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Cooking with the "stinking rose": The 7 health benefits of garlic
May 07, 2019 04:22 PM
Garlic has a wide range of both culinary and health benefits. It can reduce multiple different risk factors for cardiac disease, including the speed of atherosclerotic plaque formation in the arteries, blood pressure, triglycerides and plasma viscosity. Cumulatively, garlic can reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke by close to 50 percent. Garlic also has formidable antimicrobial properties against a wide range of pathogens, and may help control colds. It also helps remove lead from the body, too.
"Moreover, the aforementioned four-year German study revealed that consumption of garlic powder every day reduced the volume of arteriosclerotic plaque by as much as 18 percent."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-23-cooking-with-the-stinking-rose-health-benefits-of-garlic.html
Understanding the many benefits of cannabis in cancer treatment
April 24, 2019 01:42 PM
Did you know that three out of four doctors claim that they, themselves would not undergo chemotherapy as a form of treatment if they were diagnosed with cancer? It makes you think about what this invasive treatment method really does to the body if physicians will not even take part themselves. Cannabis has the ability to kill cancer cells in many situations, without causing the same weakening of the body that is seen when patients undergo chemotherapy.
"While doctors like to promote the idea that there are no treatments scientifically proven to work besides the usual surgery/chemotherapy/radiation regimen, the truth is there is a strong body of evidence that many natural, non-invasive treatments are effective in the fight against cancer."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-28-benefits-of-cannabis-in-cancer-treatment.html
Another study finds turmeric and curcumin to be a safe, effectivetreatment for lowering cholesterol and protecting the heart
November 19, 2018 09:36 AM
Turmeric and its much-lauded, health-giving component, curcumin, have had a health buzz about them for a long time. The health benefits to those that use turmeric and consequently curcumin, have long been noted. But, though its benefits for a wide array of bodily systems, including the cardiovascular, are not disputed, it has heretofore not been understood if turmeric, or more specifically curcumin, does some of its wonders by lowering lipid levels. The Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University has now performed a meta-analysis of available data, surrounding turmeric and curcumin, as a means of filling the knowledge gap. The researchers began by filtering the data, searching for studies revolving around turmeric, cholesterol and triglycerides. To ensure the data was all the more compelling and Germane, the researchers trimmed down the parameters even more, allowing for only those tests that involved subjects laboring under the effects of metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes. In these cases possible negative effects to the heart would prove particularly relevant. The meta-analysis revealed that turmeric and curcumin had positive effects to impart on the levels of serum triglycerides apparent in its user-subjects. The two components also positively impacted the low-density lipo-protein cholesterol levels of the user-subjects. The researchers theorized that positive chemical activity was initiated by the components, thereby causing the beneficial aspects. Other cholesterol and lipid markers were not affected. In general, turmeric and curcumin have been shown to limit oxidative stress and inflammation as well as benefit the blood vessel lining, all of which can prevent a serious cardiac event.
"Turmeric and curcumin are two substances most known for their wide array of health benefits."
Health Watch: What Do You Know About Vitamin K?
December 30, 2017 03:59 PM
Most people are familiar with benefits of vitamins. The most common vitamins with which people are familiar are A, B, C, D and E. However few people know about the benefits of vitamin K. It derives from the German word Koagulation which is similar to the English word coagulation. That refers to blood clotting. Most people are not deficient in vitamin K unless they suffer from malnourishment. Babies are usually given a shot of vitamin k within a day of birth to stimulate coagulation. There are a number of forms of vitamin K with K1 being the most common. It is also the one present in green vegetables. When people have blood clots, strokes or abnormal heart rhythms, doctors often prescribe anti K drugs such as warfarin which act as anticoagulants. Food high in vitamin K can aid in having a healthy heart. Foods that are high in vitamin K include green vegetables such as kale, spinach, collard greens, parsley, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Fruit , milk and meat also have vitamin k in different quantites. Vitamin K also comes in K2 and K3 versions which also aid in bone health. In fact study of 72,000 women over a decade followed by the The Nurses' Health Study found that those with less than 109 micrograms a day of vitamin K were 30% more likely to suffer a hip fracture. Overall Americans are not eating enough vitamin K. Eating more would promote healthier cardiovascular systems and stronger bones.
"K2, as well as K1, are believed to play an important role in bone health; low levels have been associated with an increased risk of both osteoporosis and arthritis."
Read more: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/features/health/health-watch-what-do-you-know-about-vitamin-k/article_b2ae97dd-2bd4-57df-8a42-307a4d5fe6a0.html
Why I Never Travel Anywhere Without Dr. Bronner’s
October 11, 2017 10:14 AM
Dr. Bronner's can help with many things. If you are traveling you should include it according to this author. It should be among your travel necessities along with money and clothes. It is important to think about your health while you travel because you never know what might occur. Many people don't feel their best while they travel as it is so thinkig of what to bring to combat that is important and can make a big difference.
"If you use Dr. Bronner’s exclusively as a body soap, your bottles will last for ages."
Read more: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/why-i-never-travel-anywhere-without-dr-bronners/
My Cardiologist Unclogged My Arteries And Removed The High Blood Pressure With Just 4 Tablespoons
August 17, 2017 05:14 AM
The mixture of lemon, garlic and ginger can have immense results on the body, especially clogged arteries! Garlic is an antibacterial and antiseptic meaning it can be used to cleanse the body of harsh bacteria. When mixed into the remedy it's health benefits intensify. Ginger is known for being an efficient antioxidant and eliminating inflammation of the body. The last ingredient lemon is high in vitamin c with a high alkaline level (it is acidic). Combining these three ingredients is 0art of an old German recipe for unclogging arteries.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojFb2qvrDqA&rel=0
"Start taking this syrup and you will feel like new"
Medical News Today: How does the immune system know friend from foe in gut bacteria?
March 21, 2017 02:44 PM
Microorganisms in the human digestive tract are necessary for proper nutrition, metabolism and immune functioning. However, because the human body has mechanisms to destroy pathogens, cooperating scientists in Germany and Italy conducted research as to how the body differentiates between necessary micro-biotic organisms in the gut and detrimental invaders. They found that dendritic cells (DC) act as messengers that either repress immune responses, or promote these responses. When DC are functioning properly, they deliver protein-encoded messages to the immune system that certain types of microorganisms found in the gut are desirable, thus not to be destroyed. However, if DC cease carrying this message, the body will treat the friendly gut microbiota as pathenogenic, causing a number of undesirable symptoms in the human host.
"a type of cell called dendritic cells (DCs) that have evolved two distinctive - and what may appear to be opposite - roles in the human body, in that they can both promote and inhibit immune response."
Read more: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/316335.php
Eat more fruit and veg for a longer life, researchers say
February 28, 2017 02:59 PM
Eating loads of fruit and vegetables - 10 portions a day - may give us longer lives, say researchers. The study, by Imperial College London, calculated such eating habits could prevent 7.8 million premature deaths each year. The team also identified specific fruit and veg that reduced the risk of cancer and heart disease. The analysis showed even small amounts had a health boon, but more is even better.
"Fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and to boost the health of our blood vessels and immune system."
Development of castor oil.
There are about hundreds of castor oil factories in China, of which only about 10% castor oil manufacturers start working; large processing plants have around 20; only nine plants have tens of thousands processing capacity. About 70% of Chinese castor oil processing factories in stop production or semi-shutdown state, because there are no adequate, high-quality raw material castor sources. At the end of the 1980s, China extends and built several large scale castor oil factories, each factory's total amount of annual output of castor oil are in 10 -15 thousand tons, total production capacity is about 55,000 tons per year.
The world's major markets of castor oil were concentrated in North America and Europe, of which the France, Britain, Netherlands, United States, Germany, five countries accounted for 61% of annual fuel consumption.
India castor oil used in making soap has about 1.6-1.8 million tons, the textile industry uses 2-3 thousand tons, chemical industries use 2-3 thousand tons, lubricating oil use 5-6 thousand tons, the rest for exporting. In Japan's castor oil use amount, paints accounted for 28.6%, the surfactant is 12.3%, cosmetic raw material is 8.2%, resin is 5.7%, hardened oil is 17.8%, sebum oil is 12.9%, others is 14.5%. Japan needs to import large quantities of castor beans every year; they are mostly imported from China, Pakistan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Brazil and other countries. Castor oil in the United States for the production of plastics and resins was accounted for 25.9%, fatty acids accounted for 12.7%, lubricating oil accounted for 6.3%, paint accounted for 23.7%, cosmetics (mainly synthetic waxes) accounted for 2.1%, others such as inks, surfactants accounted for 29.1%, these castor oils are imported from foreign countries.
Every year, the world needs 700 thousand tons of castor oil, convert into 1.6 million tons castor beans. Nowadays, gasoline resource was gradually reduced, transportation, live used gasoline was rapidly increasing, use gasoline as a raw material for synthetic material will be increasingly constrained in cost. And the United States study found that long-term exposure to polymers which synthesized by gasoline was harmful to human health. California and some other states have enacted laws and regulations for this, to restrict and gradually prohibit using synthetic resin in city buildings, interior facilities and human health-related sites and articles, which is polymerized from petroleum, natural gas cleaved into monomers raw materials, it makes castor oil's demand was rising sharply.
Castor cultivation in China is very commonly; there is no open planted regional division. South from Hainan Island, north to Heilongjiang is cultivated. Because castor hybrids with drought resistance, thin ridge resistant, saline-alkaline tolerance, well-adapted, simple to manage, less invest, high efficiency and other salient features, no matter grain field or hills, rocky land, saline-alkali soil and even around the house can be grown it. So anywhere in China can be planted castor.
Meadowsweet can be a great pain reliever
Meadowsweet herb is used in the treatment of arthritis or anything that causes aches and pains. It is widely nicknamed “Queen of the Meadow”. Its history of use dates back to 1835 when it was discovered by a German chemist that the herb contains salicylic, a pain reliever. The herb grows well in damp meadows. Although it is native throughout Western Asia and Europe, it can now be found growing in North America.
Meadowsweet herb has the following health benefits:
September 17, 2014 05:25 PM
What is a Maca Root?
Maca Root is one of the roots and tuber harvests of higher protein content. Until late years, this nutritious base of the Andes was little or nothing known for the lion's share of the individuals thereof, Peru (aside from the tenants of the Andes) and obviously overlooked by whatever is left of the world.
Maca (otherwise called Peruvian Maca or Maca Andina) has an astonishing quality to develop to remarkable statures: from 3800 to 4800 meters high in the most cold Andes mountains, where temperatures are amazing, from exceptional hotness morning to ice on the night, frigid winds, snow and persevering high power of daylight. In this antagonistic region, where there is little oxygen, there is uncommon vegetation develop just potatoes and maca sharp. There are no trees, no plants, just a couple of centimeters tall.
This tuber, irrelevant part of the tuberous root size and state of a typical radish, is effectively dried under the sun and keeps up its nutritious qualities, with elevated amounts of iron, for a few years stockpiling. It is brilliant nourishment and Incas additionally utilized it for its richness improving activity and its impact on sexual conduct.
There have been various effective studies on the action manure Peruvian maca creatures and people. In 1980, researchers from Germany and North America who were doing investigations of the herbs in Peru, rekindled enthusiasm toward its momentum Maca, naming it "the lost products of the Incas."
A percentage of the elements that have been recognized: amino acids, proteins, vitamins, minerals, follow components and auxiliary metabolites.
Maca - History:
Anthropological confirmation has been found in the development of maca in Peru since 1600 BC. The Incas considered Maca as a blessing from the divine beings. They additionally develop maca as nourishment, Lamac - developed in the Andes utilized for religious services and custom moves. Spanish accounts report that amid the victory of Peru, creatures brought from Spain not play ordinarily as of right now, the locals cautioned the vanquishers who nourished their creatures with maca, with what they got the levels of typical generation.
Concerning the stretcher, Father Cobo, amid the pilgrim time, he said: "Maca develops in the most rough and frosty of the good countries where there are chances to develop any plant sustenance."
Maca - Morphology and plant science
Maca is a biennial plant statures conduct, being pollinated toward oneself, cleistogamous, with a five-month conceptive stage and with a blossom that keeps going two roots.
Maca Root: Roots have shades extending from light yellow to dark through the tan, purple, and so on with sizes of 3-6 cm. transverse measurement of 4-7 cm. longitudinal, in the same way as a radish (reversed cone). The root is first in the improvement of items. There is no true distinction in taste or substance organization as the color of the root.
Stem: Short, subtle, in the same way as a carrot or radish.
Leaves: rosette, made with flanges sheath, petiole length with the top leveled. Limbo compound, has a length of 6 to 9 cm; the basal and cauline pinnatifid are somewhat lessened.
Inflorescence: group compound and infrequently basic. The blooms structure bunches, are helper bisexual, actinomorphic, green light and little, white pre-flowering calyx and corolla with 4 free petals somewhat bent at the peak.
Soil grown foods: units somewhat amagrinado. With a solitary seed in each one cell, ovoid, yellowish-red, 1-2 mm. wide.
Maca – Cultivation
Cultivola Maca is developed fundamentally for its tuberous root is naturally known as hipocolito (eg radish, turnip). The maca plant has the astonishing quality to develop to unprecedented statures (from 3800 to 4800 meters) in the unfriendly Puna Peruvian where temperatures are great: the serious high temperature of the morning to the sub zero frost of the night.
The puna is a pleasant yet great condition in this environmental locale is uncommon vegetation, just potatoes become astringent and maca. The air contains little oxygen, the sun is amazingly exceptional and extremely solid winds, it is consequently that no trees and plants have just a couple of centimeters tall.Maca planting is carried out from September to December. The seeds are scattered in the fields to be reaped in 6 to 8 months. After Recolta the roots to dry in the sun for 2 months, amid which they lose 75% of its unique weight. This moderate drying methodology causes the maca change of taste: an intense hot taste with a caramel flavor. The dried root could be put away for 4 years without losing its properties.
June 30, 2014 09:54 PM
Effectiveness of echinacea tea
March 14, 2014 06:44 PM
What is echinecea tea
Echinacea tea is Associate in Nursing flavoring remedy that several realize to be quite effective in fighting off colds, cough and respiratory disease. Plenty of individuals take asterid dicot genus tea as they believe it helps stop and even stop these ailments. After all, the herb has long been called Associate in Nursing immunostimulant that helps strengthen the system and beat back infections.
But area unit there enough scientific bases for this belief?
The asterid dicot genus may be a genus of nonwoody flowering plants that belong to the flower family. The genus has 9 completely different species and these area unit ordinarily referred to as purple coneflowers. The plants area unit generally found in jap and central components of North America, wherever they're seen growing in rolling prairies and open scrubby areas. they need giant, showy heads of composite flowers, and area unit fully bloom throughout the summer.
Various components of the asterid dicot genus plant, most notably the roots, leaves, flowers and stems, area unit dried and so created into teas, juices, tonics, tinctures, extracts, tablets and capsules.
The early Americans swore by the ability and strength of asterid dicot genus tea in fighting off infections. They even used it within the treatment of toxic snake bites and bug bites. within the 1800s, asterid dicot genus was a crucial player in us collection wherever it had been thought-about a potent antibiotic. later, asterid dicot genus was additionally employed by the Germans for several medical functions. Its use then born off over the years as new antibiotics were discovered. However, it looks to own encountered a renaissance in recent years as interest in natural health grew by leaps and bounds.
There are variety of scientific studies on asterid dicot genus, most of them examining the active constituents of the plant and the way these act on the human system.
Xylitol, a Healthy and Safe Sweetener.
March 12, 2014 09:05 PM
What is xylitol
Xylitol is a comprehensively utilized regular sweetening operator that was initially uncovered by a German Chemist in the nineteenth century. The primary crude materials utilized for its assembling are birch trees and corn, however can moreover be processed from plums and berries. It is worth specifying that it is in addition commonly handled in little amounts by the human form. Xylitol is without a doubt not the most well known sugar substitute or nourishment added substance yet that doesn't imply that it isn't an essential one since it pushes various health profits. Researchers began investigating these profits once again a large portion of a century prior and more conceivable solid profits are continuously investigated today. Artificially it is a sugar liquor that has five carbon iotas in its compound structure and this structure is answerable for a large portion of its properties that make it gainful.
As we specified, xylitol has various profits, yet the particular case that is best thought about is the way that it can avoid dental caries. Research discoveries are strong to the point, that this profit is undeniable. There are numerous instruments that are answerable for this valuable impact. One of them is that dissimilar to sugar and starchy sustenances it doesn't result in an abatement of the ph in the mouth, despite what might be expected it can help kill it. Acidic conditions in the oral pit are valuable for microorganisms like S. Mutans that are the primary driver of dental caries. Moreover, the acids processed can bring about harms to the tooth veneer that ensures our teeth. Other than securing tooth veneer, there are proof that propose it can additionally help restore it. Notwithstanding that, these microorganisms can't age xylitol to handle vitality so as to duplicate, then again sugar is their favored vitality source. At long last, xylitol can extraordinarily diminish the adherence of the organisms on the tooth surface and as a result their capacity to manufacture plaque. All the reasons above help xylitol's tooth day battling profits.
It has been made clear that xylitol has various vital profits. On the other hand, it is paramount to note that it has several minor reactions also. The two fundamental symptoms that could be created by the utilization of xylitol are bloating and looseness of the bowels. These symptoms are created on the grounds that xylitol is ingested by inactive dispersion and happen assuming that somebody expends it above his laxation limit. It is likewise worth noting that the laxation limit can expand over the long run as the physique adjusts to the routine ingestion of xylitol. A couple of extra symptoms like unfavorable susceptibilities have been accounted for however they are not decently archived or affirmed via research information. At long last, most official associations, including the FDA have sanction it as a safe nourishment added substance for people.
What Is Germanium Oil Good For?
February 18, 2014 06:37 AM
What is Germanium
Germanium oil is known to be very beneficial to the body and has been used to treat and prevent various diseases. It is a major material in cosmetics industries due to it soothing ability.
Some of it health benefits include
It enables the entire body system to work well by affecting endocrine system, thus it regulates secretion of various enzymes, hormones, bile and acids. This ensures glands producing different substances do not under or over produce them. This is very important in ensuring better digestion, respiration, blood circulation and excretory systems works optimally.
This property is very important for children who suffer from internal worms and also some adults. Germanium oil can help to eradicate internal worms such as ring worms.
Germanium oil has uplifting and a pleasant aroma. It is not harsh to the skin and it effects last for a long time.
It also helps in eliminating body odor due to it antibacterial properties
One of the advantage of using geranium oil as a deodorant is that it circulate in the body such that all your body parts will produce a sweet aroma, unlike other deodorants which are effective only at the point of application, Germanium oil will be circulated throughout the body and exist during perspiration the time when body has an odor smell.
It speeds up the healing process of surgical incision, cuts and wounds. This can be attributed to its various properties such as antibacterial properties, anti-microbial properties and styptic properties among others.
Antibacterial and Antimicrobial
Geranium essential oil prevent microbes and bacteria from developing on wound and also keeps body safe from other infections.
Geranium essential oil is very effective in fighting acnes and stretch marks. It also helps in improving and maintaining skin tone, thus it will improve you appearance and consequently self-esteem.
Can ButterBur Extract Help Fight Migraine Headaches?
November 25, 2013 06:21 PM
What is Butterbur?
Butterbur is a plant found in the daisy asteraceae and is in genus petasites. They are also known as sweet coltsfoot. They are mainly found in the temperate zones of the northern hemisphere in areas such as riverbanks, ditches and marshes it’s also found in Europe, Asia and North America. The plant was mainly used by Native Americans as a remedy for inflammation, coughs, asthma allergies and headaches. For many years its leaves and roots have been used as an important medicinal herb. In recent research, researchers have found out that extracts of butterbur contains an active ingredient that can be used to prevent migraines and also act as an antispasmodic supporting chronic cough or asthma.
What are the Benefits of Butterbur?
The plant contains two very active chemicals namely petasin and isopetasin. This chemicals are believed to be beneficial in treating headaches, the highest concentration of this chemicals mainly occurs in roots. Root extracts of the plant have been discovered to be very effective in the reduction of frequency and severity of migraines. Migraines are caused by rapid change in the blood flow to the head, they are characterized by episodes of headaches, sensitivity to light and sound and nausea. Treatment includes pain relievers and other medication that affect the openness of the blood vessels. Medication can help ease the pain as a short term measure but in the long run the may cause more headaches as a result of a condition known as medication overuse headaches. These resultant headaches are more difficult to treat than migraines; these medicines may also lead to other problems for people with other chronic illness.
Butterbur root extracts presumably contains isopetasin and/or petasin that are effective in relieving and preventing migraine, since the compound prevents blood vessel inflammation, although it’s said to have gastrointestinal side effects. From research it was discovered that petasin contains anti-spasmodic properties which helps in reducing spasms in vascular walls and smooth muscles. It also contains a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that prevents the synthesis of leukotrienes that is the pro-inflammatory agent in the blood vessel walls. Isopetasin also contains an anti-inflammatory by modulating prostaglandin metabolism. The two together have an antispasmodic effect on vascular walls.
According to a survey carried out in Germany where two hundred and two people who had migraines attacks three months prior to the survey and those who had stopped medication three months before were randomly assigned to receive 75mg of butterbur extract twice a day, the other group was assigned 50 mg or placebo. The results were recorded and it was discovered that people using a higher dosage of butterbur experienced a greater reduction in the frequency in migraines.
Other Treatment of Butterbur
Other than being used in migraine treatment butterbur have several other uses and benefits such as allergy relief without antihistamine side effects, while antihistamines have advance side effects such as fuzzy head and fatigue, when butterbur was used no side effects were evident. Butterbur extracts are also used to treat asthma; this is as a result of anti-inflammatory properties combined with bronchodilating properties.
Can Butcher's Broom Boost Cardiovascular Health?
October 30, 2013 09:48 PM
Where to find Butchers Broom
The butcher’s broom also known as ruscus aculeatus is an evergreen low shrub that grows in the Eurasian region. It is known to produce greenish flowers that are small sized and blooms during Spring. It has leaves that produce red berries after the falling off of its female flowers. It is reputed among native cultures as much as asparagus, with the roots been eaten in various preparations.
It is mainly recurrent in woodland as a result of bird-spread though is now grown as a garden plant in regions across the world. It has general names like the pettigree, Jews’myrtle, sweet broom, petit houx and knee holly. Its roots are deployed as medicines in different remedies.
It has been used as an effective tool to constrict capillaries and blood vessels by herbal and alternative medicine practitioners. Its efficiency in constricting blood vessels is considered to result from the constituent chemicals. This prevents the veins from pooling blood thereby improving the flow of blood in the hands, brain and legs.
It has been used to heal fractures and reduce swelling, as well as treatment for hemorrhoids and gallstones. It is reputed for constipation relief and ease of urine ejection.
As a result of its wide application and effectiveness, the German Health Commission listed it as a useful for the treatment of hemorrhoids. It is advised in medical circles that its use by pregnant women should be subject to consultation of a qualified medical practitioner to avoid possible contraindications and safeguard the fetal balance.
Clinical research is still open in several fronts to ascertain its virility and possible side effects as a result of the widespread usage across the globe by alternative medicine practitioners for a variety of medical conditions. This evidently will provide clues as to acceptable dosage and prescription in the years to come.
4. botanical.com: Broom, Butcher's
What Are The Benefits Of Turmeric Extract?
June 04, 2013 01:53 PM
Turmeric extract, also known as Curcuma longa has been used for over 4000 years to treat a variety of conditions. Reputable studies show that it may help control infections, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive problems and some cancers. Historically, it has been widely used in cooking Indian dishes and is much loved due to its curry flavor and yellow color.
Further, it's used to color butter and cheese and has been intensively applied in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to treat wounds and skin diseases.
According to research done at the University of Maryland Medical Center, turmeric extract contains powerful ingredients that stimulate the production of bile and thus can be used to control indigestion.
Let us take a more straight forward look at its main benefits to human health.
Benefits of Turmeric Extract
* Fighting inflammation
Turmeric contains a special substance called curcumin which aside from destroying free radicals lowers the levels of some enzymes in the body that fuel inflammation. Clinical studies have suggested that turmeric's duo benefits (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory) are an essential part of recovering from joint stiffness - useful in relieving rheumatoid arthritis.
As we mentioned earlier, turmeric can boost the production of bile. One double-blind study (done by The German Commission E) concluded that turmeric may help in improving the functioning of the digestive system by reducing bloating.
* Turmeric and ulcerative colitis
Although turmeric does not seem to help control stomach ulcers, researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center confirm that can play a central role in people with ulcerative colitis by helping them stay in remission. Recent studies done on people with this disease (who consumed turmeric) showed a lower relapse rate than who took other treatment substances.
* Turmeric extract and cancer
Though most results are still early, there has been a great deal of findings that have painted turmeric in good light as far as treatment of various cancers is concerned. At the moment, scientists are keenly studying its effects on colon, skin, breast and prostate cancers. All the same, turmeric is known for its preventive effects which have something to do with its strong antioxidant properties.
* Turmeric=Good Heart Health
Some substances found in turmeric extract may help reduce incidences of atherosclerosis - a condition closely associated with the occurrence of stroke and/or heart attack. It, in a great way lowers cholesterol levels in blood vessels. Aside from that, it stops platelets from clumping together thus preventing blood clots from accumulating along blood vessels.
* Containing Viral and Bacterial Infections
Turmeric may to some extent kill viruses and bacteria. Some of its active ingredients are as well known to expel intestinal worms.
Turmeric has been for a long time been associated with good eye health. Well, researchers have recently made breakthrough findings that curcumin (turmeric's main active ingredient) may help treat chronic anterior uveitis. Its efficiency is believed to be at par with corticosteroids.
There are many other health benefits associated with turmeric extract. However, the few mentioned herein are the most important ones that you need to take note of.
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.
Can our health benefit from supplmenting choline?
November 18, 2012 11:01 AM
Choline, discovered in 1864 by the German chemist, Adolph Strecker, is an essential nutrient, usually grouped under the vitamin B family. While the human body does synthesize small amounts of choline, dietary consumption is a must in order to maintain a healthy body. Deficiency of choline can lead to a number of serious health issues including neurological problems, insomnia, accumulation of fat in the liver, damage to the kidneys and also cardiovascular disease. There are a range of important functions that choline performs in the body.
Some of the key health benefits of choline are:
Maintenance of brain health: The neurotransmitter or the messenger molecule, acetylcholine, that transmits signals from the brain to the muscles and various organs in the body such as the liver, heart, lungs etc, is synthesized using choline. Thus, it plays a very important role in memory and muscle control. Research also suggests that choline has a calming effect on the brain and helps reduce panic and anxiety attacks.
Maintenance of cell membranes: The integrity and flexibility of cell membranes depends on the presence of satisfactory amounts of choline thus making it a prerequisite for appropriate cell metabolism.
Maintenance of Liver health: Choline is responsible for preventing the accumulation of cholesterol and fat deposits in the liver hence preventing hepatosteatosis, a condition more commonly known as fatty liver.
Anti inflammatory benefits: Studies have revealed that inflammatory markers such as Interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, Homocysteine, etc., which are associated with various illnesses such as Diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, Cardiovascular disease, Osteoporosis and also various cancers, show reduced levels if adequate amounts of choline are consumed in the diet.
Apart from those stated above there are many more health benefits of choline and hence it is very important to consume foods that are rich in this nutrient. In addition to seafood and meat, foods that have high choline content include, Dairy and poultry products like Skim milk and Egg yolk, peanut butter; Vegetables such as Cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, Asparagus, Green beans and Fruits like Bananas and Oranges. Soybeans, due to their high lecithin content, are also a fantastic source of choline. Seeds like flax seed, sesame seeds and grains like corn, barley and oats are also rich in choline content.
Maintenance of adequate levels of choline is imperative in order to maintain optimal health. It is therefore very important to have periodic health checkups so that any deficiencies are identified and addressed as soon as possible.
Benefits Of Saw Palmetto To Prostate Health
March 28, 2012 08:23 AM
Saw Palmetto And The Prostate
Some men experience a decline in prostate health because of aging and unhealthy lifestyle. For instance, they can suffer from prostatic hypertrophy or swollen prostate glands. This condition is characterized by several symptoms such as frequent urination, weakened urinary stream, and painful experience when urinating. The swelling can affect men's well-being and overall health, and it could eventually lead to prostate cancer. Doctors and researchers have been studying several, possible remedies for prostate disorders. These specialists have discovered the effectiveness of saw palmetto in treating the disease. The plant extract is used by several medical specialists in Italy, Austria, and Germany as treatment for prostate gland enlargement. Saw palmetto has also been noted for the excellent benefits in preventing the symptoms of cancers that are hormone-related.
Saw Palmetto and Prostate Health
Prostatic hypertrophy is a prevalent among aging men, particularly those in their eighties. Men experience symptoms linked with this medical condition when they reach forty, and the disorder can worsen if left untreated. They can develop severe infections in their lower urinary tract systems, which can affect the quality of their life.
Several studies were made regarding the benefits of saw palmetto to prostate health. Researchers have discovered that the plant releases certain enzymes that reduce the swelling of prostate glands. Aside from the production of essential enzymes, saw palmetto also offers anti-inflammatory effects that prevent prostate symptoms.
The controlled study on the effects of saw palmetto was done to men who suffered from moderate to severe prostate symptoms. The researchers recommended patients to have a daily intake of 160 mg of saw palmetto for two years. The dosage was taken two times a day, and these patients were monitored every six months. At each evaluation, researchers have observed a great improvement in urine flow among these patients. They have also discovered a reduction in symptoms linked with swollen prostate glands.
Saw Palmetto And PSA
Saw palmetto also helps reduce the levels of PSA or prostate specific antigens. When these enzymes are elevated, men are likely to suffer from infections and serious ailments such as prostate cancer. Because of the essential contents of saw palmetto, many doctors use the plant's extract in reducing PSA levels in cancer patients. Several patients have experienced complete recovery from the disease, particularly those who received treatment at the onset of their disorder.
Dosage and Several Considerations
The herb has been used by many doctors in treating patients with prostate infections. Typically, the recommended dosage ranges between 300 mg and 350 mg. Saw palmetto extract is available in liquid, dried berry or capsule form. The dosage depends on the patient's condition and concentration levels of the herb.
Some prostate cancer patients treated with saw palmetto have experienced a decrease in symptoms and improvement in their overall health. Moreover, the herb was found effective as recovery medication for those who have undergone radiation and surgery. Nevertheless, it is ideal for patients to consult their doctor before they consider taking saw palmetto extract. They should make sure that they take the right dosage depending on their condition.
History And Uses Of Xylitol
February 07, 2012 07:50 AM
Xylitol is the 5-carbon sugar which is found within the birch tree sap and it's naturally found in the fibers of various vegetables and fruits. This is a sugar-alcohol sweetener commonly used as the sugar substitute.
History of xylitol
Although discovered in the 19th century during the Second World War, Xylitol has been recognized ever since the tardy 1800s. The researchers from Germany and France were the first individuals to try to produce this product approximately 100 years ago, but ended up creating syrup-like consistency mixture. This product became commercially available in the 1960s and the commercial process is still the same as it was during the 1960s.
Before 1943, the scientists' categorized this sugar with various sugary carbohydrates (polyols) and it lingered so till the beginning of the war-associated deficiency of sugar which initiated the call for an alternate sugar. This initiated further research in to the xylitols insulin-independent properties, this resulted in discovery of its other biological benefits. In 1962 this chemical was introduced in the infusion therapy demonstrating that it can be introduced to ill individuals.
The commercial production process involves extraction of Polysaccharides rich in Xylose from various agricultural by-products and hardwoods. These are hydrolyzed with various intense acidic treatments and then it is purified before hydrogenation is done. This process needs a lot of harsh chemicals and is quite expensive and inefficient.
It was until 1970 that the odontological benefit of xylitol was ascertained in Finland, Turku. The initial study of the effects of this sugar on the dental plaque began during the same year. This resulted in large scale production of xylitol, in 1974 by the Finnish sugar company. Sugar-free dental product was first launched in Finland which was a xylitol chewing-gum.
How xylitol works
This sugar can prevent cavity in various ways by actually blocking the tooth decaying process. The bacteria causing decay cannot ferment this sugar into acids as it does with other sugars including dextrose, fructose, glucose and sucrose. This results in production of less acidic by-product thus interfering with the dental plaque environment which favors decaying. This results in prevention of tooth demineralization.
The high pH condition caused by xylitol sugar is not favorable for the cariogenic bacteria which are responsible for decaying. This results in fewer bacteria in the plaques and long-term exposure has an effect on which type of bacteria will prevail within the plaque. This also inhibits the growth of specific xylitol-sensitive bacteria strain. Since they cannot breakdown this sugar, they end up not reproducing and growing in population. The lack of fermentable sugars results in creation of anti-cavity effect.
The starvation effect created by this sugar prevents accumulation of cariogenic bacteria in the plaques. Long term xylitol exposure results in change of predominant cariogenic bacteria to xylitol-resistant strains from xylitol-sensitive. This xylitol-sensitive strain of bacteria cannot colonize the plaque since they have less adhering capabilities.
The less acidic condition in the dental plaque interface created by this sugar can initiate demineralization. Demineralization occurs when the plaque interface is at a pH of 5.5 or below since fewer bacteria live in the plaques. Studies have showed that demineralized tooth samples immersed in a solution containing 20% xylitol experienced a great remineralization degree. This is noted in the deep and middle tooth layers.
What Is Vanadyl Sulfate And How Does It Relate to Diabetes?
December 22, 2011 09:24 PM
What is Vanadyl Sulfate
This is a well known inorganic compound of vanadium and in some circles it has been commonly referred to as another name for vanadium. This water soluble sulphate is known to be the most stable diatomic ion in the scientific world and has been known in the medical industry as something that has the same effect as insulin. It basically is a metallic element and is a soft and ductile element which is physically described as silvery white in colour and when it is in powder form it looks as if it is light gray.
History and Discovery
It is commonly known that this metallic element was discovered by a Spanish professor named Andres Del Rio who in 1801 was able to find the element erythronium in Mexico however at the time Professor Del Rio felt it was nothing new so he did not pursue to prove it any further and this is when a Swedish Chemist named Nils Gabriel Sefstrom got the credit for its discovery and it remained as the more known fact until a German Chemist by the name of Friedrich Wohler was able to prove otherwise in 1831. He was able to prove that both discoveries were the same.
Uses and Functions
The main belief in the medical world and as proven is that it is able to function like insulin and it is able to mimic insulin’s effects to the body. As such you might have guessed what follows. It is able to help with diabetes because various studies suggest that it is able to lower the blood sugar levels in the body which is exactly what the purpose of insulin is especially when it is in high doses. Other studies also has confirmed that it also can possibly help with conditions like heart disease and high cholesterol which are diseases that diabetes usually affect as well although further studies needs to be done to this respect.
Safety and possible side effects
Vanadium has been shown to be safe for use by adults although it needs to be a fairly low dose unlike the one that is needed for diabetes. Possible side effect ranges from diarrhea to nausea and some abdominal discomfort. Furthermore, it is safe to say that this should not be taken by breast feeding women as it may have undesired side effects.
Can Nettle Leaves Help with Allergies?
July 12, 2011 12:48 PM
Nettle And Allergies
Nettle leaf is a traditional medication for excessive inflammation in many European countries. It is valued for its hollow hairs called trichomes, which work as a counter-irritant. In addition to its putative effect on allergic rhinitis or hay fever, it remains extensively used as a treatment for joint pain, muscle spasms, back ache, osteoarthritis, atopic eczema, gout, and other disorders induced by inflammation.
Urtica dioica is the plant species referred to as the common nettle or stinging nettle, from which nettle leaf is harvested from in general. It is an herbaceous shrub that grows up to 2 meters in height. It is botanically noted for its trichomes, which inject list of inflammatory agents into the skin upon contact. In alternative medicine, these organic compounds are processed to combat excessive inflammation.
Nettles enjoy a wide distribution in almost all continents, with the exception of Antarctica and South America. In particular, stinging nettle has been successfully naturalized in all regions outside the Frigid Zone. It prefers soils that retain moisture and receive high rainfall. Hence, it thrives well in tropical and subtropical regions. In temperate zones, it is often found in the wild and abandoned settlements.
Nettle leaf has had a centuries-old association with folk medicine of England, Germany, Sweden, and much of Northern Europe. It is mentioned in the Old English poem called Nine Herbs Charm, which describes the common nettle as a treatment for poison and infection. In Germany, herbal preparations that contain nettle extracts are among the leading adjuvant remedies for allergic rhinitis and joint pain.
Hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system in the form of allergies is a reaction to otherwise harmless substances called allergens. These reactions include eczema, hives, hay fever, asthma, anaphylaxis, insect bites, and even systemic allergic reactions. Modern herbalists have long employed nettle leaf for the prevention, amelioration, and cure of hay fever and related allergic reactions.
The hollow stinging hairs of nettle leaf are a natural source of organic compounds that are similar to the chemicals released by the body during allergic reactions, such as histamine and acetylcholine. It produces optimum results when applied directly, as is the case with topical creams and alcoholic tinctures. Allergies subside when these compounds are introduced to local tissues underneath the skin.
Extracts of nettle leaf contain phytochemicals that display anti-inflammatory activities when ingested. The exact mechanism of action is still under investigation. Based on initial results, researchers are positive that nettle leaf exerts an inhibitory effect on pro-inflammatory cell-signaling protein molecules known as cytokines, which are directly involved in hypersensitivity disorder, especially hay fever.
More importantly, nettle leaf has been observed to inhibit the transcription of tumor necrosis factor alpha, which is responsible for a diverse variety of inflammatory responses of cells and tissues. As a results, it downregulates the production of cytokines and interleukins incriminated in excessive inflammation during joint pain, back ache, food allergies, asthma attacks, and allergic rhinitis.
What are Homeopathic Remedies and How do They Work?
March 25, 2011 11:28 AM
Homeopathic remedies have been in use for over a century in treatment of diseases. Homeopathy is considered a forerunner of modern medicine, but today largely classified as a form of alternative medicine. Medications prepared by practitioners of homeopathy are still widely available. Moreover, there has been a resurgence of interest in homeopathy in the past few decades. Germany in particular grants the title Physician of Homeopathy after a training program of three years while other countries require professional training in more accepted conventional medicine.
Potentization and Succussion
Repertories are the primary source of information for practitioners of homeopathy. These reference books point to a process called potentization, which works on the principle of systematic dilution of substances in a solution. Homeopathic remedies administered today use distilled water or alcohol as major solvents, with proponents of this alternative medicine believing that water has the capability of retaining properties of substances even when the molecules of the substance are no longer present in the solution.
However, this effect is only achieved through succussion, the proper shaking of solution, which must be applied between each process of dilution. On the other hand, desirable dilutions of insoluble solids are possible to achieve by first reducing the size of the substance with the use of a mortar and a pestle. Potentization and succussion produce homeopathic remedies that are believed to display their well-documented potent pharmacological effects.
Law of Similars
Modern scholars consider Samuel Hahnemann to have single-handedly invented the alternative medicine practice of homeopathy. In fact, he coined the term homeopathy and outlined procedures known as homeopathic provings. He was a German physician who studied in several German universities and practiced conventional medicine before he developed the law of similars in response to medical practices of the time that are harmful in general, such as bloodletting. He gave up his medical practice amid the conviction that information on medicine was very limited and often conflicting.
All the homeopathic provings that followed the rise of homeopathy depends on the most important principle he called law of similars, which is believed to govern diseases and their treatment. Substances that produce symptoms similar to a known disease when taken by an individual in large amounts ought to bring about curative effects when taken in small amounts by an individual afflicted with the disease. Homeopathic repertories document the effects of a host of substances and their identified sources in a process called homeopathic proving in an effort to support the laws of similar.
Modern Homeopathic Remedies
The continued support for homeopathy comes from people who are seeking alternative forms of healing. Also, homeopathic remedies that follow standard preparation procedures of potentization and succussion have never been associated with any known adverse effects. While present-day doctors and medical professionals are particularly critical of homeopathic remedies, which they generally consider as placebo, they also believe that homeopathic remedies are the safest among all forms of alternative medicine.
What are the Health Benefits of Vitamin K?
February 19, 2011 11:42 AM
6 Ways Vitamin K Can Boost Your Health
Vitamin K is belongs to the group of vitamins that are soluble in fat. There are a lot of chemical compounds that display the activities of this essential nutrient inside the human body, but the best known form of this vitamin is phylloquinone, a naturally occurring substance in green leafy vegetables. Many different synthetic forms have also been proven to exhibit the same health benefits.
Helps against Blood Loss
Vitamin K was named so largely owing to the fact that it is directly involved in the coagulation of blood, which was the first of its benefits to be discovered. K stands for the first letter of its German name, Koagulationsvitamin. The process by which our body controls blood loss during bleeding, both external and internal, is called coagulation, which describes the ability of the blood to thicken and form a clot. Coagulation is central to the health of blood vessels as it stops bleeding and starts the healing process.
Promotes Vascular Health
Phylloquinone and other forms of Vitamin K have long been used as a treatment for cardiovascular diseases. One form of calcification outside the bones occurs in the arterial linings, which wears down the elastic properties of vascular tissues. Arterial calcification in itself is a very serious medical condition and usually takes place in end-stage cardiovascular diseases. However, the absence of vitamin K in the body also brings on this disease.
Facilitates Calcium Absorption
There is strong evidence that vitamin K helps build strong bones, and is in fact utilized as treatment for osteoporosis. Vitamin K modulates the production of osteocalcin, which induces bone formation and reduces bone resorption by attracting calcium minerals inside the body. Premature calcification of bones negatively affects bone density, but the presence of vitamin K has been observed to avoid this.
Regulates Blood Sugar
The bone-building protein osteocalcin also acts as a hormone that triggers the beta cells in the pancreas to release more insulin, which instruct cells in different tissues of the body to absorb glucose from the blood. Glucose is either converted into ATP, the primary source of energy that power cellular functions, or stored as glycogen inside the cells. Either way maintains healthy blood sugar.
Breaks down Body Fats
Osteocalcin is also involved in the burning of fats in adipose tissues, including the unwanted flab on the belly. By stimulating these fatty tissues to release a hormone called adiponectin, body fats are broken down into smaller particles and in the process release energy. In fact, the abundance of adiponectin in the bloodstream has been closely tied to low percentage of body fats in adults.
Scavenges Free Radicals
Vitamin K helps clear the body of ravaging free radicals that damage everything at the cellular level. It is particularly associated with protecting the nerve cells from premature death due to oxidative stress caused by free radicals, the reason why it is used in studies concerning Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. With all its health benefits, it is prudent to ensure consumption of Vitamin K.
Do you get enough Vitamin K Daily?
Herbs For Depression
December 13, 2010 12:34 PM
Fight Depression with Natural Herbs
Before discussing treating depression with natural herbs we should first consider depression itself: what is it and what causes people to become depressed? Psychiatrists and psychologists will suggest a number of definitions although most experts agree that there are two forms of depression.
Causes of Depression
Exogenous depression comes about as a result of external factors such as bereavement, heavy debt, job loss, etc, while endogenous depression comes from within and is believed to be due to biochemical problems, including food allergies, hormonal changes, thyroid problems, nutritional deficiencies, particularly Vitamin B deficiency, and addictions. There are many other reasons for people becoming depressed, some of which can be established by the particular symptoms of the individual.
In many cases of depression the external factors are often easier to treat than those due to internal factors. Many exogenous causes of depression such as bereavement are alleviated through time, while causes such as job loss and debt can be resolved once the cause has been rectified: thus, if the patient is no longer in debt or is re-employed, the depression tends to disappear with the cause.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression is not diagnosed from a single symptom, but from a number of symptoms that can point to a person being clinically depressed and requiring treatment. Among the symptoms of depression are:
Prolonged periods of sadness or despair
Forms of Depression
Many normal people can suffer one or two of the above systems, and would not be diagnosed as depressed because of it. We can all get mood swings, feel a bit worthless now and again or be unable to concentrate or focus at times, but that does not mean we are clinically depressed.
Depression would not be diagnosed in a patient with just one of these symptoms but five or more likely would be. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders deem the patient suffering clinical depression if displaying 5 or more of the bottom 8 symptoms above for a month or more. This is believed to be the case with around 17 million Americans so it is a significant problem.
Manic depression is otherwise known as bipolar disorder, where patients have large mood swings from high and extreme hyperactivity and excitability to very low deeply depressive moods and is a clinical condition generally treated using drugs.
Treatment of Depression With Natural Herbs
The usual treatments are drugs that often have undesirable side effects; so many people are trying natural remedies instead. There are a number of herbs that can be used to treat depression, one of the most familiar being St. John's Wort. However, there are others, and here is a synopsis of each.
St. John's Wort
St. John's wort (hypericum perforatum) is likely the best known herbal treatment for depression. In fact, in Germany it is prescribed by doctors to children and adolescents for the treatment of mild depression and is available over the counter in many countries.
However, it can also be used in cases of severe depression, and a report in the Cochrane Database Review[8(4)] by K. Linde, M.M. Berner and L. Kriston in 2008 stated that of 29 separate tests carried out on a total of over 5,000 patients, the conclusion was that St. John's wort extracts were at least as good in treating severe depression with 5 times lower side-effects as tricyclic antidepressants and twice lower than the new selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI).
It should be stated, however, that one trial on 340 subjects indicated no improvement over a placebo. However, the anti-depressive drug sertraline (Zoloft) was also shown to be no better than the placebo in this test, so some doubts must lie regarding its accuracy. Of all the herbal treatments, St. John's wort has had most testing carried out and it seems to be effective in treating mild to severe depression although not all experts are yet agreed.
Kava Kava Root
Kava kava can be used to treat depression and anxiety, largely due its content of kavalactones that are believed to increase the amount of a number of neurotransmitters in the blood, including the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin. Kava kava root is mildly intoxicating, having much the same effect as alcohol, and can also reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
However, it is doubtful if its effects are permanent and so it may be less of a depression cure as a short-medium term treatment. Its effects are also variable on different people, some describing it as making them feel relaxed and 'dreamy', while others find it therapeutic and making them feel better in themselves.
Kava kava should not be taken without your doctor knowing about because there have been concerns about its effect on the liver if taken in excess. A European-wide ban was lifted about two years ago after testing found the risks of taking it to be very low. It has been used for centuries as an intoxicating drink on islands such as Fiji.
Passion flower has been used for centuries to treat anxiety, stress and depression, its active ingredients believed to be maltol and ethylmaltol that help to increase the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is one of the brain's key neurotransmitters and has been described by some as the brain's own 'Valium' supply.
Through the intervention of GABA, passion flower extract helps in reducing anxiety levels and makes you feel a lot calmer. If you suffer forms of depression that make you hyper or excitable, passion flower will help to reduce this and also helps to cure insomnia. It is a component of many natural sleeping pills.
These are just three natural substances that can be used to treat depression. However, you must inform your doctor or physician if you decide to take them since they may interfere with or change the effect of any antidepressant drug you are currently taking.
Call today for natural remedies for depression
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.
Germanium and Oxygen absorption
March 30, 2010 05:10 PM
Germanium, like gold and silver, is a naturally occurring trace element. Although it is considered a trace mineral, it is also referred to as a semimetal. There is no simple difference between a metal and a mineral. Many people have become interested in and excited about this product. However, little research was done on Germanium until 1950.
This trace mineral is important in the body for many reasons. It helps to improve oxygenation on a cellular level which is essential for keeping the immune system healthy and also for eliminating toxins from the body. Life depends upon an adequate availability of oxygen. Germanium is responsible for enabling better usage of oxygen on a cellular level. Reports have stated that Germanium has many beneficial effects. It has been used to reduce pain. Additionally, it has been found to help with respiratory diseases in order to improve oxygen utilization. Evidence has also been found that Germanium is able to help improve circulation. In Raynaud’s disease cases, Germanium is able to help improve warmth in the fingers and toes within one half hour. For those individuals who are healthy, warm occurred within minutes. Germanium may also benefit those people who are suffering from strokes or an insufficient amount of oxygen. This substance may also help to remove or detoxify the body of metal poisoning through its chelating ability. Germanium is often recommended for those dealing with liver disease and arthritis.
Germanium possesses both antiviral and antitumor properties. This trace mineral was found to slow the progression and speed of tumors, which in turn prolonged life. Research is continuing in Japan which is studying the effects of Germanium-132, which is also known as Ge-132, on different forms of cancer and disease. It may help the body by increasing oxygen supply, to which cancer cells are extremely sensitive. With oxygen utilization improved, the cancer cells may not be able to survive. Additionally, American scientists are in the process of researching this product. Germanium was first discovered to be beneficial to one’s health by a Japanese scientist by the name of Dr. Kazuhiko Asai. Dr. Asai, a chemist, became interest in Germanium extraction from coal. After hearing reports that Russians used Germanium as a rejuvenator, he studied the Germanium in plants. From studies he concluded that Germanium was able to enhance oxygen utilization in both plants and animals. Additional studies with mice led him to find that less oxygen was required in order to maintain respiration, as long as those tissues were supplemented with Germanium.
Research has determined that Germanium may be beneficial in helping with conditions including cancer, allergies, arthritis, cholesterol, viral infections, and AIDS. This trace element has proven to be successful in a variety of studies. Additionally, the benefits of this substance are just beginning to be understood. Germanium will, undoubtedly, become an important supplement as more information continues to be made available. It is important that one consults their health care provider before using this, or any other form of vitamin supplements. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by Germanium, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
Gentain Herb Can Sooth The Digestive Tract
December 17, 2009 04:23 PM
The gentian plant is an herbaceous perennial with fleshy root and fat hollow stems. The leaves of the plant are ovate and pleated, while the flowers are yellow. The root of the plant often smells aromatic and tastes sweet at first and then bitter.
Gentian was used as a stomach tonic and aid in digestion in Ancient Rome. This herb is native to Europe and western Asia. Generally, gentian was consumed as a tea or alcoholic beverage. Gentian was an official drug in the Untied States Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1955 and was used as a gastric stimulant. At one point in time, this herb was used and acclaimed by medical science as being very beneficial for mankind.
Gentian was used to reduce fevers by cooling the system. It contains a bitter principle, which is known as amarogentin, which stimulates the glands, and includes the adrenals and thyroid. This herb helps in the production of bile, which can have a positive effect on the liver and gallbladder. Gentian is also used to clean the bowels, stimulate the pancreas, stimulate circulation, aid in the digestive process, and help with female problems. This herb has historically been used to treat wounds and been taken internally for inflammation from arthritis, jaundice, and a sore throat. Gentian is considered to be a great herb for strengthening the entire body and for use as tonic when it is combined with other herbs.
German scientists have performed studies which confirm that this herb is useful as a digestive aid. Herbal bitters, including gentian, are recommended for the treatment of indigestion. The bitter taste receptors located in the tongue are known for their ability to stimulate the digestive processes by increasing the flow of gastric juices and bile. The alkaloid found in gentian, gentianine, has been shown to contain anti-inflammatory activity in animal studies.
Internally, gentian is used as a liver tonic, to treat loss of appetite, digestive problems, flatulence, and insufficient production of gastric juices and saliva. This herb is responsible for stimulating the taste buds and promoting the flow of saliva, gastric juices, and bile. Because of this, gentian can be used in cases of anorexia, and in homeopathic medicine as well. There are no external uses or aromatherapy and essential oil uses for gentian. It should be noted that gentian should not be used by those with gastric or duodenal ulcers.
The root of the gentian plant is used to provide alterative, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hepatic, sialagogue, stimulant, stomachic, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients provided by gentian include inositol, iron, manganese, niacin, silicon, sulfur, vitamins F and B-complex, and zinc. Primarily, gentian is extremely beneficial in treating loss of appetite, poor circulation, gastric disorders, indigestion, jaundice, and liver disorders. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with anemia, blood impurities, colds, constipation, stomach cramps, diarrhea, dysentery, fevers, gas, gout, heart burn, absence of menstruation, nausea, spleen ailments, urinary problems, worms, wounds, and yeast infections. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by gentian, please contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
October 28, 2009 11:39 AM
The horseradish plant is a perennial plant that is part of the Brassicaceae family, which includes mustard, wasabi, broccoli, and cabbages. Native to southeastern Europe and western Asia, the plant is popular around the world today. The horseradish plant grows up to five feet tall and is mainly cultivated for its large, white, tapered root. The intact horseradish root has hardly any aroma. However, when cut or grated, enzymes from the damaged plant cells break down to produce allylisothiocyanate, which often irritates the sinuses and eyes. Once grated, if the plant is not mixed with vinegar or used immediately, the root darkens and loses its pungency. It quickly becomes unpleasantly bitter when exposed to air and heat.
Horseradish has been cultivated since ancient times. The Delphic Oracle in Greek mythology told Apollo that horse radish was worth its weight in gold. Horseradish was known in Egypt by 1500 BC and has been used by Jews from Eastern Europe traditionally in Passover. The plant is discussed by Cato in his treatises on agriculture. It is thought that horseradish is the plant known as Wild Radish by the Greeks. Both the root and leaves of the horseradish plant were used as a medicine during the Middle Ages, with the root used as a condiment on meats in Germany, Scandinavia, and Britain. This herb was taken to North American during Colonial times. It is not certain as to where the name horseradish come from. Some believe that it derives by misinterpretation of the German Merettich as mare radish. Others think the name comes from the coarseness of the root. The common thought in Europe is that it refers to the old method of processing the root called hoofing, in which horses were used to stamp the root tender before grating it.
For at least two thousand years, horseradish has been cultivated. It was brought to America by early settlers and used to treat conditions such as pain from sciatic, colic, and intestinal worms. Horseradish provides antibiotic action that is recommended for respiratory and urinary infections. The volatile oil in horseradish has the ability to work as a nasal and bronchial dilator. Internally, it has been used to clear nasal passages, alleviate sinus problems, help with digestion, work as a diuretic, aid with edema and rheumatism, and cleanse various body systems. Also, horseradish has been used to stimulate digestion, metabolism, and kidney function. This herb helps promote stomach secretions to aid in digestion. Horseradish can be used as a compress for neuralgia, stiffness, and pain in the back of the neck. Additionally, this herb can be used as a parasiticide.
The root of the horseradish plant can be used to provide antibiotic, antineoplastic, antiseptic, bitter, caminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, hepatic, parasiticide, mild purgative, rubefacient, sialagogue, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, and vitamins A, B-complex, and P. Primarily, horseradish is extremely beneficial in dealing with loss of appetite, circulation, coughs, edema, excessive mucus, sinus problems, internal and skin tumors, and worms.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, congestion, gout, jaundice, kidney problems, irritated membranes, neuralgia, palsy, rheumatism, skin conditions, water retention, and wounds. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by horseradish, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
September 21, 2009 11:12 AM
Horehound has been around for thousands of years. The Romans used this herb in a combination as an antidote for poison. The horehound plant is a bushy plant that produces numerous annual branching stems. The plant is a foot or more in height and has whitish flowers. The leaves are much wrinkled, opposite, petiolate, and about an inch long. They are covered with white, felted hairs that give them a wooly appearance. The leaves have a strange, musky smell that can be diminished by drying the plant. Horehound is known to flower between June and September.
An ancient Greek physician by the name of Galen first recommended horehound for use in treating respiratory conditions. Early European physicians also used horehound to treat respiratory ailments. Early settlers in North America brought horehound with them to treat coughs, colds, and tuberculosis. The herb was also used to treat hepatitis, malaria, and intestinal worms. Horehound was also used to promote menstruation and sweating. Most commonly, the herb is used to treat colds and coughs, to soothe the throat and loosen mucus in the chest. Horehound is a well-known lung and throat remedy.
Warm infusions of horehound are able to relieve congestion and hyperemic conditions of the lungs. They do this by promoting an outward flow of blood. In large doses, horehound will work as a mild laxative. Applying the dried herb topically is a great way to treat herpes simplex, eruptions, eczema, and shingles.
The Romans praised horehound because of its medicinal purposes. Its Latin name Marrubium is derived from the word Maria urbs, which is an ancient town of Italy. The plant was called the ‘Seed of Horus” or the ‘Bull’s Blood,’ and the ‘Eye of the Star’ by the Egyptian Priests. Horehound was a main ingredient in Caesar’s antidote for vegetable poisons. It was recommended, in addition to its uses in coughs and colds, for those that had drunk poison or had been bitten by serpents. Horehound was once thought of as an anti-magical herb. Additionally, horehound is a serviceable remedy against cankerworm in trees. Some believed that if it is put into new milk and set in a place where there are a lot of flies, it will quickly kill all of them.
The marrubiin content of horehound is believed to be the responsible component, giving it its ability to stimulate bronchial mucosa secretions. This information was obtained by German research done in 1959. Horehound can be used as a safe and effective expectorant.
The entire horehound plant should be used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, aromatic, bitter, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, mild purgative, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are iron, potassium, sulfur, and vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and F. Primarily, horehound is extremely helpful in dealing with asthma, colds, coughs, croup, lung ailments, excessive mucus, phlegm, and respiratory problems.
Additionally, this herb is beneficial in treating bronchitis, infectious diseases, earaches, external eczema, fevers, glandular problems, jaundice, absent menstruation, and external shingles. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by horehound, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
September 17, 2009 10:57 AM
Ancient Greeks used hawthorn berries for heart disease. The Greeks and Romans looked to hawthorn as a source of happiness and hope for the future. The berries were used by the Chinese for digestion and circulatory problems. Christian legend says that the crown of thorns that was placed upon the head of Christ was made from hawthorn. The crushed fruit or leaves were used as a poultice for their drawing powers to remove thorns and splinters for centuries in England. Native Americans believed that hawthorn was useful for rheumatism and heart problems.
This herb contains many different components which work together to benefit the heart and body. Hawthorn can both feed and strengthen the heart and arteries. It seems to work on the heart muscle to make it work more effectively. The herb may even help a damaged heart. Hawthorn contains some mild sedative properties, which can help when heart disorders are due to stress and with insomnia. Hawthorn has been used to treat and prevent arteriosclerosis, rapid heartbeat, feeble heartbeat, enlarged heart, angina, and breathing difficulties due to a lack of oxygen in the lungs. Some people recommend using hawthorn to protect against disease before symptoms occur.
Hawthorn is known for its ability to regulate arterial blood pressure. It increases the strength of the heart muscle and also works to increase coronary blood flow. This herb is great in helping to reduce the heart rate and lessen the heart’s workload.
Some studies have found that this extract is responsible for dilating the blood vessels, which results in reduced peripheral resistance. Hawthorn may also have some further cardio-protective effects that become pronounced after prolonged use. Research on 132 patients found substantial positive results with the use of this herb. These stage two stable heart failure patients had improved exercise tolerance, and a reduction in shortness of breath and fatigue after exercise. The researchers noted that for maximum effect, hawthorn must be used for one to two months. Cardiac improvement accelerates with long-term use and relatively high doses. One of the most positive facts about hawthorn is its safety. This herb is believed to be safe for long-term use without side effects. Some experiments have found that hawthorn dilates the blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, and strengthens the heart. This herb is commonly prescribed by German physicians to treat minor heart problems. Hawthorn also contains a mild sedative effect. This effect may contribute to a healthy heart. Stress, anxiety, and nervousness are often associated with heart conditions.
The berries and flowers of the hawthorn plant are used to provide alterative, antispasmodic, astringent, cardio-alterative, diuretic, sedative, and vasodilator properties. The primary nutrients found in hawthorn are choline, inositol, and vitamins A, B-complex, and C with bioflavonoids. Primarily, hawthorn is extremely beneficial in dealing with angina, arrhythmia, arteriosclerosis, high and low blood pressure, heart conditions, heart palpitations, and hypoglycemia.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating arthritis, blood clots, edema, hypertension, insomnia, liver disorders, rheumatism, sleeplessness, and stress. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by hawthorn, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
August 27, 2009 02:40 PM
Garlic is very popular because of its health benefits. A perennial plant and member of the lily family, the bulb of the garlic plant is used for many medicinal purposes. Garlic was used by the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Egyptians. The Chinese used this herb at least three thousand years ago to treat various ailments. The Egyptians ate garlic while building pyramids to increase their strength and endurance. Hippocrates suggested that this herb be used for treatment of uterine cancer. Native Americans used garlic to fight abdominal cancer, while the Europeans used this herb during the plague years to provide immunity. The main historical uses of garlic were to treat colds, coughs, toothaches, earaches, diarrhea, infection, arteriosclerosis, headaches, dandruff, tumors, worms, and hypertension.
Garlic is nature’s antibiotic. This herb is very effective in fighting bacteria which may be resistant to other antibiotics. The herb stimulates the lymphatic system in order to throw off waste material. Garlic is different from other antibiotics in the fact that it has the ability to stimulate cell growth and activity. This herb rejuvenates all body functions. Garlic opens up blood vessels, reducing hypertension. It is known as a health-building and disease-preventing herb.
Several studies have linked garlic to a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. This herb has been found to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, while lowering blood pressure, increasing immunity, and reducing the blood’s clotting ability. Research suggests that eating the equivalent of one-half to one clove of garlic daily can decrease total serum cholesterol levels by about nine percent. Anticoagulant capabilities have also been found in garlic by German researchers. Garlic is able to benefit those individuals who are suffering from peripheral arterial occlusive disease, which is better known as blood clots in the legs.
Garlic also contains antitumor properties, with studies showing it having the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer-causing nitrosamine. The National Cancer Institute even recommends adding more garlic, onions, and other similar vegetables to the diet. This would lower the risk of developing stomach cancer. Results from one study showed that garlic may be toxic to some cancer cells. It may encourage the immune system to spot the invaders and destroy them, allowing a natural immune process to destroy tumor cells.
Garlic is believed to stimulate the lymphatic system by ridding itself of toxins. The Russians consider garlic to be a natural antibiotic, which is why they consume it regularly. This herb is often used to prevent disease and heal the body. It is nourishing for the entire body, especially the heart, circulation, stomach, spleen, and lungs. Additionally, it has been used to stimulate circulation and to help the immune system function more effectively. Some believe that this herb may help prevent some forms of cancer, heart disease, strokes, and infections.
In summary, the bulb of the garlic plant is used to provide adaptogen, alterative, antibiotic, anticoagulant, antifungal, antineoplastic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, diaphoretic, digestive, expectorant, febrifuge, rubefacient, stimulant, and vulnerary properties. Primarily, garlic is extremely beneficial in dealing with asthma, blood impurities, high blood pressure, bronchitis, cancer, candidiasis, poor circulation, colds, colitis, coughs, infectious diseases, ear infections, fevers, flu, fungus, gastric disorders, heart disease, indigestion, infection, liver disorders, lung disorders, parasites, blood poisoning, prostate problems, respiratory problems, and staph/strep infections.
This herb is also good for treating acne, allergies, arthritis, childhood diseases, diabetes, diarrhea, edema, emphysema, gallbladder problems, hypoglycemia, insomnia, kidney ailments, pneumonia, rheumatism, sinus problems, ulcers, warts, and worms.
Garlic is a wonderful all purpose herb that can be found at your local or internet health food store. Always look for name brands when buying garlic to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
August 25, 2009 12:12 PM
The caraway plant, also known as Persian cumin, is a biennial plant that is found in the Apiaceae family. This plant is native to Europe and western Asia. The plant is very similar in appearance to a carrot plant, with finely divided, feathery leaves that have thread-like divisions that grow on twenty to thirty centimeter stems. The main flower stem is forty to sixty centimeters tall and has small white or pink flowers that are in the shape of umbels. The caraway fruits, which are erroneously called seeds, are crescent-shaped and about two millimeters in length and have five pale ridges. The caraway plant prefers warm, sunny locations and a well-drained soil as well.
The fruits of the caraway plant are usually used whole. They have a pungent, anise-like flavor and an aroma that is derived from the essential oils carvone and limonene. These oils are used as a spice in breads, especially rye bread, which is denser due to the yeast killing properties of the essential oil, limonene. Caraway is also used in liquors, casseroles, and other foods, especially in Central European and Northern European cuisine, like sauerkraut. This herb is also used to add flavor to cheeses. A substance made from the seeds is used as a remedy for colic, loss of appetite, digestive disorders, and to dispel worms.
Caraway herbs have been used as a flavoring in foods such as rye bread for thousands of years. It has also been used medicinally by the Romans, Germans, and the English. Generally, it was used to treat flatulence and indigestion. It was also used to relieve colic in babies.
Caraway is very similar to anise. Both of them are recommended for the same purposes. This herb is a powerful antiseptic. It is especially effective in relieving toothaches. When it is applied locally to the skin, it also acts as an anesthetic. This herb can be mixed with other herbs such as mandrake and culver’s root in order to help modify its purgative action. Caraway is also useful in treating stomach problems. Additionally, it helps prevent fermentation in the stomach. It can help to settle stomach after people have taken medication that causes nausea. Caraway also helps to relieve intestinal cramps and colic in babies.
This herb is known to encourage menstruation and the flow of milk in nursing mothers. Caraway also helps to ease uterine cramps.
The root and seed of the caraway plant are used to provide anesthetic, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, galactagogue, mild purgative, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, lead, magnesium, potassium, silicon, vitamin B-complex, and zinc. It is important to consult your local health care professional before taking this, or any supplement in order to obtain the best results. Priamrily, caraway is extremely beneficial in treating loss of appetite, colic, uterine and intestinal cramps, gastric disorders, indigestion, and spasms.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with colds, absent lactation, absent menstruation, upset stomach, and toothaches. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by caraway, feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
August 20, 2009 05:32 PM
Anise is a flowering plant that is part of the Apiaxeae family. It is native to the eastern Mediteranean region and southwest Asia. It is known for its flavor, which resembles licorice, fennel, and tarragon. The anise plant is an herbaceous annual plant that grows to three feet tall. The leaves are at the base of the plant and are very simple. They are about two to five centimeters long and shallowly lobed. The leave higher on the stems are feathery pinnate and divided into numerous leaves. The flowers of the anise plant are white and about three millimeters in diameter. They are produced in dense umbels. The anise fruit is an oblong dry schizocarp that is about three to five millimeters in length. The seedpods are referred to as aniseed. Anise is usually used as food by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, such as butterflies and moths. Among these are the lime-speck pug and the wormwood pug.
The best growth for the anise plant can be found in light, fertile, well drained soil. The plants should be started from seeds as soon as the ground warms up in the spring. Because the anise plants have a taproot, they do not transplant well after they are established. For this reason, the plants should be started where they are to grow, or transplanted while the seedlings are still small.
Anise is sweet and very aromatic. It can be distinguished by its licorice-like flavor. It is widely used in a variety of regional and ethnic confectioneries, including British Aniseed balls, Austrailain Humbugs, New Zealand Aniseed wheels, Italian pizzelle, German pfeffernusse and springerle, Netherland Muisjes, Norwegian knots, and Peruvian Picarones. Anise is a key ingredient in Mexican “atole de anis” which is similar to hot chocolate. It is taken as a digestive after meals in India.
Anise was used in ancient Rome as flavoring. However, it contains nutrients like calcium and iron. This herb was added to foods to prevent indigestion when eating large quantities of food. Additionally, it was used to help with bad breath. Hippocrates recommended this herb to relieve both coughs and congestion.
Anise is used to help remove excess mucus from the alimentary canal and the mucus that is associated with coughs. It is used to stimulate the appetite, relieve digestive problems, and treat colic pain. Some herbalists recommend that anise be used for stimulating the glands and vital organs. Among these organs are the heart, liver, lungs, and brain. Additionally, it helps to normalize estrogen levels.
The oil and seeds of the anise plant are used to provide anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, galactagogue, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are B vitamins, calcium, choline, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Primarily, anise provides extraordinary benefits in treating colds, colic, coughs, gas, indigestion, absent lactation, excessive mucus, and pneumonia.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with loss of appetite, breath odor, emphysema, epilepsy, nausea, and nervous disorders. It is important to speak with a health care professional before considering supplementing with any nutrient in order to obtain the best results while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by anise, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
August 19, 2009 03:31 PM
Kombucha is also known as Manchurain tea or mushroom. It is not an official member of the fungi family. Actually, it is a symbiotic culture of genus Saccharomyces yeast and xylinum bacteria. Kombucha dates back as far as two thousands years in East Asia. Originally, it was used for healing in Japan, China, and Korea. Kombucha use spread with the beginning of trade. Merchants took the kombucha plant to Russia and then to Eastern Europe. Although it is not technically a fungus, it contains many similar healing properties. Because of this, it is often recommended along with members of the mushroom family.
This herb is usually placed in a nutrient solution of distilled water, black tea, and sugar. The process of brewing kombucha was introduced in Russia and Ukraine at the end of the 1800s. However, it did not become popular until the early 1900s. The kombucha culture is known locally as chayniy grib and the drink itself is referred to as grib, tea kvass, or simply kvass. Then, it undergoes chemical changes which make it beneficial for human consumption. The chemical reactions that occur in this process are very complex. The kombucha feeds on sugar, thus producing glucuronic acid, lactic acid, vitamins, amino acids, and some antibiotic solutions.
The healing properties are thought to be due to the production of glucuronic acid, B-complex vitamins, C vitamins, and lactic acid. Like all foods, there must be some care taken when preparing and storing kombucha, or else contamination may result. Keeping this herb safe and contamination-free is a concern to many home brewers. Key components of food safety when brewing kombucha include a clean environment, proper temperature, and low pH.
Russian studies have uncovered the presence of substances in the kombucha tea that contain antibiotic properties. The tea was found to prevent the growth and colonization of other yeasts and bacteria. The kombucha plant is also believed to help with a wide variety of conditions. It seems to have a detoxifying effect on the entire body, which makes it extremely beneficial for invigorating the whole body.
Research done in Germany led by Dr. Valentin Koehler found that kombucha has the ability to increase the function of the immune system. It does this by boosting levels of interferon. Kombucha contains many different cultures along with several organic acids, active enzymes, amino acids, and polyphenols. Due to the acidic fermentation process used in it’s brewing. Kombucha contains ethyl alcohol in amounts that vary from 0.5% to 1.5%. The range depends on the anaerobic brewing time and proportions of microbe. Commercial preparations of this herb are typically 0.5% in order to comply with distribution and safety procedures.
The entire kombucha plant is used to provide antibacterial, antibiotic, antifungal, and immuno-stimulant properties. Primarily, this herb is extremely beneficial in dealing with immune deficiencies and effects of toxins. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by kombucha, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Freez Dried Nettle Leaf
August 15, 2009 02:07 PM
The nettle plant is native to Europe and can be found throughout the United States and into Canada. This herb was cultivated in Scotland for use in making a durable cloth. The nettle plant is so rich in chlorophyll that it was used by the English to make a green dye for camouflage paint. This camouflage paint was used during World War II.
Nettle is one of the most useful of all plants. It contains alkaloids that neutralize uric acid. By decreasing uric acid, one can help to reduce symptoms of conditions like gout and rheumatism. Additionally, the astringent activity of nettle helps to decrease bleeding. The nettle plant is rich in iron, which is extremely vital to good circulation. It helps to reduce high blood pressure. Tannins that are found in the nettle root have been used as part of an astringent enema. This is used to shrink hemorrhoids and reduce excess menstrual flow. This herb became popular because of its use in irritating the skin of an inflamed area and increasing the flow of blood to reduce inflammation. The stinging action of nettle can be attributed to the histamine reaction that is caused by the formic acid in the hairs. Nettle has a reputation for use in cases of asthma and other respiratory conditions.
The use of nettle root extract was recommended by German physicians for treating urinary retention that is caused by benign prostatic hypertrophy. This recommendation was based upon evidence from clinical studies. Additional studies have determined that nettle root can increase the excretion of chlorides and urea from the urine. The diuretic activity produced by nettle root ahs been confirmed in animal studies. The diuretic properties can be attributed to the high potassium content. However, this has not been verified. A study that was conducted at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon found evidence of nettle for treating hay fever. In this study, freeze-dried capsules of 300 mg were used. The results showed significant relief from hay fever symptoms in the participants.
The leaves and roots of the nettle plant are used to provide alterative, antiseptic, astringent, blood purifier, diuretic, expectorant, galactagogue, hemostatic, and nutritive properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, chlorophyll, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, potassium, protein, silicon, sodium, sulfur, vitamins A, C, D, E, F, and P, and zinc. Primarily, nettle is extremely beneficial in dealing with external and internal bleeding, blood impurities, bronchitis, high blood pressure, rheumatism, and diarrhea. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating anemia, asthma, poor circulation, eczema, hay fever, hemorrhoids, hives, inflamed kidneys, excess menstruation, mouth sores, nosebleeds, skin disorders, and vaginitis.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on prescription medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by nettle, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Nettle is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Buckthorn Of The Sea
August 05, 2009 04:05 PM
Sea buckthorn is also known as sea berry or Siberian pineapple. It is a small shrub that can be found growing natively in a wild swath across Europe and Asia. This plant has been used by southeast Asians to treat various diseases for hundreds of years. The ancient Greeks are believed to have used the berries of the sea buckthorn plant in order to promote weight gain and shiny fur in horses.
After analyzing the orange berries of sea buckthorn, an abundance of vitamins C and E, carotenoids, flavonoids, glucose, fructose, several amino acids, and fatty acids have been found. The berries of this herb are used in order to produce juices, jams, liquors, and lotions. The oil that comes from the berries of sea buckthorn has been used to treat ailments that are related to inflammation. Included in these ailments are canker sores, esophagitis, cervicitis, peptic ulcers, and ulcerative colitis. Horticulturalists from the Soviet Union and East Germany came up with new varieties of sea buckthorn during the Cold War years that produce bigger berries and better nutrition.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses sea buckthorn to boost energy. Olympic athletes in the country have recently used sea-buckthorn-based sports drinks as part of their training. This herb is used in Russia in ointments to help shield cosmonauts from radiation damage while in orbit. The oil found in sea buckthorn contains high amounts of palmitoleic acid, which is a rare fatty acid that is found in skin fat. This fatty acid aids cell tissue and wound healing. Some U.S. cosmetic firms put this herb into their skin creams in order to provide protectant and anti-aging properties.
Sea buckthorn is recommended by herbalists in order to boost energy levels, promote wound healing, and shield the skin from the damage caused by ultraviolet rays. Some research on the wound-healing and tissue-protecting properties of this herb has provided positive results. The extract was shown to strengthen cardiac pump function and myocardial contractility in animal studies where dogs with heart failure were tested. The herb also seems to improve oxygen use in the hearts of dogs and animal heart cells in test tubes.
Generally, sea buckthorn oils are used externally for burns and other skin damage. They are also used internally for stomach and duodenal ulcers. Anecdotal reports of sea buckthorn extract have shown it being used to fight tumor growth, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
The berries of the sea buckthorn plant are used to provide anti-inflammatory properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are amino acids, carotenoids, fatty acids, flavonoids, fructose, glucose, and vitamins C and E. Primarily, sea buckthorn is extremely beneficial in treating burns, canker sores, cervicitis, colitis, lack of energy, esophagitis, skin protection, ulcers, and wounds. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by sea buckthorn, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
June 08, 2009 10:39 AM
For thousands of years, blue vervain has been used as an herbal remedy. The Chinese used this herb to treat malaria, dysentery, and congestion. It was also used during the middle Ages to help cure plagues. Blue vervain was also used by Native Americans as a natural tranquilizer for treating nervous conditions, along with female problems. In Germany, modern research has been found to support the use of blue vervain for the nervous system and for pain relief.
Because of its bitter taste, vervain is used by herbalists to improve digestion. Additionally, this herb was used to treat people with depression and spastic pains in the gastrointestinal tract. Blue vervain was also used as a mild diaphoretic and for all manner of female reproductive system problems that are associated with melancholy or anxiety. Physicians in the United States during the early 20th century believed that vervain may be helpful for mild digestive problems. This herb also had a reputation of being a traditional remedy for stimulating the production of breast milk. Although the active constituents of vervain have not been thoroughly demonstrated, it is believed that glycosides such as verbenalin and acucubin, as well as a volatile oil may be the key contributors to its activity.
Additional research shows that blue vervain has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to relieve respiratory inflammation. These properties are also calming for coughs. This herb works to fight mucus, especially for coughs that are associated with colds. Dr. Edward E. Shook, a herbalist, recommended using blue vervain to treat all diseases of the spleen and liver. This herb is also used to restore circulation and alleviate menstrual symptoms, epilepsy, indigestion, and dyspepsia.
A vervain tea made from leaves and flowers can be prepared by adding one to two teaspoons to a pint of hot water. This is then left to steep, covered for ten to fifteen minutes. Doctors typically recommend that a person takes three cups each day. Because the taste of the tea is somewhat disagreeable, the majority of people prefer to take this extract in a tincture or pill form. A tincture of one to two teaspoons, three times daily, is also suggested to consume this extract.
No adverse effects of vervain have been reported to this date. However, vervain should be avoided during pregnancy. Even though it was used traditionally during the last two weeks of pregnancy to facilitate labor, if it is used during pregnancy, one should only do so under the guidance of a healthcare professional that is experienced in herbal medicine.
The entire herb is used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiperiodic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, expectorant, nervine, and purgative properties. The primary nutrients found in blue vervain include calcium, manganese, and vitamin C and E. Primarily, blue vervain is extremely beneficial in dealing with asthma, bronchitis, poor circulation, colds, colon problems, congestion, convulstions, coughs, fevers, flu, gastric disorders, indigestion, insomnia, liver disorders, lung congestion, nervous conditions, pneumonia, seizures, upset stomach, sore throat, uterine problems, and worms.
Additionally, this herb is extremely helpful in treating catarrh, constipation, diarrhea, dysentery, earaches, epilepsy, gallstones, headaches, kidney problems, malaria, menstrual symptoms, excessive mucus, pain, skin diseases, sores, and spleen ailments. For additional information on the many beneficial effects of blue vervain, please contact a representative from your local health food store. Always purchase name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you buy.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Blue vervain is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
May 07, 2009 05:45 PM
L-carnitine is amino acid essential for the metabolism of fats into a form of energy necessary for extended aerobic activity. Originally discovered in Russia, and Germany a year later, the structural formulation of carnitine, as it is correctly known, was determined in 1927, although it is physiological and biochemical activity was not understood until the 1960s.
The amino acid is biosynthesized in the liver and kidneys from lysine and methionine. The vitamins niacin, B6, C and iron are essential for this reaction to take place. However, the supply of L-carnitine has to be supplemented by the diet, good sources being dairy products, red meat, nuts and seeds, pulses and fruits such as apricots, bananas and avocado. Most of the L-carnitine supply of the body is stored within the muscle tissue. However, it is not unusual for conditions to arise making it difficult for the body to obtain all the carnitine required.
L-carnitine enables fatty acids to be transported into the mitochondria, where cell metabolism occurs. The biochemistry is discussed below, although in simple terms the amino acid allows body fats, in the form of triglycerides, to be made more readily available for the generation of energy required for extended exertion. In this way, body fats can be used for energy and the supplies of glycogen stored by the liver can be retained for emergency use.
By providing the energy for endurance and stamina in this way, carnitine makes use of an otherwise unavailable energy source, and has the added benefit of reducing body fat stores and reducing strain on the heart.
Although there is generally a plentiful supply of L-carnitine available in a healthy diet, supplementation can ensure that a deficiency does not occur. Supplements are available in the form of L-carnitine or its acetylated derivative, acetyl L-carnitine.
In order for fatty acids to be used in the production of energy, their long-chain acetyl groups have to get inside the mitochondria where they are oxidized to the acetate to be used for the production of energy via the Citric Acid or Krebs cycle.
In order for the biochemistry to take place, fatty acids must be rendered suitable for binding to the carnitine molecule. The chemical grouping with a good affinity for L-carnitine is the acetyl or acetyl group, available in the molecule acetyl coenzyme A (CoA). The free fatty acid, therefore, is attached to coenzyme-A by means of a thioester bond, catalyzed by means of the enzyme fatty acetyl-CoA synthetase. The reaction is then completed by means of in organic pyrophosphatase.
In this way, the fatty acid in the form of an acetyL-carnitine derivative can be transported through the mitochondrial wall. This transportation takes place by means of several steps. These are:
1. As explained, the acetyl-CoA is attached to L-carnitine by means of the enzyme carnitine acetyltransferase I. This enzyme is conveniently located on the outer mitochondrial membrane.
2. The enzyme carnitine-acetylcarnitine translocase helps the acetyL-carnitine through the membrane.
3. Another enzyme, carnitine acetyltransferase II, located on the inner mitochondrial membrane, converts the acetyL-carnitine to acetyl-CoA, liberating the carnitine which returns to the muscle mass.
L-carnitine is the only known substance that allows fatty acids to cross the mitochondrial membrane, and therefore deficiencies must be avoided.
Another way in which carnitine is used in energy production is in the Krebs cycle itself. Part of this cycle involves the conversion of guanine diphosphate to the higher energy form guanine triphosphate. In this way energy can be stored in much the same way as it is in the conversion of ADP to ATP. Succinyl CoA is involved in this conversion, and one of the by-products of it is a corresponding succinate, that is then converted to a fumarate by the action of L-carnitine fumarate. Carnitine, therefore, has two parts to play in the production of long-term energy from the fatty acids contained in body fats.
Since the fatty acid triglycerides contained in body fats are a major source of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles, it is easy to understand how L-carnitine is believed to lead to the increased energy levels required for stamina and staying power. A major reason for its effect on longer-term or extended energy requirements is that in enabling stored body fats to be used for immediate and longer-term energy requirements, L-carnitine allows emergency glycogen stores to be retained for use once immediate fatty acid supplies or those of carnitine have been depleted, and so allows the energy supply to be extended even farther. Research has also suggested that the amino acid can possibly be used to treat liver and kidney disease, diabetes and chronic fatigue syndrome.
As with many supplements, the question is often asked how does L-carnitine work in practice as opposed to the claims made for it by the supplement providers? Recent research indicates mixed results, but sufficient to justify its use. It is generally accepted that a supplement is necessary when there is a deficiency, but once that deficiency has been corrected further intake is unnecessary. However, it is also believed that during long and extended periods of exercise a carnitine deficiency does occur as L-carnitine is used up, and the supplement is necessary to ensure sufficient energy supply throughout the period of exercise.
There has also been a case reported in the Journal of Clinical Neurology (Negoro, Tsuda, Kato & Morimatsu, 1995) where a deficiency, caused by anorexia nervosa damaging the liver to the extent that it was unable to synthesize L-carnitine, was remedied by means of an oral supplement. Studies on endurance athletes have been mixed, ranging from no effect to L-carnitine being found to promote weight loss.
Carnitine has no unknown harmful side effects, and has been studied for medical applications other than as an energy supplement. For example it possesses extensive antioxidant properties, and can be used as a supplement against oxidative stress and the prevention of the lipid peroxidation that is a precursor to atherosclerosis.
Its use in osteoporosis and reducing bone mass is also being studied. The concentration of L-carnitine diminishes with age, and affects fatty acid metabolism in a number of tissues. Bones are particularly affected since they require continuous reconstruction. Without detailing the biochemistry involved in this, administration of carnitine helps to reduce the speed by which this occurs. Trials are so far been carried out only on animals.
In studies on both healthy volunteers and patients with type II diabetes, L-carnitine was found to improve storage of glucose in both groups, although its oxidation increased only in the group with diabetes. Other studies carried out include improving the function of neurotransmitters in the brains of elderly patients and in the treatment of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, and other neurological disorders.
In conclusion then, although the jury is out on the use of L-carnitine is an energy-giving or weight-loss supplement, it appears to be effective where the body's stores of carnitine could be depleted such as with long-term exercise, natural deficiencies or deficiencies caused through age. It is also under study in the treatment of various medical conditions. On balance, it would appear that the prospective benefits of L-carnitine render it worthy of use.
March 26, 2009 03:13 PM
Passion flower has been long known and appreciated for its nervine abilities. The Aztecs used this herb as a sedative as well as for pain. From 1916 until 1936, it was listed in the National Formulary as a sedative. During the early twentieth century, passionflower was included in many over-the-counter sedative and sleep aids. Today, passionflower is available as an over-the-counter sedative in Germany. It is also used in many German homeopathic medicines to treat pain, insomnia, and nervous restlessness. Professional herbalists use passionflower today in combination with other calming herbs to help treat insomnia, tension, and other health problems that are related to anxiety and nervousness.
Passion flower is a perennial climbing vine that grows to a length of nearly ten meters. Each leaf on the passionflower has petals that vary in color from white to pale red. It possesses a fruit that is orange-colored, multi-seeded, and egg-shaped. This fruit is edible, containing a sweetish yellow pulp. According to folklore, the passionflower was given its name because it resembles the crown of thorns worn by Jesus during the crucifixion.
Recent research on passion flower has concluded that it is also useful for insomnia, fatigue, spasms, and nervous tension. The majority of the research done on this herb has focused on its sedative action and found good results. Studies have even found that an extract of passionflower can reduce locomotor activity and prolong sleeping. Some additional tests indicate that this herb has pain reliving abilities as well as sedative effects. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties which make it useful for those who are suffering from arthritis.
This plant contains passiflorine, which is thought to be the active ingredient, as its principles are similar to that of morphine. This herb is even occasionally referred to as the nonpoisonous, safe opium of the natural physician. It is extremely soothing to the nervous system. It is a good way to treat hysteria, anxiety, and hyperactivity. This herb possesses the ability to depress the central nervous system and also lower high blood pressure. Herbal combinations that contain valerian and passionflower are considered to be very useful as a natural tranquilizer. Additionally, passionflower contains calcium and magnesium, both of which are essential for the nervous system. This herb has been proven safe for both children and the elderly.
Passion flower remedies are made from either fresh or dried flowers as well as other ground parts of the plant. Whole and raw plant materials are used. The flowering shoots, which grow 10 to 15 centimeters above the ground, are harvested after the first fruits have matured. They are then either air-dried or hay dried. Passion flower is available as an infusion, tea, liquid extract, or tincture. For adults taking an infusion, the recommended amount is 2 to 5 grams of dried herb three times a day.
Fluid extracts should be taken three times a day, using about 10 to 30 drops, while a tincture should also be taken three times a day using 10 to 60 drops. For children, the recommended adult dose should be adjusted to account for the child’s weight. Since most herbal dosages for adults are calculated on a 150 pound adult, a child who weighs 50 lbs should receive an appropriate dose of passionflower of 1/3 of an adult dosage. Generally speaking, passionflower is considered to be safe and nontoxic. Passionflower should not be taken if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Passion flower can be found at your local and internet health food store and available in capsule, tablet, and powder form. When looking to purchase this supplement, stick with name brands such as Solaray and Source Naturals. Name brand companies back their product for any reason and put in pure quality ingredients in each bottle.
January 03, 2009 12:27 PM
Calcium is the most damaging mineral that is involved in the calcification of the blood vessel system. Ionic calcium, which is a floating form of calcium, is used by the body in daily functions like muscle contraction and relaxation, nerve impulse transmission, blood coagulation, and others. Calcium is a mineral that is capable of forming complexes with other components, such as proteins. These complexes can eventually lead to the formation of lesions, plaque, and the overall hardening of the blood vessels.
There are four different components that are found mainly in arterial walls which often combine with calcium. Elastin, a type of protein that makes up a good amount of the blood vessel wall, is the substance that allows the arterial wall to be elastic. During the process leading to atherosclerosis, elastin often forms complexes with ionic calcium, which results in a loss of elasticity.
Collagen, another type of protein that works with elastin to make up the bulk of arterial walls, forms complexes with ionic calcium, which leads to hardening of the blood vessel. MPCs, which are carbohydrates that contain a number of agents including amino acids, uronic acids, and chondroitin sulfate, are found within the arterial wall where they form complexics with ionic calcium to promote the formation of atherosclerosis. Beta lipoproteins and pre-beta lipoproteins transport a fatty acid and glycerol combination for storage in the liver, muscles, and other areas of the body.
Although beta and pre-beta lipoproteins form ionic calcium complexes and initiate the onset of arteriosclerosis, there are lipoproteins that do not form complexes with calcium, but interferes with the formation of ionic calcium complexes instead. It is clear that ionic calcium plays a huge role in the formation of arterial plaque and the actual hardening of arteries, due to the complexes it forms with components of the arterial wall. Because EDTA effectively ties up calcium complexes so that it can be eliminated through the urine, it is also clear why EDTA chelation therapy is a successful way to reduce the levels of atherosclerotic plaque and reverse the hardened condition that so often occurs in the artery walls.
EDTA chelation therapy was patented in Germany in 1930 and first used in medicine in 1941 to help with lead poisoning. It wasn’t patented in the United States until 1949, with several papers being published on its therapeutic effects following in the early 1950s. EDTA chelation therapy has been used in the U.S. to treat atherosclerosis since 1952, but was also used for lead poisoning and heavy metal toxicity before that. After its initial use for lead and heavy metal poising, it was noted that EDTA resulted in the reduction of severe pressure and pain in and around the chest, which led to the discovery of its abilities to treat atherosclerosis.
Since then, thousands of scientific articles have been written concerning the many aspects of EDTA chelation therapies as well as its safety, which has been proven by its use on thousands of patients in over three million intravenous treatments by over one thousand doctors in the last fifty years. Not one fatality has been documented when established protocol has been followed, while the FDA approved the new drug application for EDTA without requiring any additional safety studies to determine its safe use. Have you tried oral EDTA?
September 09, 2008 10:38 AM
Kombucha is a mushroom like substance made up of a group of yeasts and bacteria. It is a symbiotic colony of several cultures, which include genus saccharomyces yeast and xylinum bacteria. Used in East Asia as far back as 2,000 years ago, Kombucha was originally used for healing in Japan, China, and Korea, with its use spreading when European trade began. Merchants took the herb to Russia and then to Eastern Europe. Although it is not technically a mushroom, kombucha has many similar healing properties, which makes it often recommended along with other members of the mushroom family.
It is usually placed in a nutrient solution of distilled water, black tea, and sugar. Then, it undergoes complex chemical changes that make it beneficial for human consumption. Kombucha feeds on sugar-producing glucuronic acid, lactic acid, vitamins, amino acids, and some antibiotic solutions. The healing properties that are associated with kombucha are thought to come from the production of glucuronic acid, vitamins B-complex, vitamin C, and lactic acid.
Russian research has found that substances in kombucha tea contain antibiotic properties. These properties prevent the growth and colonization of certain yeasts d bacteria. There is a group of organisms in kombucha that contain usnic acid, which has shown possibilities of being responsible for the antibiotic activity that kombucha provides.
The most important function of kombucha is its ability to detoxify the body, as it is virtually impossible to avoid contact with some forms of toxins on a daily basis. A buildup of these toxins can result in many forms of illness. Keeping the body as clean as possible is essential for health. Kombucha helps us achieve a clean and health state because it works on the entire body to clean toxins from the system. It is also helpful to the support and strengthening of the glandular system. Additionally, it has been found to be useful for conditions including cancer, arthritis, fatigue, constipation, gout, multiple sclerosis, and arteriosclerosis.
Kombucha has been proven to be helpful in a wide variety of conditions. It has a detoxifying affect on the entire body, which allows for it to be beneficial in invigorating the entire body. It does not seem to specifically work for individual diseases, but it does work on cleansing the body as a whole, so that it may more effectively fight disease. Once toxins are eliminated, the body is able to better heal itself.
German research under the supervision of Dr. Valentin Koehler has discovered that kombucha possesses the ability to increase the function of the immune system, as it boosts the levels of interferon. The detoxifying abilities that kombucha holds allows it to help the body in working more effectively in fighting disease keeping one healthier.
Many remedies of great value are offered from the plant kingdom, with medicinal mushrooms turning out to be one of the richest offerings. Mushrooms can help to heal naturally and gently, without the toxic side effects that most synthetic drugs have. The use of mushrooms is beginning to grow thanks to increasing evidence of their healing potential. They stimulate the immune system and aid the body in preventing and healing illness. Kombucha is a mushroom like substance which has been used by eastern healers for thousands of years, and is now making its way into the western world.
September 05, 2008 09:02 AM
Bilberry has been used most commonly for centuries as a food, with the English traditionally eating bilberries with a rich cream. Large amounts of bilberries were imported annually from Holland, Germany and Scandinavia for use by pastry cooks and restaurant keepers to make jams, liqueurs, wines, and desserts up until World War II. Bilberry’s use is not only limited to food, as the juice of bilberry yields a clear, dark blue or purplish dye that has often been used to color wool in England.
Over the years, the bilberry fruit has gained recognition for its medicinal properties. Decoctions of the leaves and bark of the root have been used for a topical application to treat mouth and throat ulcers. Syrups have also been made from a mixture of the berries and honey to treat intestinal issues.
Additionally, the berries are very rich in vitamin C, with their astringent action explaining their historical use for diarrhea and dysentery. Many believe that the berries contain a pigment that can kill many strains of bacteria. Bilberry fruit and tea that are dried have been used to treat nausea as well as indigestion. Along with the above, other traditional applications of bilberry include inflammation of the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat, eyestrain or fatigue, and as a circulatory tonic. The leaves and berries have also been used for a homeopathic treatment of diabetes.
One of the main reasons that bilberry’s medicinal value came to attention in the Western world was because of its legendary ability to improve the nighttime vision of the British Royal Air force pilots during World War II. After consuming bilberry, it was found that they experienced improved visual acuity, making it easier to carry our nighttime bombing raids. It was also found that their eyes could adjust to darkness quicker and their vision was able to better correct after the effects of prolonged glare.
In the proceeding years, scientific research found that bilberry offered a wide range of benefits for both vision and other vascular disorders. French studies found that bilberry supplementation significantly enhanced the ability to adjust for glare and darkness. Bilberry can help to prevent compromised vision for anyone who is susceptible to eyestrain. In the last few decades, more studies have confirmed the medicinal value of bilberry for a variety of eye disorders. Bilberry is routinely used by European medical practitioners for patients with cataracts, venous insufficiency, visual disorders, peptic ulcers, capillary fragility, and even dysmenorrheal.
Finally, bilberry has a great effect on the activity of many enzymes that participate in inflammatory responses. Those who bruise easily or have trouble with capillary weakness can benefit from the anthocyanidin content of bilberry. These anthocyanidins offer many actions including: stimulating the production of collagen; protecting existing collagen stores in the connective tissue; preventing the formation and release of inflammatory compounds including histamine, prostaglandins, and leukotrines; preventing certain enzyme reactions that occur as a result of inflammatory conditions; and scavenging for free radicals to reduce cellular damage from oxidizing agents.
August 12, 2008 01:37 PM
Vitamin C is the most widely taken nutritional supplement on the market and is available in a variety of forms, including tablets, drink mixes, crystals in capsules or bulk powdered crystals. Vitamin C is present in mother's milk and, in lower amounts, in raw cow's milk, with pasteurized milk containing only trace amounts. This vitamin is most present in the liver and least present in the muscle but needed through out the body.
Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen, an important structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, skin, and bone. Vitamin C can regenerate other antioxidants such as vitamin E; in the body vitamin E can regenerate C as well. This vitamin is required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. Relatively large doses of vitamin C may cause indigestion, particularly when taken on an empty stomach.
It has been shown that smokers who have diets poor in vitamin C are at a higher risk of lung-borne diseases than those smokers who have higher concentrations of Vitamin C in the blood. Biological tissues that accumulate over 100 times the level in blood plasma of vitamin C are the adrenal glands, pituitary, thymus, corpus luteum, and retina.
Studies suggest the presence of large quantities of sugar either in the intestines or in the blood can slow absorption of this vitamin. Several studies have demonstrated a blood pressure lowering effect of vitamin C supplementation. Also, when consumed in high doses it appears to interfere with the blood thinning effects of warfarin by lowering prothrombin time, as noted in case reports in the 1970s so consult your doctor if on medications..
In one Study, researchers instructed patients with documented coronary artery disease to take a single oral dose of either 2 g vitamin C or a placebo. Results, the researchers discovered that high doses of vitamin C can help prevent blood platelet sticking and fight cholesterol oxidation. Also, researchers discovered this vitamin can reduce the formation of potentially carcinogenic nitrogen-containing compounds in the stomach, offering protection from stomach cancer, researchers have reported.
French and German researchers found that vitamin C appeared to keep cells in the blood vessel wall from dying. The researchers, who studied immune indicators, such as serum immunoglobulin and neutrophil phagocytosis (how well your white blood cells can engulf and digest foreign bodies), concluded that vitamin C exerts a remarkable immuno-modulating action, in other words, improved immune function in all those who consumed vitamin C on a regular basis.
What are deficiency symptoms for vitamin C?
Scurvy is a disease resulting from lack of vitamin C, since without this vitamin, the synthesized collagen is too unstable to perform its function. Scurvy was common among those with poor access to fresh fruit and vegetables, such as remote, isolated sailors and soldiers. The amount of vitamin C required to prevent “chronic disease” appears to be more than that required for prevention of scurvy which is 30 – 60 milligrams per day. Based on scientific research, vitamin C also appears to improve oral absorption of iron, which is good news for those that are anemic.
Half of us in the United States will die from heart disease. The foundation of heart disease is atherosclerosis, the narrowing of our arteries with plaque. Treatment with vitamin C has consistently resulted in improved dilation of blood vessels in individuals with atherosclerosis as well as those with angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Researchers believe this protection from cell death could explain previous study findings which suggest that vitamin C benefits blood vessel function in people with congestive heart failure.
Vitamin C supplements are also generally regarded as safe in most individuals in recommended amounts, although there are rarely reported side effects including nausea, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal cramps, and headache. In addition, this vitamin is required for the synthesis of l-Carnitine, a small amino acid that is essential for the transport of fat to cellular organelles called mitochondria, for conversion to energy. If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, vitamin C may help by boosting energy production through the mitochondria.
Therefore, as in many studies of vitamin C intake and cardiovascular disease risk, it is difficult to separate the effects of vitamin C on stroke risk from the effects of other components such as diet and the consumption of fruits and vegetables. As with all dietitians an emphasis on the benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is important to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. If one can not consume fruits and vegetables on a daily basis then supplementation of vitamin C is need in either capsule of tablet to fight the risk of disease.
May 01, 2008 02:45 PM
Bromelain consists of two enzymes that digest proteins, otherwise known as proteases or proteolytic enzymes. These enzymes are obtained from different parts of the plant, one from the stem and the other from the fruit. It also includes protease inhibitors, acid phosphatase, peroxidase and calcium.
First used as a supplement in 1959, bromelain is particularly popular in Germany, where a lot of the recent research has been carried out. Because the stem enzyme is in the greatest amount, eating pineapple will not give a great deal of bromelain, and you will have to take the supplement which is extracted from the stem in order to get the greatest benefits.
Bromelain has several therapeutic effects on the body, and is a good aid to digestion. The enzyme can boost the digestive processes and so reduce the incidence of problems such as heartburn, acid reflux and any other condition caused by the incomplete digestion of foods. It does this by breaking down proteins so they are more easily digested.
In fact its potency is sometimes measured in GDUs (Gelatin Digesting Units), gelatin being a common protein that is easily used for the measurement of bromelain activity. It is also measured in MCU (Milk Clotting Units), since bromelain can also be used to clot milk, and a standardized dose should contain 2 MCU per milligram. The dosage to use depends a great deal on the condition being treated, but a good general average for digestive problems is 500 mg three times daily.
Bromelain works best at an optimum pH of 4.5 – 5.5 and can therefore help to balance the pH in its environment. It is extremely important to the immune system that the pH of the body is balanced and controlled to within certain limits, and bromelain can help to achieve that. In helping to reduce the excessive acidity caused by poor digestion, a balanced pH of the stomach is also maintained, helping to reduce the feeling of nausea, common with some digestive defects. The overall result of bromelain supplement is to help to maintain a better digestive system and ease the discomfort of many people for whom a meal is frequently not the pleasure it should be.
Bromelain is also an anti-inflammatory, and used for temporary relief of the inflammation caused by surgical procedures, arthritis and various injuries and forms of disease It is commonly used for the treatment of sports injuries and also immediately after surgery to reduce the risk of inflammation. It appears to have an inhibiting effect of the production of pro-inflammatory metabolites in the body, although the mechanism by which it works is not yet fully understood.
In fact many of the therapeutic benefits of bromelain have been show to be only partially due to its proteolytic activity, and it is now believed that there are also as yet unidentified non-protein factors present in bromelain that contribute to these forms of health benefit. The biochemistry of bromelain has yet to be fully characterized.
Notwithstanding that, the substance has been recommended for the treatment of a wide range of connected conditions, such as gout, arthritis, hemorrhoids, ulcerative colitis, autoimmune disorders, hay fever and sinusitis. It is particularly useful where there is pain, where tissues have become swollen and when tissue repair is needed. It appears to inhibit pain-inducing prostaglandins and is also believed in some way to induce the biochemical production of other prostaglandins that have an anti-inflammatory effect.
All of this knowledge has come as a result of studies carried out on the biochemical activity of bromelain, but have not yet been proved and is indicative of the lack of biochemical knowledge on this substance and the chemicals it contains. What have been demonstrated, however, are its effects on platelets and blood clots in arteries.
It appears to do this by the inhibition of the formation of high levels of fibrinogen from which clots are made, and also inhibits the aggregation of blood platelets and their ability to stick to the endothelial cells of blood vessels, particularly the arteries. The fibrin that is produced from fibrinogen not only promotes blood clotting but is also associated wit the retention of fluid. It is a protein, and the proteolytic effect of bromelain also breaks this down.
Bromelain therefore works in a number ways to reduce fluid retention, prevent blood clotting and inhibit the aggregation of blood platelets on artery walls. The measurable effect of this is the thinning of the blood that such activity promotes. It is logical that if fibrin contributes to the viscosity of blood, then its destruction will result in thinner blood, and hence lower blood pressure.
It is also used in the treatment of burns, where it helps to remove the dead skin that can delay recovery after third degree burns. It also appears to promote the absorption of many antibiotics, which again helps in recovery.
Bromelain is relatively safe to use with few side effects, although, curiously, among the side effects are some conditions it is also used to treat. Among these are nausea and allergic reactions, along with diarrhea and excessive menstrual flow. One of its successes has been in the control of menstrual pain.
Bromelain has been proposed for cancer therapy, its potential use being recommended due to its effect of the adhesion of cells, its regulation of the immune function and its effect on the immunosuppressive cytokine TGF-beta that is involved in several types of cancer and their metastasis (spread to other parts of the body). However, a lot more work is needed on this for definite conclusions to be drawn.
On a more practical note, the effect of bromelain on proteins is put to use as a steak tenderizer. If the product is sprinkled in powdered form onto meat, and then forked into the tissue, the enzymes will break down the protein of the meat and make it tender when cooked. However, don’t overdo it or you will end up eating a meaty mush more akin to a soft meatloaf than a good steak!
All in all, bromelain is a useful supplement for many medical conditions, and does to food in your stomach what it does to steak on the plate. It is generally used in supplement form because the active enzyme is not in a high enough concentration in the fruit itself, but in the stem from which it is extracted after the fruit has been harvested. It is also easier to standardize a supplement than a fruit.
April 29, 2008 10:49 AM
Butterbur extract is taken mainly from the rhizome, root and leaves of the butterbur, a member of the daisy family. They are very hardy and have creeping underground rhizomes and large leaves like those of rhubarb. Another name given to it is the sweet Coltsfoot, and they generally grow in the temperate climates of Europe, North Africa and South west Asia. They like damp conditions, specifically marshes and ditches, and also riverbanks where there are always plentiful supplies of moisture.
It has been used by Native Americans for headaches and inflammation, and has been shown to be an effective remedy for hay fever and to provide relief from painful menstrual cramps. Butterbur has also been used throughout the middle Ages to treat fever and the plague, and has been recorded in the seventeenth century as being used for asthma, wounds and coughs. However, one of its most important applications is in restore bladder function in the incontinent and semi-incontinent.
Urinary incontinence is typified by an unusually high frequency of urination – more than 8 times a day, an immediate strong urge to pass water or leaking and involuntary urination. Any two of these three indicates urinary incontinence. As people age their bladders become smaller, and by definition the periods between urination will reduce. This does not, however, suggest that bladder size is the cause of urinary incontinence.
Urination is caused by the contraction of the smooth layered muscle that surrounds the bladder, called the detrusor, a contraction in turn caused by neurons both in the brain and in the detrusor itself. This naturally contracts and expands according to the volume of urine in the bladder, and once the bladder is about half full the brain will tell you that the detrusor is ready to contract to expel the urine. However, if the time is not convenient, the cortex will suppress this desire until a more convenient time.
In incontinence, the desire is suppressed but the neurons still fire to contract the detrusor, expelling urine at inconvenient moments. Butterbur contains the sesquiterpenes petasin and isopetasin, which are known to reduce spasms in smooth muscle tissue and in vascular walls. It can therefore be used to control the involuntary spasms that cause urine leakage or expulsion against the patient’s wishes. These sesquiterpenes are at highest concentration in the roots of the plant.
The effect that the sesquiterpenes have in inhibiting the synthesis of leukotriene in leukocytes tends to support this effect, since leukotrienes can cause contraction of vascular and smooth muscle tissue. Not only this, but the spasmolytic effect could also be explained by the inhibition of cellular calcium caused by the petasin isomers.
Many studies have indicated that the effectiveness of butterbur extract is also useful in the prevention of migraines. There has been a lot of research carried out on the use of butterbur extract on migraine sufferers, and the effective dose appears to about 75 mg twice daily. There is little evidence of it being a cure but as a prophylactic there appears no doubt of its efficacy: there have been too many positive results against placebos for its effect to be deniable.
It is significant that leukotriene can cause constriction of the small blood vessels in the veins, and so affect the flow of blood. Butterbur, in inhibiting its biochemical production, helps to keep these blood vessels open. Lekotrienes are also important components of inflammation, and altogether it appears that whatever the real cause of migraine, the petasin isomers in butterbur have an effect in inhibiting its initiation. Add to that the potential reduction in calcium content that can cause blood vessels to become less flexible, and the argument for its effectiveness is both irrefutable and well explained.
In one example of such a double blind study that is representative of many, a group of patients given 50 mg butterbur extract twice a day for twelve weeks experienced a 60% reduction in the frequency of attacks, a reduction in the severity of the attacks they did have, and a reduction in the length of the attacks. Although the vascular theory of the cause of migraine is no longer supported, maintenance of the vascular system appears to at least reduce the likelihood of attacks.
The effect of butterbur on asthma and other allergic reactions is also well documented. This again is due to its anti-spasmodic properties and inhibitory effect on the inflammatory immune response through the inhibition of leukotriene synthesis and the consequent positive effect on the metabolism of prostaglandin. Prostaglandins also constrict vascular smooth muscle cells, regulate the mediation of the inflammatory response and constrict general smooth muscle cells. All of these can lead a to a variety of disorders cause by smooth muscle spasms in additional to urinary incontinence, such as menstrual cramps, liver and gastrointestinal disorders and asthmatic conditions.
In one study of allergic rhinitis, administration of butterbur extract appeared to result in a reduction in the histamine and leukotriene content of nasal fluids and no difference was noticed between this treatment and histamine treatment. This was a useful study because histamines causes drowsiness and butterbur can be used as a substitute for histamine without the sedative effect. A study in Germany in 1993 has shown that the stomach ulceration caused by the anti-inflammatory medications for arthritis was reduced by the administration of butterbur extract
Cetirizine is a commonly prescribed prescription treatment for allergic conditions, and studies comparing that with butterbur demonstrated them to be equally effecting in reducing the symptoms typical of allergic reactions such as sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion. 50% of the patients in the group took each and there was no difference in results. Again it was explained by the petasin limiting the production of leukotriene and histamine, both of which are produced by the immune response and promote mucous secretions and inflammation. They also constrict airways that can be serious to asthma sufferers
These studies are simply providing scientific evidence and explanations for the tradition use of this plant for such conditions. Butterbur has been used for centuries to treat such conditions all over Western Europe, and once again the use of traditional medicine has been supported by modern investigative techniques.
Boost digestion with Bifidus Longum and Acidophilus Probiotics
March 21, 2008 12:19 PM
Prior to discussing how you can boost digestion with bifidus longum probiotics, let's first have a look at probiotics in general and why they are so beneficial to us.
Probiotics are also known as microflora, and are beneficial organisms that live in your digestive tract. Not all microorganisms are bad news, and many are essential for good health. Included in these organisms are various types of bacteria and yeasts, each of which has a specific part to play in the proper functioning of your body. Because of this they are found in foods all over the world, including yoghurt and fermented vegetables such as German sauerkraut and Korean kimchi.
Among their major benefits to health are that they help to support your immune system, they aid the digestion and absorption of food, they provide increased energy by improving the metabolic conversion of blood glucose to energy, and they can also help to delay aging. However, you should be aware that not all probiotics are the same, and when used properly some can have the same effect as antibiotics.
They are used to cure many digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea, and can also help to relieve heartburn and acid reflux. In fact your lower intestine should contain a minimum of 85% friendly bacteria, and 15% at most of unfriendly bacteria that can cause disease if they over-colonize your colon. It might surprise you to learn that you have around twenty times more bacteria in your body than body cells.
One of the best known of the probiotics are members of the lactobacillus family that are contained in yoghurt and curds and whey, so Little Miss Muffet had the right idea. However, you might not have the right idea in eating commercial yoghurt because, while raw yoghurt does contain these helpful bacteria, the type that you buy in pots in the supermarkets has likely been pasteurized - a process that kills off the bacteria. Unless the product has been seeded with live bacteria after pasteurization, then there will likely be none in your yoghurt! Make your own!
So what are the probiotics that do you most good, and in what form should you consume them? The common friendly bacteria are the already mentioned lactobaccilus, and then lactococcus, streptococcus thermophilus, enterococcus, bifidobacterium and others. Bacteria are easily killed off by the acidic conditions in your stomach, and since they must be taken live they should be consumed in a form that can resist the stomach acid.
There are many ways in which they benefit you, the main ones that are currently understood being:
Lactic acid production: the presence of lactic acid in the gut prevents stops or slows the growth of harmful bacteria by increasing the acidity. Some probiotics, known as lactic acid bacteria (LAB) can do this. Most bacteria do not like acidic conditions.
Supporting the immune system: LAB bacteria have been shown to increase the production of cytokines that stimulate the activity of the macrophages that attack foreign viruses and pathogenic bacteria. The LAB also promotes the formation of NK-cells (natural killer cells) that destroy cells that have been infected by viruses.
Adhesion site blockage: bacteria attach themselves to your intestinal walls at specific adhesion sites. Friendly bacteria can colonize these sites and so prevent the pathogens from adhering.
Effect on the Intestinal wall: the intestinal wall has a natural mucous barrier that helps to prevent the passage of allergens and pathogens into the bloodstream through the intestine. Probiotics can strengthen this barrier, and also alter the nature of the mucous to render it less liable to penetration by these unwelcome visitors.
So where does bifidobacteria come into this? There is a number of strains of this bacterium living in the human body, but Bifidus longum is the most common or most abundant of these. Although it is the most common bacterium found in commercially available probiotic products, high numbers have to be consumed for the proper health benefits. However, commercial yoghurts contain very little of this bacterium, or even none at all. This is largely due to the pasteurization previously discussed, that kills the bacteria at high temperatures. Unfortunately this process is not selective, and in ridding the products of bacteria that could make you seriously ill, the beneficial bacteria are also destroyed.
This is a shame because Bifidus longum has been shown to inhibit E.Coli that can cause serious conditions of the digestive system. Among these are severe diarrhea and an inflammatory condition in the colon as the immune system tries to expel these nasty bacteria. This bacterium is particularly dangerous to the weak, such as the aged, children and people already weakened by illness.
It also helps to counteract yeast and other vaginal infections and when taken with other probiotics is believed to help in colon cancer cases. Among its other benefits are its part in the biosynthesis of thiamine, riboflavin and other vitamin B forms in your intestine, and also the absorption and assimilation of these vitamins by your body. It is also believed that it might help to reduce the cholesterol level in your body through its uptake of bile salts from the colon.
The major destructive elements of Bifidus longus are antibiotics of any kind, whether they be penicillin variants or tetracycline, and although the latter is used mainly for infections of the respiratory tract, it is ingested by the gut and effectively reduces the population of the bacteria that are needed for optimum health. That is one of the reasons why antibiotic use should be restricted to only what is necessary, and not use indiscriminately for all infections. Unless administered intravenously or site targeted, antibiotics kill off the good with the bad!
The other activities of Bifidus longus, such as removing the by-products of our metabolism that could be toxic if left to roam our bodies, render this bacterium as useful to your body as any vitamin or mineral supplement you could take. It is a supplement that many either overlook or are not even aware of, yet one that can make a significant difference, not only to your digestive and intestinal health, but also to you general overall wellbeing.
Natural Sweeteners: Which One Should You Take?
December 09, 2007 03:23 PM
There are many natural sweeteners to choose from if you want to avoid sugar, but don’t want any of the artificial sweeteners over which there are a few questions. You can choose from xylitol, luo han, stevia and others, but before discussing these, let’s have a look at the problems with sugar, artificial sweeteners and the American sugar industry.
Sugar as most people know it originates either from sugar cane or sugar beet, though by far the biggest American industry is in the cane. There are many different types of sugar, though that obtainable from cane sugar is sucrose. Sucrose is a disaccharide and carbohydrate, stored by plants as a reserve energy source to be used when needed. Humans cannot directly use sucrose, and it is metabolized in the body to glucose which needs the hormone insulin to help convert it into energy.
Insulin is produced in the pancreas, and a lack of it, or the body’s failure to use it properly, is referred to as diabetes. There are two types of diabetes:
Type 1: A total lack or deficiency of insulin due to the pancreas producing insufficient quantities of insulin, or even none at all. This is often seen in young people and is generally cause by the immune system attacking the insulin-producing sells in the pancreas. The treatment for type 1 diabetes is to introduce insulin to the blood, normally by means of injections, plenty exercise and the adoption of a high carbohydrate low fat diet.
Type 2: This is strongly associated with obesity and weight, and is due either to insufficient insulin production by the pancreas (but not as deficient as for Type 1 diabetes) or an inability of the cells of the body to properly use insulin. Type 2 diabetes does not always require insulin injections, and can be treated by exercise, diet and weight control. However, there are occasions where insulin injections are also required. It tends to affect people older than those with Type 1 diabetes and 90% of cases are of this type.
Both types, however, are connected with an excess of glucose in the blood, into which most sugars are converted. A diet low in sucrose will go a long way towards helping people that suffer from either type of diabetes, and control of carbohydrate intake should include a reduction in the intake of sucrose in the form or beet or cane sugar. This accepted, then if you need a sweetener, a saccharide free natural sweetener would appear to be the logical choice.
You could opt for a synthetic sweetener, but they also have their problems. There is evidence that saccharin could be a carcinogen, and ‘aspartame’ disease is not a myth. The other artificial sweeteners also have sufficient questions that natural sweeteners would appear to be the obvious choice. But which? That is the question. Let’s have a look at some and check out their pros and cons.
The first is Stevia. This is a South American herb that is 400 times sweeter than sucrose and yet is very low in calories and does not affect diabetics. Used throughout most of the world, it has not been approved by the FDA as a food additive due mainly, it would appear, to lobbying by the American sugar corporations. This is understandable, since mass substitution of sugar by stevia in processed foods is entirely possible, but would cost the sugar corporations billions.
However, it is available to purchase from health food stores, and does not appear to possess the problems that aspartame does. Unlike that sweetener, it can be used in baking and cooking, and is ideal for diabetics and people suffering from yeast infections such as candida. Such infections are aggravated by sugar in the colon, since yeasts love sugar, but they cannot survive on stevia. The safety of stevia has been proven through hundreds of years of popular use without any problems.
However, there are others. Luo Han Guo is a sweet Chinese fruit of which extracts are marketed as a natural sweetener. The plant it comes from is the Momordica grosvenori, a member of the cucumber squash family that grows in the mountainous areas of southern China. The sweeteners it contains are called mogrosides that are terpene glycosides, of which there are five different forms, the main one being termed mogroside-5.
The extract is available in the form of a powder consisting of around 80% mogrosides, and possesses around 250% of the sweetness of sucrose. This, too, can be used in cooking; because it is stable to heat and contains about 2% of the calories of ordinary sugar (one half teaspoon is equivalent to 25 teaspoons sugar). You can help 50 medicines go down for the same calories of getting one down using sugar!
Not only that but, like stevia, there are no known side effects. It has been used for many centuries in Chinese medicine in the treatment of gastrointestinal conditions and conditions of the respiratory tract. Unlike natural sweeteners, luo han has been found to be useful in helping to manage diabetes since it does not cause insulin levels to rise and are not involved in energy production, so have no effect on your weight. The mogrosides from luo han are also under study as inhibitors of certain tumors, and might be able to inhibit skin tumor growth. Other possible medical advantages include helping to reduce atherosclerosis and heart disease, so would appear to be a useful sweetener to use in your coffee!
Finally, xylitol. It was during World War II that Finnish scientists rediscovered xylitol that had been previously used in Germany as a sweetener in the late nineteenth century. The sugar shortage resurrected this substance that can metabolize without the need for insulin.
Xylitol is a substance that is found in some fruits and vegetables and also in corn cobs. In fact, it is a product that appears in animal metabolism, and so is perfectly safe. It is known to help support the immune system, and to help reduce the effects of aging. It possesses antibacterial properties due to its 5-carbon ring and has been approved by the FDA. Xylitol can replace sugar in most of its domestic uses, including in baking and as a natural sweetener. It is also used extensively in chewing gum as a sweetener that does not cause dental cavities due the acid caused by bacterial attack on the sugar.
However, one use to which xylitol cannot be put, nor any of the other natural sweeteners mentioned here, is in fermentation. Try these for your wine or beer and you will be very disappointed at the low alcohol level of your brew! This is also, however, one of the benefits of xylitol: it cannot feed the yeasts that cause candida or any other yeast infection. Although it is a saccharide, it is the same as the others in this respect.
So, which of these natural sweeteners should you take? The choice is yours since each has its own benefits with very few disadvantages and certainly no recorded side effects that we know of. Use stevia for superior sweetening effects, and make up a concentrated solution of it in water for your cooking. Use luo han if you have gastrointestinal problems, and use xylitol if you want fresher breath and to protect your teeth.
Use none for brewing or winemaking, and use any of them if you are diabetic. The choice is yours. These sweeteners are available at your local or internet health food store.