Search Term: " Leukemia "
A compound found in goldenseal proven to possess cancer-fightingproperties
May 07, 2019 04:20 PM
Berberine is a yellow compound found in goldenseal that has traditionally been used as both a dye and a medicine. Recently, a group of Japanese researchers found that berberine may induce cell death in cancer cells — especially leukemia cells — and prevent their proliferation. Berberine may also be quite effective in moderating blood sugar and promoting the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract. It may also help in losing weight and moderating cholesterol levels.
"The research team found that after five to 15 minutes of treatment, berberine exhibited powerful antiproliferative activity in the cells."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-26-compound-goldenseal-cancer-fighting-properties.html
Researchers find that consuming blended protein supplements canimprove energy malnutrition, muscle mass in leukemia patients
May 06, 2019 03:28 PM
Because cancer can quickly accelerate the deterioration of a person’s body, some researchers in China wanted to find out how soy-whey protein blend can help patients with leukemia by considering its effects on protein energy absorption and muscle mass. This is because leukemia patients often experience a decrease in muscle mass and severe protein-energy malnutrition (PEM). Earlier studies have shown that soy-whey protein can promote muscle protein synthesis, so the present researchers wanted to know if it can help leukemia patients before they undergo bone marrow transplant. The patients used in the study were 24 in number and they were divided into two groups. One group took natural diet with soy-whey blended protein (BP) while the second group only took natural diet. From the data it was observed that there was a decrease in protein and energy intake of all the 24 participants. But in the group without the soy-whey diet, there was a significant decrease in muscle-related indicators in half of the patients while 60 percent of the patients who ingested the soy-whey blend protein had muscle mass increase in the arm area.
"In the ND group without the BP intervention, the researchers observed a significant reduction in muscle-related indicators (i.e., anthropometric variables, muscle strength and serum protein) in more than 50 percent of the patients."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-02-blended-protein-improves-energy-malnutrition-muscle-mass-leukemia-patients.html
Can Gut Bacteria Affect Your Mental Health?
April 02, 2019 02:06 PM
There are two different microbes called Coprococcus and Dialister that are now showing a correlation between depression and the absence of these two floras. A study was done in which 1,000 participants filled out assessments that analyzed their quality of life. Those who were shown to have significant signs of depression were more likely to have a deficiency in the two previously mentioned forms of gut flora. Since the microbes in our gut are responsible for other conditions such as childhood Leukemia and inflammatory diseases, their correlation to mental wellness is not a complete shock.
"Researchers from Belgium recruited more than 1,000 people in order to examine their gut microbiome. Of them, 173 participants were diagnosed with depression or fared poorly in a survey assessing their quality of life."
Read more: https://www.medicaldaily.com/can-gut-bacteria-affect-your-mental-health-429678
Cannabis extract fights â??incurable formâ?? of Leukemia
June 20, 2018 04:44 PM
More and more researching is emerging surrounding the benefits of cannabis when it comes to its medicinal properties. A study was shown that involved a 14-year-old girl who was diagnosed with cancer. She had undergone several aggressive treatments such as chemotherapy, and her family wanted to seek out another alternative route. They started seeing a doctor who overlooked her consumption of cannabis for medicinal purposes, and it was shown to have quite a positive impact on her recovery. She ended up passing of causes unrelated to the cannabis use, but it doesn't take away from the success that medicinal marijuana helped her and her family achieve.
"There are plenty of anecdotal reports of the successful use of cannabis in treating cancer, but few cases occur under conventional medical supervision, and virtually none make it into a peer-reviewed biomedical journal as a case report."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/cannabis-extract-fights-incurable-form-of-leukemia/
Vitamin C helps genes to kill off cells that would cause cancer
August 20, 2017 12:14 PM
Are you getting your vitamin C? It's always been important to ensure you're supplying your body with enough of this important vitamin, but now there's far more reason to consume the proper amounts of vitamin C each day: It could ward off those cells that cause cancer. This is very important information that you should learn because it could very well save your life. Have you had all the Vitamin C that you need today?
"When the team exposed human leukaemia cells in a dish to a cancer drug, they found they got better results when they added vitamin C."
Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2144410-vitamin-c-helps-genes-to-kill-off-cells-that-would-cause-cancer
Cannabinoids can successfully kill leukemia cells, reveals groundbreaking new study
June 21, 2017 12:14 PM
Leukemia, which is prevalent in both children and adults, is a bone marrow cancer that results in an abnormal production of white blood cells.As for leukemia treatment, now it’s simply a matter of figuring out the most optimal combinations for greater effectiveness. Cannabis has long been known as having the ability to kill cancer, but the new revelation regarding leukemia is important because the disease is a cancer of bone marrow and other blood forming organs.
"The study revealed that the cannabiniod varieties cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) eliminated leukemia cells when used alone."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-06-20-cannabinoids-can-successfully-kill-leukemia-cells-reveals-groundbreaking-new-study.html
Cannabis phytochemicals found to be effective in destroying leukemia cells
June 14, 2017 07:14 PM
A recent study shows that cannabinoids fight against leukemia cancer cells if administered in the correct order. When the cannabinoids were given to patients after they received chemotherapy it showed cancer cell death, but it didn't show nearly as effective when given before chemotherapy. When cannabinoids are used in conjunction with chemotherapy it can diminish the unfavorable side effects of chemotherapy significantly. There is still more to be learned, but so far the results look promising.
Read more: Cannabis phytochemicals found to be effective in destroying leukemia cells
Cannabis, combined with chemotherapy, effectively destroys cancer cells
June 09, 2017 04:14 PM
Researchers in England have found that combining cannabis usage with chemotherapy improves the treatment's effectiveness against leukemia. The inclusion of the cannabis allows for lower dosages of chemotherapy to be used, limited the harsh effects of the treatment.
Researchers have found that application sequence is critical for effectiveness. the active chemicals from the cannabis should be administered after the chemotherapy treatment for best results.
While they stress the need for more testing before such treatment can become commonplace, it represents and exciting development on the cancer treatment front.
"Scientists say the order the treatments are administered is crucial. Using cannabinoids after chemotherapy killed off blood cancer cells more rapidly."
Read more: http://wqad.com/2017/06/07/cannabis-combined-with-chemotherapy-effectively-destroys-cancer-cells/
Cancer-killing Dandelion Tea Receives $157K Research Grant
May 18, 2017 08:44 AM
Chronic monocytic myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the blood, has been shown to respond to respond to dandelion root extract in clinical studies. Siyaram Pandey, a biochemist at the University of Windsor, began studying its effects after an oncologist pointed out to him that patients of hers who drank dandelion root tea, were getting better. He developed a formula concentration the roots into a potent tea that has shown to treat cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells alone. His team has received a substantial research grant to continue their research.
"After other medical treatments for his leukemia failed he tried the tea. Four months later, he returned to the clinic in remission and has been cancer-free for three years."
Read more: http://www.healthnutnews.com/cancer-killing-dandelion-tea-receives-157k-research-grant/
Stop Throwing Away Avocado Seeds. They’re Potent Cancer Fighters
May 08, 2017 11:59 AM
Avocado seeds are commonly thrown out, but they are editable and extremely healthy. Nearly 70% of all the antioxidants within an avocado are located in the seed. There are many benefits to eating the seeds. Some of the benefits are they can boost your immunity system, reduce blood glucose levels, help maintain a healthy heart, and reduce digestive issues. Many additional benefits exist like decelerating the aging process by helping in making the skin smoother. Avocado seeds have been shown to also kill some kinds of cancer cells, like Leukemia cells. The recommended manner of consuming the seeds would be to dry them out, crush them with a hammer, and use a blender to mix them. Then you can add the powder to your favorite dressings or foods.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jj3jdFnFtNg&rel=0
"These seeds are high in soluble fibers. In fact, they contain more soluble fiber than most other foods."
Easy Healthy Recipes || How to Make Avocado Smoothie
March 28, 2017 11:44 AM
Avocado used to be seen as a fattening food that should only be eaten rarely. That perception has changed as it becomes clear that avocado is rich in healthy fat, vitamin E and carotenoids. Avocado is also rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It should definitely be included in your diet and there are many ways to do this. Watch this video for a recipe for a delicious avocado smoothie. It's simple to make and its ingredients are inexpensive.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bjx_enRmRk&rel=0
"You should learn how to make an avocado smoothie because it can be a great morning meal to eat."
Prenatal Vitamins: Why are They Important for Pregnant Women?
April 01, 2014 06:42 PM
If you have any plans of getting pregnant, then you have to ensure that you are taking prenatal vitamins regularly from day one until the postpartum period. Women today have less time to eat a healthy meal, which is why it is important for them to take vitamins most especially if they are expecting a baby.
Being a mother is the most exciting life event of a woman, which is why it is important that you do not just take care of yourself but on the life inside your womb as well.
Here are the reasons why prenatal vitamins are important for pregnant women:
It provides a boost for expectant mothers to prevent from suffering from nausea and vomiting. As you know, morning sickness is common in pregnant women and this symptom may cause extreme fatigue preventing them to eat or even move a muscle.
It reduces the risk of your child to have the three common childhood cancers such as brain tumors, Leukemia, and neuroblastoma. It also prevents neural tube defects that develop in the first 28 days of pregnancy.
It provides the important vitamins that you lack. This is important if you are on a vegetarian diet or if you are meticulous on the foods that you eat, most especially if you are in your first trimester.
These vitamins have iron. Iron is important to maintain a healthy blood during pregnancy. A lack of this while pregnant may result to some serious problems encountered during deliver.
So, it is important that you take prenatal vitamins with iron to make you and your baby healthy.
Does The Red Raspberry Have Healing Properties?
March 26, 2014 11:54 AM
Red raspberry fruit
Raspberry provides some of the very best results when it comes to the medicinal values especially in herbal medicine. The usefulness of the plant delivered from roots, bark, leaves and the fruit. Due to the wide range of minerals that found in red raspberry, which includes vitamins, potassium, calcium, sulphites and phosphate. The leaves contain important acids like citric, malic, tartaric and citrate, which are very good for the body. Red raspberry used in many cases to treat and prevent certain digestive system related diseases like diarrhea and dysentery.
Health benefits of raspberry
In many cases, raspberry in form of vinegar is used to cure sore throats and different cough related complications. The flowers of red raspberry used for the treatment of pimples in adolescents as well as poultice for eye inflammation. The juice made from red raspberry used as laxatives or as a remedy for children with fever, as well as the treatment of cystitis.
Raspberry products are used worldwide by women who are pregnant or have menstrual complications. The underlying factor in this case is that raspberry used to stop or reduce mucous discharge from genitals hence reducing the pain experienced during menstruation. For pregnant women red raspberry products used to prevent postpartum depression and hypertension while boosting breast milk production during lactation. In other cases, the leaves of red raspberry used to promote fertility in both men and women and prevent the causes of miscarriages.
Raspberries mixed with other products to produce medicines that can cure diseases like malaria, gonorrheal, Leukemia and other dangerous diseases. This achieved through the ability of raspberry fruits having constituents that act like anti-septic, anti-gonorrhea, anti-malaria and anti-leucorrhea.
How Does Artemisinin Boost Your Health?
November 22, 2013 10:15 PM
What is Artemisinin?
Artemisinin also known as Ching hao su is a herbal medicine that is extracted from wormwood herb. Asians have been using this leaf for many years to treat simple ailment such as parasitic infections and cold. However, it has recently become very useful for its effect on malaria. The herb has been used to treat parasitic infections, mainly worms and flukes that strain our body not only on feeding them but also in excreting their waste & by-products. Malaria is caused by such a parasite and artemisinin has proved to be effective solution.
Artemisinin and Malaria
The plant contains a chemical known as Endoperoxide Bridge that reacts with iron to form free radical which is unwelcomed in our body. Nevertheless, malaria parasites have high level of iron that reacts with artemisinin to form free radicals that kill off the parasite. This has become the best cure for malaria since the parasites that cause it have developed mutant to many cures and they are not resistant to the endoperoxide.
What are Other Benefits of Artemisinin?
For other application is in the fight against cancer. Different cancers such as colon cancer and Leukemia that involve iron rich cells can be destroyed by artemisinin by the same mechanism that kills off malaria parasites. Cancer cells are known to accumulate iron because they need it in cell division process. However, if you’re using artemisinin for treatment of cancer cells, it is important not to eat antioxidant containing supplements or foods because this drug work by creating free radicals that destroy cancer cells, antioxidant activity is known to counter these free radicals.
If you are suffering from intestinal parasites, then taking a gram or two each day will keep them off. This supplement is also effective when you are dealing with cough, cold and other general conditions but is more effective in the ones that cause fever. The Chinese have been using it as a form of “cure all” when specific remedies fail.
The health benefits of artichoke leaves
December 07, 2012 01:12 PM
Artichoke has been a very popular vegetable since ancient times due to its great taste and abundant health benefits. Although most people prefer eating its heart, it's actually the artichoke leaves that contain most the ingredients that are beneficial to the body.
The following is an overview of the health benefits of artichoke leaves.
Contain powerful antioxidants
Artichoke leaves and flower heads have one of the highest antioxidant capacity reported for vegetables. Its powerful antioxidants can help you to detoxify your body, as well as avoid problems that are associated with free radicals in the body, including weak immune system, aging skin, decreased energy and weight gain.
The ingredients found in the artichoke leaves extract have been found to lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body. They achieve this by inhibiting the enzyme HMG- CoA reductase, which is responsible for cholesterol production. This reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, arteriosis and other cardiovascular issues.
Help to treat and prevent cancer
Artichoke leaves extract contains substances that are known to induce apoptosis or “cell death,” which inhibits cell proliferation in different forms of cancer, such as breast cancer, prostate cancer and Leukemia.
Increase bile flow
The pulp of artichoke leaves is rich in Cynarin - a chemical substance that is known to increase bile flow. Healthy bile flow helps to avoid a variety of health problems such as Candida, parasites, constipation, gallstones, high cholesterol, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes and insulin issues.
Artichoke leaves extract contains diuretic effects and has been shown to aid digestion. It improves bile flow, which in turn stimulates peristalsis, required for better digestion. This keeps digestive problems such as constipation away.
Strengthen liver and gall bladder function
As a natural diuretic, artichoke leaves extract boosts both liver and gall bladder functions. This is actually the reason why they are considered to be an effective hangover treatment. Rich in fiber Artichoke leaves are high in fiber, and they can be very handy when you are trying to lose weight, or fight digestive problems.
Kava root and its health benefits
October 18, 2012 07:51 AM
Also known as the intoxicating pepper, or botanically Piper methysticum, the kava shrub has for thousands of years been known to have health benefits from its roots. Kava roots have been known to provide relief from stress and physical ailments. With its origin in the pacific, now the kava root is known all around the world for its continued success in providing the mind and body with concentration and relaxation respectively.
The kava root contains a chemical component called kavalactone which when induced creates a relaxing feeling to the mind and body thereby treating stress and insomnia. Other health benefits of kava root are treatment of asthma, migraines and headaches, depression, gout, urinary tract infections, prostate inflammation and even reduction of pain in joints for rheumatism patients.
Recent researchers have proven that the kava root is effective in treating Leukemia and cancer of the ovaries as well as having the effectiveness of modern painkillers. It is recommended that you seek a medical expert's advice before you start using kava roots and no alcohol or other drugs should supplement it.
Cascara sagrada can help with constipation
August 25, 2010 02:18 PM
Cascara sagrada and Constipation
Cascara Sagrada was introduced to the Spanish explorers by Native Americans when they complained of problems with constipation. The Spanish then gave this herb its name, cascara sagrada, which means sacred bark and used it as a natural laxative. The Spanish explorers brought the herb back with them to Spain when they returned. In 1877, this herb was admitted to the U.S. Pharmacopoeia and is still included as an official medicine to this day.
Cascara sagrada is believed to be one of the best herbs for treatment of chronic constipation. This is because it enhances the peristaltic action that takes place in the intestines and increases the secretions of the stomach, liver, and pancreas. This herb is also helpful in relieving hemorrhoids because of its nonirritating nature and softening action on the stool.
Cascara sagrada is found in many over-the-counter preparations that are used for the intention of relieving constipation. This is because it acts on the large intestine to increase the muscular activity of the colon. The anthraquinones that are found in cascara sagrada are believed to encourage intestinal contraction. This herb is used to restore natural bowel movement without griping and to restore tone to the bowel.
Additionally, an element in cascara sagrada is known as quinine emodin. This element is being studied for its usefulness in treating lymphocytic Leukemia and Walker carcinosarcoma tumor system. More research is needed before it will be recommended for treatment, but so far, the findings have been promising.
Cascara sagrada can be used often, as it is not considered to be addictive. Preparations should be made from bark that has been aged for a least a year before use. This must be done because fresh bark is poisonous and can cause nausea and extreme griping on the intestinal system. Cascara sagrada can be found in various forms including capsules, liquid extracts, and dried bark. Although it tastes bitter, the dried bark can be made into a tea. A typical dosage of cascara is a 300 mg capsule which is taken in the early evening to stimulate a bowel movement in the morning. The laxative effect usually occurs 6 to 12 hours after cascara is taken. Products containing cascara sagrada should not be used for more than eight or ten days. Those women who are pregnant and nursing should avoid this herb, as well as people with intestinal blockage, undiagnosed stomach pain, or symptoms that may indicate appendicitis. People with diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, or intestinal ulcers should not take this herb.
Additionally, children younger than twelve with constipation should not be treated with cascara sagrada.
The bark of cascara sagrada should be used to provide alterative, antineoplastic, antispasmodic, hepatic, lithotriptic, and purgative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, chlorine, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, and vitamins A, B-complex, and C. Primarily, cascara sagrada is beneficial in dealing with colon problems, constipation, gallbladder problems, gallstones, gas, gastric disorders, hemorrhoids, intestinal problems, liver disorders, and worms. Additionally, this herb is extremely helpful in treating colitis, coughs, croup, dyspepsia, gout, indigestion, insomnia, jaundice, excessive mucus, pituitary problems, and spleen ailments.
For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by cascara sagrada, please contact a representative from your local health food store. Always choose name brands of this wonderful herbal laxative to ensure quality and purity and gentleness of its properties on the intestinal tract.
Fight Free Radical Damage From Toxins With Vitamins And Herbs
July 28, 2010 11:34 AM
There are many things that destroy the immune system. Each day we are bombarded with them in many forms. The following are some of the most common ones that are encountered.
Agene, also known as Nitrogen Trichloride, is used to bleach flour and give it a white appearance. Unfortunately, it can cause epileptic-like fits along with failure of muscle coordination. Excessive use of alcohol also severely impairs the immune system. It increases susceptibility to infection and weakens the central nervous system. Alcohol promotes chronic lung disease, malignancies of the neck and head, intestinal problems, hypoglycemia, diabetes, liver disease, and a whole variety of other problems. B vitamins, folic acid, niacin, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, and protein are depleted by alcohol. All of these nutrients play a huge role in immune health. Aspartame breaks down in the digestive tract into a toxic material known as methanol. In order to prevent methanol from metabolizing into formaldehyde, a poison, a person needs to take another poison, ethanol.
Glutamic acid is a substance that is found in monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer. It affects the central nervous system and can trigger depression, gloomy fantasies, and rage for as long as two weeks following the ingestion of monosodium glutamate. High-diet fat intake increases the levels of bile acids in the colon. This breaks down into deoxycholic and lithocholic acids, both of which are cancer-causing elements. This can cause cancer of both the colon and the rectum. A diet that is high in animal protein and fat can cause cancer of the pancreas, breast, gallbladder, ovaries, uterus, prostate, and Leukemia. Junk food such as sweets, white flour, and white sugar products, put a double amount of stress on the body. When too much junk food is eaten, the appetite for good, wholesome food is dulled.
Caffeine decreases immunity in the body, with fibrocystic breast disease being connected with the consumption of foods that contain caffeine. It is often caused by the chemicals methylxanthine, theophylline, and theobromine, which are found in coffee, black tea, cola drinks, chocolate, and other soft drinks. These elements act on hormones that cause breast tissue to develop fibrocystic lumps. Caffeine takes away the body’s own use of iron and inositol, and is often suspected of causing cancer in the pancreas.
Food dyes and flavorings are the culprits in behavioral problems that occur in children and adults, with some of these problems being learning disabilities and hyperactivity. Sodium nitrate is a preservative that is often found in cured meats like hot dogs, bologna, and ham. It has the potential to produce permanent epileptic changes in brain activity and damage the central nervous system.
High protein diets can deplete calcium in the body, especially when the source of protein is an animal product. There are concentrated doses of hormones and antibiotics that are found in beef which suppress the immune system and promote tumor growth. Poly-unsaturated fats undergo a process that produces rancidity in oils. This process releases dangerous free radicals, which eventually lead to cancer.
Heavy metals like lead and mercury can cause serious damage to the nervous system, with even small amounts being considered toxic. Lastly, the wide use of vaccinations and antibiotics is considered to be one of the main causes of immune system disorders.
Our bodies are under constant attack by our toxic environment. Fortunately, with regular vitamin and herb use, one can help the body restore its immune system to proper function so we can live a happier healthier life.
Pau d'arco Bark
November 10, 2009 11:23 AM
Pau d'arco is known in South America for its healing powers by the Callawaya tribe. These people called the herb taheebo and have been using it for over one thousand years. This herb was used anciently by the Inca civilization's medicine men. Pau d'arco was included in traditions that were passed down through the generations. Pau d'arco has been used to treat cancer and other illnesses since the 1970s in the Santo Andre Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This herb has become a well-known herb for healing and protecting the body from disease.
Pau d'arco is found growing in a tree high in the Andes and can weather the worst storms because of its hard wood and deep roots. This herb is found in the inner bark of the red lapacho tree. Most of the trees surrounding this tree eventually become covered with spores, which lead to fungus, and this eventually kills the trees. However, the red lapacho seems to be able to resist the spores. This may be a contributor in pau d'arco's ability to heal the body and resist disease.
There seems to be some evidence of antitumor properties in pau d'arco. Many individuals have taken this herb when they are undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. Pau d'arco helps to strengthen the body and help prevent the side effects that are associated with cancer treatment. Additionally, this herb seems to be a powerful alterative and blood builder. It has the ability to increase the hemoglobin and red corpuscles that are found in the blood. It gives the body a greater vitality by increasing its resistance to disease. Pau d'arco seems to be responsible for giving the body energy and strength to defend itself and resist disease. The herb is also believed to help inhibit the growth of tumors and increase the growth of normal tissue. Furthermore, pau d'arco herb is used to aid in the assimilation of nutrients and the elimination of waste matter. It is often referred to as the “everything” herb due to its uses for many disorders. Pau d'arco has been used by many, along with other medications. There seem to be no problems that are associated with the combination. It is also used to help counteract the side effects of some medications and is believed to reduce the liver damage that is caused by some drugs. Many herbalists have used this herb to treat a variety of conditions. It is effective as an immune system enhancer. It can also aid in treating conditions such as cancer, Leukemia, tumors, and blood disorders. Pau d'arco is also used to treat the pain of arthritis and also for diabetes, candidiasis, herpes, liver ailments, hypoglycemia, and assimilation of nutrients.
Studies have found that a component of pau d'arco, quinine lapachol, has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. The herb also seems to have an antitumor effect without any toxic side effects. Additional components include beta-lapachone, hydroxyl-napthoquinone, alpha-lapachone, and xyloidone. These are effective against numerous viruses, bacteria, and fungi, including herpes, influenza, poliovirus, and many others. A researcher at the National University of Tucuman in Argentina, Dr. Theodoro Meyer, discovered the substance xyloidin. This substance is able to kill viruses. Xyloidin is also beneficial in inhibiting the causative agent of dysentery, tuberculosis, and anthrax.
Pau'd arco is available at your local or internet health food store at discount prices. Look for name brands like Solaray, Source Naturals, and Natures Plus to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
Periwinkle - Vinpocetine
October 09, 2009 10:23 AM
Periwinkle can be found natively growing in North America, Europe, China, and India. The plant is a semi woody evergreen perennial. It is known by three names: Vinca, Periwinkle, and Myrtle. Typically, the plant is grown as an annual. It has a woody stem that can be found near the base and grows two to three feet tall and spreads out just as wide. The plant has a long life span of approximately twenty years. It also has a moderate growth rate. The plant has dark green foliage and bright blue flowers. The leaves are retained from year to year and are about two to three inches in length. This plant is very easy to grow, requiring little or no attention. Typically, it does best in poor, well drained soils. The flowers will suffer if the soils are too fertile. The periwinkle plant needs full sun or partial shade. It should be watered moderately during the growing season, but it is relatively drought resistant once it is established. The plant does not tolerate over watering. Fungus problems can occur in humid or wet weather.
For centuries, periwinkle has been used in different areas of the world to treat a variety of conditions. This herb grows in temperate climates and is often grown as an ornamental plant. Periwinkle juice from the leaves of the plant is used in India and applied to bee stings and bug bites. The plant grows well in Hawaii. The extract has been applied to wounds to stop bleeding. This herb can be found growing in South America and has been used for a wide variety of medicinal purposes. Periwinkle was used by native healers in Madagascar for cancer. Vincristine sulfate and vinblastine sulfate, two anticancer drugs, were developed from the periwinkle plant after the herbal healers in Madagascar were studied.
Periwinkle is considered to be a good binder. It can be chewed to stop bleeding in both the nose and mouth. It has been used historically for female complaints including excessive menstrual bleeding and uterine discharge. It also helps in aiding blood coagulation in wounds. This herb is effective in treating colitis, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, high blood pressure, headaches, migraines, nervous conditions, and diabetes.
Studies have found that periwinkle possesses anticancer attributes. Anticancer agents in periwinkle have been used to treat Hodgkin’s disease, Leukemia, and cancer of the lungs, liver, and kidneys, along with other types of cancer. Periwinkle can be found natively growing in North America, Europe, China, and India. The plant is a semi woody evergreen perennial. It is known by three names: Vinca, Periwinkle, and Myrtle. Typically, the plant is grown as an annual. It has a woody stem that can be found near the base and grows two to three feet tall and spreads out just as wide. The plant has a long life span of approximately twenty years. It also has a moderate growth rate. The plant has dark green foliage and bright blue flowers. The leaves are retained from year to year and are about two to three inches in length. This plant is very easy to grow, requiring little or no attention. Typically, it does best in poor, well-drained soils. The flowers will suffer if the soils are too fertile. The periwinkle plant needs full sun or partial shade. It should be watered moderately during the growing season, but it is relatively drought r
The entire periwinkle plant is used to provide antineoplastic, astringent, hemostatic, nervine, and sedative properties. Primarily, periwinkle is extremely beneficial in dealing with cancer, diabetes, hemorrhoids, nervousness, and ulcers. Vincamine is an alkaloid found in this plant has been studied and found to support cerebral blood flow, and oxygen and glucose utilization. It may also support cognitive function and enhance memory and concentration when taken regularly.
Additionally, the herb is very helpful in treating bleeding, congestion, chronic constipation, cramps, dandruff, chronic diarrhea, internal hemorrhages, Leukemia, menstrual bleeding, excessive mucus, nightmares, skin disorders, sores, and toothache. 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. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by periwinkle, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
September 09, 2009 11:08 AM
Kelp is a main source of natural iodine. It is used extensively by the Japanese. The Polynesians also use kelp regularly in their diet. An English physician by the name of Dr. Bernard Russell used burned, dried kelp in 1750 to treat his patients who were suffering from goiter. In 1862, it was used by Dr. C. Dupare with success to treat obesity.
Kelp has traditionally been used for its rich abundance of iodine to treat thyroid disorders, whether they are under-active or overactive. This herb is a great promoter of glandular health. It also regulates metabolism. Kelp has a reputation for increasing the rate at which calories are burned. The herb is used to rid the body of toxins and radioactive material by preventing their absorption. Kelp promotes the growth of healthy tissue, skin, hair, and nails. Additionally, it is able to improve the cardiovascular system, nervous system, and mental alertness. It also alleviates kidney, bladder, prostate, and uterine difficulties.
The ocean water possesses one of the richest sources of the vital life-sustaining mineral elements that are known to science. Kelp extracts and assimilates the mineral elements from the ocean water and converts them into a usable form for humans. The kelp plant is thought to provide nourishment, enhance the immune system, aid in hormone balance, and restore strength. The herb has been proven to contain antibiotic properties. It is also thoughT that the brominated phenalic compounds that are found in kelp are responsible for killing both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Kelp possesses natural iodine to nourish the thyroid. The Japanese eat kelp regularly and have an extremely low rate of thyroid disease. Through the regulation of metabolism, kelp helps to increase energy. It may also help reduce fat in the body. Kelp is full of nutrients that nourish the entire body. Kelp can also help to prevent the absorption of some radioactive elements known to cause tumors, cancer, and Leukemia in adults and children.
Kelp is a great herb for the body, as it contains nearly thirty minerals. The entire plant of the kelp herb is used to provide alterative, antacid, antibiotic, demulcent, diuretic, hypotensive, mucilant, nutritive, and hypotensive properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are barium, bismuth, boron, calcium, chlorine, chromium, cobalt, copper, gallium, iodine, iron, lithium, magnesium, manganese, nickel, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, silver, sodium, strontium, sulfur, tin, titanium, vanadium, vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, G, S, and K, zinc, and zirconium. Primarily, kelp is extremely beneficial in treating adrenal gland problems, weak arteries, colitis, unhealthy complexion, eczema, and lack of energy, fatigue, goiter, infection, slow metabolism, weak nails, obesity, pituitary problems, and pregnancy problems, effects of radiation, unhealthy skin, and thyroid problems.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with acne, anemia, arthritis, asthma, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, gallbladder problems, gas, gastric disorders, glandular problems, headaches, heart problems, hypothyroidism, indigestion, kidney problems, morning sickness, nervous disorders, pancreatic problems, prostate problems, tumors, and lack of vitality. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by the kelp, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
Red Clover Blossom
August 29, 2009 01:51 PM
Red clover is also commonly referred to as wild clover, purple clover, meadow clover, honeysuckle clover, or cow grass. This herb is a member of the pea family. It is commonly found in pastures, lawns, along roadsides, and in meadows. Many consider this herb to be a nuisance and, thus, they try to eliminate it from their lawns. However, this is not easily accomplished due to red clover’s hearty nature.
The use of red clover most likely originated in Europe. There, it was used as an expectorant and a diuretic. Additionally, it was burned as incense to invoke the spirits of the deceased. Some people even wore the leaves of red clover as charms against evil. The red clover was revered by early Christians because they associated its three leaves with the Trinity. The flowers of this plant were dried by the ancient Chinese and then put in pillows to help relax both the body and mind. The Native Americans used red clover as an infusion gargle for sore throats, whooping cough, and asthma. Additionally, they used it on children because it was a milder, safer way to fight debilitating childhood diseases.
This herb has been used for treating cancer, bronchitis, nervous conditions, spasms, and toxins in the body. It is considered by herbalists to be a blood cleanser. Herbalists also recommend this mild herb in formulas when using a cleansing program. Red clover is often mixed with honey and water to make a cough syrup and act as an expectorant. The herb is a mild sedative and is useful for spasmodic conditions, bronchitis, wheezing, and fatigue. Because red clover is mild, it can often be used by children.
Research has determined that red clover contains some antibiotic properties that are beneficial in fighting several kinds of bacteria. Among these types of bacteria is the one that causes tuberculosis. Additionally, red clover has a long history of use in treating cancer. Scientists at the National Cancer Institute have uncovered some anticancer activity in red clover, including daidzein and genistein activity. Even though the findings are preliminary and the use of red clover as a cancer treatment has not yet been validated, research is continuing to show promising results.
Externally, red clover has been used to treat skin problems such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and even vaginal irritation. It can also be applied topically to burns, boils, sores, and ulcers. Red clover has also been documented for use in treating AIDS, syphilis, and leprosy. This herb can be applied externally to help soothe lymphatic swelling and as an eyewash.
In short, the flowers of red clover are used to provide alterative, antibiotic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, nutritive, sedative, stimulant, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in red clover are calcium, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, nickel, selenium, sodium, tin, and vitamins A, C, B-complex, F, and P. Primarily, red clover is extremely beneficial in dealing with acne, AIDS/HIV, athlete’s foot, blood impurities, bronchitis, cancer, eczema, Leukemia, liver disorders, nervous disorders, psoriasis, skin disorders, spasms, and the effects of toxins.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating arthritis, asthma, boils, burns, childhood diseases, colds, constipation, coughs, muscle cramps, fatigue, flu, gallbladder, gastric disorders, indigestion, leprosy, lymphatic irritations, rheumatism, sores, syphilis, sore throat, tuberculosis, ulcers, urinary infections, vaginal irritations, whooping cough, and wounds.
For more information on red clover, look for this wonderful herb at your local heath food store. Remember to always look for name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
Natural Sweeteners Vs. Artificial Sweeteners
April 30, 2009 10:16 AM
Artificial sweeteners are food additives intended to replace the sweetness of sugar without the calorie intake. There are also natural sweeteners that can replace sugar, so which should you choose? Natural sweeteners such as sugar, honey and grape juice are well known, although there are also the less well known, but much more effective, sucanat and stevia.
Sucanat is dried unrefined cane sugar, and unlike refined sugar retains the molasses. Stevia, on the other hand, is a shrub, native to Paraguay, the leaf of which contains a non-sucrose sweetener, 300 times the sweetness of sugar, and which is not absorbed by the body. It is a sweetener pure and simple, with no proven health issues. It is also Japan's most popular sugar substitute.
Artificial sweeteners have been known for many years, the first and best known being benzoic sulfanide, known to you as saccharin. The health risks of saccharin have been the subject of debate for over 100 years and have yet to be resolved. Studies had shown it to cause cancer in rats, and it was placed on a list of known or suspected carcinogens.
It has been banned for use in the USA, but that was lifted by the FDA in 1991, and in 2000 saccharin has no longer required a health warning label. The issue appears to have been resolved by rats metabolizing saccharin in a way not possible in humans. However, many are still suspicious of it, and if you don't trust a food additive then do not voluntarily consume it.
The top two artificial sweeteners in the USA are sucralose and aspartame. Sucralose, discovered in the UK in 1976, is the less emotive of the two, and is chemically the chlorocarbon trichlorogalactosucrose, produced by chlorination of sucrose and 600 times as sweet. It should be stressed that a chlorocarbon is totally different to a chlorinated hydrocarbon. It is generally considered safe to use, although it is very slow rate of degradation in waste water has raised concerns that concentrations could increase with increasing popularity of the sweetener.
According to' Sweet Deception', the book states sucralose to be discovered during the search for an insecticide, and is produced when sugar is treated with acetic anhydride, hydrogen chloride and trityl chloride among others in the presence of toluene, MIBK and dimethyl formamide among other solvents. Although marketed as coming from a natural source, it is anything but natural.
Aspartame was developed by G.D. Searle, and its approval by the FDA has been a matter of concern for many years. Promoted by Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of Searle, he "called in his markers" to have the substance approved, which was not one of the more glorious moments in America's history.
It is used in over 6,000 products, most household names, yet was based on "inconclusive and incompetent science" according to detractors. In 1981, on the day of his inauguration, Ronald Regan suspended the powers of the FDA on aspartame, and then a month later appointed a new FDA head, Arthur Hayes, who immediately licensed the substance. Donald Rumsfeld was on President Regan's team.
There is a strong body of evidence that aspartame is toxic to humans, although the official evidence has discredit such studies. Recent evidence that linked aspartame to cancer has been stated as irrelevant to humans. In spite of the concerns, the substance has been approved, not only in the USA but also by the European Union. This might call into question the relevance of studies to humans, but many still believe that commercial considerations are behind these decisions.
In fact, an extensive study carried out by the Italian European Ramazzini Foundation, showed that aspartame can cause a significant increase in cancers and Leukemias in rats at well below the doses allowed by the EU or the US. This substance required further study by bodies with no vested interest in the outcome.
Those that believe so point to the stevia situation. This natural sweetener is banned for use as a food additive in the EU, and cannot be sold as sweetener due to the FDA not recognizing it as such. It has also been banned in Hong Kong, even though it is the sweetener of choice in Japan, with no apparent side-effects becoming endemic in that country. The USA might not approve stevia as a sweetener, but it is considering lifting its ban on cyclamate.
Cyclamate was banned by the FDA due to tests on rats indicating a possibly carcinogenic effect, but no more positive than those on aspartame. Cyclamate is permitted in Canada, where saccharin is not, and also in the UK, but not throughout the EU.
It is obvious, then, looking at the various claims and counter-claims, and the conflicting legislation between civilized countries, that the artificial sweetener industry is wrought with uncertainty. In the past, it is almost certain that commercial considerations have come before the health of the nation, and that does not engender confidence.
In fact, the only sane approach to take at this time would be to avoid artificial sweeteners altogether, and stay natural. That is not to claim that natural products are safe to eat - far from it! Many of the most virulent poisons are natural, but the well-used natural sweeteners appear to be safer at this time than any of those artificially manufactured.
There might be objections to this where diabetes is concerned, and Canada, while banning saccharin for normal use, still allows it for use by diabetics. This is the one of the two major bodies that promotes the use of artificial sweeteners: the diabetic lobby and the weight loss lobby.
It is difficult to question the obesity and weight problem that America has while at the same time arguing against the use of artificial sweeteners. However, don't forget that stevia is widely used in Japan with no reported health problems, and stevia is a natural sweetener that is permitted for use as a food additive, and that is not absorbed by the body.
However, there is also a recent 2005 study that has indicated that diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners might fool your body into believing that the sweet taste is promising energy, and when it doesn't materialize, you feel hungry and eat more. This has been supported by animal studies.
These have shown convincingly that the sensation of sweetness induces the production of insulin with resulting hypoglycemia because there is no actual increase in blood sugar. This induces increased food intake. This has been proved with rats, and also proved was the fact that the natural response of eating less at the next meal, after sugary food, was gradually diminished in animals fed non-calorific sweeteners.
The choice is yours, but it would seem advisable to stick to natural sweeteners for the time being, at least until the studies carried out are in concurrence as opposed to offering conflicting results depending upon who is doing the testing.
Are You At Risk And What Can You Do About It?
April 23, 2008 04:54 PM
Did you know there are Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) that can have an endocrine disrupting ability? Meaning, these chemicals can have an estrogen like and anti-androgen effect on the body, disrupting the normal function of our endocrine system which can cause all sorts of health issues.
Back in the industrial boom directly following world war II these chemicals were widely used in plastics, cosmetics, personal care products, cleaning agents, clothing, household furnishings, and decorations, food and water, fertilizers, and pesticides and fungicides. These chemicals are being banned by the government but are not gone all together yet.
Endocrine disruptor chemicals are fat soluble which means when consumed they are stored by the body in our fat stores. This makes these chemicals a persistent pain in the butt for a very long time since fat soluble substances tend to be stored and slowly released; some claim the release can be years and years down the road.
These types of toxins can easily leach into water including juices and can vaporize into the air that we breathe in to our lungs. Once ingested, these chemicals can lead to reproductive, developmental, behavioral, neurological, endocrine, and immunologic adverse health effects that can last a lifetime.
Those men and women who want to have children may discover that one of both at have reproductive impairments due to POPs. Symptoms of toxicity are male infertility, gynecological problems, and accelerated puberty, developmental abnormalities of the reproductive tract, premature delivery, behavioral problems, abnormal thyroid function, cancer and heart disease. In cases of children, signs of toxicity are Leukemia when fetal exposure is experienced.
The wide spread use of phthalates in industrial and consumer products has raised a lot of concerns. Phthalates are what keep plastics flexible. Dibutyl phthalate is used in PVC piping (in new homes the piping that supply water to faucets), various varnishes and lacquers, safety glass, nail polishes, paper coatings, dental materials, pharmaceuticals, children’s toys, and plastic food wrap. The heating of plastic containers either by microwave or a hot cup of tea can easily leach these phthalate’s in to food or drink exposing humans to high amounts of this toxin.
Also, Parabens are high on the watch list for those health minded. Parabens are a group of synthetic chemicals used as a preservative in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. The most common parabens are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. These three are used as a bacteriocidal and fungicidal agent in many products we use every day. The FDA does not require approval of cosmetic ingredients before they reach the market place so cosmetic manufactures are free to use what ever they want in their products.
Parabens have been shown to have a mild estrogenic affect on the body, and are in practically all personal care products on the market today. If you are applying a name brand cosmetic onto your skin daily, take a look at the label to see if Parabens are used.
For those looking to stay away form all the above listed toxins look for products packaged in glass, PETE or HDPE bottles and containers. Look for packets lined with saran, and can linings made of polyolefins. Use biodegradable household cleaning agents and avoid sprays and insecticides. Cleaning supplies are not required to list ingredients so it is always buyer beware unless the label states it is free from PCBs, Parabens, and POPs.
Finally, when buying furniture avoid furniture that contains flame retardant PBDEs and limit children to the exposure of such furniture. Exposure to PBDEs can lead to some of the above listed symptoms and cause health problems. Staying healthy is a tough task with all the environmental toxins we face. By buying organic foods and avoid the above listed chemicals one can live longer and maintain better health over a lifetime.
Third- The Science (Putting It All Together) Boswellia & Inflammation
April 03, 2008 12:44 PM
Frankincense has traditionally been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, and is even mentioned in the Bible. The trunk exudes a resin containing mono- and sesquiterpenes that possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties. They are also well known antiseptics and astringents, and support the immune and respiratory systems.
These terpenes are commonly referred to as boswellian acids, and consist of a carboxylated pentacyclic triterpene with at least one more functional group. Both the alpha and beta acid have a hydroxyl (-OH) grouping, and there are also the acetyl (CH3CO-) equivalents with an acetyl group replacing the OH. There are other so-called-boswellian acids, and it is believed that they all play a part in the anti-inflammatory properties of the resin.
The acetyl derivatives are thought to be involved in the death of some cancer cells, particularly those involve in brain and colon tumors, and also Leukemia. The way in which they achieve this appears to be a programmed progression that ends with the dying out of the cells rather than a violently destructive mechanism, which lends credence to the Ayurvedic belief that the treatment is a natural one designed by nature.
The anti-inflammatory properties of the acetyl triterpenes are due to their effect on leukotrienes that sustain the inflammatory reactions of many allergic reactions and also of asthma. They appear to inhibit the enzyme elastase in leukocytes; this is a crucial enzyme in the production of the chemicals that promote inflammation.
It has been established that the inflammatory response of the immune system is due to the action of specific enzymes, so it stands to reason that if you can inhibit these enzymes, then you will also inhibit the immune response to specific initiators and so reduce the pain involved. Bosellian acid in the form of triterpenes appears to contain these inhibitors, and this would appear to explain its effectiveness. Pinene and phellandrene are among the terpenes isolated from Boswellia.
A standardised dose of 60% - 65% of Bosellian acids is generally used, so if you are purchasing Boswellia this is what you should be looking for. Keep in mind that it is intended to treat inflammation, ands that inflammation is an indicator that something with your body is not quite right. Therefore, while inflammation is painful, and Boswellia may help, you should also treat the cause of the inflammation by treating the immune system.
Cranberry May Have More Uses Than Just Bladder Infections
November 03, 2007 01:04 PM
The effects of cranberry on bladder and other urinary tract infections are well known. The infections are caused by a bacterium, Escherichia coli, known to most people as E. coli that attaches to the wall of the bladder or the urinary tract, and is very difficult to dislodge with antibiotics once it is there.
Cranberry contains a glycoprotein that prevents the E. coli from doing this, and so acts by preventing, not the invasion of the bacterium itself, but the mechanism by which it causes the disease. Drinking cranberry juice on a regular basis can prevent cystitis occurring in women, or at least reduce the frequency of incidences.
Now, however, there is a growing body of evidence that cranberry may have more uses than just for bladder infections. It is known to help prevent gum disease by the same mechanism: the bacteria are prevented from sticking to the teeth and gums by means of the same glycoprotein that is effective with E. coli and urinary tract infections
There is also evidence that cranberry juice can be helpful in resolving ear and respiratory infections. A study of a group of children in 2002 has indicated that cranberry juice can inhibit the adhesion to red blood cells of certain strains of the bacterium Haemophilus influenza that might cause a large proportion of middle ear infections. It seems to have an effect on the hair-like pili, by which bacteria stick to surfaces. This has been supported by results that indicated no effect on the bacteria strains that lack these pili.
These tests, however, were carried out experimentally in test tubes, but it is worth keeping in mind that such studies are under way, and that the results are looking very promising. However, they have not yet reached the stage where they can be stated to have been proved, though there is no reason why you should not try cranberry juice if any of your family is prone to such infections, especially of the middle ear.
Yet another study has established that cranberry might be effective in reducing the risk of heart disease by reducing the oxidation of blood cholesterol that makes it very sticky. There are two type of cholesterol, LDL cholesterol that carried the cholesterol from the liver through the blood to areas of your arteries that need repair. Your blood also contains high density lipoproteins (HDL) that carry excess cholesterol back to the liver for destruction and ejection from the body – that is the so-called ‘good’ cholesterol.
The LDL cholesterol works much like putty, covering the cracks in arterial walls, and without it you could have even more severe problems than with high levels of LDL cholesterol. However, when the LDL cholesterol gets oxidized by, for example, free radicals in the blood, then it becomes sticky and too much of it gets laid down on the artery walls.
Free radicals are produced through many agents, but the most common are smoking, environmental pollution and pesticides. These sticky coatings tend to build up after a time and lead to a condition known as atherosclerosis whereby the build up of coating can severely restrict the artery. This causes high blood pressure and can even lead to the artery becoming completely blocked. This can lead to serious heart problems and, if the artery is in the brain, even strokes.
In the study, a group taking one, two then three glasses of 27% cranberry juice daily for a month at a time were found have a 40% reduced risk of heart disease at the end on month three due to a 10% increase in the good HDL cholesterol. This was due to the antioxidant effect of the cranberry juice preventing the oxidation of the LDL cholesterol which causes the problems. Antioxidants mop up free radicals before they can do any damage.
Cranberries contain a high polyphenol content, and it is believed that it is these antioxidants that are responsible, though this has still to be proved. This antioxidant effect can also reduce the risk of cancer, render you less liable to inflammatory conditions and also give your immune system a boost by helping to clear up the free radicals that are one of your body’s worst enemies. However, that is not all that cranberries can do. There are even more exciting new developments that could have an impact on women suffering from ovarian cancer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention record that ovarian cancer is the 7th most common type of cancer in the USA, and the 5th most common cause of cancer deaths amongst women. The general treatment for ovarian cancer is by chemotherapy using the platinum drugs Paraplatin and Cisplatin. The problem with these drugs is that cancer cells can become resistant to them, and if higher doses are used it can lead to side effects including renal failure and nerve damage.
Tests were carried out using ovarian cancer cells and a 27% solution of cranberry juice, a common commercially available concentration. The cells were then treated with Paraplatin. It was found that the Paraplatin was six times more effective at killing the ovarian cancer cells than when the cells had not come into contact with the cranberry juice. This is a considerable difference. The rate of spread and growth of some of the other cancer cells were also reduced.
The reason that the cranberry was used was due to its wide range of potential health benefits in fighting stomach ulcers, cystitis and some other cancers. It is believed that the effect is due to very powerful antioxidants known as A-type proanthocyanidins, which are found only in cranberries. Other studies have found this chemical to have had an effect in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in lung cancer, colon cancer and Leukemia, all involving different types of cancer cell. Other antioxidants such as flavenoids and querticin in cranberry juice might also contribute, but the proanthocyanadin is believed to be the principal active agent due it being found only in cranberries.
The researchers temper their results with the caution that these are tests only, but that theoretically a cranberry supplement could be used as a part of a chemotherapy course. Animal studies are commencing shortly though it will be some time before a new therapy has been developed. It is possible; however, that the therapy could consist of a simple oral dose of cranberry juice taken during the course, but you should consult your physician for the most appropriate treatment for you.
However, what is certain is that cranberry may have more uses than just bladder infections.
Artemisinin For Better Health And Wellness
October 25, 2007 02:09 PM
Artemisinin, also called Ching-hao-su is a herbal medicine extracted from the sweet wormwood herb, also known as the Artemisia annua. Asians have been using the leaf for centuries to cure simple ailments such as colds and parasitic infections, but it has recently become big business for its effect on malaria.
Sweet wormwood is predominantly a Chinese herb, used for over a thousand years for treatment of a large variety of conditions including malaria. It has also been used to treat wound and skin diseases, and has been recorded as far back as 200 BC as a component of Chinese prescriptions for specific illnesses.
Although the origins of sweet wormwood are in Asia however, it is now grown throughout the temperate regions of the world, and reaches its best in midsummer. Although best known today for its use in treating malaria, its medical uses include treating bronchitis, fevers and general feelings of malaise. It is primarily grown now for the supplement industry and as a non-prescriptive natural cure for malaria. It is a common and favorite herb for Chinese herbalists and sold both in the herbal form and as the extracted artemisinin.
Although there is a wide variation in the artemisinin content of sweet wormwood according to where it is grown, and under different agricultural conditions, it is the main active ingredient. Chemically, it is a sesquiterpene lactone containing an endoperoxide bridge that will be discussed later.
In order to attain the optimum yield of active artemisinin, the plant has to be grown in the right site for cultivation and fed with the correct fertilizers, the proper strain of the herb must be selected and the method of extracting the active chemicals is also critical. These are secrets that have been used for centuries by the Chinese herbalists who are masters of their craft and are now known to the west and being applied to scientific production of the extract.
There are benefits of artemisinin other than its effect on malaria, but that is the best known of its uses, so let’s have a look at that first. The herb has been used for a long time to treat parasitic infections, mainly flukes and worms that place great strains on the body having not only to feed these unwanted creatures, but also to excrete their waste and by-products. Malaria is caused by such a parasite, any one of four types in fact, and artemisinin appears to be just as effective on them.
The chemical contains what is known as an endoperoxide bridge that reacts with iron. The product of this reaction is a free radical, normally unwelcome in the body. However, malaria parasites contain high levels of iron, and the artemisinin reacts with that iron, forming free radicals that then go on to kill off the parasite. The free radicals that we take supplements to destroy, actually work for us in the destruction of the parasite that cause malaria. There is a silver lining in every cloud!
The reason that the medical world is so excited with this material is that malaria is second only to tuberculosis in its impact on world health. The problem is that the parasites that cause it have become largely resistant to the normal cures. They are not, however, resistant to the endoperoxide chemistry contained by artemisinin. It is now the major hope of world leaders in the fight to stop the inexorable increase in deaths due to malaria.
Now for the other applications. Another major use of the chemical is in the fight against cancer. Those cancers that involve iron rich cells can be disrupted by artemisinin by the same mechanism that kills off malaria bacteria. It is not only parasites that are susceptible to free radical action, but also human cells, and if these can be selectively destroyed, then it is a step forward towards a cure for cancer. Such a cure does not yet exist, but mechanisms such as the endoperoxide bridge provide a means of controlling at least some cancers, the best results being obtained with Leukemia and colon cancer. That is not to say, however, that cures for these cancers are currently available since tests are still under way. However, it would do no harm to use sweet wormwood or the artemisinin extract as a supplement.
Cancer cells tend to accumulate iron because it is needed in the cell division process that cancer takes advantage of. However, if cancer cells could be persuaded to accumulate more surface iron, or were artificially exposed to it, then perhaps the endoperoxide mechanism would be more effective. Studies on this mechanism of controlling cancer are currently under way.
At a more mundane level, if you suffer from intestinal parasites, then one or two milligrams each day should see them off. It has also been effectively used to deal with colds, coughs and other general conditions, but most effectively against those that cause fever of one kind or another. It has been used in Chinese medicine as a form of ‘cure-all’ to be used when specific remedies failed. Its greatest current uses are, however, in cancer and especially malarial treatments.
You have to be careful with artemisinin since it can be toxic if taken in the wrong form. The least toxic, and most active, is the water soluble form known as artesunate. However, it lasts the least time in the body and has to get to work quickly. The oil soluble form, artemether, is the most toxic, but can cross from the blood to the brain. However, the parent form, artemisinin is the very safe itself, and can also cross the blood-brain barrier and while some tend to use a combination of the three, others prefer just the parent form.
If you take too high a dose you can suffer neurotoxicity which makes you wobble when you walk, and makes you impervious to certain levels of pain. However, such doses are next to impossible accidentally, and there have been very few reports of adverse effects in humans. It should not be used for at least a month after you have had radiation therapy because that tends to release iron that can be attacked to form free radicals. The recommended dose is 200 – 100 mg daily though the doses should be spread throughout the day. It should also never be taken within 2 hours of any other antioxidant such as vitamins A, C and E. Otherwise artemisinin can be safely used for better health and wellness in the way that the Chinese have been using it for centuries. Artemisinin is available at your local or internet vitamin store.
Supplements for Children
June 26, 2007 09:51 PM
Supplements for Children
While most parents try hard to make nutritious meals for their family, most children find the appeal of refined, fast, and junk food simply overwhelming. And, sadly, increasingly easy to buy and consume, as well. From kindergarten through 12th grade, in both grade schools and high schools, vending machines offer calorie laden candy bars, sugar-filled soft drinks, and snack foods loaded with fat and salt. Many school cafeterias actually sell fast-food to children for lunch every day. In fact, it seems almost everywhere children go and gather, visually enticing but nutritionally lacking snacks and soft drinks are sure to be available.
Determined to counteract this disturbing trend, parents everywhere are urgently seeking solutions to help their children get the nutrition they need. One answer is supplemental multivitamins. There are certainly plenty of multivitamins formulated for children currently on the market. However, these products vary considerably in quality and content. Some lack certain vital nutrients. Some taste terrible. Still others are loaded with sugar and artificial flavorings. The good news is that there are superior multivitamins and exceptional immune boosting products formulated specifically for children that actually taste great. In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss childhood nutrition and how to help ensure your children’s health with high quality, 100% natural flavored nutritional supplements.
Q. Do children really benefit from vitamin supplements? Can’t I make sure they get the vitamins and minerals they need from meals?
A. Even the most nutritionally vigilant parent cannot be 100% certain what nutrients are in the food they serve their children. That’s because there’s so much variability in the food we prepare. For instance, fat-soluble vitamins can withstand normal cooking, but vitamins A and E are gradually destroyed by exposure to air. Water-soluble vitamins such as B1, B6, folic acid, and pantothenic acid are destroyed by heat. Vitamin B2 is destroyed by light and heat, while light and air destroy vitamin C. Certain food preservatives and preparation methods also destroy the vitamins in food. To further complicate matters, some fruit and vegetables are grown and harvested in such a way that does not promote nutrient content – so even raw foods may be lacking.
Then there are those crazy food phases all children seemingly go through. While these phases are generally harmless in the long run, a recent alarming exception was in the news. A five-year old boy ate nothing but cheese pizza, Pop-tarts, biscuits, and water, refusing fruits, vegetables, juices and vitamins. He slowly developed limp, swollen gums, and small purple spots appeared on his skin. After five months of this extremely deficient diet, he was unable to walk or get out of bed because the pain was so severe. Doctors diagnosed the boy as having a severe vitamin C deficiency after ruling out other ailments such as Leukemia. Within a week of getting vitamin C supplements, the boy’s pain and other symptoms were completely resolved. Obviously, this little boy’s story is unusual. However, even mild food phases (such as “If It’s Green It Must Be Yucky” or “The Only Good Crust Is A Cut-Off Crust”) can result in awfully lop-sided nutrition.
Q. Can multivitamins help my child’s performance in school?
A. Most teachers firmly believe that nutrition and learning go hand in hand. They are convinced that children who are well nourished possess the mental stamina that’s needed to learn and retain even difficult concepts. But can multivitamins help children become better students?
Two independent research teams recently conducted randomized trials to find the answer. The researchers followed 245 school-children aged 6 to 12 years for three months. They gave half of the children multivitamin tablets every day, and half of the children placebos. When the children were tested, the children in the multivitamins group showed an increase in their nonverbal intelligence scores. Nonverbal intelligence is closely associated with academic performance.
Q. I can’t get my children to take 100% natural flavored multivitamins because they don’t taste very appealing. Isn’t there some way to make a 100% natural multivitamin taste good enough for my children to willingly take?
A. Yes, there is! Because most children need chewable multivitamins, manufacturers need to contend with the truly terrible taste of certain minerals. Magnesium, iodine, copper, and iron are probably the worst tasting. Some solve this dilemma by skimping on the amounts of these minerals in their children’s formulas. Others cover up the bad taste with either massive amounts of sugar or artificial flavors, or both.
However, a select few multivitamin makers have discovered how to offer a natural flavored, great tasting children’s multivitamin that contains these vital minerals. The best children’s vitamins are prepared in a base of natural fruit that provides both antioxidants and other healthy phytonutrients. Children’s multivitamins made in such a fruit base have very low sugar content, as well, providing as little as four calories a day. Fructose – fruit sugar – is the preferred sweetening agent, in addition to the fruit content.
Q. What vitamins should be in a multivitamin for children?
A. There are several vitamins and minerals that children need to take each and every day. They include biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamins B12, B1, A, B6, C, D, E, and K. Let’s review a few. We’ll start with folate, one of the B vitamins. This vital vitamin helps the body use protein, helps make DNA, helps cells grow and divide, and keeps the nervous system healthy. In fact, folate is so important to children that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that folate must be added to many foods most children eat daily. Since 1998, cereal, enriched bread, flour corn meal, rice, and pasta have been folate-fortified with this B vitamin.
One of folate’s vital actions is the reduction of homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid (the building block of protein) that is normally produced in the human body. Research has shown that high levels of homocysteine can irritate blood vessels, make blood clot more easily than it should, and cause blockages in arteries increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes .
However, study after study has proven that taking folate reduces harmful homocysteine levels. While most of this research has been in adults, a recent study looked at children’s homocysteine levels. Researchers examined over 3500 children and discovered that high homocysteine levels increased the risk for heart disease in these children, especially as they grow. The researchers leading this study reinforced how critical folate is for all children.
Other critical vitamins for children are the vitamins C and E. The rates of childhood asthma have increased significantly here in the
Q. Which minerals do children need?
A. It is absolutely crucial that children get calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, and phosphorus every day. Sadly, however, the majority of our children are not getting the recommended amounts of many of these vital minerals. Children in
According to statistics from the National Institutes of Health, only 13.5 percent of girls and 36.3 percent of boys age 12 to 19 in the
Lack of adequate calcium has immediate consequences for children, as well. The number of fractures among children and young adults has increased as a direct result of poor calcium intake. Pediatricians are also seeing children with rickets, a bone disease caused by low levels of vitamin D. Rickets became almost nonexistent after vitamin D was added to milk in the 1950s, but, due to lower milk consumption, is now appearing at greater rates around the country. And milk itself can be problematic for some children. Aside from alarming reports of hormones and herbicides in commercial dairy factory milk, even organic milk is not tolerated by all because of lactose intolerance and allergies.
Zinc is another mineral that’s vital for children. Because zinc is critical for normal growth and development, children need to take it every day. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, however, found more than half of US children ages two to 10 years fail to get the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for zinc. What’s even more troubling is that zinc is vitally connected to children’s ability to process information, pay attention, as well as remember and retain new information
Zinc does a lot to keep children healthy. More than 200 enzymes in our bodies rely on zinc. However, it’s zinc’s ability to connect with our immune systems to help fight infections that is crucial for children. While researchers are not certain how zinc precisely boosts a child’s immunity, they think that zinc might fight pneumonia and other infections by either enhancing the body’s immune status, preventing the infection from establishing itself, or improving the immune system’s ability to rid itself of the infecting organism. It’s possible that zinc does all three.
Q. No matter what I do, my children seem to come down with bad colds each year. Besides giving them a multivitamin, are there other nutritional supplements that can keep my children healthy?
A. Absolutely! In fact, there are 100% natural flavored children’s immune formula nutritional supplements that contain their good buddy zinc, vitamins B6, C, and A (as beta carotene), plus elderberry extract. Elderberry extract has been used as a traditional medicine for hundreds of years to treat colds and flu. And as it so often happens, scientific research has validated this use. In fact, scientists have discovered that elderberry keeps viruses from invading other cells and replicating. It also spurs important immune cells into action to fight invading germs.
While we previously discussed vitamin C’s ability to help children with asthma breathe easier, it also provides powerful immune protection. It speeds up the healing of wounds, such as those knee and elbow scrapes so common in childhood. However, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and can’t be stored in the body. It must be replenished every day. When children are under increased stress (like when they get sick with a cold or flu), their vitamin C levels are more rapidly depleted.
Vitamin B6 is also water-soluble and can only work in children’s bodies for eight hours. Then more B6 must be obtained. Vitamin B6 strengthens the immune system by helping white blood cells make antibodies. Vitamin A helps make lysozymes, important anti-infectious agents found in tears, saliva, and sweat. It also stimulates the thymus gland, an important immune organ, especially in children, to work better.
Q. Should children take an immune formula every day or only when they are sick?
A. It can be taken several ways. Some parents may want to give the formula when school first starts or other times that their children are exposed to lots of germs. For a child who suffers from asthma or seasonal allergies or just seems to get sick frequently, parents could provide the immune formula every day, increasing the dose when needed. And still others might feel it’s best to give their children the immune formula only whey they do catch a cold or have the flu.
No matter how it is given, the 100% all natural flavored, immune boosting nutritional supplement can provide powerful protection against all those disease-causing germs your children are exposed to every day.
The nutritional choices we make for our children today will have a profound effect on their health tomorrow. Recent research has revealed that diabetes, heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and cancer in adults often result form nutritional deficiencies that occurred in childhood.
Thankfully, the reverse is just as true. This means that children who are well nourished with an optimal intake of minerals, vitamins, and helpful herbs can grow into healthy and happy adults. Providing high quality multivitamins and immune boosting nutritional supplements for our children can be an important part of that process.
Exotic Herbs From The Amazon Basin
June 22, 2007 05:07 PM
Although many traditional herbal medicines have yet to find complete scientific corroboration in the West, it follows logically that people wouldn't use an herbal product for centuries if it didn't work.
Many of the popular herbs we all recognize as having great health benefits were only recently considered pretty exotic. Even green tea - a staple in China for centuries -has only lately gone main stream.
So it will likely be with herbs from the Amazon basin and its environs. The Amazon basin is one of the most bountiful environments on the planet. Explorers and botanists from the West have looked to this region for generations for the "next big thing." Of course, in many cases, the "next big thing" has already been in use for centuries.
In this issue of Ask the Medicine Hunter, we're going to look at some energizing and life- stimulating herbs that also happen to have great antioxidant properties, too. Best yet, many of them are available to us here from companies that practice fair trade policies.
Let's take a look at some of the herbal powerhouses coming out of the Amazon (and its nearby neighborhoods):
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) has been cultivated for a long time at least 2000 years. Related to brassica family plants like radishes, mustard and cabbage, its foliage does actually look somewhat radish-like, but grows close to the ground.
Maca is cultivated by the Andean people in Peru's central highlands, and contains a plethora of beneficial compounds that enhance overall health and vitality. The tradition of cultivating maca is an old one some strains have been found in Incan sites that date from 1600 B.C. During early European colonization, maca was used by the local native culture as a form of currency, much of the way cocoa was used by the Aztecs, further north in pre-Columbian Mexico.
Maca thrives in high altitudes - between 10,000 and 16,000 feet. The harsher the conditions, the better it grows, or so it seems. In fact, efforts to grow the plant in Central Europe haven't been as successful - maca seems to enjoy its home turf the best. In Peru, maca is a popular and beloved nutrient-packed superfood, and is commonly powdered and mixed into drinks at roadside stands throughout the Andes.
Q. I've heard of maca being used for healthy libido - are there any other benefits?
A. Maca is a natural energizer, and although it is recognized for it's libido enhancing abilities, it has other uses, too, acting as an adaptogen - similar to rhodiola or ginseng. In fact, in South America, maca is known as "Peruvian Ginseng." Though maca is not ginseng at all, some of the benefits of both plants are similar.
In any event, maca is recommended for boosting the immune system, menopause support, and hormonal balance in general. For daily use, maca is most recognized as a great source of energy and all-day endurance. Alkaloids from maca root may be partially responsible for both maca's energizing and libido boost. Research shows that maca affects the hypothalamic-pituitary (HPA) axis - boosting energy and overall aphrodisiac prowess in men and women. Maca contains novel compounds called macamides and macaenes, which have been proven in animal studies to significantly enhance energy, stamina and sexual function reasons people have been so consuming maca for 2000 years.
There are other serious reasons why maca is such an excellent plant. One group of compounds in maca is the isothiocyanates-aromatics constituents that are responsible for the "hotness" of mustards and radishes - fellow members of the brassica family. Isothiocyanates from other members of the brassica family may reduce the risk of breast and stomach cancer. Although the same constituents specifically from maca haven't beentested, it's plausible that they could have the same effects.
Q. I've heard a little about guarana extracts - is it just caffeine?
A. Guarana is widely loved for its mild stimulating effect, which is due to caffeine. But this is by no means this Amazonian herb's sole beneficial compound. Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is so logically ingrained in the culture of Brazil that it's practically a rival (actually out-sells) Coca-Cola in its soft-drink form. Like many other indigenous herbs, guarana was in use locally well before European settlement. Its Latin name comes fromthe German botanist C.F. Paullini, who first encountered the herb in the 1700s. This evergreen vine typically climbs fairly far up the Brazilian forest trees. The seed is the part that gets used. In one clinical study, guarana boosted the memory alertness of participants, even when the caffeine level per dose was a low 9 mg., as compared with approximately 100 mg for a cup of coffee. This effect suggests that other agents than caffeine contribute to a feeling of well being.
Guarana also contains powerful antioxidants including catechin, epicatechin and proanthocyanidins, which protect cells against destruction from free radicals, and impart benefits to the body's tissues and blood. The small seed of this plant is powerful in its health benefits.
Catuaba (Erythroxylum catuaba) is a common tree found in South America from Brazil to Peru, in the same genus as the coca plant. Catuaba contains components known as alkaloids. These alkaloids (called catuabine A, B, and C) are probably responsible for themental boost most people get when they take catuabe-based supplements or mixes.
There may be little confusion regarding catuaba, because various species and genus typesuse the common name. As a result, "catuaba" gets bandied around a lot, and one person'scatuaba may not be the next. Read labels carefully. The catuaba I've had the best luck with is Erythroxylum catuaba.
One of my favorite drinks in the world is coffee, and I'm sure at many people reading thisconsider it the essential part of their morning, too.
The part of coffee that we use the most is the seed of the coffee fruit - which appears as a bright, red berry. Most of the time, this fruit is sloughed off and left behind in the process of making coffee - it's really too delicate to last long in hot conditions.
But advances in technology have tapped a previously discarded resource. Though the fruit of coffee is available in any coffee-growing economy, a high antioxidant commercial extract of "coffee cherry" is now available from the fruits of coffee plants in Mexico.
Coffee fruit has many of the attributes of other dark-colored, anthcyanin-rich fruits. Coffee fruit (also referred to as "coffee cherry") appears not to be just another antioxidant, however. Current research on this once-forgotten, former castoff shows impressive abilities to decrease tumor size, and possibly even prevent their formation in the first place. It seems that the elements in coffee berry activate T-lymphocytes in such a way that mammary tumors are shrunk or simply put on hold. It will be fascinating to see how this science plays out.
Muira Puama Bark:
Muira puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides) grows between 15 to 45 feet high. Native to theAmazon basin of Brazil, the dried bark has been used for centuries as a traditional energysupport. Components include beta-sitosterol, campesterol and lupeol.
Muira puama, like other central nervous stimulants has been researched lately for its ability to boost memory retrieval and protect neural (brain) tissue. Who knows? Maybe this traditional ingredient could someday be on the cutting edge of natural medicines fighting Alzheimer's, much the way green tea and turmeric are currently. In one unpublished French study of 262 men with low libido and poor erectile function, 62% experienced significant improvement after taking an extract of Muira puama for two weeks.
Acai (Euterpe acai) berry is a traditional favorite (and readily available) food source for people in the Amazon. The tree is a tall-growing palm with berries that provide - a rich source of anthocyanins, potent purple pigments with extraordinary high antioxidant activity.
Once harvested, acai fruits decay rapidly. As with coffee fruits, special processing is the surest way to make certain the nutrients of acai berry make it to those of us outside the Amazon basin.
However, these wonderful fruits not only fight against free radical damage, but help our natural digestive enzymes and boost natural immune defenses, too. In fact, current research is investigating whether compounds in acai may have a fighting effect on Leukemia, too. So far, the results have been very positive.
Look for supplements made using organically-grown, fair trade acai berry. The best companies ensure that the local people harvesting acai and the communities where they live gather more than just short-term benefits. The best companies work not just to provide jobs, but better lives for generations to come.
Q. What is sustainability and fair trade, anyway?
A. Sustainability refers to a set of naturally occurring circumstances, or intentionally designed practices and principles, which ensure that all parts or members of a situation are adequately nourished to promote their healthy continuance. In current parlance, sustainability often refers to practices and programs designed and implemented to keep natural systems healthy and flourishing. Many such programs focus on environmental protection and preservation of traditional cultures. In the world of medicinal plants, sustainable practices include organic agriculture, species management, fair trade, and benefit-sharing programs.
In other words, sustainability pays people fair wages, puts resources back into their communities, and ensures that the resources that benefit us all are going to be around for a long time. It is an earth-friendly, people-friendly concept of commerce that happily, is taking root around the world.
The traditional cultures that use - and have used - these ingredients for generations wouldn't have done so if they hadn't been effective. Fortunately we live in an era when formerly locally-used herbs are now available far beyond their previous range. We are also fortunate to have companies and individuals working hard to make sure that the people who tend and care for these precious resources are paid fairly for their efforts, andthat their families and communities benefit from this commerce as well.
The great thing about using traditional herbs and ingredients that have been gathered in this manner is that you know they'll be around for a long time.
May 23, 2006 12:18 PM
Acai, one of the latest, hot new health food discoveries from the Amazon rainforest boasts some impressive credentials as a source of omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, vitamins A, C and E and more than 50 other antioxidants, especially anthocyanin—the powerhouse pigment found in red wine and blueberries.
Proponents of acai, which is actually the purplish fruit of Euterpe oleracea, a short palm found in abundance in Brazil, claim this superfood promotes healthy cholesterol, supports the immune system and protects the heart. With the publication of a new study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, they might be able to add “fights cancer” to that list as well.
The study, conducted at the University of Florida, tested the effect of pure acai juice-stripped of any lipids (EFAs) and cellulose material on HL-60 human Leukemia cells in vitro. Researchers also evaluated five other extracts or “fractions” of the fruit, which contained different mixtures of antioxidants, for their effect on Leukemia cells. They found that the extracts "reduce cell proliferation from 56% to 86%, most likely by damaging the cells enough to cause them to self-destruct."
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 54(4):1222-1229, 2006
May 20, 2006 12:15 PM
Today’s scientists might be less poetic that tea’s ancient admirers. But they are no less impressed by the fragrant beverage’s lengthy list of health-boosting compounds, including a powerful antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that may interfere with potentially harmful genetic changes. Researchers at the University of Rochester (New York) Medical Center have found that EGCG binds to a protein called HSP90, jamming an important gene-damaging mechanism (biochemistry 4/5/05). Tea may also help stymie cancer development by interacting with toxin-neutralizing enzymes in the liver and by encouraging apoptosis, a process that causes cells to die when their useful life is over.
Studies of actual tea-drinking humans have had mixed results; some show a cancer-preventive effect, others don’t. The most promising research comes from China, where green tea is the beverage of choice. Among more than 18,000 men, those who drank tea were half as likely to develop cancer of the stomach or esophagus (which leads from the mouth to the stomach) as non-imbibers (Carcinogenesis 9/02).
Americans have traditionally favored black tea, which has different chemical properties. A 2005 American Institute for Cancer Research survey showed that only 15% of the US population drinks green tea on any given day and less than 1% matches the per-person consumption seen in Asia (although green tea sales have climbed considerably in recent years).
Meanwhile, the good news continues to pour in. in February, an investigation published in the Journal Carcinogenesis found a 22% drop in breast cancer risk among women who quaffed five cups a day. And in two preliminary studies, green tea extract, which provides tea compounds in an easy-to-take, form, has been linked to reduced risk of cancer in men with precancerous prostate changes and has benefited people with Leukemia.
ANTIVIRAL PROPERTIES OF ST. JOHN'S WORT
July 15, 2005 09:25 AM
ANTIVIRAL PROPERTIES OF ST. JOHN'S WORT
As stated previously, hypericin has recently gained much of the medical world’s respect as an antiviral agent, with activity against a broad range of enveloped viruses and retroviruses. The effective virucidal activity emanates from a com-bination of photodynamic and lipophilic properties. A recent article in the journal Transfusion details exactly how hypericin works in inhibiting viral activity among cells:
Hypericin binds cell membranes (and, by inference, virus membranes) and crosslinks virus capsid proteins. This action results in a loss of infectivity and an inability to retrieve the reverse transcriptase enzymatic activity from the virion.14 Another recent study, carried out in 1991, focused on hypericin’s ability to inhibit virus activity, more specifically, in the murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV), Sindbis virus, and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). The Sindbis virus was significantly more sensitive than the MCMV virus. The inactivated MCMV, when used to infect cells, was incapable of synthesizing early or late viral antigens. In addition to the direct virucidal effect, when hypericin was added to cells infected with viable MCMV, inhibition was also observed, particularly when the compound was added in the first two hours of infection. The researchers also indicated that the effect was aided significantly by visible light, pointing again to the plant’s photodynamic property.
The study states that hypericin appears to have two modes of antiviral activity: “. . . one directed at the virions, possibly on membrane components, and the other directed at virusinfected cells. Both activities are substantially enhanced by light.”15 And there are other viruses that fall under St. John’s wort’s antiviral blanket. Contemporary research points to the equine infectious anemia virus, the lentivirus, the Sindbid virus, the radiation Leukemia virus, and most importantly, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Cancer and Echinacea
June 24, 2005 03:45 PM
Cancer and Echinacea
Some experts believe that over the last 40 years, science has lost its battle with cancer. Progress has been slow and cancer mortality rates continue to rise despite the enormous amount of money spent on research. While most of us are aware of potential carcinogens which surround us at every turn, most of us do not take a preventative approach.
In other words, even if we eat nutritiously and try to protect ourselves from toxin exposure, cancers still develop. The role of the immune system in cancer pre vention is significant to say the least. Why some people develop cancerous tumors and others do not may be linked to immune function.
We’re all aware of the new emphasis on antioxidants today. Likewise, stimulating and strengthening the immune system may also provide significant protection against certain types of malignancy. It’s time to concentrate on why some of us don’t get cancer instead of focusing all our attention on why some of us do.
In addition to boosting the immune system, echinacea has been shown to increase pro p e rdin levels in the body which may be responsible for its anti-cancer activity. By increasing the production and secretion of interferon, echinacea may help enable the body to neutralize carcinogens.15
USDA researchers have found that echinacea contains a tumor inhibiting compound. This compound is an oncolytic lipid-soluble hydrocarbon. This particular substance which is found in the essential oil of echinacea, has shown its ability to inhibit lymphocytic Leukemia and other types of cancers.
One theory concerning this activity is that it probably does not involve creating a cytotoxic effect directly on cancer cells, but rather stimulates the action of anti-cancer cells such as natrual killer cells already present in the body.
The fact that echinacea inhibits the enzyme, hyaluronidase may also be a factor. The same type of mechanism that breaks down the protective barrier around cells so that disease microbes can enter is thought to occur in the initial stages of tumor formation. Because echinacea prevents the formation of hyaluronidase, it may play a role in preventing the development of certain types of cancer.16
Allergies and Echinacea
German research has demonstrated echinacea’s ability to treat certain allergic reactions.17 It may be the cortisone-like activity of echinacea which accounts for its anti-inflammatory action. In the case of allergic reactions, the immuno-suppressive action of echinacea kicks in.
An allergy occurs when the immune system becomes overly stimulated by the presence of an allergen. Each time that the allergen enters the body an allergic response is initiated. Echinacea can temper this cascade of symptoms by stabilizing mast cells, which are responsible for the histamine release which creates havoc with our bodies. This action results in a substantial reduction of allergy symptoms.
The fact that echinacea actually suppresses the immune system is nothing less than remarkable. This herb might be referred to as “the botanical with a brain.” In other words, it can either stimulate or inhibit immune response as determined by the status of the body. Synthetic drugs do not have this ability.
Healing Stimulation by Echinacea
Because echinacea has antiseptic pro p e rties, it can be used both internally and externally to heal conditions such as bed sores, boils, burns, ulcers and wounds of any kind. The inulin Echinacin B content of echinacea extracted from the rhizome gives echinacea its wound healing pro p e rties. It also accelerates the production of granulomatous tissue which is necessary for tissue healing in the body. 18
Russian studies have shown that echinacea also helps to stimulate healing in wounds and prevents blood clotting.19
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Echinacea
Because echinacea contains the polysaccharides inulin and echinacin it may be helpful in fighting stubborn viral infections such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Anytime the immune system becomes c o m p romised due to exhaustion, allergies, or depression, viral and bacterial invasion can occur. The chemical compounds contained in echinacea promote improved resistance to all septic or infectious conditions.20
Prostate Disorders and Echinacea
Echinacea is believed to be one of the best herbs in the treatment of enlarged prostate glands or other prostate disorders .21 Its anti-inflammatory properties are believed to help decrease swelling and irritation. Tests on mice have shown that using echinacea to control inflammatory responses has resulted in a decrease in edema or swelling.
Weight Loss and Echinacea
When combined with chickweed, echinacea has been used to promote weight loss.22 Scientifically, there is a lack of data to explain this particular effect.
Echinacea and Skin Damage
Any type of skin damage, whether caused by injury or infection can be treated with echinacea. One of the major actions of this herb is its ability to inhibit a specific enzyme that weakens connective tissue cells when they are exposed to certain microorganisms. This enzyme is called hyaluronidase .23 Whenever skin cells have been compromised by infectious organisms, echinacea can help prevent the spread of infection and speed the healing of the skin by preventing the break down of skin tissue at the cellular level. The anti-hyaluronidase action of echinacea, especially when applied as a poultice, can significantly prevent infection and enhance healing in burns, cuts, and abrasions.
In addition, topical applications of echinacea are valuable in treating snake and insect bites. German research suggests that echinacea extracts and salves can benefit a variety of inflammatory skin conditions including: psoriasis, eczema, and herpes.24
Yeast Inf ect ions and Echinacea
Yeast infections are caused by an fungus called Candida albicans. This particular organism has been the subject of intense interest, research and controversy over the last several years. Standard medical therapies for yeast infections usually involve the use of antibiotics and antifungal drugs which can, in themselves, compromise the immune system. In laboratory tests using control groups, subjects who received echinacea we re compared to those who took standard antifungal treatments. In these cases, better results we re obtained with the echinacea.25 It is the polysaccharides contained in echinacea which seem to enhance the resistance of the immune system against the Candida fungus. This finding again stresses that echinacea may have important therapeutic applications for anyone who is in a weakened state and susceptible to opportunistic infections.26 Echinacea in both external and internal forms can be used to treat yeast infections. It has been suggested that anyone who has recurring yeast infections should consider adding echinacea extract to their repertoire of health supplements.
Inflammation, Arthrit is and Echinacea
Some laboratory tests have demonstrated that echinacea has certain anti-inflammatory pro p e rties which can help prevent or decrease the inflammation and swelling typically found in arthritis sufferers. Unlike the inflammatory response of the body to infections, the chronic inflammation of joint diseases such as arthritis is not desireable. In these cases, echinacea can help to inhibit chronic inflammation. Its effect is considered equal to approximately half of that resulting from steroid drugs like cortisone in arthritic patients.27
Apparently, echinacea contains a specific factor which prevents inflammation and swelling when observed in certain laboratory tests. This particular tonic action may be quite helpful for people who suffer from chronic arthritis. Arthritis symptoms result from an immune response which creates inflammation in the joints. As is the case with allergies, when arthritis is present, echinacea inhibits the inflammatory action of the immune system.
It is interesting to note that another component of echinacea actually boosts the inflammatory response when it is appropriate. For this reason, wounds respond well to echinacea.
Steroids are commonly prescribed for inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Because steroid drugs have so many negative side-effects, echinacea may prove to be an invaluable treatment for improper immune system reactions that cause conditions like arthritis.
HIV and Echinacea
At this writing, the possible role of echinacea on HIV has not been established. While some preliminary studies look promising, much more research is needed to determine whether or not echinacea’s stimulation of immune function will benefit AIDS patients.
Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP)...
June 21, 2005 05:21 PM
By Isaac Eliaz, M.D.
Modified citrus pectin (MCP) is an essential nutrient for cancer prevention and treatment. It directly attacks cancer, thereby reducing the disease, but also has properties that enhance overall health. A true super nutrient! Let me explain how it can do all this.
Characteristics of Cancer Cells
Cancer cells are different from normal cells in a number of ways. One difference is they way they "look." All cells have a variety of molecules on their surface, which allow them to communicate with each other and their environment:
Cancer cells have odd amounts or unusual molecular markers on their surface, which allow white blood cells to recognize the cells as cancerous and kill them. One type of molecule cancer cells have in excess is galectin-3. Galectin-3 molecules function as "hands" and help cancer spread. First, they are important in reaching out and stimulating growth of new blood vessels; this allows the cancer to obtain the blood flow and nutrients it needs to grow out of control. Second, galectins allow cells that break off from the primary tumor to clump together in the blood stream, enabling them to move to new sites. Third, the galectin hand can grab hold of the new location and complete the metastasis, or spread, of the cancer.
MCP Blocks the Spread and Growth of Cancer Cells
Modified citrus pectin is a natural substance that can bind to galectin molecules and block their spread and growth. Early research on prostate cancer showed that oral administration of MCP to rodents resulted in a dramatic reduction in prostate cancer metastasis to the lungs. More recent research by the same scientists extended MCP protection to breast and colon cancer, and showed that MCP blocks primary tumor growth and formation of new blood vessels.
Successful Clinical Trial
A commercially available form of modified citrus pectin was developed in response to the positive animal studies and tested in men with prostate cancer. A pilot trial using MCP at 15 grams a day and a subsequent phase II trial both showed that MCP slows prostate cancer progression, as evidenced by a reduction in the rate of PSA rise. PSA (prostate-specific antigen) is a protein made by the prostate gland; elevated PSA blood levels may indicate prostate cancer. The phase II trial, published in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases (Dec 2003), involved men who at first experienced successful primary conventional treatment; subsequently their PSA again began to climb, representing cancer recurrence. Seventy percent of these men showed a significant reduction in the rise of their PSA climb! Because of the mechanism of action, it is expected people with other cancers (Leukemia, breast, colon, lung, nasopharyngeal, brain, lymphoma, melanoma and others that express galectin molecules) also would benefit from MCP.
MCP Chelates and Removes Toxic Metals
Heavy metals, in conjunction with environmental toxins and xenoestrogens, constitute a dangerous insult to the body through DNA damage, hormonal modulation, immune suppression, oxidative stress, and hyper inflammation. The metal chelation properties of MCP (Eliaz, U.S. patent #6,462,029) have been confirmed in a recent pilot trial. In healthy individuals, MCP increased urinary excretion of the toxic metals mercury, cadmium, arsenic and lead. In addition, longterm administration of MCP has been shown to reduce the body burden of heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic, lead, and nickel. MCP's ability to remove heavy metals and environmental toxins on an ongoing basis may significantly benefit people with cancer and other diseases involving immune dysfunction.
Clinically Validated MCP
Only one form of MCP has been validated in human clinical trials. This is important since no other MCP on the market matches the chemical specifications of the clinically validated product. If the molecular weight of MCP is too high it can't be absorbed into the bloodstream. If it is too low it won't effectively block galectin sites. Another property, the degree of esterification, must be below 5% for optimal binding. The most effective specifications were defined by cell culture studies and remain a trade secret. If you want the effects seen in the clinical studies, you must take the preparation used in those studies, at the recommended dose of 15grams/day.
The Use of Modified Citrus Pectin
MCP Application Use (Take on an empty stomach) Active Cancer 15 grams/day (5 grams, three times a day) Biopsy 15 grams/day (5 grams, three times a day) Take one week before procedure and two weeks after. Heavy Metal Chelation High body burden levels: 15 grams/day (5 grams, three times a day) Lower levels: 15 grams/day for 5 days a month, 5 grams/day the rest of the month Cancer Prevention 5 grams/day ongoing
June 18, 2005 09:11 AM
Mushroom Miracles by Bert Hoffman Energy Times, April 12, 2004
Mention mushrooms and few people immediately recognize these humble fungi as important tools that can be used to boost well-being. More often, folks identify mushrooms as food with a peculiar appeal. But mushrooms' potential impact on health far surpasses their culinary reputation.
You don't have to stretch your imagination too far to understand why mushrooms have been much neglected in the modern, Western medical search for plants that can boost health.
Unable to make chlorophyll, often dependent on the kindness of other nutrient-producing organisms for their survival, these humble fungal denizens of dark, damp spaces seem to prefer an anonymous existence that is out of sight and out of the consciousness of the scientific mind.
However, mushrooms have now assumed a spot in the center of the research spotlight. Because of their potent content of natural chemicals that appear to have a strong influence on human health and well-being, during the past decade mushrooms have been the subjects of intensive studies on how they can be used to reduce the risk of cancer and to treat these diseases.
Appropriately, this recent round of research began in a place that has long revered these diminutive organisms: Japan. Japan and other Oriental countries have traditionally recognized the immense value of mushrooms as both food and medicine.
Food and Medicine
As an ancient Chinese saying notes, "food and medicine share a common origin." And one of the very earliest Chinese medical books, Shen Noug's Herbal (Shen Noug Pen Ts'ao Jing), first noted the extraordinary beneficial effects of eating mushrooms 2,000 years ago, back in the first century.
More recently, but still well ahead of Western medical experts, in 1575, Pen Ts'ao Kang Mu (a Chinese compendium of medicinal therapies), written by Li Shi Zhen, outlined the medical benefits of about 20 mushrooms.
Nowadays, modern researchers believe mushrooms' usefulness stems from the fact they contain a wealth of antioxidants. But these aren't just any antioxidants. Scientists think that some of these chemicals can potentially drop your risk of cancer, significantly lower blood pressure, help the body fight diabetes, offer protection for the liver, alleviate some of the ill effects of inflammation, lessen the chance of blood clots and help the body's immune system fend off viruses and other microbes. Quite a collection of benefits for these lowly beings!
The 10,000-Year Mushroom
Through the ages, the reishi mushroom (also known variously as the Mannetake, or 10,000-year mushroom, and the Immortality Mushroom) has been the most popular mushroom in Chinese, Korean and Japanese cultures. The reishi mushroom is frequently depicted in a wide variety of traditional Oriental artwork and even puts in an appearance in Chinese royal tapestries.
To some, reishi's power goes beyond the natural and include the supernatural. Originally grown on aging plum trees, reishi is also sufficiently well regarded to be employed by the Japanese as a good luck charm. But you don't have to believe in the supernatural to be superbly impressed with reishi. The beneficial natural substances in reishi include steroids, lactones, alkaloids, triterpenes and polysaccharides.
Of these chemicals, polysaccharides (complex chains of sugars) in particular have intrigued researchers looking into the way mushrooms help health. These polysaccharide macromolecules are very large (for molecules) and complex, a complexity that leads researchers to believe they are capable of conveying a huge amount of biological information that help the immune system stop cancer in its early stages. The differences in the benefits of various polysaccharides stems from their intriguing geometrical shapes.
Even though two distinctive polysaccharides may contain the same number of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms, their three-dimensional differences-the way they are structured and branch off in different directions-can endow them with very different health benefits.
Though they all share a basic structure (usually, these molecules consist of a main chain of atoms with various side chains), the slight variations of the side chains changes their effects.
By deciphering the microscopic structures of these molecules, scientists think they are beginning to uncover which ones are most effective against cancer. For instance, in isolating a particularly useful polysaccharide called beta-D-glucan from reishi, researchers have found that this substance fights tumors in lab experiments (Chem Pharm Bull 1981; 29: 3611).
Meanwhile, beta-D-glucan and other extracts taken from the maitake mushroom have also been shown to possess powerful anti-cancer effects in lab experiments (Immunopharm Immunotox; 19:175).
In one instance, researchers in the laboratory who were trying out various substances on prostate cancer cells found that applying extracts of maitake results in a kind of programmed self-destruction (apoptosis) of these undesirable cancer cells (Molec Urol; 4:7). In addition, another substance known as maitake d-fraction has been shown to strongly fight cancer in lab animals-in one study, their liver cancer growths were reduced by up to 90% (Ann NY Acad of Sci; 833:204).
At the same time, research in China on people has demonstrated that maitake may help reduce tumors and alleviate the effects of Leukemia (Alter Comp Ther 12/98; 420).
According to A.S. Daba and O.U. Ezeronye (Afr Jrnl Bio 12/03; 672), "Mushroom polysaccharides offer a lot of hope for cancer patients and sufferers of many devastating diseases.
" [These substances support]...a fundamental principle in Oriental medicine...[they help] regulate homeostasis of the whole body and... bring the diseased person [back] to his or her normal state."
The Activity of Active Hexose Correlated Compound Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC), an extract taken from shiitake and other mushrooms, is a relatively new substance that is also being researched for its anti-cancer benefits.
Studies on AHCC began in Japan in the 1990s when scientists looked at how it could potentially help people recovering from liver cancer. In those tests, researchers found that giving people AHCC apparently helped them survive longer.
In the future, scientists feel certain that they will uncover even more anticancer uses for mushrooms and the chemicals they contain. A key advantage to these natural substances is their lack of side effects. For instance, in research on an anti-cancer chemical called lentinan, taken from shiitakes, investigators have found that less than one percent of people experience the kind of discomfort that make them discontinue treatment. (This chemical has been used to treat stomach cancer.)
But a long list of beneficial mushroom substances are probably still waiting to be discovered. More evidence of mushrooms' benefits: A study of mushroom workers in a part of Japan called the Nagano Prefecture found that these farmers enjoyed a significantly lower cancer rate than other inhabitants of that part of the country.
In the rest of Japan, about one in six hundred people dies of cancer. But that rate death rate drops to about one in a thousand for mushroom raisers who eat a diet heavy in mushrooms.
John Smith, PhD, from the University of Strath-Clyde, notes that "...increasing evidence [shows] mushrooms offer a remarkable array of medicinally important compounds that have yet to be evaluated by Western medical scientists." Mushrooms offer the best of both worlds: good health that tastes great.