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Nighttime Tea – The perfect way to relax and unwind
November 03, 2022 05:30 PM
After a long day, sometimes it can be hard to just let go and relax. If you're finding it difficult to wind down before bed, we have the perfect solution – Nighttime Tea. night-time is a soothing, calming blend of botanicals that are known for their relaxing properties. So Dim the lights, grab a cup of Nighttime Tea, and let mother nature do her thing. Sweet dreams...
How Nighttime Tea Works
Nighttime Tea contains a blend of botanicals including chamomile, lavender, and passionflower. These herbs have been used for centuries to promote relaxation and sleep. Chamomile is especially effective in reducing anxiety and promoting sleep. A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that chamomile tea significantly improved sleep quality in participants who Drank it for four weeks.
Lavender is another herb with calming effects. Inhaling lavender oil has been shown to decrease blood pressure and heart rate, while a study in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology found that lavender oil can improve sleep quality. Passionflower is also effective in reducing anxiety and promoting sleep. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics found that passionflower was as effective as oxazepam, a common anti-anxiety medication, in treating generalized anxiety disorder.
If you're looking for a natural way to relax and improve your sleep quality, look no further than Nighttime Tea! This soothing tea contains a blend of herbs with calming effects that will help you wind down at the end of the day. So Dim the lights, grab a cup of Nighttime Tea, and let mother nature do her thing. Sweet dreams...
The Benefits of NOW Real Food® Organic Raw Cacao Powder
September 20, 2022 05:36 PM
Cacao powder is made from raw cacao beans that have been slowly fermented to bring out their rich flavor and then sun-dried, instead of roasted, to retain all of their valuable nutrients. With NOW Real Food® Organic Raw Cacao Powder you can enjoy the intensely rich flavor and nutritional benefits of dark chocolate without added sugar and unhealthy ingredients. Cacao powder is ideal for wholesome, natural recipes, and it’s a great addition to a variety of desserts and beverages, including hot chocolate and ice cream. Raw cacao has naturally occurring polyphenols and flavanols, making it a true superfood!
Nutritional Benefits of Raw Cacao Powder
Raw cacao powder is an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, including magnesium, iron, calcium, copper, zinc, and potassium. It is also a good source of dietary fiber and protein. Raw cacao powder has a higher antioxidant content than roasted cacao powder or even blueberries! Antioxidants are important because they help protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and cause inflammation. Allowing free radicals to build up in our bodies can lead to chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Including RAW cacao powder in your diet is a delicious way to help reduce the risk of these chronic diseases!
Health Benefits of Raw Cacao Powder
In addition to its high antioxidant content, raw cacao powder has been shown to improve heart health, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, improve cognitive function, and even improve your mood! One study showed that participants who Drank 2 cups of hot cocoa made with raw cacao powder daily for 30 days had lower blood pressure than those who didn’t drink cocoa. Another study showed that people who consumed high amounts of flavonoids (such as those found in raw cacao) had a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and stroke. The polyphenols in raw cacao have also been shown to reduce inflammation and improve cognitive function in older adults. Finally, raw cacao contains compounds that can improve your mood by increasing levels of serotonin (the “happy hormone”) in your brain. So next time you’re feeling down, try making yourself a cup of hot cocoa with NOW Real Food® Organic Raw Cacao Powder!
NOW Real Food® Organic Raw Cacao Powder is a delicious way to get the nutritional benefits of dark chocolate without the added sugar or unhealthy ingredients. Raw cacao powder is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can help improve heart health, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, improve cognitive function, and even improve your mood! So what are you waiting for? Buy some NOW Real Food® Organic Raw Cacao Powder today and start reaping the benefits!
Cocoa isn’t just delicious – dies show it fights fatigue, too?
April 30, 2019 04:18 PM
A surprising new study presented by the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry suggests that drinking cocoa can offer surprising relief to the fatigue associated with Multiple Sclerosis. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of MS, and because of the complicated nature of the disease, it is hard to treat this symptom. However, the study found that patients who drank a high-flavonoid blend of cocoa for six weeks reported significant levels of relief. This is one of several recent studies attesting to the benefits of dark chocolate.
"Turns out that a warm cup of (any drink) flavored with cocoa is more than just a tasty treat. It has some big health benefits, too."
Read more: https://www.naturalhealth365.com/cocoa-chronic-fatigue-2922.html
Five health benefits of eating beetroots
October 25, 2018 01:51 PM
The bottom line is that your diet is so important if you want to remain healthy. Many people do not realize how important diet is and what it can do for the physical nature of your body. You are in charge of putting the right fuel into your body and this can lead to some great health benefits. If you are looking to eat healthy, try some beetroots as they have been proven to be excellent for your health.
"Researchers found that people who drank 8 ounces of beetroot juice daily lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure."
Read more: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/evewoman/article/2001299375/five-health-benefits-of-eating-beetroots
You can't beat the beet for muscle recovery: Scientists reveal how the superfood heals muscle damage
January 03, 2018 11:59 AM
British scientists have discovered thag drinking beetroot juice can help repair muscle damage. It is recommended to drink it right after strenuous physical activity. In this scientific study some people were given beetroot juice anf some people were given a placebo with the same amount of calories as beetroot juice. The people who drank the beetroot juice had a quicker recovery than those who drank the placebo. The ones who drank the placebo experienced more muscle soreness.
"The findings showed that the participants exhibited a 13 percent increase in power in muscles that extended to the knee at about two hours after drinking the beetroot juice with high nitrate levels."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-09-24-beet-for-muscle-recovery-scientists-reveal-how.html
To Beetroot Juice or Not?
August 26, 2017 04:14 PM
Many people question whether or not they should try to drink beetroot juice to help lower their blood pressure. Studies show that a small group of males that drank beetroot juice every day for 15 days had lower blood pressure, dilated vessels, and were able to work for a longer period of time. This, however, was a small study and difficult to use to prove anything, but by drinking the juice and adding more of the beet vegetable in your diet can help you lead a healthier life, and may, in turn make your blood pressure lower.
"It's always healthy to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. But no one food can do miracles. It takes moderation, variety and balance for a healthy diet."
Read more: https://www.creators.com/read/nutrition-news/08/17/to-beetroot-juice-or-not
Activated Charcoal for Intestinal Detox, Food Poisoning, and Hangovers
July 23, 2017 09:14 AM
A blog about alternative health treatments has published an article about the benefits of activated charcoal. This material adsorbs chemicals and has a great surface area. Thus, activated charcoal is good for treating poisoning. The article mentions how a professor drank poison and survived because he mixed charcoal into the drink. The article states this product can be used to treat digestive disorders. It can be applied to insect bites. It can even whiten teeth. A photo of activated charcoal is included.
"This makes the fine black powder incredibly valuable as an antidote for poisons, which readily adhere to the large surface area of the pores like paper clips to a magnet."
Read more: http://criticalhealthnews.com/health-news/25-ben-fuchs-articles/310-activated-charcoal-for-intestinal-detox-food-poisoning-and-hangovers
Cancer-killing Dandelion Tea Receives $157K Research Grant
May 18, 2017 08:44 AM
Chronic monocytic myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the blood, has been shown to respond to respond to dandelion root extract in clinical studies. Siyaram Pandey, a biochemist at the University of Windsor, began studying its effects after an oncologist pointed out to him that patients of hers who drank dandelion root tea, were getting better. He developed a formula concentration the roots into a potent tea that has shown to treat cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells alone. His team has received a substantial research grant to continue their research.
"After other medical treatments for his leukemia failed he tried the tea. Four months later, he returned to the clinic in remission and has been cancer-free for three years."
Read more: http://www.healthnutnews.com/cancer-killing-dandelion-tea-receives-157k-research-grant/
Eating This for Breakfast Every Morning HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT FASTER THAN YOU EXPECT!!
May 10, 2017 11:44 AM
Eating breakfast every day gives you energy and accelerates you metabolism for the day to come. A study done on men and women was done with some eating oatmeal, while others ate cornflakes or just Drank water. Findings showed that eating oatmeal for breakfast have long lasting effects on cravings for more food and maintaining healthy, steady glucose levels resulting in taking in fewer calories during the day. Oats provide fiber which can keep you full, help digestion and lower your cholesterol. Oatmeal also fight heart diseases and various cancers, it's the best breakfast food you can eat.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yyqws8dTKGM&rel=0
"The most important meal of the day is undoubtedly the breakfast, so you should always make sure it is healthy and nutritious. This meal provides the needed energy for the day and accelerates the metabolism."
Could Diet Sodas Raise Risk of Dementia and Stroke?
April 27, 2017 10:44 AM
Diet sodas are not a healthy choice for those dieting. New studies have shown that people who drink them are not experiencing health benefits and are at a three times higher risk of experiencing dementia and stroke. The study did not discern which artificial sweeteners were consumed. People that drink sugary beverages did not have the same risk factors but those who drank sugary risks had a higher risk of memory loss and accelerated brain aging. Experts agree drinking water and coffee are healthier alternatives.
Read more: Could Diet Sodas Raise Risk of Dementia and Stroke?
Can Energy Drinks Cause Hepatitis?
April 09, 2017 06:44 PM
Energy drinks are known for their high caffeine levels, but they also contain high levels of B vitamins and Niacin. In Erin Elizabeth's article, she claims that a man who drank about 5 of these energy drinks a day ended up in the hospital with acute hepatitis. She claims that the man took in so much niacin, that it built up and became toxic. She encourages her audience to read labels and research a product before consuming it, and know the effects that large quantities of even vitamins can do to the body.
Read more: Can Energy Drinks Cause Hepatitis?
Drink This And You'll Lose 8 Pounds Of Belly Fat In Just 3 Days!
April 07, 2017 04:44 AM
Going to the gym can help shape your abdominal region but what you eat contributes to 90 percent of the appearance of your abs. There is an easily prepared fat burning drink that if Drank daily, can decrease belly far and reshape abdominal muscles. The drink consists of bunched parsley, a juiced lemon and water blended together. Results are visible in 2-3 days. The parsley is packed with nutrients that are easy to digest while the lemon has fat burning properties. It should be Drank on an empty stomach for five days , take a ten day break then repeat.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dee_Zw89_pU&rel=0
"Drinking freshly-brewed cold green tea will significantly improve your digestion and reduce belly fat."
Tea found to play a major role in the fight against dementia
April 05, 2017 06:44 PM
Scientists have found that drinking tea may reduce the risk of dementia. The benefits aren't dependent on a certain type of tea. The polyphenols in tea leaves help cognitive health along with other anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients. It is recommended to relieve stress and anxiety. 2500 people were studied and tested on their cognitive abilities. Those that drank tea performed better on the test. In testing, tea also performed better than coffee, though coffee does have benefits as well.
Read more: Tea found to play a major role in the fight against dementia
LOOK AT WHY THE CHINESE CALL THIS MIX "THE MIRACLE DRINK" IS INCREDIBLE!!
March 15, 2017 11:59 AM
The miracle drink is a medicinal natural drink which contains beets, carrot, apple, water and ice is to be Drank 3 times a week in the morning on an empty stomach. the first benefit from this drink is to naturally strengthen the liver, kidneys, pancreas, lungs and heart. Next, it helps clear out your skin, by helping to remove blemishes and pimples. It also helps with the digestive track due to high fiber which helps fight against constipation. Lastly, it helps lower bad cholesterol in the blood and can increase good.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJHC2HG1adg&rel=0
"When you know the medicinal properties contained in this homemade drink, you will start to drink it almost daily."
Trilobites: Your Liver Doesn’t Know It’s the Holidays
December 31, 2016 10:59 AM
The study included 89,000 middle-aged men and women who were followed for up to 13 years. At study entry 68 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women were regular drinkers. The analysis was confided to the men because the number of female drinkers was so small. The investigators found that men who Drank relatively heavily on most days of the week had a heightened risk of dying from any cause. In contrast, men who Drank roughly the same amount alcohol each week, but Drank less frequently, showed no increase in their mortality risk. The findings, which appear in the American Journal of Epidemiology, give some credibility to the widespread social belief in Japan that a "liver holiday," a few days off from drinking each week helps counter the ill effects of alcohol.
"To keep your liver’s clock consistent this holiday season, avoid extreme behaviors"
Is it okay to pair your morning coffee and workout routine?
December 14, 2016 02:59 PM
The views on caffeine are mostly negative. However, a recent study is giving the chemical a little positive light. Research published in the British Journal of Sports Science showed that people who Drank some coffee before performing their exercise routine were happier and completed their tasks 4.2 seconds faster, on average. It is important to keep in mind that black coffee is preferred and you should always drink plenty of water during your routine also. This minimizes the amount of sugar you ingest and keeps you from getting dehydrated.
"Research has shown that downing a cup of coffee before you break a sweat can boost your performance significantly."
Beer me: Can booze help heart health?
December 01, 2016 12:59 PM
Researchers Say Benefits May Be Related to Effect of Moderate Drinking on HDL Levels. Moderate alcohol consumption can reduce heart disease risk by up to 25%, and this is likely due, at least in part, to alcohol’s positive effects on HDL “good” cholesterol levels. In a review of 84 studies, people who Drank one or fewer alcoholic drinks a day were 14% to 25% less likely to develop heart disease compared to their tee totaling counterparts.
"Dangers of drinking too much include alcoholism, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, breast cancer, suicide and accidents. So it is important to be careful about how much alcohol you consume."
Cranberry Juice Can Help Prevent UTI's In Women
September 26, 2016 05:35 PM
A new study done by the Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. has found that drinking cranberry juice can help prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTI's) in women. Women are generally more prone to UTI's than men, because bacteria is easier to spread in their urethra. It can be painful, with symptoms like a burning feeling and pressure in their urinary tract.
These were the main findings of the study:
- The women that Drank cranberry juice experienced fewer symptoms of urinary infections- Cranberry juice generally is high in sugar, and the juice used in this experiment had reduced sugar-
If you are prone to UTI's, consider taking a cranberry daily to reduce the risk of infection. Also, taking a supplement will eliminate the carbohydrates and sugars found in juice.
Why Should I Take Wheat Grass Liquid Concentrate?
December 10, 2014 11:03 PM
What is a wheat grass
Wheat grass benefits
Wheat grass concentrate
This liquid concentrate is packed with nutrients equivalent to five pounds of raw, green organic vegetables, all in just two ounces of juice. It is higher in vitamins A and C than what you would get in a serving of carrots or oranges, and has a full spectrum of B vitamins as well, and a balanced ratio of calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and phosphorus altogether. Wheat grass contains enzymes that detoxify the body, especially the blood and liver, neutralizing harmful pollutants like heavy metals and toxins that enter the body, which could be stored in tissues and organs, therefore cleansing the body from head to toe. This juice is also a resource of life-force energy that gives one renewed spiritual effects on his inner being. It battles premature aging and it keeps the hair from graying out making you look younger. Not only does it boosts the immune system by giving strength, vitality and endurance, but has wonderful effects on the body. It can cure acne and may help remove scars left if Drank regularly for a few months. It acts, as a natural deodorizer hence can be a body deodorant. It can prevent tooth decay and even soothe toothaches and sore throat. It aids in skin problems like psoriasis or eczema. It helps in achieving regular bowel movement. It is gluten-free. Taking wheat grass liquid concentrate has no reported side effects or toxic in any amount given to either humans or animals, mainly because it is at its finest and most natural form, making it the ideal supplement to take nowadays.
November 24, 2012 10:28 AM
History of Green Tea.
Green tea originated in China and it has been used as a beverage and for medicinal reasons in China and most of Asia. In Asia besides China, green tea is common in Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Thailand. The book written by 'Lu Yu' from the Tang Dynasty in China is to date considered as the most important book in the history of Green tea. The book is called the " Cha Jing" or "Tea Classic". It was written between 600 and 900 AD.
The book details the medicinal qualities of green tea which include, Easing effects on alcohol, curing blotchiness, acting as a stimulant, quenching thirst, curing the beriberi disease, eliminating indigestion, improving the brain and urinary functions and also preventing fatigue. Green tea was used in Asia to help in almost everything, that is from, helping to heal wounds and bleeding to regulating the body temperatures and blood sugars. It was even used to promote digestion.
Recently, green tea has become popular in the west where Black tea was mainly consumed. Green tea today is being used as a raw material for extracts mostly used in beverages, dietary supplements, healthy foods and even in cosmetic items. Green tea varies in varieties depending on the country its grown, the growing conditions, the desired type of green tea, the production process and the harvesting time.
How its made.
The general process of making a cup of green tea entails, using 2 grams of green tea leaves for 100ml of water or rather, a teaspoon of green tea leaves per a 5 ounce cup of water. When making green tea, the hottest temperature for the water should be between 81 degrees and 87 degrees and the lowest temperature should be between 61 degrees and 69 degrees. Low quality green leaves will mostly require more heating or steeping time than high quality tea leaves, however if you steep or heat for too long it may result in a bitter taste regardless of the quality of the tea leaves.
Benefits Of Green Tea.
Green tea contains a variety of amino acids, carbohydrates, enzymes, vitamins, sterols, lipids,carotenoids, polyphenols, tecopherols and caffeine among others. In a 2012 scientific study, it was concluded that green tea actually does help in reducing certain types of cancer like prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. the study concluded that a compound contained in green tea not only inhibits the growth of cancer cells but also kills then without causing harm to the healthy body cells. A study in the university of Geneva in Switzerland found out that people who Drank caffeinated green tea lost more calories than those who Drank regular tea which means it can be of great help to dieters.
Drinking green tea also helps lower the total levels of cholesterol and improve the ratio of HDL cholesterol (Good) to the LDL cholesterol (Bad). A Dutch study has shown that the more one consumes green tea the less severe the clogging of the heart's blood vessels especially in women. The green tea antioxidants help improve the flexibility of the blood vessels thus making them less vulnerable to clogging. Other studies have shown that green tea can also help prevent tooth decay since it has the ability to destroy bacteria.
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.
June 22, 2009 11:43 AM
Even though bee pollen has received a good deal of attention over the last few decades, a lot of people still do not know exactly what it is. Pollen is technically the male seed of flowers and can be viewed as the male cells of a flowering plant. It is necessary for the plant to be fertilized. Every kind of flower on his plant produces pollen, which is created in the stamen of the blossom itself. Bee pollen is the pollen which is collected and stored by honey bees in their hives. While honey bees perform this activity, they actually pollinate more than 80 percent of green growing plants. Obviously, they are a vital component of plant propagation. Universally, bee pollen is praised for its notable nutrient content and extraordinary ability to provide energy.
Used for centuries, bee pollen has been considered a powerful healing agent, a source of regenerative power, and the secret to eternal youth for some ancients. As far back as 2735 B.C., the Chinese emperor compiled an impressive medical collection containing many beehive products. This compilation is still referred to today, with ongoing research continuing to support many of its claims. For millions of years, humans have made good use of beehive products. Before paper was even invented, ancient people commemorated their respect of the honeybee and beehive products. Honeybees were considered to be sacred at this time, with Egyptian papyri referring to bee pollen as life-giving dust and its use as a sacred offering to the gods. Roman legions use to carry bee pollen for sustenance, with ancient Romans even making Virgil the official poet laureate of the honeybee.
Even Hippocrates recommended bee pollen for several ailments, while the Hindus taught that eating honey and pollen could produce health, vigor, happiness, and wisdom. Honey and pollen were routinely used by orientals for medicinal purposes, while Ancient Greeks referred to honey and pollen as the food of kings, as they believed the food would give them youth and vitality. Bee pollen was also looked upon as a dietary staple by the Anglo-Saxons. People Drank combinations of wine, honey, and pollen because they believed that it was a life-sustaining elixir.
In the following centuries, Charlemagne recorded that his subjects used pollen and honey on a daily basis. He even required that his people take an annual inventory of their honey and pollen supplies. Taxes were often paid in the form of honey and pollen and gifts of honey and pollen were looked upon with respect. Almost every recorded religious or historical record praises the honeybee and its products such as bee pollen. These books refer to the beneficial healing and nutritive properties that bee pollen possesses. Aztec and Mayans even worshiped the honeybee, which can be proved through numerous images of honeycombs and pollen. Early American settlers even became actively involved in honey production, so that it could be used at the table.
Because American scientists have shown little to no amounts of interest in European documentation that supports the therapeutic value of bee pollen, most modern day scientific investigation has taken place in Europe. Other researchers have already discovered that this wonderful food contains concentrations of just about every known nutrient, with reports from areas of Europe and Russia confirming the belief that this substance has infinite value for health maintenance and diseases treatment.
Bee pollen is available in capsule, tablet, and bulk powder forms at VitaNet ®, LLC. Always purchase a name brand bee pollen product to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
Borage Seed Oil (GLA)
June 10, 2009 11:34 AM
Borage, often referred to as starflower, is an annual herb that originated in Syria. However, it was naturalized throughout the Mediterranean region and in Asia Minor, Europe, North Africa, and South America. The plant grows to a height of two to three feet, having a bristly hair all over the stems and leaves. The leaves are alternate, simple, and ranging from two to six inches in length, while the flower are complete with five narrow, triangular-pointed petals. The borage flower is most often blue in color, but occasionally pink flowers are observed. White flowers can also be cultivated. The borage plant has an indeterminate growth habit, which may lead to prolific spreading. In milder climates, borage will bloom for most of the year continuously.
Borage was often used to flavor wine Drank by ancient Celtic warriors before going into battle because it held the reputation of enhancing both courage and strength. During the middle Ages, the leaves and flowers of the borage plant were combined with wine to relieve melancholy. The Roman scholar Pliny believed that this herb was useful for treating depression and lifting the spirits. John Gerard, a sixteenth-century herbalist, thought of borage as an herb to comfort the heart and increase joy.
In addition to its mood-boosting properties, borage is often used to treat bronchitis. This is because of its soothing effect and its ability to reduce inflammation and detoxify the body. Borage is known to help heal the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat and to stimulate activity in the kidneys and adrenal glands to rid the body of catarrh.
Also, borage is useful for restoring vitality during recovery from an illness. This herb is helpful for treating problems of the digestive system and has been used to increase quantity and quality of mother’s milk. Borage was traditionally cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses, but today it is commercially cultivated as an oilseed. The seed oil provides a desired source of GLA, for which borage is the highest known plant-based source. Virgin borage oil contains essential fatty acids, especially when they are in concentrations with gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). This fatty acid can account for as much as 26 percent of the oil’s content. It is best known for its source of concentrated GLA. The borage plant is known to stimulate the adrenal glands to help the body during stressful times.
Borage includes use as either a fresh vegetable or a dried herb. As a fresh vegetable, borage has a cucumber-like taste and is often used in salads or as a garnish. The flower has a sweet honey-like taste and is one of the few truly blue-colored things that are edible, making it popular for the decoration of dessert.
The leaves of the borage plant are used to provide blood purifier, diaphoretic, febrifuge, galactoagogue, and purgative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb include calcium and potassium. Primarily, borage is most beneficial in dealing with bronchitis, congestion, inflammation of the eyes, fevers, heart problems, absence of lactation, excessive mucus, PMS and rashes. Additionally, this herb is extremely helpful in treating blood impurities, colds, gastric disorders, insomnia, jaundice, lung disorders, nervous disorders, pleurisy, ringworm, and urinary problems.
Borage oil is available in softgel or bulk liquid forms at your local or internet health food store. Always purchase name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase. For more information on the beneficial effects of borage, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
May 19, 2009 01:10 PM
Even though bayberry is known best for the candle wax that is made from its fragrant berries, the dried root bark is used very often for its medicinal properties. Bayberry has been long used as a tonic to treat both diarrhea and external wounds. This herb has also been used as stimulant. Some Native American tribes even use bayberry to help reduce fevers. Bayberry is recommended as a tonic for its ability to stimulate the system and increase immune function. It is also recommended as a gargle to help treat tonsillitis and sore throat. It has also been considered that the astringent value of this plant may make it a great candidate for healing wounds.
The root, bark, and leaves of bayberry are used to provide alterative, antibacterial, antiseptic, astringent, emetic, febrifuge, insecticide, sialagogue, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb include calcium, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, vitamins B1, B2, C, and zinc. Primarily, bayberry is used for its beneficial effects in treating cholera, colds, congestion, diarrhea, dysentery, fevers, flu, glandular problems, goiters, uterine hemorrhage, indigestion, jaundice, excessive menstruation, and primary tuberculosis. Additionally, this has been shown to be extremely helpful in dealing with bleeding, colitis, bleeding gums, liver disorders, excessive mucus, scurvy, sore and ulcerated throat, thyroid problems, ulcers, prolapsed of the uterus, and varicose veins. For more information of the many beneficial effects of bayberry, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
Bayberry was initially only used in the south of the United States, where the Choctaw Indians boiled the leaves and Drank the decoction as a treatment for fever. Later, Louisiana settlers Drank bayberry wax in hot water as a treatment for the most violent cases of dysentery. Bayberry was popularized by Samuel A. Thomas, a New England herbalist, in the early 19th century, for its ability to produce “heat” within the body. He recommended this herb be used for colds, flu, and other infectious diseases, in addition to using it for the treatment of diarrhea and fever.
Since then, other herbalists recommend bayberry as it is an excellent emetic after narcotic poisoning of any king. This herb is also valuable when it is taken daily for all kinds of hemorrhages. Bayberry has an excellent general effect on the female organs as it is excellent in helping the uterus during pregnancy. Additionally, it makes a great douche for women. Excellent results have also been demonstrated after bayberry’s use in goiter. Bayberry tea should be used as an enema in treating diarrhea and dysentery.
To treat sores, boils, or carbuncles, the herb should be used as a wash or poultice, or can be applied to the infection as a powder. Bayberry tea is also an excellent wash for both spongy and bleeding gums. When the tea is taken internally, it is useful in jaundice, scrofula, and canker sores in both the throat and mouth. When the tea is taken warm, it promotes perspiration, improves the whole circulation, and tones up tissues. If bayberry is combined with yarrow, catnip, sage, or peppermint, it provides an incomparable remedy for colds.
As you can see bayberry is an herb that is good for many different ailments. Look for this wonderful herb in capsule or tablet forms at your local or internet health food store. Always purchase name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
November 12, 2008 09:51 AM
Gymnema sylvestre is found naturally in central and southern India, where it has been used in traditional Indian medicine for almost two thousand years. It is known as 'gurmar' in ancient Indian texts, a word meaning 'sugar destroyer', which gives an indication of its uses in medicine.
It is used to reduce the absorption of glucose into the body, and also reduce the sweetness of foods, both of which are desirable for those wishing to lose weight and to reduce the level of sugar in their blood. It was used for this purpose in Ayurvedic medicine, subjects being given the leaves to chew. As with many other ancient Ayurvedic remedies, this use of gymnema sylvestre has passed into modern times, and has sound scientific basis. First, however a bit more about the plant itself.
It is found predominantly in the Western Ghats, and also to the west of the mountains, around coastal Goa. It is a vinous plant that climbs on other bushes and trees, known in Sanskrit as Meshasringa, or ram's horn after the shape of the leaves from which the supplement is extracted. For what it's worth, the official name seems a mix of Greek and Latin (gymnos(Gr) - naked and Silva (L)- forest) for naked forest. That, however, is irrelevant to its uses, so let's have a look at the science involved and the active ingredients in the plant.
The main constituents are terpenoid saponins known as gymnemic acids, so one can assume that they were first found in this plant. They are glycosides, including hodulcine and ziziphin, which act as sweetness inhibitors so that there is no sweet taste in anything that is sweetened by sucrose. There are over 20 types of gymnemic acid in the leaves, of which the strongest, Gymnemic Acid 1, can suppress the sweetness even of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.
These are not irreversible effects, and last only about 10 minutes, after which normal sweetness is detectable by your tongue. During the active period, however, a solution of normal sugar will taste like ordinary unsweetened water. However, is this just a matter of taste, or does it affect the sugar itself?
Studies have shown that animals fed the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre develop hypoglycemia, probably because it stimulates the pancreas to generate insulin that reduces the level of sugar in the blood. Further studies have shown the presence in the leaves of a number of types of acylated derivatives of deacylgymnemic acid. There are well over a dozen types of saponins known to be contained within the leaves.
Other chemicals found include anthraquinones, flavanoids, chlorophylls, querticol, phytin, a number of glycosides and anthraquinones. The bush also contains alkaloids, although these are constituents in most plants used in ancient remedies. This is by no means all of the chemicals discovered, and many of the minor benefits of using it could be due to the minor constituents of this amazing little leaf.
A study of the above constituents will reveal a few antioxidants, and it is no surprise that the extract from Gymnema sylvestre also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Gymnemic acid is believed to have a similar chemical structure to saccharose, and the plant extracts can be used not only to reduce a craving for sugar, but also to treat digestive problems and high cholesterol levels. So what scientific evidence is there other than the obvious effects reported by those that use it?
A study in the UK in 2005 found that an aqueous extract of Gymnema sylvestre caused the secretion of calcium and insulin from mouse and human cells to be increased at a specific concentration without affecting the cellular function. This means that the supplement can be used to stimulate the secretion of insulin with people with Type 2 diabetes without otherwise affecting health. Its usefulness to diabetics is obvious, but there are other health benefits to those that are not diabetic.
Anything that modulates a sweet tooth must be of use to those seeking to lose weight, particularly if they feel the need for sweet foods. In fact Gymnema tends to reduce food cravings for carbohydrates and sweets, and can be used by those seeking a natural means of curbing their appetite for sweet and sugary foods. Because excess weight can lead to diabetes,
Although there have been many discussions about the biochemical mechanism of the gymnemic acids in this effect on taste, recent evidence suggests that the phytochemicals act on both your taste buds and on those parts of the intestine responsible for absorbing nutrients from digested foods.
Not only that, but studies have also indicated that Gymnema sylvestre removes the bitterness of acerbic chemicals such as quinine in the same way that it removes the sweetness form cakes and candies, and if you Drank tonic water it would taste just like water. On the other hand, if you ate an orange, you would taste the acidity but not the sweetness.
The way to use this remarkable supplement is to follow the instructions, and within about a week you will be able to control your appetite much better, and any cravings for carbohydrates you previously had will be much reduced. After a month or so, you will notice an accelerated rate of weight loss if you had been overweight, and diabetics will find a significant reduction on blood sugar between insulin shots.
Gymnema sylvestre can take care of any sugar or carbohydrate cravings, and is of significant use to the overweight, obese or to diabetics, and the mechanism by which it works has now been all but understood, although there are still some biochemical secrets that this amazing plant has yet to reveal. This amazing herb can be found at your local or internet vitamin store.
Green Tea Extract
October 23, 2008 01:43 PM
Green tea is a form of tea made from the leaves of the Carmellia Sinensis, a shrub that is native to China and has spread to other areas of Asia including Japan and the Middle East. Drinking it is believed to impart many health benefits, including the prevention of obesity, heart disease and some forms of cancer and it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 400 years.
Tea is known to have been consumed in China for around 5,000 years, and used, not only in Chinese medicine, but also in that of Japan, Thailand and India for a number of ailments including regulating blood sugar, treating wounds and digestive problems. The drinking of green tea to benefit the heart and other vital organs is described in the Kissa Yojoki (Book of Tea), written in 1191 by Eisai, a Japanese Zen priest.
This two-part book talks about the various medicinal benefits of green tea, such as preventing fatigue, curing beriberi, quenching thirst, clearing the thoughts, maintaining health of the urinary tract and improving digestive problems. It also explains how to grow tea and how to prepare and use the leaves. The methods of treatment of various ailments and medical conditions are described in the second part of the book.
The active ingredients in green tea are catechins, polyphenols with strong anti-oxidant properties. Antioxidants are important components of your diet due to their effect on free radicals. These are small molecules, generally oxygenated, such the superoxide cation and hydrogen peroxide that are generated during normal metabolic processes and also ingested in pollutants such as traffic and factory fumes and insecticides. Free radicals are also formed by the effect of the ultra-violet component of sunlight on your skin and other tissues.
The effect of free radicals on your body can be devastating, and they not only destroy cell membranes but also oxidize such molecules as the low density lipids (LDL) that carry cholesterol around your bloodstream. This allows the LDLs to be absorbed by the white blood cells and then deposited as fatty plaques in the walls of your arteries. The end result is a thickening and hardening of the arteries that leads to a condition known as atherosclerosis, where the blood supply to the brain and heart muscle is restricted, which can in turn lead to strokes and heart disease.
Their effect on your cells is to cause cancer and premature aging, among others, and free radicals are also believed to play a part in conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and also inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and diabetes. They can also cause damage to your DNA.
It is essential, therefore, that these free radicals are destroyed as quickly as they are generated, and that is what antioxidants do. You might be more familiar with the antioxidants Vitamins A, C and E, and phytochemicals such as flavonoids and carotenoids, but there are many substances available to you that are even more powerful such as the polyphenols found in green tea.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most powerful of these with antioxidant properties at least twenty five times that of Vitamin E, and 100 times that of Vitamin C. EGCG comprises around 10-50% of the total catechin content of the tea and studies indicate that it likely helps to protect against DNA damage by free radicals, to protect against oxidation of LDL, provide protection against the damage of ultra-violet radiation and to protect you from the free radicals that are generated by smoking tobacco and general airborne pollution.
There are suggestions that the bioavailability of EGCG can be increased by consuming black pepper when drinking green tea, possibly due to the presence of piperine in the pepper. The piperine appears to retard the intestinal glucuronidation of EGCG and so allow more of it to be absorbed as opposed to excreted. So if you are using green tea for health reasons, spice up your food with a small amount of black pepper - that's all it needs. You don't have to smother your food in it! It should be stressed that these tests were carried out on animals, although the biochemistry involved is much the same.
The oxidation of fat by your metabolism to provide energy is a very important factor in weight control. If the contribution of the fats you ingest to the energy generated by your metabolism is low, then the fats can go on to be deposited in your body. This is not only unsightly, in that it can basically make you look 'fat', but is also dangerous to your health. Fat deposits around your midriff and round the major organs of your body can be extremely damaging and a severe risk to your health.
It has been shown by a recent study in the UK (Birmingham University) that those taking green tree extract displayed a 17% increase in fat oxidation over those given a placebo. Not only that, but the ratio of fat oxidation to the overall energy expenditure showed a similar differential between the study and the control group. This provides evidence of green tea extract being able to control your weight by burning fat, and also to improve the tolerance to glucose and sensitivity to insulin of healthy people.
Many other health claims have been made for green tea extract, although many of these have little, if any, scientific basis. Among these are the claims that it can treat multiple sclerosis and be used to treat cancer, although claims that it can prevent the destruction of cell membranes due to its oxidative effect are supported by the biochemistry, if not the medical proof. There are cases where theoretical biochemistry can explain many of the applications of ancient remedies without needing modern day studies to support it.
Some of the research supporting the green tea theories include:
1. In 2006, a study was announced that had followed over 40,500 Japanese men and women, aged between 40 and 79, that had no history of coronary heart disease, stroke or cancer starting in 1994. It was found that those who Drank at least 5 cups of tea per day had a 16% lower risk of dying from any cause and a 26% less risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than those that Drank less than one cup of tea each day. Since cardiovascular disease and cancer are the major causes of death world-wide, these are significant results.
2. Again in 2006, it was reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that studies indicated that a higher consumption of green tea was associated with a reduction in human mental impairment when compared to the average.
3. Yale University School of Medicine reported later that year that, in spite of smoking more than their western counterparts, Asians suffered lower rates of cancer and heart disease, and put that down to them drinking over 4 pints of green tea daily. It was the polyphenol content of green tea and its antioxidant effect that was proposed for this result, known commonly as the 'Asian paradox'. A specific reason given for this was the antioxidant effect preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, and its subsequent deposition in the artery walls.
4. Another component of green tea is the amino acid L-Theanine that promotes relaxation, and it is believed that this could help to fight stress by inhibiting the excitation of cortical neurons.
There is a lot more evidence for the health benefits of green tea, and once again it appears that the ancients have been proved correct. Perhaps we should pay more attention to ancient remedies, although without the proper evidence much of it is ignored - for the time being at least. Green tea, however, has generally been accepted due to the research and studies carried out on ECGC (Epigallocatechin gallate) and in additional to the traditional form, is also available as a dietary supplement.
Is Saw Palmetto's Safe?
July 15, 2008 06:58 PM
Saw palmetto, a small palm tree which is found in Florida and South Carolina, produces berries which contain many beneficial compounds. Florida is the biggest producer of saw palmetto. Small patches of this herb can be found from the southeast coastline of South Carolina and southeastern Georgia to southern Mississippi. But it does not grow naturally in Texas, Mexico, or the Caribbean. It grows in every Florida County, but much of its production is found in South Florida.
Supplements that contain saw palmetto are extremely effective in treatment of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH), one of the most common health conditions in older men, with half of all men aged 40-60 and more than 90 percent of men over 80 having BPH. BPH is caused by the conversion of estrogen to a very potent form of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Saw palmetto berry extract has been found to relive the symptoms of BPH by furthering the production of DHT. With the use of saw palmetto extract, it has been found that most men achieve some relief of symptoms within the first 30 days.
Additionally, saw palmetto is an herb that is commonly used to treat benign prostate enlargement, is rich in phytosterols, especially beta-sitosterol. Also, saw palmetto is very effective for excess testosterone, as it promotes testosterone excretion. Native Americans use the fruit for food, but it is also used in the treatment of a variety of urinary and reproductive system problems. Similarly, the Mayans Drank it as a tonic, while the Seminoles used the berries both as an expectorant and as an antiseptic.
Recent concerns over the safety of saw palmetto supplements for prostate health have emerged and may be unfounded. A new study reported that there were no adverse effects from the supplementation of saw palmetto. The randomized clinical trial, Saw palmetto for Treatment of Enlarged Prostates (STEP) study, recruited two hundred and twenty-five men, all of which had moderate-to-severe symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Each of these men was assigned to receive either 320 milligrams per day of a saw palmetto supplement or a placebo.
This study lasted one year. After the study, researchers concluded that there were no significant differences between the groups when it came to suffering from at least one serious adverse event. 5.4 percent of men in the saw palmetto group had one serious adverse event as compared to 9.7 percent in the placebo group. There were also no significant differences that were observed when it came to non-serious symptomatic adverse events, as 34.8 percent of men in the saw palmetto group experienced such an event, compared to 30.1 percent in the placebo group.
The study was welcomed by Daniel Fabricant, PhD., vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the industry association of the Natural Products Association. Dr. Fabricant said that he agreed with the authors of the study and that the results are reassuring, saying that he believe the study supports the viewpoint that those people with experience in botanicals have held for an extended amount of time in that when they are used responsibly and the amounts and concentrations are supported by clinical literature, botanicals are extremely safe and effective.
Magnesium Can Reduce Stress
April 25, 2008 01:36 PM
We here a lot about the need to take supplemental calcium, but what we don’t hear is that adequate levels of magnesium are essential in order to absorb and metabolize calcium. Today we have diets dangerously low in magnesium and many of us are not getting recommended amounts of this mineral. This is especially important when taking supplemental calcium both to maintain calcium-magnesium balance and to prevent buildup of excess calcium in the body.
To ward off the negative effects of a prolonged period of stress or an overreaction to stress, calcium needs to be balanced with adequate amounts of magnesium. Going through a stressful period without sufficient magnesium can set up a deficit which, if not corrected, can linger, causing more stress and further health problems.
Natural stress relief comes from magnesium.
The solution to restoring healthy magnesium levels and balancing calcium intake is either done by change ones diet or adding magnesium supplement to their diet. By adding magnesium to ones diet one experiences natural stress relief. There is a product on the market called natural calm; it has been the best selling magnesium supplement for the past two years straight. This supplement mixes into water or juice where it can easily be Drank and absorbed into the system. Just one serving can help one feel relieve from excess stress.
Activated Charcoal - Highly absorbent material to combat poisoning
April 24, 2008 02:44 PM
Activated charcoal has been treated by heat to open up millions of small spaces between the carbon atoms and turn it literally into an atomic sponge that adsorbs both organic and organic impurities.
This heat treatment is carried out in the absence of oxygen, so the charcoal cannot burn. Instead, what oxygen it did contain is driven off leaving behind all of these interstitial gaps that multiply the effective surface area by factors of ten. Since it is the surface area of the charcoal that determines its potency, then the greater this is the better.
Activated charcoal has a massive surface area, and just ten grams has the same surface area as nine American football pitches or 77 tennis courts. Ten grams is just marginally more than a third of an ounce. The term adsorb has a different meaning to absorb, and while a real sponge absorbs water by mopping it up through capillary action and suction, activation carbon adsorbs substances through a form of chemical attraction. You get rid of water from the sponge by squeezing it, but that doesn’t work with activated charcoal, since the substances are bound to it, not just physically constrained.
This huge surface area provides activated charcoal with innumerable bonding sites, and when chemicals that are attracted to carbon pass by they are attached to the surface. They cannot get free again, as water in a sponge can, but are bound to the surface of the carbon. Because the digestive system has no effect on charcoal then whatever is bound to it passes naturally through the body.
It is most effective at binding other carbon-based materials, and other substances with the right electronic arrangement, but others will just pass straight through. Because it is a chemical process, once all of the empty bonding sites have been taken up, the charcoal loses its effectiveness and has to be replaced. It is possible to regenerate it, but hardly worthwhile for you to do so because of the small quantities you use.
Because of the way it works, activated charcoal can help people to recover from some forms of food poisoning. It can adsorb gases in the intestine and help to relieve the pain of excessive gas in the gut. It has many additional uses that will be touched on later, but for now we will look at its effect on poisons because that is where activated charcoal is of greatest benefit to us.
It does not adsorb and neutralize all poisons, but is very effective with those that it can be sued for. Professor Touery proved a point when he Drank a lethal dose of strychnine in front of colleagues at the French Academy of Medicine in 1831 and came through unscathed. He had mixed the strychnine with activated charcoal, and the fact that he lived after drinking a dose that would certainly have led to a very painful death within minutes testifies to the powerful effect of activated charcoal as an potential antidote for poisoning.
Ever medicine cabinet should have an emergency supply of activated carbon, especially those with young children in the household. However, this is not good news for the pharmaceutical companies who have reacted by refuting some of the claims made in its favor: they have claimed that it is not effective against arsenic. If that is so, then how did Michel Bertrand survive after swallowing 5 grams of arsenic trioxide – 150 times what is regarded as the lethal dose? He did this is 1813 after mixing it with activated charcoal, just as Professor Touery was to do 18 years later with ten times the lethal dose of strychnine.
It is true, however, that it does not have this degree of activity with all poisons, and it has no effect on cyanide, alcohols, antifreeze (glycols) and lithium. It also has no effect on corrosive poisons such as the strong alkalis used in oven clearers, or hydrocarbons such as kerosene. The way it works is adsorb the poison and prevent it being released into the body. For that to happen, the poison must have an affinity for carbon, and its adsorption site, and not all substances possess that property. Those that do however are permanently bound and therefore safe.
For charcoal to be effective in neutralizing a poison, it must be swallowed within an hour of taking the poison, or the poison will be too far advanced ion the digestive process for the charcoal to do any good. Keep in mind, though, that it is not selective, and activated charcoal can adsorb nutrients and other beneficial constituents of your body’s chemistry. It is important therefore that you take in only when necessary: you might need several doses if the poison was severe, but once it has done its job it is not meant to be used as a maintenance material to take ‘just in case’. Used like that, it can do harm.
If charcoal can adsorb poisons then it makes sense to believe that it can also adsorb some of the harmful agents that cause food poisoning. Not all food poisoning of course, but certainly those organisms that emit toxins that are attracted to carbon. And this is, in fact, the case. Food poisoning is caused by bacteria rather than viruses, and is not the presence of the bacteria that make you vomit and feel very ill.
As bacteria grow in your body they release toxins, or poisons, into your digestive system. These poisons are what make you ill. They can seriously affect the complete gastro-intestinal tract, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and inflammation and swelling of the small and large intestine. The latter can cause abdominal cramps and severe colic, and the severity of the symptoms depends very much upon the type of bacteria and the number of them in your body.
Many of these toxins are attracted to carbon since they are frequently organic based, and activated charcoal can be used to adsorb them. Once adsorbed they lose their potency, and since carbon is not digested by the body, they are passed harmlessly through the colon and eliminated in the faeces. It can also be used to eliminate many other foreign bodies from your gut, including viruses and fungi and might possibly reduce the concentration of uric acid, which can bring relief to gout sufferers.
Activated charcoal has many uses, and is normally available in capsule form. It can be dangerous to take too much, particularly if you suffer from intestinal problems that cause constipation, because the charcoal itself can have that effect. However, there is no better emergency treatment for accidental poisoning in the home, although, since it is not suitable for all poisons, you must still regard poisoning as an emergency and contact the emergency services.
Activated charcoal, or activated carbon as it is sometimes called, is also a good emergency treatment for vomiting and the other unpleasant effects of food poisoning. It deals with bacterial toxins in the same way as any other, though once again you must refer to your physician before or after using it – preferably the former.
Is Drugging Our Children The Answer Or Could A Natural Supplement Magnesium Help?
December 05, 2007 11:02 AM
ttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been a commonly diagnosed illness occurring in children since the 1980s. Many people argue that ADHD should not be categorized as a disorder, but rather a set of problems that are normal to childhood. Either way, ADHD’s symptoms consist of wandering attention, nervousness, and hyperactivity. These symptoms can be extremely troubling for the parents and teachers that have to work with children suffering from ADHD. Drugs like Ritalin have been promoted ADHD treatments for many years, but have been found to have highly dangerous side effects and not be a solution to everything. Meanwhile, many nutritionists have discovered that many of the answers to ADHD can be found in a child’s diet in the form of food additives, sugar, and the missing essential nutrients.
One child who was horribly hyperactive, out of control, and diagnosed with ADHD by a school psychologist was taken off any foods that contained a particular red dye. Almost immediately, the child’s hyperactivity ceased and he began paying attention and living the life of a normal child. A study recently completed at Yale University School of Medicine supported this result, showing a direct connection between food additives and hyperactivity. This study consisted of 297 children who were given drinks that contained common artificial food colorings and additives that are usually found in food and candy. Meanwhile, a control group was given drinks without additives. The children who Drank the additive-enhanced drinks showed a significantly greater amount of hyperactivity and had shorter attention spans.
Another common cause of ADHD symptoms in children is overdosing of sugar. With all the snack-like breakfast cereals available and the high sugar-constant treats, hyperactivity should be expected. Once a child consumes a large quantity of sugar, he will hit a high of out-of-control hyperactivity and then quickly become grouchy and prone to tantrums. This is often called a “sugar rush” and can easily be solved by taking children off sugar.
After removing chemical additives and processed sugar from the diet, ADHD symptoms have also been traced to a lack of mineral magnesium. This nutrient is essential and often missing from most diets today. Kids who drink a lot of soda or fruit juices are getting high amounts of sugar but not magnesium. Those children without magnesium often suffer from irritability, insomnia, and constipation. These symptoms, which are commonly diagnosed as ADHD, can be cleared up quickly by putting your child on a magnesium supplement. Most nutritionists agree, believing that many ADHD symptoms come from a high sugar diet and a magnesium deficiency. Sugar and over-stimulation, such as stress, actually exhausts a child’s nervous system. This can be cured with a magnesium supplement which allows the nervous system to rebuild. In addition, this supplement will assist the child in relaxing. Since children are the future for our society, helping them to survive in the best way possible, naturally, is something each and every one of us should take much more responsibility for.
Addiction Recovery With Chinese Herbs Like Kudzu
November 28, 2007 12:04 PM
Kudzu is Chinese herb that has been identified for the treatment of alcoholism. Anybody who has even had an addiction will tell you that addiction recovery is one of the most difficult of the tasks that life throws at us. Whether it is an addiction to tobacco or to heroin or anything in between is not easy, and those that join the ‘self-afflicted’ lobby do not help, but for the Grace of God...
Alcohol addiction is now potentially the most prevalent addiction in the world. There are now more that drink alcohol than smoke, and alcohol related problems are more than just a social problem, but cause the deaths of over 100,000 annually in the USA. One shudders at the thought of the world-wide death toll. It has been suggested that chemical addictions, as opposed to physical habits, can have chemical cures. Although the jury is still out on this one, there have been some positive results achieved in the treatment of addicts with natural remedies.
One of these natural remedies is the Chinese herb, kudzu. Kudzu is a climbing vine that can grow just about anywhere: in fields, lightly forested land and mountains. It is found throughout China, and also in the south eastern states of the USA. The reason for this strange distribution is that the plant was introduced to the USA by Japan at the 1876 Centennial Expo in Philadelphia.
The large blooms attracted gardeners who propagated them, and when it was discovered that the plant made good forage for animals, Florida nurserymen grew it as animal feed. Its effect in preventing ground erosion rendered it popular during the 1930s and 40s when farmers were paid up to $8 an acre for growing kudzu. Fodder and groundcover were the original uses of this vine in the USA irrespective of its medicinal uses on the other side of the Pacific.
Prior to it being recognized as a useful treatment for alcoholism, the vine had been used in China for generations for the treatment of such conditions as headaches, flu, high blood pressure symptoms, dysentery, muscular aches and pains and the common cold. It is still used to treat digestive complaints and allergies, and find use in modern medicine in the treatment of angina.
It is the root that is mainly used, which at up to six feet tall provides a plentiful supply of its active ingredients. These include isoflavones including daidzein and isoflavone glycosides, mainly puerarin and also daidzin. However, it is in its application in the treatment of alcohol addiction that the root is currently creating interest.
Studies in the 1960s on animals bred with an alcohol craving indicated that daidzein and daidzin reduced their consumption of alcohol when offered it, and further studies have indicated that the mechanism of this was by inhibition of enzymes necessary for metabolizing alcohols. This has not yet been successfully repeated in humans, but the effects on animals cannot be just coincidental. Or can it? That question can only be answered by those for whom kudzu has been found effective, although many laboratory studies have shown that it certainly reduces the alcohol consumption of those with a habitual heavy intake of the substance.
Of all the other substances that have been used in an attempt to reduce the extent of alcoholism in the Western world, none have been found truly effective. The three recognized treatments of Campral (Acamprosate Calcium), approved by the FDA in July, 2004, Naltrexone (Revia) and Antabuse work in three different ways. Campral is useful only once you have stopped drinking and have detoxed, Naltrexone interferes with the pathway in the brain that ‘rewards’ the drinker and Antabuse gives unpleasant side effects that are meant to put the drinker off drinking.
Although all have side effects of one type or another, they have been approved by the FDA, and must therefore be assumed safe if used as recommended. However, none are natural, and kudzu has been found to have no known side effects. It is a type of pea, and did you know that it grows about one foot a day? Luckily it only grows to about 20 feet!
It is kudzu’s lack of side effects that renders it so attractive as a treatment for alcoholism, although more tests are needed before the evidence for its effectiveness can be declared cast iron. Most of the tests to date have been carried out on heavy drinkers rather than true alcoholics, but they have all found the plant effective in reducing the amount that each member of the study Drank, even though no limitations were placed on them.
Future studies should probably be designed to determine if the treatment is safe for such groups as pregnant women, young people and those with specific medical complaints such as liver problems. Naltrexone should not be used by anybody with serious liver problems, and even campral is only suitable if you have no more than a moderate liver problem. Since alcoholics can reasonable be expected to also suffer from liver disease, then a treatment that is safe for such people would be very welcome.
A 2002 meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in San Francisco named kudzu and St. John’s Wort as being the two most promising treatments for alcoholism. The mention of St. John’s Wort raises an interesting point, and one that must be discussed. That is the question of standardized doses, and what can happen if doses of natural products are not standardized with respect to the identified active constituent.
The reason for the importance of this is that not all sources of a particular herb are equally well endowed with active constituents. Although, for example, a dose of 2.5 grams daily of kudzu root might be recommended, how does the percent content of isoflavones in different roots vary. That variation will mean that the amount of active ingredient taken in one 2.5g dose will differ from that in another, unless there is standardization.
The reason St. John’s Wort brought this to mind is that with this herb, used for some psychological problems such as depression, the active ingredient content was standardized. It was standardized to 0.3% hypericin, a napthodianthrone that causes an increase in dopamine levels. However, standard doses of St. John’s Wort gave inconsistent results and the reason for this could not be identified. It now has been. The active ingredient is now known to be not hypericin, but hypeforin, what is known as a prenylated phloroglucinol. The herb is now standardized on this substance.
This is a demonstration of the importance of identifying the active ingredients in a herbal treatment accurately, and also of standardizing doses. Kudzu doses must be standardized if their effect is to be consistent. There is now little doubt that addiction recovery is possible with Chinese herbs like kudzu, and who knows what else the ancient civilizations such as the Chinese have to offer us.
Man’s best friend may have to step a side, new research on Pomegranate released.
November 08, 2007 12:24 PM
Recently, two UCLA investigations suggest that pomegranate might do wonders for man’s reproductive tract. Scientists found the pomegranate phytonutrient ellagitannins were able to slow the growth of prostate cancer cells in laboratory experiment. A recent carefully controlled pilot study discovered that 47% of men with erectile dysfunction (ED) experienced improvement when they Drank pomegranate juice regularly. Researchers attributed this to pomegranates antioxidant activity. J Agricultural & Food Chemistry 08/2007; Int’l J Impotence Research 06/14/2007.
Breast Cancer and Natural Supplements
May 11, 2007 10:47 AM
Breast Cancer and Nutritional Supplements
There is probably nothing more frightening for a woman than the discovery of a lump in her breast. Cancer and all its consequences quickly come to mind. This quick association may materialize, in part, because no woman is immune. Most have a friend, a sister, a mother, or a coworker who has been diagnosed with the disease. And they know how difficult dealing with this disease can be. Fortunately, 80% of all breast lumps are not cancerous. Most are cysts or a benign clump of tissue.
Over her lifetime, a woman’s breasts undergo many, many changes. From before puberty and on, breast tissue is continually evolving. Breasts often feel different before menstrual cycle, returning to normal a few days after. Pregnancy certainly causes changes in a woman’s breasts, as does breastfeeding. And as women age, breast tissue becomes less dense.
Because of these continual changes, breast tissue especially requires adequate nutrition. While everyone benefits from a healthy diet, there are additional nutrients from which women can specifically benefit.
In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss breast cancer and the vast amount of research that has explored the role nutrition plays in this serious and still deadly disease. Specifically, we will discuss how two B vitamins, calcium D-glucarate, broccoli extract, green tea, maitake mushrooms, and iodine can all help prevent breast cancer.
Q. How can these nutrients prevent breast cancer?
A. Scientists learn a lot about disease from simply observing what is happening around them. One observation that has been recognized for many years is that certain cultures have very low incidence of breast cancer. Women n
Moms (and dads) have also learned a lot about diseases simply by observing what is happening in their families. They have notices that certain vegetables play a large role in the prevention of all types of diseases, including cancer. And, accordingly, they have been urging their offspring to eat their vegetables for several generations.
Building on these observations, scientists have designed and carried out many studies to determine what it is about these nutrients that can prevent breast cancer. What they have discovered, so far, follows. Let’s start with the B vitamins.
Deficiencies of this vitamin can result in a serious type of anemia. Nerve damage can also occur if B12 levels are too low. Researchers are now investigating whether breast cancer may, in part, be caused by a B12 deficiency as well.
Another study, this one taking place in a laboratory setting, discovered that vitamin B12, applied directly against experimental breast cancer cells, actually stopped the cancer cells from growing. The researchers conducting the experiment believe that giving vitamin B12 to women with breast cancer as part of a chemotherapy regime, might help keep the cancer in check.
Low folic acid intake is linked to the development of all cancers. This is because folic acid is crucial to the making and continual repair of DNA, the molecule that carries our genetic code. A recent study discovered that high intakes of folic acid might actually reduce the risk of breast cancer. The researchers looked at the diets of over 2600 women. During interviews with the researchers, the women reported what they usually ate. Once the data was collected, the results showed that women, who ate lots of foods that contained folic acid, had much lower rates of breast cancer.
There is no clear-cut, single cause of breast cancer. Many factors are required for the disease to appear. One such factor is estrogen. A recent study showed that women who developed breast cancer tended to have higher levels of estrogen circulating in their bodies than women without breast cancer. This means that women who got their periods before age eleven or entered menopause after age fifty-five have a higher risk of breast cancer. This also supports the theory that the number of menstrual cycles a woman has affects her risk for breast cancer.
Another factor is drinking alcohol. Because alcohol raises estrogen levels, if a woman consumes even moderate amounts of alcohol her risk of breast cancer also is increased. The link between alcohol and breast cancer may even be stronger than other dietary links. However, an important study has discovered that folic acid may uncouple this link.
A very large study of over 34,000 women recently studied the effect of folic acid on the risk of breast cancer. This project was part of the Nurses’ Health Study, an ongoing, long-term study that looks at nutrition’s role in the development of disease. The women in the folic acid and breast cancer study were followed for 12 years. The participants completed detailed food questionnaires that provided the researchers with important data.
The women were divided into four groups:
<![if !supportLists]>1. <![endif]>Women with low folic acid levels and drink alcohol
<![if !supportLists]>2. <![endif]>Women with high folic acid levels and rink alcohol
<![if !supportLists]>3. <![endif]>Women with low folic acid levels and don’t drink alcohol
<![if !supportLists]>4. <![endif]>Women with high folic acid levels and don’t drink alcohol
Within these four groups the women were further divided into subgroups according to the amount of alcohol they consumed each day and their specific folic acid intake.
The researchers found that women who consumed the lowest amounts of folic acid and Drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day had the highest rate of breast cancer. In contrast, women who had high intakes of folic acid and also Drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day, had the same rate of breast cancer as the women with high folic acid intakes who did not drink. In other words, women who had high levels of folic acid in their diet erased their alcohol-related increase in breast cancer risk.
It seems estrogen can be both friend and foe. While women need the hormone to soften skin, thicken hair, and fill out hips and breasts, estrogen can also nourish breast tumors, helping them grow bigger, stronger, and more deadly. Thanks, in part, to good nutrition, American women get their periods early and go through menopause alter in life. Women today also have fewer pregnancies; families with one or two children are quite common.
All of these factors increase the time women’s bodies are exposed to estrogen. As we discussed before, longer exposure means increased opportunities for estrogen to cause trouble. It is also a troubling fact of modern life that we are continuously exposed to cancer-causing chemicals and toxins. These toxins come in part from contaminants in the food we eat and pollutants in the air we breathe.
The body does have a system that eliminates some of the excess estrogen and toxic chemicals before they can cause harm. In the liver, they are bound or attached to a chemical called glucuronic acid. The bound toxin or estrogen is then excreted in bile and eventually eliminated as a waste product in the stool.
However, an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase can break this bond between estrogen and glucuronic acid. When this happens, the hormone or toxin is released from its bone, capable of causing harm once more. Increased beta-glucuronidase activity is associated with an increased risk for various cancers, particularly hormone-dependant cancers like breast cancer.
Fortunately, scientists have discovered that a natural substance found in foods calcium D-glucarate (CDG) can stop the activity of beta-glucuonidase. CDG keeps the harmful estrogen bound to glucuronidase. While CDG is found in fruits and vegetables, the amounts may not be sufficient to maintain effective levels to stop beta-glucuronidase.
CDG has been shown in experimental studies to significantly stop beast cancer growth. And several human trials are currently underway with CDG to determine its capability to decrease the breast cancer risk in women at high risk for the disease.
There are some very interesting connections between breast tissue and thyroid tissue. Iodine is an essential trace element present in a hormone of the thyroid gland and is involved in several metabolic functions. One iodine function is the protection of breast tissue from cancerous cells.
In a laboratory study, researchers exposed breast cancer cells and breast tissue without any cancer to a type of seaweed that contains high levels of iodine. The seaweed killed all of the cancerous cells, yet did not harm the normal breast cells. Japanese women frequently eat this type of seaweed and have very low rates of breast cancer. The study’s researchers believe one reason for this low incidence of breast cancer may be the iodine in the seaweed.
And, for some as yet unknown reasons, women who have thyroid cancer are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. While they are unsure why this happens, researchers are continuing to study this link, and support of healthy thyroid function remains an important consideration.
For quite some time, scientists have observed that cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, significantly reduce the risk of disease, including cancer. It seems a phytochemical in broccoli sulforaphane, is one of the chemicals responsible for this beneficial activity. Sulforaphane increases certain enzymes in the body called phase 2 enzymes that deactivate cancer-causing chemicals.
Breast cancer cells exposed to sulforaphane in several lab experiments showed that the compound inhibited the growth of the cancer cells up to 80 percent. Researchers are in the process of setting up clinical trials to study sulforaphane’s effect in women who have breast cancer.
There is a tall amount of research, including finding from the Nurses’ Health Study, that suggest green tea beverage consumption is associated with a lower incidence of breast cancer. In fact, researchers have long noted the low rates of breast cancer in
The active compound in green tea responsible for breast cancer inhibition is epigallocatechin-3 gallate or EGCG. When breast cancer cells are exposed to EGCG in lab experiments, the cells stop growing, lose their ability to replicate, and die.
In a recent study, researchers discovered that drinking green tea prevented the recurrence of breast cancer in women who have previously been diagnosed and treated for the disease. This study involved over 1100 Japanese women. The women who Drank green tea every day had very low rates of their breast cancer returning.
For thousands of years, maitake mushrooms have been linked to good health in those who eat them. Called “dancing mushrooms” (possibly due to their wavy, rippling appearance or possibly due to the little dance of joy mushroom hunters perform when they find them in the woods), maitakes contain an important compound called D-fraction.
Not only does the D-fraction in maitake mushrooms stop the growth of cancerous tumors, it also alerts and stimulates immune cells (including macrophages and natural killer cells) to fight the disease. Maitake also inhibits some of the mechanism that promotes metastasis, or spread, of cancer cells in the lymph and bloodstream.
Because of this success, maitake is now being used in clinical trials of women with breast cancer. One study reported significant improvement of symptoms, including reduction of the tumor. The maitake was given to breast cancer patients in addition to standard chemotherapy.
Q. Should these nutrients be used in place of traditional treatment for breast cancer?
A. Absolutely not. None of these nutrients can cure breast cancer. However, they can be a part of a validated plan of treatment. If you have breast cancer, talk to your health care practitioner about these nutrients. Remember, nutritional supplements are just that: supplements to food, medication, and treatment. They are intended to enhance and prevent, not replace.
Despite apprehension in performing self-breast exams, women are very proactive in their health. Yearly mammograms and pap tests have been an important part of their lives for many years, and newer and more accurate diagnoses are emerging. The prevention of health problems in themselves and their families has always been a high priority for women. And for women, nutrition has played an important part of health problem prevention.
Nutritionally speaking, what benefits your breasts benefit your whole body. However, as we have learned, there are specific links between nutrition and developing breast cancer that seem to be fairly strong.
Making a few changes may reduce the risk of developing the disease. The nutrients listed here, vitamin B12, folic acid, calcium d-glucarate, iodine, broccoli, green tea, and maitake mushrooms can be an important part of a woman’s preventative health regimen.
Your Brain on Tea
May 20, 2006 12:17 PM
In addition to supporting heart health, tea’s powerful phytonutrients have been found to beef up bones: British researchers found that women aged 65 to 75 who Drank at least a cup a day had higher bone densities in their hips and spines—common sites for osteoporotic bone loss—than women who didn’t take tea (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 4/00). What’s more, early studies indicate that tea might help moderate excessive immune response that causes disorders such as lupus.
The most intriguing research, however, involves the brain. According to Japanese scientist, drinking more than two cups of green tea a day drops dementia risk among older people (AJCN 2/06).
So remember the acient Chinese proverb: “Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one.” And if you don’t have time for a freshly brewed cup, green tea extract is the next best thing. –Lisa James, Energy Times.
May 20, 2006 12:15 PM
Today’s scientists might be less poetic that tea’s ancient admirers. But they are no less impressed by the fragrant beverage’s lengthy list of health-boosting compounds, including a powerful antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that may interfere with potentially harmful genetic changes. Researchers at the University of Rochester (New York) Medical Center have found that EGCG binds to a protein called HSP90, jamming an important gene-damaging mechanism (biochemistry 4/5/05). Tea may also help stymie cancer development by interacting with toxin-neutralizing enzymes in the liver and by encouraging apoptosis, a process that causes cells to die when their useful life is over.
Studies of actual tea-drinking humans have had mixed results; some show a cancer-preventive effect, others don’t. The most promising research comes from China, where green tea is the beverage of choice. Among more than 18,000 men, those who Drank tea were half as likely to develop cancer of the stomach or esophagus (which leads from the mouth to the stomach) as non-imbibers (Carcinogenesis 9/02).
Americans have traditionally favored black tea, which has different chemical properties. A 2005 American Institute for Cancer Research survey showed that only 15% of the US population drinks green tea on any given day and less than 1% matches the per-person consumption seen in Asia (although green tea sales have climbed considerably in recent years).
Meanwhile, the good news continues to pour in. in February, an investigation published in the Journal Carcinogenesis found a 22% drop in breast cancer risk among women who quaffed five cups a day. And in two preliminary studies, green tea extract, which provides tea compounds in an easy-to-take, form, has been linked to reduced risk of cancer in men with precancerous prostate changes and has benefited people with leukemia.
Benefits of Green Tea
November 05, 2005 03:30 PM
1. Cancer Prevention: The majority of research to date on Green tea focuses on cancer prevention. Population studies in Asia have found lower rates of cancer among those who consume large amounts of Green tea. (10) a Study of Japanese men and women with a 13 year follow up revealed that increased consumption of Green tea was associated with a delay of diagnosis of cancer.(1) Mean age at cancer onset among men and women who consumed over 10 cups of Green tea a day was 7.6 years later than those consuming less than three cups. It was noted that the delay in cancer was only relevant to those below the age of 79. Animal, human and test tube studies have shown that Green tea may reduce the risk of prostate, breast, esophageal, lung, skin, pancreatic and bladder cancers.(2) Of the hundreds of studies done on Green tea, only about 10% have involved humans.(10) While the data is promising, it is still limited. The good news is that this data is providing insight and direction for further studies to be done on the chemopreventive effects of Green tea.
2. Protecting the heart: There is early evidence, though not conclusive, that regular intake of Green tea may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Several well designed studies have demonstrated significant risk reduction in people who drink Green tea regularly.
3. Exercise Endurance: People have long used Green tea for energy. A new study might shed light on Green tea as a tool for endurance. Published by American Physiological Society, the study demonstrated that Green tea extract markedly improved endurance capacity in mice.(5) Swimming time to exhaustion was evaluated in mice fed Green tea extract. The mice that were fed Green tea extract had prolonged endurance capacity by 8-24% and the effect was accompanied by a stimulation of lipid metabolism. It is also noted that the effects were dose dependent. Although not yet confirmed in human studies, these results suggest Green tea might be a useful tool for athletes.
4. Weight Loss: The newest research on Green tea has been in the area of weight loss. Research suggests Green tea promotes weight loss by favorably affecting lipid metabolism in the blood, and through the stimulation of thermogenesis (Fat-Burning).(4)(12) Regarding Green tea and thermogenesis, a study examining the benefits of functional foods for weight control showed that Green tea increased energy expenditure over a 24-hour period. This is probably due to the combination of catechins and caffeine naturally occurring in Green tea.(4) Green tea extract looks to be a promising new tool for weight loss.
Pass the Potent Pomegranates, please.
November 05, 2005 02:00 PM
Pass the Potent Pomegranates, please.
Pomegranates have been enjoying renewed popularity recently, as word has spread about their delicious flavor and high antioxidant level. Now, two new studies evangelize the fruit even further. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that pomegranate fruit extract may delay and treat prostate cancer. Hasan Mukhtar and colleagues found that PFE inhibited the growth of prostate cancer cells in mice. The amount of PFE given to the mice corresponded to humans eating about one of two pomegranates a day. Another study, published in the sept. 16 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology, found that pomegranate juice is good for the heart. Adults who Drank one glass of pomegranate juice daily had significantly improved blood flow to the heart, thereby reducing the risk of angina and heart attacks.
GARLIC AND CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
June 25, 2005 09:59 AM
GARLIC AND CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
Recent research has supported the fact that garlic shows excellent potential in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Disorders of the heart and the circulatory system claim more lives than any other disease. It is the obstruction or clogging of the coronary arteries which causes more deaths that any other factor. The arteries, which supply the heart with blood and oxygen, become increasingly narrower as plaque builds up over time. When blood supply becomes so restricted that a certain portion of the heart is deprived of oxygen, a heart attack occurs.
The two greatest predictors of heart disease are high blood pressure and high blood serum cholesterol levels. Both of these determinants are directly impacted by the therapeutic action of Garlic. What is particularly relevant about the role of Garlic in coronary heart disease is that several studies done on rabbits found that even pre-existing atherosclerotic deposits and lesions could actually be reversed if garlic was consistently consumed.4
Granted, the above study has not been performed on humans, however, its implications are extremely significant. It is important to remember that it is not always what we are eating that causes heart disease, but what we are not eating. Studies like the one just described suggest that even if our diets were high in cholesterol, adding chemical compounds like the ones found in garlic may keep us from developing cardiovascular disease. This might explain why some cultural groups which consume high fat diets do not suffer the coronary consequences so typical of our population.
What is particularly exciting about the potential of garlic for anyone suffering from heart disease is that it can help reverse the disease and substantially reduce the risk of a second heart attack. The longer garlic is used, the better its results are. For example; people who have heart disease showed more improvement after the third year of garlic therapy than before. A possible explanation for this is that using garlic consistently over time progressively reverses hardening of the arteries, therefore the longer the garlic usage, the less the risk of heart attack.5 The New York Times ran an article on garlic in their September 4, 1990 edition. Concerning heart disease and garlic, it stated:
“...most exciting to those attending the conference, which was co-sponsored by Pennsylvania State and the Federal Department of Agriculture, were the results of a three year study in India among 432 coronary patients who had already suffered one heart attack. The patients were randomly divid ed into two groups, with one group receiving daily supple ments of garlic juice in milk. Those who took the garlic sup plements suffered fewer additional heart attacks, had lower blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels and were less likely to die during the study. After three years, nearly twice as many patients had died in the group not taking garlic . . . Patients who Drank the garlic supplement were more likely to report such subjective benefits as an increase in vigor, energy and sexual desire, improvements in exercise tolerance, and a decrease in joint pains and asthmatic tendencies.”
Power Meals - Shakes, smoothies and bars help make getting good nutrition easy.
June 14, 2005 08:28 AM
by Phyllis D. Light, RH Energy Times, March 12, 2004
Choices, choices, choices: For convenience, nutrition and either low-calorie or low-carb dieting, you now have an enviable range of choices. Shakes, smoothies and bars help make getting good nutrition easy.
Whatever your inclination, drinks and bars offer a shortcut to daily nutrition without cooking. And whether you use them as meal replacements, diet aids or healthy snacks, these power meals fill you up without filling you out.
That's the main reason these items have grown in popularity in natural food stores among the nutritionally knowledgeable searching for healthier alternatives to fast food.
No matter how hectic your day, you have no excuses anymore for missing your daily required antioxidants and minerals. Either select a bar suited to your taste, or put your blender or food processor to work in creating drinks that use fresh fruits and veggies, yogurt, low-fat milk or ice and protein powders for maximum nutritional output.
Quality note: always be sure to use organic foods for the best nutritional content, flavor and taste.
Prepared protein shake mixes and bars are ideal for losing weight, expanding personal energy or building muscle. Protein mixes are available in an assortment of flavors that are generally high in amino acids (protein building blocks) and low in carbohydrates. Of course if you are on a low-carb diet, forsake putting fruits and vegetables in your shakes; these items are too high in carbohydrates.
What's more, bars not only provide a wealth of different tastes, but different bars are also tailored to different needs-whether you're seeking to lose weight, gain muscle or replace a meal, there's a bar out there just for you.
If you use power shakes as meal replacements and you are on a low-carbohydrate diet, make sure the drink supplies plenty of protein and few carbohydrates. If you use either shakes or bars to replace one or more meals during the day, take a fiber supplement in addition. Fiber, which contains no calories, helps speed food through your digestive tract and may lower your risk of heart disease and cancer (Lancet 5/2/03).
And remember: powders and bars should also be low in sugars and saturated fats. The weight-loss benefit: If you drink high-protein shakes or eat bars that taste good and leave you feeling satisfied, you'll have a better chance of sticking to your diet long enough to lose a significant amount of weight.
Drink to Lose
Research into weight loss has established protein shakes and bars as reliable diet aids. A study of 100 dieters between the age of 35 and 65 found that people who Drank a daily soy protein shake lost more than 14 pounds each in three months (Eur J Clin Nutr 2003; 57:514). And in a study reported in the Journal of American Dietetic Association (3/01), folks who had a protein shake in place of one daily meal lost almost twice as much weight over 12 weeks than those who ate their regular food with the same amount of calories.
Drinking your breakfast in the form of a protein shake can both increase your metabolism and help curb your appetite for the rest of the day.
Researchers at Harvard University found that metabolism rose faster after eating a high-protein breakfast and that blood-sugar levels stayed high for about six hours after the meal (AHA Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and and Prevention, 3/6/03). In comparison, when a sugary breakfast is consumed, blood-sugar levels rise quickly but fall rapidly, causing fatigue, tiredness and sleepiness.
Protein shakes are especially effective when you are on a weight-loss plateau, trying to lose those last few tenacious pounds. (But shakes, smoothies and bars should not be your only meals of the day. Eat at least one low-calorie meal daily to supply nutrients that may not be in your shakes or bars.)
Made with fruits and vegetables, smoothies are a tasty way of getting extra amounts of nutrients and soluble fiber. Using low-fat milk, yogurt, buttermilk or kefir, plus ice, creates a tempting and wholesome blend that lights up the taste buds. Powdered mixes can be used for added protein.
Fruits and vegetables in your smoothies not only fill you up on relatively few calories, but they boost your energy and supply plenty of bioflavonoids (healthy, natural chemicals from plants), antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
The fiber in smoothies can help reduce cholesterol, relieve constipation and aid in the prevention of high blood pressure. For reduced calories and added heart health benefits, low-fat or no-fat milk products can be used in place of cream or regular milk in most recipes. For the best taste sensation, combine sour and sweet fruits together.
Adding raw fruits and vegetables to smoothies provides natural enzymes that help with digestion and act as catalysts in hundreds of chemical reactions throughout the body. (You can also take enzymes in supplemental form.) Enzymes are not present in cooked foods since the heat of cooking destroys them.
Nutrition for Kids
If you have trouble getting your children to eat their fruits and vegetables, try giving them smoothies. Children can't resist these naturally sweet and healthy creations.
According to Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions (New Trends Publishing), smoothies should be "high in quality, contain healthy fats, be naturally sweet, and contain fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables."
Fallon also believes children should consume what are called lacto-fermented foods, including yogurt and kefir, which are aged to contain the kinds of friendly bacteria that normally live within our digestive tracts. For kids, Fallon also encourages the use of cream or cultured milk to ensure adequate fat and calcium, so important for the development of growing bodies.
Smoothies are an interactive drink as far as children are concerned, since they love to help blend them. For extra nutrition power, add nutritional yeast, nut butters or ground flaxseeds. These supply additional vitamins and minerals, along with healthy fats. You can also add silken tofu to bump up the protein content. If your child is lactose intolerant, try mixing smoothies with rice milk, soy milk or juice.
Bars Designed With A Woman's Needs in Mind
The modern woman is a multitasking wonder, constantly juggling work and home responsibilities. So it's no wonder that bars aimed at women are among the most popular bars there are. Many women, in eyeing the bathroom scale, shortchange themselves of the nutrients they need. That's why a woman's bar needs to provide minerals like calcium, a bone-building necessity.
Women also need to ensure that a bar contains enough of the B vitamins, particularly folate. This is especially true if a woman is pregnant, or wants to be: Folate is crucial in helping to prevent neural tube birth defects.
Folate also teams up with two other B vitamins, B6 and B12, to control homocysteine. This protein metabolism byproduct, when present in excessive amounts, is associated with heart disease.
Another popular ingredient in women's bars is soy, which has been duly recognized for its heart benefits. Studies also indicate that soy may help keep bones strong. (Not to mention the fact that the moisture soy holds helps make a bar's texture that much more appealing!)
The Protein Game
If you are unsure about how much protein you need each day, you are not alone. Are you getting too much, not enough, or just enough? Most people need between 45 and 60 grams of protein daily, and most protein shakes contain about 14 and 20 grams of protein per serving (check your labels). No matter what your nutritional needs are, you may find an answer in a smoothie, shake or bar. When it comes to power nutrition, tasting is believing!
Botanical Arsenal - Plants can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly ...
June 13, 2005 10:31 AM
Botanical Arsenal by Fred Thomas Energy Times, May 3, 1999
The complexities surrounding the various types of cancer stem from the variety of ways in which these diseases can wreak their havoc. Luckily, the equally complex world of plants contains novel compounds that can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly progress.
Research into these botanical compounds is mushrooming. An example: The mighty maitake, a fungus with flair, alternately known as the king (it can grow as large as a basketball, worth its weight in silver to the ancient Japanese); the prince; the Hen of the Woods (it sticks out of from trees when it grows in the wild); and the dancing mushroom to those who leaped for joy when they found one growing in its native northeastern Japan.
Researchers today dub it with a new moniker: Herbal Heavyweight.
Mushroom with Potential
The maitake, with such other medicinal mushrooms as shiitake and reishi, historically has been eaten to promote general well-being and vitality. In the modern lab, however, scientists focus on the potent immune enhancing powers of maitake, which spotlight its cancer fighting potential.
Twenty years ago, maitake, Grifola frondosa, was an obscure, largely unavailable mushroom. A series of significant Japanese studies then catapulted it into prominence-and popularity.
Hiroaki Nanba, PhD, of the department of immunology at Kobe Women's College of Pharmacy on Kobe, Japan, and a leading international researcher on maitake, conducted the preliminary tests on the mushroom, demonstrating that it stimulates immune function and inhibits tumor growth.
In 1986, Dr. Nanba fed powdered maitake to mice injected with tumor cells; 86.3% displayed inhibited tumor growth.
Dr. Nanba and his colleagues went on to run additional mouse tests, finally reporting that this potent mushroom "directly activates various effector cells (macrophages, natural killer cells, killer T-cells, etc.) to attack tumor cells."
From then, maitake mushrooms were headed to fame as cancer ninjas.
Stoking The Immune Engine
Like other mushrooms, maitake is rich in complex polysaccharides, immunomodulators that successive tests after Dr. Nanba's have shown to be effective in cancer and AIDS treatment.
The polysaccharides in maitake have a unique structure, rendering them some of the most powerful to be studied (Chem Pharm Bull 1987:35:1162-8).
What makes maitake a particularly hot property is beta-D-glucan, its primary polysaccharide. Studies show that the body absorbs it readily, at which point it effectively stimulates interleukin-1, natural killer cells and macrophages, anti-tumor warriors that battle solid cancers (Chemotherapy 1990;38:790-6; also International Conference on AIDS, Amsterdam, 1992).
Effective And Safe
In addition to lab tests, trials on people have shown that maitake may offer powerful therapy against liver and stomach cancer (studies in China), breast and colon cancer (US research) and Kaposi's Sarcoma, the virulent cancer attacking AIDS sufferers.
Importantly, studies show that no side effects or interactions accompany maitake's efficacy.
Maitake fortunately has won the interest and enthusiasm of the scientific community. Currently, researchers at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, headed by Denis Miller, MD, are completing an exhaustive test of the anticancer and immunostimulatory actions of maitake on folks with advanced colorectal cancer. These investigators hypothesize that the polysaccharide beta-glucans derived from the fruitbody of maitake fight tumors and boost immune function. "Though it cannot be said that maitake ...[is] the cancer cure," said Dr. Nanba in his closing remarks at the Adjuvant Nutrition in Cancer Treatment Symposium in Tampa, Florida, in October 1995, "one can safely say that they do maintain the quality of life of patients and improve the immune system, resulting in the possible remission of cancer cells with no side effects."
More Bodily Benefits
Maitake maven Dr. Nanba also has tested-with strongly positive results-the effect of maitake on blood glucose, insulin and triglycerides in mice, whose levels of all three substances declined when they were fed the mushroom (H. Nanba working paper, Anti-Diabetic Activity by Maitake Mushroom, 1994).
With colleagues, Dr. Nanba showed that maitake lowered blood pressure in hypertensive rats (Chem. Phann. Bu//36:1000-1006,1988). Other studies suggest it may accelerate weight loss.
This admirable adaptogen (meaning it helps the body adapt to stress and normalize its functions) is water soluble and may be eaten in food or taken as a supplement. Vitamin C is believed to intensify maitake's beta-glucans and enhance their absorption.
It's not just what you eat that may help protect against cancer, but what you drink as well. Research from China and Japan, where tea is the everyday drink and rates of several cancers like breast and prostate are lower, may persuade you to turn over a new leaf in your own beverage choice. One of the first studies to spark interest in tea came from Shanghai (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, June 1, 1994), where people who Drank two to three cups a day were found to have about a 60% reduction in the risk of cancer of the esophagus. The reason: tea leaves contain compounds called polyphenols, potent antioxidants.
In fact, in tests at the University of Kansas, three of these, known as catechins, far outshone the common antioxidant vitamins C and E. Clinical trials are just starting, but early results are encouraging. A team of Chinese scientists reported that in a third of people with precancerous mouth sores who Drank three cups of a mixture of green and black tea the lesions shrank significantly.
Researchers at the Saitama Cancer Center in Japan found that green tea seems to improve the prognosis of breast cancer. They followed a group of women with early-stage tumors for seven years. Those who Drank more than five cups of green tea a day were only half as likely to suffer a recurrence as patients who consumed fewer than four cups a day.
And at the University of Indiana, toxicologist James Klaunig found that the lungs of cigarette smokers who Drank the equivalent of six cups of tea a day suffered 40 to 50 percent less damage from the toxins in smoke, potentially lowering their risk of lung cancer and other pulmonary problems. Simultaneously, research from Purdue University suggests tea's cancer-discouraging powers go beyond being an antioxidant. Scientists Dorothy and D. James Morre showed that a tea catechin dubbed EGCG inhibits a growth-promoting enzyme on the surface of many cancer cells-happily without affecting normal cells. And researchers at the Ohio State University College of Medicine found that EGCG counteracted another enzyme, urokinase, that helps cancer cells spread. To top it off, Mayo Clinic scientists recently showed that EGCG prompted prostate cancer cells to commit suicide (Cancer Letters, Aug. 14, 1998).
So far, most tea research has focused on green tea, and investigators agree it's more potent than the black tea most Americans favor. But because both kinds come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis (it's the processing that makes the difference as black tea is fermented, green tea isn't) both contain cancer-fighting polyphenols, just in different quantities. As long as the tea you drink (even decaffeinated) is fresh brewed, it's likely to provide some benefit; powdered and prepared teas probably don't. And adding milk may dilute the effect.
Astragalus Against Tumors
Astragalus, an herb commonly used in Asia to boost stamina, has impressed western doctors for its potential for helping people cope with chemotherapy. As John Diamon, MD, W. Lee Cowden, MD and Burton Goldberg point out in the Definitive Guide to Cancer (Future Medicine), "Astragalus appears to protect the liver against the harmful toxic effects of chemotherapy and may be effective in treating terminally ill liver cancer patients." (They cite a study in the Jrnl of Ethnopharmacology 1990, 30:145-149.) In addition, they point out, research in Japan supports using a ginseng-astragalus combination to improve the function of natural killer (NK) cells which can boost immunity (Japanese Jrnl of Allergy, 37:2, 1998, 107-114).
Other studies confirm astragalus' potential in fighting off cancer. Research at the General Hospital of PLA, Beijing, showed that flavonoids (pigments) in astragalus could help protect cell membranes from oxidative damage caused by ultraviolet exposure (Chung Kuo Chung Yao Tsa Chih, 21(12):746-8; 1996 Dec).
A study of laboratory animals at Cunma University in Maebashi, Japan, found that Astragalus could help preserve immune function against the harmful side effects of chemotherapy (Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih, 15(2):101-3, 1995 Feb).
Like a flame attracting moths, garlic bulbs have irresistibly drawn the attention of medical researchers. A study at Aarhus University, Denmark, found that skin cells in laboratory dishes treated with garlic supplements lived longer, healthier lives than untreated cells (Jrnl Ethnopharm, 1994. 43:125-133).
Meanwhile, a long list of research demonstrates that garlic's phytochemicals may fight tumors and reduce the carcinogenicity of the pollutants and chemicals that assault us daily. A study in China reported in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine showed that garlic helped slow tumors in lab animals (1983, 11:69-73). Another study in the Journal of Nutrition found that compounds in garlic could "suppress the growth of human colon tumor cells" (126, 1355-1361).
Added to those benefits, Robert A. Nagourney, MD, reports in the Journal of Medicinal Food (1:1, 1998, 13-28), garlic may "modify the carcinogenicity of foodstuffs." In other words, studies show that garlic can make chemicals in foods like pork less likely to cause your cells to become cancerous. (Ind J Physiol Pharmacol, 39:347-353).
DNA, the stuff that genes are made of, face constant threats from free radicals, caustic molecules that can alter cellular structure and possibly cause genetic mutations that lead to cancer. But research into what are called oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC), flavonoids (pigments) derived from fruits vegetables, grape seed extract and the bark of maritime pine trees shows that OPC may be able to shield DNA from injury.
In particular, studies of a grape seed extract called Activin have demonstrated this substance can help liver cell DNA escape a destructive process called peroxidation (FASEB, 11:3, 2/28/97).
In these experiments, Activin demonstrated the ability to inhibit the growth of tumor cells as well as slow the replication enzymes of HIV viruses. This protective ability proved to be more potent than that of vitamin C, beta carotene and vitamin E.
What does the future promise to reveal? Scientists believe that many unexamined plants probably contain undiscovered phytochemicals that hold great potential for helping us fight the cancer epidemic.
Certainly, if the next few years produce as many results as the past decade, the next millennium will witness a long line of cancer-prevention discoveries. Before long, you should be able to take advantage of these potent substances.
As you gulp your garlic, tip your tea cup, mull your maitake, acquire Activin and await your astragalus, you may meditate on what may soon be added to our growing anti-cancer arsenal. Undoubtedly, scientists with a botanical bent will be uncovering more coveted anti-cancer secrets before too long.