Search Term: " Myrrh "
Myrrh oil is worth more than gold when it comes to the healthbenefits it provides
May 17, 2019 04:24 PM
Essential oils are used for aromatherapy but that is just one of their myriad uses. They have been used by Chinese medicine and ayurvedic medicine for centuries due to their numerous health benefits. Now, science has backed many of the claims on health benefits. One of these oils is myrrh. Myrrh is produced from a steam distillation process by extracting the reddish brown sap from the Commiphora myrrha tree. The oil is amber in color and has an earthy aroma. It has a lot of healthy benefits. One of them is that it is used to eliminate harmful bacteria. Ancient Egyptians used this oil to embalm their dead and mummies because it slows down the process of decay. This is due to the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of myrrh oil. Another advantage of this oil is that it can eliminate some parasites. Myrrh oil has been reported to cure infections such as trichomoniasis and giardiasis. Myrrh oil can also support oral health. It has been used by researchers to treat mouth sores with complete relief for the patients. Other benefits of this wonderful oil are highlighted in the blog.
"In fact, myrrh essential oil, which is often used in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine, has many science-backed health benefits."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-17-myrrh-oil-is-worth-more-than-gold.html
The essential oil of myrrh is a powerful natural medicine for woundmanagement
December 06, 2018 04:52 PM
Myrrh is a oil that is being used as a really powerful medicine for the managing of wounds. This oil is something that some people think is useless while others absolutely swear by it. Having something that has a natural use case is sometimes better than other medicines because there is nothing artificially placed within these oils. Obviously, it depends on the type of wound that you do have and how severe it is. Doctors are using these natural oils more and more.
"Most people know myrrh as an aromatic, but not so much as a natural medicinal treatment. A study in the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Journal, however, has proven that it does have remarkable medicinal benefits, among which are faster healing from wounds and protection from bacterial infections."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-20-essential-oil-of-myrrh-for-wound-management.html
8 Essential Oils for Burns and Cuts
October 19, 2018 10:52 AM
If you need help for minor cuts or burns, instead of reaching for the medicine cabinet, why not reach for your garden - or rather, essential oils from the garden. The oils of several garden plants(as well as others) can help ease pain, inflammation and promote healing. Some of the common garden plants include rosemary, lavender, oregano and peppermint. But these are not the only plants you have available: the oils of rose geranium, myrrh, eucalyptus and helichrysum are also helpful for cuts and burns.
"In this article, we will walk you over the best essential oils for burns and cuts, take note study shows that they really work."
Read more: https://t2conline.com/8-essential-oils-for-burns-and-cuts/
Natural homemade toothpaste heals cavities while whitening teeth
February 04, 2017 10:59 AM
There are over 500 different microorganisms in our mouths, says Saveyoursmile.com. One of the most prolific, known as streptococcus mutans, is the one that causes all that sticky plaque. In the last 7000 years, a wide variety of substances have been utilized to get rid of it. The Eqyptians created a tooth cream by “mixing powdered ashes of oxen hooves with Myrrh, burnt egg shells, pumice, and water.”
"Oral health is so important to your overall health and self esteem."
Can Guggle Extract Improve Bile And Fat Metabolism?
May 05, 2014 08:13 PM
Guggul extract on weight loss
It is good to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you do not do so, falling prey to a number of health complications is inevitable. Among the causes of these complications, fats metabolism happens to play a big part. There are numerous ways to help deal with problems associated with fat metabolism; guggle extract is one of them. A plant found in Asia and North African parts is widely used in weight loss programs. Its bark contains some sap that is extracted to offer the desired product. Many people are asking questions on how this extract helps improve both bile and fat metabolism.
How effective guggul extract
The sap obtained is also referred to us gum guggle or rather guggglesterones. These plant steroids are responsible for the positive effects the herb on the body fat metabolism. How does it help reduce cholesterol? It simply prompts an increase in the functioning of the thyroid. Biologically, this helps enhance metabolism. It occurs because food digestion is improved while at the same time the conversion of carbohydrates to fats is inhibited thus reducing cholesterol levels in blood. Perhaps that is why it is used in most weight loss programs.
Other health benefits of guggle extract
Furthermore, guggle extract improves bile functioning due to its cholesterol reduction characteristics. It kills two birds with one stone. As seen earlier, it inhibits formation of cholesterol on blood. Second, it helps in the excretion cholesterol from the body system. It is able to do this effectively due to the presence of phytochemicals. They inhibit farnesoid X receptor, which happens to be the bile acid receptor responsible for cholesterol levels in the body. It even blocks oxidation of low-density lipo-proteins thus enabling the breakdown of cholesterol into manageable compounds.
Finally, there is no doubt on if guggle extracts helps improve bile and fat metabolism. There may be a few people who question its effectiveness, but numerous studies have cemented the truthfulness of the idea. This herb also has other uses thus check out for our next article to understand more about it.
May 05, 2014 07:40 PM
Obese and overweight
With busy schedules day in and day out, refined foods and drinks have become the order of the day and this has led to a higher percentage of people who are obese and overweight. People have realized how this is hurting them and are very concerned about their health and are taking keen interest in how the body works and what it needs to remain healthy and in good shape. Most body processes are driven by hormones, which trigger the necessary reactions.
The body usually produces these hormones but at times, they need external boosting through intake of certain foods or medication. The T3 thyroid hormone is very important as it is responsible for stimulation of metabolism which if one is trying to lose weight is very important. Most people take thyroid drugs to increase this hormone level but a better and natural way is by using guggul extract, which does not have side effects like insomnia, jitters and heart palpitations.
What is a guggul extract and its benefits
Guggul extract is yellowish in color and it comes from guggul (gum guggul) which is a resin that comes from the mukul mirth tree. It possesses bioactive compounds from its sterols. Guggul has been used to treat obesity, acne, inflammation and hypolidemia. Guggul works by converting T4 into T3 triiodothyronine, which is more active in speeding up metabolism. The conversion increases the amount of T3 in the blood stream. The sterols in the extract also boost thyroid stimulating hormone production, which is more direct.
This extract is best used by lose on fat loss diets as it helps maintain high levels of active thyroid which in turn helps in faster burning of the body fat. Remember dieters usually have low calorie intake and the body is designed to slow down metabolism when there is slow food intake so guggul helps crank it up.
Myrrh oil health benefits
February 21, 2014 05:04 PM
Know what Myrrh essential oil is
As you have probably read somewhere else, Myrrh oil is an aromatic resin that comes from trees belonging to the genus commiphora. It has a unique sweet and smoky aroma. Myrrha, hirabol Myrrh and bola are other alternative names that people use frequently when referring to Myrrh oil. Known to contain cadinene, cuminaldehyde, a-pinene, acetic acid, m-cresol, eugenol and formic acid, this pale yellow oil has been the source of debate due to its many benefits which go back to the time of ancient Egyptians.
Why take Myrrh oil?
Modern scientific research has found evidence suggesting that Myrrh has a wide range of uses that are beneficial to boost the health condition of an individual. Myrrh is an amazing extract that can be used in aromatherapy to effectively treat colds, coughs, insomnia and sore throat. In the digestive system, the oil is widely used for indigestion and ulcers treatment. Women and young girls find it necessary to increase their menstrual flow using normal remedies but have failed. However, this sap-like oil does not only increase the menstrual flow but it also relieve painful periods and ease difficult labor in childbirth.
For all medical dental infections, the oil is included when mixing a mouthwash. On the skin, it has great success when wiping out bedsores, boils, cracked skin, skin ulcers, athlete's foot and eczema. As a matter of fact, it is sometimes used as an ingredient in many skincare products, creams and lotions.
Myrrh is also purported to treat certain cancers and tumors. The extract from Commiphora trees is highly effective against the gynecologic cancer cells. When used as an anti-oxidant, amazing results are achieved in protecting against lead induced hepatotoxicity.
When can you start taking Myrrh resin?
It is recommended to take Myrrh essential oil three times in a day or as needed. Pregnant and nursing women should start using it after consulting a qualified practitioner. It can be used as a dietary supplement for children when they reach the age of six years.
What Herbs Help Fight Against Worms And Parasites?
January 23, 2013 12:27 PM
Fighting Against Worms and Parasites
There are thousands of worms and parasites around in the environment and people are always becoming ill because of some of these insects which they come into contact with. Many people are under the impression that something like a tapeworm does not exist anymore. However, although this is less common, people are still being affected by this and it can cause all sorts of complications.
Flatworms, Flukes and Roundworms
The three main problematic worms are flatworms, flukes and roundworms. These all cause some form of damage and need to be dealt with. You have to treat this early on. You must make sure that you take precautionary methods, because then there is little chance of something going terribly wrong. Some of these worms feed on blood and tissue fluids. You will start to lose a lot of weight as a result of a flatworm and often you won't even know that you have one of these in your system. One of these worms can measure up to 20 meters in length.
Eventually the organs will also start to suffer. Parasites can be transmitted in a variety of ways, but most of the time you can't do anything about it. You may be in a tropical country where there are a lot of mosquitoes, fleas and flies buzzing around. These can be harmful and can even cause malaria. One can even be affected by something that passes by in the air. Vegetables and fruit are often contaminated and they need to be washed. Tapeworms have been known to be found in pork, and therefore this should only be bought once it has come back from a butcher. To look after yourself and make sure that you don't run into too many problems, it is important that you treat yourself from time to time.
Black Walnut, Garlic, And Wormwood
Using natural herbs, black walnut and garlic as well as wormwood will help prevent running into any of these complication. Ipecac and Myrrh are two of the well known herbs that work on getting rid of parasites. You will have to use these in a tea form because they are very powerful. They can have minor side effects for some, but it is a lot better than living with some of the worms in your body. Garlic works best with hook worms and is effective in treating parasites. It has been used over the ages and has a very good reputation in this regard. Wormwood is found in a lot of medication on the market and is recommended by many doctors as one of the better ways to clear out your system, especially working to get rid of the roundworm.
Research has said that pumpkin seeds work very well in getting rid of tapeworms. However, if this has got to a very advanced stage, then they may need to be surgically removed. Some experts suggest that these seeds be mixed with milk and honey for the best effects. Most people will tell you that it is a good idea to use herbs and other remedies on a regular basis on their own or in your cooking to keep your system clean and healthy. If you do this, there is less chance of an invasion. If you should have a problem, you will be able to be treated in the early stages.
November 08, 2012 03:15 PM
Guggul Extract is a resin that is extracted from the mukul Myrrh tree. This tree is originally from India and has been known to be used in many traditional healing remedies.
Western herbal supplements are beginning to use this extract because of the various healing qualities that it shows. Among the various healing qualities that Guggul Extract has include, The stimulation of the thyroid functions in your body, which increases your metabolism. This means that you can reduce the amount of fat you have (help to check obesity). It can have an impact on the level of cholesterol in the body. This is after continuous use of the extract.
For those who might have hardened arteries they stand a great risk of getting heart attacks. Guggul can help to soften these arteries. The cleaning of the arteries thanks to this extract means improved blood circulation. Improved circulation reduces blood clots and even risk of having a heart attack.
The anti-inflammatory properties of the Guggul Extract make it very helpful to arthritis sufferers. Even those suffering from bowel issues can get relief using this extract. Bloating and gas symptoms and ailments can be dealt with using the extract. The extract has pain relief qualities for those suffering from chronic pain caused by various injuries. Acne sufferers can turn to Guggul to ease skin irritation and acne breakouts.
Women have found that by using the extract they are able to have monthly menstrual periods that are regular in nature. Infections of the mouth can be adequately dealt with when using the extract. Those who suffer from things like tonsillitis can turn to this supplement for some much-needed relief.
give guggul a try.
Guggul, Cholesterol and Your Health!
February 11, 2012 07:53 AM
Guggul is a secretion substance, usually a yellowish rein, of the mukul Myrrh tree botanically known as Commiphora mukul. It has been used for centuries now in the Indian Ayurvedic medicine as a remedy for conditions such as osteoarthritis, obesity as well as some skin conditions. Recent studies have also indicated that guggul can also be used to lower the levels of cholesterol mostly by inhibiting cholesterol synthesis and accelerating the removal of the LDL and triglycerides cholesterol. Besides lowering cholesterol and blood fats, guggulipid extracts have been observed to raise the level of HDL cholesterol ,which are good cholesterols, and thus enhancing the health of your heart by shielding it against artherosclerosis vascular disease.
The guggul extract contain a compound that inhibits the functioning of a receptor in the cell known as FXR. This receptor is responsible for regulating the cholesterol in our body by varying the amount of the bile acids in our bodies. Usually, cholesterol in our body is either from synthesis in the liver or from diet. Cholesterol is contained in the bile acids which are made in the liver before being passed to the gall bladder and then to the small intestines. They help in the metabolism of fat in the small intestines before reprocessing and returning to the liver. By preventing the functioning of the FXR receptor implies that more cholesterol becomes excreted. In so doing 14 to 27 percent of LDL cholesterol and 22 to 30 percent of triglycerides cholesterol levels are reduced with use of guggul without need for exercise or diet.
Since guggul is instrumental in hardening of the arteries (artherosclerosis) and maintaining gigh levels of HDL (High-density lipoprotein) it has been seen to be a remedy for male erectile dysfunction and impotence. Further, guggul enhances the function of thyroid gland which is responsible in production of hormones that regulate metabolism. This therefore aids in weight loss by altering the thyroid function to increase production of thyroxine metabolite, triiodothyroxine and T3 which enhances the general body metabolism and by extension enhance burning of fats.
The action of guggul thus creates a balance between low and high cholesterol which may be in our bodies owing to diet, chronic stress, genetic propensity and also lack of exercise. A number of studies have reported that it is a safe and effective remedy to improving and maintaining a ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterols. In addition to maintaining normal ranges of cholesterol levels, it shields you against heart disease and inflammation.
In research, guggul extracts has been observed to clash with CYP3A4 enzyme whose responsibility is to metabolise numerous chemicals in the body. CYP3A4 is also responsible for metabolism of medications and thus guggul use tends to reduce the effectiveness of a number of medications such as diltiazem, propanolol and birth control pills. However, it has been reported that it in fact increases the levels of certain drugs such as statins in the body resulting in an improved effectiveness. Another problem of guggul use is its ability to raise the effectiveness of blood thinners and hence blood clotting becomes a challenge and it results to excessive bleeding. Therefore guggul should be administered only in the event that one is not under medication or the interaction between guggul and the medication is in fact not detrimental.
Have your tried Guggul Today?
What is Myrrh and How Does it Boost My Health
April 25, 2011 04:22 PM
Myrrh And Your Health
Myrrh is one of the oldest herbal remedies in the East and the West. It had a strong presence in many religious traditions of the ancient world. It was even compared to gold in value at some time in history. Early physicians noted its antibacterial properties and added it to poultices and health tonics. Modern medicine has started to look into its medicinal potential in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar.
Inhibits Pain Chemicals
Myrrh is obtained from the plant species Commiphora Myrrha, though there are other related species that produce the same resinous gum. It is native to the Levant and the surrounding regions. As its use were quite common during the ancient times, it spread to eastern countries, eventually reaching India and China, where it remains an important part of folk medicine practices to this day.
In addition to its pleasant aroma, Myrrh was prized for its antiseptic and analgesic properties in the old days. It was one of the ingredients used by ancient Egyptians in the mummification of their dead. Throughout the centuries, Myrrh has been used primarily as a perfume or wound salve. It has a soothing effect on lesions of body surfaces that seem to remove the perception of pain.
Improves Insulin Resistance
Earlier studies have noted the benefits of Myrrh to patients suffering from diabetes, drawing on its uses in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine. In India, physicians that practice both conventional and Ayurvedic medicine have ascribed certain species of Myrrh with properties that remove disorders of the circulatory system, notably high blood sugar. Myrrh decoctions are the usual herbal preparations, but it is also available as liniments, balms, salves, tinctures, and incense.
In one laboratory study, Myrrh extracts appear to lower serum glucose levels. It is postulated that it ameliorates symptoms of metabolic syndrome by enhancing the effects of the hormone insulin. It increases the sensitivity of cells to insulin, even promoting faster glucose metabolism. In the Middle East, it is one of the mainstays of treatment for diabetes type 2.
Reduces Total Lipid Levels
Myrrh has been the subject of decades-long research on its role in the management of cholesterol. In the latter half of the 20th century, it was discovered that low-density lipoproteins play a major role in many cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis. The dichotomy of bad and good cholesterol hit the mainstream media to promote awareness of the lifestyle factors tied to cardiovascular diseases.
High-density lipoproteins are dubbed good cholesterol in contrast to low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol. Low-density lipoproteins are actually involved in the formation of plaques within the blood vessel walls that leads to many complications. It has been observed that Myrrh reduces total lipid levels in the blood by raising high-density lipoproteins and lowering low-density lipoproteins.
Give Myrrh a try and experience its health beneficial properties for yourself!
Why Should I be Using a Natural Mouth Wash?
March 18, 2011 04:51 PM
Natural Mouth Wash, Should you Switch?
Natural mouth washes have been around since time immemorial. Earliest accounts point to their use in treatment of gingivitis, but only recently have they played an important role in oral hygiene. The discovery of antiseptic compounds, such as chlorhexidine, has brought mouth washes into mainstream popularity. Their commercial value remains strong although new studies seem to favor the use of natural mouth washes.
Provides Excellent Antiseptic Properties
Salt solution is among the earliest of all natural mouth washes. It is easy to prepare and proven to aid against mouth infections. In Greek and Roman antiquity, physicians recommended a mixture of salt and vinegar, which does kill certain microorganisms in the mouth cavity known to cause dental carries. This has also been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine in allaying mouth pains and promoting periodontal health.
The ancient text of Jews, the Talmud, records the use of olive oil for gum problems. Today plant-based oils are widely accepted to display excellent antiseptic properties, and there is scientific consensus that most essential oils are potent enough to denature pathogenic microorganisms. Aloe vera, cinnamon, fennel, tea tree, Myrrh, and peppermint are becoming increasingly popular as ingredients for natural mouth washes largely owing to their desirable scents in addition to being potent bactericides.
Avoids Bad Effects of Synthetic Compounds
The appeal of natural mouth washes lies in the absence of chemical compounds suspected to be harmful to the oral mucosa and the entire mouth cavity. Parabens are a group of chemicals that are commonplace in the cosmetic industry. Among all chemicals present in mouth washes, they are the most controversial in that studies have associated them to carcinogenic effects and estrogenic properties.
It is a well-established fact that sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, a chemical derived from lauryl alcohol and sulfate trioxide, is an irritant whether consumed or topically applied to body surfaces. Moreover, their presence in toothpastes and mouth washes has been linked to higher incidence of aphthous ulcers, or what we refer to as canker sores. Natural mouth washes do not contain SLS, but are known to mimic the antimicrobial properties of SLS to teeth and gums.
Synthetic dyes have long been recognized as irritants to the endothelium that line the mouth, and a few are known carcinogens in animals. Triclosan, an antifungal and antimicrobial agent widely used in many types of disinfectants, is now tied to disturbances in the endocrine system. Natural mouth washes are products that can be replicated at home, with the use of ingredients that are all-natural and at the same time devoid of identified irritants.
Relieves Inflammatory Oral Problems
Natural mouth washes are just as effective as those that contain compounds derived from reactions of organic compounds. In the past few decades synthetic compounds have been commercially touted to be effective against inflammation, but there is also a resurgence of interest in naturally occurring compounds, which are equally helpful in inhibiting inflammatory mediators present in the mouth.
If you are using a commercial mouth wash, changing to a natural mouth wash can free you from consuming chemicals that might cause cancer.
Do the switch today!
August 15, 2009 01:37 PM
Myrrh is the reddish-brown resinous material that comes from the dried sap of a number of trees. Primarily, it is obtained from the Commiphora Myrrha, which is native to Yemen, Somalia, and the eastern parts of Ethiopia. Additionally, it comes from Commiphora gileadensis, which is native to Jordan. The sap of a number of other Commiphora and Balsamodendron species is also referred to as Myrrh. Its name is most likely of Semitic origin. The quality of Myrrh can be identified through the darkness and clarity of the resin. However, the best method of judging the resin’s quality is by feeling the stickiness of the freshly broken fragments. The scent of raw Myrrh resin and its essential oil is sharp, pleasant, somewhat bitter, and be described as being stereotypically resinous. It produces a heavy, bitter smoke when it is burned.
In ancient times, Myrrh was valued as a fragrance and healing agent. Ancient Egyptain women used the burned Myrrh to get rid of fleas in their homes. The Chinese used Myrrh to heal wounds. They also used this herb for menstrual problems, bleeding, hemorrhoids, and ulcerated sores. Myrrh is often mentioned throughout the Bible. In the Old Testament it is referred to in the preparation of the holy ointment. In Esther, Myrrh is used as a purification herb for women and it is a perfume in Psalm 45:8.
This herb is a powerful antiseptic. Similar to Echinacea, it is a valuable cleansing and healing agent. Myrrh works on the stomach and colon to soothe and heal inflammation. This herb also provides vitality and strength to the digestive system. Myrrh stimulates the flow of blood to the capillaries. Additionally, it helps speed the healing of the mucus membranes. Among these include the gums, throat, stomach, and intestines. Myrrh can be applied to sore and it also works as an antiseptic. It can help promote menstruation, aid digestion, heal sinus problems, soothe inflammation, and speed the healing process.
Research has verified the use of Myrrh as an antiseptic. Sometimes, it is added to mouthwash and toothpaste. Myrrh has also been found to have mild astringent and antimicrobial properties. This herb contains silyamrin, which is able to protect the liver from chemical toxins and help increase liver function.
The resin of the Myrrh plant is used to provide alterative, antibiotic, antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, emmenagogue, expectorant, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are chlorine, potassium, silicon, sodium, and zinc. Primarily, Myrrh is extremely beneficial in treating asthma, bronchitis, colds, colitis, colon problems, cuts, emphysema, gangrene, gastric disorders, sore gums, hemorrhoids, herpes, hypoglycemia, indigestion, infection, lung disease, excessive mucus, pyorrhea, sinus problems, mouth sores, skin sores, tonsillitis, and toothaches.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with abrasions, arthritis, boils, breath odor, canker sores, coughs, diarrhea, diphtheria, eczema, gas, menstrual problems, nervous conditions, phlegm, rheumatism, scarlet fever, thyroid problems, tuberculosis, ulcers, wounds, and yeast infections. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by Myrrh, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Psyllium Husk Fiber
March 18, 2009 12:01 PM
Hemorrhoids occur when veins in the anus and in the rectum swell and may protrude from the anus. The word hemorrhoid comes from the word hemo which means blood and rrhoids which means discharging. Hemorrhoids are also known as piles, which comes from the Latin word pila, meaning ball. Hemorrhoids are a lot like varicose veins, as they enlarge and lose their elasticity. This results in a saclike protrusion into the anal canal. Hemorrhoids are not tumors growths. Instead, they can be caused and aggravated by sitting or standing for prolonged periods, violent coughing, lifting heavy objects, and straining at bowel movements. This occurs especially when constipated.
However, bouts of diarrhea accompanied by involuntary spasms can further the problem. Other factors that contribute to the formation of hemorrhoids include obesity, lack of exercise, liver damage, food allergies, and insufficient consumption of dietary fiber. Hemorrhoids are extremely common during pregnancy and after childbirth, with hormonal changes and pressure exerted by the growing fetus are a huge being the main reason. About half of all Americans have had hemorrhoids by the age of fifty, with the incidence increasing with age until age seventy, and then decreasing again.
The most common symptoms of hemorrhoids include itching, burning, pain, inflammation, swelling, irritation, seepage, and bleeding. The bleeding can be startling or even frightening, as it is usually bright red during bowel movements. Although it does signal that something is slightly off in the digestive system, rectal bleeding is not necessarily an indication of a serious disease.
There are three different kinds of hemorrhoids, which are categorized depending on their location, severity, and the amount of pain, discomfort, or aggravation that they cause. These three types include external, internal, and prolapsed.
External hemorrhoids develop under the skin at the opening of the anal cavity. They may form a hard lump and cause painful swelling if a blood clot forms. When an external hemorrhoid swells, the tissue in the area becomes firm but sensitive and often turns blue or purple in color. Most often, this type of hemorrhoid affects younger people and can be extremely painful.
Internal hemorrhoids, which are located inside the rectum, are usually painless, especially if they are located above the anorectal line. This is because rectal tissues lack nerve fibers. However, internal hemorrhoids tend to bleed, with blood appearing to be bright red.
Prolapsed hemorrhoids are internal hemorrhoids that collapse and protrude outside the anus. These are often accompanied by a mucous discharge and heavy bleeding. Prolapsed hemorrhoids often become thrombosed, forming clots within that prevent their receding. Thrombosed hemorrhoids can also be extremely painful.
To our knowledge, hemorrhoids are unique to human beings, with no other creature developing this problem. This can be taken as an indication that our dietary and nutritional habits play a greater role in this disorder than anything else. About 50 to 75 percent of this country’s population develops hemorrhoids at one time or another, with many people being unaware of them. Hemorrhoids can occur at any age, but they tend to become more common as people grow older. Those younger people, pregnant women, and women who have had children seem to be most susceptible, with heredity also playing a part in the tendency to develop hemorrhoids. Although hemorrhoids can be quite painful, they usually are not a serious threat to our health.
The following nutrients can help prevent and treat hemorrhoids: calcium, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, vitamin B complex, coenzyme Q10, DMG, garlic, potassium, shark cartilage, vitamin A, and vitamin D3. Additionally, the following herbs are also beneficial: aloe vera gel, bayberry, goldenseal root, Myrrh, white oak, comfrey root, elderberry, yarrow, witch hazel, buckthorn bark, collinsonia root, parsley, red grape vine leaves, and stone root.
Looking at that list one might think wow that could be expensive. Fortunately, the single most important factor to prevent hemorrhoids is fiber. Adding dietary fiber to ones diet can eliminate constipation and all the complications that follow with bowel problems. Fiber supplements can be an easy solution to the lack of fiber on ones diet. Psyllium husk is a natural fiber that can be taken daily to help alleviate constipation and is relatively inexpensive. Fiber supplements are available at your local or internet health food store.
February 18, 2009 03:15 PM
Most of the time, halitosis is caused by poor dental hygiene. However, there may be other factors involved such as gum disease, tooth decay, heavy metal buildup, infection of the respiratory tract, improper diet, constipation, smoking, fever, diabetes, foreign bacteria in the mouth, indigestion, inadequate protein digestion, liver or kidney malfunction, postnasal drip, stress, and too much unfriendly bacteria in the colon.
Additionally, halitosis can be caused by a buildup of toxins in the gastrointestinal tract, salivary gland disorder, chronic bronchitis, sinusitis, or diabetes. It is also true that dieting, alcohol abuse, or fasting can also cause bad breath. “Morning breath” is the product of dehydration and the reduction in the amount of saliva. This saliva is necessary for washing away bacteria in the mouth.
Dieters and people who are fasting may often experience bad breath. This is because the lack of food causes the body to break down stored fat and protein for fuel. The metabolic wastes that are a result of this process have an unpleasant odor as they are exhaled from the lungs.
The following nutrients are beneficial for dealing with and preventing bad breath. One tablespoon of chlorophyll can be taken in juice twice daily, as green drinks are one of the best ways to combat bad breath. 2,000 to 6,000 mg of vitamin C with bioflavonoids should be taken daily. Vitamin C is important in healing mouth and gum disease and preventing bleeding gums. This nutrient also rids the body of excess mucus and toxins that cause bad breath. Acidophilus should be taken as directed on the label. It is needed to replenish the friendly bacteria in the colon. Insufficient friendly bacteria and an overabundance of harmful bacteria can often cause bad breath.
Garlic acts as a natural antibiotic by destroying foreign bacteria in both the mouth and the colon. It is recommended that you take 2 capsules of the odorless form 4 times daily, with meals and at bedtime. 30 mg of zinc should be taken three times daily as it has an antibacterial effect and neutralizes sulfur compounds. These sulfur compounds are a common cause of mouth odor. Bee propolis should be taken as directed on the label. It is helpful in healing the gums, aiding control of infection in the body, and also has an antibacterial effect. 15,000 IU of vitamin A should be taken daily; it is needed for control of infection and also in healing of the mouth. Additionally, 100 mg of vitamin B complex is needed for proper digestion.
The following herbs are also beneficial for dealing with halitosis. Alfalfa supplies chlorophyll, which cleanses the bloodstream and colon, where bad breath often begins. Gum disease, which is a major factor of bad breath, can be treated with goldenseal extract. This extract can heal the infected parts. Myrrh, peppermint, rosemary, and sage should be used to brush your teeth and rinse your mouth. Chewing a sprig of parsley after meals is an excellent treatment for bad breath. This nutrient is rich in chlorophyll, which happens to be a popular ingredient in breath mints. Other herbs that can be beneficial include anise, cloves, and fennel.
Whether you want to take it into your own hands to heal your gums from disease, a gum disease can be a sign of a more significant health problem that should be looked at by our health care provider. In either case, vitamins and herbs can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Natural Toothpaste is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
November 10, 2008 10:34 AM
Guggul is a natural herb supplement that may help lower cholesterol, yet few in the Western hemisphere know much about it. Guggul is otherwise known as the Mukul Myrrh tree, and is a plant of the Burseracae family with small red or pink flowers.
November 10, 2008 10:30 AM
Guggul is a natural herb supplement that may help lower cholesterol, yet few in the Western hemisphere know much about it. Guggul is otherwise known as the Mukul Myrrh tree, and is a plant of the Burseracae family with small red or pink flowers.
It is found across central Asia over to North Africa, although is very common in the northern areas of India where the climate is more semi-arid than equatorial. Guggul does not like a lot of water and can thrive in ground where the soil has few nutrients. Its Latin name is Commiphora wightii, and it grows about 12 feet high.
It has been predominantly used in the Ayurvedic medicine of ancient India, and like many such ancient remedies and treatments, is now used in modern medicine to treat specific conditions: conditions such as some forms of heart condition, where it has been found to be able to lower your blood cholesterol levels, weight loss and some forms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
However, it has been used so successfully over the years, particularly in India, which it is now in danger of extinction and is contained in the Red Data List of the World Conservation Union that lists endangered species. So what is so special about this plant that makes it so popular? To get the answer to that we have to go back a bit in its history, although not quite as far as the two or three thousand years that it is known to have been used in traditional Hindu medicine.
The active ingredient is found in the sap of the tree, and is used to fight against obesity and other diseases that can be caused by excess weight or cholesterol, such as arthritis, obesity and atherosclerosis. Until recently it has had very little support for its claims from conventional medicine. It was in the 1960s that an ancient Sanskrit text was found that recommended guggul as a treatment for high cholesterol levels. Since that discovery, research has focused on the plant's anti-cholesterol properties, and a great deal of evidence has been gathered supporting the claims of that ancient text.
So much so that the Indian government has approved the use of guggul for the treatment of high cholesterol levels, largely because it has been found very effective in reducing the levels of 'bad' LDL cholesterol in the blood while increasing the levels of the beneficial HDL cholesterol. Several trials have supported this, including one study involving 228 patients that showed the extract to be equally as effective as the anti-cholesterol drug clofibrate.
That is not all, and other studies included one in which a decrease in LDL cholesterol of almost 13% was measured in a double blind study involving 61 subjects, of which around half received a placebo. An average 12.7% reduction in LDL cholesterol, 12% in triglycerides and 11.7% in total cholesterol was experienced by the group given the guggul extract. Every 1% drop in total cholesterol is associated with a 2% decrease in the risk of heart disease.
Guggul reduces the levels of harmful cholesterol in your blood by converting it into bile. The plant extract contains substances given the name guggulsterones that block the activity of a protein that regulates the metabolism of cholesterol in your body known as FXR (the Farsenoid X Receptor). This protein can increase the risk of you contracting heart disease by preventing the liver from converting cholesterol into bile acids, so that the concentration of cholesterol in your blood continues to build up.
The problem with bile acids is that once they reach a certain concentration in your body, the FXR comes into play and stops more being produced. Guggulsterones prevent the FXR from doing this, and so helps the liver to destroy more cholesterol. There is a reason for the body not allowing too much bile acid to be generated, but for those with excess cholesterol, it is more beneficial for this regulation to be prevented, and more cholesterol to be destroyed by the liver.
It is the resin of the plant that is prized, being extracted from the bark in much the same way as rubber is tapped. It is also used in fragrances and perfumes in addition to its medicinal uses, and the dosage generally recommended is 1500 mg (1.5 grams) twice daily. However, it is not recommended for those suffering liver disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease or any form of diarrhea, and should not be taken by those on beta blockers.
It is not only for its cholesterol-lowering properties that guggul is prized, however. Another property it possesses is its ability to render blood platelets less sticky, and so reduce the risk of coronary disease, and prevent the formation of blood clots and thrombosis.
Another use it has found is in the field of weight loss, where it has been found effective in reducing the weight of obese adults. It does so by the activation of lipolytic enzymes and increased levels of triiodothyronine (T3), believed to be due to the formation of T3 from T4 (thyroxine) in the liver.
T3 increases the metabolic rate, and the rate of the breakdown of glycogen and gluconeogenesis: the biosynthesis of glucose. It also causes cholesterol to be broken down and increases the rate of lipolysis - the breakdown of fats stored in fat cells in the body. Studies have shown that those taking guggul lost up to 6 times the weight of a control group within 15 days, and the practice is going along with the theory.
Not only that, but when you are on a diet, your body is likely to respond by decreasing levels of triiodothyronine, and so reducing the rate at which fat burns. Hence, your diet does not help you top reduce weight as quickly as it could. Guggul, however, stimulates the production of T3, and so you are not only taking less fat into your body, but are also burning it up at an accelerated rate.
Other uses to which the resin has been put are based upon its anti-inflammatory properties. It has been found to be an effective treatment for some forms of arthritis and also in the treatment of acne. The active inflammatory ingredient is believed to be Myrrhanol A, a polypodane-type triterpene, which would also explain the antioxidant effect of guggulipid on lipid peroxidation.
Guggul is a versatile plant, and a good supplement to take for anybody suffering increased lipid or cholesterol levels, and who wants to increase the weigh-loss effect of their diet. However, make sure that you purchase a supplement standardized on its guggulipid content.
October 08, 2008 09:41 AM
Comfrey, one of the most valuable herbs known to botanical medicine, has been used for centuries to heal. It is full of amino acid, lysine, B12, and vitamins A and C as well as high in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and protein. Additionally, it contains iron, magnesium, sulphur, copper, zinc, and eighteen amino acids. Echinacea is an herb that stimulates immunity within the body and increases its ability to fight infections. It includes vitamins A, E, and C, as well as iron, iodine, copper, sulphur, and potassium. Fennel is used to help stabilize the nervous system and move waste material out of the body.
It also has properties to help against convulsions and mucous and contains potassium, sulphur, and sodium. Garlic acts to rejuvenate the body in all of its functions as it stimulates the lymphatic system to help rid the body of toxins. This herb contains vitamin A and C, selenium, sulphur, calcium, manganese, copper, vitamin B1, iron, potassium, and zinc.
Along with the above herbs, there are others that are good for helping with herpes. Ginger is very effective in its ability to cleanse the bowels, kidneys, and skin and contains protein, vitamins A, C, and B complex, as well as calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Mullein loosens mucus within the body and moves it out of the body. It is high in iron, magnesium, potassium, and sulphur and also contains vitamins A, D, and B complex. Sweet birch cleanses the blood and is extremely high in fluoride. It also contains vitamins A, C, E, B1, and B2, and calcium, chlorine, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and silicon. Thyme, which destroys fungal infections and skin parasites, has B complex, vitamins C and D, and iodine, sodium, silicon, and sulphur. White willow is also helpful in herpes, as it has a strong antiseptic ability for infected wounds, ulcerations, and eczema.
Along with all of the above herbs, there are many herbs that help protect and build the nervous system, which is closely related to the immune system. These herbs include: alfalfa, dandelion, fenugreek, gotu kola, hops, kelp, lady’s slipper, lobelia, parsley, passion flower, skullcap, wood betony, and red clover. Additionally, there are many herbs for circulation, which increase blood supply to the heart muscles and entire body. Good circulation is crucial for a healthy immune system and can be improved with capsicum, garlic, gentian root, hawthorn berries, kelp, licorice root, and lecithin.
Because the glands regulate many major body functions, these functions often interrelate with the circulatory and nervous systems. Some glandular herbs include: golden seal, Siberian ginseng, burdock, Echinacea, sarsaparilla, black walnut, chaparral, and red clover blossoms. Along with the above, there are several herbs that help with the skin, which can be extremely beneficial to those who are dealing with herpes.
Red marine algae is a natural algae that grows in the ocean. This algae is harvested by many countries including China, Japan, and the United States. Red marine algae contains polysaccharides that can boost the immune system. These special polysaccharides stimulate the immune system to fight viruses and disease which can help fight herpes.
Among these herbs is aloe vera, which helps to clean, soothe, and heal the skin as it contains calcium, potassium, sodium, manganese, magnesium, iron, lecithin, and zinc. Also, comfrey, golden seal, Myrrh, bayberry, and oat straw are all good herbs for the skin. As you can see these herbs are loaded with vitamins, minerals and polysaccharides which are essential to the body to keep the immune system strong and the body able to fight off viruses and disease.
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September 23, 2005 05:43 PM
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8 Steps for Relieving Back Pain
August 02, 2005 02:02 PM
1. POSTURE. Don’t sit in the same position too long. Distribute your weight between your feet when standing. Always align your shoulders and head with your torso. Carry weight mostly with your legs and keep any held objects close to the body.
2. HERBAL RUBS. For muscle spasms, rub a mix of lobelia, Myrrh and cramp bark extracts with a touch of cayenne into your back. They will act as muscle relaxants and pain relievers. Rub into aching area as needed. This mixture stores for approximately two years.
3. DEEP BREATHING. When you experience pain, your breathing becomes shorter and your muscles are more tense. Breathing deeply allows more oxygen to arrive to the affected area, helping it heal more quickly. Lie on your back, close your eyes and slowly breathe in and out as deeply as you can. Visualize your body expanding and closing and the oxygen moving through your body to the muscles in pain. Continue this for 20–30 minutes.
4. MSM. MSM is a sulphur compound that can relieve pain associated with muscle cramps. It works by interrupting pain impulses heading to the brain. By taking 1,000 mg three times a day for one to six weeks, you should see marked improvement.
5. HEALTHY DIET. The food you eat affects every tissue cell in your body. Eat more fiber and drink more water. Limit your consumption of coffee, soda and other stimulants (they have an unnatural effect on the nervous system, which can lead to muscle disfunction). If you are overweight, you are adding extra strain on your back—a diet would be beneficial.
6. YOGA. Yoga is an excellent way to relieve muscle tension and promote strength and relaxation. Even trying two yoga poses daily should alleviate some back pain.
7. MAGNETS. A growing number of health professionals believe that magnets can help relieve back pain. Magnets reportedly encourage blood flow and reduce inflammation. In a recent study on the benefits of magnets on post-polio patients, magnets were found to reduce back pain by up to 75 percent.
8. MENTAL REFOCUSING. Often physical pain associated with the back is only part of the problem. Repressed emotions and stress, say some researchers, can trigger physical responses in the body. By focusing on the cause of your pain (i.e., daily stresses and problems, rather than the pain itself ), you can alleviate some of its symptoms.
Lowering cholesterol safely
July 27, 2005 04:10 PM
Lowering cholesterol safely.
By Kim Vanderlinden, N.D., D.T.C.M.
Atherosclerosis and its complications are major causes of death in the United States and have reached epidemic proportions throughout all of the Western world. Heart disease accounts for 36% of all deaths among Americans and ranks as the number-one killer; stroke; another complication of atherosclerosis; is the third most common cause of death.
Foremost in the prevention and treatment of heart disease is the reduction of blood cholesterol levels. The evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that elevated cholesterol levels greatly increase the risk of death due to heart disease. The first step in reducing risk for heart disease is keeping your total blood cholesterol level below 200 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter).
Not all cholesterol is bad; it serves many functions in the body, including the manufacture of sex hormones and bile acids. Without cholesterol, many body processed would not function properly.
Cholesterol is transported in the blood by molecules known as lipoproteins. Cholesterol bound to low density lipoprotein, or LDL, is often referred to as the “bad” cholesterol, while cholesterol bound to high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is referred to as the “good” cholesterol. LDL cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease, strokes, and high blood pressure, while HDL cholesterol actually protects against heart disease.
LDL transports cholesterol to the tissues. HDL, on the other hand, transports cholesterol to the liver for metabolism and excretion from the body. Therefore, the HDL-to-LDL ratio largely determines whether cholesterol is being deposited into tissues or broken down and excreted. The risk for heart disease can be reduced dramatically by lowering LDL cholesterol while simultaneously raising HDL cholesterol levels. Research has shown that for every one percent increase in HDL levels, the risk for a heart attack drops three to four percent.
Dietary cholesterol is a major risk factor in developing atherosclerosis. The evidence is substantial. However, several studies have shown that a lower dietary cholesterol intake was associated with up to a 37% lower risk of death from any cause, or an increased life expectancy of roughly 3.4 years.
Although dietary cholesterol intake is an important contributor to atherosclerosis, most of the cholesterol in the body is actually manufactured in the liver. Reducing dietary cholesterol alone is not always sufficient to lower blood cholesterol levels.
In an attempt to reduce blood cholesterol levels, many physicians are ignoring the need to give dietary recommendations and are instead utilizing drugs as the primary treatment. Using drugs before diet is clearly not the best approach, in terms of both effectiveness and cost. In fact, the Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Cholesterol in Adults clearly states: “Dietary therapy is the primary cholesterol-lowering treatment.”
The drugs lovastatin (Mevacor), prevastin (Pravachol), and simvastatin (Zocor) are commonly used to lower blood cholesterol levels. The main side effect of these drugs is liver damage. In fact, due to the seriousness of the possible adverse effects on the liver, it is necessary to have periodic blood tests to determine if the drug is harming the liver. Other side effects include: muscle breakdown, muscle pain, nausea, diarrhea, flatus, abdominal pain, headache, and skin rash.
The most important first approach to lowering a high cholesterol level is to follow a healthful diet and lifestyle. The dietary changes are simple: Eat less saturated fat and cholesterol by reducing or eliminating the amounts of animal products in the diet; increase consumption of fiber-rich plant foods (fruits, grains, and legumes); and lose weight, if necessary. Lifestyle changes include; Regular aerobic exercise; stop smoking; and reduce or eliminate consumption of coffee (both caffeinated and decaffeinated).
Here are the six key recommendations of U.S. Surgeon General, American Heart Association, and the National Research Council’s Committee on Diet and Health:
When there is a need for additional support to the dietary and lifestyle practices that can lower cholesterol levels, it simply makes more sense to use safer and more effective natural alternatives. When evaluating overall effectiveness, both LDL and HDL cholesterol levels must be taken into consideration. When you look at the cost, safety, and effectiveness, it is clear that natural alternatives are substantially superior to standard drug therapy.
Keep in mind that the natural alternatives discussed are, just like the dugs, still best utilized in a comprehensive program that stresses a healthful diet and lifestyle.
Niacin, or vitamin B3, has long been used to lower cholesterol levels. In fact, niacin is recommended by the National CholesterolEducation Program as the first “drug” to use to lower blood cholesterol levels.
The safest form of niacin at present is known as inositol hexaniacinate. This form of niacin has long been used in Europe to lower cholesterol levels and also to improve blood flow. It yields slightly better results than standard niacin, but is much better tolerated, both in terms of flushing and, more importantm long term side effects.
Gugulipid is the standardized extract of the mukul Myrrh tree that is native to India. Several clinical studies have confirmed that gugulipid has an ability to lower both cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Typically, cholesterol levels will drop 14% to 27% in a four- to twelve-week period, while triglyceride levels will drop from 22% to 30%.
The dosage of gugulipid is based on its guggulsterone content. Clinical studies have demonstrated that gugulipid extracts standardized to contain 25 mg of guggulsterone per tablet given three times per day is an effective treatment for elevated cholesterol levels, elevated triglyceride levels, or both.
Garlic and onions exert numerous beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, including lowering blood lipids and blood pressure. Numerous studies have demonstrated that both garlic and onions are effective in lowering LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides while simultaneously raising HDL-cholesterol levels.
Without question, the best approach to lowering cholesterol levels is through diet and lifestyle modifications. When additional support is require, there are safer and more effective natural alternatives to commonly prescribed drugs.
The goal of therapy, whether natural or synthetic, is to get blood lipid levels down into target ranges as quickly as possible. Once the target range has been achieved, begin reducing the amount of medicine by half, or take it every other day. Recheck your cholesterol levels in one month. If they have stabilized or continued to improve, you may no longer need the medication. If the levels begin to rise again, return to previous dosage.
If you are currently on a cholesterol-lowering drug, you must consult your doctor before discontinuing the medication.
Gugulipid: Controlling cholesterol levels
July 27, 2005 03:49 PM
Gugulipid: Controlling cholesterol levels
An ancient Indian plant contains a compound that can help reduce cholesterol as effectively as drugs, but without side effects.
By Michael T. Murray, N.D.
An ancient medicinal plant from India shows promise in the fight against heart disease. The mukul Myrrh tree (Commiphora mukul) secretes a resinous material called gum guggul. The classic ayurvedic medical text, the “Suchruttasamhita,” describes guggul’s role in the treatment of obesity and other lipid (fat) disorders.
Comprehensive scientific studies have investigated the clinical effectiveness of gum guggul in disorders of lipid (fat) metabolism. Specifically, researchers have studies this extract’s ability to support healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels and promote weight loss. As a result of this research, scientists have developed a natural substance-gugulipid-that appears to be safer than many other cholesterol-lowering agents, including niacin.
What is gugulipid?
Gugulipid is the purified standardized extract of crude gum guggul (oleoresin). The active components of gugulipid are Z-guggulsterone and E-guggulsterone. Other components of gugulipid include various diterpenes, sterols, steroids, esters, and fatty alcohols.
Gugulipid is preferred to crude gum guggul because it is safer and more effective. In early studies, gum guggul was linked with mild side effects such as skin rashes, gastrointestinal irritation and diarrhea. In contrast, no side effects have been reported with gugulipid. Apparently, the insoluble irritants of gum guggul are removed in the production of the soluble gugulipid.
This just one example of how science is advancing in the efficacy of herbal therapy. Through careful scientific study, researchers developed a safer and superior form of natural plant medicine.
Numerous scientific studies have shown gugulipid effectively supports healthy levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. Gugulipid supports low levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and high levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. HDL cholesterol has been shown to protect against heart disease caused by atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Research indicated gugulipid itself appears to help reduce atherosclerotic plaques.
Gugulipid has been shown to improve the heart’s metabolism and act as an antioxidant, protecting the heart against free radicals. Gugulipid appears to help inhibit platelet aggregation (clumping of red blood cells), an important factor in preventing stroke or embolism.
According to research findings, gugulipid promotes the liver’s uptake of LDL cholesterol from the blood, thus increasing the liver’s metabolism of LDL cholesterol. This function accounts for gugulipid’s ability to support healthy cholesterol levels.
Because of gugulipid’s effects on heart function and cholesterol, this natural compound appears to be especially useful for individuals with cardiovascular disease. In addition, guggulsterone appears to stimulate thyroid function. This steroid stimulating effect may account for some of gugulipid’s impact on lipid levels and weight loss.
Gugulipid’s impact on cholesterol and triglycerides is quite startling. When the diet is supplemented with gugulipid, cholesterol levels typically drop 14 to 27 percent in four to twelve weeks, while triglyceride levels drop 22 to 30 percent. Those are extremely significant reductions.
The effect of gugulipid on serum cholesterol and triglycerides compares favorably to that of lipid-lowering drugs. Clofibrate and cholestyramine lower cholesterol levels from six to 12 percent and 20 to 27 percent respectively, but are associated with some degree of toxicity. In contrast, no side effects have been reported with gugulipid. IN addition to the excellent safety demonstrated in human studies, gugulipid has been shown to be nontoxic in safety studies on laboratory animals.
Appropriate dosage of gugulipid depends on its guggulsterone content. Clinical studies indicate that 500 mg of gugulipid with a guggulsterone content of 25 mg taken three times per day effectively supports healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Echinacea - Choosing The Ideal Immune Support
June 30, 2005 09:27 AM
Echinacea By Ellen J. Kamhi, Ph. D. with Dorie Greenblatt Echinacea, pronounced ek-i-NAY-see-a, is one herb that has become a “household” name in the 1990’s. Many refer to it as “Purple Cone Flower” because of its large purple daisy petals, which contain a hard and spiny center cone. These spines probably give the plant its name, since sea animals with spines are called “echinoderms”. Echinacea is indigenous to the U.S., and can be found both growing wild in many areas as well as in cultivated gardens. There are actually nine different species of the plant; two are most popular as remedies: Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea. Echinacea has a long history of use by Native Americans, who have utilized the herb for a wide variety of treatments ranging from stings, poisoning, toothaches and swollen glands to colds and sore throats. It has also been touted as an ideal natural remedy for snake bites. In particular, the benefit of Echinacea as a treatment for snake bites brought national attention to the herb in the last half of the 1800’s. Dr. H.F.C. Meyer of Pawnee City, Nebraska first tried to interest Eclectic Physicians (doctors who used natural medicines) to use Echinacea as an herbal remedy for snake bites by volunteering to be bitten by a rattlesnake to prove its effectiveness. Although his dramatic offer was rejected, his enthusiasm and concerted efforts led to renewed interest and investigative studies on Echinacea, resulting in the herb’s emergence as one of the most popular natural plant therapies by the turn of the century.
Extensive studies on Echinacea’s medicinal properties continue to mirror the earlier usages of the herb as experienced by indigenous people. In fact, Echinacea is part of the official materia medica listed in the German Commission E. Monographs, a universally recognized publication reputed to be the official information authority on herbal medicines. The Commission lists a number of medicinal applications for Echinacea as an ideal treatment for such conditions as colds, chronic infections of the respiratory tract and lower urinary tract ailments, as well as topically for chronic ulcerations and slow healing wounds.
Echinacea has been shown to be a potent immune system stimulant. Nature’s Answer® offers an outstanding Echinacea fluid herbal extract formula in a unique blend that contains both Echinacea angustifolia root and Echinacea purpurea whole plant. Fluid extracts that feature both whole plant and root parts in the formula insure that the highest levels of the whole herb’s active constituents are maintained. A further advantage to this kind of supplement lies in its delivery system– liquids are faster to absorb and easier to assimilate by the body than tablets or capsules. Nature’s Answer®’s Echinacea formulas are available in either alcohol-free or organic alcohol forms. In addition, the alcohol-free supplements are also offered in a tasty grape or tangy orange flavor.
Two popular blends featuring Echinacea with other supportive herbs are Immune Boost™ and Re-Zist™. Immune Boost™ combines Echinacea with Wild Indigo and Maitake Mushroom. Re-Zist™ contains Echinacea, Goldenseal, Wild Indigo, Cayenne and Myrrh for potent support.
Echinacea is also recognized for its ability to enhance the resistance of cells to viruses, especially when used after cells have been exposed to colds and flus. As a preventative, formulas such as Nature’s Answer®’s Echinacea/Goldenseal (alcohol-free, organic alcohol) are ideal. This is an excellent supplement for soothing sore throats and helping to shrink swollen glands. An added benefit to the formula is the presence to berberine, the active ingredient in Goldenseal, which provides further wellness enhancement.
Many studies have focused on Echinacea’s possible use for ailments such as psoriasis and early rheumatoid arthritis. The herb also acts as an overall anti-inflammatory tonic. Nature’s Answer®’s Blood Support™ (alcohol-free) combines Echinacea with Dandelion, Licorice and other herbs for an anti-inflammatory effect. Allertone™ (alcohol-free) blends Echinacea with Mullein Leaf to help support the respiratory and sinus areas.
Most herbal practitioners suggest using Echinacea for short-term periods. There has been evidence to suggest that the herb loses its effectiveness when used over longer periods of time. Also, in the case of autoimmune illnesses, some people believe Echinacea may OVER-stimulate the immune system, although there is no solid research to back this contention. Echinacea is probably most effective if used in frequent doses for 5-7 days at the early onset of symptoms. It may also serve as a preventative during periods after known exposure or during extra stress, taking it two to three times a day every other or every third day. The German Commission E lists no known drug interactions or side effects with Echinacea. It is indeed one of the safest and most effective herbs for natural immune support today.
Echinacea seems well suited to life in the 90’s with all the stresses upon our immune systems. Its importance and effectiveness as an immune stimulant is as true today as it was in 1927 when Dr. Liebstein stated:
“Nature has probably destined Echinacea to be used for remedial purposes only, as a sustainer of vitality, an organizer of the defensive powers of the system, to such an extent as to be justly crowned the greatest immunizing agent in the entire vegetable kingdom....” written in 1927 by Dr. A. M. Liebstein (Foster, 1991)
SPECIFIC ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH ECHINACEA
June 24, 2005 03:54 PM
SPECIFIC ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH ECHINACEA
Combinations that Enhance Echinacea
June 24, 2005 03:47 PM
Echinacea can be used for a number of different disorders, h owe ve r, its primary strength is its ability to pre vent and treat infections. It can be considered a blood purifier which helps to neutralize the effects of venoms and chemical toxins in the blood and as a vital immune system booster. It has been used for everything from yeast infections to ulcers, to tuberculosis and gangrene. Echinacea can be thought of as a natural antibiotic and is especially beneficial for colds, flu, and sore throats. Combining echinacea with Myrrh is thought to potentiate its action.
Echinacea can actually suppress immune function when that function is not desireable as seen in allergies and arthritis. In these conditions, it acts as a natural anti-inflammatory. The safety of echinacea has been shown in a number of laboratory tests using oral or intravenous applications of the herb. It has been proven to be virtually non-toxic in doses amounting to many times the human therapeutic dose.27 Echinacea is one of the most useable plants in the herb kingdom and is applicable in the fields of both homeopathy and allopathic medicine.
Whether you pronounce echinacea with a soft or hard “ch” sound, it should be considered a powerful immune system booster.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH CAPSICUM
June 23, 2005 11:31 AM
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC ACTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH CAPSICUM
The following are specific actions associated with capsicum and the conditions it can help relieve.
PRIMARY MEDICINAL APPLICATIONS OF CAPSICUM
Substances that Complement Capsicum As previously mentioned, Capsicum is frequently added to herbal combinations in order to boost and potentiate their action.
The following herbs create particularly good herbal complements with Capsicum: garlic, ginger, hawthorn berry, peppermint, Myrrh, yucca, gotu kola, parsley, ro s e m a ry, echinacea, kelp, ginseng, ginkgo, bayberry, slippery elm, black walnut, papaya, pep- permint, fennel, St. John’s Wort, and lobelia.
Clearing the Air
June 13, 2005 10:34 AM
Clearing the Air by Robert Gluck Energy Times, August 1, 1999
One crisp winter morning in Vermont, Alan hoisted his skis over his shoulder and tracked through the dazzling snowpack to the lift about a quarter-mile away. He had trekked this gently uphill route many times and valued it as an invigorating warmup for a day on the ski trails. The path seemed to grow steeper, however, and the winter sun more blazing as Alan struggled for breath, sweat dampening his woolen cap. Weak and wheezing, he paused for what seemed like an eternity and finally turned back, plodding arduously through the ice.
Fit and athletic, the 42-year-old Alan heard the alarming news from his health care practitioner: asthma. The therapy: inhaled steroids.
The incidence of asthma-a chronic condition characterized by narrowing of the bronchial tubes, swelling of the bronchial tube lining and mucus secretion that can block the airway, making breathing difficult-has ballooned to alarming rates.
In the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of people reported to suffer from asthma increased from 10.4 million in 1990 to 15 million in 1995. In 1998, the epidemic cost about $11.3 billion.
Worldwide, experts estimate that the prevalence of asthma increased approximately 50% over the last 10 to 15 years. Nations with the highest rates are the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia; lowest are Indonesia, Albania, Romania and Georgia.
Deaths from asthma have doubled in the last decade and, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, asthma is the seventh most common chronic health condition in the United States. Children constitute the most disturbingly burgeoning segment of the asthma explosion, its sufferers numbering five to six million. The rate of asthma among children five to 14 years old increased 74% between 1980 and 1994; the rate for preschool kids skyrocketed 160%. Asthma is the number one chronic childhood illness and the third leading cause of hospitalization for children under age 15. More than 5000 Americans die from asthma annually; the fatality rate among children five to 14 years old more than doubled from 1979 to 1995, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation.
Waging War on the Wheeze
Asthma is indeed chronic, but it can be prevented and controlled and its effects reversed. Mainstream MDs command an arsenal of pharmaceuticals, some of which are essential for severe or urgent conditions. Consult your health care practitioner about any breathing difficulties.
Because of its complexity, however, asthma requires a balanced therapeutic approach: careful attention to diet, exercise and stress reduction while taking supplemental nutrients and botanicals can help ease asthma's discomforts. Antioxidant nutrients like vitamins C and E, fruits and vegetables rich in phytochemicals plus herbs like echinacea and garlic, all possess the potential for helping the body fight asthma.
Induced by an array of inherent physiological vulnerabilities, some of which may not manifest until adulthood, as well as environmental factors, asthma benefits from extra sleuthing into its causes and planning for relief.
Triggers and Therapies
Asthma is derived from the Greek word meaning panting or breathing hard, which pretty much sums up the malady: Wheezing and shortness of breath typify the attack.
In bronchial asthma, the commonest variety, the passages that carry air from the throat to the lungs narrow as a result of muscle contraction, local inflammation or production of excess mucus. Breathing becomes difficult and wheezy as air is expelled.
"Asthma symptoms are triggered by various factors such as allergens, irritants, infections, pollutants, medications, and emotions," says Anthony Rooklin, author of Living with Asthma: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Controlling Asthma While Enjoying Your Life (Penguin). "Triggers are substances or situations that would be quite harmless to people with ordinary airways, but that bring on asthma symptoms in susceptible individuals."
According to Ellen W. Cutler, nutritionist, enzyme therapist, chiropractor and author of Winning the War Against Asthma & Allergies: A Drug-Free Cure For Asthma and Allergy Sufferers" (Delmar), asthma is an allergic disease that is always triggered by allergens. "These allergens include not only foods, pollens and environmental factors such as perfume, animal dander and chemicals but also bacteria, climactic conditions and emotions," says Cutler.
"When these allergies are active from birth, asthma can be diagnosed early in life, even in infancy," she adds.
Cutler believes every individual with asthma should be able to lead a normal, drug-free life.
"Most asthmatics have been told that asthma is a chronic problem they will have to contend with for the rest of their lives. Asthma can be cured, not miraculously and instantaneously, but inevitably and permanently, once the allergies that cause it have been eliminated," she adds.
Dilating on Nutrients
Although it is vitally important for folks with asthma to develop a treatment plan with a trusted health care provider, that plan, according to experts, may lend itself to a rich variety of complementary options, especially nutrients, phytochemicals, minerals and enzymes.
According to Ruth Winter, author of A Consumer's Guide to Medicines in Food: Nutraceuticals That Help Prevent and Treat Physical and Emotional Illnesses (Crown), researchers in Nottingham, England, linked magnesium and lung function.
"Magnesium is involved in a wide range of biological activities, including some that may protect against the development of asthma and chronic airflow obstruction," Winter says. "Dr. John Britton and his colleagues at Nottingham University measured the magnesium in the diets of 2,633 adults aged 18 to 70 and they found that low magnesium was associated with reduced lung function and wheezing" (The Lancet 344, 1994: 357-62).
Magnesium actually boasts a long history as a bronchial relaxant, first demonstrated in 1912 on cows. Its potential was eclipsed, however, by pharmaceutical antihistamines and bronchodilators until its recent rediscovery.
Defending the Lungs
Antioxidants, with their ability to bolster the lungs' defense mechanisms by battling oxidizing free radicals that constrict bronchial tissue, wield tremendous force in the anti-asthma offensive. Michael T. Murray, ND, and Joseph E. Pizzorno, ND, in their Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), connect the steady decrease in dietary intake of antioxidants to the burgeoning incidence of asthma.
Among the top asthma-busting antioxidants:
Vitamin C. Murray and Pizzorno note that C is the major antioxidant present in the lining of the airway and cite generous evidence that when vitamin C is low, asthma incidence is high (Annals Allergy 73, 1994: 89-96). Vitamin C, taken over time, effectively suppresses histamine secretion by white blood cells.
Flavonoids. Also credited with reducing histamine production, flavonoids, notably quercetin and the extracts from grape seed, pine bark and ginkgo biloba, are key asthma-fighting antioxidants (J Allergy Clin Immunol 73, 1984; 769-74).
Carotenes. They limit production of allergy-related compounds (called leukotrienes) and bolster the lining of the respiratory tract (Biochem Biophys Acta 575, 1979: 439-45).
Vitamin E and selenium. Both reduce secretion of leukotrienes (Clinical Exp Allergy 26, 1996: 838-47).
Vitamin B12. Murray and Pizzorno cite the work of Jonathan Wright, MD, whose clinical trials with supplemental vitamin B12 proved strongly effective, especially for children with asthma.
A Bundle of Botanicals
Herbal remedies for asthma date back more than 5000 years to the Chinese emperor Shen-nung. The ancient Egyptians treated respiratory ailments with herbs as well; the Greeks favored mint, garlic, cloves and Myrrh for pulmonary problems.
Today, the power of plants has been validated by clinical research and standardized for predictability. (Always consult a health care practitioner when seeking complementary therapies, and read the package labels carefully for dosages and cautions.)
In their book, Asthma: An Alternative Approach (Keats), Ron Roberts and Judy Sammut provide a concise guide to asthma-easing botanicals: Garlic: acts as antiviral, antibacterial and antihistamine; enhances immune response; contains the antioxidant selenium. Garlic also is an expectorant.
Echinacea: a traditional treatment for immune disorders and infections of the upper respiratory tract, known to shorten the duration of colds, coughs and flus.
Ginkgo biloba: inhibits the chemical responses that induce asthma discomfort (Br J Clin Pharmacol 29, 1990: 85-91).
Ginseng: stimulates immunity and the production of steroid-like hormones; helps chronic coughs.
Licorice: an expectorant, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic that also inhibits leukotriene production (Acta Med Okayama 37, 1983: 385-91).
Tylophora asthmatica: an Ayurvedic treatment that many respected experts believe can act both as an antihistamine and antispasmodic (Planta Med 57, 1991: 409-13).
Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Cholesterol control.
May 12, 2005 10:00 AM
Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Solutions for Cholesterol and Triglyceride Controlby Richard Conant, L.Ac., C.N.
Fat and human existence are inseparable. Setting aside the fear and loathing over fat in the body that pervades our culture, we understand that fat is our friend. We cannot live without fat.
The human body contains many different kinds of fats and fat-like molecules. Collectively known as "lipids" these fatty substances include fatty acids, lipoproteins, phospholipids, glycolipids, triglycerides, steroid hormones and the infamous, dreaded cholesterol.
Lipids (fats) are found everywhere in the body, performing a variety of vital functions. The brain is a fat-rich organ. Brain neurons and all other nerve cells are protected by a myelin sheath, made largely out of fatty material. Cell membranes consist almost entirely of phospholipids (lipids that contain phosphorus) arranged in a sandwich-like double layer embedded with proteins. Sex hormones are lipids, belonging to the group of complex lipid molecules known as "steroids." Vitamin D is a lipid.
The body stores and transports fatty acids in the form of triglycerides. A triglyceride contains three fatty acid molecules, which have a chain-like structure, linked to glycerol. (There are also mono- and di-glycerides, which have one and two fatty acid chains, respectively, attached to glycerol.)
Like many other things necessary to life, fat is a two-edged sword. Fat insulates us from the cold, cushions and protects our vital organs and serves as a storehouse for energy. Yet, when present in excess to the point of obesity, fat threatens health, happiness, self-esteem, social standing and longevity. The same is true of other lipids, most notably triglycerides and cholesterol. Transported throughout the body in the bloodstream, these essential lipids become a health liability when the blood contains too much of them.
Keeping fat in it its proper place, not eliminating or drastically reducing it, is the goal we should seek. In the blood, lipids must be maintained at healthy levels and ratios. When they are, an important foundation of good health is established.
How do we keep the blood lipids we need——triglycerides and the various forms of cholesterol——balanced at healthy levels? Diet and exercise are indispensable, these basics must come first. Along with the recommended dietary practices, a number of nutritional approaches offer help for maintaining healthy blood lipids. We will now give several of these a closer look.
In 1990, an herb used for centuries in the Far East was introduced to U.S. consumers. This herb, called "gum guggul," is proving to be one of the most effective natural cholesterol-lowering agents ever discovered. It also brings triglycerides down and raises HDL, the "good" cholesterol. The changes are substantial; gum guggul single-handedly normalizes the entire blood lipid profile, even in people with high starting levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Gum guggul, also called simply "guggul," is a gummy resin tapped from the Commiphora tree. A cousin of Myrrh gum, guggul has been used by Ayurvedic herbalists of India for at least 3,000 years; texts dating from around 1,000 B.C. mention the herb. Guggul was traditionally given for rheumatism and poor health caused by excess consumption of fatty foods. One ancient Sanskrit text describes in detail what happens in the body when blood fats are out of balance, due to sedentary lifestyle and overeating. The name of this condition has been translated as "coating and obstruction of channels."
Intrigued by the obvious similarity between "coating and obstruction of channels" and arteries clogged by fatty plaque, Indian researchers initiated a series of experimental and clinical studies in the 1960's to see if gum guggul would lower excess blood lipids.1 Both human and animal studies consistently showed cholesterol and triglyceride reductions.
Detailed pharmacological studies showed that guggul's lipid-lowering effects are produced by compounds in the resin called "guggulsterones."2 An Indian pharmaceutical firm then patented a standardized extract of gum guggul under the trade name "Gugulipid." The product contains a uniform 2.5 percent guggulsterones, which is higher than guggul resin in its natural state.
Because Gugulipid guarantees the necessary intake of guggulsterones needed for blood fat reduction, it has become the product used in clinical research. Phase I efficacy safety trials and Phase II efficacy trials have yielded more positive data.3,4,5 Most of the studies on gum guggul have used relatively small numbers of subjects; this tends to make mainstream medical scientists reluctant about natural remedies. A large, well-publicized double-blind Gugulipid trial on 400 to 500 people would go a long way toward giving this herb the credibility it deserves.
Another effective natural solution for blood fat control that should be better known is a relative of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Pantethine is the active form of pantothenic acid in the body. Pantethine forms CoA, an essential co-enzyme for utilization of fat. CoA transports "active acetate," an important byproduct of fat metabolism that provides fuel for generating cellular energy. By promoting the burning of fats for energy, pantethine helps keep triglyceride levels down.6 Pantethine also helps regulate cholesterol production, by facilitating the conversion of fat into other lipid-based molecules needed in the body.6
Japanese researchers began studying the effect of pantethine on blood fats nearly twenty years ago. They reported their promising results at the Seventh International Symposium on Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism, held in Milan, Italy in 1980.7 Few in the medical or scientific communities took notice. Italian researchers followed up with several small clinical trials that confirmed the preliminary reports.6,8,9 An excellent cholesterol and triglyceride lowering agent that is safe and free of side-effects, pantethine remains, for the most part, ignored by mainstream science, although its usage is growing in alternative medicine circles. Pantethine it will no doubt prove to be one of the most important supplements for maintaining healthy blood fat levels.
When taken in high enough doses, niacin (vitamin B3) substantially lowers cholesterol. This has been known to medical science for many years.10 studies on niacin as a cholesterol-lowering agent go back to the 1950's. There was a fair amount of initial enthusiasm for niacin because it improves, unlike most lipid-lowering drugs, all parameters of the blood lipid profile. Niacin reduces total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It also raises HDL cholesterol quite well. Interest in niacin has faded, in part because the necessary dose, 1200 milligrams a day or more, can cause flushing and gastrointestinal disturbances. Very high doses may be harmful to the liver if taken for too long.
There is a solution to the side-effect problem with niacin which, again, has failed to gain widespread attention. Inositol hexanicotinate is a flush-free form of niacin composed of six niacin molecules bonded to one molecule of inositol, another B-complex nutrient. Absorbed as an intact structure, inositol hexanicotinate is metabolized slowly, releasing free niacin into the bloodstream over a period of hours following ingestion.11 Inositol hexanicotinate has all the benefits of niacin for controlling blood fats. The flushing effect of ordinary niacin, which metabolizes much more rapidly, does not occur. Taking as much as four grams per day has not been reported to raise liver enzymes or cause other side-effects, but prudence dictates that people with liver problems should avoid very high doses of inositol hexanicotinate, or any form of niacin.12
We often think of vitamin E as synonymous with d-alpha tocopherol. Vitamin E is actually a whole family of compounds that includes various tocopherols and a group of lesser known but highly beneficial substances called "tocotrienols." All have vitamin E activity. Tocotrienols are similar in chemical structure to tocopherols, but they have important differences which give them unique and highly beneficial properties for human health.
Vitamin E is one of the most recognized antioxidants, nutrients that deactivate potentially toxic byproducts of oxygen metabolism known as free radicals. Vitamin E neutralizes peroxides, which result from the free radical oxidation of lipids, making it a key antioxidant in cell membranes. While d-alpha tocopherol has generally been regarded as the form of vitamin E with the strongest antioxidant activity, tocotrienols are even stronger.
The tocotrienol story is another example of a natural product slow to gain recognition. A Univeristy of California research team discovered that d-alpha tocotrienol is over six times more effective than d-alpha tocopherol at protecting cell membranes against free radical damage.13 In the presence of vitamin C, which recycles vitamin E-like compounds, its antioxidant activity is 40 to 60 times higher than d-alpha tocopherol. This study was published in 1991. Its safe to say few cardiac physicians know about tocotrienols, and we have yet to see 60 Minutes do a piece on "the powerful new form of vitamin E."
It would be a tremendous service to public health if they did, because the benefits of tocotrienols go far beyond their stellar antioxidant ability. Tocotrienols also lower total cholesterol and LDL, by impressive percentages. In one double-blind controlled study, tocotrienols reduced total cholesterol by 16 percent and LDL by 21 percent after twelve weeks. Another study recorded drops of 15 to 22 percent in total cholesterol along with 10 to 20 percent decreases in LDL levels.14 Now appearing on health food store shelves, tocotrienols are a health-protecting nutrients whose long overdue time has come. Derived from food oils such as palm oil and rice bran oil, tocotrienols have the same lack of toxicity as ordinary vitamin E.
1. Satyavati, G. Gugulipid: a promising hypolipidaemic agent from gum guggul (Commiphora wightii). Economic and Medicinal Plant Research 1991;5:47-82.
2. Dev, S. A modern look at an age-old Ayurvedic drug—guggulu. Science Age July 1987:13-18.
3. Nityanand, S., Srivastava, J.S., Asthana, O.P. Clinical trials with gugulipid. J. Ass. Physicians of India 1989;37(5):323-28.
4. Agarwal, R.C. et. al. Clinical trial of gugulipid—a new hypolipidemic agent of plant origin in primary hyperlipidemia. Indian J Med Res 1986;84:626-34.
5. 'Gugulipid' Drugs of the Future 1988;13(7):618-619.
6. Maggi, G.C., Donati, C., Criscuoli, G. Pantethine: A physiological lipomodulating agent, in the treatment of hyperlipidemias. Current Therapeutic Research 1982;32(3):380-86.
7. Kimura, S., Furukawa, Y., Wakasugi, J. Effects of pantethine on the serum lipoprotiens in rats fed a high cholesterol diet (Abstract) Seventh International Symposium on Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism, Milan, Italy, 1980.
8. Arsenio, L. Bodria, P. Effectiveness of long-term treatment with pantethine in patients with dyslipidemia. Clinical Therapeutics 1986;8(5):537-45.
9. Avogaro, P. Bittolo Bon, G. Fusello, M. Effect of pantethine on lipids, lipoproteins and apolipoproteins in man. Current Therapeutic Research 1983;33(3):488-93.
10. Crouse, J.R. New developments in the use of niacin for treatment of hyperlipidemia: new considerations in the use of an old drug. Coronary Artery Disease 1996;7(4):321-26.
11. Welsh, A.L. Ede, M. Inositol hexanicotinate for improved nicotinic acid therapy. International Record of Food Medicine 1961;174(1):9-15.
12. "Inositol hexaniacinate" (Monograph). Alternative Medicine Review 1998;3(3):222-3.
13. Serbinova, E., et. al. Free radical recycling and intramembrane mobility in the antioxidant properties of alpha-tocopherol and alpha tocotrienol. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 1991;10:263-275.
14. Qureshi, N. Qureshi, A.A. Tocotrienols: Novel Hypercholesterolemic Agents with Antioxidant Properties. in 'Vitamin E in Health and Disease' Lester Packer and Jürgen Fuchs, Editors. 1993; New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.
Control Cholesterol with the following Supplements
Guggul – New Benefits for Heart Health
May 11, 2005 09:00 PM
Gum Guggul–New Benefits for Heart Health from an Age-Old Herbby Richard Conant, L.Ac., C.N.
The 1990's have seen a growing interest in herbs from India's ancient Ayurvedic tradition. One Ayurvedic herb in particular, "gum guggul," stands at the forefront, thanks to its rather remarkable benefits for the heart and cardiovascular health. A relative of Myrrh and frankincense, gum guggul is a resin tapped from India's Commiphora mukul tree. Known more commonly in the Far East as simply "guggul," the herb has proven to be one of the most effective natural cholesterol-lowering agents ever discovered. Cholesterol reductions with guggul can be twenty percent or higher, and the herb also raises HDL, the more beneficial form of cholesterol. Studies also show guggul may help prevent atherosclerosis, by retarding the formation of fatty, cholesterol-laden deposits in blood vessel tissues.
Recent research on guggul has revealed that guggul also blocks the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, by acting as an antioxidant. LDL, which carries cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body, is generally regarded as a key element in the development of atherosclerosis. But only when it is oxidized by free radicals does LDL accumulate in arteries. It its unoxidized or "native" state, LDL is more or less benign. Checking LDL oxidation is vital to keeping blood vessels free of plaque.1 (This is one of the major reasons why antioxidants are so important.) Guggul, by both lowering blood cholesterol and acting against LDL oxidation, now stands out as one of the world's most valuable herbs for heart health.
Guggul first caught the attention of the scientific world in1966, thanks to an Indian medical researcher who submitted a doctoral thesis on gum guggul.2 Her interest had been kindled by references to the herb in a centuries-old Ayurvedic text. Apparently, poor cardiovascular health and atherosclerosis were a problem back then just as they are today. Translated from Sanskrit, this text describes, in elegant detail, a condition called "coating and obstruction of channels." The cause, according to the ancient writers? Faulty metabolism due to overeating of fatty foods and lack of exercise. Death was said to be the end result of leaving this condition uncorrected. The recommended treatment plan emphasized diet and herbs, chiefly gum guggul.3
References to guggul in ancient literature actually go back even farther. The herb is mentioned in the Vedas, the holy scriptures of India believed to be anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 years old. One stanza is translated as follows: "Disease (consumption) does not afflict and the curse never affects whom the delicious odor of the healing Guggul penetrates (spreads). The diseases also flee away in all directions from him like horses and deer, O Gugulu! Either born from Sindhu or from the sea. I chant your name for the removal of diseases."3
Struck by the obvious similarity between "coating and obstruction of channels" and atherosclerosis, the Indian researcher decided to study gum guggul's effect on blood fats in rabbits. Over a two-year period, the animals were fed hydrogenated vegetable oil to artificially raise their cholesterol levels. Guggul was administered to one group of rabbits, while the rest served as controls. At the end of the study the rabbits given guggul had normal cholesterol and blood lipid levels. Their arteries showed no fatty streaks or plague deposits. This caught the attention of the Indian scientific community, and numerous clinical trials ensued, both on animals and humans. In study after study, guggul consistently produced substantial reductions in cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while raising HDL.
The active ingredients in guggul are a group of natural plant sterols. Among these, substances called "guggulsterones" are the most important ingredients for the cholesterol and blood fat lowering properties of guggul, with the other sterols acting as a synergistic supporting cast.4 A number of mechanisms are suggested, although not definitely proven, for how the herb works; these include reducing the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver, enhancing cholesterol removal from the gut, stimulating thyroid function and increasing the number of receptors in the liver for uptake of LDL.3,5
Guggul extracts are now standardized for guggulsterone content. The herb naturally contains about 2 percent guggulsterones. Quality extracts contain a minimum of 2.5 percent, which assures the user is getting a product potent enough to produce results. Since the late 1980's clinical trials have used the standardized extract.6,7,8 The product is readily available in the U.S.
The ability of guggulsterones to prevent oxidation of LDL was discovered in a 1997 study done by scientists at the Central Drug Research Institute in Lucknow, India.9 This study sheds light on how guggul works against "coating and obstruction of channels." Remember that oxidized LDL forms the plaque that coats and eventually obstructs blood vessels. The researchers mixed LDL from human blood with a free radical promoting agent, either alone or in combination with guggulsterones. Samples were then analyzed for the presence LDL oxidation byproducts. The results showed that guggulsterones strongly protect LDL from being oxidized. Guggulsterones block the formation of hydroxyl radicals, a potent type of free-radical that attacks cell membranes.
Guggulsterones may also help keep the heart muscle itself healthy. When the heart muscle is deprived of oxygen, a condition known as "myocardial ischemia," it can be severely damaged by free radicals. The body tries to counter this with SOD, a key enzyme present in cells that neutralizes free radicals. SOD levels are significantly reduced in damaged heart tissues. Guggulsterones have been found to reverse this decrease by more than two-fold.10
Like the writer of that age-old verse found in the Vedas, contemporary herbalists hold gum guggul in the highest regard. Backed as it is by scientific research linked to centuries of traditional use, gum guggul has a bright future as a natural resource for maintaining normal cholesterol and blood fats, and for protecting heart health.
1. Heinecke, J.W. Free radical modification of low density lipoprotein: mechanisms and biological consequences. Free Radical Biology & Medicine 1987;3:65-73.
2. Satyavati, G.V. Effect of an indigenous drug on disorders of lipid metabolism with special reference to atherosclerosis and obesity (Medoroga) M.D. thesis (Doctor of Ayurvedic Medicine). Banaras Hindu University, varanasi, 1966.
3. Satyavati, G. Gugulipid: a promising hypolipidaemic agent from gum guggul (Commiphora wightii). Economic and Medicinal Plant Research 1991;5:47-82.
4. Dev, S. A modern look at an age-old Ayurvedic drug-guggulu. Science Age July 1987:13-18.
5. Singh, V. et. al. Stimulation of low density lipoprotein receptor activity in liver membrane of guggulsterone treated rats. Pharmacological Research 1990;22(1):37-44.
6. Nityanand, S., Srivastava, J.S., Asthana, O.P. Clinical trials with gugulipid. J. Ass. Physicians of India 1989;37(5):323-28.
7. Agarwal, R.C. et. al. Clinical trial of gugulipid-a new hypolipidemic agent of plant origin in primary hyperlipidemia. Indian J Med Res 1986;84:626-34.
8. 'Gugulipid' Drugs of the Future 1988;13(7):618-619.
9. Singh, K., Chandler, R. Kapoor, N.K. Guggulsterone, a potent hypolipidaemic, prevents oxidation of low density lipoprotein. Phytotherapy Research 1997;11:291-94.
10. Kaul, S. Kapoor, N.K. Reversal of chnages of lipid peroxide, xanthine oxidase and superoxide dismutase by cardio-protective drugs in isoproterenol induced myocardial necrosis in rats. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 1989;27:625-627.