from cat’s claw.
The four pentacyclic alkaloids have been found to have a boosting effect on the human immune system, which it does by enhancing the ability of the white blood cells and macrophages to digest and kill off foreign organisms and debris in tissue and the bloodstream. The inference is that the herb is able to be used to treat a wide variety of infectious diseases, including many immune and autoimmune conditions including AIDS. The results with AIDs are inconclusive, although one particular study showed that cat’s claw produced accelerated healing of cold sores and genital herpes (herpes simplex virus) and shingles (caused by herpes zoster virus). Although the evidence is slight, there are indications of its possible use in treating viral conditions.
It is used in homeopathy for the treatment of a number of digestive ailments, such as Crohn’s disease, leaky bowel syndrome, colitis, gastritis and gastric ulcers among others. It is also used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism and some conditions of the prostate gland.
The tertracyclic indole alkaloids that appear to counter the immune-boosting properties of their pentacyclic cousins include rhynchophylline, hirsutine, and mitraphylline. Rhynchophylline prevents blood clots in the veins and arteries by reducing the formation of platelets, and can dilate the peripheral blood vessels of the hands and feet. It can also lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the heart rate. Due to this effect on blood vessels, it is though to be able to improve the circulation in the brain and be a useful treatment for Alzheimer’s sufferers. Hirsutine inhibits contractions of the smooth muscle of the bladder, and so finds uses in the treatment of urinary incontinence.
The pentacyclic alkaloids pteropodine and isopteropodine are believed to have important properties beyond their phagocytosis effect on the immune system. It has been reported that they have an effect on the 5-HT(2) receptors in the brain. These neurotransmitters are used as targets for many drugs used to treat a variety of conditions such as depression, eating disorders and anxiety, and such alkaloids have a positive modulating effect on them.
The anti-inflammatory properties of cat’s claw are largely due to the very potent quinovic acid glycosides previously referred to. These have been known about only recently, and they are thought to work synergistically to reduce the tissue swelling (edema) associated with the immune system’s inflammatory reaction. Although this is believed to be largely due to the glycosides, three of the alkaloids also possess anti-inflammatory properties. This property provides the scientific background for the traditional use of Una de Gato for rheumatism and arthritis, both inflammatory conditions. Many of the digestive conditions for which the plant has traditionally used are also inflammatory in nature.
A threat to cat’s claw is the destruction of the Peruvian rainforest, although not as much as a threat as the destruction of the plant itself. Cat’s claw has reached levels of popularity so high that it is in danger of extinction due to improper harvesting. New laws being enacted by the Peruvian government should help to protect the plant, and to promote its harvesting over cocoa.
When buying cat’s claw, make sure that it is the Uncaria tomentosa form you are purchasing since there is another type, Uncaria Guianensis that contains different alkaloids and is not as potent as the real Una de Gato. Also beware of a shrub known as cat’s claw acacia, grown in Mexico and the southwest USA, since it contains cyanide derivatives and could be very dangerous if taken by mouth.
Artichoke Promotes Healthy Fat Digestion and Metabolism
January 30, 2008 10:37 PM
In discussing the health benefits of the artichoke, and the way it promotes healthy fat digestion and metabolism, we are talking here about the true artichoke: the globe artichoke. The alternative Jerusalem artichoke is not an artichoke at all, but a member of the sunflower family. The globe artichoke is a type of thistle.
It is in fact a perennial thistle that originated in the Mediterranean area and is now cultivated world wide. The edible portions are the lower parts of the bracts and the base of the buds, known as the heart while the inedible portion in the center of the bud is known as the ‘choke’. Globe artichokes were introduced to the USA in the 19th century by French and Spanish immigrants who settled in Louisiana and California respectively. Contrary to popular opinion its name did not come from the ‘heart’ and the ‘choke’, but from the Arabic for ground thorn: ‘ardi shauki’.
In today’s world of fast foods, a high consumption of fats and red meat and excessive alcohol consumption, your liver is put under a great strain. Its main function is as a chemical factory, to produce the chemicals, such as enzymes and other proteins, needed to maintain life and also to metabolise the nutrients we need from the food we eat. If you overtax your liver it will not work as it should, which results in poor digestion and assimilation of the nutrients in your food and an increase in the toxins in your blood.
You will feel tired and run down, with digestion problems and many other health complaints. Liver abuse can result in malnutrition, which also results in cirrhosis which is not curable. You should seriously appraise your diet, and identify the eating and drinking habits that are causing the problem, and give your liver a rest. Artichoke extract is a great liver tonic, and your liver will respond well to a break from alcohol and fatty foods, and a course of artichoke leaves and extract.
The main active ingredient of the artichoke is cynarine (1,5-dicaffeylquinic acid), a substance that stimulates the production of bile, and hence renders the artichoke an excellent starter for any meal. This is yet another example of science finding a logical reason for people eating artichokes for centuries in order to promote the health of their liver and digestive system. It is not only for its cynarine content that the globe artichoke is useful, however, but also the luteolin and chlorogenic acids that it contains.
The stimulation of bile production by the cynarine is one the more important of the effects of artichoke on your well being. Bile emulsifies fats and renders them into an easily digested form. Most of the digestive chemicals are water soluble, and without this emulsification of the fat with water then most of the fats we consume would pass through the body unchanged. We would the vats majority of the fat soluble nutrients in our food, including vitamins A, D, E and K.
Bile enables us to digest fats and to absorb vitamins from our food, and also promotes the general health of our digestive system. It is biosynthesized in the liver from various enzymes and triglycerides and then stored in the gall bladder until needed. Its use is prompted by the presence of fats in the system, and this is stimulated by the cynarine in the artichoke leaves.
Its ability to improve bile flow has been recognized by scientist’s world wide, and artichoke juice has been used by the French for many years as a liver tonic. However, it is not just for the liver and the digestive system that artichokes are useful in maintaining good health. They also have an effect on the cholesterol levels in your blood. This is believed to be due to the inhibition of the activity of enzyme HMG CoA Reductase that helps the liver to generate cholesterol. Inhibiting the activity of this enzyme reduces the amount of cholesterol produced.
This can have the effect of reduced the possibility of you developing atherosclerosis, a condition caused by deposition of low density lipid (LDL) cholesterol through the effect of free radical oxidation of the lipid. The less cholesterol to be transported by your blood, then the lower levels of the low density lipid needed to do this. This effect is also possibly due to the fact that bile is formed from cholesterol and triglycerides, and so stimulated bile production would possibly leave less cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Artichoke also possesses antioxidant properties that would contribute even further to this effect by preventing the oxidation of the LDL by free radicals. These free radicals, formed in the body both naturally and by the effects of pollutants such as pesticides, cigarette smoke and traffic fumes, are destroyed by antioxidants. In atherosclerosis the LDL lipids are oxidised and deposited under the surface cells of the blood vessels, and are then digested by certain blood cells forming a hard fatty deposit that can eventually block the arteries affected.
The result can be a heart attack or a stroke, depending on where in the body the blood vessels are affected, and if the cholesterol levels in the body are decreased through it being used to produce bile, then the concentration of LDL lipids used to transport it will also be reduced and the condition will be less likely to occur..
Apart from the liver, the gall bladder is also given a boost by artichoke because that is where bile is stored, and a regular flow to and from the gall bladder maintains its health. The only thing you should be aware of if is that if you are prone to gallstones then the increase in bile flow could cause the stones to be stuck in the bile duct. You should therefore refer to your physician before embarking on a course of artichoke extract if you have a propensity to develop gallstones.
Apart from the phytonutrients already discussed, the globe artichoke also contains a good supply of fiber and minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium and phosphorus, and also some trace elements that your body needs. It is therefore more than just a bile stimulant, but provides a wide range off essential nutrition to your body. It is know to aid conditions such as gout, high blood sugar, and digestive complaints such as flatulence, bloating and abdominal cramps.
Apart from cooking and eating the tender parts of the leaves, or bracts, you can make an infusion of the parts that you don’t eat. Chop up the tougher leaves and pour Boiling water over them as if making tea. Leave it to infuse for a few minutes and then drink. Honey can be used to take away the bitter taste; honey rather than sugar due to its greater nutritional content.
June 26, 2007 02:39 PM
Eighty percent of Americans over 50 years old suffer from some form of degenerative joint disease, and many others suffer from sports injuries, tennis elbow and tendonitis, which can result in symptoms not unlike arthritis—soreness, stiffness, and general pain in the region. An ever widening number of people are newly discovering a well-established natural remedy for these symptoms—and numerous others—with MSM.
Methylsulfonylmethane (meth-l-sul-fonil-meth-ane), or MSM, is a natural nutrient found in many foods and is a vital building block of joints, cartilage, skin, hair and nails. It also supports a wide number of biochemical processes in the body, including energy production.
Due to the demineralization of the earth over time, many naturally occurring elements—including MSM- are not available in foods in high enough quantities to deliver therapeutic value. As a dietary supplement, MSM must be synthesized. When made correctly, it is identical to what is found in nature, and can be taken alone or in combination with other health supplements.
According to Stanley W Jacob, MD, Ronald M Lawrence, MD, PhD, and Martin Zucker, authors of The Miracle of MSM, MSM is rapidly establishing a reputation as a safe, natural and effective solution for many types of pain and inflammatory conditions, including degenerative wear-and-tear arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic back pain, chronic headaches, muscle pain, Fibromyalgia, tendonitis, and bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, TMJ, post-traumatic pain and inflammation, and heartburn. MSM also has benefits for allergy sufferers. According to Jacob, Lawrence and Zucker, “After many years of treating pain patients with MSM, it has become clear that perhaps a single most powerful benefit it offers is quick relief of the symptoms of common allergies. In hundreds of cases, this nutritional supplement has proved highly effective.”
The primary reason for MSM’s value is its high sulfur content. MSM contains 34 percent sulfur—the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and one critical to making collagen, the primary constituent of cartilage and connective tissue. MSM is thought to deliver sulfur to the body in a usable way so it can be incorporated into these tissues. Many people using MSM as a dietary supplement have attested to its effectiveness.
“I was acquainted with an elderly woman who had been on Prednisone for severe arthritis for a number of years,” says Rob Benjamin, director of quality control for Bergstrom Nutrition in Vancouver, Washington. “Her doctor had to take her off of it because of what it was doing to her kidneys. Her knuckle joints were about an inch and a half thick. I gave her a sample of MSM, then ran into her about six days later. She came up, threw her arms around my neck and took her gloves off, and the thickness of her knuckles had reduced to almost normal. All the swelling was gone.”
The leading MSM product, manufactured to the most stringent product specifications available, is OptiMSM®, made by Bergstrom Nutrition. The crucial step that makes OptiMSM of such a high quality is its distillation process, in which heat is used to separate pure MSM from impurities and the by-products of manufacturing. The company has evolved the exact Boiling points that allow MSM to be isolated, consistently producing the purest MSM available.
“Our methods are more expensive and more energy intensive,” Says Benjamin. “But our prime concern is delivering the purest product available.”
Peter Gilliham’s Natural Vitality is proud to include OptiMSM in its daily multi nutrient Organic Life Vitamins (OLV).
STEVIA: THE IDEAL SWEETENER?
July 15, 2005 12:51 PM
STEVIA: THE IDEAL SWEETENER?
For anyone who suffers from diabetes, hypoglycemia, high blood pressure, obesity or chronic yeast infections, stevia is the ideal sweetener. It has all the benefits of artificial sweeteners and none of the drawbacks. Stevia can be added to a variety of foods to make them sweet without adding calories or impacting the pancreas or adrenal glands. It can help to satisfy carbohydrate cravings without interfering with blood sugar levels or adding extra pounds.
Using stevia to create treats for children is also another excellent way to avoid weight gain, tooth decay and possible hyperactivity. While it may take some getting used to initially, stevia products are becoming easier to measure and better tasting.
Stevia’s Unique Taste Sensation
When the whole leaf extract or powdered forms of stevia make contact with the tongue, the resulting taste can be described as a sweet flavor, with a slight licorice-like and transient bitter flavor. If stevia is used correctly with hot water or some other liquid, both those flavors will disappear. At this writing, researchers are working on a new extraction process that will preserve stevia’s sweetening potency while minimizing any aftertaste associated with the herb.
Additional Therapeutic Benefits
Consider the following quote: Stevia . . . is not only non-toxic, but has several traditional medicinal uses. The Indian tribes of South America have used it as a digestive aid, and have also applied it topically for years to heal wounds. Recent clinical studies have shown it can increase glucose tolerance and decrease blood sugar levels. Of the two sweeteners (aspartame and stevia), stevia wins hands down for safety. (Whitaker) Stevia has a long history of medicinal use in Paraguay and Brazil and while many of the therapeutic applications of stevia are anecdotal, they must be considered in that they have spanned generations. Experts who work with indigenous cultures frequently find that traditional applications of folk medicine can be verified with scientific data.
Stevia and Blood Sugar Levels
Clinical tests combined with consumer results indicate that stevia can actually help to normalize blood sugar. For this reason, the herb and its extracts are recommended in some countries as an actual medicine for people suffering from diabetes or hypoglycemia. Recent studies have indicated that stevia can increase glucose tolerance while decreasing blood sugar levels. Paraguayan natives have traditionally used stevia tea to regulate blood sugar. Stevia decoctions for diabetes are common and are usually prepared by Boiling or steeping the leaves in water (Bonvie, 53). While scientific studies are certainly warranted, it is thought that disturbed blood sugar levels respond to stevia therapy while normal levels remain unaffected.
Stevia and Weight Loss
Stevia is an ideal dietary supplement for anyone who wants to lose or maintain their weight. Because it contains no calories, it can satisfy cravings for sweets without adding extra pounds. It is also thought that using stevia may decrease the desire to eat fatty foods as well. Appetite control is another factor affected by stevia supplementation. Some people have found that their hunger decreases if they take stevia drops 15 to 20 minutes before a meal. While scientific studies are lacking in this area, it is presumed that the glycosides in stevia help to reset the appestat mechanism found in the brain, thereby promoting a feeling of satiety or satisfaction. Much of our nation’s obesity epidemic is due to the over consumption of sugar-containing foods. Unfortunately, most sugary snacks are also loaded with fat, compounding the problem. When a sugar craving hits, anything will usually do. Doughnuts, candy bars, pies, pastries and cookies are considered high calorie, fattening foods. Using stevia to sweeten snacks and beverages can result making weight loss and management much easier.
High Blood Pressure
It is thought that taking stevia can result in lowering elevated blood pressure levels while not affecting normal levels. This particular application has not been researched, but its potential as a treatment for hypertension must be considered when assessing the value of herbal medicines for disease.
Stevia is thought to be able to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and other infectious organisms. Some people even claim that using stevia helps to prevent the onset of colds and flu. Tests have supported the antimicrobial properties of stevia against streptococcus mutans (Bonvie, 54). The fact that stevia has the ability to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria helps to explain its traditional use in treating wounds, sores and gum disease. It may also explain while the herb is advocated for anyone who is susceptible to yeast infections or reoccurring strep infections, two conditions that seem to be aggravated by white sugar consumption.
Stevia can be used as an oral tonic to prevent tooth decay and gingivitis. Stevia extracts are sometimes added to toothpaste or mouthwashes to initiate this effect. Stevia is used in some Brazilian dental products with the assumption that the herb can actually help to prevent tooth decay and retard plaque deposits (Bonvie, 53). Stevia offers the perfect sweetener for oral products like toothpastes and mouthwash, enabling them to be more palatable without any of the drawbacks of other sweeteners.
Brazilians have used stevia to boost and facilitate better digestion (Bonvie, 53). Again, while this therapeutic application remains unresearched, the fact that stevia has a long history of use as a gastrointestinal tonic must be acknowledged. Plant glycosides can exert numerous therapeutic actions in the human body.
Stevia and Skin Care
Whole leaf stevia or its by-products have been used to soften and tone the skin and to ease wrinkles and lines. Facial masks can be made by adding liquid to the powder, and liquid elixirs can be used as facial toners to help tighten the skin. Stevia concentrate in the form of drops has also been used directly on sores or blemishes to promote healing. For this reason, some advocates of stevia use it on other skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, or minor cuts or wounds. Stevia tea bags can be placed over the eyes to ease fatigue and to tone the skin. Stevia skin care products are available in clay bases, masks, and water-based creams. Liquid extracts can be directly applied to the skin.
Well Child - For a Healthy Winter
June 21, 2005 05:13 PM
By Lesley Tierra, L.Ac.
As summer turns to fall and then to winter, the nights turn cold and the days brisk. This is a challenging time physiologically as our bodies, especially those of children, try to adapt to the changing climate. Coming into the Fall and Winter seasons, many people continue to eat and dress as if it were still summer, causing the body to work even harder at maintaining homeostasis. This is a special consideration for children who have the added challenge of being exposed to numerous other children in school and day care centers. This requires parents to be prepared by making sure your herbal health care chests are well stocked. One product worthy of having on hand is Well Child by Planetary Formulas, an echinacea-elderberry herbal syrup, specifically designed for the needs of our youth during the winter season. Well Child was developed by Michael Tierra, L.Ac., O.M.D. in the East-West Traditional Chinese Medicine Clinic in Santa Cruz, CA. Michael has been a practicing herbalist and licensed health professional for more than 35 years. His more than three decades of experience are represented in all his formulas, which have stood the test of time in his practice with literally thousands of clients.
Key Herbal Elements
* Echinacea purpurea leaf and root: No other herb is as widely used for winter immune health as echinacea. Originally used by Native Americans of the Plains and introduced to Eclectic physicians in the 1800's, echinacea has become one of the most widely researched botanicals in modern times. While the clinical findings of many studies have been mixed, there is substantial pre-clinical evidence demonstrating its ability to stimulate various immune responses, such as increasing macrophage, phagocytic and natural killer cell activity. Most of the clinical trials that have utilized protocols and dosages similar to those used by professional herbalists have reported positive findings with regard to its immune-enhancing effects. Echinacea is also very safe. * Elderberry (Sambucus nigra): Whereas echinacea reigns supreme as North America's primary wintertime botanical supplement, the berries of elder have a similar reputation in Europe, where it is widely used in cordials. Most research on elderberries has been conducted in Israel, where it was found to contain potent immune-stimulating compounds as well as powerful antioxidant activity. It makes one of the most delicious proanthocyanidin-rich syrups, so it is an ideal wintertime supplement. In Western herbal terms it is classified as a warming diaphoretic, which makes it ideal in combination with echinacea as a first line defense against the cold winds of winter. * Honeysuckle flowers (Lonicera spp.): Honeysuckle flowers are among the most widely used botanicals in Chinese herbalism for wintertime health. They are a key ingredient in the legendary classic Chinese formula Yin Chiao, which is perhaps the most frequently prescribed of all Chinese herbal supplements. Honeysuckle flowers are rich in a host of unique flavonoids which likely contribute to their health-promoting effects. These key ingredients are combined with cinnamon twig, chamomile flowers, catnip, lemon balm, and licorice root in a great-tasting syrup base of purified water, vegetable glycerin, and honey, along with extra vitamin C.
At the East-West Clinic, we have experienced dramatic positive results when giving Well Child. Luckily, this combination of botanicals tastes good. In addition, Well Child is formulated in a tasty glycerin base with added honey. The result is a liquid that is easily taken by most children. Because of the honey, we do not recommend Well Child for children under two years of age, unless it is subjected to Boiling water. We also recommend specific dietary changes, including the avoidance of cold and raw foods during the cold season, eating plenty of broths, avoiding dairy, and eliminating simple sugars from the diet while ensuring the intake of adequate fluids.
Chang HM, But PP. 1986. Pharmacology and Clinical Applications of Chinese Materia Medica. World Scientific. Singapore. Mumcuoglu M. 1995. Sambucus: Black elderberry extract. RSS Publishing, Inc. Skokie, IL. Upton R, Graff A (eds.). 2004 Echinacea purpurea root: Monograph of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia. Scotts Valley, CA.
Lesley Tierra L.Ac., Diplomate in Chinese Herbalism (NCCAOM) is a California state and nationally certified acupuncturist and herbalist. She has been practicing as a primary health care provider with her husband, Michael Tierra, in Santa Cruz, California for almost 20 years. Lesley combines acupuncture, herbs and food therapies in her work. She is the author of several books, including Herbs of Life, published by Crossing Press, and is co-author, with Michael, of Chinese Traditional Herbal Medicine. Lesley is also the director of the East-West School of Herbal Medicine, and has taught at schools throughout the United States and England since 1983.
Go Green - green foods may be the SWAT team that sets you free...
June 12, 2005 05:27 PM
Go Green by Chrystle Fiedler Energy Times, December 4, 2003
If you feel like your busy life is holding your health hostage, green foods may be the SWAT team that sets you free. "Green foods are worth a king's ransom as far as your health is concerned," says Betty Kamen, PhD, author of Betty Kamen's 1,001 Health Secrets (Nutrition Encounter). "Green foods capture solar energy, using it to produce chlorophyll, which gives it its distinctive green color. Since we obtain our food by eating these plants or by eating the animals that eat these plants, this process is the source of human life."
"Green foods are renewal foods," says Ryan Bradley, ND, of the Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Kenmore, Washington. "They help to counteract the nutrient depletion caused by stress and by caffeine intake. They're nutrient dense, grounding, balancing, and soothing in their energetic nature."
Ideally, your meals should supply you with greens, but "...99.9% of the population doesn't get three to five [daily] servings of leafy green vegetables like kale, collard greens and spinach," says Jordan Rubin, NMD, PhD, CNC, author of Patient Heal Thyself (Freedom Press). Green foods can bridge that gap.
"Green foods have become popular because it's a convenient way to get your servings," says Dr. Rubin. "You get the equivalent of two large salads with one serving of powdered green food. It's nutrient dense and low calorie so it's a great addition to any diet. It satisfies the brain so you don't feel hungry."
"Everyone can benefit from green food supplementation," adds Dr. Kamen. "It's a concentrated supplier of everything that's good about vegetables."
Chlorophyll for Health
The key ingredient of green foods is chlorophyll, the green blood of plants. The benefits for humans from chlorophyll can be profound. A study of individuals at high risk of developing liver cancer because of their exposure to environmental toxins showed a 55% reduction in noxious compounds when these people supplemented their diets with a semi-synthetic chlorophyll derivative with properties similar to those of chlorophyll (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001 Dec 4; 98(25):14601-6).
"This research supports the long-standing notion that chlorophyll, and green foods, can play a role in detoxification in the liver, and thus 'cleansing' the blood," says Dr. Bradley. "It's a good addition to any detox protocol. Test tube evidence also suggests that chlorophyll inhibits mutations in human cells."
Chlorophyll is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. It can help fight anemia, improve digestion and elimination, and act as a mild diuretic. It also helps friendly bacteria in the gut reproduce and thereby possibly boost immunity.
Green, Green Grasses
Fast-growing plants, such as wheat and barley cereal grasses, contain the most chlorophyll and the deepest green color.
"Wheat grass was one of the country's first multi-vitamins," says Dr. Rubin, who is also the author of Restoring Your Digestive Health (Twin Streams Health). "Certified organic cereal grasses pull a vast number of nutrients from the soil."
"The solar-powered factory in the leaves of the young grass plants is almost beyond comprehension," says Dr. Kamen. "Sprouted grains have exceptional nutritive value and high amounts of certain vitamins and minerals."
The blue-green microalgae spirulina is a chlorophyll powerhouse.
"Spirulina is high in protein, up to 65%, and the blue pigment of this blue-green algae, phycocyanin, has antioxidant, antiviral and antifungal properties," says Dr. Rubin.
Like other greens, spirulina can help you cut calories. "When you nourish the body and the brain with nutrient-dense and low-caloric food, it satisfies that impulse to keep eating." Spirulina is also high in B vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid, all commonly depleted nutrients. B vitamins are critical players in overall metabolism, and are vital to nerve and adrenal function.
Spirulina contains the minerals potassium and magnesium, plus iron. "It's been scientifically validated that [spirulina's iron is] comparable to the absorption from an egg," says Dr. Bradley. "It may benefit patients that are anemic. It's also a great choice for vegans who are looking for plant sources of iron."
In addition, the spirulina compounds called phycocyanins may control inflammation and lower the risk of cancer.
"Spirulina stimulates the part of the immune system [natural killer cells] responsible for our ability to fight off viruses and survey our tissues internally and detect and kill cancerous tissue," says Dr. Bradley.
Like spirulina, chlorella stimulates your natural killer cells to fight bacteria and viruses, and to strengthen your defenses.
"Chlorella is the richest food on the planet in chlorophyll," says Dr. Kamen. "It's also high in protein and rich in beta-carotene and minerals.
"One of the truly amazing facts about chlorella is its ability to oxygenate the blood," Dr. Kamen continues. "If your blood doesn't have enough oxygen, you can become listless and lethargic. Chlorella actually increases your hemoglobin, the oxygen transporter in your blood, so there is more oxygen present. It provides the necessary fuel for making healthy cells, and the result is renewed energy and vitality."
Both spirulina and chorella also contain omega-6 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory benefits and can improve the behavior of your blood vessels. In addition, they provide vitamin B12.
Green Foods from the Sea
Seaweed and other sea vegetables like kelp offer a green foods bonanza. Seaweed is low in calories but, like spirulina, offers a wealth of nutrients.
"Most seaweed provides a rich supply of many essential nutrients, including protein, calcium, iodine and zinc," says Bradley Willcox, MD, co-author of The Okinawa Program (Potter). "Iodine is essential to the function of the thyroid gland, which needs it to make hormones that regulate your body's metabolism. Lignans, the cancer-fighting phytoestrogens have been found in high quantities in seaweed, mostly kelp, which could conceivably provide some protection against certain types of cancers."
Lower rates of breast cancer were reported in Japanese patients eating a diet high in kelp (Nutr Cancer 1983; 4:217-22). Kelp has also been shown to reduce DNA damage induced by several known carcinogens (Mutat Res 1993; 303:63-70).
Sea greens contain omega-3 fatty acids, fats that boost heart health. "Sea vegetables may prove to be a more sustainable source of omega-3 fatty acids than the dwindling fish populations," says Dr. Bradley.
To incorporate sea greens into your diet, start by putting them on your lettuce and tomatoes.
"Sea vegetables can make a great addition to salads," says Dr. Bradley. "They're high in nutrition and add flavor because of the sodium. They also add texture, giving salads more crunch."
Other ways to green up your diet:
* "Kelp comes packaged in three-foot-long dried strips and is prepared by cutting the long strips into smaller two- to three-inch strips and Boiling them for about ten minutes. You remove the kelp, and then you can use the broth in soups, salads and other dishes. Kelp simmered with vegetables or tofu and served in miso soup is an Okinawan favorite," says Dr. Willcox.
* Wakame (one of Dr. Willcox's favorites), a type of kelp, has a taste and appearance that may remind Westerners of spinach lasagna.
* Nori seaweed can be used to wrap sushi and rice balls and also to season salads, soups and noodles.
"Seaweed tastes great and if used wisely, should not tip you into sodium overload," says Dr. Willcox.
Go for the Green
More and more people are realizing and enjoying the benefits of green foods. Dr. Bradley recommends keeping your green foods consumption simple. Add powdered greens, dried tablets and liquids to juice, mix them into smoothies or a protein shake, and sprinkle the powder on salads. Mixed in water, greens can be used as a morning tonic and help replace some of the nutrients like magnesium and B vitamins depleted by coffee and other caffeinated beverages, which act as diuretics.
"Incorporate a green drink into your diet once or twice a day," says Dr. Bradley. "It's the least expensive (health) insurance policy you can have."
Garlic Extract Modulation or Pulmonary Vascular Function:
May 12, 2005 12:41 PM
Garlic Extract Modulation or Pulmonary Vascular Function: Comparisons Among Fresh, Aged, Freeze-dried Powder and Oil Macerate