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How Melatonin Can Support a Healthy Sleep Cycle and More
May 11, 2022 12:19 PM
Did you know that melatonin is a powerful free radical scavenger? This means that it helps protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called radicals. Melatonin is also naturally produced in the pineal gland and is present in high amounts in the GI tract. We will discuss some of the ways that melatonin supports health and wellness.
Melatonin and the body
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It is responsible for regulating the body's internal clock, or circadian rhythm. The production of melatonin increases at night, and decreases during the day. This hormone is also available in supplement form, and is often used to treat jet lag or insomnia. When taken as a supplement, melatonin works by resetting the body's internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Additionally, melatonin may also help to reduce anxiety and improve mood. As a result, this hormone plays an important role in regulating the body's sleep-wake cycle.
How does melatonin support a healthy sleep cycle?
Melatonin is a hormone that help regulate the sleep cycle. The production of melatonin is stimulated by darkness and inhibited by light. As a result, melatonin levels typically start to rise in the Evening as the sun sets, and they remain high throughout the night. In the morning, light exposure causes melatonin levels to drop, helping to wake us up and start the day. Melatonin supplements can be used to help people who have difficulty sleeping and staying asleep. This hormone helps to reset the body's natural sleep cycle, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. As a result, melatonin can be an effective way to support a healthy sleep cycle.
What are some of the other benefits of melatonin?
It can help to boost the immune system, protect against cancer, and reduce inflammation. Research suggests that melatonin may also have neuroprotective effects and could be beneficial for people with Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease.
Tips for getting a good night's sleep
Most people need about seven to eight hours of sleep a day. However, many people find it difficult to get enough rest. There are a number of things you can do to improve your sleep habits. First, create a regular sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. Second, create a relaxing bedtime routine. This might include taking a warm shower, reading a book, or writing in a journal. Third, create a comfortable sleep environment by making sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Fourth, avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed. Caffeine can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, while alcohol can disrupt your sleep cycle. Finally, try not to use electronic devices in bed. The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with your body's natural sleep rhythm and take melatonin. By following these tips, you can improve your chances of getting a good night's sleep.
Research on melatonin began in the 1950s, and since then, numerous studies have been conducted on its potential health benefits. Some of the most promising research has found that melatonin may help to prevent cancer. In one study, melatonin supplements were found to reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence by half. Other research has shown that melatonin may help to protect against colon cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer. Additionally, melatonin has been shown to boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy.
While more research is needed to confirm the exact role of melatonin in cancer prevention, the available evidence suggests that it could play a significant role in protecting against this disease. Therefore, it may be worth considering supplementing with melatonin if you are at high risk for cancer or are undergoing treatment for this disease.
Parsley: An Impressive Herb With Health Benefits
May 03, 2019 04:24 PM
Parsley isn't just an herb that can be used for garnish on you evening dinner plates. New research is emerging that shows just how many health benefits this thin, leafy herb actually has. Parsley is very rich in vitamins A, K, and C. This means that not only does it boost your immune system and protect you against foreign intruders, but it also helps your eye and bone health as well. Regular consumption of parsley can even reduce acne outbreaks.
"Aside from its many culinary uses, parsley is highly nutritious and has been shown to have many powerful health benefits (1, 2)."
Read more: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/parsley
8 essential oils which may help in rheumatoid arthritis
February 09, 2019 10:05 AM
If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, there are some essential oils that may help relieve the discomfort. This autoimmune disease causes inflammation and joint pain. It can cause swelling, joint stiffness, or loss of joint function completely. Since there is no cure, some natural oils may help with symptoms. Eucalyptus and Frankincense oil help reduce inflammation, swelling and pain. When inhaled, lavender oil can help with pain, anxiety, and depression. Evening primrose oil is also an anti-inflammatory and can reduce the stiffness in the joints.
"No cure is available to give relief from this problem, but a proper treatment can help in managing the pain and control the inflammatory response."
Read more: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/photo-stories/8-essential-oils-which-may-help-in-rheumatoid-arthritis/photostory/67093015.cms
Borage seed oil found to mitigate effects of radiation therapy on the liver
August 19, 2018 09:53 AM
Borage seed oil is typically used to treat the following health problems, rheumatoid arthritis, chest congestion, cough, depression, premenstrual syndrome, and menopausal symptoms. It is often used for hair and skin conditions such as hair loss, eczema, and Acne. borage oil contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound known as gamma-linolenic acid however, borage oil is unique in that its GLA content is remarkably high.Also known as starflower, borage (Borago officinalis) is an herbaceous flowering plant.As a common herbal treatment in traditional medicine practices for hundreds of years, borage oil has numerous uses ranging from treating skin flare-ups to lowering pain.The most beneficial aspect of using borage oil either topically on the skin or internally in capsule form is it has strong anti-inflammatory effects.Borage oil is becoming increasingly popular as a natural anti-inflammatory supplement because it has one of the highest amounts of GLA of all seed oils.GLA is one type of omega-6 “essential” fatty acid that the body cannot make on its own, so we must get it from outside sources.The mechanisms of [borage oil] that provide protection against gamma-irradiation-induced toxicity may be explained by its antioxidant activity, inhibition of MDA, and prevention against GSH depletion due to its high content of GLA. Therefore, [borage oil] may be used as a beneficial supplement for patients during radiotherapy treatment.Borage can be helpful for treating a wide range of both short- and long-term illnesses like Bone loss and osteoporosis,skin disorders,Rheumatoid arthritis pain,managing diabetes,Dealing with stress, Hormonal imbalances, including adrenal insufficiency,respitory distress like bronchitis, colds, coughs and fevers,Alcoholism,preventing heart diseases and Inflammation causing pain and swelling. Borage oil is often used along with evening primrose oil supplements to further increase the anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing effects.
"Also known as starflower, borage (Borago officinalis) is an herbaceous flowering plant most known for being the source of borage oil."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-08-17-borage-seed-oil-found-to-mitigate-effects-of-cancer-treatment-the-supplements-antioxidant-activity-reduces-damage-to-liver-from-chemicals-according-to-study.html
Overcoming adrenal fatigue naturally
July 22, 2018 11:53 AM
The human body has a well-developed system it uses to aid us when we experience stress. Firstly, the brain identifies the threat. Then the body releases hormones designed to do two things, rush blood to the muscles and heart to assist in fighting off the aggressive agent and dampening body processes that are not needed in the attack, such as digestive ones.
Were one fighting of a saber-tooth tiger, this would be of benefit. Today's stresses are far more nuanced, insidious and long-lasting. And when constant stress overworks the adrenals, which are the rabble-rousers in charge of turning off immunity and digestion until the tiger has turned tail, well then they get tired. This condition is called, aptly, adrenal fatigue. It can last for a short while, or a long time. It induces fatigue and it can lead to "brain fog." Other symptoms can include disturbances in mood, or sleep, food cravings and muscle and bone loss. To recuperate, it's necessary to convince the body the tiger has gone. Eat healthy, sleep healthy. Take vitamins and nourish yourself physically and psychically.
"One of the most important parts of restoring adrenal function is listening to your body and minding your stress levels."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/overcoming-adrenal-fatigue-naturally/
'Now I take cannabis oil, I'm starting to get my life back again'
February 22, 2017 12:59 PM
Cannabis oil is one of those controversial things that do wonders for some people but not others. This is one person's positive experience with it. It is legal in a lot of places so is worth a look if you have problems with pain but it's not guaranteed to help anyone. It may or may not.
"Affecting one in every 10,000 people in the UK, it causes small patches of red and swollen tissue, called granulomas, to develop in the organs of the body. It usually affects the lungs and skin. There is no cure."
Daylight saving time could increase depression
November 09, 2016 02:49 PM
Setting our clocks back every winter can have its benefits, like gaining an extra hour of sleep. However, a recent study has revealed that gaining an extra hour could also lead to depression due to it getting dark an hour earlier in the Evening. Psychiatric hospitals in Denmark reported over a 17-year period, 11 percent of new cases decreased after the time change. Dr. Oexman has recommended that we decrease how much alcohol or caffeine we drink this weekend in order to keep our circadian rhythms in check.
"Depression cases at psychiatric hospitals in Denmark increased immediately after the transition from daylight saving time, the study says."
Eye Inflammation and one Herb To Prevent It!
What is eye inflammation?
The one single most important herb anybody can take to reduce inflammation, in the eye as well as systemic inflammation is "curcumin." Curcumin is the most powerful substance discovered so far in nature which naturally lowers inflammation with zero side effects. If you have followed the above list of ways to help reduce inflammation and you still struggle with eye inflammation, consider taking curcumin daily to eliminate inflammation throughout the body!
For more information visit: //www.webmd.com/first-aid/eyelid-inflammation-blepharitis-treatment
Chamomile can relax and improve mood!
Chamomile is an age old remedy with many benefits.
Chamomile has a pleasant taste and can be enjoyed by all ages from young on up to the elderly.
If you need to relax after a hard day at work and reduce nervous tension, consider trying a nice warm cup of chamomile tea after your Evening meal and before bedtime.
Does Melatonin Decline As We Age?
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal glands. The circadian production of melatonin is tied to the day/night cycle. Light through the retina signals the pineal glands to suppress its production. Lack of light stimulation (at night) results to increased production of melatonin. The increased hormone production at night is associated with a good night’s sleep. According to a study, melatonin significantly reduces sleep latency and increases sleep efficiency. It has thus been used to treat insomnia.
Aging and Insomnia
Insomnia is commonplace among the elderly. As we age, sleep problems which include difficulty in falling asleep and maintaining the sleep are so rampant. This is so because melatonin production declines with age. With age comes the disruption of the circadian rhythms associated with the production of melatonin. To this end, melatonin supplements come handy to the elderly in maintaining a good night’s sleep.
Aging and Alzheimer's Disease
There is more to this hormone than a good night’s sleep and normal aging. There are evidences that melatonin suppresses Alzheimer’s disease. AD is the leading cause of dementia among individuals older than 65 years. Lack of sleep is a common symptom among AD patients and feels bad but sundowning (worsening of symptoms during Evening hours) is worse. According to Netherlands Institute of Brain Research, the declining production of melatonin among the elderly not only affects the circadian rhythms but also enhances the development of Alzheimer.
Melatonin as an Antioxidant
Melatonin production starts to decline at age 60. This is the onset of diseases like AD which leads to increased production of free radicals in the brain. According to a review paper written in 2000, there is a lot of pathological changes among AD patients’ autopsied brains as a result of free radical activity. Melatonin carries antioxidant properties which fight the free radicals and protect the brain neurons.
Melatonin is a powerful hormone. Its function in sustaining optimal human health is crucial. New discoveries are being made on this versatile hormone. The fact that its production starts to decline at 60 only means that you need to use supplements and not fret over the onset of AD or insomnia. It is clear that besides being harmless and natural in treating insomnia, Melatonin is the most effective way of averting deleterious aging effects.
The immense health benefits of taking evening primrose oil
December 31, 2013 04:47 AM
What is Primrose Oil
The oil is extracted from the seed of the Evening primrose plant, which has yellow leaves that are known to unfold at night. The whole plant has consumed for many years by Native Indians. It is also available in capsule form. The following is a look at the health benefits of the oil.
Study about Primrose Oil
The concentration of gamma-lanoleic acid in the Evening primrose plant is very high, and has been discovered to be one of the few plants that contain the essential substance. The acid has been proven to be vital for enhancing the skin’s elasticity and improving the functioning of nerves. Gama-lanoleic acid is also important in the body’s growth, development and immune response.
Studies have proven Gama-lanoleic acid to be effective in the destruction of breast cancer tumors without causing harm to adjacent healthy cells or leading to side effects. The use of the oil in combination with other breast cancer drugs has shown better results than when the drugs are taken in isolation. It is also effective in relieving breast pain, rheumatoid arthritis and severe headaches due to its anti inflammatory and hormone regulatory properties.
Benefits of Prirose Oil
Swelling, itching, redness, crusting and redness that, are common in eczema cases, can be relieved after using the oil. Gama-lanoleic acid in the oil is believed to be the active substance in such cases.
There is evidence to suggest that the oil is helpful in treating heart conditions, pediatric hyperactivity, menopause symptoms, post menstrual syndrome and ageing. Other conditions where the oil has been used to produce desirable results include schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, alcohol withdrawal symptoms and weight control.
Evening primrose oil has become an important substance in herbal solutions because of its therapeutic and preventative qualities. There is tremendous research being conducted on the oil in bid to uncover additional benefits for the human body.
How important is it to take a GLA supplement?
December 04, 2013 06:43 AM
How important is it to take a GLA supplement?
Majority of people consider Evening primrose oil as one of the major miraculous discoveries within preventive care after Vitamin C. This oil consists a compound called phenylalanine that can assist with pain relief and has been applied increasingly with remedying headaches. Its therapeutic and preventive features are many hence making it a regular proposal from a big number of herbalists.
10 health benefits:1- GLA Deficiency
Evening primrose oil has a lot of fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which is very crucial for general operation of the body.
2- Heart Health
Studies revealed that utilizing of Evening primrose oil on daily basis can assist in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and safeguard against the coronary artery disease thus minimizing the capability of heart attacks and diseases.
3- Menstrual Pain
The oil is normally used in relieving distress that is normally related with menstrual signs. Majority of women around the world get relief by applying Evening primrose oil.
Diabetics occasionally get challenges in producing GLA hence Evening primrose oil is an effective supplement to assist them. Studies revealed that this oil can also safeguard people from diabetic neuropathy which is a nerve condition that often affects diabetics.
5- Skin Health
Evening primrose oil is considered as an effective remedy for eczema and other skin disorders due to GLA and other essential fatty acids that are vital for skin health.
6- Anti-Inflammatory & Discomfort Reliever
Evening primrose oil is referred to contain anti-inflammatory features and can assist to ease symptoms of chest discomfort and rheumatoid.
7- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Studies revealed that kids suffering from ADHD got relieved after taking Evening primrose oil.
8- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Utilizing Evening primrose oil with quality fish oil is an effective therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome.
9- Helps to Counter Impotence & InfertilityEvening primrose oil can stimulate blood flow, thus it helps in solving one of the key causes of male impotence. When taken for some time, it assists in preventing blood vessels to become narrow as a result of cholesterol.
10- Helping with Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
The GLA prompts the brain to make a specific type of prostaglandin called prostaglandin E that can operate to resist withdrawal symptoms.
How calcium can Help Prevent Bone Loss
November 08, 2013 09:59 AM
What is bone loss?
Intake a lot of calcium too, as there are two sources of calcium in your body: via your diet and from your bones. It is the latter that is dangerous. Your body will absorb calcium from the bones if there isn't enough in the body. This calcium is really difficult to replace.Intake a diet with magnesium too. It helps in absorption of calcium. If there is excess calcium in the body, one could suffer from arthritis as it will collect in the soft tissues.
Health Benefits Of Chamomile
December 03, 2012 07:56 AM
It is believed that ancient Egypt saw Chamomile as an effective cure for most illnesses. In the modern world too, this golden herb retains its healing properties and is used for treating many a disease and discomforts of the body. Most commonly, German chamomile blossoms are infused to prepare 'Chamomile tea' which is a fragrant concoction full of medicinal properties. The tea can be combined with honey to enhance the taste.
Health Benefits Of Chamomile Tea Chamomile tea, supposedly, helps to bring about restful sleep. It is thus of great value for people suffering from insomnia and other sleep-related disorders. Due to its soothing and relaxing effects, it is generally taken before a person goes to bed. Since time immemorial, Chamomile has been considered a remedy for stomach ailments. Known to soothe gastric and bowel related problems, the herb is a blessing for people with stomach aches.
All in all, Chamomile helps facilitate the complete digestion process by promoting bowel movement. For women facing menstrual cramps and nausea every month, Chamomile tea comes as a welcome relief. Research indicates that regular consumption of Chamomile tea increases the level of glycine in the body. Glycine is a compound that controls muscular spasms, thus it tends to calm menstrual cramps. A healthy cup of golden chamomile tea has also been found to combat the morning sickness of pregnancy. However nothing has been proven till now to this effect. Some studies suggest that this wonder herb accelerates the wound healing process too.
Many researchers are of the belief that age-old Egyptians and Greeks used Chamomile flowers on wounds to speed up their healing time. Though there is no established evidence as such regarding this subject, history stands witness to the magical healing properties of Chamomile in more ways than one. Diabetes patients are also in for some good news concerning Chamomile tea. Many ongoing studies and surveys conducted worldwide are hinting at Chamomile playing a role in diabetes management.
Consumed regularly in the form of tea, the herb may arrest complications arising out of diabetes and may also prevent hyperglycemia. What's more, the golden herbal tea prepared from chamomile is caffeine-free and will not be addictive in any way. However, it is always a good idea to take professional advice before going all-out for Chamomile. Some people may display allergic reactions to the herb and suffer side-effects.
Therefore, it is best to try the herb first in small amounts before one decides to include chamomile tea in the daily routine of life. Besides its therapeutic uses, chamomile is being increasingly used as an ingredient in cosmetic products and is being considered a good friend of the skin. Since Chamomile is known to be a stress-buster, a cup of chamomile tea after a hectic work day might just prove to be the right beverage to save the Evening. With its sedative, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and benefits, Chamomile is sure to become more popular by the day. Used wisely, the golden herb is no less than gold itself.
The Benefits of GLA to Women
June 15, 2011 11:10 AM
GLA, otherwise known as gamma linolenic acid or Omega-6 fatty acid, has been found to benefit women's health in a number of ways. For example, supplements of GLA have been found to reduce many symptoms of PMS, such as irritability, depression and breast pain. The reason for this may be due to the fact that at this time the metabolism of women is less able to convert dietary linoleic acid to GLA, the normal biochemical pathway for its production.
GLA is also of benefit to menopausal women, for whom it has been found to reduce the number of night flushes. GLA also helps to maintain fetal development in terms of new tissue grown and organ development, and in fact fetus development involves fairly high essential fatty acid consumption. Many women take one or two capsules of Evening primrose oil intravaginally to soften the cervix in preparation for childbirth.
However, a small number of sources state that taking GLA in the latter stages of pregnancy should be avoided, so you should seek the advice of your doctor or physician on this question.
Essential fatty acids are essential for proper hormone production in women and men.
Make sure you are getting enough essential fatty acids daily!
stroke, what is it?
September 28, 2010 03:05 PM
A stroke occurs when a clot forms inside an artery that blocks the flow of blood to the brain. This is also called a thrombus. Embolism, which is a wandering clot, is carried in the bloodstream until it wedges in one of the arteries that lead to the brain. Aneurysms are blood-filled pouches that balloon out from weak spots in the artery wall and burst. A hemorrhage results when a defective artery in the brain that bursts, flooding the surrounding tissue with blood.
A mild attack can lead to temporary confusion and light-headedness, along with difficulty in speaking clearly, weakness on one side of the body, visual dimness and confusion, severe speech difficulties, and/or sudden or gradual loss or blurring of consciousness. Additionally, amnesia can occur, but it is not typically permanent. A coma can even result for short or long periods.
It is important to watch for early warnings of stroke. Although they may only last a few moments, early warnings include fainting, stumbling, numbness or paralysis of the fingers of one hand, blurring of vision, seeing bright lights, and loss of speech or memory. It is much wiser and significantly less expensive to start improving health in order to prevent this disease. Some doctors who have treated thousands of people suffering from stroke believe that most strokes can typically be prevented.
The Chinese often view strokes as being caused by blood stasis and stagnation of the liver. Chinese medical practitioners attempt to prevent strokes and treat them by treating constipation. Constipation causes a poisoned bloodstream, setting the stage for a possible stroke. Poisoned blood flows through thousands of miles of arteries, veins, and capillaries. The walls of the arteries are made up for cells, which are subject to the same injury from toxins as the cells in the kidneys. The kidneys degenerate at the same time that the arteries do and even from the same causes. When the walls thicken and harden, degeneration results. As they harden they become more brittle, causing them to burst more easily under pressure. Pressure increases as the hole through the arteries grows smaller. AS the walls become more brittle, the extra pressure causes the blood pressure to rupture. This, in turn, causes a stroke. The brain cells rely primarily on oxygen-rich blood in order to get nourishment. If they don’t receive this nourishment, the brain cells will die. Other causes of this are poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity, and smoking.
Emotional health is an essential part to any healing. Strokes are often associated with resistance to change, giving up on life, and getting tired of doing all the same things over and over. It is important that we learn to accept changes and are able to go with the flow of life. Life can be exciting. Changes provide us with a new perspective on living.
Some herbs and supplements have been used to help as a preventative. These include vitamin E, vitamin C, coenzyme Q10, garlic, Evening primrose oil, lecithin, chlorophyll, flaxseed oil, and germanium. For additional information on any of these, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
Cascara sagrada can help with constipation
August 25, 2010 02:18 PM
Cascara sagrada and Constipation
Cascara Sagrada was introduced to the Spanish explorers by Native Americans when they complained of problems with constipation. The Spanish then gave this herb its name, cascara sagrada, which means sacred bark and used it as a natural laxative. The Spanish explorers brought the herb back with them to Spain when they returned. In 1877, this herb was admitted to the U.S. Pharmacopoeia and is still included as an official medicine to this day.
Cascara sagrada is believed to be one of the best herbs for treatment of chronic constipation. This is because it enhances the peristaltic action that takes place in the intestines and increases the secretions of the stomach, liver, and pancreas. This herb is also helpful in relieving hemorrhoids because of its nonirritating nature and softening action on the stool.
Cascara sagrada is found in many over-the-counter preparations that are used for the intention of relieving constipation. This is because it acts on the large intestine to increase the muscular activity of the colon. The anthraquinones that are found in cascara sagrada are believed to encourage intestinal contraction. This herb is used to restore natural bowel movement without griping and to restore tone to the bowel.
Additionally, an element in cascara sagrada is known as quinine emodin. This element is being studied for its usefulness in treating lymphocytic leukemia and Walker carcinosarcoma tumor system. More research is needed before it will be recommended for treatment, but so far, the findings have been promising.
Cascara sagrada can be used often, as it is not considered to be addictive. Preparations should be made from bark that has been aged for a least a year before use. This must be done because fresh bark is poisonous and can cause nausea and extreme griping on the intestinal system. Cascara sagrada can be found in various forms including capsules, liquid extracts, and dried bark. Although it tastes bitter, the dried bark can be made into a tea. A typical dosage of cascara is a 300 mg capsule which is taken in the early Evening to stimulate a bowel movement in the morning. The laxative effect usually occurs 6 to 12 hours after cascara is taken. Products containing cascara sagrada should not be used for more than eight or ten days. Those women who are pregnant and nursing should avoid this herb, as well as people with intestinal blockage, undiagnosed stomach pain, or symptoms that may indicate appendicitis. People with diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, or intestinal ulcers should not take this herb.
Additionally, children younger than twelve with constipation should not be treated with cascara sagrada.
The bark of cascara sagrada should be used to provide alterative, antineoplastic, antispasmodic, hepatic, lithotriptic, and purgative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, chlorine, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, and vitamins A, B-complex, and C. Primarily, cascara sagrada is beneficial in dealing with colon problems, constipation, gallbladder problems, gallstones, gas, gastric disorders, hemorrhoids, intestinal problems, liver disorders, and worms. Additionally, this herb is extremely helpful in treating colitis, coughs, croup, dyspepsia, gout, indigestion, insomnia, jaundice, excessive mucus, pituitary problems, and spleen ailments.
For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by cascara sagrada, please contact a representative from your local health food store. Always choose name brands of this wonderful herbal laxative to ensure quality and purity and gentleness of its properties on the intestinal tract.
April 08, 2010 04:31 PM
Comments by Craig Gerbore, CEO of Madhava:
Reading through the attack articles and blogs that have surfaced recently one could think that using agave is bad for one's health. These claims are utterly false and misleading. They are extreme views drawn from extreme examples and applied way out of context. They are propagandizing and clearly designed to frighten, not educate. All of the fears and concerns associated with the overconsumption of sugars and calories in general have been unfairly cast on agave.
What is a "healthy" sweetener? One that you use moderately and sensibly.
Health concerns related to fructose and caloric sweeteners are all dependant on the overconsumption of them. All foods have calories and it is the overall consumption of calories that lead to obesity and related issues, not any one food source.
Agave's caloric value is comparable to the other sweeteners in the category. Due to its greater sweetness though, less agave is used compared to the others, so agave actually can reduce caloric consumption per serving. This is due to a higher fructose content. The higher content does not mean higher consumption though, due to the smaller portion used. But, it is not the single serving that matters, it is the number of servings which lead to the overconsumption issues which may result in health concerns.
As a reference point, 9-10 teaspoon servings of agave would be the approximate caloric equivalent of one 16 oz soft drink. With this perspective, is agave really being overconsumed as a choice of sweetener for home use?
Every single health issue which the attackers have tried to associate with agave is really the result of a caloric overconsumption issue. There are no documented issues with normal, moderate consumption of agave or sweeteners in general as part of our everyday diet. For reasons unknown, some have attempted to isolate agave from the real world and real world conditions with the goal of inhibiting agave's use. They play on people's fears, reference false information and fail to address health issues in any meaningful way.
The purpose of this article is to debunk the controversial misinformation surrounding agave. All information debunking the myths and misinformation is based on current science and facts. It is our goal to provide you with useful information so that you can make your personal nutritional choices in a well-informed, science-based manner.
The Agave Controversy: Exposing the fraudulent article by Rami Nagel
By Dr. Susan Kleiner, PhD, RD, FACN, CNS, FISSN
And Craig Gerbore, CEO Madhava
The controversy about agave syrup was manufactured by the publication of a single article on the internet, which has been reproduced and adapted for virtually every other article produced on the internet and other media venues. That article, written by Rami Nagel and published on Naturalnews.com, was highly biased and full of inaccuracies, half-truths and misinformation about agave. Since the Naturalnews.com article has been the sole source of nearly all other popular articles in public media, we want to set the record straight with science-based, reliable information to offer a more balanced resource to those interested in learning more about agave syrup. Who is the author, Rami Nagel?
According to the description on the Naturalnews.com website, Rami Nagel is a "citizen journalist". This means that Mr. Nagel is self-employed, and not employed as an in-house journalist by the website. He wrote and published the article without any editorial or content oversight, and the editor of the website, Mike Adams, makes it clear that the article was not checked for incorrect or inaccurate information or facts. The introduction to the article, written by Mr. Adams, states that readers had written to comment that Mr. Nagel's resources were biased with conflicts of interest due to their financial interests in competing sweeteners, such as brown rice syrup. So even the website editor himself states that the article is not fact-checked, and it is biased and unbalanced.
Who is Russ Bianchi?
The sole resource interviewed for the article is Russ Bianchi, identified by the author as Managing Director and CEO of Adept Solutions, Inc. Mr. Bianchi has clear conflict of interest ties to the sweetener industry. We have documentation of the fact that Mr Bianchi had plans to market a product named Replace. It was to be touted as a low calorie alternative sweetener composed of natural and artificial ingredients! Mr Bianchi was prevented from marketing this sweetener as the result of a lawsuit against him by the owner of the formula.
Mr Bianchi is quoted by Nagel extensively and exclusively. Many, if not all, of his statements are blatantly false or misrepresentations of fact. He is clearly propagandizing against agave nectar.
Was anyone else interviewed for this article?
Yes. Craig Gerbore, president and owner of Madhava Agave Syrup, was extensively interviewed by the author but no parts of that interview were included in the article.
It is important to note that neither Mr Nagel or Mr Bianchi have not made themselves available for questions on their statements since the articles appearance. They remain out of sight and have entirely avoided the controversy their statements created.
What is agave nectar?
The opening line of this paragraph in the article by Mr. Nagel states:
"The principal constituent of the agave is starch, such as what is found in corn or rice."
This is absolutely false. There is no starch in agave. The source of carbohydrate in agave syrup is inulin, a polysaccharide made up primarily of strings of fructose units. Starch is a polysaccharide made up of strings of glucose molecules. They are significantly different, and this difference is why agave syrup is naturally sweet.
The very basis of the argument presented by Mr. Nagel is false.
The agave plant is a succulent, similar to a cactus. The agave sweetener comes from both the Salmiana agave plant and the agave Tequilana (Blue Agave) which are both organically farmed in Mexico and certified organic by USDA approved certifiers. As the salmiana plant grows it produces a stalk called the "quiote" and when this is removed, a natural liquid called "aquamiel". The liquid is collected from the plant, while Blue agave pinons are harvested and shredded to remove the similar juice. Either can be naturally processed thermally or by enzymes into agave nectar.
The juice of the plant is not naturally sweet. The string of connected fructose units that makes up the major proportion of inulin does not have a sweet taste, but when the fructose units are separated (the process is called hydrolysis) by the addition of an enzyme, similar to digestion, or thermally for most blue agave, the syrup becomes quite sweet. That is the entire processing chain for agave nectar. There are no additives, other ingredients or chemicals in Madhava agave nectar. It is absolutely pure and organic and GMO free.
? Mr. Nagel claims that agave syrup is a "refined corn fructose" similar to high fructose corn syrup. This is absolutely false. There is no relationship between agave syrup and high fructose corn syrup in any way, including the source of the product, or the manufacturing process.
? Mr. Nagel refers to a "confidential FDA letter" from Mr. Martin Stutsman, claiming that agave is fraudulently labeled. We contacted Mr. Stutsman at the United States Food and Drug Administration, and his response made it clear that there was never a "confidential FDA letter". He did publish a public letter referenced in an FDA document as "FDA letter from Martin Stutsman to Dr. Eric
Wilhelmsen (Wilhelmsen Consulting), May 8, 2000", regarding evaporated cane juice, a topic wholly unrelated to agave syrup.
? He continued in his response to us that the paragraph in Mr. Nagel's article inaccurately reflected the substance of his comments in the document.
This link will take you to the original document in which the letter was referenced (reference #2):
In fact, Mr. Nagel fabricated the entire story of the letter. Mr. Stutsman is a lawyer, not a doctor. The quotes were completely taken out of context from the document, and the quotes never referred to agave syrup at any time. Nagel goes on to further misrepresent Mr. Stutsman's intent in the published document by weaving in other inaccurate information that is thoroughly unrelated to the original document. Mr Bianchi's subsequent statements on labeling issues are false and without merit.
Mr. Nagel is clearly caught red-handed. He has misrepresented the words of a government official, lied about the facts, and twisted the information to achieve his own agenda. This strategy is repeated throughout the article.
? Mr. Nagel continues his deceptive writing by referring to a quote by the late Dr. Varro Tyler in his book, The Honest Herbal. The first line of the paragraph is a direct quote from the book. Nothing else in that paragraph remotely resembles anything else found in Dr. Tyler's book. Mr. Nagel is trying to claim that agave syrup contains large quantities of saponins, and that they can be harmful to health. Here is the debunking of that paragraph:
1. Dr. Tyler does not include the variety of agave plant used for agave syrup.
2. The entire discussion is about the use of the sword-shaped leaves and the stem. Agave syrup is produced from the natural liquid in the plant. The saponins are isolated from the leaves of the plant.
3. There is no documented evidence to suggest agave syrup contains worrisome levels of saponins and the entire rest of the discussion about health dangers is fabricated and false.
People are going to continue to consume sweet food and drink. There are only three categories of choice to sweeten food. Those are artificial sweeteners, stevia, or caloric sweeteners from natural sources, sugars.
Most people will not choose artificial. Many will not choose stevia. That only leaves the category of sugars. In this group, agave is a good choice due to its organic quality, ease of
use, neutral flavor, low glycemic index and the fact that less is used to equal the sweetness of the others in the category.
The sweeteners in this category are composed of three primary sugars used to sweeten foods: glucose, fructose and sucrose. These sugars belong to a class of compounds known as carbohydrates. "Saccharide" is a term that denotes sugar, or substances derived from sugar. Monosaccharides are simple or single sugars; disaccharides are derived from two joined monosaccharides and when they are hydrolyzed, or separated, they yield two molecules of simple sugar. Strings of more than two sugar molecules are called polysaccharides. This category includes compounds such as starches, cellulose and inulin.
Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides. Glucose and fructose are found abundantly in nature in fruits and plants. Sucrose is the disaccharide formed by the joining of glucose and fructose, also known as table sugar. When comparing their relative sweetness, glucose is the least sweet tasting, sucrose is next, and fructose is the sweetest of the three sugars, measured as 1.4 times sweeter than table sugar. Because it is so sweet, people typically use less fructose when sweetening foods compared to sucrose.
? In the article by Mr. Nagel he states , "fructose is not what is found in fruit. Commonly, fructose is compared with its opposite and truly naturally occurring sweetener, known as ‘levulose' (made by nature)..."
Another fabrication. In fact, levulose is just another name for fructose. There are various nomenclatures used in the scientific naming of compounds. Fructose and levulose are exactly the same thing; the names are interchangeable. It is no different than if you called your father, "dad", and your sibling called your father, "father". He would still be the exact same person. Fructose and levulose are different names for the exact same thing: a sugar found in nature.
Mr. Bianchi also is quoted to say that the body does not recognize the fructose in agave. This is another false piece of propaganda which demonstrates just how far he is reaching. If this were true, it would have no impact on us. He immediately contradicts himself with the claims of detrimental effects caused by the overconsumption of fructose.
Sugars can be compared to each other in their ability to raise blood sugar levels by using the Glycemic Index. The scale is set from zero to 100, where low numbers do not have much impact on blood sugar levels, and high numbers raise blood sugar levels quickly. Fructose is very low on the scale. Because agave syrup is high in fructose, it has a rating of 32 or lower. Honey, which has a higher proportion of glucose to fructose, has a Glycemic Index of 58. Sucrose has a Glycemic Index of 68, and glucose, serving as the index standard, is 100.
All sugars, whether fructose, glucose, sucrose or others, contribute 4 calories per gram to our total diet. 1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams = 16 calories
In addition to calories, sugars sweeten our foods offering a desirable taste and adding enjoyment and pleasure to our dining. During cooking and baking, sugars allow for browning and the unique consistencies of syrups, candies, frostings and frozen desserts. The varieties of sugars, such as crystallized table sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, molasses, honey and agave nectar, among others, contribute different properties and flavors to foods.
When you add your own sugar to foods you are in control of how much sugar you use. Most people would never add as much sugar as do the food manufacturers. Moderate amounts of sugar can certainly be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet for an active individual. Natural sugars are easily metabolized and utilized by the body, offering a very efficient source of fuel for physical and mental activity.
Of course, sugars should be used in moderation in the diet. This can control calories and help create a diet that is dense in nutrients.
Impact of sugar on health and disease
? The remainder of Mr. Nagel's article works to link agave syrup with the increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, metabolic disease, and the general rise of morbidity and mortality in the population. This is an overconsumption issue involving far more than the occasional use of agave. Here are the facts:
• Rats that are fed a high fructose diet become obese and will develop the chronic diseases associated with obesity: insulin resistance, diabetes and metabolic disease.
• No one should eat a diet that reflects this type of experimental diet.
• Too much sugar in the diet, whether from fructose, glucose or sucrose, can be unhealthy. Diets high in sugar promote tooth decay and periodontal disease; create an overabundance of calories and a deficit of nutrients. This scenario typically leads to weight gain and the development of chronic disease.
• Active individuals can include a moderate amount of added sugar in their diet without negative health consequences. When calorie intake is balanced with physical activity, sugar serves as an efficient source of fuel for muscles, the brain and the central nervous system.
• According to the World Health Organization (2003), individuals can healthfully include 10% of their daily calories from added sugars. This translates into 200 calories for a 2000 calorie diet, or 12½ teaspoons of added sugar daily. Clearly, one can safely add a couple of teaspoons of sweetener to a cup of tea or coffee, or have a little sweetened food without worrying about their risk of developing disease.
• Agave syrup, which is sweeter than other sugars and low on the Glycemic Index scale, is a good choice to include as one of the added sugars in your diet because you will use less sugar (and therefore fewer calories) and minimally raise blood sugar levels.
Just a teaspoon of agave: the healthy use of sweeteners in your diet
We all want to live healthier and longer lives. Diet and nutrition plays a key role, impacting our health and our ability to perform physically and mentally now and into the future. Food offers us not only sustenance, but also pleasure and enjoyment. Food is present in so many parts of our lives: at celebrations, business events, family events, religious and spiritual occasions, sports outings, the focus of our family meals, intimate dinners, and sometimes just the excuse to socialize.
Sweet foods make us feel good. Sugar allows for the elevation of serotonin in our brains, the "feel good" neurotransmitter that elevates mood, helps us focus, and in the Evening, helps us relax and sleep.
Sugar is a source of energy for our muscles, brain and central nervous system. Without sugar our bodies will not function at peak capacity.
Too much sugar, however, is not good. In small amounts sugar energizes us, but in large doses, repeated throughout the day, day in and day out, sugar puts stress on the body. The extra calories can lead to weight gain and obesity, which in time can lead to chronic disease. In the short term, high sugar intakes can lead to a nutritionally deficient diet and a sense of being on an emotional roller coaster.
So be selective about your use of sugars and use them in moderation in your diet. Just like all foods, a variety will enhance the nutritional content of your diet and the flavor and tastes that you can enjoy. Since sugars come in different forms and have different flavors, they can be used most effectively in specific foods and beverages. For instance, agave syrup is liquid and less viscous than honey, making it easy to mix into cold liquids like iced tea and coffee, and is great to add to cold unsweetened cereals for a little sweet taste. Agave's mild flavor allows chefs and bakers to sweeten foods lightly, without overpowering the taste of the dish.
Pay attention to how much sugar is added to your diet every day. Read labels so that you know when sugar is added to manufactured foods. Keep the consumption of added sugars in your diet to no more than 10% of your total daily calorie intake so that you have plenty of room for nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein-rich foods, nuts, seeds and healthy oils.
Remember that nutrition is a science based on facts. We are making great advances in our understanding of the science of foods and nutrition. Beware of people with hidden agendas using fear tactics to influence your choices. Don't take their opinion at face value. What are their credentials? What conflicts of interest do they have? If they do not disclose conflicts, then assume that they are manipulating the truth.
Most of all enjoy food. Think about what you need to eat to promote whole health. Don't overindulge, but don't deprive yourself of the bounty of wonderful tastes, either. Use celebrations as occasions to enjoy your favorite foods and try new ones. A teaspoon or two of sugar easily fits into the diet of an active, healthy person. Agave syrup offers an organic low-glycemic choice for those looking for that option.
Resources for this article:
Charley H. Food Science, 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, 1982.
Figlewicz DP et al. Effect of moderate intake of sweeteners on metabolic health in the rat. Physiology and Behavior 98:618-624, 2009
Johnson RK et al. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, 2009
Tyler VE. The Honest Herbal, Third Edition. Pharmaceutical Products Press, New York, NY, 1993.
Fight Acne Naturally
May 06, 2009 12:13 PM
Acne treatment therapies focus upon two aspects of acne: its prevention and management, and the removal of its more lasting effects.
Looking at the latter first, acne scars can be unsightly, and there are several methods currently used either to remove them or to hide them. Some of the more radical are surgical, while others involve modifications the surface of the skin by means of techniques akin to sandpapering, and also cosmetic techniques.
However, such therapies are needed only if the condition is permitted to have a significant effect on your skin. There are therapies that can be used to mitigate the condition if not remove it altogether. Before discussing these it will be necessary to consider what causes acne, because without that knowledge there can be no effective treatment.
Acne is cause by blockage of the sebaceous pores in the skin. That blockage is generally caused by a mixture of dead skin cells and skin oil, otherwise known as sebum. Why should this occur with acne sufferers and nobody else, when all of us have the ingredients of acne as normal components of our skin? The answer lies in our hormones.
The reason that acne is most prevalent in teenagers is that the generation of sebum is promoted by our hormones: specifically the male hormones known as androgens that both males and females begin to create in quantity during puberty. These cause the sebaceous pores to enlarge, and sebum to be produced in larger than normal quantities.
The hormones also tend to disrupt the usual desquamation rate, or shedding of dead skin cells. What happens is that the skin cells within the pores begin to shed in clumps, rather than singly, and when mixed with the excess skin oil form a plug that clogs up the pores. This plug of oils and skin cells then gets contaminated with bacteria that in time initiate the immune reaction, resulting in pus being formed through the action of macrophages on the bacteria.
The therapy needed to reduce the incidence of acne, then, can be either proactive or retroactive. Proactively, they can reduce the production of the sebum/skin cell plug. Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) as found in Omega-6 oil can block androgen receptors and so decrease the amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) produced. The less the amount of DHT, then the less will be the severity of your acne.
Evening primrose oil contains large quantities of GLA, and even applying this topically on your skin will dilute the sebum and reduce the likelihood of sebum and skin cells blocking your pores. This is an extreme simplification of what GLA does, but it does accurately represent the end result of its use. There are also medications you can take to reduce the rate of shedding of your skin cells, so that your pores have less chance of being blocked.
Retroactively, you can apply antibiotics to kill off the bacterial that act on the plug and that initiate the immune response responsible for the lesions. You can also give your skin a good wash with an effective skin cleanser, including a mild antibiotic to enhance the cleansing of the bacterial plug. However, there are alternative treatments, such as the proactive diet control, and the use of vitamins and appropriate herbs to control or even prevent the condition.
When you think of diet, don't think chocolate. Acne is not caused by eating too much chocolate, or even by fatty foods. We have already discussed the causes of acne, and if we can find any components in our diet that can create these conditions, then by eliminating them we should be able to avoid the condition. As a corollary, if we can identify any substances that could prevent androgens from creating excess sebum, or even control the androgens themselves, or that could help the skin cells to shed more evenly, then we could include these in our diet.
In fact such substances do exist. By going deep into the science, we will find that the secretion of testosterone is promoted by a hormone known as IGF-1 and also by insulin. IGF-1 stands for Insulin-like Growth Factor 1, and is important in the growth of children. It also promotes acne! Insulin does the same, and what that infers that anything in the diet that promotes the production of insulin will also promote acne.
What promotes insulin? Sugars and carbohydrates! Therefore, if you eat a diet low in sugars and carbs then you should have less production of sebum, and hence less acne. What this is leading to is that if you have a tendency to get acne; then switch your diet from carbohydrates and sugary foods to vegetables, grains and seafood. The Japanese get very little acne, which supports this theory.
You should also take foods rich in zinc, since a zinc deficiency has been found to lead to acne. Nobody knows why yet, but use the information and either take a zinc supplement or eat zinc rich foods such as shellfish. Strangely, it is a deficiency of zinc that causes an increase in testosterone, not the surplus of zinc provided by eating oysters! These have another effect.
There are also herbal treatments that can be effectively used for acne. Most are topical, and tea tree oil is one the more recent such treatments used to treat acne. Among the chemical constituents of tea tree oil is terpinen-4-ol, with powerful antimicrobial properties. Little wonder then that it is effective in preventing the bacterial infection of the sebaceous gland pores. The oil helps to dry out the skin, again creating conditions alien to bacteria.
You could use tea tree oil by itself, though many people simply mix it with the acne creams they are currently using. That makes them much more effective. Another option goes back to the zinc again, but rather than take it as a supplement, use it topically. Chamomile and lavender are useful in calming skin that has been inflamed both by over-zealous use of skin scrubs and also the immune system's inflammatory response to the infection of the pores.
There are many healthy options to the severe pharmaceutical treatments offered by your physician. These can be used in place of, but preferably as supplements to, the treatment recommended by your doctor. Each of the natural treatments has a sound scientific basis, and if you suffer from acne can be well worth trying.
October 31, 2008 04:28 PM
Contrary to popular belief, Attention deficit and hyper activity (ADHD) doesn’t always go away when children grow up. Many of the children affected by this disorder as children carry it on into adult hood. This complicated disease can cause all sorts of problems mostly lost of work.
One survey studying over seven thousand workers between the ages of eighteen and forty four discovered that three and one half percent of these workers studied had ADHD. The ability to concentrate cost these individuals over twenty days of work. Both women and men experience mood, anxiety and most likely abuse drugs and alcohol. Fortunately there is an alternative, changing ones diet can help.
Dietary changes can help reduce the occurrence of ADHD in both children and adults. Have you ever noticed when you eat a meal high in carbohydrates you become sleepy where a meal higher in protein then carbohydrates does not make you sleepy but increase your mental acuity?
A high protein meal can reduce the amount of tryptophan that crosses the blood brain barrier in turn causes more phenylalanine and tyrosine to enter the brain. These two amino acids boost mental alertness. They are converted into neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine which are adrenaline like neurotransmitters. High carbohydrate meals cause an insulin spike in the blood which causes the body to absorb protein into the muscles and frees up tryptophan.
Tryptophan when not in competition with other amino acids will cross the blood brain barrier which then is converted to serotonin a sleep neurotransmitter. To help over come this, one should eat a meal high in protein at breakfast and moderate protein / carbohydrate meal at lunch, leaving the last big meal of the day rich in carbohydrates.
Some older individuals may notice that they have a hard time sleeping at night; this may largely be due to a high protein meal later in the Evening which stimulates the brain. A over stimulated brain will hinder ones sleep and could cause insomnia.
Other things that can help with ADHD are omega-3 fish oil that is high in DHA, phosphatidyl serine, and DMEA. The later two convert to neurotransmitters that can help support healthy mental function and alertness.
Evening Primrose Oil
September 04, 2008 09:08 AM
The tiny seeds of the Evening primrose flower are the source of oil that has been valued in the world for building health and overcoming a lot of common health problems. Evening primrose, also known as Evening star, night willow herb, scabish, and tree primrose, has a recorded history of at least 500 years of use for its health promoting properties. Growing in a wider variety of climates, the plant can be found in rocky roadsides, shallow streams, or even high deserts.
The plant can even be found growing at elevations as high as 9,000 feet. This plant has yellow flowers from July through September that open after sunset and are pollinated by insects of the night. Open only until sunrise, the flowers die the next day, causing hundreds of small black seeds to form inside. These seeds are the source of the plant’s oil, with about 5,000 seeds being used for just one 500 mg capsule. Due to this, Evening primrose can be relatively expensive. Evening primrose’s value in a variety of illnesses was recognized by American Indians and European immigrants. Indians used it to treat skin wounds, asthma, coughs, and also as a sedative. One of the first botanicals exported to Europe from North America, it was brought to Italy in 1619 and planted in the Padua Botanical Gardens. It was so valued by the Puritans that they called it the “King’s cure-all” and exported it to England. The ancients didn’t know scientifically why Evening primrose was so effective for so many illnesses, but that didn’t affect its abilities. Modern science has found that the essential fatty acids that are found in the oil of the Evening primrose seeds are the secret to the health-building properties.
Fat has gotten a bad name for itself in the past few years, but the truth is that there are actually certain types of fats that are vital for good health. One of these healthy fats is essential fatty acids, which are found in unprocessed vegetable, plant, and fish oils. One of the richest sources known is actually mother’s milk. Like vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids are nutritional substances that have far-reaching effects on many body processes.
These effects include reducing blood pressure, helping to prevent arthritis, reducing the growth rate of breast cancer, lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, maintaining healthy skin, aiding in transmission of nerve impulses, playing a role in normal brain function, constituting the building blocks of body membranes, promoting proper hormone function, and forming the basis for prostaglandin production.
Because essential fatty acids can not be manufactured in the body, they must be consumed in the diet, with at least three percent of an adult’s daily caloric intake being recommended to be comprised of essential fatty acids. Children and pregnant women should have a diet containing at least five percent essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are essential for normal functioning of all body tissues.
Because of this, the list of symptoms of essential fatty acid deficiency includes reduced growth rate, skin disorders, male and female infertility, kidney abnormalities, decreased capillary resistance, susceptibility to infection, heart problems, anemia, enlarged liver, sparse hair growth in infants, poor wound healing, and an increased susceptibility to infection.
In conclusion, to prevent or heal these conditions, a diet that is rich in essential fatty acids must be present. Evening primrose oil is a good source of essential fatty acids, containing about 72 percent linoleic acid and 9 percent GLA. Have you had your Evening primrose oil today?
Capsicum - Cayenne Red Pepper
July 28, 2008 03:06 PM
Capsicum also known as cayenne pepper has been known to the natives of the tropical Americas for thousands of years. It was first introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus as Guinea Pepper and was originally used by Native Americans that were located south of the Mexican boarder as early as 700 B.C. The mixture of chocolate and red chilies was a taste treat that was reserved exclusively for Aztec royalty. Although the exact origin of the word Capsicum is somewhat a mystery, it is assumed to be derived from the Greek word kapto, which means to bite. Capsicum is a fruit found on a shrub-like tropical plant that is technically considered a berry. The designation of it as a pepper can be traced back to Columbus, who compared its hot taste sensation with that, a black pepper.
Gerard referred to Capsicum as extremely hot and dry in 1597 and prescribed it to those with skin and throat infections. The health practitioners of the 1800s used Capsicum to counteract rheumatism, arthritis, depression, and chills. Capsicum was used in the early 1800s as a potent and safe natural stimulant and was believed to be able to treat a large array of diseases. It was first used orally to treat tumors, toothaches, fevers, and respiratory conditions.
This cayenne red pepper was introduced to England by Dr. John Stevens in 1804 when it became the catalyst component in many herbal blends. Additionally, herbal and medical practitioners used Capsicum in order to fight infection and sustain the natural heat that the body produces. After, it became very well known in American dispensatories and pharmacopeia. In 1943, The Dispensary of the United States recorded Capsicum to be a powerful local stimulant that produces a sense of heat in the stomach and a general glow over the whole body when it is swallowed. It does all of this without having a narcotic effect.
Physicians in the twentieth-century recognized the medicinal value of Capsicum. This caused the herb to find its way to the American Illustrated Medical Dictionary, the Merck Manual and Materia Medica, where it is named a rubefacient, local stimulant, counter-irritant, gastric stimulant, and diaphoretic. Mexican Indians today use Capsicum as an intestinal disinfectant and protectant against contaminated food and, additionally, to treat fevers. In the world today, this cayenne pepper is no more appreciated and more widely used than in Mexico and a few other Latin American countries, which together are the original home of all the peppers. Practically every dish the Indians eat both in the morning and Evening include Capsicum, just as it was 2,000 years ago. These peppers are a wonderful source of essential vitamins in a diet that is otherwise lacking of them.
Capsicum is a source of health and vitality in many countries which include the Bahamas and Costa Rica, in which it is used to treat colic and indigestion, in Africa for vascular disorders, and in North America as a tonic and natural stimulant. Currently undergoing a large variety of studies, Capsicum has emerged with an impressive list of actions. Scientists are currently taking notice and looking at Capsicum with a new respect and interest. Capsicum can be set apart from powerful pharmaceutical stimulants and pain killers because it possesses the potency without the delirious side effects.
May 17, 2008 10:17 AM
Recently, the Natural Products Association has experienced a flurry of activity on the legislative front. One month ago, Natural Products Association members went to Washington, D.C. to meet with their representatives and discuss legislation important to the association and the industry. Many who could not visit Washington in person were part of our "virtual march" on Washington that delivered e-mails, petitions, and videos to Congress on the importance of natural products. Natural Products Day was a great success, boasting higher than ever attendance at our Evening Congressional reception, and resulting in additional co-sponsors for S. 771, the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act sponsored by Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). The bill now boasts co-sponsorship of more than a quarter of the Senate. Its companion bill in the House of Representatives, H.R. 1363, sponsored by Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), has gained an additional five co-sponsors as the result of Natural Products Day meetings and now has 140 co-sponsors. These bills continue to build momentum, thanks to your support.
More recently, the Natural Products Association urged supporters to contact their legislators to include an amendment to the "Farm Bill" allowing food stamp recipients to purchase dietary supplements. This provision was similar to free-standing bills that have been introduced in the current and previous Congresses by Sens. Harkin and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and have earned the association's support. Although the amendment advanced further than other versions in previous sessions, it did not make the final Farm Bill, which was reported out of conference today. The good news is that the Farm Bill did contain significant increases in nutrition programs and increased funding for organic farming, another supported goal of the Natural Products Association. Because of the strong effort of our supporters on the amendment's behalf, the bill was placed on Congress's radar screens and has greatly improved the chances as stand-alone legislation, S. 770, the Food Stamp Vitamin and Mineral Improvement Act, of seeing passage. We will continue to ask for support on this important bill as this legislative session progresses.
In addition, the Natural Products Association has been leading the fight to protect Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and to keep this important, safe, and effective supplement available to elderly consumers. The same players behind S. 762, which would wrongly classify DHEA as an anabolic steroid, proposed S. 2470 in late 2007 as a misplaced reaction the release of the Mitchell Report, which chronicled the abuse of steroids by professional baseball players. Although DHEA has no performance enhancing attributes, this bill was proposed to limit the access of minors to DHEA. The Natural Products Association and its supporters have worked hard to inform Congress of the benefits of DHEA, and that it is not an anabolic steroid and should not be classified as one. We have been able so far to prevent any movement on the bill, but the association continues to monitor its progress and make sure that this supplement remains accessible to the seniors who need it most.
Thanks to your help, the Natural Products Association continues to have an active presence on Capitol Hill that is felt by legislators. We could not do it without the help of you, our supporters, who know how important it is to stand up for natural products. The impact of your messages to legislators continues to help the Natural Products Association to ensure all natural products - from natural and organic foods to dietary supplements and health and beauty aids - are accessible to Americans. With your continued support we will continue to be known as a vocal group with a wide base of support through the rest of this legislative session and beyond.
To get involved, please visit our action center at www.capwiz.com/nnfa/issues/
Don’t Live With Pain, Live Pain Free – Curamin Is The Answer
April 24, 2008 04:32 PM
Fact, more than 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Chronic, meaning pain that continues daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly, pain may which never end with out help. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, pain is the primary reason people seek the advice of a doctor or health practitioner, and the number one reason people take alternative medicine.
A new revolutionary dietary supplement for pain and inflammation is now available on the market. Introduced by Terry Lemerond, this new formula called Curamin has changed thousands of lives. This formula contains three anti-inflammatory herbs and one amino acid that can help one live a more normal pain free life.
The first ingredient: Curcumin is a substance found in turmeric. Curcumin contains curcuminoids which have been shown to reduce inflammation and pain. Turmeric is an ayurvedic herb discovered in India and brought over to the United States has demonstrated amazing results. Turmeric has been cooked with and used as a medicine for over 2000 years. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin which has demonstrated six important properties. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties. As you can see this herb has made quite a name for its self.
The second ingredient is Boswellia. Boswellia contains boswellic acid which is the active ingredient in this herb as well. This herb has also demonstrated its natural ability to fight inflammation and more. Research suggests that Boswellia’s active ingredient can actually modulate the expression of the genes involved in the body’s inflammation response thus giving itself an anti-inflammatory name.
The third ingredient is DLPA an amino acid also known as DL Phenylalanine. This amino acid can help the body product more serotonin in the brain. D-phenylalanine can actually help reduce chronic pain through the production of serotonin. Serotonin helps one feel more relaxed and level headed this is something everybody needs when it comes to pain that drives them crazy all day long. Those people consuming MAO inhibitors and anti-depressants need to avoid DLPA with out a doctor’s supervision.
The forth and last ingredient in Curamin is nattokinase. Nattokinase is an extract from fermented soy cheese. For thousands of years natto has been consumed by the Japanese people with out even know the health benefits of its consumption. Nattokinase can help the body fight blood clots, thin the blood, and fight pain and swelling.
This new formula Curamin has the three top herbs that fight inflammation in the body, when combined with DLPA, this product has the amazing ability to fight pain by attacking the source of pain, inflammation.
Recommended doses for curamin are 2 capsules in the morning and 2 more capsules in the Evening after work. Some may need a stronger dose at first, this is where one should take 4 capsules at one time in the morning for the first few days then step back to 2 in the morning and 2 in the Evening.
We have free samples available upon request and back the curamin product with a 100% satisfaction guaranteed. So if you are un-satisfied, just return the unused portion of the product for a full refund of the purchase price minus shipping costs.
So what are you waiting for? Are you ready to live pain free? Give curamin a try!
Is Wild Yam Natures Progesterone?
November 15, 2007 07:20 AM
Dioscorea villosa, commonly known as wild yam, is a tuberous vine native to North America and parts of Central America. It was used by the Mayan and Aztec civilizations for pain relief and birth control and has also been given the names colic root and rheumatism root, demonstrating this early use of the plant. However, whether it is nature’s progesterone or not is another question that requires close analysis.
These Central American civilizations, of course, did not understand the reason why they were effective. Some of the symptoms treated can be caused by the menopause, and the wild yam is believed to contain natural forms of progesterone that can alleviate some of the adverse effects of the menopause on the body. Like most plants, they also likely act as anti-inflammatories, so relieving the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
Like any natural remedy, wild yam had its adherents and its detractors, though in recent years the plant has been used as the raw material for the production of cortisone and a form of progesterone: or at least so it is claimed, so let’s have a closer look at these claims and determine whether or not wild yam is indeed nature’s progesterone.
The human body uses organic compounds called hormones to regulate many of the chemical activities of the body. The hormones catalyze the chemical reactions and changes needed for the proper functioning of our bodies. Hormones are produced in small chemical factories dotted throughout our body called glands. Each gland is devoted to producing a specific hormone, or a range of them, and each hormone is designed for a specific purpose.
Each has an associated hormone ‘receptor’ at their targeted destination that fits the hormone like a jigsaw piece. When it turns up, the hormone attaches to the receptor and the reaction proceeds. That might be the initiation of energy production in cells, the activation of certain genes or even the stimulation of hair growth by the follicles or of the libido and the natural desire to procreate.
Hormones are manufactured from only three constituents: proteins, amino acids and cholesterol, and the steroidal sex hormones are created from cholesterol. Therefore, don’t reduce your cholesterol level too much!
Prior to puberty, all of the sex hormones are manufactured by the adrenal glands, and after puberty by the ovaries in women and the testes in men. Progesterone is produced initially, and is then used as the building block for all the other sex hormones (hence the prefix ‘pro’). In women these are the estrogens and in males the androgens. Progesterone is made from the start of the menstrual cycle, and after day 12 they have reached a high enough level to halt ovulation. Progesterone levels continue to rise for about 8 days, and then if fertilization has not occurred, the progesterone levels trigger menstruation, and the lining of the womb is detached and expelled.
During certain phases of the menstrual cycle, the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone drop off, although the exact reason for the many and varied symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) are still unknown to a large extend. There appear to be several contributing factors, though estrogen and progesterone certainly appear to be two of the major ones. We shall concentrate here on the progesterone factor because that is what wild yam is claimed to address.
Although the main function of progesterone is to generate estrogen and testosterone, to restore the libido after menstruation, and maintain the integrity of the lining of the uterus and aid in gestation, it has many other purposes such as in thermogenesis (burning of body fats), protection against osteoporosis and is also believed to have a natural anti-depressant action. These are all supported by the symptoms that appear when the body is low in progesterone levels: depression, sudden increase in body fat, mood swings, loss of sex drive and a susceptibility to weak bones if the deficiency is long-term.
In other words, women that usually suffer from PMS, also generally suffer low progesterone levels. It is believed in some quarters that a progesterone deficiency causes an excess of estrogen that leads to these symptoms in addition to heart disease. No one really knows for sure, but a deficiency of progesterone seems to be the determining factor.
Women with menstrual problems continue to be issued with prescribed synthetic progesterone even though they do not have the same effect as natural progesterone. They can also lead to some unpleasant side effects such as fluid retention, strokes, jaundice, blood clots and depression: some of the symptoms it is intended to alleviate. Some take borage or Evening primrose oil for the GLA that helps some of the effects, but this is taken to counter the over-production of the hormone prolactin in some women prior to menstruation, not a deficiency of progesterone.
Wild yam does not cause these symptoms, and is claimed by many to be very effective in alleviating the symptoms of PMS. The problem with the artificial forms of progesterone is that the liver’s job is to destroy foreign hormones, and send them to the digestive tract for expulsion. Natural hormones are not affected in this way, even if they come from a non-human source.
The chemical diosgenin in wild yam is very similar in structure to progesterone, and is believed to be the active principle. It is claimed that it can be used to produce not only progesterone but also other related hormones. However, some medical authorities and practitioners dispute this claim, and there is still a question as to how wild yam works. Because it does work, many people swear by it and claim that they could not live without it.
This is especially true of those that suffer from the more severe effects of PMS, and since wild yam does not work for everybody, it could be connected with the severity of the condition and the symptoms. Whichever is true, there appears to be little doubt in the eyes of those that use it as a cream that wild yam is indeed nature’s progesterone.
The Healing Power Of Borage Oil’s GLA
November 13, 2007 10:22 AM
Borage is otherwise called the starflower, and the borage oil extracted from its seeds is very rich in GLA, gamma linolenic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid also obtainable from Evening primrose oil. Borage, however, is richer in GLA, and is therefore a more economical source that the Evening primrose.
A shrub, frequently seen in gardens, borage has historically been used as a salad food, and also in soups, and borage honey is prized in many quarters. Now, however, its main use is for the GLA extracted from the seed, which provides a higher yield of GLA than any other source. Borage seed oil contains up to 25% GLA, compared to the 17% from blackcurrant oil and 9% from Evening primrose oil.
The importance of GLA to the body’s biochemistry is inestimable, and cannot be overstated. It is not so much the GLA that is so important, but the prostaglandin to which it is converted in the body. Prostaglandin E1 is a hormone-like substance that plays a part in many of the biochemical and metabolic processes of the body. Examples include the control of the immune system and inflammatory response, some kidney functions, and the tone of the arterial muscles, so important in the health of the cardiovascular system.
A good fatty acid metabolism benefits some very important aspects of our health such as maintaining a good blood pressure, low cholesterol levels, preventing inflammatory and immune system conditions such as arthritis, allergies and some skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis, and also improving the strength of the keratin-dependent tissues such as our nails and hair.
A deficiency in essential fatty acids also seems to stimulate the overproduction of a hormone in women called prolactin that can lead to the severe mood changes commonly referred to as pre-menstrual syndrome, or PMS. GLA appears to have a beneficial effect in the treatment of PMS, and some other conditions such as breast discomfort.
Gamma linolenic acid is created in the body from linoleic acid, of which there is a plentiful supply in margarine, vegetable oils and many processed foods, but there is a problem. Fatty acid molecules come in different isomeric forms, in which although the chemical is the same, the geometry or ‘stereochemistry’ is different. The healthy form is the ‘cis’ formation, and the other is the ‘trans’ stereoisomer. The trans fatty acids are formed by hydrogenation of oils to make them semi-solid, and more suitable for spreading. This hydrogenation process causes an irreversible change in the geometry of the fatty acid that can block the conversion of linoleic acid to GLA in the body.
Hence, although most of the western population has more than sufficient linoleic acid in their diets, many who eat an excess of trans fats have a deficiency of GLA. Some B vitamin deficiencies and a deficiency in certain minerals exacerbate this situation, and a gamma linolenic acid supplement is needed. Additional to this, the enzyme responsible for the conversion, delta-6-desaturase (D6D) can be affected by many modern environmental factors such as smoking, stress, alcohol, excessive animal fat consumption and even excessive linoleic acid consumption. The solution to all of this is GLA which does not require any enzymes for its creation, and supplemental GLA from any source can immediately take part in the biochemical pathway to the creation of the prostaglandin eicosanoids.
GLA provides the means and the resultant prostaglandins carry out the job of regulating the hormonal activity within human biochemistry. Prostaglandins help to regulate the function of many of the cells in the body, such as the smooth muscle cells of the arteries and veins that cause constriction or dilation, and on the stickiness of blood platelets causing their aggregation. They are important in the regulation of such functions as blood clotting, fluid balance and the production and balance of hormones. The anti-inflammatory properties of prostaglandin E1 are very important to the way that the body reacts to breaches by foreign invaders, and it is also thought to act to thin the blood and cause dilation of blood vessels, hence its effect in lowering the blood pressure.
So what does this mean to you, apart from the effects of the fatty acid on PMS? Borage oil can be used to treat a large number of different symptoms associated with a shortage of GLA and prostaglandin E1, and here are a few of the conditions for which a GLA supplement has been found beneficial.
A deficiency in GLA and other essential fatty acids can lead to loss of bone mass and subsequent osteoporosis and it is thought that fatty acids help the absorption of calcium by the digestive system, and to increase its deposit in bones. It can be used to increase bone mass and density and therefore strengthen the bones of those affected by osteoporosis. This is partially due to the hormone regulatory effect GLA has on the body.
Allergies appear to be very personal responses by the immune system to specific substances, and while borage oil has proved beneficial in a few allergies, and prostaglandins are known to regulate the activity of the immune response, the effectiveness of GLA treatment for allergies has been mixed. There is evidence that it can affect some cases, but not most.
GLA from borage oil can reduce the swelling and pain of rheumatoid arthritis, and helps to ease morning stiffness. Its effectiveness seems mixed, and you should try it for two or three months to determine if it helps you personally. Be careful, however, since some believe that it might react with some of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) used to treat this condition. Ibuprofen is one, so check with your physician before trying it.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, borage oil used in conjunction with Omega-3 fish oils might lower it, though more research is needed. There is a belief that the GLA is not the active agent here since Omega-3 oils are known to help to reduce hypertension, though the effect of prostaglandins on the factors that can reduce blood pressure is inarguable.
The healing power of borage oil should not be underestimated, and it has been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat many conditions, especially those that science has found to be caused by the immune system and the inflammatory response. Borage oil can be found at any Health Food Store.
Adapt To The Stresses Of Life with Herbal Adaptogens
October 18, 2007 11:13 AM
Life today places a number of different types of stresses upon us. There are the normal stresses of living, of facing problems at work, financial worries and family stresses. Schedules are becoming busier as we try to pack more and more into each day, and relaxation time is cut to a minimum. For many of us, the stress starts when we waken and rush through breakfast, if we have time for one, to catch the bus or train to work, or to slip into the morning traffic rush that takes us an hour to travel 10 miles or less.
Once at work we have problems to deal with that continue throughout a rushed lunch period, and then back to the stress of trying to return home in the Evening to open the bills and check if we have enough in the bank to pay them. However, that is not all.
Our environment is continually changing, and our bodies are subject to the stresses of pollution from the planes, trains and automobiles, not to mention the pesticides, preservatives plastics and harsh lighting. The noise of air conditioning and the continual musak of the stores and shopping malls and everything else that goes to completely stress us out, weekdays and weekends.
That is ignoring the smog, the disappearing ozone layer and increased UV radiation, the greenhouse effect and global warming, El Nino and everything else that causes worry or affects the delicate balance of the body’s biochemistry. Rather than adapting to our environment we are continually striving to adapt the environment to suit our needs. We should develop a flexibility of mind and body so that we can survive these modern-day stresses, and this is where the substances known as adaptogens are important.
Adaptogens help us to adapt to the environment and withstand the stresses of modern life. The term was first used by Russian N.V. Lazarev in 1947 who defined an adaptogen as a substance meeting three specific criteria: it should cause a minimal disruption to the normal physiological function of the body, it must work by means of a range of chemical, physical and biochemical factors rather than through one specific action and must have an overall effect of normalization, so that no condition is aggravated to improve another.
There are a large number of identified adaptogens, among them several forms of ginseng: Panax, American, Siberian and Japanese; licorice, schizandra berries, rhodiola and others. These adaptogens tend to work in the body by improving the body’s availability and use of energy, improving the efficiency of removal of the metabolic waste and by-products, supporting the adrenal function so that the effects of stress are reduced or countered, improving the utilization of oxygen and helping to build up body tissue. In general the body works more efficiently in generating and using energy, muscle tissue and counteracting the effects of modern day stress, both environmental and psychological.
Of the ginsengs, Panax is very expensive for regular use, although many people prefer it. However, studies have shown that Siberian, or eleuthero ginseng, is a stronger adaptogen that Panax which is also called Korean or Chinese ginseng. In fact the other forms, including American and Japanese, tend to over-stimulate the body, and can also cause unwanted side effects such as constipation and over-excitement. The Siberian ginseng tends not to show these symptoms.
Siberian ginseng contains seven active substances known as eleutherosides A – F which are not present in the other ginsengs. These substances appear to have several properties that have been clinically proven. For example, they relieve insomnia, one of the symptoms of stress, high and low blood pressure, bronchitis, various forms of neuroses and, it is claimed, also some types of cancer. Siberian ginseng also allows humans to withstand noise, heat and extra stresses caused by severe workloads. It improves athletic performance and allows people to improve their work output under a variety of stresses. Athletes can train harder and recover quicker.
Another adaptogen is schizandra berries (also called schizandra chinensis and magnolia vine). Chinese herbalists class medicinal herbs by the five different flavors, sour, bitter, salty, acrid and sweet. Schizandra berries possess all five, and are therefore considered by the Chinese to balance all the systems of the body.
It is used in the West as a stress reducing adaptogen and is also included in sports and weight loss formulae. It helps insomnia and improves endurance and mental coordination. Schizandra is believed to be a good tonic for the liver and is often used in combination with Siberian ginseng (eleuthero) and licorice. The latter is another popular herb in China that is said to be a good tonic for the spleen. Licorice itself is a known anti-inflammatory since it contains flavanoids and saponins that promote the immune system. Licorice is thought be a useful supplement for HIV patients due to its effect on the immune system. It also increases corticosteroid levels by inhibiting the liver’s ability to break down adrenal hormone. However, people with high blood pressure should be careful with licorice since it can cause sodium retention. Like any other medication, you should seek your physician’s advice if you have any existing conditions.
Rhodiola, also referred as roseroot, is used for improved memory and enhanced vitality and it can also be used as a mood modifier. It is used by athletes of all types for increased strength and endurance, and improved cardiovascular and muscle recovery time. The Russians call it ‘Golden Root’ and it is a safe and effective adaptogen.
More and more people are turning to adaptogens to help them cope with the hustle and bustle of their daily lives, and they are becoming increasingly available from ordinary health stores. If you are finding it difficult to stay energetic and active then try them out. Not all work with every individual, but there is a large variety to choose from and most people are able to find an adaptogen that suits them and enables them to adapt to the stresses of daily life.
Papaya- May Be A Fountain of Youth
May 31, 2007 02:09 PM
Papaya- May Be A Fountain of Youth
Seventy years ago, when the Social Security Administration was developed during the Great Depression, age 62 was recognized as average life expectancy. These days, getting older is a whole different ball game. Not only are people living well into their 80s and 90s, they’re living better, too. People well into retirement are mountain biking, kayaking, jogging and hiking, as well as gardening, golfing and attending concerts – sometimes for their first time. Everybody, it seems, is on the go, from ages of 22 to 92.
Of course, you don’t have to wait until retirement to start planning for a longer more vibrant life. The best way to ensure happier and longer years ahead is to start young.
Nobody wants to spend retirement in the doctor’s waiting room or have their golden years intruded upon with illnesses or infirmities. And, most importantly, we don’t want to feel 80 years old even though our driver’s license says we are.
These desires and demands are not just wishful thinking. Huge advances in the understanding of how men and women age are being made almost daily. These findings are helping to improve our chances of living long, healthy lives. And, some of the most impressive findings have shown that using nutritional supplements can help – in particular, a specially formulated papaya preparation is able to fight two of the primary reasons we get old – oxidative stress and immune system decline.
This issue of Ask the Doctor is going to share the anti-aging secrets hidden in the papaya and how this tropical fruit may hold the key to a long, vibrant life.
Q. Why papaya? What does papaya have that other fruits and vegetables don’t?
A. Not many American moms put a papaya in their kids’ lunch boxes and papaya pie has yet to gain a following. But this tangy tasting fruit is now appearing fairly frequently in the produce departments of most grocery stores and its popularity seems to steadily increase each year.
The papaya’s bright orange flesh is fairly fibrous and very slippery – slicing a peeled papaya is a little like slicing a bar of wet soap. The core is filled with little black seeds that look a lot like caviar. And while eating a papaya will give you a day’s worth of vitamins A and C as well as potassium taking Fermented Papaya Preparation (or FPP) might just give you an additional 30 years of healthy vibrant life.
Q. What exactly is Fermented Papaya Preparation (FPP)?
A. It’s a specialized nutritional supplement. Backed by more than 30 studies to date, FPP has been used in
Q. How was FPP developed?
A. Japanese scientists noticed that individuals with higher amounts of papaya in their diets experienced certain health benefits.
Researchers who study aging decided to look at the papaya’s chemistry to see if it might have properties that could contribute to longevity. Several plant chemicals in the papaya showed promise. And when they combined papaya with specific yeasts and traditional Japanese fermentation techniques, FPP was born. This unique substance was then subjected to scientific studies to see its health impact; they determined that FPP is a superior antioxidant, a powerful immune-booster, and one of
Q. How does FPP help people live longer and healthier?
A. While getting older is an indisputable fact of life, aging, per se, is not. We can’t do much about our annual birthdays and we really shouldn’t even if we could. Every age is a cause for celebration and every life experience, both the difficult and the sublime, should be treasured.
However, we don’t have to accept the consequences of aging that can make a mockery of the “Golden Years” - heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, and cancer. Our parents and grandparents and the generations that preceded them might have had little say in how they aged. But we can. We can slow down the harmful effects of aging and FPP can help by reducing oxidative stress and immune system decline.
Additionally, fighting oxidative stress helps people retain their youthful appearance longer. Oxidative damage is the number one factor in facial aging.
Q. What exactly does oxidative stress mean and what does it have to do with aging?
A. One theory of aging is that harmful molecules called free radicals wreak havoc in our cells. Many of our body’s normal metabolic processes produce free radicals. For example, free radicals are a normal by-product in the production of ATP (the energy molecule) from glucose. Certain types of white blood cells destroy invading microbes by the production of free radicals. Free radicals are also formed by the many normal enzymatic actions that take place every minute every day.
However, outside sources can also cause free radical formation, as well. If we are exposed to pollutants in the environment, chemicals, additives and preservatives in the food we eat, or even direct sunlight, excess production of free radicals can occur, causing profound damage. This free radical frenzy is called oxidative stress, and is linked to almost every disease of aging including arthritis, heart disease, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer. In fact, the reason why these are called diseases of aging is because the longer we are alive, the longer we are subjected to these free radical assaults.
Q. How does FPP affect the decline of our immune systems as we age?
A. Our immune systems consist of specialized tissues, organs, and cells, including several different kinds of white blood cells. Each type of white blood cell works in specific ways to keep us healthy and free of disease. They not only stand guard – on the alert for invaders – they can fight and eradicate microbes, too.
However, as we age, our white blood cells become less efficient in keeping viruses and bacteria from infecting us. They often mistake invaders for good guys, like nutrients. As they age, white blood cells may recognize foreign invaders, but be too tired to fight and let them in. This age-associated immune decline also results in single cancer cells being able to “take hold” and grow into tumors. By the time the white blood cells realize their mistake, the cancer is a widespread disease.
That’s why older members of society have more urinary tract infections, more pneumonia, more cases of bacterial meningitis, tuberculosis, herpes zoster, and much more cancer than younger adults do. Moreover, mortality rates for these diseases are often 2-3 times higher among adults than younger people with the same disease.
FPP steps in and takes charge. One kind of white blood cells, the macrophage “eats” and digests bacteria, viral particles, and free radical fragments. Research has shown that FPP helps macrophages work faster and ingest more disease-causing microbes. Scientists have also discovered that FPP increases the production of a chemical protein called interleukin that’s secreted by macrophages. Interleukin plays an important part in wound healing and keeping minor infections from becoming major infections.
Another important immune system cell is the natural killer (NK) cell, a white blood cell that is continually on the prowl for cancer cells. As the immune system ages, NK cells have trouble “seeing” cancer cells. Researchers have discovered that FPP boosts the activity of NK cells. Increased NK cell activity can result in the increased killing of cancer cells as well as cells infected by viruses.
Q. How does FPP help protect us from free radical damage?
A. FPP contains unique and powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free radical damage. Antioxidants do this by donating an extra electron to the free radical without becoming frenzied or worked up into a free radical themselves. Although the antioxidant has donated an electron, it has a more stable “personality” and is less reactive. This action stops the domino effect and ongoing free-radical damage.
If you consider your body a temple, think of free radicals as stealing bricks from your temple’s foundation. FPP acts not only as policeman, but as a builder as well. It doesn’t just stop the theft of bricks; it helps create new ones, keeping the foundation strong and young.
FPP does this by affecting super oxide dimutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX), the very genetic pathways that eliminate free radicals from the system. FPP is more than an antioxidant – it doesn’t turn into a pro-oxidant if you happen to take a large dose the way standard antioxidants can. Consider it an “antioxidant plus.”
Since aging is largely determined by how well our bodies can fight oxidative damage, using FPP can slow down the clock as it bolsters natural abilities with its own potent neutralizing activities.
Q. What else does science say about FPP?
A. As the subject of over 30 clinical studies, FPP has been shown to inhibit dangerous hydroxyl free radicals. In addition, it is also being considered for its immuno-protective effects.
Researchers and medical professionals have been studying FPP for years, tracking its effect on the immune system and aging. In fact, no less a personage then Dr. Luc Montagnier, co-discover of HIV 1 & 2 virus, has been conducting research on this natural immune booster.
Dr. Montagnier recommends using FPP as part of a tri-therapy (including antibiotics) that reduces the proliferation of the virus and stimulates the immune system. Since FPP has antioxidant and immuno-stimulative properties, it seems like an obvious choice for a combined approach to combating AIDS. Because of the higher free radical production in stage II of HIV infection, Montagnier believes that reducing this oxidative stress at the earliest stage of HIV infection may be a key factor.
In HIV-infected patients, the glutathione system is depressed even at the early stages. As part of a combination treatment, FPP increased the numbers of CF4 lymphocytes helped with weight gain and increased hemoglobin levels.
One scientific study showed the ability of FPP to inhibit dangerous hydroxyl and hydroxyl-like free radicals, while enhancing the production of protective super oxide. Other research by Dr. Lester Packer, a professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology at the
And, in one randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, patients with cirrhosis of the liver were given FPP or a placebo. The results showed that 81.2% of the patients survived in the FPP group compared to 38.5% of participants in the placebo group.
These studies and many others like it, show that FPP can neutralize the effects of oxidative stress on disease states as well as slowing the normal aging process.
Q. So if we can prevent oxidative damage to our cells AND prevent decline in our immune systems, how much longer can we expect to live?
A. Most theories of aging and almost all researchers who study aging claim there IS a limit to how long the human body can remain viable. However, the oldest age achieved so far was 128 by a woman named Ma Pampo who lived in the
Right now, Japanese women have the longest life span of any country in the world, with an average life expectancy of 85.93 years. Japanese men live an average 78.87 years.
Q. Is FPP safe?
A. Yes, it is. Many health-conscious people in
Q. What is the recommended dosage level of FPP?
A. Dosages of FPP vary depending on individual needs and usage. For basic anti-aging support, 3 grams per day is fine. For additional support, up to 9 grams per day is recommended. To add a boost to your immune system when you need it, start out with 6-9 grams a day for the first 2-3 days (at the beginning of a cold, for example) and then move back down to 3 grams per day.
For individuals looking for optimum immune support, Dr. Montagnier advises morning and Evening doses, preferably on an empty stomach.
Frequently asked Questions (FAQ)
April 21, 2007 02:48 PM
Q. What are the benefits from drinking George’s Aloe Vera liquid?
A. Aloe has been used for centuries to help promote a healthy digestion and bowel movements. Soothes digestive tract. Evidence through different studies seem to indicate that beneficial properties in the Aloe help in allowing the body to rebuild mucous membranes and promotes over-all good health.
Q. How often should I drink George’s Aloe Vera liquid?
A. For optimum results, we recommend drinking 2 ounces in the morning before breakfast and 2 ounces in the Evening before bedtime.
Q. Why do you remove the polysaccharides?
A. The Aloe Vera Barbadensis Miller plant has over 200 beneficial components. Although it is believed mucopolysaccharides have beneficial elements, this molecular chain is very large making it difficult for the body to utilize. The complete mucopolysaccharide chain is also the cause of rapid spoilage and breakdown of the product, which is why most other brands contain unhealthy preservatives. We breakdown the mucopolysaccharide chain extracting the sugars in order to eliminate adding any preservatives and increasing shelf life. We also theorize, through our testing, that the mucopolysaccharides in their full form are not the only “silver bullet” in helping the body heal. Our distillate contains the naturally occurring elements found in mucopolysaccharides in a low molecular weight more easily absorbed by the body.
A. A distillate is a liquid that consists of pure components of a plant in its more basic form. It is unique in that a distillate is comprised of a low molecular weight thereby enabling the body to assimilate its components in the purest form at the cellular level. This occurs both internally, and through the skin’s dermal layers, at a much higher rate than would occur if the plant’s components were introduced in any other manner.
Q. How long should I be drinking George’s Always Active Aloe Vera before seeing any results?
A. Most people begin to see results anywhere from two weeks to one month. Remember, out bodies are continually shedding cells. It is very important to continue using even after you attain the results you are looking for.
Q. Why doesn’t Georges Aloe taste bad?
A. Most Aloe Vera products are slimy and have a very bitter taste. We remove the chemical antagonists such as the aloins and Anthraquinone that are mildly toxic. These antagonists can cause stomach cramping, diarrhea and in some cases vomiting. As a result, our product has no adverse flavor. Unlike other brands, our product is safe for pregnant women, nursing mothers and people at all ages.
Q. Is George’s Aloe Organically grown?
A. Yes! Although we do not seek the organic certification, George’s aloe is continually tested for over 50 different chemicals that may contaminate the plants. To date tests have come back negative for any contamination.
Q. Does distillation just turn it to water?
A. George’s is fractionally distilled, meaning it is broken down into various parts, with the undesirable elements removed. It is then re-assembled. Products such as Jack Daniels & Petroleum are distilled products and would never be confused with water.
Q. Is your product diluted?
A. No. It takes 23 lbs of plant to make one gallon of George’s liquid Aloe. There is no dilution, preservatives or additives.
Q. Can I take to much of George’s Aloe?
A. We have had no ill affects reported from people who have consumed more than the suggested “2 ounces twice daily.”
The Skinny on Fats - Omega-3, Omega-6, Omega-7, Omega-9
October 04, 2006 04:53 PM
Health experts keep changing the storey on fats. First we were told that polyunsaturated fats were better than saturated fats. Then it was discovered that refined polyunsaturates were favorite targets for free radical attack. Next, monounsaturated fats took center stage and have remained in the spotlight ever since. The Mediterranean Diet, with its high intake of olive and other oils high in monounsaturates, offers several important safeguards against cardiovascular disease, cancer and overall mortality. (Laino, de Largeril, Kokkinos, Trichopoulou). While monounsaturated fats are important for maintaining optimum health and smooth supple skin, it’s the kind of fatty acids and antioxidants they contain that make up the real story.
Dark green unrefined “extra Virgin” olive oil has a delightful full bodied flavor due to its natural antioxidants. Not only are the oils of various olive cultivars distinctive, they all help fight arterial plaque buildup. (Visioli) Olive oil has a long history in Europe as both food and medicine, and carbon dating of seeds found in spain have shown that the use of olive oil dates back 8,000 years. Gourmet chefs usually prefer particular oils for various uses in making dressing, marinades, and sauces for dipping. Olive orchards have now achieved a status second only to that of vineyards.
Macadamia nut oil is another designer oil that is fast gaining a reputation among chefs and health experts. The nuts originated in Australia where they were staples in the diets of the Aborigines. In 1881, they were introduced in Hawaii and in the 20th century, made their way to California where several cultivars are now grown. Like olive oil, macadamia nut oil is rich in antioxidants and contains the highest levels, greater than 80 percent monounsaturates, primarily polmitoleic (omega-7) than other oils. (Hiraoka-Yamamoto)
Macadamia nut oil products found in mass market are typically refined, with many of the antioxidants removed. The highest levels of antioxidants in macadamia nuts are found in the shells. During cold processing, some of these antioxidants leech into the oil, increasing its antioxidant potential. (Quinn) unrefined and organic oils have a golden color, pleasing nutty aroma and buttery flavor. Scientists have found that macadamia nut oil lowers, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and may help prevent stroke. (Yamori, Colquhoun) It is delightful on vegetables, in soups, on popcorn, and as a replacement for butter in baking.
The essential oils (Fish oils, flaxseed, GLA, DHA), which are available as liquid and packaged in black bottles, must be stored in the Refrigerator even when they have not been opened. You cannot heat or cook with them. Essential fatty acid supplements are convenient to take and have specific therapeutic value.
Cardiovascular and Nerves – Consumers have been advised to eat more fish rich in Omega-3 to reduce their risk of cardiobascular disease. However, experts worry that eating several servings of fish each week may not be safe especially during pregnancy, dursing or trying to conceive. Instead they recommend fish oil supplements such as Omega-3 from Algae , Fish oil, and Omega-6 Evening Primrose and Borage oils.
Pain Relief – A blend of cetylated fatty acids including myristate, myristoleate, laurate, oleate, palmitate and palmitoleate appear to be effective in reducing inflammation and pain in arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. (Vanderhaeghe) In a San Diego California study of sixty-four patients with osteoarthritis, an oral preparation of cetylated fatty acids known as celadrin significantly improved range of motion and flexibility. (Hesslink)
Two other studies of osteoarthritis patients at the University of Connecticut, using a topical preparation of Celadrin, showed significantly greater knee stability, improvement in stair climbing ability, balance and strength, and reduction of pain. (Kraemer)
Animal studies at the University of Minnesota have shown that cetylated fatty acids administered either topically or orally are well tolerated and rapidly dispersed throughout the body. (Gallaher) Doses for the oral form are 1500mg three times a day. The topical cream is applied two to four times a day.
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August 26, 2006 02:41 PM
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Relevant Reports and Guidelines
Responding to the need for alternative menopausal symptom relief*
Natural, Safe alternative to HRT for menopausal symptoms*
Superior Manufacturing Quality
VitaNet Recommends Remifemin
Lit source: Enzymatic therapy.
*this statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treate, cure, or prevent any disease.
Barlean's - Quality Products.
July 28, 2006 04:20 PM
BARLEAN’S CONTINUES TO BE THE #1 SELLING OMEGA-3 IN AMERICA
The family owned and operated company produces the finest and freshest organic flaxseed oil, fish oil, organic Evening Primrose Oil, green food supplements and other premium essential fatty acid products.
Barlean’s “common sense” approach to producing & distributing its products at the absolute peak of freshness and nutritional value -
Made to Order- Yes, the oils are actually gently expeller pressed after (not before) they are ordered. Barlean’s oils are truly “fresh off the press”! Air Delivered- Once fresh-pressed, the oil is air-delivered directly to local health stores. Just great tasting, fresh flax oil delivered within only days of being made.
Seed to shelf with speed!
Dated 4-months for optimal freshness- Every Barlean’s bottle is stamped with a “fresh pressed date” & “freshest before” date. A guarantee that you are getting the freshest, most nutritious flax.
ALWAYS THE BEST TASTING FLAX OIL
Fresh, quality grown, 100% organically certified North American seeds combined with Barlean’s proprietary cold pressing method consistently deliver its great tasting, whole food nutty flavor.
Considered the world’s premier manufacturer of high quality, unrefined & unfiltered flaxseed oil, Barlean’s products have met international acclaim with leading health and nutrition authorities, doctors and health practitioners. Winner of the Vity Award for EFA's and Green Food Supplements six consecutive years.
The healing power of borage oil
June 19, 2006 01:27 PM
Borage oil, extracted from the seed of the blue, star shaped borage flower, is gaining much attention by alternative health practitioners and main stream medicine alike for its profound medicinal properties. Whereas the oil is getting all the redit, it is actually the oil’s active component, gamma linoleic acid (GLA), which has drawn the interest of researchers. The majority of the early studies done on GLA, dating back to the late 1940’s, were conducted with the oil of Evening primrose. For rezones cited in the title, more bank for the buck, borage seed oil is now thought to be s superior source of GLA compared to Evening primrose oil. Other plants forms and food concentrates that contain appreciable amounts of GLA include black currant seed oil and spirulina.
Why GLA Supplementation?
A body with healthy biochemistry has the ability to produce GLA from the most essential fat linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is found most abundantly in the omega 6 family of oils, including safflower, sunflower, and corn oil. While it has been estimated that a majority of Americans and Europeans consume far to many omega 6 fatty acids in proportion to the beneficial omega 3 fatty acids (by approximately 10:1). Most biochemists agree optimal ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids should be approximately 1:1. Despite the obvious over consumption of omega 6 oils rich in linoleic acid, some individuals lack the ability to convert linoleic acid to the much needed GLA.
As is the example with many of our modern day nutrient deficiencies, the adulteration of our food supply by today’s processing methods has much to do with the faulty fat metabolism suffered by many. A prime example is the hydrogenation process utilized to convert liquid polyunsaturated oils into semi-solid, altered saturated fats for use as margarine and commercially processed foods. Hydrogenation is accomplished by subjecting the oils to temperatures in excess of 250 C, and bombarding them with hydrogen ions in the presence of the heavy metal nickel, which irreversibly changes the chemical structure of the fatty acid molecule from a healthful “cis” configuration to a dangerous “trans” configuration. When these products are eaten in excess they are known, in some cases, to block the enzymatic conversion of linoleic acid to GLA. In addition to the damaging effects of hydrogenation, certain essential fatty acid nutrient cofactor deficiencies may exist to further complicate the conversion. Vitamins pro-A, A, C, E, B-2, B-3, B-6, pantothenic acid, B-12 biotin and the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur and zinc are all involved in essential fatty acid (EFA) metabolism.
Particular interest should be given to those afflicted with diabetes, cystic fibrosis, asthma, alcoholism, multiple sclerosis. For a myriad of reasons, including cofactor deficiencies, these individuals lack the enzymatic ability to convert linoleic acid to GLA and must obtain a direct source of GLA for proper hormonal regulation. In addition, excessive consumption of animal fats containing acachidonic acid competes for the same metabolic pathways occupied by GLA, thus minimizing its biological action.
These potential negating effects can simply be diverted to consuming a food source or supplement containing GLA which bypasses any previously necessary enzymatic conversion and floods the metabolic pathways with beneficial GLA. Nutrient deficiency should also be addressed. Here lies the true power of GLA.
Prostaglandins, biochemical regulators
Whereas GLA is the power, the prostaglandins deliver the punch in this biological equation. Just as linoleic acid is normally converted to GLA, GLA is further converted into the prostaglandin E1 (PGE1). Many of the benefits derived from GLA supplementation are a result of the hormonal regulatory action of the prostaglandins. Just like the “parent” precursors they are made from, the hormone-like prostaglandins orchestrate a host of important biochemical activities. Their general regulatory effects include the control of arterial muscle tone, sodium excretion through the kidneys, blood platelet “Stickiness,” inflammatory response and the immune function, just to name a few. The list may be endless as scientists continue to discover the regulating effects of prostaglandins. One way in which GLA has shown to decrease the probability of allergic and inflammatory conditions is by competing with arachidomic acid, which when left unchecked may potentiate a hyperimmune response.
As a result of the powerful regulating effects derived from the conversion of GLA to healthful prostaglandins, borage oil and other GLA supplements have shown to be beneficial in the treatment and relief of many classic and modern day health problems. The disease of diabetes, cystic fibrosis, asthma, multiple sclerosis are thought to be helped by bringing about a balance in an otherwise faulty fatty acid metabolism. According to a study released in the journal diabetes care, supplementation with GLA has shown promise in the reversal of diabetic neuropathy (a condition where the nerves degenerate and symptoms of pain and numbness follow). The study concluded that all diabetics should be considered for dietary protocol of GLA. Other conditions shown to benefit include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, skin conditions, arthritis, allergies, weight loss, improved behavior of hyperactive children and increased strength of hair and nails. Cited in the book, Super Nutrition For Menopause, written by the renowned nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman, is one of the most popular applications of GLA supplementation in the relief of menstrual pain. Sufferers use a maintenance does up to the seventh day prior to menstruation, then double the dose for the duration of their menstruation. Dietary restrictions of meat, dairy and eggs during this time has also shown to compliment this regiment. Many would agree with Ms. Gittleman’s credo in allowing mother nature to cure our ails before relying on synthetic drugs which often come with side effects.
More Bang for the Buck
Now comes the challenge of acquiring a GLA supplement suited to meet your needs. With the help of the information below you may maximize your desired result while at the same time stretching your dollars. Lets take a look at the facts. We will limit out narrative to the tree most popular forms of GLA supplementation: 1) borage oil, 2) Evening primrose oil and 3) black current seed oil. Potency is an important factor, as the higher the GLA content per gram, the more likelihood of greater biological activity. Borage oil contains 24% GLA, or 240mg per 1000 mg capsules. Black current seed oil contains 18%, or 180mg per 1000 mg capsule and Evening primrose oil contains 10% GLA, or 100mg per 1000 mg capsule. While black currant seed may appear to run a close second to borage and have a slight edge on Evening primrose, it contains a potent GLA inhibitor and should be considered last on the list. equally, if not more important than potency, is purity. Make it a practice not to purchase any oil product unless full disclosure of the method of extraction is printed on the label. If it is not, you may assume that the oil has been extracted in one of the following ways. Unfortunately, the popular use of the chemical hexane to extract oils is not required for disclosure. This method employs submerging cracked seed in a gasoline like substance (Hexane) and then slowly allowing it to evaporate off yielding 90% oil recovery. This is the most common method used to extract Evening primrose oil because of the incredibly small, hard seed and low oil content. The second creative ploy is the claim that the oil has simply been extracted by a new high-tech method called supercritical fluid extraction (SCFE). This process “pregrinds” the seeds then subjects them to pressures of 6000 – 10000 psi in the presence of the gas CO-2. Under such intense pressure CO-2 gas becomes a liquid in which the seeds are submerged, ultimately yielding a 95% oil recovery. Look for oils that are labeled as “expeller pressed” without the damaging effects of light, heat and oxygen. The products should be contained in opaque (light resistant) bottles to protect them from the damaging effects of light. Optimally, you should find them in the refrigerated section of your local health food store. Due to the higher percentage of oil contained in the borage seed, as compared to Evening primrose and black current, borage is typically priced well below the others making it the most potent and economical choice. All things considered an expeller pressed borage oil, contained in an opaque plastic bottle, may provide you the absolute best source of unadulterated GLA supplementation.
One company that provides such a product and always fulfills the quality requirements listed is Barlean’s Organic Oils. Their organic flax oil and borage oils are available at VitaNet.
June 03, 2006 01:23 PM
1. Yoon, S., et al. the therapeutic effect of Evening primrose oil in atopic dermatitis patients with dry scaly skin lesions is associated with normalization of serum gamma-interferon levels. Skin pharmacol appl skin physiol, 2002; 15(1):20-25.
Prescription for using evening primrose oil
June 03, 2006 01:21 PM
Recommended daily amount
The recommended amount of Evening primrose oil is 2,600 milligrams, per day, with higher doses of four to six grams recommended for conditions such as arthritis, asthma, or eczema. Most good primrose oil contains 280mg of GLA or more per 2,600 milligram does.
Selecting Quality Evening Primrose Oil
June 03, 2006 01:12 PM
Always look first for a certified organic source of Evening Primrose Oil. In addition, since oils are highly subject to rancidity, it is recommended that you acquire a product that is manufactured using a low temperature process without chemical solvents to avoid formation of free radicals and ensuing rancidity.
Generally, two grades of Evening primrose oil have been available to consumers. The crude grade is considered to be unstable because of its high organic matter content. This oil is usually greenish color.
Refined Evening primrose oil have a low organic matter content and are yellowish color. As we mentioned, oils tend to accumulate pesticides, especially the many kinds that are fat soluble. That’s why we always tell our readers to prefer organic oils. Until now few, if any, organic Evening primrose oil products have been available.
Promise of Evening Primrose Oil
June 03, 2006 01:11 PM
Today, we know that the oil from the seeds of Evening primrose contains a high amount of the active ingredient, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an oil quite similar to other essential fatty acids (EFA) of the omega-6 variety. In fact, Evening primrose oil is one of the few substances found in nature that contains significant amounts of GLA. It was only as recently as the 1970’s that researchers discovered among its potential therapeutic benefits, GLA aids the body’s formation of important prostaglandins (known as PGE1) that moderates inflammatory processes. (Prostaglandins are molecules that act as vital cell regulators.)
While the body manufactures gamma-linolenic acid from linoleic acid, one of the essential fatty acids, optimal production is often inhibited by dietary deficiencies, age related enzymatic deficiencies and intake of excess amounts of saturated fat. Indeed, it is interesting to note linoleic acid has little to no biological activity in and of itself. It’s true value is in its conversion to GLA. When we take additional GLA, we encourage increased formation of PGE1, which produces a variety of health benefits.
Health experts say that prostaglandin E1 series aids the body by inhibiting or reducing inflammation, blood clumping, blood clots, abnormal cholesterol production and formation of malignant cells. (In particular, GLA reduces risk of arterial spasm and abnormal clots, important factors in heart attacks and strokes. Another beneifit is lowering blood pressure.) The PGE1 series also maintains important electrolyte balances and normalizes insulin secretions.
Other health conditions that can benefit from GLA include arthritis; skin disorders such as eczema, acne, dermatitis; allergies and asthma; premenstrual syndrome; multiple sclerosis; fibrocystic breast disease; and depression.
Evening Primrose Oil: The Kings Cure-All
June 03, 2006 01:11 PM
Evening primrose is a tiny, short-lived, bright yellow wildflower native to North America. After discovering the New World plant, the Europeans took it back to the Old World where it’s healing properties for skin diseases and flesh wounds quickly earned it the name “King’s Cure-All.”
Currently, Evening primrose is now grown in 30 or more countries, and the oil pressed from it’s seed is marketed as a valuable natural healing supplement. It is especially well documented for supporting skin health in cases of eczema and dermatitis. But other benefits include relief of premenstrual syndrome and arthritis related joint pain.
Barleans – Organic Evening Primrose Oil
June 02, 2006 03:16 PM
Evening Primrose Oil has long been revered for providing relief from symptoms associated with PMS and menopause such as cramps, hot flashes, breast tenderness and moodiness*. Now, for the first time you can enjoy the benefits of EPO from a pure, pristine and organic source.
Barlean’s … You deserve nothing less.
Evening Primrose Oil provides your body with a rich source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), and omega 6 fatty acid that supports the body’s cardiovascular, nervous, immune and reproductive systems. The GLA contained in Evening Primrose Oil is a nutrient used by the body to maintain healthy cells and vital body functions.
Evening Primrose Oil enhances the health and strength of cell membranes throughout the body, and promotes a proper inflammation response. Evening Primrose Oil is also used by the body to maintain healthy hormone levels.
Suggested use: 2 Capsules per day.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Ingredients: Each Light-resistant carob coated gelatin capsule contains: 100% organic, unrefined, Evening primrose oil.
Serving size 2 Capsules 2.6g
Amount per serving:
Americans, on the whole, are fatter than just about any other group...
March 18, 2006 02:38 PM
Americans, on the whole, are fatter than just about any other group of people in the world. They also have some of the highest rates of Type-II Diabetes and heart problems in the world. Why are we so fat? Weight gain is usually a combination of two things: an unhealthy diet and a lack of exercise. Most people, when they decide to try and lose weight, only tackle part of the problem. They try dieting or taking pills or living off of lemon juice and cayenne pepper for awhile, but usually it doesn’t work. Though a healthy diet is important to losing weight, it’s still only part of the equation. If you cut down your calories but still sit on a couch or in an office every day, you’re not going to lose much weight. Interestingly enough, though many people are happy to try dieting, there aren’t many who only work at the other side of the equation: exercising.
So why don’t people exercise? Part of it is attached to our mentality about exercising. “Exercising” brings up images of sweaty, unhappy people lifting weights in a smelly gym, and it sounds like a lot of work. However, exercising doesn’t mean you’re going to have to pump iron for a few hours every day. In fact, lots of things are considered exercising, from playing a pick-up game of basketball to gardening to just taking a walk around the block. Most studies have found that a half hour of exercise every day is enough to keep you healthy, and that half hour doesn’t even have to be all at once. You can skip rope for ten minutes in the morning, take a walk for ten minutes after lunch, and take a walk around the block for ten minutes when you get home and night and take care of all of your exercise for the day.
“But wait a minute,” you say, “How can walking be good for you? I walk every day!” The average American walks for only about 1/3 of a mile every day. However, fitness walking is a great way to lose weight, especially because it’s so available. If you want to go swimming you have to go to a pool, change clothes, swim, change again, and go home or to work, but if you’re taking part in fitness walking all you have to do is walk out the door of your office. Fitness walking is also an attractive exercise choice because it’s low-impact and virtually injury-free, and serves as a nice warm up for running or jogging. Fitness walking is also easy to incorporate into any schedule, since if you walk fifteen minutes to work every morning and fifteen minutes back every Evening you’ve already taken care of your exercise for the day, which will help you lose weight and stay healthy.
The Essential Woman Formula
August 15, 2005 12:11 PM
The Essential Woman Formula
-Organic Unrefined Flaxseed Oil
The primary ingredient in The Essential Woman is unrefined organic flaxseed oil, the world’s richest source of essential fatty acids. These important nutrients, alpha linolenic acid (omega 3) and linoleic acid (omega 6) have been shown in scientific studies to benefit over 60 health conditions. Since these vital nutrients are classified as essential, they are absolutely necessary to maintain good health. Several of the most important benefits of essential fatty acid rich flaxseed oil include normalizing cholesterol and triglyceride levels, suppressing inflammation and allergies, alleviating depression, combating fatigue and beautification and healing of the skin. When it comes to these vital nutrients The Essential Woman is exactly that, essential!
-Evening Primrose Oil
Evening Primrose Oil is an integral part of The Essential Woman product for a very important reason. This proven and popular nutritional oil provides a source of specialized nutrient known as gamma linolenic acid or GLA. Volumes of scientific studies support the use of GLA for a woman’s unique requirements. GLA helps balance hormone like substances which, when out of balance, can lead to distressing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. The Essential Woman was carefully formulated to provide optimal levels of GLA while working in concert with the other nutrient actives in the product.
Lignans are a class of plant phytonutrients that are concentrated in the solid portion of the flaxseed. These amazing compounds have shown such extraordinary potential that they have been studied by the National Cancer Institute for their cancer preventative properties. Lignans act as estrogen modulators, balancing human estrogen with both weak estrogenic and anti-estrogenic activity. This helps maintain a regulating activity on human estrogen which has been implicated as a factor in both breast and colon cancers. This is a particular concern for women as estrogen levels rise just prior to and during menopause. Lignans are yet another nutritional ally found in The Essential Woman necessary to meet the special demands of today’s woman.
The simple soybean is a power house of nutritional factors. The much researched isoflavones in soy belong to a family of compounds known as bioflavonoids. The isoflavones in The Essential Woman are concentrated to provide optimal levels in every tablespoon. Scientific studies on isoflavones reveal an astounding array of nutritional benefits for women. Most notably are its effects on bone health and menopause. Researchers have found isoflavones effective in the prevention of bone loss and conclude that isoflavones are an effective natural means to help prevent osteoporosis and provide bone strengthening support. Soy isoflavones area also classified as plant phytoestrogens which are more delicate in their actions than the actual human estrogen, but target human cells in the same manner. In this way, isoflavones are believed to be able to block the overstimulation of human estrogens much like the plant lignans discussed earlier. This is good news for women entering their menopausal phase of life. Isoflavones of phytoestrogens can help alleviate the annoying symptoms of menopause and PMS as well as help reduce the risk of fragile bones, heart disease, breast and other cancers. As more and more women take charge of their personal health and well being, the need for a comprehensive nutritional support system is vital. The Essential Woman provides a formula for success designed for the special needs of a woman’s body.
The Essential Woman - Beauty and Balance from Within
August 13, 2005 02:25 PM
The Essential Woman - Beauty and Balance from Within
Outward Beauty is a reflection of inner health. Radiant glowing skin, lustrous hair, and strong nails are signs of vibrant inner health. Feminizing hormones, delicately balanced, provide freedom from monthly or midlife female discomforts and beauty in full bloom. The Essential Woman is derived from seeds of botanical flowers such as Evening primrose and flax, as well as special plant phyto-nutrients, all recognized for their beautifying and balancing qualities.
Hallmarks of The Essential Woman:
The Essential Woman is available in liquid and capsules, and can be found in finer health food stores nationwide.
Put a spring in your step with these energizing tips
August 02, 2005 10:03 AM
Put a spring in your step with these energizing tips
Stress, illness and even our everyday routines can all affect our energy levels and our ability to do daily tasks. Perpetual fatigue not only keeps us from doing what we would like to do but also what we have to do. Below are some tips for easy ways to boost your energy and increase your enjoyment of life: FIGHT AND WIN THE Allergy WAR
DECREASE YOUR INTAKE of white flour and sugar, processed foods, red meat and fatty foods. Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and soy products.
ENERGY LEVELS CAN be affected by digestive problems, such as sluggish bowel. Try a juice fast followed by a diet of whole, raw foods to help cleanse your body and recharge your immunity.
INSTEAD OF RELYING ON caffeinated soft drinks to get you through the day, try an iced ginseng or peppermint herbal tea. Ginseng is a particularly energizing herb that is good with honey.
FATIGUE CAN ALSO BE a result of a vitamin deficiency. B vitamins in particular are important for our energy levels and our ability to handle stress. Consider getting a B12 shot.
IF YOU ALWAYS feel tired and rarely sleep well, consider taking L-tryptophan supplements. With the right dosage, you should feel a big difference in your anxiety levels and how rested you feel.
IF YOU ARE SUFFERING from hidden food allergies, you are overworking your immune system. This situation can cause fatigue. Keep a food diary to help you eliminate the guilty foods.
CONSIDER A FISH, flaxseed or Evening primrose oil supplement for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The typical American diet is deficient in essential fatty acids, which affect every body system.
Get energized—try these natural energy-enhancing tips
PHYSICAL INACTIVITY or sleeping too much can also lead to a general lack of energy. Even if a gym is not for you, walking or stretching for 45 minutes, three times a week is suggested.
SOMETIMES FATIGUE IS DUE to a problem with the thyroid gland, especially if you are pregnant. Consider talking to your health-care professional about thyroid testing. Adding kelp to your diet is also helpful because of its iodine content—an iodine deficiency is sometimes responsible for thyroid disorders.
DEPRESSION, NERVOUS TENSION AND emotional or physical stress can tax the body, and if experienced daily, they can lead to a chronic lack of energy. Research suggests that daily journal writing is effective for dealing with depression and stress. Daily meditation is also helpful.
MAKE AN HERBAL JUICE by mixing sage, rosemary and oat juice (from the green plant), and take 1 tablespoon each day. This juice will help counteract nervous tension and irritability, as well as exhaustion. It is also good for insomnia if taken before bed.
COENZYME Q10 IS A useful supplement that increases the supply of oxygen to your body tissues, thereby boosting your energy and performance levels. This supplement should be easy to find at any pharmacy or health store.
LONG-TERM FATIGUE can be a symptom of low blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, cancer or liver problems. If you are concerned, see your health care professional.
CONSIDER GETTING TESTED FOR weak adrenals or low iron in the blood. If you are suffering from either of these problems, you are likely to feel a general lack of energy. DHEA, a precursor hormone, can help with adrenal problems, and low iron can be remedied with a simple mineral supplement fortified with iron.
MAKE AN EFFORT to unwind before bedtime. By reading, going for a short walk or taking a bath before you go to sleep, you have a chance to release tension and stress that will affect how well you sleep each night. Also, try not to eat right before retiring to bed.
CONSIDER ADDING TWO OR MORE yoga positions to your daily routine. There are a number of books on how yoga increases well-being and fights fatigue.
THE PRESENCE OF A yeast infection in the body can also decrease energy levels by overtaxing the immune system. These infections can be brought on by antibiotics, birth control and environmental stress. Acidophilus and a cleansing diet are helpful for dealing with yeast infections. Serious infections may require medication.
THE PRESENCE OF PARASITES in the body can also compromise your immune system and lead to chronic fatigue or lack of energy. Goldenseal, echinacea, grapefruit seed extract, zinc and vitamin C can all help fight microbes and support healthy immune function.
ESPECIALLY DURING THE spring and summer months, when the weather is getting warmer, you should be drinking plenty of water. Also, consider trying this energy booster: 3 cups pineapple juice, 1 cup water, 1 cup alfalfa sprouts and 10 almonds, all blended until smooth.
ONE OF THE MOST substantial problems of the typical American diet is a lack of fiber. Aim for 25–35 grams of dietary fiber each day by including beans, fruits (like apples, skin included) and whole grains to the diet. Fiber is essential for proper digestion and elimination, both of which affect all other body systems.
BOOSTING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM is especially important for enhancing your energy levels, especially if you have been ill. Consider adding vitamin C, bee products and green foods to your daily diet to fight infection and fatigue.
Cuddlin’ in the Kitchen
July 27, 2005 03:44 PM
Cuddlin’ in the Kitchen
You and your sweetie can turn up the heat by cooking together.
Since the beginning of time, the pleasures of the table have been intertwined with those of the boudoir. (Remember the scene in the film Tom Jomes in which Tom and his amorata-of-the-moment wolf down a meal while staring lustily into each other’s eyes?) But when most of your kitchen time is spent trying to get everyone fed and out of the house in time for the night’s soccer game/ PTA meeting/ballet lesson, it can be tough keeping the pilot light lit on your love.
That’s why one of the best ways to spice up your sex life is to prepare a sensuous meal together sans offspring (thank heavens for doting grandparents with spare rooms!). A little fourhanded cooking- preferably while sharing some suggestive banter- can create chemistry that allows your playful, non-parenting side s to emerge, enhancing intimacy and setting the stage for the seductive feast to follow.
Just as the frenzied pace of modern living can often foster a sense of separation, cooking together as a couple can promote a sense of union. “Eventually you get a feel for your partner’s rhythms and adjust yours accordingly,” says food TV personality Jacqui Malouf, author of Booty Food (Bloomsbury). “Before you know it you’re passing the coriander, peeling the potatoes and stirring the risotto at precisely the right moments.”
With time, you can learn what each of you does best: Who has a flair for combining spices in just the right proportions? Who can chop carrots into perfect little matchsticks without taking all night? Since nothing kills the mood more than arguing over who misplaced the baker’s chocolate or the pasta platter, buy your ingredients earlier in the day and have all the necessary utensils out and at the ready. (Safety note: while two in a tiny kitchen can be steamily cozy, do be careful with hot pots and sharp knives.)
Four hands can also be better than two, so why not make the most of it? Malouf suggests approaching your combined efforts with a sense of adventure: “Use more than three ingredients in a salad dressing! Be daring with your desserts! Try concocting something with squab or squid or quince or quail- the sky’s the limit.”
One advantage of using exotic ingredients (or at least foods not normally found on your weekly shopping list) is that they can help you and your partner break through the limits of everyday experience by reawakening long-dormant senses. Go ahead- run your fingertips over the rough rind of a pomegranate before feeling the smooth, full seeds within. Inhale the sweet, perfumed scent of a dead-ripe apricot, and appreciate its downy skin. Admire the cool green beauty of a cut avocado, and share a spoonful with your sweetie.
Avocado, in fact, is one of the foods known for inflaming passion based on its suggestive shape, along with artichoke and asparagus- and that’s just the AS! (Chocoholics rejoice: Chocolate, full of the same feel-good chemical released by the brain when one falls in love, also makes the ecstasy encouraging grade, even when obtained in standard shapes.) “coincidentally, many foods long considered aphrodisiacs are low in fat (avocado and chocolate are delectably healthy exceptions) and are high in vitamins and minerals,” write Martha Hopkins and Randall Lockridge in Intercourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook (Terrace Publishing). “A diet heavy in these foods, then, yields a healthy blood healthy body with the energy, blood flow and nutrients needed for a peak sexual experience.” (The way these foods feed the imagination- the ultimate smorgasbord of pleasure- is a bountiful bonus.) Other foods, such as honey, have been treasured for supplying the energy needed to fan love’s flames far into the night; no wonder the sweet, sticky stuff shows up in a number of naughty-night concoctions.
Just as Venus, the Roman goddess of love, emerged fully formed from the sea, so do the foods that best encourage those under her spell. In addition to being chockfull of healthy protein, “seafood is elegant, clean and light enough to keep your sleek loving machine fully fueled but never weighed down,” says Jacqui Malouf. Oysters are famous- or infamous- for their amorous effects (Cassanova was fond of them) but aren’t for everyone; other romantic dining favorites include shrimp or scallops.
Time to Eat
Once you’ve worked your kitchen magic together, it’s time to move the action into the dining room. Again, a little preparation can keep the Evening at a slow, sensuous boil. Use the best china you have, along with matching silverware, cloth napkins and nice glasses (sippy cups don’t count). The warm glow of candlelight can both set off your tantalizing table and set your hearts aflame, along with a rose or two in the most decorative vase you own. Music (from Mozart to Motown, depending on your taste) is another surefire mojo mover. But please guys- catch up with CNN or ESPN some other time.
When you do finally sit down to dinner don’t rush, even (especially) if fast-forward eating is the norm in your house. “Treat the food as if you are making love for the first time,” advises Kerry McCloskey in The Ultimate Sex Diet (True Courage Press). “Before putting any in your mouth, inhale its aroma to get your digestive juices flowing…Cut your food into small, bite-sized pieces, (which) will ensure that you enjoy each bite.” The idea is to enhance all of your senses, which will come in handy later on in the Evening.
You can make your couple dining experience even more intimate by feeding each other; some foods. Like asparagus spears and shrimp, beg for finger-feeding. McCloskey recommends also trying chopsticks: “Because it will take longer to maneuver your food when using them, you will feel full sooner with less food.” That’s important since you don’t want to overeat- passing out right after dessert is not the way to impress your partner (they’ve seen you snoring away on the couch a hundred times before).
In the wee hours, happily exhausted, you can ponder this: No matter how hectic your lives get, you should always make time for each other. You already share a mortgage and kids. Cooking together is a great way to share sensuality, too.
Sources of Essential Fatty Acids
June 25, 2005 08:38 PM
Sources of Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids are found in both plant and animal sources, although primarily in plants. The EFA family is composed of two main forms, Omega-3 and Omega-6. The following explains exactly what these forms are.
OMEGA-3: The most common forms of Omega-3 are eicosapentaenioic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid, which comes from plants and helps create EPA and DHA. Omega-3 is usually derived from fish oils. Dr. Roger Illingworth, associate professor of medicine and biochemistry at Oregon Health Sciences University, explains that Omega-3 fatty acids are “long-chained metabolic products from linolenic acid. . . When animals consume and metabolize plants rich in linolenic acid, they produce Omega-3.” EPA and DHA are liquid and remain that way, even at room temperature. It is said that they protect fish by providing a body fat that stays fluid even in cold temperatures. OMEGA-6: The most common form of Omega-6 is is gammalinolenic acid (GLA). GLA is known to provide the following benefits, among many others:
Omega-6 is usually found in plant sources. The oils of coldwater fish such as salmon, bluefish, herring, tuna, mackerel and similar fish are known as Omega-3 fatty acids. The freshpressed oils of many raw seeds and nuts contain Omega-6 fatty acids. The most popular sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 include:
BLACK CURRANT SEED OIL: This oil is rich in linoleic acid (44%) and provides almost twice as much gamma-linolenic acid as Evening primrose oil. Black currant seed oil also is an excellent source of an Omega-3 precursor known as stearidonic acid. BORAGE OIL: This oil comes from Borago officinalis, a plant with blue flowers. It is widely recommended in Europe to strengthen the adrenal glands, alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and relieve inflammation. Besides possibly helping with heart and joint function, it may also assist the growth of nails and hair. Borage oil is also an excellent source of GLA. In The Complete Medicinal Herbal, herbalist Penelope Ody asserts that it is “helpful in some cases of menstrual irregularity, for irritable bowel syndrome, or as emergency first aid for hangovers.” SALMON OIL: This oil is high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids. These types of EFAs are known to thin the blood, prevent clotting, regulate cholesterol production and strengthen cell walls, making them less susceptible to viral and bacterial invasion. Salmon oil has a natural ability to help the body relieve inflammation. In the ground-breaking book The Omega-3 Breakthrough: The Revolutionary, Medically Proven Fish Oil Diet, professor Roger Illingworth writes that Linolenic acid is a fatty acid with 18 carbons and 3 double bonds.
It is manufactured exclusively by plants. When animals consume and metabolize plants rich in linolenic acid, they produce Omega- 3. Plankton, a minute form of marine life, is part plant and part animal. Its plant component manufactures linolenic acid. Fish eat the plankton, and the linolenic acid breaks down in their bodies in two types of Omega-3 fatty acids: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) . . . The liquidity of EPA and DHA serves a vital function in fish, who require body fat that remains fluid even in very cold water. Fish oils, besides containing Omega-3 fatty acids, have shown to benefit those suffering from migraine headaches, arthritis, and high cholesterol levels.
FLAX: Flax is a plant said to date back as far as 5000 B.C. It has been used since approximately 5000 B.C., making it one of the oldest cultivated crops. It is exported from several countries, including Argentina, Canada, India, Russia and the United States. The flowers are usually blue, although they are sometimes white or pink. The mucilaginous seed is, of course, called flaxseed. The oil primarily provides Omega-3/linolenic acid, and provides an average of 57 percent Omega-3, 16 percent Omega-6, and 18 percent of the non-essential Omega-9. Flaxseed oil is said to contain rich amounts of beta carotene (about 4,300 IU per tablespoon) and vitamin E (about 15 IU per tablespoon). In the October 1995 issue of Let’s Live, the history and uses of flax were highlighted by herbalist Carla Cassata. She writes, . . . It’s no wonder the Cherokee Indians highly valued the flax plant. They mixed flaxseed oil with either goat or moose milk, honey and cooked pumpkin to nourish pregnant and nursing mothers, providing them with the needed nutrients for creating strong and healthy children. It was also given to people who had skin diseases, arthritis, malnutrition as well as men wishing to increase virility. They believed flax captured energies from the sun that could then be released and used in the body’s metabolic process.
This belief has merit. Flaxseed oil, rich in electrons, strongly attracts photons from sunlight. To be effective, EFAs must be combined with protein at the same meal. This flaxseed oil/protein/ sunlight combination releases energy and enhances the body’s electrical system. Also, this combination, along with vitamin E, can be beneficial for infertile couples and women suffering from premenstrual syndrome . . . Flaxseed oil, having an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, can benefit the 40 million Americans suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. To achieve optimum results, however, substances that activate the sympathetic nervous system—like refined sugar, soda, coffee, fluoride— must be eliminated. Stress must also be reduced, because it too, activates the sympathetic nervous system, promoting inflammation.
Evening PRIMROSE: This flower is indigenous to North America, although the oil is particularly popular throughout Europe for therapeutic purposes. It is also known as night wil - low and Evening star. It is an excellent source of both linolenic and linoleic acids. Both of these nutrients must be obtained from the diet, as the body cannot synthesize them. The seeds contain gamma linolenic acid. This polyunsaturated EFA helps with the production of energy and is a structural component of the brain, bone marrow, muscles and cell membranes. Evening primrose oil has also benefited those with multiple sclerosis, PMS, hyperactivity and obesity. It is estimated that it takes about 5,000 seeds to produce the oil for one 500 mg capsule.
June 23, 2005 10:53 AM
Known to the natives of the tropical Americas for millennia, Capsicum, or Cayenne Pepper, was introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus and became known as “Guinea Pepper. ” Originally used by Native Americans located south of the Mexican border, archeological evidence supports its cultivation from 7000 B.C. Apparently, mixing chocolate and red chiles was a taste treat exclusively reserved for Aztec royalty.5 The exact origin of the word Capsicum remains somewhat of a mystery. However, it is assumed to be a derivative of the Greek word kapto, meaning “to bite,” an appropriate reference to its fiery pods. Capsicum is the fruit of a shrub-like tropical plant and is technically considered a berry. Its designation as a “pepper” can be traced back to Columbus, who equated its hot taste sensation with that of black pepper.
In 1597, Gerard referred to Capsicum as extremely hot and dry and prescribed it for throat and skin infections. Health practitioners of the nineteenth century called phsysiomedicalists used Capsicum to counteract rheumatism, arthritis, depression and chills. In the early 1800s, Dr. Samuel Thompson utilize d Capsicum as a potent and safe natural stimulant. His followe r s , who would become known as Thomsonians, believed that Capsicum should be used to treat a wide variety of diseases. It was used orally and as a poultice to treat tumors, toothaches, feve r s , and respiratory ailments.
In 1804, Dr. John St e vens introduced the red pepper to England where it became the catalyst component in a variety of herbal blends. Subsequently, herbal and medical practitioners used Capsicum to fight infection and sustain the natural heat of the body. It became well known in American dispensatories and pharmacopeia. In 1943, The Dispensary of the United States recorded that, “Capsicum is a powe rful local stimulant, producing when CAPSICUM swallowed, a sense of heat in the stomach and a general glow over the body without narcotic effect.”6 Twentieth-century physicians recognized the medicinal value of Capsicum which eventually found its way to the American Illust rated Medical Dictionary, the Merck Manual and Materia Medica, where it was referred to as a rubefacient, local stimulant, counter-irritant, gastric stimulant, and diaphoretic.7
Today Mexican Indians continue to use Capsicum as an internal disinfectant and protectant against contaminated food and also to treat fevers.8 “Today the pepper is nowhere in the world more appreciated and more widely used than in Mexico and certain other Latin American countries, which together form the original home of all the peppers. Both at morning and at Evening, practically eve ry dish the Indians eat included Capsicum, just as their food did 2,000 years ago. The diet of the Indians was, and still is, rather bland . . . maize, beans, squash, pumpkin, yucca, potatoes . . . little wonder that the pepper was so highly regarded. And of course . . . the peppers were a wonderful source of essential vitamins in a diet otherwise lacking in them.”9 Capsicum continues to be a source of vitality and health in numerous countries including the Bahamas and Costa Rica, where it is used to overcome colic or indigestion, in Africa for vascular disorders and by North Americans who use it as a tonic and natural stimulant.
Capsicum is currently experiencing a renaissance in that a number of recent studies have emerged adding to its already impressive list of actions. Scientists are taking notice and looking at Capsicum with new respect and interest. Perhaps what sets Capsicum apart is that unlike powe rful pharmaceutical stimulants and pain killers, Capsicum possess potency without deleterious side effects.
*New -- Policosanol 20MG - from Source Naturals
June 17, 2005 10:33 AM
NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT Policosanol 20 mg
Supports Cardiovascular Health!
1 tablet contains:
Suggested Use: 1 tablet daily in the Evening. Source Naturals recommends that a minimum of 30 mg of CoQ10 be taken per 20 mg tablet of policosanol. Some research suggests that CoQ10 levels in the body may be lowered by compounds that work on the same metabolic pathway as policosanol.
Cleanse That Body!
June 14, 2005 11:59 AM
Cleanse That Body! by Lisa James Energy Times, January 6, 2005
When toxins accumulate in your tissues, you can become fuzzy and sluggish. Here's how a New Year's internal cleansing can make you feel fresh and energized.
What's your New Year's resolution? Losing weight? Getting fit? Kicking the [fill-in-the-blank] habit? Whatever the shape of your dreams for 2005, it won't be easy launching a self-improvement program unless you give your body a fresh start. Where to begin? Detoxification-an internal cleansing that can supply the energy you need to succeed in achieving your goals.
No one can avoid toxins in our contaminated world, so many of us suffer from toxic overload, which can lead to fatigue, digestive problems and reduced immune function. " When we get out of balance, we get congested and toxic," says Elson Haas, MD, founder of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, California (www.elsonhaas.com), and author of The New Detox Diet (Celestial Arts), "and our bodies' regular elimination systems cannot keep up with it. We have problems with our skin, our intestines, our sinuses. We also become deficient in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Most people have both congestion and deficiency, and they would benefit greatly from detoxification."
Toxins Within, Toxins Without
Life's fundamental activities-breathing, eating, walking around-generate waste in the form of free radicals, the unstable molecules that can ravage cells and tissues. What's more, Dr. Haas says that just "being under stress, being afraid, being anxious all produce more free radicals in the body" (like when a work deadline hits on the same day your car dies). When you add to your internal toxins all the noxious items coming from the outside, including the dietary ones, the recipe is very unhealthy.
" People are making poor choices in what they're putting in their mouths," says Dr. Haas. "They're taking in too much refined flour and sugar. There's a common problem in our country I call 'obese malnutrition'-people eating too many calories and not getting enough nutrition. People do a lot of junky fats and have a deficiency in the essential fatty acids that help protect cells."
Our bodies are also awash in manmade poisons such as food preservatives and additives, and residues from pesticides and herbicides. "The amount of toxic chemicals we are exposed to in our environment is staggering," says Susan Lark, MD, clinical nutrition expert and author of The Chemistry of Success (Bay Books). She notes that the average American is exposed to 14 pounds of such assorted chemical junk each year.
The body, however, does do its own housekeeping-and all of our cells detoxify every second of every day. "It's always a balance of garbage in, garbage out," says Dr. Haas, who has 30 years of experience in helping people detoxify. "Some of the toxins we break down into smaller components, some we just dump into the intestines for elimination."
Problems arise when there's more dirt than the internal maid service can sweep away. Dr. Lark notes that toxins wind up being stored in cells, especially fat cells, where they can hang out for years. When they are finally released "during times of low food intake, exercise or stress" complaints can range from tiredness to dizziness (sound familiar?).
That's where detoxification comes in, says Dr. Haas: "I think detoxification is a vital health care tool, particularly in this day and age when people are exposed to too many chemicals."
The process of detoxification starts with cleansing the intestinal system. Alternative health practitioners observe that discombobulated bowels can become overly permeable (a condition called leaky gut syndrome) and allow in all sorts of things that they shouldn't, such as semi-digested food particles, leading to inflammation and complaints that include rashes and joint pain.
Cleansing can be as simple as cutting down on what Dr. Haas calls the SNACCs-Sugar, Nicotine, Alcohol, Caffeine and Chemicals-or as thorough as a complete diet-and-supplement program with colonic irrigation (a sort of super-enema, professionally administered; if you're interested, contact the International Association of Colon Hydrotherapy at 210-366-2888 or www.i-act.org). The more powerful the program, though, the more likely you are to experience toxicity reactions such as nausea and headaches because of the volume of material being released. As Dr. Haas puts it:
" If you did water and green salads for a week, you'd detoxify more intensely than if you just gave up sugar and white flour." If you're feeling extremely rundown, take a gentle approach at first or consult a nutritionally aware practitioner, especially if you have a preexisting medical condition.
Getting more fiber is essential. Laurel Vukovic, a natural health teacher and author of 14-Day Herbal Cleansing (Prentice Hall), suggests following this daily regimen for two weeks: a teaspoon of psyllium (a fiber supplement); at least seven daily servings of fruits and vegetables, especially fiber-rich ones like apples, cabbage and carrots; and six glasses of water, along with daily exercise. Extra fiber "supports the intestines in eliminating the larger amounts of toxins that are released," says Vukovic, "prevent[ing] their reabsorption into the bloodstream." Some people find premixed cleansing formulas convenient; check your health food store shelves.
Fasting is a more intense detox approach that, according to Dr. Haas, "promotes relaxation and energization of the body, mind and emotions, and supports a greater spiritual awareness." He especially recommends fasting in the spring and autumn, which are times of transition. Some people do water-only fasts, but fresh vegetable juices are probably a better option, particularly if you haven't fasted before. Juices and plenty of fresh water also help cleanse the kidneys, another vital detox route.
Instead of juices you can use a special cleansing formula, such as the Spring Master Cleanser: 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup and 1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper in 8 ounces of spring water. Dr. Haas recommends drinking eight to 12 glasses daily (and rinsing your mouth after each glass to protect your teeth from lemon's acids), augmented by water, laxative herb tea, and peppermint or chamomile tea.
Try fasting for a day to see how you feel. Dr. Haas suggests starting out by fasting from early Evening through the night, and eating a light breakfast the following day. Subsequent fasts can gradually increase in length-experienced fasters may go up to two weeks without food.
Break your fast properly; for juice or cleansing formula fasts, eat a raw or cooked low-starch vegetable, such as spinach or other greens. "Go slowly, chew well and do not overeat or mix too many foods at any meal," says Dr. Haas.
Don't forget your liver, the organ that transforms noxious chemicals into substances your body can eliminate. The herb milk thistle, used since ancient times as a liver tonic, contains silymarin, which protects the liver from pollutants and helps it renew itself after toxic damage. Dandelion not only promotes the flow of bile from the liver, which helps clean out the junk, but also acts as a diuretic, helping the kidneys do their job. Green-food supplements, such as spirulina and cereal grasses, help neutralize toxins.
To maintain your cleansing gains, eat a healthy diet after detoxing. Focus on fresh organic foods, especially produce, beans and peas, whole grains and seeds (add organic poultry if you eat meat). Organic yogurt provides healthful probiotics, while fresh fish and ground flaxseeds provide omega-3 fats.
Clean Living Pays
The body's largest organ-the skin-provides a valuable contaminant exit path. Sitting in a hot tub or sauna "benefits the internal organs of detoxification," according to Dr. Lark, "by lessening the amount of toxins they must process." When sweatin' out the bad stuff, drink plenty of water and replace the calcium, magnesium and potassium lost through perspiration.
Another way to stimulate skin circulation is dry brushing, which also removes dead skin cells for a healthy glow (and is easier to fit into a daily routine). Using "a moderately soft, natural vegetable-fiber bristle brush" (Dr. Lark's suggestion), work in from the hands and up from the feet with light, short strokes that always move towards the heart. Vukovic says that a hot towel scrub is another option; put three drops of lavender essential oil in a basin of very hot water, dip in a rough terry washcloth and wring out, and then rub the skin briskly, starting with your feet and working your way up.
Once you've detoxified your body, you can start in on your immediate surroundings. Dr. Haas warns against using plastic food storage containers: "When food is heated in plastics some of the plastic material ends up in the food, especially if the food contains acids." Use glass containers instead. He also recommends avoiding aluminum pots and pans, and using stainless steel as an alternative.
Dr. Haas has seen what a good detox program can do: "It's amazing the kind of results people get-looking and feeling younger, more vital and healthy. They say, 'I'm sleeping like a baby,' they have fewer aches and pains. They have more peace in their bodies. I think detoxification is one of the keys to preventive medicine." So cleanse that body and let detoxification bring balance and renewal to your life.
Say Goodbye to Headaches
June 13, 2005 07:25 PM
Say Goodbye to Headaches by Susan Weiner Energy Times, December 8, 1999
What's in a name? A headache by any other name hurts just as much. But categorizing your headache can be as overwhelming as finding an obscure breakfast cereal at the supermarket. Medical folks pigeonhole headaches as tension headaches, allergy headaches, morning headaches and sinus headaches, plus the organic, migraine, cluster, trauma, TMJ, eyestrain, rebound, exertion, hormonal and muscle tension varieties. You may also suffer the self-induced hangover and toxicity headaches.
Americans are no strangers to self-medication, and as a society we battle these headaches by consuming nearly 80 billion tablets of aspirin each year, about 20 million aspirins a day, according to Burton Goldberg, co-author of An Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to Headaches (Future Medicine Publishing). And while we drown ourselves in over-the-counter and powerful prescription products, our tolerance, just like a drug addict's, grows. So what begins as a twodose headache slowly evolves into three, four or five doses, until you realize that no dosage can make your headache go away.
Unless you're fond of medieval practices such as ritualistic healings and bloodletting, drugs seem the only answer to headache misery. But even modern medicine has been unable to solve headaches. Rather than a cure, medications provide only temporary relief, and even that isn't guaranteed. Additionally, over-reliance on medications can lead to chronic head pain. According to Goldberg, rebound headaches often result from the consumption and withdrawal of drugs.
Halt Your Headaches
Rather than strive to simply eliminate headache pain, why not identify the underlying cause and prevent the headache? Almost always, every type of headache results from a health or lifestyle-related activity. In an ideal world, the best approach would be to eliminate the tensions, stress, frustrations, anger, insufficient sleep, excessive drinking and poor diet that contribute to your headaches. For better or for worse, however, you can't always: a. quit your job; b. ask your spouse to leave; c. sit on the beach all day; or d. all of the above. But you can make appropriate lifestyle changes and learn to express suppressed feelings.
This approach, lifestyle modification, is a treatment program based on a Loma Linda University study, originally published in Medical Hypothesis and the Journal of Women's Health and Gender-Based Medicine and later explained in No More Headaches, No More Migraines: A Proven Approach to Preventing Headaches and Migraines by Zuzana Bic, DrPH and L. Francis Bic, PhD (Avery). The program, conducted on a group diagnosed with chronic migraines, dramatically decreased the frequency, intensity and duration of headaches in nine of 10 headache sufferers. Rather than demand radical life changes, the lifestyle modification program introduces gradual changes in three specific areas: nutrition, exercise and understanding stress. The study doesn't expect you to change your entire diet, join a gym and eliminate everything that triggers stress, but teaches techniques to make subtle lifestyle changes and reduce the impact of daily stress. These same techniques can also improve sleep patterns, a factor known to affect headaches. The lifestyle modification approach clarifies that while very few headaches directly result from existing acute conditions, recurring headaches often derive from a larger lifestyle factor. If these issues are ignored, the body's natural defense mechanisms may kick into overdrive and become exhausted, leaving you susceptible to other chronic diseases. By finding and eliminating the cause of your headaches, you may be saving yourself from other eventual illnesses.
Willing to make some lifestyle changes and step away from medications? Try these remedies, courtesy of Nature's Pharmacy by Lynn Paige Walker, PharmD and Ellen Hodgson Brown, JD (Prentice-Hall).
For simple headaches, start with relaxation and neck stretches. Or try rubbing your forehead with peppermint oil, a natural antispasmodic and diuretic shown in German research to be as effective as acetaminophen in easing tension headaches.
Never underestimate the old-fashioned ice pack to the forehead as an effective treatment that works by constricting the swollen blood vessels that cause your head to ache. If the ice pack isn't enough, try putting your arms in icy water up to your elbows to constrict additional blood vessels. But if it's a sinus headache you're fighting, take the opposite approach and try hot compresses.
The herbal, and original, form of aspirin is white willow bark. Used by Chinese practitioners 2,500 years ago, it contains salicin, nearly the same pain reliever found in aspirin. Other herbal aspirins include meadowsweet tea, just as effective as aspirin with few side effects. For migraines, Walker and Brown recommend feverfew and magnesium supplements, which reduce nerve excitability and migraine susceptibility. In fact, individuals with frequent headaches have been found to have low brain and tissue magnesium, says Julian Whitaker, MD, author of Julian Whitaker's Guide to Natural Healing (Prima). For all headaches, Goldberg suggests essential fatty acid supplementation with Evening primrose oil (EPO), which improves circulation, helps regulate inflammation and relieves pain.
The Curse of the Migraine
Migraines, a debilitating headache distinguished by a throbbing pain, may be humanity's oldest malady. The name is derived from the word the Greek physician Galen used to describe the disorder in 200 A.D. Six-thousand-year-old Sumerian writings refer to the ravages of migraines, and prehistoric skeletons bear testimony to a crude form of trephination-holes chiseled in skulls to allow the escape of pain-creating demons, according to Lifetime Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies by Myra Cameron (Parker Publishing).
In the common migraine, throbbing pain develops gradually from distended veins around the brain and may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light. These miseries can be preceded by 15 to 90 minutes of an "aura," which includes visual disturbances, distorted perception, hallucinations, flashes of light and temporary loss of sight or hearing. In fact, skeptical historians attribute some of the religious visions of the Middle Ages to the visual effects of migraine aura, according to Cameron.
Snacking on high fiber foods between three light meals each day helps stabilize blood sugar and prevent migraines. And while some doctors summarily attribute migraines to diet, other experts attribute at least half of all migraines to food sensitivities. The most common edible villains are aged cheeses, yeast breads, chocolate, cured meats, citrus fruits, eggs, fermented foods, wheat, milk, milk products, alcoholic drinks and food additives, including nitrates and MSG.
Suggested daily supplements for migraine-susceptible individuals include a multivitamin, one capsule of B complex to help maintain normal vascular control, 3,000 to 6,000 milligrams in divided doses of vitamin C with bioflavonoids to assist the production of anti-stress hormones, and 500 to 1,000 milligrams of magnesium to reduce nerve excitability and pain. At the onset of a migraine, says Cameron, try homeopathic remedies, dilutions of natural substances from plants, minerals and animals. For throbbing pain, take natrum muriaticum according to package directions. Other homeopathic options to explore include iris versicolar, lac defloratum and sanguinaria.
Take Charge of Your Headaches
Headache management involves managing your life. Practice relaxation techniques to reduce stress. Calmly discuss your feelings. Take a leisurely stroll at lunch. Walk your dog, or a neighbor's dog, after dinner. Keep a food diary. Sit and stand tall. Skip the fast food tonight. Join a yoga class. Take vitamins and supplements. Get a two-hour massage. Turn the television off earlier and sleep in a little later.
Taking the time to care may take effort, but it will soon become second nature. Invest in yourself. It's your most precious possession.
Keeping Your Edge - The state of your outer body reflects the inner you.
June 12, 2005 05:22 PM
Keeping Your Edge by Carl Lowe Energy Times, December 2, 2003
If you want to keep your mental edge, better keep your physical edge. As your body goes, so goes your brain: The state of your outer body reflects the inner you.
A flabby body leads to flabby thinking. Weight gain and toneless muscles on the outside are evidence of an out-of-tune brain and thinking processes as soft around the edges as your stomach. But staying in shape physically can boost your mental powers.
As you age, one of the biggest threats to keeping your thoughts sharp is Alzheimer's disease, a progressive brain deterioration (dementia) that destroys your memory and your ability to think.
Today, about 4.5 million Americans suffer Alzheimer's disease. Over a lifetime, the average cost per person suffering this disease adds up to a staggering $175,000. Consequently, according to the Alzheimer's Association (www.alz.org), this disease drains approximately a billion dollars a year from the US economy.
Thanks to an aging population and the growing girth of Americans, the rate of Alzheimer's threatens to explode into an epidemic over the next two decades.
Experts now believe that if you are carrying around too much weight, those extra pounds puts you at a higher risk of losing your thinking abilities. And being seriously overweight greatly expands your chances of developing this debilitating type of dementia.
An 18-year study of about 400 people in Sweden, all aged 70 at the beginning of the research, concluded that your chances of suffering dementia significantly increases with every extra pound (Archives for Internal Medicine 7/03).
Cholesterol Conquers Minds
In addition to the extra risk to your thinking capacity from body fat, having high levels of cholesterol in your blood also threatens your brain's ability to reason. Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have found that:
* Excess amounts of cholesterol can lead to accumulation of APP, a protein found normally in moderate amounts in both the brain and the heart.
* Excess APP linked to cholesterol can, in turn, lead to the development of larger amounts of a substance called amyloid protein.
* Pieces of amyloid protein can form plaque on the brain, destroying cells and leading to the development of Alzheimer's disease.
"Past research has shown that high cholesterol levels appear to increase APP levels, which in turn leads to increased levels of beta amyloid protein and the risk of accumulation of amyloid beta peptide," says Vassilios Papadopoulos, PhD, professor of cell biology at Georgetown. "Our research showed that high cholesterol levels also increase the rate at which the amyloid beta peptides break off and form the tangles that kill brain cells." Added to that, the Georgetown scientists have demonstrated that high cholesterol seems to cause the body to boost its production of the protein, apolipoprotein E (APOE), a chemical that normally helps take cholesterol out of cells. But when APOE accumulates, this chemical leads to an excess of free cholesterol, which kills nerve cells.
"Our study adds to the growing body of evidence implicating high cholesterol as a significant risk factor in Alzheimer's disease, and breaks new ground in showing the damage caused by excessive levels of cholesterol," says Dr. Papadopoulos.
Since high blood pressure also increases your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (BMJ 6/14/01), devoting yourself to a heart-healthy lifestyle (eating plenty of fiber, cutting back on saturated fat in red meat and avoiding trans fats in cookies and cakes) can increase your chances of keeping your wits about you as you move through life.
As part of that heart-healthy lifestyle that keeps your brain functioning at top capacity, experts recommend regular helpings of omega-3 fatty acids, the type of fats found in fish, flax and hemp.
In research that focused on people between the ages of 65 to 94, researchers have found that eating seafood at least once a week drops your risk of Alzheimer's by about 60% compared with folks who forego fish (Archives of Neurology 7/03).
Along with fish, the scientists recommended munching more nuts, which are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids.
In the report on the relationship between eating and Alzheimer's, Robert Friedland, MD, of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, noted: "A high antioxidant/low saturated fat diet pattern with a greater amount of fish, chicken, fruits and vegetables and less red meat and dairy products is likely to lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease, as that for heart disease and stroke."
Wake Up Your Brain
If your thinking has been fuzzy lately, take a nap.
Getting enough sleep right after you learn something new helps maintain your learning abilities, according to research at the University of Chicago. In a test of how sleep can help people remember words and language, these researchers taught students to recognize a unique vocabulary spoken by a machine. After the learning session, students were then tested on their new abilities.
The scientists found that students trained in the morning tested poorly when tested later the same Evening. But when students were trained right before bedtime and then tested the next morning, their test scores soared (Nature 9/9/03).
"Sleep has at least two separate effects on learning," according to the researchers. "Sleep consolidates memories, protecting them against subsequent interference or decay. Sleep also appears to 'recover' or restore memories."
The concept of this research originated in observations of birds.
"We were surprised several years ago to discover that birds apparently 'dream of singing' and this might be important for song learning," says researcher Daniel Margoliash, professor of biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago.
While you may not dream of singing like a bird, you may dream of having a sharper intellect. Luckily, the tools for sharpening your mental powers are easy to find and put to good use: Methods for keeping your brain in shape are basically the same techniques effective for keeping your body and heart in shape.