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Why Dextrose is Important for Athletes and Bodybuilders
October 10, 2022 02:17 PM
Dextrose, also known as glucose, is a simple sugar (monosaccharide) that is the primary source of energy for the body. It is important for athletes because it stimulates the body to drive, not only glucose, but amino acids and other nutrients into cells. This makes energy readily available to working muscles and helps to maintain glycogen stores. In addition, dextrose also helps to make important nutrients, such as creatine and Branched-chain aminos, available for use by muscle tissue. From an athletic performance perspective therefore, it can help fuel intense activity, maintain exercise endurance, and support recovery from exercise.
How Dextrose Works
Dextrose enters the bloodstream rapidly after being consumed and raises blood sugar levels quickly.* Insulin is then released by the pancreas in order to shuttle glucose into cells for use or storage.* Glucose is stored in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen; when these stores become depleted during exercise, blood sugar levels fall and fatigue sets in.* Dextrose can help delay this fatigue by replenishing glycogen stores and keeping blood sugar levels elevated.*
Dextrose And Creatine oppose each other hormonally; when insulin levels are elevated via carbohydrate consumption, creatine uptake into muscle cells is inhibited.* Conversely, when blood sugar levels are low (and insulin levels along with them), creatine uptake is enhanced.*Deoxyglucose acts as a transport vehicle for creatine, driving more of it into muscle cells where it can be used for energy production and protein synthesis – two key processes for supporting muscle growth.* Therefore, when combined with creatine, dextrose can further enhance its efficacy.
*BCAAs are essential amino acids that must be obtained through diet since they cannot be produced by the body; of the three BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, and valine), leucine is the most anabolic.*Leucine seems to work best when consumed with carbohydrates; when carbs and leucine are consumed together they stimulate insulin release – an anabolic hormone that promotes protein synthesis as well as drives amino acids and other nutrients into cells where they can be used or stored for future use..* Therefore, dextrose can help enhance the anabolic effects of leucine consumption.
Dextrose is a simple sugar that has many benefits for athletes. It helps to fuel intense activity, maintain exercise endurance, support recovery from exercise, and delay fatigue. It also helps to make important nutrients like creatine and Branched-chain aminos more available for use by muscle tissue. If you are an athlete who wants to perform at your best, make sure you include dextrose in your diet.
Leucine: The Muscle-Building Amino Acid Your Body Needs
June 23, 2018 09:54 AM
Leucine is a branched chain amino acid that is vital to building muscle, and can help to keep fat and blood sugar under control and prevent muscle deterioration in older athletes. It also has a role in promoting muscle recovery. Good dietary sources of leucine include grass-fed beef, venison, elk, tuna, chicken, lentils, wheat germ, hemp seeds, spirulina, and especially eggs. Leucine, like other branched chain amino acids, can only be ingested, not produced in the body.
"Keep reading for what you need to know about this branched-chain amino acid and how it can affect your health."
Read more: https://draxe.com/leucine/
Hang Eucalyptus in Your Shower and See What Happens to Your Body | Natural Cures
September 02, 2017 12:14 PM
You should hang eucalyptus in your shower and see what happens to your body. The eucalyptus is a great remedy for season allergies as well as many other issues people deal with. It is also a mental stimulant. This is amazing because it is just a plant, yet it is so powerful. Eucalyptus can be used during a hot bath and it helps to relax the muscles. It relieves anxiety and also lowers blood pressure.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYGk2nqwC6A&rel=0
"There is also eucalyptus oil, which, apart from sinusitis, also combats muscle and joint pain."
Heart tissue grown on spinach leaves
March 23, 2017 10:44 AM
In this sequence, a spinach leaf is stripped of its plant cells, a process called decellularization, using a detergent. The process leaves behind the leaf's vasculature. Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) were able to culture beating human heart cells on such decelluralized leaves. Plants and animals exploit fundamentally different approaches to transporting fluids, chemicals and macromolecules, yet there are surprising similarities in their vascular network structures," the authors wrote. "The development of decellularized plants for scaffolding opens up the potential for a new branch of science that investigates the mimicry between plant and animal."
Read more: Heart tissue grown on spinach leaves
Whey or Soy, Which Protein is Good For Health?
March 03, 2017 05:59 AM
There are benefits to both soy and whey protein. Used together in an exercise regimen, soy and whey proteins complement each other well. Whey protein, as mentioned, is high in Branched chain amino acids, used as an important energy source by the body during exercise, while soy protein has high amounts of the amino acids arginine and glutamine.
"At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. Not everyone's body reacts to soy and whey in the same way; it is necessary to do one's research, speak to a fitness trainer and doctor, and then determine what works best for you."
What Are The Benefits of Cedar Essential Oil ?
Cedar essential oil is a type of oil which is typically extracted from the leaves and Branches of cedar trees. For over a hundred years, cedar essential oil has been used to treat a whole range of health problems including respiratory problems, skin diseases, fungus and eczema.
Cedar oil can be cooked with tea to treat coughs, headaches and colds. It can also be mixed with bathing water to treat gout and rheumatism arthritis. This oil can be used to wash swollen feet in order to treat burns and other common problems.
Cedar essential oil is commonly used in making woodsy and rustic perfumes. The oil is normally mixed with lavender, pine and citrus to assist in boosting the smell of the perfume. Cedar acts as powerful fresheners which means it can help keep your room smelling better. It can as well be used for staving away bacteria and insects.
Cedar can freshen up your day. Consider adding it to your diffuser each day for better health and wellness.
What Are Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) And What Herbs Contain Them?
Glycosaminoglycans refers to a linear unBranched polysacharide chain molecule composed of disaccharides repeats with a high negative charge due to the presence of Uronic acid components and sulfate esters with some hydoxyl (OH) groups as part of its structural components. They have varying molecular size and sulfation depending on the tissue they are located on and their state. They function to attract cations and maintain the hydration of the extracellular membrane (E.C.M).
Glycoaminoglycans are classified into different groups based on different categories which include; glycosidic linkages in their structure, type of the sugar moiety, sulphate groups numbers and the location of the sulfate groups. Based on this various classification categories six major groups of GAGs exists, namely; heparin, hyaluronan, dermatan sulfate, heparin sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and keratan sulfate.
GAGs have a high solvation degree and and are as well highly viscous. This is beneficial to the body in that it helps to cushion and lubricate various connective tissues and body joints respectively. It therefore protects an individual from joint pains due to poor lubrication of the joints causing the bone to slide over each other. They also form the building blocks of proteoglycans which are the major building blocks of the extracellular matrix. Due to this property they are vital in determining the cellular activities such as cell division because the cell division machinery has to attach itself to the extracellular matrix before the division process is initiated. Some body tissues such as the nerve cells and the muscle cells require continuous cell division to replace worn out cells for the normal functioning. This means that structural deformities in the extracellular matrix will hinder the division process to occur and is most likely to lead to some neurodegenerative complexions.
Recent studies have linked GAGs to play a role in the cell biology of cancer.They have been established as the key macromolecules affecting cell properties and functions through interaction with key growth factors or by acting directly as receptor molecules. Through this it has been findings they play a vital role in the cell signaling process thus playing a role in the cancer disease progression.Heparin and heparin sulfate have been indicated through studies to have anti-tumor effects by preventing the process of angiogenesis which is the first step in cancer metastasis.Some have been associated with anti-coagulant properties.
Therefore GAGs are important molecules which play a vital role in protection against various forms of cancers. GAGs aremostly obtained from animal sources. The animal sources include shark fish and ray skeletons. Plants are also sources of GAGs, however their digestion by the human system is not possible. Seaweed is one herb that is rich in GAGs. However as earlier explain the digestion of the sea weed by the animal digestive system is quite a challenge. It is therefore recommended that we eat foods rich in proteins, and carbohydrates which can be used to synthesize GAGs in the body.
In summary, GAGs are heteropolymers which acts as the building blocks of the extracellular matrix in animals. The body has the ability to synthesize GAGs naturally hence nutritional supplement is required for the body to obtain key components necessary for the synthesis.
ROLE OF BRANCH CHAINED AMINO CIDS IN MUSCLE GROWTH AND ATHLETIC PERFOMANCE
January 20, 2014 09:06 AM
Essential amino acids are amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the body and must be ingested from plant and animal sources. There are ten essential amino acids needed by humans plus an extra two essential amino acids needed by infants. For athletes, a large amount of essential amino acids of all types is needed to help repair, grow and maintain muscle. This iis where 3 essential amino acids come into play .These are leucine, isoleucine and valine.
Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine are Branched Chained essential Amino Acids(BCAA). These three amino acids account for 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle protein and 40% of the essential amino acids required by humans. Due to their importance, dietary supplementation of these amino acids has become quite common due to their beneficial effects. BCAAs help burn patients to recover faster as the amino acids in high concentration provide the material for the cells to repair themselves at a faster rate. At the same time, BCAAs help in managing diabetes
Are very popular due to their many functions in the body of an athlete. This is because unlike other amino acids, it is metabolized in muscle tissue, not in the liver thus it has a more direct effect on the muscles than other amino acids.
These functions include:
Branch Chain Amino Acids benefis?
October 24, 2012 07:54 AM
Most of the amino acids are beneficial to the human bodies. In fact, amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which is regarded as the building blocks of human body. Branched chain amino acids or BCAAs are also highly beneficial to the humans. Let us have a look at the health benefits of Branch chain amino acids.Brach chain amino acids increase the protein synthesis significantly. If you are suffering from catabolic crisis, then you could successfully fight against catabolism with the help of these amino acids. If you want to add few pounds of muscles in your body, then you could also depend upon the Branched chain ones as they speed up the rate of protein synthesis.
Once you manage to synthesis protein more than you are doing now, then it is certain that you will add muscles.BCAAs also help in muscle retention. This means, it will help you to add muscles and at the same time to retain it as well. In fact, BCAAs supplements are the one stop solution for the muscle related worries. BCAAs supplements helps the people, who are doing physical exercise to lose fat by making them able to sweat out more at the gym.
What is Cordyceps Mushroom good for?
March 10, 2012 12:00 AM
Cordycep mushrooms have been receiving a lot of hype lately, as they are said to have many compounds that can benefit ones health. Cordycep mushrooms have been used for 1500 years in ancient Chinese history, and was proven to benefit a variety of factors. However, it seems as if people are having a tough time when it comes to looking for them, as they are known for being in natural habitats. Cordyceps itself is a type of fungus, and it includes over 400 kinds of described species. Cordyceps are abundant in tropical areas, as they tend to thrive better in humidity and high temperature. Cordyceps have also had an extensive history of being a medicinal fungi. Cordyceps are not really known in the Western world, as scientists have not been able to study it properly yet. However, since China has been studying the fungus for some time now, some of this fungus' secrets were already unfolded. The main reason to why Cordyceps have received so much attention is that the History Channel stated that if someone finds an ounce of Cordyceps, you will be given 900 dollars.
The Benefits To Taking A Supplement Of Cordycep.
One benefit to taking a supplement of cordycep is that it dilates the airways of your lungs, allowing more oxygen to your lungs. Cordyceps are also known for fighting the means of womens infertility. It also enhances mens sexual performance and fuction by stimulating the sex hormones. Cordyceps helps in building muscle and even improve ones physical performance as well. It also has the capability to reduce the effects of fatigue, and has anti-aging properties as well. These help in strengthening the liver and kidney, as it improves the natural flow of your blood. They help strengthen and even enhance your immune system because it has the capability to increase and improve a huge amount of natural killer cells.
Where Can You Find Cordyceps In Nature Habitats?
Cordyceps can be found in a huge array of areas such as Australia, Asia, Europe, North America, China, and Russia. However, they tend to grow in the South areas of tropical places. The best places to look for cordyceps would have to be in the areas where ants climb the moment before they pass away. Those areas are tree Branches and the bottom of tree leaves. They can also be found in tropical forests as well. The fruiting body of a Cordycep sort of has a grass-like appearance, making it easy for them to be spotted. They also kind of look like worms, and though they are technically mushrooms, in wild areas, they can grow on plants, insects, caterpillars, and a variety of other fungus' as well.
Cordyceps can be found in a huge array of areas, so you must learn and know exactly what they look like to actually find a couple ounces. Cordyceps are said to be worth a fortune, and its value has even increased throughout the years. Even if it's tough to find cordyceps, at least the reward that you are given is decent.
Guggul: An effective remedy to lower cholesterol levels in the body
February 22, 2012 11:34 PM
Guggul is a popular herb in Indian Ayurvedic medicine that is used to treat several ailments. Due to its miraculous healing properties, it has been used for centuries in India to treat a range of health conditions. Recently many clinical studies have been carried out to find out the potential health benefits of herb guggul. Research has shown that guggul helps in lowering total body cholesterol, especially the bad ones-LDL and triglycerides. Before we move on to find the positive effects of guggul on heart and cholesterol levels, let us find out the more about this wonder herb.
Botanically known as Commiphora mukul, guggul is a small shrub reaching up to a height of 4-6 ft. It is found in Central Asia, more common in India. It possess red colored flowers, thorns on Branches and oval pulpy fruits. Guggul is prepared from the gum resin that is excreted by the bark of the plant. It contains phytosterols named guggusterones, aromatic acids, steroids, sterols, lignans, fatty acids, organic acids and diterpenes. According to Indian traditional system of medicine, Ayurveda, guggul contains hot potency which helps in treating diseases caused by vata dosha prominence. It treats coating and obstruction of channels that helps in treating and preventing atherosclerosis and other medical conditions caused due to high levels of lipids in the body. Raw guggul exudate is not safe and it is always used after purification in milk.
How does the herb guggul help maintain good cholesterol levels?
The exact mechanism by which guggul lowers cholesterol levels is still not understood, but many theories have been proposed.
1. Guggul works by blocking the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver. Hence liver does not release excess LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of many heart diseases.
2. According to studies, guggul has an impact on the functioning of throid gland and production of bile acids in the body, both of which play an important role in the metabolism of cholesterol.
3. Studies have indicated the role of guggul in preventing oxidation of cholesterol. Oxidation of LDL cholesterol leads to formation of plaques in blood vessels and causes Atherogenesis. The antioxidant action of guggul inhibits cholesterol oxidation and reduces the risk of Atherosclerosis.
The cholesterol lowering properties and antioxidant action make guggul a beneficial Anti-Atherogenesis agent. It can lower cholesterol levels by 14-17 percent and reduce triglycerides by 22-30 percent.
Guggul and heart benefits:
Guggul helps in promoting overall cardiovascular health. It reduces the adhesion of platelets and this reduces the rick of cardiovascular diseases. Studies have shown that Guggul when taken along with Inula racemosa helps in reducing chest pain and dyspnea associated with angina. It has potential cardi-protective benefits that keep your heart health. It helps in lowering blood sugar level and treating any inflammatory heart condition.
Health supplements are prepared from the extract of this highly beneficial plant. Consult your health provider before you start taking guggul supplements. When taken in recommended doses, guggul helps you keep your heart healthy and fit so that you can live a healthy life.
What Are The Cruciferous Vegetables With Indoles?
October 18, 2011 02:19 PM
A cruciferous vegetable is a common category of vegetables. The term cruciferous is used to refer to vegetables which have a cross - shaped pattern that can be found under the core of the plant's stalk. This classification of vegetables includes:
1. CABBAGE. This vegetable is a common leafy green vegetable of the specie Brassica oleracea. It is an herb - like, biennial flowering plant which has a short stem with a jam - packed mass of leaves. The leaves are generally green to light green but variety comes in red or purple color. An immature cabbage has a characteristic compact and circular cluster of young leaves.
2. BROCCOLI. A kind of vegetable which is categorized in the Italica cultivar plant cluster. This is different from cabbage because it has large flower heads which is usually dark green in color. It is arranged in a small tree – like manner on Branches which is sprouting from a solid edible stalk. This vegetable is similar to cauliflower, another cruciferous vegetable.
3. CAULIFLOWER. Like cabbage and broccoli, cauliflower is also a member of the species Brassica oleracea. Unlike cabbage, this cruciferous vegetable is an annual plant which is reproduced by seeds. The appearance of this plant is like that of a broccoli. The floral meristems are usually eaten only while the stalk and leaves are utilized in vegetable broths.
4. BRUSSEL SPROUTS. This is a cultivar of cabbage family which is cultivated because of it edible buds. It is named after the city in Belgium which is believed to be the origin of the vegetable.
Cruciferous has many health benefits. Aside from its fiber – rich content, cruciferous vegetables has a promising benefit of lowering the risk of cancers specifically with that of the colon, breast and prostate. The special chemical compound in cruciferous vegetables is called “Indoles”. Indoles are considered as a phytonutrient which can benefit the body in many ways.
Since the ancient times, Indoles have been used for many medicinal purposes. In fact, most Roman health practitioners during the olden times have utilized Indoles as treatment for ulcerated breasts. Therefore, without a surprise Indoles found in cruciferous vegetables are widely used for the prevention of breast cancer. Clinical studies have revealed that the mechanism of action of Indoles in relation with decreased risk of cancer is that Indoles can effectively decrease the so – called C16 estrogen and increase C2 estrogen. The latter is helpful in preventing the development of abnormal breast tissue growth or cancer.
Furthermore, Indoles have also been found out to have important benefit in detoxifying the body from free radicals, thus preventing the body from free radical damage and promoting a healthy cellular production and growth. Other theories have stated that Indoles in cruciferous vegetables can block carcinogenic chemical compounds from mutating the cell’s DNA and neutralize the effects of estrogen associated with cancer development.
Other vegetables which contain Indoles are onions and garlic. The Indoles component of these vegetables effectively works hand in hand with antioxidants in protecting the body from harmful substances and toxins.
Aside from these natural vegetables, Indoles chemical compound can also be made available to the body in the form cruciferous vegetable extracts. This supplement has adequate amount of balanced Indoles compound which can equate with the body’s daily recommended intake of Indoles necessary to fight against free radical damage and cancer. However, extra caution must be observed to prevent untoward side effects and unnecessary drug interactions.
Cut the calories, try Indoles in supplement form!
What is the Difference between Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea?
July 06, 2011 10:32 AM
Echinacea Health Benefits
Echinacea is a group of plant species that belongs to the same family as dandelion, sunflower, and daisy. These flowering shrubs are best known as ornamental plants in gardens. Also, they are widely recognized as medicinal herbs in alternative medicine. Modern herbalists have attributed a diverse variety of healing properties to this herb, drawing on its traditional uses among the Native Americans.
Elk root, black samson echinacea, or narrow-leaved purple cornflower refers to Echinacea angustifolia. Its native range stretches from Manitoba in the north to Texas in the south. It is an herbaceous plant, as all species of echinacea are. It grows up to 28 inches in height, extending from a Branched taproot. Its stems and leaves are hairy while other species are smooth. Its flowers resemble a cone in shape.
Echinacea angustifolia is so named in the vernacular due to the fact that elks knowingly consume the plant when sick or wounded. Elk root is an herb important to folk medicine practices of Plain Indians, such as the Cheyenne and Apache. It displays analgesic properties, and thus has been in use as a pain reliever for external wounds and internal inflammation, including allergies, rheumatism, and arthritis.
Research on elk root has been promising. It is one of the species of echinacea believed to enhance the immune system and improve immune responses. In particular, it is good for the respiratory system. It has been used in the treatment of the common cold, sore throat, and nasal congestion. In addition, it exhibits antimicrobial properties, which effectively wards off infections of the respiratory tract.
Eastern purple cornflower, or simply purple cornflower, refers to Echinacea purpurea. It enjoys a wide distribution in North America, though they thrive in large concentrations in the wild in regions close to the east coast. Unlike all other species of echinacea, it grows from a woody base with fibrous roots instead of a taproot. Its flowers are arranged in a cone, sitting atop a stem that grows up to 40 inches.
Echinacea purpurea is arguably the most extensively studied of all species of echinacea. Traditionally, it has been utilized by many different tribes in North America as a cure-all medicinal herb. Clinical trials have shown that juice extracts obtained from this plant species are useful for the short term treatment of cold infections, though contraindications in children and pregnant women were noted.
Echinacea purpurea displays chemopreventive potential. Laboratory studies have discovered that it contains alkamides, which bind to cannabinoid receptors and inhibit tumor growth and pain chemicals in the process. Also, it has been linked to immunotherapy largely owing to its properties that appear to increase the activity of immune cells. It shows promise as an adjunct treatment for cancer.
Either way, Echinacea can help boost the body so the body can fight back against disease. Make sure you have some in your medicine cabinet just in case you feel a cold coming on!
What Makes a Good Joint Complex or Formula?
June 29, 2011 11:44 AM
Joint pain is a common medical condition that afflicts billions of people worldwide. It is brought on by many different factors, though most of the cases have been tied to arthritis. The joints are especially susceptible to inflammation in old age partly due to the fact that cartilage health becomes impaired as we age. The good news is that certain organic compounds replenish the cartilage content of joints.
Medications and remedies formulated to alleviate joint pain have been extensively studied in the past few decades. Analgesics remain the mainstay of treatment for arthritis to this day, but alternative medicine has also made advances. Proponents of nutritional supplements believe that a good joint formula does not only provide relief from pain but also supplies the proteins necessary for joint health.
Joint cartilage comprises a group of complex carbohydrates called polysaccharides or oligosaccharides that are attached to proteins. In a process called glycosylation, enzymes add long unBranched chains of carbohydrates to core proteins and form proteoglycans, which nourish the extracellular matrix found in cartilages. In the case of osteoarthritis, the proteoglycan content of joints dwindle with age.
Glucosamine is a precursor to polysaccharides and oligosaccharides. In particular, it is utilized by enzymes to form glycosaminoglycans, which are in turn added to proteoglycans. As a treatment for joint pain, it comes in the form of glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride. It is one of the most promising of all complementary therapies for arthritis as studies have reported positive results.
Therapeutic remedies that contain glucosamine often come with chondroitin. The sulfated form of chondroitin is a major constituent of proteoglycans, and as such it is generally found in large amounts in joint cartilage in humans. For decades, chondroitin has been used as a therapeutic remedy for arthritis in conjunction with glucosamine as they are believed to enhance the efficacy of each other.
Proponents believe that chondroitin and glucosamine supply the body with healthy quantities of glycosaminoglycans for use by enzymes in the synthesis of proteoglycans. There is consensus in the scientific community that its long term use for the sole purpose of treating osteoarthritis is safe. In addition, recent studies and clinical trials in the past few years have been very encouraging.
Methylsulfonylmethane, often abbreviated as MSM, is a compound listen as an ingredient in joint formulas. Nutraceutical experts believe that the best joint formula currently available contains all three: glucosamine, chondroitin, and methylsulfonylmethane. While glucosamine and chondroitin provides nutrition for cartilage tissue, MSM counteracts inflammatory mediators that cause joint pain.
Alternative remedies have been the subject of most studies on arthritis in recent years. While analgesics remain commonly used, dietary supplements are becoming increasingly popular among people suffering from joint pain. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM are the most studied of all supplements formulated for joint pain, the reason why health care providers recommend them first.
Grab yourself a joint formula complex and feel the difference!
How Does Holy Basil Extract Help With Pain
June 06, 2011 02:43 PM
Holy Basil And Your Health.
Holy Basil, technically known as Ocimum tenuiflorum, is a perennial plant which is a member of the family Lamiaceae. This kind of plant is commonly cultivated in the tropics region but can also be seen as an escape weeds. Holy Basil plant is an upright shrub with many hairy Branches that can grow up to 30 to 60 centimeters in height. It has an aromatic leaves in green color that are slightly toothed. It also bears flowers which are purple in color and also has a strong scent. Holy Basil has many medicinal uses. In fact, in South Asian regions, Holy Basil is commonly utilized as an herbal tea.
Holy Basil claimed to be an effective pain treatment. Clinical studies show that this plant contains high amounts of Eugenol which mimics the actions of COX – 2 Inhibitor drugs. COX – 2 Inhibitors is a pain killer which is classified as Non – Steroidal Anti – Inflammatory Drug or NSAID. This type of drug is directly targets the enzyme Cyclooxygenase – 2 which is responsible for inflammatory response. Inflammation is associated with swelling which further cause pain. If an area is swollen, the nerve endings are compressed therefore pain is felt.
Aside from its potent pain alleviating property, Holy Basil is also useful in reducing blood sugar levels. This is the reason why it is utilized as an effective treatment for diabetes mellitus. Holy Basil also has an antioxidant effect. As we know for a fact, antioxidants are useful in eliminating harmful toxins in the body known as free radicals. Free radicals can damage cells and even tamper DNA formation during cellular division. Other benefit of Holy Basil includes its anti – stress property. Holy Basil leaves are considered to be an adaptogen or anti – stress agent which protects an individual against various stressors. Experts recommend that an individual can consume a dozen of Holy Basil leaves two times daily to prevent stress. Holy Basil leaves are thought to purify blood thus improving blood circulation and tissue oxygenation.
Aside from Eugenol, Holy Basil also contains the compound Carvacrol which has a strong antibacterial property. Carvacrol has the capacity to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria such as E. coli and Bacillus cereus. Carvacrol is also an effective digestive aid. Research reveals that Carvacrol is can alleviate gastric upset and improve digestion of food and absorption of nutrients.
Holy Basil extracts are reported to be safe and effective in helping alleviate pain and treating other health conditions. Experts suggest that Holy Basil is not for long – term use. It must be used only for a maximum of four weeks. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers must not use this supplement to be completely safe. Holy Basil is discovered to slow blood clotting therefore it must not be used within two weeks before and after any type of surgery. Finally, though Holy Basil extracts are relatively safe, it would still be best to consult a qualified healthcare provider and discuss with him or her your health status and history.
Get some today and reap the benefits of this wonderful herb for yourself!
Can L-Arginine Really Help with Circulation Blood Flow?
February 05, 2011 01:43 PM
The incorporation of nutrients from our diet to the parts of the human body is taken care of by the network of blood vessels that make up the circulatory system, including the distribution of oxygen. Blood flow in effect largely contributes to the effective utilization of bioactive substances from digested foods. The muscles that line the inner walls of blood vessels are responsible for healthy circulation with the aid of a substance that is catalyzed from L-arginine.
Arteries, capillaries, and veins are the three primary members of the vascular highway that forms the systematic circulation. The arteries from the heart Branch out in smaller vascular tubes called capillaries, which are connected to the system of veins leading back to the heart. Blood continuously flows inside this complex loop of tubes and brings nutrition to the tissues at the end of capillaries.
Endothelium and Smooth Muscle Cells
Circulation is a vascular function regulated by the smooth muscle cells within the blood vessel walls that promote streamline flow to avoid turbulence. In a lifetime the flow may result in chaos, depending on the health of blood vessels. A special class of tissues exposed to the blood plasma known as endothelium stimulates the smooth muscle cells that make up most of the systematic circulation to perform its function. However, factors associated with aging interfere with the proper functioning of both the smooth muscle cells and the endothelium.
The human body possesses a gene responsible for the encoding of a group of enzymes that aid healthy blood flow in the circulatory system. This gene identified as Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS), as the name suggests, has something to do with the endothelium and the chemical compound nitric oxide. While chronic expression of nitric oxide in the body may lead to inflammatory diseases, this gas actually serves a focal role in preventing damage to all tissues in the human body resulting from the deprivation of blood supply.
Nitric Oxide and L-Arginine
How? Nitric oxide is produced at the right amounts by all mammals for use as a signaling agent at the cellular level. In the circulatory system, nitric oxide is known to display vasodilator properties, that is, it brings about the relaxation of smooth muscle cells that line the blood vessel walls. Vasodilation is central to circulation and blood flow inasmuch as the widening of vascular walls leads to the flow of blood. Since nitric oxide must be manufactured at healthy levels, it is regulated by Endothelial NOS.
However, its production depends on the availability of Arginine in the human body. The amino acid L-arginine is not synthesized at sufficient amounts at all times, and thus it must be derived from our diet. No one can really tell what conditions govern the biosynthesis of L-arginine, and for individuals who have poor nutrition, levels of L-arginine are significantly low. This is the reason why medical professionals advocate the use of L-arginine to counter vascular diseases. Supplementation of L-arginine has in fact been associated to healthy circulation.
If You Are Having Trouble With Night Driving, Bilberry Extract Could Help
February 02, 2011 10:06 PM
Night blindness is very common nowadays. According to statistics, a lack of vitamin A is the primary cause of night blindness or inability to see at night or in dim light. The treatment of this eye condition will depend upon the cause. Treatment may be as simple as getting a new eye glasses prescription. But invasive procedures may also be required most especially those that are caused by cataracts. Fortunately, Bilberry extracts may help night blindness.
Bilberry is a low – growing perrenial shrub growing approximately 15 to 20 inches in height. It is a member of the family Ericaceae in the genus Vaccinium. Its Branches are green with sharp edges. It bears edible berr that is seemingly wrinkled and black. Bilberry is a comparative to the common berries known as blueberry and cranberry. The active compounds in bilberry fruit are known as anthocyanosides. Bilberry extract has a deep bluish purple tone which contains the majority of the active substance of the fruit known as anthocyanidin. Anthocyanidin is a component of anthocyanosides. It can help increase the formation of rhodopsin. According to studies, rhodopsin is formed from an aldehyde form of vitamin A called retinaldehyde, or retinal as commonly used. It is then bound to the protein opsin. This compound consisting of retinal and opsin is stored in photoreceptors of the retina of the eye known as rods and cones. Rhodopsin is the compound in the eye that is responsible for adjusting eye perception to light variations.
This plant extract is also commonly used for treating eye problems like cataracts and retinal disorders particularly retinopathy. Scientists found out that anthocyanosides help protect the retina. Since bilberry improves the formation of rhodopsin, adequate levels of rhodopsin can significantly improve night vision and reduce visual fatigue. This eye pigment could help those individuals who are having trouble driving at night because of its rhodopsin regenerating property.
Aside from supporting a healthy eye function, bilberry has many other health benefits. It has an antioxidant, anti – inflammatory, collagen stabilizing and vasoprotective properties. Generally, anthocyanosides are considerably beneficial to the overall health of the body. It can improve circulation by preventing blood clumping by reducing platelet aggregation. It can also prevent or reduce the amount and extent of damage to cells caused by free radicals.
Further clinical studies are being done to be able to get concrete evidence on the fruit’s benefits especially to the eyes. Preliminary results show that bilberry decreases eyestrain after an excessive use of computers, protects against glaucoma by improving blood vessel integrity in the eyes, reduces the occurrence of cataracts by maintaining the integrity of connective tissues in the eyes and lessens the risk of retinopathy among diabetic patients. Preparations of bilberry extracts include teas, capsules or tablets.
Cascara sagrada and constipation
November 09, 2010 05:27 PM
Cascara Sagrada is a large deciduous herbal tree. It is found in the specific area of the western coastal regions of the North America, mainly along the bottomlands in the valleys, along canyons and forested mountain slopes. It is also found growing along the Pacific Northwest from the Canadian province of British Columbia down to the northern parts of the California state. It reaches to the height of twenty to thirty feet and circumference of one and a half feet in diameter at maturity. With slender Branches having many leaves, the bark of the tree is reddish brown is colour.
The leaves are green and yellow in colour and elliptical in shape with finely toothed edge, rounded base and sharp or blunt tips. Along the slender Branches, the foliage tends to be guided by the crowding of the leaves at the tips of the Branch lets. During the months of May to June, it bears greenish white flowers which are borne in clusters along the axils of the leaves. The flowers by the month of September gives rounded black fruits, which bear two or three smooth seeds. The various parts of the tree were used by the Native Americans in their traditional folk medicine.
The Spanish on observing this named the tree as Cascara Sagrada, meaning the “Sacred bark”. In the traditional Indian medicine it was used in preparing various herbal medicines. In the autumn season the bark of the tree would be stripped, dried and then be left to a slow aging process at least for a year. The prepared bark was then kept in water and boiled to the steep. The boiled water was cooled and drunk as a potent herbal medicine to alleviate the symptoms of constipation in affected patients.
In the year 1877 the American physicians recognized and accepted its many medicinal benefits. From the year 1894 they started listing Cascara Sagrada in the books U.S. Pharmacopeia for the significant medical benefits it provided. It is believed to be one of the world’s most naturally available laxatives and is still marketed as a natural plant based laxative. The wave like contractions it causes along the musculature in the walls of the intestine for alleviating constipation is the ultimate medicinal ability It possess which no other modern medicine has.
It is known for the peristalsis forces that it creates to tone the relaxed intestinal muscles of the affected patients. It shows great results by irritating the intestinal tissues. In old and weakened people is shows potent laxative action when properly diluted, providing great relief. The honey made from the flowers of this tree also show laxative action but is mild in nature. It is believed that the milder laxative action produced by the combination two related European species of Cascara is safe and beneficial to patients.
This herbal tree is widely used in patients with chronic constipation. Many commercial laxatives contain the bark of this herbal tree as the key ingredient of the product. If you suffer from constipation please contact your health care provider. Laxatives are a temporary fix for constipation and should not be taken for long periods of time. Lack of bowel movement is usually due to low fiber diets. Adding additional fiber to ones diet can boost bowel function and reduce constipation.
October 01, 2009 11:57 AM
In the past decade, ginkgo has received much attention. It has been revered throughout China and other areas of Asia for thousands of years. However, its popularity increased in Western countries. An increase in sales can be attributed to interest in the benefits of ginkgo on conditions that are associated with aging like Alzheimer’s, memory loss, dementia, and circulatory disorders. Often, gingko is used to increase the blood flow to the brain, which improves memory problems like Alzheimer’s, to prevent strokes, and to increase blood circulation through vasodialation. The improved circulation is also thought to improve ear conditions, help blood flow to the retina, aid in preventing muscular degeneration, reduce frequency of asthma attacks, and help transplant recipients avoid rejection.
The ability of ginkgo to boost brain function has been studied extensively. Most importantly, ginkgo increases oxygen supply to brain cells, as the brain is the body’s most sensitive organ to oxygen deprivation. Additionally, ginkgo has been used to improve electrical transmission in nerves and supply more oxygen and nutrients to brain cells. The effect that ginkgo has on the brain and circulatory system disorders seems to be extremely promising for a variety of conditions. Ginkgo has also been found to be effective in treating migraine headaches. In one study that took place in 1975, ginkgo extract was given to individuals who were suffering from migraines. Results concluded that eighty percent of the patients showed improvement or were cured of the condition.
Ginkgo extract has also helped dementia that results from poor blood flow to the brain. Senile dementia is often recognized by depression, unusual fatigue, and memory problems. Ginkgo has the ability to help improve circulation to the brain tissue, which in turn improves brain function.
Blood platelet aggregation, or clotting, can cause serious problems in the body. Among these are strokes, heart attacks, and coronary thrombosis. It has been found that ginkgo can reduce the tendency for platelets to stick together and prevent them from forming clots in the arteries and veins.
The brain and nervous system are extremely sensitive to free-radical damage because of the high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids. It has been found that ginkgo’s antioxidant activity is particularly powerful in these areas, along with the eye and retina. This is extremely helpful in conditions like retinopathy, cataracts and macular degeneration. The central nervous system possesses fat lipids in the cell membranes that are typically attracted by free radicals. Ginkgo can help protect these cell membranes and prevent condition which can occur in the brain and nervous system that are often associated with aging, like memory loss.
The leaves of the ginkgo plant are used to provide adaptogen, alterative, antioxidant, antiseptic, and stimulant properties. Primarily, ginkgo is extremely helpful in treating ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, lack of attention span, blood clots, cardiovascular disorders, poor circulation, dementia, dizziness, edema, impotence, inflammation, ischemia, memory loss, lack of mental clarity, multiple sclerosis, muscular degeneration, PMS, Raynaud’s disease, senility, stress, stroke, and tinnitus.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with allergies, angina, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome, coughs, depression, lack of equilibrium, eye problems, hearing problems, hemorrhoids, lung disorders, migraines, mood swings, toxic shock syndrome, transplant rejection, varicose veins, vascular problems, and vertigo.
September 25, 2009 10:56 AM
The eyebright plant is elegant and small, growing between two and eight inches high. This plant is an annual, commonly growing on heaths and other dry pastures, especially on chalky soil. The plant flowers from July to September and has deeply cut leaves and small, white or purplish flowers. The stem is erect and wiry. It comes in either unBranched, small specimines, or with many opposite Branches. The leaves are tiny, about 1/6 to ½ inches in length and opposite to one another on the lower portion of the stem. The flowers, which are white or lilac, have purple veins and terminal spikes. The structure of the flower places the plant in the Scrophulariaceae family. The seeds in this flower are produced in tiny, flattened capsules, and are numerous and ribbed.
When a bee visitor comes in search of the honey lying around the ovary at the bottom the petal tube, it knocks against the anther spurs, setting the pollen free so that it falls on the insect’s head. When visiting the next flower, the bee will then rub its head against the outstanding stigma, in which cross-fertilization takes place.
The eyebright plant has white petals that have a red or purple tinge, resembling bloodshot eyes. It is this appearance that is thought to be the reason for the use of eyebright in treating eye irritations as far back as the Middle Ages. Topical applications of this herb were prescribed by Dioscorides and Theophrastus for eye infections.
The eyebright plant will not grow readily in a garden if it is transplanted unless it is protected by grass. The reason for this is that it is a semi-parasite and relies on its nourishment on the roots of other plants. Above ground, the plant appears to be a perfectly normal plant, with flowers and bright green leaves. But below the surface, suckers from its roots spread around and lie on the rootlets of the grass plants surrounding it. The grass preyed upon does not suffer very much. The eyebright plant, being an annual, renews itself each year. For centuries, eyebright has been the herb of choice for treating eye irritations. It is extremely helpful in conditions that involve the mucous membranes. This herb can help to relieve eye irritations or eyestrain when used as eyewash. The herb’s antiseptic properties allow it to help fight eye infections. Traditional uses of eyebright include eye problems such as failing vision, eye inflammation, eye ulcers, conjunctivitis, and eyestrain. This herb is able to strengthen all parts of the eye and provide elasticity to the nerves and optic devices that are essential for sight. Additionally, eyebright is stimulating to the liver, as it helps cleanse the blood.
The entire eyebright plant is used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, bitter, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are copper, iodine, iron, silicon, vitamins A, B, B-complex, C, D, and E, and zinc. Primarily, eyebright is extremely beneficial in dealing with blood impurities, cataracts, colds, conjunctivitis, eye disorders and infections, eyestrain, and glaucoma.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating black eyes, sinus congestion, coughs, hay fever, headaches, hoarseness, memory loss, and sties. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by this herb, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
September 24, 2009 10:50 AM
The pleurisy plant is a perennial herb that has several stems. It can be found growing three feet high, with Branches at the top. The leaves are dark green on the upper surface and pale green on the underside. The flowers are richly colored orange and are found blooming from June through September. This plant is a member of the milkweed family. Monarchs, swallowtails, and other butterflies are especially attracted to the pleurisy plant when it is in flower. The plant prefers open, dry fields. It is often growing in abundance in the southern United States. Similar to other milkweeds, pleurisy root produces pods that reveal rows of silky reeds that drift in the wind in autumn. However, unlike most milkweeds, this species does not produce a milky sap.
This plant is native to North America. It was long used by Indians and pioneers. Often, it was spread onto sores after being powdered and mixed into a paste. Indians of several regions brewed a tea from the leaves to induce vomiting in certain rituals, while settlers and Indians alike made a tea from the root to induce perspiration and expectoration in severe respiratory conditions. Pleurisy was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopeia in the 19th century.
Pleurisy root developed its name because of its use for treating lung conditions. The name comes from the Greek root word pleura, which means “lung membranes.” This name implies that this herb is extremely valuable for treating pleurisy. This is because it relieves chest pain and eases breathing difficulties. Pleurisy was used by Native Americans. Then, they introduced it to the European settlers who were suffering from numerous respiratory problems.
This herb works primarily as an expectorant. Pleurisy helps to expel phlegm from bronchial and nasal passages. The herb is responsible for opening lung capillaries. This aids in the release of mucus, which thins discharge. This process helps to reduce lung congestion and improve breathing.
In addition to its uses for pulmonary problems, pleurisy root is also used as a gentle tonic. This tonic helps with stomach pain that is caused by gas, indigestion, and dysentery.
Additionally, pleurisy root is a powerful diaphoretic. It increases body temperature and opens pores to induce perspiration. It has also been used against poisoning and acute rheumatism. Unfortunately, this is not recommended for children.
The root of the pleurisy plant is used to provide alterative, anodyne, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, febrifuge, nervine, mild purgative, and stimulant properties. Primarily, pleurisy is extremely beneficial in treating spasmodic asthma, bronchitis, acute dysentery, emphysema, fevers, indigestion, lung disorders, pleurisy, and pneumonia. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with croup, contagious diseases, flu, gas, kidney problems, measles, and excessive mucus, absent perspiration, poisoning, acute rheumatism, scarlet fever, tuberculosis, and typhus.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on prescription medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by pleurisy, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
September 22, 2009 10:53 AM
The prickly ash plant is a tall shrub that is often described as a small tree. It can usually be found growing up to a height of twenty feet. The shrub can be distinguished by its barbed stalks and Branches. The leaves of this plant are covered with fine hair-like material when they are young. As the leaves mature, they become smooth and develop spots of resins on the outer surface. When crushed, the leaves give out a fragrance that is similar to that of the lemon. The shrub is responsible for bearing green colored flowers. These appear in bunches on old wood before the leaves. Reddish-brown casings can be found on the wood, which house black seeds that are spicy to taste. The prickly ash shrub can be found in the region that ranges from Canada to Virginia and Nebraska.
The Native American tribes used prickly ash for toothaches and infection. Subsequently, it appeared in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1829 to 1926. It was also found in the National Formulary from 1916 to 1947 as a treatment for rheumatism. This herb was often used in the South during cholera and typhus epidemics. There, it was able to produce positive results. Prickly ash is often used in combination with a variety of other herbs.
Samuel Thomson, a nineteenth-century herbalist, considered prickly ash to be a valuable natural stimulant. It helps with problems such as rheumatism, cold hands and feet, ague, and fever. This herb is responsible for stimulating circulation, which is essential for a healthy body. Prickly ash can also help circulation that is impaired. This is the case in cold extremities and joints. Additionally, this herb can help with arthritis and lethargy because of its stimulant action and because it shows promise as way to enhance the immune system and relieve exhaustion.
Prickly ash can be used as a poultice to help speed up the healing of wounds and preventing infection. Also, it helps increase the production of saliva. This helps to eliminate mouth dryness. The bitter and sweet qualities of this herb are responsible for helping to heal deficiencies in the heart, lungs, spleen, and intestine. These qualities also help to strengthen them. As an example, prickly ash has been used to treat ulcers, asthma, and colic. Prickly ash is also used to aid digestion. Additionally, it helps in relieving feminine problems such as premenstrual cramps. This herb also is used to treat skin diseases.
The bark and berries of the prickly ash plant are used to provide alterative, anthelmintic, antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, astringent, blood purifier, sialagogue, and stimulant properties. Primarily, prickly ash is extremely beneficial in dealing with poor circulation, fevers, paralysis, mouth sores, ulcers, and wounds. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating ague, arthritis, asthma, blood impurities, cholera, colic, uterine cramps, diarrhea, edema, gas, gastric disorders, indigestion, lethargy, liver disorders, rheumatism, primary tuberculosis, skin diseases, syphilis, thyroid problems, and typhus.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on prescription medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by prickly ash, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
September 21, 2009 11:12 AM
Horehound has been around for thousands of years. The Romans used this herb in a combination as an antidote for poison. The horehound plant is a bushy plant that produces numerous annual Branching stems. The plant is a foot or more in height and has whitish flowers. The leaves are much wrinkled, opposite, petiolate, and about an inch long. They are covered with white, felted hairs that give them a wooly appearance. The leaves have a strange, musky smell that can be diminished by drying the plant. Horehound is known to flower between June and September.
An ancient Greek physician by the name of Galen first recommended horehound for use in treating respiratory conditions. Early European physicians also used horehound to treat respiratory ailments. Early settlers in North America brought horehound with them to treat coughs, colds, and tuberculosis. The herb was also used to treat hepatitis, malaria, and intestinal worms. Horehound was also used to promote menstruation and sweating. Most commonly, the herb is used to treat colds and coughs, to soothe the throat and loosen mucus in the chest. Horehound is a well-known lung and throat remedy.
Warm infusions of horehound are able to relieve congestion and hyperemic conditions of the lungs. They do this by promoting an outward flow of blood. In large doses, horehound will work as a mild laxative. Applying the dried herb topically is a great way to treat herpes simplex, eruptions, eczema, and shingles.
The Romans praised horehound because of its medicinal purposes. Its Latin name Marrubium is derived from the word Maria urbs, which is an ancient town of Italy. The plant was called the ‘Seed of Horus” or the ‘Bull’s Blood,’ and the ‘Eye of the Star’ by the Egyptian Priests. Horehound was a main ingredient in Caesar’s antidote for vegetable poisons. It was recommended, in addition to its uses in coughs and colds, for those that had drunk poison or had been bitten by serpents. Horehound was once thought of as an anti-magical herb. Additionally, horehound is a serviceable remedy against cankerworm in trees. Some believed that if it is put into new milk and set in a place where there are a lot of flies, it will quickly kill all of them.
The marrubiin content of horehound is believed to be the responsible component, giving it its ability to stimulate bronchial mucosa secretions. This information was obtained by German research done in 1959. Horehound can be used as a safe and effective expectorant.
The entire horehound plant should be used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, aromatic, bitter, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, mild purgative, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are iron, potassium, sulfur, and vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and F. Primarily, horehound is extremely helpful in dealing with asthma, colds, coughs, croup, lung ailments, excessive mucus, phlegm, and respiratory problems.
Additionally, this herb is beneficial in treating bronchitis, infectious diseases, earaches, external eczema, fevers, glandular problems, jaundice, absent menstruation, and external shingles. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by horehound, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
September 14, 2009 12:44 PM
Quassia is a great herb for healing the sick. This herb is extremely powerful. If it is taken in excess, it can be an emetic, irritant, depressant, and produce nausea. However, if quassia is taken in small doses, it can actually speed up recovery in the body,
The quassia plant is a deciduous, ash-like tree that can be found growing in Jamaica and many other islands of the West Indies. It grows up to 100 feet and has an even gray bark. The tree bears multiple leaves from the Branches, while the flowers are yellow in color and the fruits are black and pea-shaped. No insect or pest ever bothers the quassia trees because the entire tree is infused with an astringent resin. The key chemical component of the resin is an amalgam that is known as quissin. This component is said to be an effectual insecticide. Along with this, quassin is valuable to the humans both medicinally and for other aspects.
For ages, the West Indians used the timber of quassia to make quassia cups that were filled with water. Then, they were left to remain untouched for a prolonged period of time. These people then drank the resin colored water to treat ailments like stomach upset, loss of appetite, as well as fever. A potent mixture of finely chopped chips of the quassia wood and letting them to steep in water is also prepared by the West Indians. These potent mixtures were also normally used in enemas to eliminate parasitic threadworms. These strong mixtures were also used as vital ingredients of lotions to avoid lice on the body.
This herb is best known for its attributes to the gastrointestinal system. Quassia is considered to be one of the best remedies for moving noxious substances out of the body. These substances can remain in the alimentary canal because of improper digestion. This herb is responsible for killing roundworms and pinworms. Also, it is a good tonic to help with stomach problems.
Not only does this herb aid in digestion, it also helps with constipation. Additionally, the herb can stimulate appetite. Quassia is often recommended for anorexics, convalescents, and the elderly. In addition, many believe that this herb is a good remedy for alcoholics who need help losing the taste for alcohol. Because this herb promotes liver health, quassia is also beneficial to the eyes. This herb can also be used externally to treat dandruff. Internally, quassia can be used for fevers, constipation, dyspepsia, and rheumatism.
In short, the bark of the quassia plant is used to provide alterative, anthelmintic, bitter, emetic, febrifuge, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, potassium, and sodium. Primarily, quassia is extremely beneficial in treating a lack of appetite, fevers, gastric disorders, indigestion, and worms. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with alcoholism, constipation, dandruff, dyspepsia, and rheumatism. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by quassia, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
September 03, 2009 12:33 PM
The hyssop plant is a genus of about ten to twelve species of herbaceous or semi-woody plants in the Lamiaceae family. These plants are native to the east Mediterranean and to central Asia. They are aromatic and have erect Branched stems up to 60 centimeters in length and covered with fine hairs at the tips. The leaves are about two to five centimeters long. The plant possesses small blue flowers that grow on the upper part of the Branches during the summer.
Hyssop tea was used in ancient Babylon to reduce fever and for sore throats, colds, lung infections, and eye infections. Hyssop was recommended by Hippocrates for pleurisy. The word hyssop is of Greek origin, and means “holy herb.” The Bible even contains references to hyssop, but the actual identity of the plant is in question. More than two thousand years ago, Jewish priests used hyssop to cleanse the temple. Hyssop was also used to reduce perspiration and to treat dropsy and jaundice during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Colonists brought hyssop to the New World, using it to treat colds and chest congestion.
This herb is most often used for lung ailments and fevers. Hyssop is extremely useful in lung disorders. Among these include bronchitis, chest congestion, hay fever, tuberculosis, and asthma. The herb also helps relax and expel phlegm from the lungs and relieve coughing. Hyssop helps promote sweating, which expels toxins through the skin. The leaves of the plant grow a mold which produces penicillin and may contribute to the herb’s healing abilities. Hyssop also contains essential oils that can help build resistance to infectious disease. The leaves of hyssop can be applied directly to a wound to stop infection and promote healing. Hyssop is generally found in a combination with other herbs.
This herb is a member of the mint family. It is believed to aid in digestion and also help relieve gas. History has a long history of use as a body purifier. The herb is able to strengthen the immune system. It also works as a blood pressure regulator. Some of the volatile oils that are found in hyssop may actually be responsible for its use in treating sore throats and also as an expectorant. Hyssop is thought to be effective for mild irritations. The herb has also been studied for the treatment of herpes simplex virus. It has been found to inhibit the growth of the virus. This can be attributed most likely to the tannin content.
The entire hyssop herb is used to provide carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, febrifuge, galactagogue, pectoral, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are Diosmine, flavonoids, marrubin, and tannins. Primarily, hyssop is extremely beneficial in dealing with congestion, coughs, hay fever, absent lactation, lung ailments, excessive mucus, phlegm, wheezing, and worms.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating asthma, high blood pressure, bronchitis, bruises, intestinal catarrh, cuts, ear ailments, edema, epilepsy, fevers, hoarseness, jaundice, kidney problems, lice, sore throat, and spleen ailments. In order to obtain additional information on the many beneficial effects provided by hyssop, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
August 31, 2009 01:36 PM
Horsetail has been used for healing in both Chinese and Asian cultures. During times of famine, the Romans ate horsetail shoots, while Native Americans used horsetail as a diuretic for kidney problems, cancer, and dropsy to increase blood circulation. The Hopi tribe in New Mexico mixed horsetail and cornmeal as a mush and in their bread. One of the oldest plants on the earth, horsetail is approximately two hundred million years old. It used to be a giant fernlike plant. However, there are now around twenty species of the original plant living today. These species are small in comparison to the original plant and are usually considered to be a nuisance. The species Equisetum arvense is a small perennial fern plant that is most common in North America.
The horsetail plant is a descendent of huge tree-like plants that thrived 400 million years ago during the Paleozoic era. The plant is a non-flowering weed that can be found throughout parts of Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America. This plant returns each year with hollow stems and shoots that resemble asparagus. As the plant dries, silica crystals, which form in the stems and Branches, give the plant the scratching effect that made it historically useful for polishing metal.
Horsetail is believed to aid the immune system and the nervous system because of its silica content. The nerves contain almost the same amount of silica as does the albumin in the blood. The pancreas is especially rich in silica. Silica is found combined with fluorine in the enamel of the teeth. Additionally, hair needs silica to grow, and it is needed as a protection for the skin and cell walls. This herb helps in treating urinary tract problems. It contains silicic acid, which is responsible for helping with circulation of the blood. This herb is also credited with helping coagulate the blood and decreasing blood flow. An externally-applied decoction has the ability to stop bleeding of wounds and help with healing. Horsetail can also be used as a mouthwash for mouth infections. Often found in calcium combinations, horsetail is helpful in building the skeletal system and improving bone structure. The silica that is found in horsetail also helps in healing bones, keeping the arteries clean, and facilitating the absorption of calcium in the body.
This herb is known for its antibiotic properties and its contribution to the overall healing process. Horsetail is also thought to help with bleeding, urinary and prostate disorders, bed-wetting, skin problems, and lung disease. Horsetail also possesses a weak diuretic effect, which is most notably due to the equisetonin and the flavone glycosides.
In short, the entire horsetail herb is used to provide alterative, antilithic, antineoplastic, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, lithotriptic, nephritic, nutritive, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are flavonoids, iodine, iron, manganese, PABA, pantothenic acid, silicon, sodium, and vitamin E. Primarily, this herb is extremely beneficial in treating arthritis, poor circulation, diabetes, glandular problems, weak hair, kidney stones, weak nails, nervousness, osteoporosis, parasites, rheumatism, and urinary problems.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with edema, eyestrain, gas, gout, heart problems, hemorrhage, incontinence, liver disorders, membrane irritations, neuralgia, palsy, skin disorders, tumors, and water retention. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by horsetail, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
August 21, 2009 12:08 PM
The birch species are generally small to medium-size trees or shrubs. They are mostly found in northern temperate climates. The leaves are simple and may be toothed or pointed. The fruit is a small samara, although the wings may be obscure in some species. The bark of all birches is characteristically marked with long historical lenticels and often separates into thin papery plates. The plant is practically imperishable because of the resinous oil that it contains. Its decided color gives the plant the common names Red, White, Black, Silver, and Yellow to different species. The buds of the tree form early and are full grown by midsummer. The Branch is prolonged by the upper bud. The wood of all the species is close-grained and has a satiny texture that is capable of taking a fine polish. The leaves of the different species vary little.
The flowers of the birch plant are monoecious, and open with or before the leaves. They are borne on three-flowered clusters. The staminate aments are pendulous, and clustered or solitary in the axils of the last leaves of the Branch of the year. They form in early autumn and remain rigid during the winter. The scales of the staminate aments are broadly ovate, rounded, and yellow or orange in color when mature. Each scale has two bractlets and three sterile flowers. These scales bear two or three fertile flowers. Each flower consists of a bare ovary. The ovary is compresed, two-celled, and grouped with two slender styles. The ovule is solitary. The ripenened pistillate ament bears tiny winged nuts, packed in the protecting curve of each brown and woody scale. These nuts are pale chestnut brown and compressed. The seed fills the cavity of the nut. All of the birch species are easily grown from seed.
Birch bark tea was used by Native Americans to relieve headaches. Some people also used this tea, which was made from the leaves and bark, for fevers and abdominal cramps.
The properties that birch bark possesses allow it to help to heal burns and wound. It also is able to cleanse the blood. Birch bark also contains a glycoside that decomposes to methyl salicylate. This is a remedy for rheumatism that is used both in Canada and in the United States. A decoction of birch leaves is also recommended for baldness. Additionally, this herb works as a mild sedative for insomnia.
The bark and leaves of the birch plant are used to provide anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, astringent, blood purifier, diaphoretic, diuretic, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, chlorine, copper, fluoride, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, and vitamins A, C, E, B1, and B2. Primarily, birch is extremely beneficial in dealing with blood impurities, eczema, pain, rheumatism, and urinary problems.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating canker sores, cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, edema, fevers, gout, and bleeding gums. One should consult their health care provider before considering supplementing with any medications. This will insure that a person obtains the best results possible. For more information on the many benefits provided by birch, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with more questions.
BoneSet For Fevers
June 09, 2009 12:15 PM
Boneset was used by Native Americans for a valuable remedy against colds, flu, and fevers. Other common names that boneset is identified by include: thoroughwort, vegetable antimony, feverwort, agueweed, Indian sage, sweating plant, eupatorium, crossword, thoroughstem, thoroughwax, and wild Isaac. In most cases, boneset has been used primarily to treat fevers. They introduced boneset to the settlers in the New World. From 1820 through 1916, boneset was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia. This herb was also listed in the National Formulary from 1926 through 1950. Boneset has been used to restore strength in the stomach and spleen. It has also been used as a tonic for acute and chronic fevers. Dr. Edward E. Shook actually felt that boneset was beneficial for every kind of fever humans are subjected to. He also believed that it had never failed in overcoming influenza.
Recent research has found that boneset contains antiseptic properties that help to promote sweating. These properties also help in cases of colds and flu. Boneset has also been shown to contain antiviral properties and strengthen the immune system by enhancing the secretion of interferon. Additional studies have found that boneset is effective against minor viral and bacterial infections by stimulating white blood cells. Additionally, this herb has been used to treat indigestion and pain and may also contain some mild anti-inflammatory agents to help with conditions like arthritis.
Boneset is a perennial herb that has an erect stout and a hairy stem. It grows from two to four feet high, with Branches at the top. The leaves of the boneset plant are large, opposite, united at the base, and lance-shaped. They grow anywhere between four to eight inches in length and taper into a sharp point. The edges of these leaves are finely toothed, with prominent veins. These leaves help to distinguish this plant species at first glance. The flower heads of the boneset plant are terminal and numerous, being large, and having anywhere from ten to twenty white florets. The plant possesses an aromatic odor, with an astringent and strongly bitter taste. This plant species varies considerably in size, hairiness, form of leaves, and inflorescence. It can typically be found flowering from July to September.
The entire herb is used to provide alterative, anti-inflamamtory, antiperiodic, antiviral, diaphoretic, emetic, febrifuge, purgative, nervine, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in boneset include calcium, magnesium, PABA, potassium, and vitamins C and B-complex. Primarily, boneset has been shown to be extremely helpful in dealing with chills, colds, coughs, fever, flu, malaria, pain, rheumatism, typhoid fever, and yellow fever. Additionally, this herb is beneficial in treating bronchitis, catarrh, jaundice, liver disorders, measles, mumps, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, scarlet fever, sore throat, and worms. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by boneset, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
Although there is no recent clinical evidence that guides the dosage of boneset, traditional use of the herb suggests that a dose be about two grams of leaves and flowers. The internal use of this herb should be tempered by the occurrence of hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids in this plant. For those women who are pregnant or lactating, this herb should not be used, as there have been documented adverse effects on those women who are pregnant and/or lactating.
Boneset is available in capsule, tablet, and liquid extract forms at your local or internet health food store. Look for name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
May 13, 2009 12:39 PM
The barberry plant is a shrub that has gray, thorny Branches. This shrub can grow up to nine feet tall. The flower of the barberry plant are bright yellow and bloom between the months of April and June. These flowers then become dark, drooping bunches of red berries in the fall.
The use of barberry dates back approximately three thousand years, originating in China in India where it was used for the treatment of diarrhea and intestinal infections. The barberry plant was used by Native Americans for treating liver conditions like jaundice. Additionally, Egyptians mixed the berries of the plant with fennel seed to protect themselves from the plague. Barberry is made up of an alkaloid known as berberine, which can also be found in other medicinal herbs such as goldenseal and Orgeon grape. The therapeutic effects of barberry can be attributed to its berberine content.
Studies have concluded that berberine contains properties that are effective against a wide variety of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These studies also found that berberine was much more effective in treating some bacteria than even a strong antibiotic. Other studies have found that barberry has the potential to kill microorganisms including staphylococci, streptococci, salmonella, Giardia lamblia, Escherichia coli, shigella, and Candida albicans. The berberine in barberry has been noted to contain antidarrheal properties. This alkaloid is also recommended for stimulating the immune system.
The effects of barberry include helping against cancer, liver problems, kidney problems, coughs, cholera, diarrhea, fever, inflammation, hypertension, and tumors. Barberry has also been recommended to increase bile secretions and stimulate the appetite. This herb may also help in cases of anemia and malnutrition. Barberry stimulates bile production for liver problems and also dilates blood vessels to lower blood pressure.
Barberry is used in easing inflammation and infection of the urinary, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tracts, as well as candida infections of the both the skin and vagina. Barberry extract has also been shown to improve symptoms that are associated with certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis. However, more research is still needed on determining the reliability of these findings. Barberry is shown to be an extremely effective treatment for diarrhea. A few studies have found that barberry is able to improve symptoms faster than antibiotics. This is possibly because of its astringent properties. However antibiotics are still thought to be more effective at killing bacteria in the intestines. For this reason, it is best to use barberry to ease symptoms, along with a standard antibiotic, as bacterial diarrhea can have extremely serious consequences.
The bark, root, and berries of the barberry plant are used to provide alterative, antibacterial, antineoplastic, antiseptic, aromatic, astringent, blood purifier, cholagogue, diuretic, hepatic, hypotensive, purgative, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients provided by this herb include iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin C. Primarily, barberry can be beneficial in dealing with loss of appetite, high blood pressure, impurities in the blood, candidiasis, constipation, diarrhea, dysentery, fevers, indigestion, infections, jaundice, liver disorders, pyorrhea, and sore throat. However, this herb is also extremely helpful in dealing with anemia, arthritis, boils, breath odor, cholera, gallstones, heart problems, heartburn, hemorrhages, itching, kidney problems, migraines, rheumatisms, ringworm, and skin conditions. For more information on barberry or to make a purchase, along with its many beneficial effects, feel free to contact a representative at your local health food store.
Strengthen The Liver and Kidneys With Leucine
April 27, 2009 02:08 PM
L-leucine is an amino acid that is used by the body to fuel exercise and muscle-building to provide you with that athletic edge that gets you ahead of your opponents. It does so in a number of ways, none of them specifically by the direct generation of energy as such.
It is also an essential amino acid, since it cannot be manufactured by your body and hence must be taken as a supplement or as part of your diet. Foods rich in leucine include nuts, whole wheat products such as wholemeal bread, and brown rice. It is a hydrophobic amino acid, meaning that it does not like water.
It is also one of three essential Branched chain amino acids, the other two being L-valine and L-isoleucine, and offers many benefits to athletic performance that shall be discussed below It also helps to preserve the body's stores of glycogen, used as an emergency energy source. Other than these properties, it possesses others, such as the maintenance of the nitrogen balance in the body.
So how does it work to fuel your body while you are exercising? The answer is not as you might think. L-leucine doesn't increase your energy levels as creatine does when it elevates your ATP (adenosine triphosphate) levels. ATP is the molecule of energy that is synthesized in your body cells, and is then converted back to ADP, the diphosphate, with the release of energy in the form of muscular contractions.
This amino acid is what is referred to as a 'limiting' substance, in that the other amino acids cannot do their jobs in your body unless you have sufficient L-leucine in proportion to them. Specifically, you need two parts of L-valine and two parts of L-leucine to one part of L-isoleucine for optimum usage of the food that you eat.
Therefore you cannot just take the supplement without considering how much should be taken to ensure this balance. Excess will be wasted and a deficiency would fail to make proper use of the protein content of your food.
If you suffer from a deficiency, therefore, your body cannot make best use of the protein in your diet to the extent that muscle tissue will not be generated during exercise. In fact it causes catabolism, or the breakdown of muscle tissue, resulting in a loss of performance and possible increase in fatty tissue as opposed to lean muscle. The only way to build muscle is take in sufficient nitrogen in the form of amino acids and protein, along with L-leucine to put that protein to best use.
One of the major properties of L-leucine is in stimulating the synthesis of skeletal muscle tissue and by using a supplement, the protein balance can be positive after a workout. It has been shown that this protein balance is generally negative until specifically L-leucine is consumed.
The way it works is to activate a muscle-generating pathway known as mTOR (mammalian Target of Rapamycin). mTOR is normally activated when the levels of ATP in the muscle cells is high, and when these levels drop then mTOR is deactivated. The activity of mTOR is sensitive to the concentration of L-leucine, and when the concentration of the amino acid in the body rises it informs mTOR that the protein in the diet is sufficient to manufacture skeletal muscle tissue, and so mTOR s activated.
Exactly how this is done is unknown, but is a fact the mTOR depends upon both L-leucine concentration and also ATP levels. This amino acid also decreases catabolism through a number of different mechanisms, one of which involves increasing insulin levels.
In fact, when insulin and L-leucine levels increase at the same time, there is a synergy that promotes the synthesis of new protein. Not only that, but the response of insulin to the presence of carbohydrates is enhanced, this resulting in an enhancement of your body's metabolism.
The amino acid can also be used to help those suffering from kidney and liver problems because it increases liver protein synthesis. It is therefore a useful adjunct both to diabetics and those suffering from liver and kidney disease.
However, because L-leucine is an essential amino acid with so many important properties, a deficiency can have specific consequences. Catabolism has been stated earlier as one such reaction to a deficiency, and others include decreased energy levels and irregularities in the levels of blood sugar.
Everything about this substance is not good however, and when taken by itself in excess, it can reduce the amount of the other amino acids in the blood, particularly of the other two Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). This in turn upsets the balance of amino acids, and reduces further the ability of the body to produce muscle tissue until a balanced supplement is taken.
Leucine also helps to maintain the nitrogen balance. It is essential for the human body to maintain a positive nitrogen balance, and L-leucine supports this. In fact, one study has demonstrated that after 12 hours infusion with L-leucine, nitrogen balance was improved by as much as 23%.
A supplement alone is not always sufficient to maintain a positive nitrogen balance. It is generally essential that you rest your body for a sufficient length of time to allow protein to be generated. If you don't take the required amount of rest, a surplus of protein could be used to maintain energy levels rather than replace lost protein and maintain a good nitrogen balance.
A positive nitrogen balance is essential for the generation of muscle tissue, such as in bodybuilding for example, since all proteins contain nitrogen and the net nitrogen intake must exceed the excretion rate. Not in gaseous form, of course, but in the intake of amino acids and proteins. The more positive your nitrogen balance is, the faster you will recover after exercise. It is essential for anabolic exercise.
L-leucine, therefore, is a supplement that can help to maintain your current muscle mass while undergoing strenuous exercise, in addition to increasing it while resting. It offers other health benefits, one being helping to maintain clarity of thought in the aged. However, it is for its effect on muscular build-up and the athletic edge that provides that the supplement is most commonly taken.
December 19, 2008 12:35 PM
Inosine is a specific type of glycosylamine that consists of a base bound to a deoxyribose or ribose sugar. This type of glycosylamine is referred to as a nucleoside, others being adenosine, thymidine and cytidine.
It is available naturally in brewer’s yeast and major organ offal such as liver and kidney. It’s function in animal biochemistry is in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), often known as the molecule of energy, that is essential for the generation of energy by the mitochondria in our body cells. It’s biochemistry is described below.
Inosine is synthesized as inosine monophosphate by means of a complex series of biochemical reactions. The inosine monophosphate is a precursor for adenine, a nucleotide and purine base that reacts with ribose to form adenosine. This is another nucleoside that can be phosphorylated to produce adenosine monophosphate (AMP), the diphosphate (ADP), the triphosphate (ATP) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP).
Each of these is involved in the metabolism of energy in the mitochondria. Glucose undergoes a number of enzyme-catalyzed reactions in the presence of oxygen that ultimately breaks it down to water and carbon dioxide, plus at least 36 molecules of ATP via glycolysis and then the Krebs cycle. The ATP reacts with water to release energy and form ADP. The ADP can then be phosphorylated to produce more ATP. The starting point of all of this is inosine, and it is little wonder this nucleoside is used by athletes to help boost their energy.
Not only that, however, but adenine is also the precursor of amino and nucleic acids responsible for the generation of RNA and DNA, and it is also responsible for the production of many coenzymes. These provide other opportunities for its use elsewhere in medicine, and it has also been found to possess other medical properties that will be discussed later.
It was in the 1970s that inosine was first used to boost athletic performance due to its part in the generation of the energy needed by every muscle in the body. Its use began in eastern countries, although evidence at the time did not support the theory. Nevertheless, this did not deter its advocates, and inosine continued to be used by athletes, a practice that has now spread world-wide.
It has been found to be a metabolic activator, in that it supports metabolism through the generation of energy. Inosine has been used by power lifters for heavy weight training to increase the capacity of the blood to carry oxygen, and strength athletes, particularly of the Eastern Bloc, used it from the mid 1970s onwards.
Inosine appears to increase the natural ability of the body to handle strenuous workouts, although there is no scientific proof of this. However, those that use it claim an increased ability to carry out intensive training workouts and an improvement in their competitive performance. The nucleotide can penetrate the cell walls and get to where it is needed to take part in the metabolism of energy through the production of ATP.
Now, however, inosine has an entirley different application in medicine. Studies have shown that it could support those suffering from MS (multiple sclerosis) and strokes through its pereceived neuroprotective properties. It appears to promote axonal rewiring, where undamaged neurons appear to grow new connections with damaged areas of the brain, and undamaged neurons seem to Branch out to replace some of the damaged neurons.
Inosine is also an intermediate in the production of uric acid through purine and purine nucleoside degradation. Uric acid is a powerful antioxidant, particularly in respect of peroxynitrite, a nucleophile that causes the type of axonal degradation that is associated with multiple sclerosis. It thefore helps in two ways: through the production of uric acid, and in promoting axonal rewiring that can improve brain function in patients.
Another potential medical use for the substance is based upon the discovery that inosine and related compounds can act as powerful anti-inflammatories through their effect on inflammatory macrophage proteins. Certain conditions can cause the release of these macrohages, and where it is an undesirable side-effect, inosine can be administered to prevent it occuring.
Inosine appears to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines without inhibiting anti-inflammatory cytokines. It appears to do so extracellularly, although the effect can be reversed by the blockading of adenosine receptors. However, it is a convenient way of avoiding this sometimes serious condition, which is a natural function of the immune system, without affecting any other part of that system’s essential work.
It is not an essential nutrient, since it is synthesized biochemically, but a supplement of inosine is certainly worth taking if you want to increase your ability to carry out athetic exercise requiring a high energy output and increased blood oxygen availability. It also helps to reduce recovery time, and proponents of its use claim that it enables you to exercise at a higher level for longer.
Although the medical evidence for this is scant, not a lot of work has been done in trying to establish it, and those that use inosine in this way swear that it is effective. The theory certainly indicates that it should be effective in helping to produce more energy, and also that it should be able to make more oxygen available, and some athletes have been taking it for decades with excellent results.
There are no known side effects of its use, although pregnant women and nursing mothers are recommended not to use it, as with many other health supplements the pathology of which have not been closely studuied. As with any supplement, you are highly recommended to consult your own doctor or physician when taking any supplement, particular if you have a current medical condition or are taking prescriptive medicines.
If you are predisposed to gout, and some people are, the uric acid it produces can render inosine unsuitable. Uric acid reacts with calcium to produce the sodium urate that is deposited on the cartilage and tendons of the joints, particularly the big toe. It is a very painful condition, so those that have suffered gout in the past should not take inosine as a supplement.
Otherwise, its effect on your athletic performance might be academic!
Hyaluronic Acid can help Restore Joint Function
December 01, 2008 10:03 AM
Hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, is one of the main components of the extracellular matrix of connective tissue and joints, and is one of the main chemicals contained in the synovial fluid that lubricates your joints. Before we discuss how it can be used to help restore the function of damaged joints, let's have a look at what causes joint pain, and why joints can break down long before their time.
You might have heard that arthritis is an inflammatory condition, or that it is due to the immune system. This is true to an extent, and rheumatoid arthritis is an immune system problem, although osteoarthritis is a different problem altogether. Arthritis is not the only cause of joint pain of course, but is by far the most common cause. As already inferred, there are two forms of arthritis, each with a different basic cause.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease, and is largely due to wear and tear, injury or can be hereditary. However it is usually initiated by damage, the joint surface becomes roughened and the bone around the damaged area gets thicker to compensate. A joint is where two bones meet, and not all joints move. You have the fixed joints in your skull, for example, and those between the ribs and the spine. However, arthritis generally affects the joints associated with movement, mainly the knees, hips, fingers, toes and elbows.
The ends of the bones are covered with a thin layer of cartilage, which can absorb shocks and both cushion the joint and allow the ends of the bones to move smoothly over each other. Round each joint is a membrane known as the synovium that is filled with the thick synovial fluid, which lubricates the cartilage. The bone ligaments hold them close to the joint, and prevent them moving too much and dislocating. Finally, the joint is completed by the tendons that attach the muscles to the bones they control.
Osteoarthritis causes a joint to deteriorate: the cartilage becomes rougher and wears, and the bone beneath the cartilage gets thicker. At the edge of the joint the bone tends to grow outwards, forming spurs and the synovium swells producing extra synovial fluid. This causes swelling and pain, and ultimately the joint can be damaged beyond repair. This process takes a number of years to reach a stage whereby pain and discomfort are felt.
Before that situation occurs, however, the joint tries to repair itself, and hyaluronic acid can take part in this process. It is mainly involved in the reparation of connective tissues such as cartilage, although there are other connective tissues which hyaluronan has been found to repair. These include skin, eyes and heart valves and hyaluronic acid can arguably be used to help repair all of them.
However, it is joint tissue with which we are concerned here, and hyaluronan is an important component of articular cartilage: the type of cartilage involved in movement (knees, hips, etc), as opposed the type that forms your nose or the external part of your ears. It is believed that injections of hyaluronic acid can help to repair damaged articular cartilage. However, osteoarthritis is only one of the two forms of arthritis. The other is rheumatoid arthritis, and this is much more sinister.
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the attack of your joints by your own immune system, although why this happens is unknown. The most likely theory is that certain infections trigger the immune system, and it then proceeds to attack the synovial joints. Cytokines are responsible for inflammation of the synovial fluid, which can also cause fever, loss of weight and appetite, and inflammation of the blood vessels.
The body tries to generate more synovial fluid which causes swelling round the whole joint, putting pressure on the damaged areas, and generating even more pain. The inflammatory response commences and the whole area becomes seriously painful.
The smaller joints are most commonly affected, such as the fingers and toes, but it can progress to the elbows, hips and the knees. The joints become red, swollen and finally too stiff to be used. The sinusitis eventually leads erosion of the joint and deformation.
Because hyaluronic acid behaves like the synovial fluid, it is believed that it can be used to treat both forms of arthritis. It is a glycosaminoglycan, an unBranched polysaccharide of the same type as chondroitin sulfate that is commonly used to treat arthritis. It can be used to increase the viscosity of the synovial fluid, and render a more effective lubricant.
However, it is in treatment of osteoarthritis that hyaluronan is most likely to find success. It is used to improve the viscosity of the synovial fluid, so providing increased lubrication to the joint and helping reduce the pain. In fact it not escaped notice that those who eat a diet rich in hyaluronic acid tend to live longer and look younger than those that do not do so.
Commercial preparations are currently in use or under evaluation for disorders such as glaucoma, fractures, and detached retinas, damage to cartilage, healing ligaments and osteoarthritis. These last three are particularly of interest to arthritis sufferers, and signs are that they are effective with many cases.
However, it has also been established that smoking cigarettes can negate the effect of hyaluronic acid, and excessive levels of Vitamin C can also degrade it. Estrogen treatment, however, can enhance its effect in repairing connective tissue. Zinc deficiencies have also been found to have negative results, so make sure that these factors are addressed if you are using hyaluronic acid to treat arthritis.
Something to keep in mind if you are taking hyaluronic acid orally is the size of the molecule. It is a very large molecule, and suffers from the same absorption problems as chondroitin sulfate. There are smaller hyaluronan molecule versions available if you can find them, that improve the absorption through the intestine, but if not then the dose will generally be greater than expected due to the low absorption levels due to the molecule being too large to be easily absorbed through the tissues into the bloodstream.
August 30, 2008 09:43 AM
Bilberry is a part of the herb world that has recently begun re-emerging because of recent scientific discoveries linking the fruit to therapeutic properties in blood vessel-related disorders. If you happen to suffer from any disorder that is related to weaken blood vessels, then you should definitely think about bilberry as part of your treatment, as it can be safe and extremely effective. Bilberry is a rich source of anthocyanidins, which gives it the unique ability to stabilize and protect collagen stores. This helps to prevent capillary leakage and hemorrhage. Bilberry is currently being used to treat vascular and blood disorders, and is also a main ingredient in the treatment of many visual problems. It has even been proven effective for varicose veins, thrombosis, diabetes, macular degeneration, and angina.
Thanks to its rich amounts of anthocyanosides, bilberry is an extremely valuable treatment for a variety of disorders in which leaky veins cause tissue damage. Containing over 15 different anthocyanosides, bilberry protects the veins and arteries, as it boosts a great deal of physiological processes that results in the improved integrity of capillary walls. Additionally, anthocyanosides prevent platelets from sticking to the walls of vessels, which helps to prevent the formation of blood clots. Bilberry has shown healing properties including: analgesic, anti-arthritic, anti-clotting, antiulcer, anti-edemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-osteotic, cyclooxygenase inhibitor, inhibits collagenase, inhibits elastase, lipoxygena, smooth muscle relaxant, lowers blood sugar, and vasodilator.
With more than 100 names from around the world, bilberry also can be known by: huckleberry, whortleberry, European blueberry, myrtle bilberry, myrtle blueberry, myrtle whortleberry, Rocky Mountain whortleberry, red whortleberry, black grouseberry, low bilberry, mountain blueberry, huckleberry, and blueberry. Bilberry is a perennial shrub that can be commonly found in many different climates around the world that are characterized by damp woodlands and moorlands in northern Europe, northern regions of America, and parts of Canada.
Bilberry grows as a small shrub with wiry, angular Branches that do not usually grow over a foot high. The Branches of bilberry bear waxy flowers and black berries that are covered with a grey bloom when they are ripe. The leather-like leaves of bilberry are initially rose color, but turn to a yellowish-green in the summer and a fiery red in the autumn.
Growing abundantly in areas of England and flourishing best on high ground in the north and west regions of Britain, bilberry possesses a round fruit or berry that has a flat top and is approximately the size of a black currant, with a taste that is slightly acidic. The berry bushes prefer filtered shade and moist, fertile soil that is acidic and non calcareous. The bilberry plant is related most closely to blueberries and currants, all of which belong to the genus Vaccinium. Bilberries are rich in carbohydrates, tannin, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It also contains glucoquinine, which is able to lower blood sugar.
Finally, bilberry is considered an astringent; it exhibits antibacterial properties in the intestines. Bilberry’s analgesic properties are often thought to come from chlorogenic-acid and ferulic-acid content. Bilberry contains copper, quercetin, linoleic-acid, magnesium, pantothenic acid, ursolic acid, and zinc. This herb is good for the parts of the body that contain small fragile blood vessels such as the eyes and this is why this herb is associated with promoting eye health.
May 23, 2008 11:53 AM
Medical professionals, especially in Europe and Japan, have been using licorice more and more in medicine. The Chinese consider licorice to be a superior balancing and harmonizing agent, so it is added to many herbal formulas. It is reputed in many countries, including the United States, to be a treatment for stomach, intestinal and many other problems. What is it used for?
Licorice is being studied for its effects against oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which is a major component in atherosclerosis. Approximately 300 different phytonutrient compounds found in natural licorice are considered possible antioxidants.
Licorice is being tested for its ability to help prevent certain viruses from replicating themselves in body cells. It appears to stimulate the immune system into producing interferon, which is known for its anti-viral effects. It is an effective aid in treating herpes and hepatitis. Promising results are also being reported in tests using licorice to combat SARS, influenza and HIV.
Stomach and Intestinal Problems
Licorice is a natural home remedy for heartburn, gastritis and acid reflux. It helps to promote new cell growth in the lining of the stomach. It also enhances the stomach's self-protecting abilities. Licorice has been used to treat peptic ulcers and aid in healing other types of ulcers.
Throat and Respiratory Problems
Licorice is widely known in the world of alternative medicine as an expectorant and cough suppressant. Colds and flu have been treated with licorice since the days of the Romans. Many over-the-counter cough medicines contain licorice extract because it soothes the mucous membranes.
Other Medicinal Properties
Is Licorice Safe?
Licorice is not recommended for use by people who suffer from diabetes mellitus, heart disease, hypertension or kidney disease. It is also not recommended for use by women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Licorice, although not thought to suppress the immune system like pharmaceutical cortisones, may cause similar side effects in high doses. Some of these include weight gain, fluid retention and high blood pressure.
Description and Cultivation
The licorice plant stands up to five feet tall. It has spikes of lilac-colored flowers that have bean-like pods containing three or four seeds apiece. The root, which is used most frequently, reaches underground about three feet and Branches into networks of rhizomes.
After three to five years, the roots and rhizomes are cleaned, pulped, boiled and then concentrated by evaporation. The root, if kept dry, will keep for an indefinite amount of time. If the licorice is powdered, it should be stored in an airtight container.
Licorice has been used for centuries in conjunction with established medicine, as an alternative herbal medicine, and as an herbal confection in many parts of the world. It is noted for its medicinal value in treating stomach, intestinal and other ailments, including helping to stimulate the immune system. Studies are ongoing to discover more potential uses for this naturally sweet herb.
Better Vision Through Bilberries
January 17, 2008 02:20 PM
"Eat your carrots! They're good for your eyes!" Isn't this what your mother always told you? Isn't that what you learned as a kid? Well, how about re-writing that phrase? How about making it into the phrase: "Eat your bilberries!"
What is a bilberry? A bilberry is a shrub just over a foot tall. The bilberry plant possesses a fruit, the cousin of the blueberry, that is indigenous to Northern Europe. These fruits contain bioflavonoids, an antioxidant with a variety of health benefits. A thousand years ago bilberries were used to relieve diarrhea and kidney stones. Today, the bilberry sees use as a treatment and preventive measure in a variety of situations. Some of the benefits seen in the modern age include possible prevention of heart disease and macular degeneration. In fact, bilberries may help strengthen the eyes when used by people regularly who aren't suffering from any ocular conditions.
The active ingredients in the fruit are tannins, which are an astringent and anti-inflammatory. The bilberry also contains anthocyanidins, which are compounds that strengthen capillaries and improve the flow of blood through the circulatory system. These anthocyanidins also increase the body’s production of rhodopsin, which is a pigment responsible for enhanced night vision and increased adaptability to changes in light by the eye. In fact, a jam made from the fruit was used by British Royal Air Force pilots in World War II who often reported that it improved their night vision, a crucial aid in an ace pilot's career.
The anthocyanidins in the bilberry fruit are a bioflavonoid. A bioflavonoid is a substance found in plants which helps strengthen the walls of capillaries. Many bioflavonoids support human health in various ways, such as naringenin which aids in cancer prevention. Others may be useful in treating liver conditions such as cirrhosis. The variety of bioflavonoid uses is a field that is still being developed.
Bioflavonoids have an extensive history. From the previously mentioned uses for bilberries to research after World War II into the connection between bioflavonoids and vitamin C, these biologically active wonder substances are an exciting Branch of health supplements. They are available in various forms for your convenience.
Bilberry extract comes in a capsule form, usually meant to be taken three times daily. The manufacturer will have instructions in case of varying dosages. Bilberry extract contains the most potent dose of bioflavonoid that the bilberry has to offer. It is this potency that makes the extract the best choice for maximum ocular benefit. But it is not the only choice, in case you are looking for another way to enjoy receiving its unique health bonuses.
Bilberry tea is also made from the dried berries or the leaves of the plant. The berries are also eaten fresh or made into jam, just like the aforementioned British pilots did. The taste of a bilberry is very similar to that of a blueberry: slightly tart, slightly sweet. It has traditionally been baked in pies and it a special treat with syrup and ginger ice cream. That's a taste worthy of the fruit's pedigree!
In the world of health supplements, the unique properties and advantages this fruit, particularly bilberry extract, make it a worthy addition to anyone's daily regimen. Maybe there's a toddler in the house who won't eat his carrots. He will get similar eye benefits by eating the sweet fruit of the bilberry plant. Perhaps a tasty dessert that packs its own reward would be a welcome addition to the dinner table. The possibilities are limitless. Try some of the fruit or extract and invest in a healthier future.
Product Resurfaces under a new name - from HSI - Health Sciences Institute
July 08, 2006 01:55 PM
You may remember the outrageous ruling resulting scandal surrounding Lane Labs MGN3 product back in july 2004. essentially, the FDA forced the company to stop selling the product—not because it was dangerous or ineffective but because the FDA felt that Lane Labs marketing language made disease clams allowed only for FDA-approved drugs.
When that happened, everyone who had experienced great results with this immune system booster (including many HSI members) suddenly found themselves without a safe and effective product they could rely on. So we promised that we would keep a lookout for a natural and effective therapy that would provide similar benefits to the outlawed MGN3 formula.
But we’re officially calling off the search. A new product called PeakImmune4 was introduced in july 2005. but as it turned out, Peakimmune4 really isn’t new at all. It actually contains the same active ingredients as MGN3—it’s just being sold by a different company under a different name.
When products change names and hands, it can be co concerting. And I have to admit that at first, this seemed kind of fishy to me. so I did some digging to find out if Peakimmune4 was really all it was cracked up to be. What I realized at the end of this winding trail was that to best understood the story, you need to start at the beginning.
Connecting the dots
In 1992, Daiwa Pharmaceutical began developing Rice Bran Arabinoxylan Compound (RBAC). RBAC does right to the source of ultimate health: your immune system. Human clinical studies have proven that RBAC can more than triple the activity of Natural Killer cells, the body’s first line of defense against disease like cancer, HIV, and hepatitis. Studies also show that RBAC increases two other vital immune system cells: T cells and B cells.
Daiwa, which is based in Tokyo, Japan, licensed this patented formula to Lanes Labs, which sold it in the U.S. under the trademark MGN3. (We first told you about it back in 1999 in the June Issue of your Members Alert). But then in July 204, the government stepped in and barred Lane Labs from selling MGN3 (in addition to two other products). The FDA did not, however outlaw RBAC, the compound from which the product was make.
Daiwa, was left with a great product but no way to market it in the U.S. that’s when they decided to Branch out and open their own company in the states, Daiwa Health Development, so they could continue to offer RBAC and introduce other Daiwa supplements to the market.
In July 2005, Daiwa launched Peakimmune4. it may be hard to find a connection between these two products because you wont find MGN3 mentioned in any of Peakimmune4’s promotional materials. That’s because the court did more than just forbid Lane Labs from selling MGN3. it also stipulated that the MGN3 brand name could not be used in marketing and promotion of supplements made from the same active ingredient, and that products could not be promoted as a replacement or substitutes for MGN3.
However, you can rest easy knowing that this product uses the same active as MGN3, which means the same solid research backs it up.
Recommendations for healthy immune system
Many immune system products require you to cycle on and off. But since Peakimmune4 does not lose effectiveness over time and doesn’t cause the immune system to attack itself, you can take it regularly without worrying about side effects.
Dr, Martin Milner, medical adviser to HIS, has used the RBAC compound for years. He has monitored its effectiveness in his own patients by testing their NK cell response. Milner confirmed clinically that his patients have retained increased levels of NK cell activity even when they used the product for prolonged periods of time.
For the best results, you should follow two simple steps: first, take four capsules three times a day for four weeks (before or after a meal). Then, after four weeks reduce dosage to the maintenance level of four capsules daily. You can find Peakimmune4 at most health food and vitamin stores. And don’t be surprised when it pops up in your doctor’s office under the name BRM4.
If you decide to try Peakimmune4 to support your immune system health, you should work with your health care professional, especially if you are pregnant, are nursing, are being treated for any medical condition, are currently taking medications, or have been diagnosed with a health disorder. And if you are taking immunosuppressant drugs for an organ transplant, you should NOT take a product with RBAC in it, each capsule contains 250mgs of Rice Bran Arabinoxylan Compound (RBAC). HSI www.HSIBaltimore.com
March 27, 2006 06:23 PM
If there’s one truth to be told about the natural products industry, it is this. We will never have a shortage of companies claiming to be the best. It happens so often in fact, that distinguishing the quality from the questionable has become an exhausting task all in itself. After all, making claims is easy. What’s challenging, however, is supporting these claims with something concrete.
As no stranger to recognition, NOW takes pride in every honor that is bestowed upon us. And yes, over the past year, we have been blessed in many ways. Nothing, however, can match the sense of reward that comes from having our efforts, values and commitment to human wellness acknowledged by our peers, colleagues and valued customers. It is with the most sincere gratitude that we are once again able to share these with you.
Vitamin Retailer Magazine’s 2005 Vity Awards Every Spring, Vitamin Retailer Magazine recognizes the most outstanding dietary supplements, and honors the recipients with a Vity Award. The winning products are selected based on a number of criteria. This year, three NOW products were awarded 1st place honors.
The first was presented in recognition of our MSM 1000 mg. This marks the third consecutive year that we’ve watched our MSM excel in this category. Next was the award for Vitamin E, which went to our Natural Vitamin E-400 mixed tocopherol formula. Like MSM, this was also awarded 1st place st place for the third year in a row. Finally, the award for “Best Calcium”, which was given to our Calcium Citrate. With the calcium category regarded as one of the most competitive, taking top honors is an accomplishment that we’re all very proud of. Whole Foods Magazine Natural Choice Winner Best Sports Supplement
It should come as no surprise to anyone that there are literally hundreds of protein formulas available. When it was announced that our line of Whey proteins had earned the title of “Best Sports Supplement” from Whole Foods Magazine, we were truly honored to be selected as one of their Natural Choice winners.
Each year, Whole Foods Magazine evaluates hundreds of products, selecting only those that meet their demanding standards. Our Sports division has worked tirelessly to perfect our Whey proteins, and this award is a true testament to the efforts they have put forth. NOW is one of the very few companies that offers a line of 100% natural proteins, free of artifi cial sweeteners. Accordingly, this is an honor that we’re especially proud of. Nutrition Business Journal’s Lifetime Leadership Award, Elwood Richard
Nutrition Business Journal recently honored NOW founder Elwood Richard, with their prestigious Lifetime Leadership Award. Mr. Richard has been an active member of the natural products business since 1960 and is a strong advocate for both science and quality. He co-founded the NNFA standards committee, and sponsors industry organizations such as Citizens for Health, NNFA, ABC, AOAC and AHPA among others. His hard work, vision and commitment have inspired our entire organization
in supporting independent retailers, producing quality products and taking proactive measures towards environmental preservation.
Nutrition Business Journal’s Business Achievement Award, Environment of Sustainability In addition to the award presented to Elwood Richard, NOW was also the recipient of the NBJ Business Achievement Award for Environment of Sustainability. This honor is presented to businesses who have consistently participated in both internal and local initiatives to make positive environmental impacts. Notably, our recycling program has reduced waste output by over 50%. NOW FOODS Vitamins also conducts employee training programs, supports community conservation efforts and hosts volunteer workdays to plant vegetation, remove litter and control lakeside erosion in a local forest preserve. These actions have earned us a number of community service awards from several local recreation organizations. Finally, we help support environmental organizations, including The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund.
AOAC adopts NOW Glucosamine Method
NOW Foods’ glucosamine HPLC method has passed the AOAC’s 2-year validation process to become the fi rst offi cial method for testing the standards of this popular joint health ingredient. It was selected by the expert review panel in April of 2003 as the “best method for further laboratory validation”. It will be published in the Journal of AOAC International and become available to the industry this summer, 2005. “Having NOW’s method for glucosamine become the offi cial AOAC method is a testament to the expertise of our staff, our focus on the science, and our commitment to quality,” said Michael Lelah, technical director of NOW Foods.
DuPage County Forest Preserve District’s Shooting Star Award.
The DuPage County Forest Preserve District of Illinois recently presented NOW Foods their Shooting Star Award at their annual Forest Preserve District volunteer banquet. This award recognizes the long-term efforts that our entire organization has made in order to improve and support the quality of the East Branch Forest Preserve in Glendale Heights, IL. This is also the fi rst time that the District has given this award to a company. As the primary recipient, we look forward to furthering our environmental efforts.
Recapping our 2004 Achievements
Eight 1st Place Vity Awards, from Vitamin Retailer Magazine
United States Department of Commerce Excellence in Export Achievement Award
Nutrition Business Journal’s Effort on Behalf of Industry Award Consumerlab.com Top Rated Brand in Health Food Stores based on Customer Satisfaction Natural Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA) Crusader Award, Elwood Richard Vitamin Retailer Magazine Manufacturer of the Year (2003)
Olive Leaf Extract
January 02, 2006 10:17 AM
In today’s stressful world, immune system health is more important than ever. History has proven that no matter what we do to combat viruses, bacteria and parasites, they have the remarkable capability to mutate for survival, often returning in a more virulent form than before. New strains of the flu and other microbial invaders are being discovered at an alarming rate, and modern medicine is constantly on the defensive. At the time this was written, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta is predicting a “bad flu season” because a “killer drift variant” strain of flu had been discovered, called type A Fujian. This new strain has already caused deaths abroad, and vaccinations are strongly recommended, especially for the very young and the elderly.
However, mutating microbes are only part of the problem confronting our immune systems. Factors such as environmental pollution and over-processing of foods are believed by many researchers to play a major role in many health conditions. Which means, more than ever before, you need to make sure your immune system is functioning at peak efficiency. Fortunately, there are a number of natural products available that can assist you in reaching this goal.
One of the most effective discovered to date is Olive Leaf Extract (OLE). Natural olive leaf extract is derived from the olive tree (Olea europaea), which happens to have a very long and interesting history. One of the most revered botanicals, the olive tree is mentioned numerous times in the Bible. One of the earliest and most powerful mentions is the delivery of the olive Branch to Noah by a dove, a sign that the floodwaters were receding and life was returning. The olive tree was, and still is, a life-giver. It’s fruit is used for food, and the oil is used for cooking and as a source of light to ward off the darkness. Ancient cultures soon discovered that the various components of the olive tree provided a myriad of health benefits as well, benefits confirmed by modern science.
Extract of olive leaves is one of the best, if not THE best, natural antimicrobials and antioxidants ever discovered.* Oddly enough it might have been well recognized in this role much sooner since it was reported in the mid-1850’s that a bitter tea brewed from olive leaves might be a potential cure for malaria. However, not all great discoveries are immediately recognized as valuable, and physicians of that era didn’t give much credence to the reports. It wasn’t until decades later that a simple analysis conducted on olive leaves led to the discovery of an active component, the phenolic compound oleuropein, which has since been associated with many health benefits.
More recently, numerous studies have been conducted on olive leaves and the active components found in the leaves, with a preponderance of positive results. A 1999 study conducted at the University of Rome assessed the antimicrobial activity of oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, two of the most active components in olive leaf extract. They were pitted against many different bacterial strains, including salmonella and staphylococcus, in vitro. The study concluded, “Olea europaea can be considered a potential source of promising antimicrobial agents” for the support of intestinal and respiratory health.* 4
A 2002 study conducted at the University of South Australia compared the effectiveness of some of the typical components of the Mediterranean diet, including oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, as reactive oxygen species inhibitors and free radical scavengers. Researchers also examined their capability in protecting against low-density lipoprotein oxidation in vitro. Results clearly indicated that these components are potent inhibitors of free radical generation, as well as effective free radical scavengers.* 5
NOW® Foods carries a number of olive leaf extract products, including our Olive Leaf Extract 500mg, standardized to contain 6% oleuropein, our Extra Strength product with 18% oleuropein and 100mg of Echinacea Extract, and Olive Leaf Glycerite liquid, which contains 18% oleuropein.
Why would you want a standardized Olive Leaf Extract product over a whole herb Olive Leaf product? We’re glad you asked! Standardization allows for consistently effective herbal products because the active ingredient, or marker compound, is accurately identified and measured, ensuring that the product delivers a certain minimum level of the active component or components. In simpler terms, standardized herbal products allow the consumer to obtain the benefits of an herb without having to consume massive quantities because there is a much greater concentration of active components, which also improves the effectiveness of the herbal product. Purchasing standardized Olive Leaf with a guaranteed concentration of oleuropein is a smart choice.
December 30, 2005 08:55 AM
If you consider yourself a serious, competitionminded athlete, you already know how important the “edge” is when it comes to your success. Regardless of whether it’s shaving a second off your personal best, squeezing out one more rep on the bench, or bumping up your batting average by just a tenth of a point, the difference between achieving fi rst place and an honorable mention may be a simple as knowing what specialty nutrients can make it so.
Thanks to impressive advances in the science of sports nutrition, there are plenty to choose from these days. Creatine monohydrate, for example, helps foster the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a mitochondrial chemical that makes it possible to store, produce and use energy for muscular contractions. Another, Branched chain amino acids (BCAA), help increase protein synthesis by promoting anabolic balance by preventing the catabolism that typically occurs during intense training. Pyruvate, a unique pairing of calcium and pyruvic acid, helps facilitate the transfer of glucose from the bloodstream into muscles where it supports the production of metabolic energy.
When it comes to fueling your body with the nutrients and compounds it needs to perform at its pinnacle, quality takes top priority. Purchasing a line of supplements based on the allure of the label won’t do a thing for your ability to improve, physically. In fact, it may end up costing you more than just money in the long run. NOW Sports supplements are developed under the same demanding, science-based standards inherent to every NOW product, and guaranteed to be exceptional in potency, purity and quality.
Butterbur Extract Fact Sheet
December 08, 2005 04:22 PM
Butterbur Extract Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 8/1/05
LIKELY USERS: People wanting to support healthy blood flow to the brain and healthy neurological function 1-6,10 Those maintaining normal seasonal immune responses 7-10
KEY INGREDIENTS: 75 mg of Guaranteed Potency Butterbur Root (Petasites hybridus) Extract, min. 15 Sesquiterpenes as Petasines; 200 mg of Feverfew Leaf (Tanacetum parthenium) min. 0.4% Parthenolides
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) is a native shrub of Europe, North America, and Asia that has been used by herbalists for centuries. Modern scientific studies have demonstrated that Butterbur supports healthy blood flow to the brain and healthy neurological function.1-6, 10 In addition, Butterbur may help to maintain balanced seasonal immune responses.7-10 In a synergistic base of guaranteed potency Feverfew leaf.11-26
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES: NOW Butterbur is free of harmful levels of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids (PAs), the undesirable compounds naturally found in Butterbur, so it is safe to use regularly.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: Take one VCap one to three times per day, or as directed by your physician.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Magnesium, Ulcetrol, B-2, B-12, Fish Oil (EPA, DHA), SAM-e, Ginger, Ginkgo Biloba
SPECIFIC: Do not discontinue use abruptly; taper off use if discontinuing. Discontinue use at least 14 days before surgery or oral surgery. Use with caution if you have ragweed allergies or blood disorders and let your physician know that you plan to use it before you take it. May be contraindicated for pregnant women.
GENERAL: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. This information is based on my own knowledge and references, and should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as a specific product claim. Information given here may vary from what is shown on the product label because this represents my own professional experience and understanding of the science underlying the formula and ingredients. When taking any new formula, use common sense and cautiously increase to the full dose over time.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. REFERENCES:
1. Diener HC, Rahlfs VW, Danesch U (2004) The First Placebo-Controlled Trial of a Special Butterbur Root Exract for the Preventio of Migraine: Reanalysis of Efficacy Criteria. Eur Neurol 51:89-97.
Immune Renew Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 01:07 PM
Immune Renew Fact Sheet Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 02/10/05
LIKELY USERS: Everyone seeking a healthy immune system; People on low carb diets or non-whole grain diets that are lacking dietary beta-glucans
KEY INGREDIENTS: Astragalus Root Extract Powder 70% polysaccharides (200 mg). Proprietary blend of 8 organically grown “medicinal mushrooms” (200 mg)
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Vegetarian formula. Polysaccharides in these US-grown mushrooms grown on organic brown rice include 1,3 Beta-glucans and terpenoids. Beta-glucans may stimulate the immune system in different ways. Triterpenoids may act as mild anticoagulants. Each mushroom may have a different effect; for example, one may stimulate T-cells and another Natural Killer cells, aiding in immune defense. Mushrooms have reported beneficial effects on liver health and promoting normal cell growth.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT INFORMATION: Some extracts from these kinds of mushrooms have been used medicinally in Japan and China. The mushrooms include Turkey Tail, Sun Mushrooms, Maitake, Cordyceps, Phellinus, Lion’s Mane, Reishi and Shiitake. The astragalus extract also contains naturally occurring astragalosides. Mushrooms may help maintain normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: For everyday use take one or two caps per day, either with meals or on an empty stomach.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Vitamin C to break down beta-glucan structures for better absorption, Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP-6), I3C, Pometrol, mixed carotenoids and antioxidants
CAUTIONS: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. Do not take with AIDS drugs or if you have an autoimmune disease. Use with caution if using anticoagulants or blood pressure medication, as these mushrooms may have mildly synergistic effects to those drugs. Do not use if you have mold or mushroom allergies (or any sensitivities to mushrooms, cheese, etc.), which can potentially result in hives, rashes, breathing difficulties (including dry mouth or throat), stomach distress, diarrhea, or any other unusual side effect.
This information is based on my own knowledge and these references, but should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as specific product claims.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1. Hobbs C. Medicinal Mushrooms. Santa Cruz, CA: Botanica Press, 1995
Adverse Reactions to Foods and Dietary Supplements
August 27, 2005 08:27 AM
Adverse Reactions to Foods and Dietary Supplements
Answers to common Questions
The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that between 60,000 and 106,000 deaths per year in the United States are caused by prescription drugs. See JAMA, April 15, 1998 – Vol 279, No. 15. Fortunately, adverse reactions to foods and dietary supplements are far more rare than adverse reactions to drugs. However, we each consume a larger variety and quantity of foods than drugs. Because of this, and because each of us can react differently, an allergic or isolated reaction to a food or supplement is a possibility. Here’s helpful information about what to do if you or someone you care for has what appears to be an adverse reaction to a food or dietary supplement.
What types of reactions could I have?
The most common adverse reaction is an allergic reaction. In order to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction, carefully read all labels and buy products from reputable manufacturers who accurately disclose the ingredients in their products. If you need help finding these manufacturers, ask your local health food retailer for recommendations.
How do I know what caused my reaction?
Take time to carefully review what might have caused the reactions. Doctors and experts in toxicology look at several different factors in trying to determine the cause of a particular reaction.
1. Is this reaction a side effect of drugs I am taking?
Asking your self these questions can help limit the number of possible causes and may lead you to an answer more quickly.
What should I do if I have an adverse reaction?
Weather or not you know the potential cause of the reaction, follow these steps:
How can I reach the FDA or another government agency about my concerns?
Various state and federal agencies employ personnel who can help respond to concerns or questions about adverse reactions. Following is contact information for some of the agencies:
How can I report an adverse event?
FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) has an Adverse Event Reporting System (CAERS) that can be contacted in any of the following ways:
You can contact FDA’s MedWatch Program in any of the following ways:
For Non-emergencies related to products purchased via internet, fill out an online form on FDA’s website at vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/qa-top.html (see link to “form to report unlawful sales”)
You may also contact any local poison control center, local or state health agencies, the department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Trake Commision, the Consumer Products safety Commission, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and t hey will forward your report to the FDA.
An old Indian remedy gives your teeth a new gleam - NEEM
July 27, 2005 04:23 PM
Keen on Neem
An old Indian remedy gives your teeth a new gleam.
The search for clean teeth, healthy gums and fresh breath is not just a modern obsession, but an age-old fixation. Dental historians believe that ancient cavity rates ranged from 1% among Eskimos, with their highly carnivorous diet, to 80% among members of Egypt’s royalty, who feasted on dainties that included many high-carb delights. So it’s no surprise that most ancient cultures had their favorite oral hygiene therapies.
In Indian, the tooth scrubber of popular choice was twigs taken from the neem tree. Small wonder: This tropical evergreen’s therapeutic versatility sports and impressive 4,000-year-old track record, earning it the nickname of “village pharmacy.” Indians who went abroad carried neem with them, and they put the entire tree-bark, fruit, leaf, root, seed-to health-enhancing use. One famous Indian emigrant, Mahatma Gandhi, was a keen neem enthusiast; after returning to his native land, Gandhi held prayer meetings under a neem tree.
Today, neem’s beautiful Branches grace a vast swath of the Southern Hemisphere, including Australia (which may become the biggest neem-producing nation over the coming decades), Fiji, sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South America and the Caribbean. This remarkable plant’s Sanskrit name, arista, says it all-“perfect, complete and imperishable.”
Keeping Teeth Intact
Your dentist is actually the second one to drill your pearly whites. The first drillers are the germs that reside in your mouth-or, to be more accurate, the acids these wee beasties produce. Their handiwork: dental caries, or just plain cavities. These bacteria are also responsible for gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss if unchecked. What’s even worse, low-level inflammation caused by disordered gums may create the kind of blood-vessel havoc associated with heart problems.
Neem extracts act against a variety of detrimental microbes, which may explain its time-tested success in helping to keep teeth whole. Scientists at India’s Zydus Research Centre found that individuals who used a neem dental gel twice a day for six weeks enjoyed significant reductions in both plaque-the gummy, bacteria-harboring stuff that accumulates on teeth-and gum disease (International Dental Journal 8/04).
Neem’s fame is spreading among Northern Hemisphere consumers. It is becoming an herbally aware toothpaste ingredient valued for the fresh feeling its cool astringency imparts to the mouth. Neem is also a prized component of other health and beauty products, such as bath powders, lotions, shampoos and soaps.
In India, neem is a vital weapon in the arsenal of Ayurveda, that country’s system of traditional medicine. Practitioners there mash the leaves into a paste to alleviate chickenpox and warts, and brew them into tea to break malaria’s feverish grip. The leaves also make a soothing soak for fungus-infected feet.
Indian scientists are also hard at work studying neem. They’ve distilled the substances that account for neem’s ability to fight bacteria, fungi and parasites (including the pests that infest pets). Researchers have explored neem’s other traditional usages; in one study, a bark extract was able to ease ulcers (Life Sciences 10/29/04). What’s more, neem is esteemed for its contributions to Indian agriculture; the seedcake makes a nutritious feed supplement and bees that feed on neem are free of wax moths.
If you value keeping your teeth in gleaming condition, consider neem.
Fight Hay Fever - Help Your Sinus...
July 11, 2005 09:15 PM
The National Institute of Health’s Branch of Allergy and Infectious Diseases re p o rt that 40 to 50 million Americans suffer from allergies in one form or another. Many experience food allergies that a re treated somewhat diff e rently from hay fever allergies. Hay fever comes from airborne allergens, generally from pollen or pollutants.
The symptoms of allergy occur when an immune system is overactive. The immune system often recognizes something as foreign and treats it as foreign by attacking it, when in fact it really isn’t a substance the body should be concern e d with. This over-activity of the immune system leads to the release of substances including histamine that cause the symptoms of hay fever.
The most common symptoms include a runny nose and itching eyes and scratchy throat. Sometimes, an allergy will precede a sinus infection by causing swelling in the nasal membranes preventing fluids f rom exiting the sinus passages. An infection then ensues. However, most people who feel pressure over their sinuses, never develop an infection and so can be adequately treated with the supplements mentioned here. Many people experience a tickle or a shallow cough that comes from the throat rather than the lungs. They may also experience a change in emotions, becoming quite irritable or moody.
These airborne allergies can often be g rouped by season. Those people sensitive to tree pollens usually have more severe allergies in the springtime. Those sensitive to grasses are often worse in mid-summer. Those allergic to weeds have their symptoms peak in the fall. There are some unfortunate people who have allergies all summer long who may be allergic to a few plants in each group. Those who have symptoms of allerg i e s all winter long probably are allergic to molds and mildew or household animals and dust mites. On occasion, it takes a real detective to determine from where the allergies come.
There are several methods used to diagnose a cause of an allergy. In a scratch test, drops of an allergen are put on small scratches on the arm or the back. Are action is considered positive if swelling or redness occur around the scratch. A blood sample can also be used to meas ure antibody response to certain allergens. It is often helpful to determine the allergen which cause the hayfever to reduce the symptoms. There are also practitioners who use kinesiology or electronic devices to determine the cause of allergies.
The most common treatment of allergies is with antihistamines. Their side effects include drowsiness and drying of the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth. Many of the newer prescription antihistamines don’t cause drying but often have serious drug interactions and the consumer must be very careful in combining the prescription antihistamines with antifungal drugs, and blood thinning as well as asthma medication. There are some natural products that can be taken to decrease allergy symptoms. They are often equally effective without the side effects of antihistamines.
One of the more popular is quercetin. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found in red apples, red onions, brussels sprouts, kale, peas, bell peppers, pears and asparagus. It is also found in bee pollen and propolis, two plant materials found in the beehive. It is possible to consume a fair amount of quercetin through your diet. If you have allergies, however, diet is often not enough and you may need a supplement to get enough quercetin to ontrol your symptoms. It appears quercetin decreases allergic symptoms by stopping the release of histamine. If you start taking quercetin and other nutritional supplements I will mention below before an allergy attack, they are likely to be more effective. However, don’t let that discourage you from taking them even after the symptoms have started. A common dose is 300mg to 600mg per day.
Bromelain is a nutrient often extracted f rom pineapple. Found in many digestive formulas, it is an enzyme that helps absorption. If it is found in a combination formula, chances are, it is there to help with the absorption of the other nutrients such as quercetin. Bromelain also has an anti-inflammatory effect. When someone develops allergy symptoms, part of the reason is due to the inflammatory response to substances such as histamine that are released as the allergy takes hold. This causes inflammation in the tissues which then manifests with redness and swelling.
Vitamin C is useful in many conditions including hay fever. Higher doses are often required in the treatment of allergies: 2,000mg is beneficial and you can take up to 4,000mg or more during acute symptoms. It also stabilizes capillaries, reducing the swelling in the throat, nasal passages and around the eyes. If you are taking a multi-vitamin or a combination product that contains Vitamin C, I still recommend additional supplementation.
Stinging nettle is probably a plant many a re familiar with, especially if it has come into contact with your skin, but it also has an historical use in the treatment of allergy. In fact, in double blind studies it was shown to decrease the symptoms of allergy, specifically runny nose.
The active component of the ephedra herb is ephedrine, an alkaloid. It is used in OTC asthma medication. As a natural herb, ephedra in small doses can be v e ry useful in decreasing the symptoms of colds, asthma, cough and in this case, hay fever. It is in many Chinese and American formulas that I use and I feel v e ry comfortable using 100mg to 200mg of ephedra that contain small doses of 2.5mg to 8mg of ephedra alkaloids per day. I feel comfortable using dosages of up to 15mg of ephedra alkaloids .
Feverfew is another herb with a variety of uses. You will find it in headache formulas, in fever reducing formulas, and many hay fever formulas. Like bromelain, it has an anti-inflammatory effect and reduces the swelling that occurs during a hay fever attack.
Homeopathic formulas can also be useful to reduce hay fever. There is no re ason why the herbs I’ve mentioned cannot be combined with homeopathic formulas. You may want to take them at separate times of the day.
So, if you suffer from hay fever, don’t give up. You can use these nutrients singly or in combination. You can take a formula that contains all of them and then add to that additional vitamin C for instance, or additional nettle. It may require trial and error to find the right amounts in combination that will work for you.
HAWAIIAN NONI (Morinda citrifolia)
July 11, 2005 08:50 PM
In a time when we are more concerned than ever with issues of health, a tried and true tropical herb called noni needs t o be added t o our list of the best natural remedies. It susage over hundreds of years supports it s description as a veritable panacea of therapeutic actions. At this writing, noni continues to accrue impressive medicinal credentials, and its emergence as an effective nat ural healing agent is a timely one. Amidst rising cancer rates, the high incidence of degenerative diseases like diabetes, and the evolution of ant ibiotic resist ant bacteria and new viral strains, herbs like noni are sought after for their natural pharmaceutical properties. Unquest ionably, all of us want to know how to:
Indian Mulberry (India), Noni (Hawaii), Nono (Tahiti and Raratonga), Polynesian Bush Fruit, Painkiller Tree (Caribbean islands), Lada (Guam), Mengkudo (Malaysia), Nhau (Southeast Asia), Grand Morinda (Vietnam), Cheesefruit (Australia), Kura (Fiji), Bumbo (Africa) Note: This is only a small sampling of vernacular names for Morinda citrifolia. Almost every island nation of the South Pacific and Caribbean has a term for this particular plant . This booklet will refer to the herb mainly as “ noni” or M. citrifolia, and is referring primarily to Hawaiin noni.
The parts of the noni plant most used for their medicinal and nutritional purposes are the fruit, seeds, bark, leaves, and flowers. Virtually every part of the noni plant is utilized for its individual medicinal properties; however, it is the fruit portion that is regarded as its most valuable. The seeds have a purgative action, the leaves are used to treat external inflammations and relieve pain, the bark has strong astringent properties and can treat malaria, the root extracts lower blood pressure, the flower essences relieve eye inflammations and the f ruit has a number of medicinal actions.
Morinda citrifolia is technically an evergreen shrub or bush, which can grow to heights of fifteen to twenty feet . It has rigid, coarse Branches which bear dark, oval, glossy leaves. Small white fragrant flowers bloom out of cluster-like pods which bear creamy-white colored fruit. The fruit is fleshy and gel-like when ripened, resembling a small breadf ruit . The flesh of the fruit is characterist ically bitter, and when completely ripe produces a rancid and very dist inctive odor. Noni has buoyant seeds that can float formont hs in ocean bodies. The wood of the inflammatory, astringent, emollient, emmenagogue, laxative, sedative, hypotensive (lowers blood pressure) , blood purif ier, and tonic.
Noni has various chemical constituents. First, it has an impressive array of terpene compounds, three of which—L. Asperuloside, aucubin, and glucose— have been identified by their actyl derivatives. Both caproic and caprylic acids have been isolated.1 Second, bushfruits, a category of which noni fruit is a member, are also considered a good source of vit - amin C.2 Third, Hawaiin noni has been linked to the synthesis of xeronine in the body which has significant and widespread health implications. Last , the alkaloid cont ent of the noni fruit is thought to be responsible for its therapeutic actions. Alkaloids exhibit a wide range of pharmacological and biological act ivitiesin the human body. They are nitrogencontaining organic compounds which can react with acids to form salts and which are the basis of many medicines. The following is an in-depth chemical analysis of each plant part and it s chemical constituents.
discovered an alkaloid in the Hawaiin noni fruit which he calls proxeronine and which he believes has appreciable physiological actions by acting as a precursor to xeronine, a very crucial compound (see later sections) . In addition, a compound found in the fruit called damnacanthol is believed to help inhibit cert ain viruses and cellular mutations involved in cancer.
ROOT AND ROOT BARK
Recent surveys have suggested that noni fruit exerts antibiotic action. In fact, a variety of compounds which have antibacterial properties (such as aucubin) have been identified in the fruit.5 The 6-Dglucopyranose pentaacet ate of the fruit extract is not considered bacteriostatic.6 Constituents found in the fruit portion have exhibited ant imicrobial action against Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi (and other types) , Shigella paradysenteriae, and Staphylococcus aureaus. Compounds found in the root have the ability to reduce swollen mucous membrane and lower blood pressure in animal studies. Proxeronine is an alkaloid constituent found in Hawaiin noni fruit which may prompt the production of xeronine in the body. It is considered a xeronine precursor and was discovered in noni fruit by Dr. Ralph M. Heinicke. He has theorized that this proenzyme can be effective in initiating a series of beneficial cellular reactions through its involvement with the integrity of specific proteins. He points out that tissues contain cells which possess certain recept or sites for xeronine. Because the reactions that can occur are so varied, many different therapeutic actions can result when xeronine production escalates, explaining why Hawaiin noni is good for so many seemingly unrelated disorders. Damnacanthol is another compound contained in the fruit of the Hawaiin noni plant which has shown the ability to block or inhibit the cellular function of RAS cells, considered pre-cancerous cells.
Body Systems Targeted
The following body systems have all been effec-freeze-dried capsules, dehydrated powder or fruit, and oil. Noni plant constituents are sometimes offered in combination with other herbs. Some products contain a percent age of the fruit, bark, root and seeds for their individual therapeutic properties.
Extracts of M. citrifolia are considered safe if used as directed; however, pregnant or nursing mothers should consult their physicians before taking any supplement . High doses of root extracts may cause constipation. Taking noni supplements with coffee, alcohol or nicotine is not recommended.
Ideally, noni extracts should be taken on an empty stomach prior to meals. The process of digesting food can interfere with the medicinal value of the alkaloid compounds found in Hawaiin noni, especially in its fruit . Apparently, stomach acids and enzymes destroy the specific enzyme which frees up the xeronine compound. Take noni supplements without food, coffee, nicotine or alcohol. Using supplements that have been made from the semi-ripe or light - green fruit is also considered preferable to the ripe, whit ish fruit .
NONI: ITS USE AND HISTORY
Noni is a tropical wandering plant indigenous to areas of Australia, Malaysia and Polynesia. It is considered native to Southeast Asia although it grows from India to the eastern region of Polynesia. Morinda citrifolia has a long history of medicinal use throughout these areas. It is thought to be the “most widely and commonly used medicinal plant prior to the European era.” 7 Centuries ago, the bushfruit was introduced to native Hawaiians, who subsequently called it “noni” and considered its fruit and root as prized medicinal agents. Among all Polynesian botanical agents of the 19th and 20th centuries, Hawaiin noni has the widest array of medical applications. Samoan and Hawaiian medical practitioners used noni for bowel disorders (especially infant diarrhea, constipation, or intestinal parasites) , indigestion, skin inflammation, infection, mouth sores, fever, contusions and sprains. Hawaiians commonly prepared noni tonics designed to treat diabetes, stings, burns and fish poisoning.8 The herb’s remarkable ability to purge the intestinal tract and promote colon health was well known among older Hawaiian and Tahitian natives and folk healers. Interestingly, field observations regarding its repu-remarkable healing agent .
Wonder Herb of Island Folk Healers
Common to t he thickets and forests of Malaysia and Polynesia, and the low hilly regions of the Philippine islands, noni has been cultivated throughout communities in the South Pacific for hundreds of years. Its Hawaiian use is thought to originate from inter-island canoe travel and settlement dating to before Christ . Its hardy seeds have the ability to float which has also contributed to its distribution among various seacoasts in the South Pacific region. Historical investigation has established the fact that some of Hawaii’s earliest settlers probably came viaTahiti. For this reason, Tahitian herbal practices have specific bearing on the herbal therapeutics of islands to the nort h. The very obvious similarities between the Hawaiian vernacular for herbal plants like noni and Tahitian names strongly suggests the theory of Polynesian migrations to Hawaii. Cultures native to these regions favored using Morinda citrifolia for treating major diseases and ut ilized it as a source of nourishment in times of famine.9 Noni fruit has been recognized for centuries as an excellent source of nutrition. The peoples of Fiji, Samoa and Rarat onga use the fruit in both its raw and cooked forms.10 Traditionally, the fruit was propicked before it was fully ripe and placed in the sunlight . After being allowed to ripen, it was typically mashed and its juice extracted through a cloth. Noni leaves provided a veget able dish and their resiliency made them desirable as a fish wrap for cooking.
Noni’s Medical Reputation
Elaborate traditionalrituals and praying rites usually accompanied the administration of noni. Int erestingly, cultures indigenous to the Polynesian islands had a significant understanding of their flora. For example, native Hawaiians maint ained a folkmedicine taxonomy t hat was considered second to none.11 Noni was not only used for medicinal purposes but for its food value, for clot hing and for cloth dyes as well. Research indicates that noni was among the few herbal remedies that islanders considered “ tried and true.” In Hawaii, trained herbal practitioners reserved the right to prescribe plant therapies.12 Records indicate that Hawaiian medical practices were based on extensive and very meticulous descriptions of symptoms and their prescribed herbal treatments. Dosages were controlled and the collection and administration of plant extracts was carefully monitored.13 In addition to Morinda, it was not uncommon for these herbal doctors to also recommend using In regard to its application for common ailments, Hawaiians and other island communities traditionally prescribed noni to purge the bowel, reduce fever, cure respiratory infections such as asthma, ease skin inflammations, and heal bruises and sprains. In other words, noni was widely used and highly regarded as a botanical medicine.
A Timely Reemer gence
Today, the natural pharmaceutical actions of the chemical constituents contained in noni are scientif-ically emerging as valuable bot anical medicines. Tahitian “nono” intrigued medical practitioners decades ago; however, due to the eventual emergence of synthetic drugs, interest in this island botanical diminished until recent years. Ethnobot anists are once again rediscovering why Hawaiian people havet reasured and cultivat ed Morinda citrifolia for generations. Noni is now finding its way into western therapeutics and is referred to as “ the queen” of the genus Rubiaceae. Its ability to reduce joint inflammation and target the immune system have made it the focus of the modern scientific inquiry. Dr. Ralph Heinicke has conducted some fascinating studies on the chemical constituents of the Hawaiin noni fruit. His research centers on the proxeronine content of the fruit juice and how it profoundly influences human physiology. In addition, scientific studies investigating noni as an anti-cancer agent have been encouraging. It s conspicuous attributes and varied uses have elevat edits status to one of the best of the healing herbs. Today Morinda citrifolia is available in liquid, juice, freezedried capsules, or oil forms, and is considered one of nature’s most precious botanicals.
TRADITIONAL USES OF NONI
Throughout tropical regions, virtually every part of Morinda citrifolia was used to treat disease or injury. Its curative properties were well known and commonly employed. PatoaTama Benioni, a member of the Maoritribe from the Cook Islands and a lecturer on island plants explains: Traditionally Polynesians use noni for basically everything in the treatment of illness. Noni is a part of our lives. Any Polynesian boy will tell you he’s had exper ience with it . We use juice from its roots, its flowers, and its fruit... my grandmother taught me to use noni from the roots and the leaves to make medicine for external as well as internal use, and for all kinds of ailments, such as coughs, boils, diseases of the skin, and cuts.15
decoctions to stimulate delayed menst ruation.
XERONINE: THE SECRET OF NONI?
One informed professional on the subject of noni is Dr. Ralph Heinicke, a biochemist who has researched the active compounds of noni fruit for a number of years. He discovered that the Hawaiin noni fruit contains an alkaloid precursor to a very vital compound called xeronine. Wit hout xeronine, life would cease. In Dr. Heinicke’s view, noni fruit provides a safe and effective way to increase xeronine levels, which exert a crucial influence on cell health and protction. His research suggests that the juice from the M. citrifolia fruit contains what could technically be considered a precursor of xeronine—proxeronine. This compound initiates the release of xeronine in the intestinal tract after it comes in contact with a specific enzyme which is also contained in the fruit .
Because proteins and enzymes have so many varied roles within cell processes, the normalization of these proteins with noni supplemenation could initiate avery wide variety of body responses and treat many disease condit ions. Proteins are the most important catalysts found in the body. The beauty of obtaining a precursor to xeronine from the noni fruit is that the body naturally decides how much of this precursor to convert to xeronine. Disease, stress, anger, trauma and injury can lower xeronine levels in the body, thus creat ing a xeronine deficit . Supplementing the body with noni fruit is considered an excellent way to safely and naturally raise xeronine levels. It is the research and theories of Dr. Heinicke which have made the juice of the Hawaiin noni fruit a viable medicinal substance. He writes: Xeronine is analkaloid, a substance the body produces in order to activate enzymes so they can function properly. It also energizes and regulates the body. This par-ticular alkaloid has never been found because the body makes it, immediately uses it, and then breaks it down. At no time is there an appreciable, isolable amount in the blood. But xeronine is so basic to the functioning of proteins, we would die without it . Its absence can cause many kinds of illness.17 Because so many diseases result from an enzyme malfunction, Dr. Heinicke believes that using the noni fruit can result in an impressive array of curative applications. Interestingly, he believes that we manufacture proxeronine while we are sleeping. He proposes t hat if we could constantly supply our bodies wit h proxeronine from other sources, our need to sleep would diminish.18
How an herb is processed is crucial to how beneficial it is: this is especially true of noni, with its unique enzymes and alkaloids. Morinda citrifolia should be picked when the fruit is turning from its dark green immature color to its lighter green color, and certainly before it ripens to its white, almost translucent color. Once picked, noni, like aloe, will denature extremely quickly due to its very active enzymes. After harvesting, it should swiftly be flash frozen. This is similar to what is done to fish caught at sea to keep them f esh. This stops it from losing its potency while not damaging any of its constituents. To process noni, freeze-drying is recommended. This removes only the water without damaging any of this miracle plant’s vital enzymes and other phytonutrients like xeronine and proxeronine. This pure high-quality noni fruit juice powder is then encapsu-has a very harsh taste and an extremely foul smell, similar to the fruit it self . Other methods of processing include thermal processing, dehydrat ion and air drying. Thermal processing is generally found in liquids, while the dehydrat ed noni is then milled and encapsulated. Unfortunately both methods utilize high heat (110+°F) , which can deactivate many of the vital compounds that make noni so import ant . Air-drying is effect ive without using damaging heat but has serious quality control problems for commercial production.
MODERN APPLICATIONS OF NONI
Noni possesses a wide variety of medicinal properties which originat e from its differing plant component s. The fruit and leaves of the shrub exert antibacterial activities. Its roots promote the expulsion of mucus and the shrinkage of swollen membranes making it an ideal therapeutic for nasal congest ion, lung infect ions, and hemorrhoids. Noni root compounds have also shown natural sedative properties as well as the ability to lower blood pressure.
Leaf extracts are able to inhibit excessive blood flow or to inhibit the formation of blood clots. Noni is particularly useful for its ability to treat painful joint conditions and to resolve skin inflammations. Many people drink noni fruit extracts in juice form for hypert ension, painful menstruation, arthritis, gastric ulcers, diabetes, and depression. Recent studies suggest that its anticancer activit y should also be considered. Concerning the therapeutic potential of the Hawaiin noni fruit, Dr. Heinicke writes: I have seen the compound found in noni work wonders. When I was still investigating its possibilities, I had a friend who was a medical research scientist administer the proxeronine to a woman who had been comatose for three months. Two hour safter receiving the compound, she sat up in bed and asked where she was. . . . Noni is probably the best source of proxeronine that we have today.19 Studies and surveys combined support the ability of noni to act as an immunost imulant, inhibit the growth of certain tumors, enhance and normalize cellular function and boost tissue regeneration. It is considered a powerful blood purifier and contributor to overall homeostasis.
xeronine, which appears to be able to regulate the shape and integrity of cert in proteins that individually contribute to specific cellular activities. Interestingly, this effect seems to occur after ingestion, inferring that the most active compound of noni may not be present in uneaten forms of the fruit or other plant parts. Some practitioners believe that xeronine is best obtained from a noni fruit juice precursor compound. The enzymatic reactions that occur with taking the juice on an empty stomach are what Dr. Heinicke believes set cellular repair intomotion.
A study conducted in 1994 cited the anticancer activity of Morinda citrifolia against lung cancer. A team of scientists from the University of Hawaii used live laboratory mice to test the medicinal properties of the fruit against Lewis lung carcinomas which were artificially transferred to lung tissue. The mice that were left untreated died in nine to twelve days. However, giving noni juice in consistent daily doses significantly prolonged their life span. Almost half of these mice lived for more than fifty days.20 Research conclusions state that the chemical constituents of the juice acted indirectly by enhancing the ability of the immune system to deal with the invading malig-nancy by boosting macrophage or lymphocyte activit y. Furt her evaluation theorizes that the unique chemical constituents of Morinda citrifolia initiate enhanced T-cell activity, a reaction that may explain noni’s ability to treat a variety of infectious diseases. 21
In Japan, similar studies on tropical plant extracts found that damnacanthol, a compound found in Morinda citrifolia, is able to inhibit the function of KRAS- NRK cells, which are considered precursors to certain types of malignancies.22 The experiment involved adding noni plant extract to RAS cells and incubating them for a number of days. Observation disclosed that noni was able to significantly inhibit RAS cellular function. Among 500 plant extracts, Morinda citrifolia was determined to contain the most effective compounds against RAS cells. Its damnacanthol content was clinically described in 1993 as “a new inhibit or of RAS function.” 2 3 The xeronine fact or is also involved in that xeronine helps to normalize the way malignant cells behave. While they are still technically cancer cells, they no longer function as cells with unchecked growth. In time, the body’s immune system may be able to eradicate these cells.
with arthritic disease. One link to arthritic pain may be the inability to properly or completely digest proteins which can then form crystal-like deposits in the joints. The ability of noni fruit to enhance protein digestion through enhanced enzymatic function may help to eliminate this particular phenomenon. In addition, the alkaloid compounds and plant met abolites of noni may be linked to its apparent anti-inflammatory action. Plant sterols can assist in inhibiting the inflammatory response which causes swelling and pain. In addition, the antioxidant effect of noni may help to decrease free radical damage in joint cells, which can exacerbate discomfort and degeneration.
The alkaloid and other chemical compounds found in noni have proven themselves to effectively control or kill over six types of infectious bacterial strains including: Escherichia coli, salmonellatyphi (and other types) , shigella paradysenteriae, and staphylo - coccus aureaus.25 In addition, damnacanthol, was able to inhibitt he early antigen stage of the Epstein- Barr virus.
The bioactive components of the whole plant, combined or in separate portions, have demonst rat - ed the ability to inhibit several different strains of bacteria. Anecdotal reports support this action in that noni seems particularly effective in shortening the duration of certain types of infection. This may explain why noni is commonly used to treat colds and flu. The chemical constituents found in noni and the possibility that they stimulate xeronine production— as well as initiate alkaloid therapy—may explain noni’s reputation for having immuno-stimulatory properties. Alkaloids have been able to boost phagocytosis which is the process in which certain white blood cells called macrophages attack and literally digest infectious organisms. Interestingly, the ant it umoraction of noni has been ascribed to an immune system response which involves stimulating T-cells. tropical regions during World War II learned of the fruit’s ability to boost endurance and stamina. Native cultures in Samoa, Tahiti, Raratonga and Australia used the fruit in cooked and raw forms. M. citrifolia is considered a tonic and is especially recommended for debilitated conditions.
The process of aging bombards the body with free radicals which can cause all kinds of degenerative diseases. The xeronine theory promoted by Dr. Heinicke submit s t hat as our bodies age, we lose our ability to synthesize xeronine. To make matters worse, the presence of many environment altoxins actually blocks the production of xeronine as well. He believes that the proxeronine content of Hawaiin noni fruit juice can help to block these actions, thereby working as an antiaging compound.26 The phytonutrients found in noni assist in promot - ing cell nourishment and prot ect ion from free radicals created by exposure to pollution and other potentially damaging agents. In addition, Morinda citrifolia contains selenium, which is considered one of the best antioxidant compounds available.
While scientific studies are lacking in this particular application of noni, Hawaiians used various parts of the plant and its fruit to treat blood sugar disorders. Anecdotal surveys have found t hat noni is current ly recommended for anyone with diabetes.
A 1990 study found that extracts derived from the Morinda citrifolia root have the ability to kill pain in animal experiments.27 Interest ingly, it was during this study that the natural sedative action of the root was also noted. This study involved a French team of scientists who noted a significant central analgesic activity in laboratory mice.28 Dr. Heinicke has stated, “Xeronine also acts as a pain reliever. A man wit h very advanced int est inal cancer was given three months to live. He began taking the proxeronine and lived for a whole year, pain-free.” 29
Skin Healing Agent
One of the most prevalent hist rical uses of noni was in poultice form for cuts, wounds, abrasions, burns and bruises. Using its fruit extract for very serious burns has resulted in some extraordinary healing. Because skin is comprised of protein, it immediately responds to the presence of xeronine.
burn site throught he direct application of a noni poultice is considered quite effective by Dr. Heinicke and his colleagues, who have studied enzymatic therapy. Concerning burns, he has written: I believe that each tissue has cells which contain proteins which have receptor sites for the absorption of xeronine. Certain of these proteins are the inert for ms of enzymes which require absorbed xeronine to become active. This xeronine, by converting the body’s procol- langenase system into a specific protease, quickly and safely removes the dead tissue from burns.30
The xeronine link to treat ing drug addiction is based on the notion that flooding t he brain with extra xeronine can reverse the neurochemical basis for addiction. This natural alkaloid is thought to normalize brain receptors which subsequent ly results in the cessation of physiological dependence on a certain chemical like nicotine.3 1 The potential of Hawaiin noni as a natural stimulat or for t he production of xeronine may have profound implications in treating various types of addictions.
Complementary Agents of Noni
PrimaryApplications of Noni
Elder Berry - For Natural Respiratory Health
June 30, 2005 09:30 AM
Elder Berry By Ellen J. Kamhi, Ph. D. with Dorie Greenblatt The plant known as Elder Berry occurs as several different species and grows throughout Europe and North America. It can be a tall tree or smaller bush, earning it the knickname "Dwarf Elder". The berries that appear as the ripe fruits can range in color from red to black. Only the blue/black berries are medicinal. The genus and species name for this variety is Sambucus nigra. This plant has a long history of use as both a food and medicine in many countries. In England, for example, it was a common belief that Elder-Berry was a favorite tree of witches who enjoyed residing among its Branches. To disturb such a tree was thought to incur a witch's wrath. To this day, many British still refuse to cut an Elder Tree down or burn its Branches. In Denmark, the tree was said to house Hylde-Moer, "The Elder Tree Mother", who would haunt anyone found harming the tree. In addition, many believed that an Elder Tree was a symbol of "good luck" if found growing on one's property.
As a food source Elder Berries are commonly made into jams, jellies, chutneys and wine. As a medicinal, the fruit is often prepared as a syrup. For example, the "Duke of Monmouth's Recipe" was made with Elder syrup and other herbs, and was used for sciatica. Native Americans used different parts of the plant for infections, coughs and skin conditions. Today Elder can be found listed as an "official medicine" in the Holland pharmacopeia, and was listed in the past in the pharmacopeias of both England and the United States.
The most common medicinal uses for Elder Berry are:
Elder Berries contain vitamins A, B and C plus various flavonoids including quercetin. However, these substances alone cannot account for its remarkable effect of disarming the symptoms of a cold or flu. An Israeli scientist, Dr. Madeleine Mumcuouglu, Ph.D., performed research that uncovered the mechanism of activity of Elder Berry's anti-cold and flu activity. The flu is triggered by a virus, which must invade living cells in order to reproduce and spread. The virus enters the cell by puncturing the cell's outer membrane with tiny spikes known as hemagglutinin. Dr. Mumcuoglu discovered that the active ingre- dients in Elder Berry bind onto the hemagglutin, deactivating it and ultimately preventing the piercing of the cellular membranes.
Scientific investigations collaborate the effectiveness of Elder berry. One scientific study tracked a reduction of flu symptoms during an outbreak of influenza. (Zakay-Rones Z, Varsano N, Zlotnik M, et al. Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama. J Alt Compl Med 1995; 1:361-9.) An added advantage to the use of Elder Berry is its record of safety. There are no known adverse reactions to the use of Elder Berry, although the possibi-lity of an individual allergic reaction can never be discounted.
Nature's Answer® offers Elder Berry in an alcohol-free, tangy-tasting 4oz. liquid herbal extract form. This concentrated (1:1) maximum strength fluid extract contains 5,000mg of Elder Berry in each 1 teaspoonful dose. Nature’s Answer® also supplies Elderberry in two encapsulated products, Sambucus & Ester-C®, and Sambucus & Maitake Bio-Beta Glucan™.
A great companion product is Nature's Answer®'s Elder Flower (organic alcohol). Flowers from the Elder tree contain tannins that have been shown to help dry up excess mucous, and can act as an expectorant.
One final note...when deciding on an Elder berry liquid, remember to check the kind of sweetener it contains. Many brands add sugar or sorbitol, while Nature's Answer's® Elder berry contains only pure coconut glycerine.
Ester-C® is a licensed trademark of InterCal Corporation and manufactured under U.S. patent #4,822,816 and other patent applications.
June 18, 2005 09:11 AM
Mushroom Miracles by Bert Hoffman Energy Times, April 12, 2004
Mention mushrooms and few people immediately recognize these humble fungi as important tools that can be used to boost well-being. More often, folks identify mushrooms as food with a peculiar appeal. But mushrooms' potential impact on health far surpasses their culinary reputation.
You don't have to stretch your imagination too far to understand why mushrooms have been much neglected in the modern, Western medical search for plants that can boost health.
Unable to make chlorophyll, often dependent on the kindness of other nutrient-producing organisms for their survival, these humble fungal denizens of dark, damp spaces seem to prefer an anonymous existence that is out of sight and out of the consciousness of the scientific mind.
However, mushrooms have now assumed a spot in the center of the research spotlight. Because of their potent content of natural chemicals that appear to have a strong influence on human health and well-being, during the past decade mushrooms have been the subjects of intensive studies on how they can be used to reduce the risk of cancer and to treat these diseases.
Appropriately, this recent round of research began in a place that has long revered these diminutive organisms: Japan. Japan and other Oriental countries have traditionally recognized the immense value of mushrooms as both food and medicine.
Food and Medicine
As an ancient Chinese saying notes, "food and medicine share a common origin." And one of the very earliest Chinese medical books, Shen Noug's Herbal (Shen Noug Pen Ts'ao Jing), first noted the extraordinary beneficial effects of eating mushrooms 2,000 years ago, back in the first century.
More recently, but still well ahead of Western medical experts, in 1575, Pen Ts'ao Kang Mu (a Chinese compendium of medicinal therapies), written by Li Shi Zhen, outlined the medical benefits of about 20 mushrooms.
Nowadays, modern researchers believe mushrooms' usefulness stems from the fact they contain a wealth of antioxidants. But these aren't just any antioxidants. Scientists think that some of these chemicals can potentially drop your risk of cancer, significantly lower blood pressure, help the body fight diabetes, offer protection for the liver, alleviate some of the ill effects of inflammation, lessen the chance of blood clots and help the body's immune system fend off viruses and other microbes. Quite a collection of benefits for these lowly beings!
The 10,000-Year Mushroom
Through the ages, the reishi mushroom (also known variously as the Mannetake, or 10,000-year mushroom, and the Immortality Mushroom) has been the most popular mushroom in Chinese, Korean and Japanese cultures. The reishi mushroom is frequently depicted in a wide variety of traditional Oriental artwork and even puts in an appearance in Chinese royal tapestries.
To some, reishi's power goes beyond the natural and include the supernatural. Originally grown on aging plum trees, reishi is also sufficiently well regarded to be employed by the Japanese as a good luck charm. But you don't have to believe in the supernatural to be superbly impressed with reishi. The beneficial natural substances in reishi include steroids, lactones, alkaloids, triterpenes and polysaccharides.
Of these chemicals, polysaccharides (complex chains of sugars) in particular have intrigued researchers looking into the way mushrooms help health. These polysaccharide macromolecules are very large (for molecules) and complex, a complexity that leads researchers to believe they are capable of conveying a huge amount of biological information that help the immune system stop cancer in its early stages. The differences in the benefits of various polysaccharides stems from their intriguing geometrical shapes.
Even though two distinctive polysaccharides may contain the same number of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms, their three-dimensional differences-the way they are structured and Branch off in different directions-can endow them with very different health benefits.
Though they all share a basic structure (usually, these molecules consist of a main chain of atoms with various side chains), the slight variations of the side chains changes their effects.
By deciphering the microscopic structures of these molecules, scientists think they are beginning to uncover which ones are most effective against cancer. For instance, in isolating a particularly useful polysaccharide called beta-D-glucan from reishi, researchers have found that this substance fights tumors in lab experiments (Chem Pharm Bull 1981; 29: 3611).
Meanwhile, beta-D-glucan and other extracts taken from the maitake mushroom have also been shown to possess powerful anti-cancer effects in lab experiments (Immunopharm Immunotox; 19:175).
In one instance, researchers in the laboratory who were trying out various substances on prostate cancer cells found that applying extracts of maitake results in a kind of programmed self-destruction (apoptosis) of these undesirable cancer cells (Molec Urol; 4:7). In addition, another substance known as maitake d-fraction has been shown to strongly fight cancer in lab animals-in one study, their liver cancer growths were reduced by up to 90% (Ann NY Acad of Sci; 833:204).
At the same time, research in China on people has demonstrated that maitake may help reduce tumors and alleviate the effects of leukemia (Alter Comp Ther 12/98; 420).
According to A.S. Daba and O.U. Ezeronye (Afr Jrnl Bio 12/03; 672), "Mushroom polysaccharides offer a lot of hope for cancer patients and sufferers of many devastating diseases.
" [These substances support]...a fundamental principle in Oriental medicine...[they help] regulate homeostasis of the whole body and... bring the diseased person [back] to his or her normal state."
The Activity of Active Hexose Correlated Compound Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC), an extract taken from shiitake and other mushrooms, is a relatively new substance that is also being researched for its anti-cancer benefits.
Studies on AHCC began in Japan in the 1990s when scientists looked at how it could potentially help people recovering from liver cancer. In those tests, researchers found that giving people AHCC apparently helped them survive longer.
In the future, scientists feel certain that they will uncover even more anticancer uses for mushrooms and the chemicals they contain. A key advantage to these natural substances is their lack of side effects. For instance, in research on an anti-cancer chemical called lentinan, taken from shiitakes, investigators have found that less than one percent of people experience the kind of discomfort that make them discontinue treatment. (This chemical has been used to treat stomach cancer.)
But a long list of beneficial mushroom substances are probably still waiting to be discovered. More evidence of mushrooms' benefits: A study of mushroom workers in a part of Japan called the Nagano Prefecture found that these farmers enjoyed a significantly lower cancer rate than other inhabitants of that part of the country.
In the rest of Japan, about one in six hundred people dies of cancer. But that rate death rate drops to about one in a thousand for mushroom raisers who eat a diet heavy in mushrooms.
John Smith, PhD, from the University of Strath-Clyde, notes that "...increasing evidence [shows] mushrooms offer a remarkable array of medicinally important compounds that have yet to be evaluated by Western medical scientists." Mushrooms offer the best of both worlds: good health that tastes great.
Probiotics - Our Friendly Bacteria
June 16, 2005 10:51 AM
An estimated 10 quadrillion bacteria make their home in the average digestive system. Fortunately, less than one percent of the 400 different species found in the intestine are potentially harmful. The majority of intestinal flora are friendly bacteria, otherwise known as probiotics. These probiotic bacteria support good health by limiting the growth of harmful bacteria, promoting good digestion and increasing resistance to infection.*1
Probiotic bacteria are completely non-toxic. In fact, friendly bacteria have been used safely and effectively for more than 8,000 years, proving their value to human health.*2 Most often, probiotics have been consumed as part of cultured foods, such as acidophilus milk, yogurt, soy tempeh, and idli (cultured wheat). The friendly bacteria in these foods, specifically Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, and Bifidobacterium bifidum, multiply in the warm, moist environment of the human body by feeding on the carbohydrates and protein in the digestive tract, then establish colonies along the intestinal wall.
Beneficial Roles of Probiotics
Lactobacillus acidophilus and other friendly bacteria play many important roles in maintaining good health.* According to experts, regular consumption of probiotics is the best way to maintain healthy intestinal flora.*3, 4 Lactobacilli species do not survive very long in the colon, so bacteria colonies need to be routinely replenished.*
In addition to producing numerous vitamins, probiotics support healthy digestion.* Part of the reason fermented foods are healthful is that some of the proteins, fats and carbohydrates are partially digested by the bacteria, which increases overall digestibility and nutritional value of the food.*5, 6
Lactose intolerant individuals may gain even more benefits from probiotics. Lactobacilli bacteria ferment as much as half of the lactose in milk—the part of milk that results in the symptoms of bloating, cramps and gas in lactose intolerant individuals—by converting it to lactic acid. Consequently, people with lactose intolerance report fewer digestive problems with cultured dairy foods compared to fresh milk.*5, 7
The nutritional profile of foods is improved after being cultured with probiotics. Levels of several B vitamins, including vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12, niacin, folic acid and pantothenic acid are higher in fermented foods, such as yogurt, cheese, kefir and buttermilk.*5 Fermentation also boosts the digestibility of soy foods.*8
Inhibiting bacterial growth:
Probiotics act as natural antibiotics, slowing the growth of harmful bacteria.*5, 6 These friendly bacteria produce substances, including lactic acid, acetic acid, benzoic acid, hydrogen peroxide and natural antibiotics, which limit the reproduction of certain disease-causing bacteria.*9
Another way that probiotic bacteria maintain a healthy digestive tract is by competing with harmful bacteria in the intestine. When the intestine is full of large colonies of beneficial bacteria, disease-causing bacteria are simply not able to multiply into harmful numbers because there are no available attachment sites on the intestinal wall.* This is one of the ways L. acidophilus inhibits the growth of Candida albicans, coliform (e. coli) bacteria and salmonella.*3, 4, 10, 11
Diarrhea can have many causes, but it always has the same result for the bacteria living in the intestine—it flushes them out, leaving the body vulnerable to the growth of opportunistic bacteria. It is important to replenish the body with probiotics during and after a bout of diarrhea.* Probiotic bacteria can also help keep the colon healthy when traveling.*4
Lactobacilli are one of the primary bacteria found in normal vaginal flora, and their presence is believed to inhibit the overgrowth of harmful bacteria, such as Candida. Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures are a popular folk remedy for vaginal health.*4, 10
Recolonization After Antibiotic Use:
Antibiotics, given to treat bacterial infections, ironically can contribute to unhealthy bacteria growth. Antibiotics destroy bacteria, the good along with the bad, leaving the intestine without its normal, healthful flora. In this compromised state, disease-causing bacteria can multiply unchecked by friendly bacteria.*12 When ingested during and following antibiotic usage, L. acidophilus rapidly restores normal flora, shortening the time that undesirable organisms remain in the gut.*3, 12 Bifidobacterium bifidum can also help normalize the intestinal flora after using antibiotics.*10
Producing the Best Probiotics
Fermenting foods with lactobacilli has been a time-honored method for both preserving and enhancing foods. Before refrigeration, fermentation was a valuable way to preserve food safety, and it remains in common usage today.
Nature’s Life uses the same basic principles developed and perfected by prehistoric nomadic peoples to produce Lactobacillus acidophilus products; with the exception that we use modern, high-volume equipment. These improvements, along with trained personnel, scientific methods and quality assurance practices, ensures that every batch meets our high standards of quality.
Our lactobacilli are cultured on nutrient-dense food concentrates, such as soy protein, green peas or non-fat milk. We add natural apple juice, pasteurized clover honey, strawberries, carrot juice or maltodextrin for flavor and to provide carbohydrates for the micro-organisms, plus we use only pasteurized water.
Our growth medium has a broad range of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, essential fatty acids, organic acids and naturally occurring plant phytonutrients such as flavonoids and carotenoids with beneficial antioxidant properties. The temperature and moisture are carefully controlled during the several days needed for the bacteria to multiply to peak potency.
At the peak of potency, Nature’s Life Liquid Acidophilus culture is poured directly into sanitized 16 oz. glass bottles and immediately refrigerated at 36°F to maintain peak potency. These liquid products are the most bioactive of all forms of acidophilus because they are dormant, rather than frozen.
For our freeze-dried powders and capsules, the warm liquid culture is immediately poured into containers, sealed and refrigerated. After cooling, the liquid is poured into trays and instantly freeze-dried. The frozen lactobacillus is then processed through a vacuum freezer to lower the moisture level to an absolute minimum. This freeze-dried product is packaged as either powder or capsules. When swallowed, the microorganisms will rehydrate and begin colonizing the gastrointestinal tract with friendly bacteria.
Nature’s Life acidophilus is not filtered, centrifuged or otherwise concentrated or separated from its growth medium to artificially obtain higher concentrations of bacteria per gram or capsule. Centrifuging may damage the lactobacillus by altering the natural clumping, chaining and Branching of bacteria cells.*
Nature’s Life probiotic products retain all the benefits of the nutrient-rich growth medium. All the valuable by-products of the bacteria’s metabolism remain in the final product, including B-vitamins, enzymes, organic acids, antibodies and even naturally occurring antibiotics. The conclusion of experts is that products which are centrifuged or filtered are incomplete.13 14
Quality You Can Trust
Nature’s Life invests significant resources in perfecting the production of high quality Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures. You benefit from our knowledge and experience every time you choose our supplements.
Nature’s Life lactobacillus cultures are manufactured with rigorous specifications using state-of-the-art equipment. All equipment and containers are sanitized to ensure that no contaminants or unfriendly pathogenic bacteria corrupt the quality of the L. acidophilus. The large capacity fermentation tanks and freeze dryers maintain consistency in each batch.
Nature’s Life Lactobacillus acidophilus meets or exceeds all standards developed by industry associations and government regulations. These standards, established to determine the quality of the finished product, are:
All of Nature’s Life Lactobacillus acidophilus products meet the acid test for effectiveness:
Using Nature’s Life Probiotics
Nature’s Life probiotics, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. bulgaricus and Bifidobacterium bifidum, can survive in the stomach for at least an hour.*15 Nature’s Life recommends taking probiotics either on an empty stomach or with food, however the presence of food can help the organisms stay alive longer.16
Liquid acidophilus should be treated as a perishable product, since it contains live, active organisms. Like yogurt or milk, acidophilus should be refrigerated and used within a short period of time. Contact Nature’s Life for a recipe on how to make your own soy-based, milk-free yogurt.
Home on the Range
June 13, 2005 03:52 PM
Home on the Range
by Janis Jibrin, RD Energy Times, September 5, 1999
Got chicken? Americans can't seem to get enough of this bird. Last year each of us ate, on average, just about 80 pounds of chicken, a whopping increase over the 49 pounds we each devoured in 1980 and an eight-pound increase from 1995. Part of this food's popularity comes from its lean image as a healthier, less fatty alternative to red meat (don't forget to take the fatty skin off). Chicken's also a cheap protein source: At many popular supermarkets you'll find weekly specials at about a dollar a pound.
But at health food markets, chicken can cost upwards of $1.69 a pound. These birds may be touted as raised in an organic, stress-free environment and on a vegetarian diet, free of antibiotics. For many people, this poultry is a better buy.
The Alternative Chicken
Most of the supermarket chicken you pick up in grocery refrigerated cases are broilers, birds bred to mature in about eight weeks. In comparison, in the '60s, chickens needed 14 weeks to become adult poultry. Conventionally-raised broilers eat grain mixed with whatever's cheapest on the market, such as recycled cooking oil that's been used to fry fast foods and animal parts.
These birds reside in chicken coops the size of football fields and don't see the light of day until transported to the slaughterhouse. On the other roost, alternatively raised chickens are brought up in a variety of ways (see box), but usually enjoy a more relaxed life and diet.
Chickens on the farm receive antibiotics for two reasons: To fight off the diseases that can run rampant through a crowded chicken coop and to encourage faster growth.
Antibiotics Stimulate Growth
Mark Cook, PhD, professor of animal science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, explains, "Gut bacteria trigger an immune system assault, which makes chickens a little feverish, suppresses appetite and slows growth. Antibiotics stimulate growth indirectly, by keeping bacteria levels down, and preventing the immune reaction." When birds get sick, they often get dosed with even more antibiotics.
This widespread antibiotic use has come home to roost and may contribute to the growth of bacteria that, frequently exposed to chemicals, have evolved ways to keep from being killed by pharmaceuticals.
This development threatens human health. Bacterial infections that people contract, once easily cured by penicillin or other drugs, are now tougher to eradicate. For instance, campylobactor, a common bacteria found in chicken, and responsible for some food poisonings, now demonstrates signs of resistance to drugs like floroquinolones. A powerful class of antibiotics, floroquinolones used to dependably conquer this infection.
"Floroquinolones are an extremely important class of antibiotics, used to treat many types of infections such as urinary tract infection, a wide variety of gastrointestinal illnesses, pneumonia, almost everything," says Kirt Smith, DVM, PhD, epidemiologist, acute disease epidemiology section, Minnesota Department of Health.
A study by Dr. Smith, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (340, 1999: 1525-32), showed that the percent of floroquinolone-resistant campylobactor appearing in infected people in his state-Minnesota-climbed from a little over 1% in infected people during 1992 to 10.2% in 1998. He and other scientists strongly suspect that the rise is a direct consequence of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision to allow floroquinolones in poultry feed beginning in 1995.
Although it was nearly impossible for Dr. Smith to trace the precise origin of campylobactor poisoning, he believes chicken was usually the source-and not just U.S. chicken. Many of the infected people had returned from Mexico and other countries.
"Sales of floroquinolones for poultry use in Mexico has increased dramatically," notes Dr. Smith.
Many alternative chicken producers do not use any antibiotic-laced feed at all. Other farmers adjust the feed to lower gut pH, making it more acidic and lowering chances of bacteria. At the U. of Wisconsin, Dr. Cook is developing antibodies to suppress the immune response to bacteria so chickens won't need antibiotics to spur growth. Buying and dining on chicken raised with little or no antibiotics could beneficially lower your risk of contracting a hardy bacterial infection. Better to catch campylobactor from an antibiotic-free chicken than a conventional chicken, speculates Dr. Cook. "There's less likelihood the bug will be resistant, and a better chance your problem can be cured with antibiotics," he explains.
And, looking beyond your own immediate health risk, buying antibiotic-free chicken makes a small contribution to stopping the spread of antibiotic resistant bugs. A Matter of Taste Conventionally raised chickens get little exercise and live only eight weeks, so they're tender but bland.
"There's not much taste in a modern chicken. Free range or organically grown, older birds usually have more taste," notes Dr. Cook.
The days of barnyard chickens happily clucking and strutting around in picturesque nature have disappeared with the family farm. Today, chickens lead a meager existence. After hatching, baby chicks are tossed into a gigantic hen house that is home to up to 30,000 birds. Their short lives are lived within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) mandated 3/4 square foot per chicken. In that squeeze, birds can catch "chicken influenza," especially in winter when it's too cold to let in much fresh air.
Laying hens don't experience much more of a peaceful existence. These birds live their years with about five other hens, so crowded they can't flap their wings. Cages, suspended in the air, let eggs roll into a holding area. So they don't peck each other, hens are often debeaked, a painful process that can cause infection.
Hens go through natural laying and "dry" cycles. Growers manipulate this cycle by "forced molting," depriving hens of food for four to 14 days to keep them constantly laying. By the end of two years, hens are worn out. Their inactivity weakens their bones enough that electrical stunning, the usual method for knocking chickens out before slaughter, shatters their bones. So some wind up being plucked and boiled alive, according to Mary Finelli, program director for farm animals and public health at the Humane Society of the United States. The meat from these hens, tougher than other birds, was probably in your deli lunch sandwich. It's also used in the school lunch program or may end up in dog food.
"Generally, organically-grown broilers and hens have it better because room to move is part of the organic certification process," says Finelli. Finelli suggests visiting chicken suppliers to find out how chickens are treated. Or, she advocates a Humane Society book listing reliable firms. For a local producer call the society: 202-452-1100. According to a Consumer Report report, some growers force chickens out the last week of their lives to brand them "free range." So free range isn't a prime standard for choosing a decently raised chicken. However, turkeys thrive outdoors, so choosing free-range turkey is often a good idea for better tasting poultry.
In any case, organic is your best bet for chicken without pesticides. Make it your main choice for your 80 pound yearly consumption!
To fight cruel treatment of poultry:
• Forced Molting Ban. Forced molting is shocking hens for more eggs. To support petitions banning forced molting write: Docket Manage-ment Branch, FDA, Dept. Health & Human Serv-ices, 12420 Parklawn Drive, Room 1-23, Rock-ville, MD 20857. Include docket # 98P-0203/CP
• Downed Animal Protection Bill (House Bill 443, Senate Bill S515) spares some animals from the tortuous journey from chicken house to slaughterhouse. Mandates humane euthanization.
Muscle Mass - Reach Your Maximum Muscle Potential
June 04, 2005 09:49 AM
The serious athletes of today know how much it takes to fulfill their competitive goals: careful training, a strong will, and also the right kind of nutrition. Sports science now makes available key nutrients which help assure that strenuous workout regimes will show results. Results that are both nutritionally sound and dramatically visible, without the need for dangerous steroids or chemicals. MUSCLE MASS™ is such a state-of-the-art sports science formula.
THE PURPOSE OF MUSCLE MASS ™ is to help translate distant goals for greater strength and power into quicker, awesome reality. It is the premier formula combining all essential nutrients known to maximize muscle development and optimize strength.
In sum, all these balanced, cutting-edge factors combine to assist you in meeting the challenges you’ve set for your body. Power, endurance, strength, tone, and the winner’s circle are now closer.