Search Term: " PURPLE "
Prepping basics: DIY Elderberry remedies that can help preventcolds or the flu
April 30, 2019 03:54 PM
It is not useful to take a trip to the pharmacists when one can make DIY remedies for colds and the flu at home using elderberry. Elderberries have been used for several medicinal purposes for centuries. They are dark purple fruits growing from the elderberry shrub. Elderberries can reduce the duration and severity of viral infections such as cold and flu due to their antioxidant properties. To have maximum impact in using elderberry to treat cold and the flu, it is advisable to take them every three to four hours when one is down with these conditions. This piece contains the recipe for making a DIY elderberry syrup and tincture for treating the cold and flu.
"Due to their health-promoting properties, elderberries have been used for various medicinal purposes since ancient times. They are loaded with powerful antioxidants that can boost your immune system and reduce inflammation."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-19-elderberry-remedies-that-can-help-prevent-colds-or-the-flu.html
Milk thistle shows promise in treating liver cancer
October 10, 2018 03:26 PM
When it comes to treating liver cancer, milk thistle my be the key. For yes this prickly, purple plant has been used for good liver function and is sought out for its anti inflammatory and antimicrobial qualities. This plant extracts silibinin which has anti-cancer effects on cancer cells. It also inhibits the cancer cells cycle and increases the death of cancer cells. This plant also has another compound called silymarin which is supposed to be more enriching than Vitamin E.
"New studies have shown that the protective benefits of milk thistle are far greater than conventional scientists could have ever imagined."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-09-16-milk-thistle-shows-promise-in-treating-liver-cancer.html
Mulberry: The Fruit that Protects Your Heart & Liver
November 27, 2017 07:59 AM
All around the mulberry tree, the mulberry is good for the heart and liver, pop, goes the mulberry. The mulberry tree is from the same family of plants that produce figs and breadfruit. Mulberry fruit comes in a variety of colors. Black, purple, red or white, they are all delicious. This fruit is sweet with a slight tart after taste. Mulberry is a super food that is high in nutrients. It protects the body from cancer and free radical damage. Studies have shown that it even promotes weight loss. Bake them into treats, mix them into smoothies, or pop them straight into your mouth. No matter how you eat them mulberry fruit packs a knock out nutritional punch.
"The mulberry fruit may be tiny, but it provides some pretty big health benefits. It can aid in weight loss, keep your liver healthy, and even provide a hefty dose of vitamins and minerals with each serving."
Read more: https://draxe.com/mulberry/
Purple potatoes may cut your risk of developing colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases, new research says
September 26, 2017 11:14 AM
The research is out and it proves that a colorful plate chocked full of delicious fruits and veggies reduces your risk of many diseases and ailments. Be sure that purple potatoes are one of those colorful pieces added to the collection. If you've never before seen them, you're in for a real surprise, and with just one taste, you'll know you've found something amazing. And, the evidence is there that supports the fact that these potatoes reduce risk of colon cancer and other diseases!
Read more: Purple potatoes may cut your risk of developing colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases, new research says
The Best Home Remedy For Sinus Infection!!
May 23, 2017 11:44 AM
Sinus infections are not pleasant and can be hard to deal with. You can feel pressure in your head. It can be painful. You can also experience drainage. There are many over the counter meds for this but if you want to avoid the drugs you can try this home remedy. It is the best for such an infection. It will help you feel better faster in a safe way which wouldn't be hard for anyone to achieve.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndbXnupKE64&rel=0
"The best thing about it is you do not need much time or money."
Top health benefits of broccoli - Best health and food tips
January 28, 2017 11:16 AM
Broccoli is a healthful food that may have a wide variety of beneficial effects on your health, due to its high levels of potassium, zinc, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and beta-carotene. These nutrients may help to regulate blood pressure, promote eye health, protect the bones, boost immunity, improve heart health, and avoid birth defects caused by certain maternal vitamin deficiencies. It may even improve the health of your skin, and may protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation when applied to the skin as an extract.
"Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family whose large flowering head is eaten as a vegetable."
Oregano Plant Is the Most Potent Antimicrobial In The world
Along with its culinary usage, oregano shows antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and possess probable activity like an antispasmodic and in diabetes. But there is no clinical proof to facilitate the usage of oregano in any signs. Normal or wild oregano is a perennial plant grown in the Mediterranean region and Asia. It is also cultivated in the United States. The creeping rootstock of oregano makes a downy, square, purplish stem with reverse ovate leaves. The plant stem also grows about 76cm tall. PURPLE two lipped flowers develop in terminal groups from July to October.
Features of Oregano
This plant has been a normal ingredient in Italy, Spain and Italian dishes like a spice and flavouring compound for several years. Its basic purpose was like a cautious digestive and circulatory stimulant. This plant has been availed in perfumery for the volatile oil materials, particularly in scenting soaps. The antiseptic feature of medicinal and aromatic plants and the extracts have been identified since antiquity. It has been recommended that an infusion of the new herb is useful in treating a collapsed stomach and indigestion, colic, headache and nervous problems as well as for some respiratory ailments. A mixture of the flowers has been utilized to avoid seasickness.
Uses of Oregano
The oil of this plant has been availed externally in lotions and liniments and to ease toothache. Oregano has been utilized like an ant repellent. Oregano has ursolic and oleanolic acids, hydroquinones, flavonoids, rosmarinic, caffeic,tannins, lithospermic acid and phenolic glycosides. The compounds of phenolic represent seventy one percent of the full oil. The carvacrol and polar phenols thymol are accountable for several of the properties of the necessary oil as well as terpinene and P-cymene. Research has compared the impacts of oregano necessary oil, carvacrol and thymol on fungi. All three totally reduced fungal development of aspergillus and penicillium species. The oil also seems to possess certain activity against Candida species, probably due to the reason of its carvacrol content.
The oregano volatile oil have explained in vitro antibacterial activity against different types of gram negative and gram positive microorganisms like pseudomonas, listeria, salmonella, proteus and clostridium species as well as certain methicillin resistant. There are different reports explaining antiparasitic activity of oregano. The origanum vulgare oil has been presented to remove normal parasites in pheasants and chickens. There are also some other Potent Antimicrobial seen in the world like clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, onion, garlic, anise, sassafras, ginger. These all have certain amount of antimicrobial properties in it.
What Are The Benefits Of Purple Tea (Camellia sinensis)
Currently cultivated in the Kenyan rich volcanic mountain soils is the rare PURPLE tea that has a pleasant aroma. It is known for not only its health benefits but is also said to have beautifying properties. PURPLE tea has a sweet taste that gives it a stronger flavor and provides a rare thirst quenching element compared to other teas.
PURPLE tea health benefits include:
It also promotes good digestion and an increased metabolism rate that may lead to weight loss. PURPLE tea will enhance women's' looks. Its extracts have beauty benefits such as; prevention of hair loss, anti-ageing properties and enhances skin tone. It is simple to prepare and the results are visible after a short time making the body feel less tired, look better and feel healthier.
Try PURPLE Tea for Your Self!
Importance of Antioxidants and How Can We Get Them from Various Foods
Antioxidants, also known as anti-oxidation agents, are nutrients that help reduce the harmful effects of oxidants in the body. We all know that our body cells need oxygen for energy and growth. As our body cells use oxygen to create energy and sustain life, free radicals are released in the process as a byproduct. Antioxidants help combat the damage caused by oxidation.
If you have ever left a slice of apple in open air, you must have seen that after some time the flesh of the fruit turns brown. This is a result of oxidation. However, if you apply a little lemon juice on the slice, and then leave it in open air, the apple slice will remain white. This is because of the antioxidant present in lemon juice. Similarly, the antioxidants present in the food we consume do the same thing, neutralizes the free radicals, and thus keeps our cells protected. Studies have proven that people who consume antioxidant-rich food are at lower risk of developing many diseases, including cancer. Thus, it is very important for you to include these important nutrients in your everyday diet.
Foods Rich in Antioxidants
These important nutrients exist in many foods, and you can easily get them through a well-balanced diet. Nutrients having antioxidant benefits include vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, beta-carotene, and manganese. A large group of phytochemicals also works as antioxidants.
One of the richest sources of vitamin C is sweet red peppers, and one single cup of these peppers can provide you 190 mg or 200 percent of your required daily intake. You can enjoy 100 percent of your daily intake from a single cup of green peppers, orange juice, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. One cup serving of cauliflower, cantaloupe, tomatoes, grapefruit, blackberries, and raspberries offers 32 percent of women’s and 25 percent of men’s suggested daily intake.
The richest source of vitamin E includes hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pinto beans, peanuts, and vegetable oils like canola, corn, and safflower oil. 1 cup of cooked beans, 1-tablespoon vegetable oil and a one-ounce serving of seeds and nuts, offers 2 – 7 mg of vitamin E. These make 13 to 47 percent of your suggested daily intake. Certain vitamin C rich foods also fulfill 10 percent of your daily-required intake of vitamin E including blackberries, raspberries, broccoli, tomatoes, and sweet peppers.
Phytochemical antioxidants like carotenoids, resveratrol, and flavonoids can easily be identified because of the pigments they offer to the vegetables and fruits, like orange, red, yellow, PURPLE and blue colors. PURPLE and dark blue fruits include blackberries, blueberries and grapes, and these are rich in resveratrol. Carrots, pumpkin, tomatoes, oranges, and red peppers are rich in carotenoids, which offer them a shade of red, orange, and yellow. Dark greens, particularly leafy greens, are rich sources of antioxidants, but the presence of green chlorophyll hides the other colors.
Dark chocolates are rich in flavonoids, but to enjoy the benefits you need to opt for those that have cacao solids. Milk chocolates and white chocolates do not offer flavonoids. Wine, tea, and coffee are also sources of flavonoids. You can find selenium in beans, nuts, and animal products like milk, beef, pork, chicken, and fish. The best sources of manganese are nuts, pineapple, beans, sweet potatoes, and brown rice.
September 17, 2014 05:25 PM
What is a Maca Root?
Maca Root is one of the roots and tuber harvests of higher protein content. Until late years, this nutritious base of the Andes was little or nothing known for the lion's share of the individuals thereof, Peru (aside from the tenants of the Andes) and obviously overlooked by whatever is left of the world.
Maca (otherwise called Peruvian Maca or Maca Andina) has an astonishing quality to develop to remarkable statures: from 3800 to 4800 meters high in the most cold Andes mountains, where temperatures are amazing, from exceptional hotness morning to ice on the night, frigid winds, snow and persevering high power of daylight. In this antagonistic region, where there is little oxygen, there is uncommon vegetation develop just potatoes and maca sharp. There are no trees, no plants, just a couple of centimeters tall.
This tuber, irrelevant part of the tuberous root size and state of a typical radish, is effectively dried under the sun and keeps up its nutritious qualities, with elevated amounts of iron, for a few years stockpiling. It is brilliant nourishment and Incas additionally utilized it for its richness improving activity and its impact on sexual conduct.
There have been various effective studies on the action manure Peruvian maca creatures and people. In 1980, researchers from Germany and North America who were doing investigations of the herbs in Peru, rekindled enthusiasm toward its momentum Maca, naming it "the lost products of the Incas."
A percentage of the elements that have been recognized: amino acids, proteins, vitamins, minerals, follow components and auxiliary metabolites.
Maca - History:
Anthropological confirmation has been found in the development of maca in Peru since 1600 BC. The Incas considered Maca as a blessing from the divine beings. They additionally develop maca as nourishment, Lamac - developed in the Andes utilized for religious services and custom moves. Spanish accounts report that amid the victory of Peru, creatures brought from Spain not play ordinarily as of right now, the locals cautioned the vanquishers who nourished their creatures with maca, with what they got the levels of typical generation.
Concerning the stretcher, Father Cobo, amid the pilgrim time, he said: "Maca develops in the most rough and frosty of the good countries where there are chances to develop any plant sustenance."
Maca - Morphology and plant science
Maca is a biennial plant statures conduct, being pollinated toward oneself, cleistogamous, with a five-month conceptive stage and with a blossom that keeps going two roots.
Maca Root: Roots have shades extending from light yellow to dark through the tan, PURPLE, and so on with sizes of 3-6 cm. transverse measurement of 4-7 cm. longitudinal, in the same way as a radish (reversed cone). The root is first in the improvement of items. There is no true distinction in taste or substance organization as the color of the root.
Stem: Short, subtle, in the same way as a carrot or radish.
Leaves: rosette, made with flanges sheath, petiole length with the top leveled. Limbo compound, has a length of 6 to 9 cm; the basal and cauline pinnatifid are somewhat lessened.
Inflorescence: group compound and infrequently basic. The blooms structure bunches, are helper bisexual, actinomorphic, green light and little, white pre-flowering calyx and corolla with 4 free petals somewhat bent at the peak.
Soil grown foods: units somewhat amagrinado. With a solitary seed in each one cell, ovoid, yellowish-red, 1-2 mm. wide.
Maca – Cultivation
Cultivola Maca is developed fundamentally for its tuberous root is naturally known as hipocolito (eg radish, turnip). The maca plant has the astonishing quality to develop to unprecedented statures (from 3800 to 4800 meters) in the unfriendly Puna Peruvian where temperatures are great: the serious high temperature of the morning to the sub zero frost of the night.
The puna is a pleasant yet great condition in this environmental locale is uncommon vegetation, just potatoes become astringent and maca. The air contains little oxygen, the sun is amazingly exceptional and extremely solid winds, it is consequently that no trees and plants have just a couple of centimeters tall.Maca planting is carried out from September to December. The seeds are scattered in the fields to be reaped in 6 to 8 months. After Recolta the roots to dry in the sun for 2 months, amid which they lose 75% of its unique weight. This moderate drying methodology causes the maca change of taste: an intense hot taste with a caramel flavor. The dried root could be put away for 4 years without losing its properties.
What Is Allium Cepa Good For?
July 01, 2014 08:50 PM
What is allium cepa?
Allium Cepa was originally native to central Asia; however, nowadays it has a global geographic range. It made its way to Egypt through trade, where it became an important food crop in the ancient world. Because the Allium cepa was a cheap food source, Egyptian slave workers, those who built the pyramids, ate them on a daily basis. Additionally, it was illustrated in the funerary images in tombs. Ancient Sumerians commonly cultivate and cooked Allium cepa 4,000 years ago.
Benefits of allium cepa
Allium Cepa is extremely valued for its healing qualities. It has been utilized as a food cure from time immemorial. Research illustrates that Allium Cepa may help protect against several chronic diseases. That is possible because the plant contains generous quantities of the flavonoid quercetin. Research has also shown that quercetin guards against cardiovascular disease, cancer and cataracts. Additionally, Allium Cepa contains various other naturally occurring chemicals called organic sulfur compounds, which have been associated with lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Even though the plant is seldom used specifically as a medicinal herb, it has a wide variety of helpful actions on the body and when regularly consumed (particularly raw), it will help the body’s health.When consumed frequently in the diet, Allium Cepa offsets tendencies towards arteriosclerosis, heart attack and angina. This is used mostly in the healing of individuals whose symptoms include running nose and eyes. Allium cepa’s ability to ease congestions particularly in the bronchial tract and lungs is hard to accept until you have truly seen the results. The drawing of congestion, infection and colds is also remarkable. The Allium Cepa will ease stomach upset as well as other gastrointestinal ailments and it will improve the appetite. The plant is found in every household and therefore is easily accessible. The PURPLE-skinned plant tastes great. In addition, it has numerous health gains and is part of several beauty solutions and home remedies.
Echinacea Health Benefits
June 12, 2014 08:32 PM
What is an echinacea?
Echinacea is a herb that is local to North America, and develops common in the mid-west. It is named a famous restorative herb, with other normal names, for example, PURPLE cone blossom, and American cone bloom. Battle microorganisms, infections and different contaminations, knew Echinacea. This herb utilized to empower the insusceptible framework to battle diseases, secure from the normal cool, and decrease the length of time of a frosty. Echinacea is additionally known to be compelling at treating moderate recuperating wounds and skin contaminations, by empowering new tissue development. This herb might be found in wellbeing nourishment stores or on the web.
Benefits of echinacea
The profits of Echinacea are surprising. It has turned into the most well known natural solution for colds and influenza. Its anti-toxin and resistant boosting properties make this herb a standout amongst the strongest recuperating herbs accessible. The properties of this plant respond with the cells in the body and quicken the mending methodology. The resistant boosting properties make Echinacea, especially supportive in battling upper respiratory diseases, for example, nasal clogging, sore throat, and many people more contaminations. It additionally profits the circulatory system by separating the blood and disposing of poisons, its known as one of the best blood purifiers in nature.
The bloom and base of the plant are in charge of the recuperating parts, and fortifies new tissue development for wound mending. Its calming impacts and topical operators serve to battle incendiary skin conditions. Numerous individuals have approached to say that they were cured of different skin issue, with topical requisitions of Echinacea treatment. It likewise has a cortisone sort element that assists with the mending of wounds, and control the incendiary responses to hypersensitivities. At the point when utilized topically Echinacea is against incendiary, disinfectant, and analgesic, to battle an assortment of creepy crawly nibbles, Eczema, and many people more skin aggravations. It can likewise be utilized as a mouthwash.
At the point, when utilized alongside other homegrown cures, for example, garlic or vitamin c, it can decrease the length of time of a sickness. It is accepted to work through transient incitement of the insusceptible framework. Studies have demonstrated that taking this herb regularly can decrease your shots of contracting a bug or influenza throughout the year. In the event that you have caught an icy you can harvest the profits of Echinacea even half path through the icy, yet it works best on the off chance that you take it when you first begin to contract any of the manifestations connected with a cool.
Much of the time, Echinacea does not result in any symptoms for clients. For a protected and common approach to guarantee your well being and fitting capacity of your invulnerable framework you cannot discover a more trusted item. The calming impacts and topical operators help to battle skin conditions. In case you're searching for a regular incitement of the insusceptible framework, a mitigating topical executor to help against skin issue, this herb will do the greater part of this and the sky is the limit from there. It has a fabulous security record, and is generally endured by most individuals, with no known danger.
Thyme Garden Herb And Its Many Benefits
April 20, 2014 08:08 PM
What is a thyme
On the off chance that you have ever pondered about the numerous profits of thyme, then this article is for you. Thyme arrangement herb is an exceptionally flexible herb that has been utilized for quite some time for medicinal, fancy and culinary employments. Truth be told, thyme is such a staple to many people, to the point that they make a thyme herb arrangement developing the precise numerous sorts of thyme.
For antiquated civic establishments thyme was an unquestionable requirement for cooking as well as for a cluster of different things too. Case in point, the Egyptians utilized thyme as a part of their treating liquids and concerning the Romans; it was utilized for good fortunes. Truth is told, to many people, herbs including thyme were utilized as coin.
Thyme is a lasting plant with something like three hundred and fifty types of its thoughtful, and a large number of them make for extraordinary arrangement plants. The foliage of thyme is truly unique in aroma and is a plant that bumblebees cherish because of its nectar transforming capabilities.
Types of thyme
Enclosure or normal thyme is the most widely recognized. This herb is a light black greenish woody bush that transforms into PURPLE, white or pink blooms local to the Mediterranean district and profoundly developed in France, Spain, European nations and the western U.S
Along these lines, as should be obvious there are numerous profits of thyme and this article simply shows a segment of its employments. Whether utilizing thyme for culinary, medicinal or decorative purposes there is all that anyone could need motivations to have new thyme close-by or even develop your unique thyme enclosure herb.
Effectiveness of echinacea tea
March 14, 2014 06:44 PM
What is echinecea tea
Echinacea tea is Associate in Nursing flavoring remedy that several realize to be quite effective in fighting off colds, cough and respiratory disease. Plenty of individuals take asterid dicot genus tea as they believe it helps stop and even stop these ailments. After all, the herb has long been called Associate in Nursing immunostimulant that helps strengthen the system and beat back infections.
But area unit there enough scientific bases for this belief?
The asterid dicot genus may be a genus of nonwoody flowering plants that belong to the flower family. The genus has 9 completely different species and these area unit ordinarily referred to as PURPLE coneflowers. The plants area unit generally found in jap and central components of North America, wherever they're seen growing in rolling prairies and open scrubby areas. they need giant, showy heads of composite flowers, and area unit fully bloom throughout the summer.
Various components of the asterid dicot genus plant, most notably the roots, leaves, flowers and stems, area unit dried and so created into teas, juices, tonics, tinctures, extracts, tablets and capsules.
The early Americans swore by the ability and strength of asterid dicot genus tea in fighting off infections. They even used it within the treatment of toxic snake bites and bug bites. within the 1800s, asterid dicot genus was a crucial player in us collection wherever it had been thought-about a potent antibiotic. later, asterid dicot genus was additionally employed by the Germans for several medical functions. Its use then born off over the years as new antibiotics were discovered. However, it looks to own encountered a renaissance in recent years as interest in natural health grew by leaps and bounds.
There are variety of scientific studies on asterid dicot genus, most of them examining the active constituents of the plant and the way these act on the human system.
All that you may need to know about antioxidants
November 05, 2013 10:00 PM
All that you may need to know about antioxidants
Oxidants are elements whose main role is to protect your cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radicals, on their part, are molecules that may be produced by the body when it breaks down food. These molecules may also be produced when your body is exposed to environmental factors like tobacco smoking and radiation. It is worth noting that free radicals have the ability of wrecking damage to cells and causing such diseases as cancers and heart complications. Over the years, studies have consistently revealed that diets high in antioxidants are essential in preventing diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular diseases.
Main Source of Antioxidant
The main source of antioxidants is fruits and vegetables. Amazingly, all foods rich in antioxidants are high in fiber, low fat, and are also excellent sources of important vitamins and minerals. It is also important to add that fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants have bright colors, including PURPLE, yellow, red and orange.
Type of Antioxidant
The five main types of antioxidants are beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, Zinc, and selenium. Others are lucopene and lutein. Beta-carotene (and other carotenoids), can be derived from a long list of fruits and vegetables. Some of these are asparagus, apricot, broccoli, water melon, sweet potato, kale, mango, turnip and peaches.
Vitamin C, as a major and critical antioxidant, can be obtained from kiwi, broccoli, honeydew, kale, orange, papaya, nectarines, strawberries, and snow peas among others.
Vitamin E, another major vitamin antioxidant, can be derived from spinach, red peppers, sunflower seeds, papaya, pumpkin and carrots among others.
Zinc and selenium are other antioxidants that are essential in maintaining overall body health and boosting the immune system. Common sources of zinc include red meat, poultry, oysters, dairy products, and whole grain foods. Selenium, on the other hand, can be obtained from foods such as tuna, nuts, whole grains, and beef.
Fact About Antioxidant
The most important fact to realize is that popular sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. Where possible, these foods should be eaten raw or steamed. Boiling will do more harm than good.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Acai?
October 16, 2013 10:12 AM
The Acai is basically a type of berry that grows on the Acai palm trees, well known to be a natural flora of the Amazon Rainforest. For a long time, it has also been on cultivation in some parts of the Southern and Central America as a foodstuff. These berries are known to have various varieties but there are two distinct types of Acai berries: the ones that remain green upon ripening and the ones that turn into dark PURPLE color upon ripening. Scientific research has it that the ripe-green type has more oil constituents while the ripe-PURPLE variety has less oil but a wider range of antioxidants.
Can Chaste Berry Help With PMS?
August 18, 2012 08:22 AM
Chaste berry is a kind of berry that grows in the Mediterranean region, and has many useful medical applications. Chaste berry is essentially a herb, belongs to the Vitex species, and is characterized by PURPLE colored flowers that grow on it. It is grown widely in many parts of Africa. The plant grows up to 5 meters in height. Chaste berry has been in the mainstream media ever since studies showed that it helped women a lot in dealing with pre menstrual syndrome (PMS). While is has many other uses, both medical and non-medical, this particular functionality of chaste berry has been extensively noticed, as every woman in the world suffers from PMS quite a few times in their lives.
How is chaste berry useful with PMS?
Studies have shown by clinically proving that chaste berry helps women deal with PMS in many ways. A few of them are listed below:
Chaste berry helps keep the pituitary glands in check by acting upon prolactin secretion. Prolactin is a secretion of the pituitary gland that is associated with the breasts becoming tender in women during PMS. Thus by keeping it in check, one of the biggest causes of stress that women go through during PMS is reduced.
Chaste berry consumed in the tablet form has been proven to significantly reduce many of the PMS symptoms and effects that women go through. It has been concluded that most of the effects that chaste berry has with regards to PMS are sub-results of the bigger result, namely reduced prolactin secretion.
Unlike other clinically produced medicine, chaste berry is nature's own medicine to help cure the PMS blues, and it does a great job. As a matter of fact, the exact procedure that happens inside the body after consuming chaste berry is not comprehensible enough to the general audience, but the results speak for themselves.
Chaste berry extracts are available as tablets, and the effective dosage is one 20 mg tablet, up to three times a day. Consult your doctor for the exact prescription; this is just the general estimate. If you choose to take the drops, around forty drops per day will do.
What other uses does chaste berry have?
Chaste berry has many other uses, apart from belong with PMS.
Some of them are:
Chaste berry has been proven to help in prevention and control of prostate cancer. Anti-tumor behavior of chaste berry on the cancerous cells has been observed, thus establishing the fact that chaste berry helps in prostate cancer.
Chaste berry has also successfully helped in breast pain, which is medically called mastalgia. The effects are well researched and documented.
With relation to controlling the prolactin secretion as stated above, chaste berry ultimately helps prevent and control Hyperprolactinaemia, which is essentially the presence of the hormone in large quantities in the blood. This can sometimes lead to problems in breast milk production, and breast feeding.
The best part about chaste berry is that it has absolutely no documented side effects. The only piece of advice associated with chaste berry is that it should not be consumed during pregnancy, as might cause some complications later on. All said and done, chaste berry does help with PMS, no doubt about that.
What Are The Cruciferous Vegetables With Indoles?
October 18, 2011 02:19 PM
A cruciferous vegetable is a common category of vegetables. The term cruciferous is used to refer to vegetables which have a cross - shaped pattern that can be found under the core of the plant's stalk. This classification of vegetables includes:
1. CABBAGE. This vegetable is a common leafy green vegetable of the specie Brassica oleracea. It is an herb - like, biennial flowering plant which has a short stem with a jam - packed mass of leaves. The leaves are generally green to light green but variety comes in red or PURPLE color. An immature cabbage has a characteristic compact and circular cluster of young leaves.
2. BROCCOLI. A kind of vegetable which is categorized in the Italica cultivar plant cluster. This is different from cabbage because it has large flower heads which is usually dark green in color. It is arranged in a small tree – like manner on branches which is sprouting from a solid edible stalk. This vegetable is similar to cauliflower, another cruciferous vegetable.
3. CAULIFLOWER. Like cabbage and broccoli, cauliflower is also a member of the species Brassica oleracea. Unlike cabbage, this cruciferous vegetable is an annual plant which is reproduced by seeds. The appearance of this plant is like that of a broccoli. The floral meristems are usually eaten only while the stalk and leaves are utilized in vegetable broths.
4. BRUSSEL SPROUTS. This is a cultivar of cabbage family which is cultivated because of it edible buds. It is named after the city in Belgium which is believed to be the origin of the vegetable.
Cruciferous has many health benefits. Aside from its fiber – rich content, cruciferous vegetables has a promising benefit of lowering the risk of cancers specifically with that of the colon, breast and prostate. The special chemical compound in cruciferous vegetables is called “Indoles”. Indoles are considered as a phytonutrient which can benefit the body in many ways.
Since the ancient times, Indoles have been used for many medicinal purposes. In fact, most Roman health practitioners during the olden times have utilized Indoles as treatment for ulcerated breasts. Therefore, without a surprise Indoles found in cruciferous vegetables are widely used for the prevention of breast cancer. Clinical studies have revealed that the mechanism of action of Indoles in relation with decreased risk of cancer is that Indoles can effectively decrease the so – called C16 estrogen and increase C2 estrogen. The latter is helpful in preventing the development of abnormal breast tissue growth or cancer.
Furthermore, Indoles have also been found out to have important benefit in detoxifying the body from free radicals, thus preventing the body from free radical damage and promoting a healthy cellular production and growth. Other theories have stated that Indoles in cruciferous vegetables can block carcinogenic chemical compounds from mutating the cell’s DNA and neutralize the effects of estrogen associated with cancer development.
Other vegetables which contain Indoles are onions and garlic. The Indoles component of these vegetables effectively works hand in hand with antioxidants in protecting the body from harmful substances and toxins.
Aside from these natural vegetables, Indoles chemical compound can also be made available to the body in the form cruciferous vegetable extracts. This supplement has adequate amount of balanced Indoles compound which can equate with the body’s daily recommended intake of Indoles necessary to fight against free radical damage and cancer. However, extra caution must be observed to prevent untoward side effects and unnecessary drug interactions.
Cut the calories, try Indoles in supplement form!
What is the Difference between Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea?
July 06, 2011 10:32 AM
Echinacea Health Benefits
Echinacea is a group of plant species that belongs to the same family as dandelion, sunflower, and daisy. These flowering shrubs are best known as ornamental plants in gardens. Also, they are widely recognized as medicinal herbs in alternative medicine. Modern herbalists have attributed a diverse variety of healing properties to this herb, drawing on its traditional uses among the Native Americans.
Elk root, black samson echinacea, or narrow-leaved PURPLE cornflower refers to Echinacea angustifolia. Its native range stretches from Manitoba in the north to Texas in the south. It is an herbaceous plant, as all species of echinacea are. It grows up to 28 inches in height, extending from a branched taproot. Its stems and leaves are hairy while other species are smooth. Its flowers resemble a cone in shape.
Echinacea angustifolia is so named in the vernacular due to the fact that elks knowingly consume the plant when sick or wounded. Elk root is an herb important to folk medicine practices of Plain Indians, such as the Cheyenne and Apache. It displays analgesic properties, and thus has been in use as a pain reliever for external wounds and internal inflammation, including allergies, rheumatism, and arthritis.
Research on elk root has been promising. It is one of the species of echinacea believed to enhance the immune system and improve immune responses. In particular, it is good for the respiratory system. It has been used in the treatment of the common cold, sore throat, and nasal congestion. In addition, it exhibits antimicrobial properties, which effectively wards off infections of the respiratory tract.
Eastern PURPLE cornflower, or simply PURPLE cornflower, refers to Echinacea purpurea. It enjoys a wide distribution in North America, though they thrive in large concentrations in the wild in regions close to the east coast. Unlike all other species of echinacea, it grows from a woody base with fibrous roots instead of a taproot. Its flowers are arranged in a cone, sitting atop a stem that grows up to 40 inches.
Echinacea purpurea is arguably the most extensively studied of all species of echinacea. Traditionally, it has been utilized by many different tribes in North America as a cure-all medicinal herb. Clinical trials have shown that juice extracts obtained from this plant species are useful for the short term treatment of cold infections, though contraindications in children and pregnant women were noted.
Echinacea purpurea displays chemopreventive potential. Laboratory studies have discovered that it contains alkamides, which bind to cannabinoid receptors and inhibit tumor growth and pain chemicals in the process. Also, it has been linked to immunotherapy largely owing to its properties that appear to increase the activity of immune cells. It shows promise as an adjunct treatment for cancer.
Either way, Echinacea can help boost the body so the body can fight back against disease. Make sure you have some in your medicine cabinet just in case you feel a cold coming on!
How Does Holy Basil Extract Help With Pain
June 06, 2011 02:43 PM
Holy Basil And Your Health.
Holy Basil, technically known as Ocimum tenuiflorum, is a perennial plant which is a member of the family Lamiaceae. This kind of plant is commonly cultivated in the tropics region but can also be seen as an escape weeds. Holy Basil plant is an upright shrub with many hairy branches that can grow up to 30 to 60 centimeters in height. It has an aromatic leaves in green color that are slightly toothed. It also bears flowers which are PURPLE in color and also has a strong scent. Holy Basil has many medicinal uses. In fact, in South Asian regions, Holy Basil is commonly utilized as an herbal tea.
Holy Basil claimed to be an effective pain treatment. Clinical studies show that this plant contains high amounts of Eugenol which mimics the actions of COX – 2 Inhibitor drugs. COX – 2 Inhibitors is a pain killer which is classified as Non – Steroidal Anti – Inflammatory Drug or NSAID. This type of drug is directly targets the enzyme Cyclooxygenase – 2 which is responsible for inflammatory response. Inflammation is associated with swelling which further cause pain. If an area is swollen, the nerve endings are compressed therefore pain is felt.
Aside from its potent pain alleviating property, Holy Basil is also useful in reducing blood sugar levels. This is the reason why it is utilized as an effective treatment for diabetes mellitus. Holy Basil also has an antioxidant effect. As we know for a fact, antioxidants are useful in eliminating harmful toxins in the body known as free radicals. Free radicals can damage cells and even tamper DNA formation during cellular division. Other benefit of Holy Basil includes its anti – stress property. Holy Basil leaves are considered to be an adaptogen or anti – stress agent which protects an individual against various stressors. Experts recommend that an individual can consume a dozen of Holy Basil leaves two times daily to prevent stress. Holy Basil leaves are thought to purify blood thus improving blood circulation and tissue oxygenation.
Aside from Eugenol, Holy Basil also contains the compound Carvacrol which has a strong antibacterial property. Carvacrol has the capacity to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria such as E. coli and Bacillus cereus. Carvacrol is also an effective digestive aid. Research reveals that Carvacrol is can alleviate gastric upset and improve digestion of food and absorption of nutrients.
Holy Basil extracts are reported to be safe and effective in helping alleviate pain and treating other health conditions. Experts suggest that Holy Basil is not for long – term use. It must be used only for a maximum of four weeks. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers must not use this supplement to be completely safe. Holy Basil is discovered to slow blood clotting therefore it must not be used within two weeks before and after any type of surgery. Finally, though Holy Basil extracts are relatively safe, it would still be best to consult a qualified healthcare provider and discuss with him or her your health status and history.
Get some today and reap the benefits of this wonderful herb for yourself!
Gooseberry Benefits Vision, Blood Sugar, Cholesterol And More
April 09, 2011 11:17 AM
Gooseberry And Your Health.
Gooseberry is a group of fruit-bearing plant species that belong to the same family as currants. They are easily recognizable by their round berries that are either bright green or deep PURPLE in color. While most of the cultivars produce fruits that are bitter in taste, gooseberries are often added to desserts and preserved as jam or pickle. They are an excellent source of many nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, phosphorous, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium, among others. Herbalists believe that the vitamin and mineral content of gooseberries do not significantly change after washing, heating, and other cooking preparations.
Different varieties of gooseberries are widely distributed across the Old World, with species native to Europe, Africa, and Asia. The American species are also considered indigenous to North America although many dispute this claim. Each species have been linked to varying herbal remedies, but they all have similar genetic traits and nutrient contents. European and American cultivars are known for the following uses:
Counters Visual Decline
Gooseberry is often associated with the improvement of eyesight. There have been numerous articles about its medicinal potential in the treatment of cataracts, myopia or nearsightedness, and macular degeneration. The fruits are indeed a good source of biological precursors of vitamin A, and the juice extracted from the fruits are believed to contain phytochemicals that contribute to the upkeep of healthy cells found in the human eye.
Reduces Blood Sugar
Almost all varieties of gooseberry are believed to lower blood glucose levels. Proponents of its use as a therapeutic remedy for hyperglycemia point to the modulating effects of its organic compounds and metabolites on the hormone insulin. Gooseberry appears to increase production of insulin and improve glucose sensitivity of cells, the reason why it is also in use in conjunction with other common treatments for type 2 diabetes.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
The organic compounds naturally occurring in gooseberry have been observed to show cardioprotective properties. First, they help lower serum cholesterol by interfering with the release of low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol, from the liver. Second, they relax the smooth muscle cells within blood vessel walls, resulting in increased blood flow. Third, they strengthen heart muscles, promoting heart health.
Improves Hair Loss
The buzz around the ability of gooseberry products to control hair is supported by very encouraging results. It is believed that topical applications containing gooseberry extracts act on hair follicles, or hair roots, the part of the scalp that grow hair. Practitioners of folk medicine in Europe and Asia usually boil gooseberries, add the pulp to other ingredients to make paste, and apply the paste to the scalp.
Scavenges Free Radicals
Gooseberries are rich in polyphenols, with different species containing flavonoids, tannins, lignans, or their combination. Plant-based polyphenols are known for their antioxidant properties, which of course is important to neutralizing free radicals. Gooseberry is historically noted for its anti-aging effects, and modern research support this centuries-old with the discovery of its polyphenolic antioxidants.
Give Gooseberry A Try Today!
If You Are Having Trouble With Night Driving, Bilberry Extract Could Help
February 02, 2011 10:06 PM
Night blindness is very common nowadays. According to statistics, a lack of vitamin A is the primary cause of night blindness or inability to see at night or in dim light. The treatment of this eye condition will depend upon the cause. Treatment may be as simple as getting a new eye glasses prescription. But invasive procedures may also be required most especially those that are caused by cataracts. Fortunately, Bilberry extracts may help night blindness.
Bilberry is a low – growing perrenial shrub growing approximately 15 to 20 inches in height. It is a member of the family Ericaceae in the genus Vaccinium. Its branches are green with sharp edges. It bears edible berr that is seemingly wrinkled and black. Bilberry is a comparative to the common berries known as blueberry and cranberry. The active compounds in bilberry fruit are known as anthocyanosides. Bilberry extract has a deep bluish PURPLE tone which contains the majority of the active substance of the fruit known as anthocyanidin. Anthocyanidin is a component of anthocyanosides. It can help increase the formation of rhodopsin. According to studies, rhodopsin is formed from an aldehyde form of vitamin A called retinaldehyde, or retinal as commonly used. It is then bound to the protein opsin. This compound consisting of retinal and opsin is stored in photoreceptors of the retina of the eye known as rods and cones. Rhodopsin is the compound in the eye that is responsible for adjusting eye perception to light variations.
This plant extract is also commonly used for treating eye problems like cataracts and retinal disorders particularly retinopathy. Scientists found out that anthocyanosides help protect the retina. Since bilberry improves the formation of rhodopsin, adequate levels of rhodopsin can significantly improve night vision and reduce visual fatigue. This eye pigment could help those individuals who are having trouble driving at night because of its rhodopsin regenerating property.
Aside from supporting a healthy eye function, bilberry has many other health benefits. It has an antioxidant, anti – inflammatory, collagen stabilizing and vasoprotective properties. Generally, anthocyanosides are considerably beneficial to the overall health of the body. It can improve circulation by preventing blood clumping by reducing platelet aggregation. It can also prevent or reduce the amount and extent of damage to cells caused by free radicals.
Further clinical studies are being done to be able to get concrete evidence on the fruit’s benefits especially to the eyes. Preliminary results show that bilberry decreases eyestrain after an excessive use of computers, protects against glaucoma by improving blood vessel integrity in the eyes, reduces the occurrence of cataracts by maintaining the integrity of connective tissues in the eyes and lessens the risk of retinopathy among diabetic patients. Preparations of bilberry extracts include teas, capsules or tablets.
Gentain Herb Can Sooth The Digestive Tract
December 17, 2009 04:23 PM
The gentian plant is an herbaceous perennial with fleshy root and fat hollow stems. The leaves of the plant are ovate and pleated, while the flowers are yellow. The root of the plant often smells aromatic and tastes sweet at first and then bitter.
Gentian was used as a stomach tonic and aid in digestion in Ancient Rome. This herb is native to Europe and western Asia. Generally, gentian was consumed as a tea or alcoholic beverage. Gentian was an official drug in the Untied States Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1955 and was used as a gastric stimulant. At one point in time, this herb was used and acclaimed by medical science as being very beneficial for mankind.
Gentian was used to reduce fevers by cooling the system. It contains a bitter principle, which is known as amarogentin, which stimulates the glands, and includes the adrenals and thyroid. This herb helps in the production of bile, which can have a positive effect on the liver and gallbladder. Gentian is also used to clean the bowels, stimulate the pancreas, stimulate circulation, aid in the digestive process, and help with female problems. This herb has historically been used to treat wounds and been taken internally for inflammation from arthritis, jaundice, and a sore throat. Gentian is considered to be a great herb for strengthening the entire body and for use as tonic when it is combined with other herbs.
German scientists have performed studies which confirm that this herb is useful as a digestive aid. Herbal bitters, including gentian, are recommended for the treatment of indigestion. The bitter taste receptors located in the tongue are known for their ability to stimulate the digestive processes by increasing the flow of gastric juices and bile. The alkaloid found in gentian, gentianine, has been shown to contain anti-inflammatory activity in animal studies.
Internally, gentian is used as a liver tonic, to treat loss of appetite, digestive problems, flatulence, and insufficient production of gastric juices and saliva. This herb is responsible for stimulating the taste buds and promoting the flow of saliva, gastric juices, and bile. Because of this, gentian can be used in cases of anorexia, and in homeopathic medicine as well. There are no external uses or aromatherapy and essential oil uses for gentian. It should be noted that gentian should not be used by those with gastric or duodenal ulcers.
The root of the gentian plant is used to provide alterative, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hepatic, sialagogue, stimulant, stomachic, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients provided by gentian include inositol, iron, manganese, niacin, silicon, sulfur, vitamins F and B-complex, and zinc. Primarily, gentian is extremely beneficial in treating loss of appetite, poor circulation, gastric disorders, indigestion, jaundice, and liver disorders. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with anemia, blood impurities, colds, constipation, stomach cramps, diarrhea, dysentery, fevers, gas, gout, heart burn, absence of menstruation, nausea, spleen ailments, urinary problems, worms, wounds, and yeast infections. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by gentian, please contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
October 15, 2009 10:44 AM
The cinnamon plant is a small evergreen tree that grows between thirty two and forty nine feet tall. This plant belongs to the Lauraceae family and is native to Sri Lanka. The leaves of the plant are ovate oblong in shape and approximately two to seven inches in length, while the flowers, which have a distinct odor, are greenish in color. The fruit is a PURPLE berry about one-centimeter and contain a single seed. The flavor of cinnamon is the result of an essential oil which makes up about 1/2% to 1% of its composition. This oil can be prepared by roughly pounding the bark, macerating it in seawater, and quickly distilling the whole. The oil is of a golden-yellow color, with the characteristic odor of cinnamon and a very hot aromatic taste.
Cinnamon has been known from ancient times, with the first mention of particular spice in the Old Testament being of cinnamon. In this, Moses commanded the use of sweet cinnamon and cassia in the holy anointing oil. Additionally, cinnamon is also mentioned elsewhere in the bible. This herb was so highly prized among ancient nations that it was often looked upon as a gift fit for even God. Cinnamon was imported to Egypt as early as 2000 B.C. The herb is also alluded to by Herodotus and other classical writers. Cinnamon was too expensive to be commonly used in funerals of ancient Rome. However, the Emperor Nero is said to have burned a year’s worth of the city’s supply at the funeral for his wife in 65 A.D.
Cinnamon can be harvested by growing the tree for two years and then coppicing it. About a dozen shoots will form from the roots in the next year. These shoots are then stripped of their bark and left to dry. Only the thin inner bark is used, while the outer woody portion is removed. Each dried strip of cinnamon are then cut into lengths of about five to ten centimeters for sale.
Cinnamon has been around for thousands of years. It is revered as a spice and also as a healing agent. Cinnamon was included in embalming oils by the Egyptians. This herb was used in China to treat fever, diarrhea, and menstrual problems dating as far back as 2000 BC. Cinnamon was a major trade commodity during the ancient times. Cinnamon grew in the southern regions of Asia originally. This herb is used to help relieve upset stomachs, reduce milk flow, stop excessive menstrual flow, and alleviate back pain. Research has also determined that cinnamon contains components that possess antifungal and antibacterial capabilities. This herb is found in some toothpaste, which allows it to help some decay-causing bacteria. Cinnamon is also helpful for promoting healthy blood sugar levels.
The dried bark of the cinnamon plant is used to provide alterative, analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, sedative, stimulant, and stomachic properties. Primarily, cinnamon is beneficial in treating abdominal pain, candida, diarrhea, gas, gastric disorders, and indigestion.
Additionally, this herb is also extremely helpful in dealing with arthritis, asthma, backaches, bloating, bronchitis, cholera, coronary problems, fevers, excessive menstruation, nausea, nephritis, parasites, psoriasis, rheumatism, upset stomach, vomiting, and warts. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by cinnamon, please contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
September 25, 2009 10:56 AM
The eyebright plant is elegant and small, growing between two and eight inches high. This plant is an annual, commonly growing on heaths and other dry pastures, especially on chalky soil. The plant flowers from July to September and has deeply cut leaves and small, white or purplish flowers. The stem is erect and wiry. It comes in either unbranched, small specimines, or with many opposite branches. The leaves are tiny, about 1/6 to ½ inches in length and opposite to one another on the lower portion of the stem. The flowers, which are white or lilac, have PURPLE veins and terminal spikes. The structure of the flower places the plant in the Scrophulariaceae family. The seeds in this flower are produced in tiny, flattened capsules, and are numerous and ribbed.
When a bee visitor comes in search of the honey lying around the ovary at the bottom the petal tube, it knocks against the anther spurs, setting the pollen free so that it falls on the insect’s head. When visiting the next flower, the bee will then rub its head against the outstanding stigma, in which cross-fertilization takes place.
The eyebright plant has white petals that have a red or PURPLE tinge, resembling bloodshot eyes. It is this appearance that is thought to be the reason for the use of eyebright in treating eye irritations as far back as the Middle Ages. Topical applications of this herb were prescribed by Dioscorides and Theophrastus for eye infections.
The eyebright plant will not grow readily in a garden if it is transplanted unless it is protected by grass. The reason for this is that it is a semi-parasite and relies on its nourishment on the roots of other plants. Above ground, the plant appears to be a perfectly normal plant, with flowers and bright green leaves. But below the surface, suckers from its roots spread around and lie on the rootlets of the grass plants surrounding it. The grass preyed upon does not suffer very much. The eyebright plant, being an annual, renews itself each year. For centuries, eyebright has been the herb of choice for treating eye irritations. It is extremely helpful in conditions that involve the mucous membranes. This herb can help to relieve eye irritations or eyestrain when used as eyewash. The herb’s antiseptic properties allow it to help fight eye infections. Traditional uses of eyebright include eye problems such as failing vision, eye inflammation, eye ulcers, conjunctivitis, and eyestrain. This herb is able to strengthen all parts of the eye and provide elasticity to the nerves and optic devices that are essential for sight. Additionally, eyebright is stimulating to the liver, as it helps cleanse the blood.
The entire eyebright plant is used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, bitter, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are copper, iodine, iron, silicon, vitamins A, B, B-complex, C, D, and E, and zinc. Primarily, eyebright is extremely beneficial in dealing with blood impurities, cataracts, colds, conjunctivitis, eye disorders and infections, eyestrain, and glaucoma.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating black eyes, sinus congestion, coughs, hay fever, headaches, hoarseness, memory loss, and sties. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by this herb, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
Red Clover Blossom
August 29, 2009 01:51 PM
Red clover is also commonly referred to as wild clover, PURPLE clover, meadow clover, honeysuckle clover, or cow grass. This herb is a member of the pea family. It is commonly found in pastures, lawns, along roadsides, and in meadows. Many consider this herb to be a nuisance and, thus, they try to eliminate it from their lawns. However, this is not easily accomplished due to red clover’s hearty nature.
The use of red clover most likely originated in Europe. There, it was used as an expectorant and a diuretic. Additionally, it was burned as incense to invoke the spirits of the deceased. Some people even wore the leaves of red clover as charms against evil. The red clover was revered by early Christians because they associated its three leaves with the Trinity. The flowers of this plant were dried by the ancient Chinese and then put in pillows to help relax both the body and mind. The Native Americans used red clover as an infusion gargle for sore throats, whooping cough, and asthma. Additionally, they used it on children because it was a milder, safer way to fight debilitating childhood diseases.
This herb has been used for treating cancer, bronchitis, nervous conditions, spasms, and toxins in the body. It is considered by herbalists to be a blood cleanser. Herbalists also recommend this mild herb in formulas when using a cleansing program. Red clover is often mixed with honey and water to make a cough syrup and act as an expectorant. The herb is a mild sedative and is useful for spasmodic conditions, bronchitis, wheezing, and fatigue. Because red clover is mild, it can often be used by children.
Research has determined that red clover contains some antibiotic properties that are beneficial in fighting several kinds of bacteria. Among these types of bacteria is the one that causes tuberculosis. Additionally, red clover has a long history of use in treating cancer. Scientists at the National Cancer Institute have uncovered some anticancer activity in red clover, including daidzein and genistein activity. Even though the findings are preliminary and the use of red clover as a cancer treatment has not yet been validated, research is continuing to show promising results.
Externally, red clover has been used to treat skin problems such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and even vaginal irritation. It can also be applied topically to burns, boils, sores, and ulcers. Red clover has also been documented for use in treating AIDS, syphilis, and leprosy. This herb can be applied externally to help soothe lymphatic swelling and as an eyewash.
In short, the flowers of red clover are used to provide alterative, antibiotic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, nutritive, sedative, stimulant, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in red clover are calcium, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, nickel, selenium, sodium, tin, and vitamins A, C, B-complex, F, and P. Primarily, red clover is extremely beneficial in dealing with acne, AIDS/HIV, athlete’s foot, blood impurities, bronchitis, cancer, eczema, leukemia, liver disorders, nervous disorders, psoriasis, skin disorders, spasms, and the effects of toxins.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating arthritis, asthma, boils, burns, childhood diseases, colds, constipation, coughs, muscle cramps, fatigue, flu, gallbladder, gastric disorders, indigestion, leprosy, lymphatic irritations, rheumatism, sores, syphilis, sore throat, tuberculosis, ulcers, urinary infections, vaginal irritations, whooping cough, and wounds.
For more information on red clover, look for this wonderful herb at your local heath food store. Remember to always look for name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
August 13, 2009 03:49 PM
The mullein is a genus of about 250 species of flowering plants. They are all part of the figwort family. Mullein plants can be found growing natively in Europe and Asia. The highest species diversity can be found in the Mediterranean region. The mullein plant is a biennial or perennial plant that grows from 0.5 to three meters tall. They have leaves that are spirally arranged and often densely hairy. The flowers have five symmetrical petals and can be yellow, orange, red-brown, PURPLE, blue, or white depending upon the species.
Mullein was suggested to be used in treating eye problems, tonsillitis, coughs, stings, and toothaches by Dioscorides. This herb was first introduced to America by the early European settlers. Native Americans used mullein to treat lung problems, with some tribes even smoking the leaves to treat asthma. Mullein was used during the Civil War for respiratory problems. It was made into syrup for coughs. Dr. Edward Shook referred to mullein as a great herb for treating tuberculosis and other lung problems.
Mullein is traditionally well known for its use in treating respiratory disorders such as asthma, bronchitis, coughs, tuberculosis, and congestion. The herb can help to loosen mucus from the respiratory and lymphatic systems. Mullein both nourishes and strengthens the lungs. This herb is also used to relieve pain, soothe hemorrhoids, treat burns and bruises, and to induce sleep. Mullein has a calming effect on tissues that are inflamed and irritated nerves. Mullein helps to control coughs, cramps, and spasms. In tea form, this herb is good for dropsy, sinusitis, swollen joints, and can be applied to mumps, tumors, a sore throat, and tonsillitis. Though this herb has been used traditionally for centuries, there is still very little information known of its healing components.
Recent research has determined that the saponins, mucilage, and tannins in this herb contribute to the soothing topical effect that it possesses. These properties are ideal for treating lung ailments, coughs, colds, asthma, whooping cough, and emphysema. Also, this herb is suggested for pain, as a sleep aid, a laxative, and to get rid of warts. One study concluded that mullein inhibits the growth of bacteria, which is a known cause of tuberculosis in vitro.
The leaves of the mullein plant are used to provide analgesic, anticatarrhal, antispasmodic, antitussive, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, mucilant, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iron, potassium, sulfur, and vitamins A, B-complex, and D. Primarily, this herb is extremely beneficial in treating allergies, hay fever, asthma, bleeding of the bowels, bleeding of the lungs, bronchitis, colds, sinus congestion, coughs, croup, diarrhea, dysentery, earaches, emphysema, glandular problems, hemorrhages, insomnia, swollen joints, lung disorders, lymphatic congestion, irritated membranes, nervousness, pain, pleurisy, pulmonary disease, and tuberculosis. Additionally, mullein is very helpful in dealing with bruises, constipation, diaper rash, edema, eye problems, intestinal problems, menstrual symptoms, mumps, skin disorders, sore throat, toothaches, tumors, venereal diseases, ulcers, warts, and wounds.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by mullein, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Oregon Grape Extract
August 11, 2009 01:21 PM
Oregon grape is an evergreen shrub that is related to the barberry plant. The Oregon grape is not closely related to grapes, but it gets its name from the PURPLE clusters of berries. The color and slightly duster appearance is similar to that of grapes. Often, it is referred to as the “tall Oregon grape” in order to distinguish it from the “creeping Oregon grape” and “dwarf Oregon grape.” The Oregon grape grows approximately one to five meters tall. It has leathery leaves that resemble holly and stems and twigs that have a thick, corky appearance. The flowers, which grow in late spring, are a bright yellow color. This plant is often used in landscaping similarly to barberry. The plant is suited for low-maintenance plantings and loose hedges. This plant is resistant to summer drought, tolerates poor soils, and does not create excessive leaf litter. The berries of the Oregon grape attract birds.
The purplish-black fruits found on the Oregon grape plant are quite tart and contain large seeds. Sometimes, they are used locally and mixed with Salal to make jelly. The fruit is bitter and generally not eaten unless it is sweetened first. The leaves of the Oregon grape are holly-like and resist wilting. For this reason, the foliage is often used by florists for greenery. Additionally, the inner bark of the larger stems and roots yield a yellow dye.
The Oregon grape plant grows natively on the North American west coast from British Columbia to northern California. It is also the state flower of Oregon. In some areas outside of its native range, this plant has been classified as an invasive exotic species that may displace native vegetation. Oregon grape tonics were first introduced as a medicinal remedy in the late nineteenth century. The herb was marketed as a blood purifier.
Oregon grape is well known for the treatment of skin diseases that are caused by toxins in the blood. This is because it stimulates the action of the liver. It is also one of the best blood cleansers. This herb is also mildly stimulates thyroid function. This herb aids in the assimilation of nutrients, promotes digestions, and is a tonic for all glands. The rhizome and root of the Oregon grape plant are used to provide alterative, antiseptic, blood purifier, cholagogue, hepatic, nephritis, nutritive, and mild purgative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are copper, manganese, silicon, sodium, vitamin C, and zinc. Primarily, Oregon grape is extremely beneficial in treating acne, blood conditions, blood impurities, eczema, jaundice, liver disorders, psoriasis, and staph infections. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with rheumatoid arthritis, bronchitis, chronic constipation, hepatitis, herpes, intestinal problems, kidney problems, leucorrhea, lymphatic problems, rheumatism, lack of strength, syphilis, uterine problems, and vaginitis.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by Oregon grape, 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.
Echinacea Purpurea Root
June 17, 2008 06:38 PM
There are nine known species of Echinacea native to the United States and southern Canada. The most commonly used and most potent of them is Echinacea purpurea.
Other common names for Echinacea are PURPLE coneflower, American coneflower and coneflower. The plants contain large heads of flowers that bloom in early to late summer.
In North America, Native Americans used Echinacea more than any other herb for its healing properties. For Europeans and Americans, it was believed to aid in curing Anthrax and snakebites as well as contain antimicrobial properties.
Echinacea is well known for its abilities to boost the immune system and to help fight infections. It is also widely used to prevent infections, colds and the flu. In lesser known medicinal practices, it is used to treat wounds and such skin problems as acne and boils. Some studies have shown that Echinacea has been effective in treating upper respiratory infections.
The whole Echinacea plant is used for treating various indications. Fresh or dried, the plant and roots are used to make teas, extracts, juices or external salves, creams and ointments. As a general rule, the fresh-pressed juice of the Echinacea plant is most effective in treating colds in children. In adults, both the root and herb in combination are most effective.
When taken at the first signs of a cold, Echinacea has been found to reduce the length and severity of cold symptoms. Be aware that Echinacea is not a one-dose fix-it remedy. Begin taking recommended doses at the first signs of a cold. Subsequent doses should be taken regularly, according to the product label, until all symptoms have disappeared.
Unfortunately, many herbal preparations can vary in effectiveness due to a lack of systematic extraction and refining. It is best to research the manufacturers of herbal products to find out how they cultivate and store their herbs. Their methods will cause the chemical compositions to vary greatly. The different parts of the plant that are used vary widely in their chemical makeup as well. One part may be extremely useful as an antimicrobial, while another may stimulate stronger reactions from the immune system. Other factors that may affect the quality of the product you purchase are:
* Species * Plant part * Extraction method * Contamination * Adulteration
Side Effects and Warnings:
When taken orally (by mouth), Echinacea usually does not produce any side effects. In rare cases, some people have experienced allergic reactions and side effects that include:
* Rashes or dermatitis * Pruritus (itching) * An increase in asthma symptoms * Anaphylaxis (life threatening allergic reaction) * Hepatoxicity * Nausea * Dizziness * Dyspnea (difficulty breathing)
All of these symptoms tend to be mild and infrequent. If you suffer from asthma symptoms, you should probably avoid using echinacea. In most cases the most common side effects are gastrointestinal in nature, such as gas or mild cramping. People are much more likely to experience side effects if they are allergic to other plants in the daisy family. These plants include:
* Ragweed * Chrysanthemums * Marigolds * Daisies
Use of Echinacea in children younger than 12 years is not recommended due to lack of sufficient data to support safety. It is also not recommended for use in pregnant or nursing women.
Echinacea should not be used if you have progressive systematic or auto-immune disorders, connective tissue disorders or other diseases that may be related to these. It should not be taken if you are taking immune-suppressants and heap-toxic drugs. It may also interfere with anesthesia.
It is important to communicate with your health care providers. Be sure they are aware of any alternative herbs or other substances you are using and what their purpose is in your daily diet.
June 05, 2008 11:13 AM
An overactive bladder is a common complaint for pregnant women and men with enlarged prostates. Nearly 30 million people in the United States complain of incontinence. The problem is prevalent, yet can still be embarrassing. Even minor leaking can stop you dead in your tracks.
Pressure on the bladder makes it feel as if you always have to go to the bathroom. There is nothing worse than having to run to the restroom throughout the day, whether you are at work, at home or on a vacation. Making frequent pit stops is not in your best interest. Having an accident is worse.
Possible Bladder Problems
Bladder problems can occur in a number of ways. Be aware of these issues and don't be afraid to talk to your doctor to get help if you experience any of the following:
* Weak muscles that allow urine to leak
Supporting a Healthy Bladder
There are some simple habits you can get into that will help support a healthy bladder. Consistency is the best policy to avoid potential problems down the line.
* Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water per day
Create a Healthy Bladder with Butterbur
Butterbur is taken from the root of a PURPLE flowering plant that has been used for fighting fevers, asthma, colds and urinary problems.
Butterbur is a supplement that supports healthy bladder functioning. It is an anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory. It works to relax the muscles of the bladder and reduce pressure. It is also good for liver problems, gastrointestinal disorders, kidney stones, ulcers, painful menstrual periods, and muscle spasms. Butterbur acts as a natural pain reliever, making bladder problems easier to handle.
People are becoming more reluctant to take prescription drugs for things like urinary tract infections. Antibiotics build up to the point where our bodies resist them and then no longer work. There are also unhealthy side effects that come with prescription drugs.
Naturally, this is leading more people to search for home remedies. Butterbur is an herb that can help relieve bladder problems without relying on an antibiotic. Of course, healthy habits that prevent urinary tract infections and other bladder problems are recommended. Early detection and treatment are in order when the bladder is not functioning well though.
Research shows that butterbur can reduce the sudden urge to urinate. It can restore the bladder to a healthy state and reduce your trips to the restroom. Make sure you are eating healthy foods, drinking cranberry juice, getting regular exercise and taking a butterbur supplement to relieve bladder problems.
June 04, 2008 02:39 PM
Every year people get bogged down with stuffy noses, watery eyes, congestion, sore throats, headaches and sneezing. The common cold rears its ugly head when the snow finally melts away and the trees get their tiny buds. Spring is normally a time when a lot of colds and viruses are passed around. It is inconvenient not only because of the annoying symptoms; it also makes us miss days of work or school. It interrupts our lives for days at a time. Few people can afford the luxury of taking off from everything they are expected to do for that period of time.
The springtime cold season doesn’t have to be a problem for you, though. You can boost your immunity to cold and flu symptoms with echinacea. This herb can reduce the time you spend nursing a cold and get you back on your feet much faster than waiting it out or taking prescription drugs.
What is Echinacea?
Echinacea is a flowering plant, also known as the PURPLE coneflower, found in the North American plains. This powerful plant has long been used as a medical alternative to stimulate the immune system and protect the body from infection and disease. Echinacea is most commonly found in herbal teas and in extract form and is used as a home remedy for the spring time cold season.
How Echinacea Boosts Immunity
Echinacea works like a natural antibiotic. It attacks toxins in the blood to fight off disease and strengthen the immune system. It also reduces inflammation in the body. Typically, it is more effective if you start taking it at the first sign of a cold. The most popular use for echinacea is to reduce the duration and severity of colds, respiratory infections and sinus problems.
Inconclusive Data and Controversy about Echinacea
There are a large number of studies that have been done of the echinacea herb to determine if it is actually helpful in reducing the common cold. The problem is the results are not consistent. Part of this is because different parts of the flower have been used in different studies. Some report that echinacea is effective at boosting immunity and speeding up recovery from the springtime cold. Others say there is not a significant difference in the duration of a cold when using Echinacea.
One thing to consider about the herb is the possible side effects. No major side effects have been cited regarding the use of echinacea; however, it could cause an allergic reaction. It is also possible to develop rash or asthma from taking echinacea.
Recently, researchers have started to look at the collective data on echinacea to determine if it is truly effective at treating colds and preventing diseases. According to a review in The Lancet Infection Diseases, "published evidence supports echinacea’s benefit in decreasing the incidence and duration of the common cold." The review went on to state: "Echinacea decreased the odds of developing the common cold by 58 percent and the duration of a cold by 1.4 days."
This is promising news, which confirms the use of Echinacea can reduce the severity of a cold and speed the recovery process along so you can get back to your regular routine that much faster.
May 19, 2008 03:37 PM
Codonopsis, "the poor man's ginseng," is the dried or fresh root cultivated from the plant Codonopsis pilosula. It is a perennial native to Asia and is found most abundantly in parts of China. It thrives in moist soil and at the edges of thick, wooded areas and grows to approximately five feet tall.
It is now cultivated in many other areas of the world including the United States. Its bell-shaped greenish-PURPLE flowers have helped it gain its two other names in the English language: bastard ginseng and bonnet bellflower.
Codonopsis is best known in Chinese herbalism where it is referred to as tang shen. It has been used there for more than 2,000 years and is one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese alternative medicine.
In Chinese health, the yin and yang aspects of nature must remain balanced in order to maintain overall health of mind and body. Here are the properties of each.
* Yin: cold, dark, moisture, passivity * Yang: heat, light, dryness, activity
When the body suffers from inner disharmony, the elements and energies must be rebalanced. Herbs and treatments are taken to restore harmonious balance, and therefore bring yin and yang back to equal counterparts of each other.
Codonopsis has a sweet taste and a neutral nature. According to traditional Chinese medicine, it is taken as a tonic to nourish and strengthen the blood and to balance metabolic function. It also helps to keep the lungs and spleen healthy.
Codonopsis is an adaptogen. This means that it helps to regulate the body and enhance its ability to tolerate stress. It helps to increase the overall performance of the body to aid it in combating disease and maintaining a healthy immune system.
This herb stimulates the body's nervous system. It also increases resistance to colds, flu and other infections. It has been shown that Codonopsis increases the number of red blood cells and hemoglobin content.
Codonopsis benefits the entire body by:
* Increasing stamina * Building strength * Increasing mental alertness * Rejuvenating the system * Strengthening the immune system * Speeding recovery from illness * Stimulating the appetite * Reducing stress * Improving digestive functions
Taken in the form of a tonic, Codonopsis is a nourishing herb. It is used to promote digestion, absorption and metabolism. It is also said to strengthen and tone the stomach and spleen.
It has been found to reduce blood pressure, as well, by inhibiting adrenal cortex activity and dilating peripheral blood vessels. For the lungs, it helps to treat shortness of breath and chronic coughing.
Codonopsis can also be taken to address specific conditions beyond whole body health. Some of these are anemia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, asthma, hemorrhoids, headaches, tension and prolapsed uterus. Nursing mothers can take Codonopsis in order to increase their supply of breast milk.
Codonopsis has even been discovered to aid in fighting cancer when used in conjunction with other conventional medical therapy. It has been found to have properties that assist in helping to protect patients from the harmful side effects of radiation therapy. This seems to happen without diminishing the effectiveness of the therapy.
Overall, Codonopsis has many uses and benefits to the body. It is an immune system booster and all around promoter of bodily health. It works to stabilize and strengthen many different areas of the body together, as well as separately.
Codonopsis seems to be one of the best herbs of its kind for use in maintaining a healthy and balanced body. As more studies are performed on this beneficial herb, new discoveries will be made as to its other healing properties and benefits to the human body.
Bilberry Extract Is A Powerful Antioxidant That Strengthens Veins
April 12, 2008 11:06 AM
Bilberry extract is taken from the Vaccinium myrtillus, or bilberry, a small blue berry that has been used traditionally for the treatment of conditions now known to be due to inflammation and the action of free radicals on the body.
Among these is atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, caused by the free radical oxidation of the low density lipids that carry cholesterol around the bloodstream, and that cause deposition of fatty plaques on the arterial walls and eventually constricts them to a stage that can cause heart failure or a stroke, depending on whether the arteries are close to the heart or in the brain.
However, additional to treating this condition, bilberry has also traditionally been used for the treatment of varicose veins and also for certain eye conditions. In fact it was during the Second World war that the Royal Air Force in Britain received reports from pilots that their night vision improved after eating bilberries. Not only their vision, but the restoration of night vision after exposure to glare.
This was extremely important to war-time pilots who had to be able to rapidly adapt their vision to fly their plane after exposure to searchlights and explosive detonations. That is the reason for anything that appeared to promote this essential adaptation to be reported.
The pharmacology of these effects have been found to be due to the anthocyanosides in which bilberries are particularly rich. Anthocyanosides consist of an anthocyanaidin backbone, to which one of either arabinose, galactose or glucose can be bound. Since bilberry contains five of these anthocyanadins, then there are fifteen different anthocyanosides in the fruit concentrate.
The area of the retina that appears to control night vision, and the transition from day to night sight, is called the epithelium which is connected with PURPLE vision. Anthocyanosides seem to have an affinity for this part of the retina, and in so doing plays an important part in this type of vision, specifically night vision although it is also beneficial in improving day vision.
Although bilberry also contains vitamins A and C, hydroquinone and tannins, it is the anthocyanosides that provide it with its unique antioxidant properties, and also its effect upon collagen fibers. It can cross-link collagen fibers to help overcome weaknesses in the connective tissues such as cartilage, tendons and the walls of blood vessels.
Its effect as an antioxidant is to prevent the cleavage of collagen by the cyzymes that are secreted by leukocytes generated by the immune system. By preventing histamine release, and release of prostaglandins and other proteins and cells mobilized during the immune inflammatory response to the detection of foreign invasion into human tissue, anthocyanosides can help to reduce inflammation and to protect against other extreme reactions of the immune system that can harm the organism it evolved to protect.
The most powerful property of anthocyanosides are their antioxidant properties: perhaps even its only property once all of the conditions it helps to protect against are fully understood. An antioxidant combines with free radicals and destroys them. Free radicals are particularly vile chemical entities that require an electron to make them stable, and they take this electron from the nearest source. This can result in oxidation and destruction of many bodily tissues leading to premature aging, atherosclerosis, eye damage and many other problems that result from the destruction of body cells and tissue.
The various constituents that make up bilberry act in concert to scavenge the free radicals and increase the supply of oxygen to the eye. The benefits of this are in helping to prevent cataracts and glaucoma, the latter due to the effect of the anthocyanoside cross-linking effect on the structure of the collagen in the eye. It can also help in cases of macular degeneration that affects the central area of the retina which might be due to the same property of there glucoside.
Moving away from the eyes and back to the vascular system, the collagen cross-linking properties of the flavonoids, which is what anthocyanosides basically are, can help to repair damaged vein tissue by strengthening the vein walls themselves, and also by providing support for the cell membranes, or outer layers of the cells.
This in turn builds up more strength in the vein tissue below the outside walls and contributes to an overall reduction in the weakness of the vein. This in turn enables it better to withstand the internal pressure put upon it by the failure of the valve that created the problem. In this way bilberries can be used to help repair the damage done by varicose veins and improve the function of the vein in returning blood to the heart from the extremities of the legs and also to help reduce the pain and swelling of varicose veins.
In addition to these beneficial effects on the vascular system and the eyes, bilberry can also help to decrease the permeability of the blood-brain barrier to pollutants, drugs and other undesirable chemicals by improving the resistance of the capillaries in the brain to the transfer of such substances through their walls. It does so by preventing the collagen of the capillaries in the brain being degraded either by enzymes or other agents, Also, by helping to strengthen that collagen structure so that it becomes more impermeable to the larger molecules that form the pollutants.
A lesser known constituent of bilberry is myrtillin, an anthocyanoside monoglucoside that is also available in all green plants, that possesses anti-glycemic properties. What this means is that it can reduce hyperglycemia and glycosurea, and so reduce blood sugar without reducing the blood sugar level to dangerously low levels. In other words it is an ideal insulin substitute.
Native Americans used green plants for teas for centuries and were free from diabetes until the came into contact with Europeans and adopted their dietary habits. Although the case has to be proved, it appears highly likely that it was the myrtillin that kept them free from a condition that affects so many other races.
Irrespective of that, however, it is for its powerful antioxidant effect that bilberry finds its best use, and also its effects on varicose veins. However, all of the above health benefits that bilberry provides, can likely be laid at the door of the combined antioxidant effect of its vitamin C content and the anthocyanosides – including the glucoside myrtillin.
Fight Histamine With Quercetin
February 11, 2008 03:48 PM
Quercetin is one of the more powerful of the body’s antioxidants, and it can also be used to reduce the rate of histamine release by the body normally initiated by contact with an allergenic substance (for which your immune system has designed an antigen). We shall examine the biochemical mechanism which this is achieved, but first let’s have a closer look at quercetin and what it actually is.
Quercetin is what is known as a phytochemical, which is simply the scientific name for a chemical that is naturally produced by plants. Other phytochemicals include vitamin C and omega 3 fatty acids, so the term is very broad ranging for any substance that is produced by plants. It is commonly known as a flavanol, one of a family of compounds known as flavonoids that give color to plants.
It is a very active flavonoid, with very powerful antioxidant properties, in addition to acting as an anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory. Histamine is an amine released as part of the body’s immune response to allergenics, and quercetin inhibits its manufacture and release. This amine is an irritant and can itself cause inflammation and the other symptoms associated with allergies such as runny and itchy eyes, a stuffy nose, sneezing and itchy spots. Quercetin can be used to alleviate these symptoms by blocking the manufacture in the body of the histamine that causes them.
It demonstrates other anti-inflammatory properties such as alleviating the symptoms of arthritis, and also helps to destroy free radicals in the body through its strong antioxidant properties, but before we discuss how it does this we shall have a closer look at the mechanisms used in its effect in inhibiting histamine.
Calmodulin is a protein that is used to transport calcium ions, Ca++, across the membranes of certain cells in the body, and by doing so it helps to mediate a number of biochemical processes within the body, among them the immune response and inflammation. It should not be thought these are always unwelcome responses: on the contrary, they are the body’s way of reacting to foreign bodies and preventing more serious conditions from developing.
However, there are instances where the body can become sensitized to certain substances and overreact to their presence leading to conditions such as hay fever or, considerably more serious, asthma. These are just two of the undesirable manifestations of the human immune system that we would be better without. What quercetin does is to prevent calmodulin from properly binding to certain enzymic proteins and so suppress the effect of these proteins. Among these are the enzymes that control the secretion of histamine from mast cells.
Mast cells are found mainly in areas prone to injury and at the interface between internal tissues and outside world, such as the nose, mouth, lungs, eyes, blood vessels and feet. They contain granules rich in histamine that degranulate and released the histamine when the immune system detects foreign bodies such as pollen grains and dust mites, especially when the body has created antigens against them.
Quercetin suppresses the release of histamine from the granules in the mast cells by preventing the degranulation. The release of the histamine is not completely halted, but its effects are reduced and quercetin is used in the treatment of asthma where it is believed to help reduce the symptoms by reducing histamine-induced swelling in the airways.
A similar application of this flavonoid is in reducing the inflammatory response to arthritis, the main cause of the swelling of this painful condition. Your skin can also be affected by inflammation that is partially controllable by quercetin. Collagen and fibronectin biosynthesis is increased that help to maintain not only healthy joints, but also to speed up the healing of wounds and repair damaged nerves. It is also believed that quercetin can hold back the effects of aging on the skin, and slow down the formation of wrinkles.
There are other applications of this versatile flavanol, including its effect on acute prostatitis where it reduces oxidative stress and the accompanying inflammation of the prostate gland. In fact, it is believed to have positive effect on many conditions caused by free radical oxidation and excessive reaction by the immune system causing inflammation. Apart from the allergies and arthritis previously referred to, quercetin is believed to have been effectively used in the treatment of gout, macular degeneration and heart disease, and it can also help to prevent the oxidation of low density lipoproteins (LDL) responsible for transporting cholesterol to where it is needed to repair major blood vessels.
When these lipoproteins become oxidized by free radicals then the cholesterol associated with them tends to be excessively deposited in the arteries it is meant to be repairing, and lead to atherosclerosis. This condition can lead to heart failure or to strokes if the blood vessels are in the brain.
Studies have indicated that the flavonoid might help to prevent certain cancers by preventing the nutrition of some types of cancerous cells, effectively killing them. Due to its phytoestrogen properties, quercetin can be used to bind to the sites in cancerous cells that are receptive to estrogen and so prevent their growth. Many types of cancerous cells need estrogen for their growth and proliferation, and phytoestrogens mimic the effect of this hormone. However, these are laboratory studies, and more work is required.
More certain is the effect of quercetin on heart disease due largely to the aforementioned control of cholesterol deposition in your arteries, but also through its ability to strengthen the capillaries. However, when all things are considered, it is in the properties of this non-allergenic bioflavonoid to fight histamine release that it finds it’s most popular and effective use.
So what is the best way to take quercetin? Like most bioflavonoids, it is available naturally in the majority of plant foods. Particularly rich sources are broccoli, red onions, red apple skins, black tea, red wine, red and PURPLE berries and almost all dark green leafy vegetables.
However, the name of the game these days is to take measured doses, and while you should continue to eat these foods, you can also receive controlled doses by use of supplements. From 200 to 500 milligrams thrice daily is a good average dose, depending on the severity of your immune reaction or allergy. Bromelain is believed to improve its absorption in the gut, and quercetin is frequently provided with bromelain, which itself is also a good treatment for allergies and excessive response of your immune system to irritation.
Bromelain is an enzyme, generally extracted from pineapple, and treatments higher than the above doses of quercetin with or without bromelain are available online, although like any natural remedy you should inform your own physician of the dosage you are taking.
There is no better non-allergenic bioflavonoid to fight histamine and its potentially unpleasant effects on your body than quercetin.
Acai: The Super Antioxidant From Brazil
February 03, 2008 02:07 PM
Acai is an Amazonian palm tree, and possesses small PURPLE fruits that the Amazonian natives of Brazil have used since time immemorial as food and as a remedy for certain health conditions that are now known to be associated with the activity on free radicals on body cells.
The active constituents of acai are powerful polyphenols and anthocyanin antioxidants that protect your body cells from oxidation by free radicals. In fact the plant has been referred to as ‘the super antioxidant from Brazil’ by many medical writers who have recognized its right to be termed as such. To understand that, you first have to understand what an antioxidant is and how it works. The chemical names of the active substances it contains will be meaningless without that background knowledge.
Oxidation occurs in your body even before you are born. What is does in general terms is to destroy your body cells, and the more it progresses the more your body is prone to cancers and cardiovascular diseases, and the more visible becomes the aging process. Chemically, oxidation is the loss of one or more electrons by an atom or molecule. Oxidation within your body is highly associated with what are known as free radicals. To explain these we have to consider the chemistry of electron pairs and free radicals, though this is not too technical so read on.
Normally electrons exist in pairs of opposite spin: in simple terms each pair makes up a single negative charge. Take hydrogen: its atomic structure contains one proton and one electron. However, the hydrogen atom cannot exist by itself since the most stable configuration is that electrons exist in pairs with a net zero spin, so the hydrogen molecule consists of two hydrogen atoms with their own protons sharing an electron pair. This is true of all covalently bonded molecules.
However, certain influences, such as pollution through tobacco smoke, pesticides, engine exhausts and the excess UV radiation of sunlight can cause a molecule to lose an electron. This creates what is known as a free radical: a molecule without an electrical charge but with an unpaired electron. Since the most stable configuration for it is to have a paired electron, the molecule will steal an electron from the most suitable candidate it finds.
In practise this will be a body cell, and the cell that loses the electron gets destroyed causing aging of the skin and many other undesirable effects, including cancers. This stealing of an electron is chemically referred to as oxidation. Antioxidants prevent this occurring to your body cells by being reactive themselves and preferentially mopping up these free electrons.
Polyphenols and anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants, and that is why the people of the Amazon rainforests have used acai not only as a food, but also for their health. It is only relatively recently that, as with many of the ancient health remedies, the scientific basis behind its use has been proved. The early Brazilian natives may not have understood biochemistry or what free radicals were, but they sure knew what was good for them.
As with many other foodstuffs containing powerful antioxidants, it is likely that it was the highly colored berries that first attracted them. That does not suggest that all brightly colored foods are good for you, but the brightly colored pigments and dyestuffs contained within them also tend to act as antioxidants due the same electron configuration that provides them with their color. Many of these chemicals are also use as food dyes, and have been used so since before their chemistry and antioxidant effects were known. The color comes from the same electron activity that makes them destroy free radicals. That is why most highly colored foods contain significant quantities of phytochemicals.
The deep PURPLE color of the acai fruit led chemists to determine its content of polyphenols, such as anthocyanins, that are common in other highly colored foods such blueberries, peppers and aubergines. High concentrations of anthocyanins such as cyandin-3-glucoside and the rutinoside analogue were found, together with flavonoids such as orientin, deoxyhexose and scoparin. A total of twelve flavonoids were discovered that explains the highly antioxidant properties of the fruits. Laboratory and other tests have indicated that over 80% of the antioxidant effect of acai is due to polyphenols other than the anthocyanins. It is likely that these are the twelve flavonoids identified to date and any others that have still to be detected.
However, it is not only for its antioxidant properties that acai is such a healthy fruit, since it contains many other nutritional components. It contains fatty acids, including linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid and also beta-sitosterol that are believed to reduce the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood. The fruit also contains a high level of amino acids, essential for the synthesis of proteins and DNA.
So what exactly does this mean for you in real terms? Antioxidants can do different things for different people, and the acai berry is said to have more than thirty times the antioxidant power of red wine. When you consider that many doctors believe one glass of red wine to provide sufficient antioxidant for the average person, you are getting a very high dose with acai berries, so what does it do for you?
Due its effect in destroying the free radicals caused by pollution, acai and similar powerful sources of antioxidants are becoming increasingly important to our diets. What was a sufficient antioxidant intake even twenty years ago is not longer sufficient. Acai can help to combat early aging by reducing the rate at which your body cells are destroyed by free radicals. It also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, and the associated high risk of strokes or heart attacks.
Acai juice itself has an unusually high fiber content, and helps maintain the health of your digestive system. An associated benefit of this is that you are less liable to contract colon cancer than if you did not consume it. Due to a reduction in the rate of destruction of body cells, including brain cells, elderly people benefit through maintenance of their brain function, and a lower likelihood of degenerating cognitive ability. It helps you to maintain concentration and memory, and can also reduce the risk of you getting cataracts.
Antioxidants are also known to help maintain the immune system, and act as anti-inflammatories, and it is believed that acai juice can help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis. If you use acai berries as part of a daily diet, you should receive the benefits that it provides, although a more measured dosage in the form of a supplement will enable you to control your intake of acai, and if one thing is certain it is that you will be far healthy with a regular dose of the superantioxidant from Brazil than without.
Acai - Super Antioxidant from Brazil
July 27, 2007 02:33 PM
Super Antioxidant from
• Powerful concentration of natural antioxidants that benefit every cell of the body
• Natural, effective free radical scavengers
• Rich in polyphenols and anthocyanins
• As seen on national media
Acaí is a palm from the Amazonian rainforest. It has small, PURPLE fruits that have been used by Brazilian natives for food and health for hundreds of years. The active constituents in Acaí are polyphenols and anthocyanins. Scientific studies have shown these compounds to be powerful antioxidants, benefiting the entire body by protecting the cells from free radicals.
2 capsules contain:
Vitamin C (naturally occurring) 8 mg
Acaí Fruit Extract (4:1) 1 g
Suggested Use: 2 capsules daily.
Buy Acai at Vitanet
Supplements for Children
June 26, 2007 09:51 PM
Supplements for Children
While most parents try hard to make nutritious meals for their family, most children find the appeal of refined, fast, and junk food simply overwhelming. And, sadly, increasingly easy to buy and consume, as well. From kindergarten through 12th grade, in both grade schools and high schools, vending machines offer calorie laden candy bars, sugar-filled soft drinks, and snack foods loaded with fat and salt. Many school cafeterias actually sell fast-food to children for lunch every day. In fact, it seems almost everywhere children go and gather, visually enticing but nutritionally lacking snacks and soft drinks are sure to be available.
Determined to counteract this disturbing trend, parents everywhere are urgently seeking solutions to help their children get the nutrition they need. One answer is supplemental multivitamins. There are certainly plenty of multivitamins formulated for children currently on the market. However, these products vary considerably in quality and content. Some lack certain vital nutrients. Some taste terrible. Still others are loaded with sugar and artificial flavorings. The good news is that there are superior multivitamins and exceptional immune boosting products formulated specifically for children that actually taste great. In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss childhood nutrition and how to help ensure your children’s health with high quality, 100% natural flavored nutritional supplements.
Q. Do children really benefit from vitamin supplements? Can’t I make sure they get the vitamins and minerals they need from meals?
A. Even the most nutritionally vigilant parent cannot be 100% certain what nutrients are in the food they serve their children. That’s because there’s so much variability in the food we prepare. For instance, fat-soluble vitamins can withstand normal cooking, but vitamins A and E are gradually destroyed by exposure to air. Water-soluble vitamins such as B1, B6, folic acid, and pantothenic acid are destroyed by heat. Vitamin B2 is destroyed by light and heat, while light and air destroy vitamin C. Certain food preservatives and preparation methods also destroy the vitamins in food. To further complicate matters, some fruit and vegetables are grown and harvested in such a way that does not promote nutrient content – so even raw foods may be lacking.
Then there are those crazy food phases all children seemingly go through. While these phases are generally harmless in the long run, a recent alarming exception was in the news. A five-year old boy ate nothing but cheese pizza, Pop-tarts, biscuits, and water, refusing fruits, vegetables, juices and vitamins. He slowly developed limp, swollen gums, and small PURPLE spots appeared on his skin. After five months of this extremely deficient diet, he was unable to walk or get out of bed because the pain was so severe. Doctors diagnosed the boy as having a severe vitamin C deficiency after ruling out other ailments such as leukemia. Within a week of getting vitamin C supplements, the boy’s pain and other symptoms were completely resolved. Obviously, this little boy’s story is unusual. However, even mild food phases (such as “If It’s Green It Must Be Yucky” or “The Only Good Crust Is A Cut-Off Crust”) can result in awfully lop-sided nutrition.
Q. Can multivitamins help my child’s performance in school?
A. Most teachers firmly believe that nutrition and learning go hand in hand. They are convinced that children who are well nourished possess the mental stamina that’s needed to learn and retain even difficult concepts. But can multivitamins help children become better students?
Two independent research teams recently conducted randomized trials to find the answer. The researchers followed 245 school-children aged 6 to 12 years for three months. They gave half of the children multivitamin tablets every day, and half of the children placebos. When the children were tested, the children in the multivitamins group showed an increase in their nonverbal intelligence scores. Nonverbal intelligence is closely associated with academic performance.
Q. I can’t get my children to take 100% natural flavored multivitamins because they don’t taste very appealing. Isn’t there some way to make a 100% natural multivitamin taste good enough for my children to willingly take?
A. Yes, there is! Because most children need chewable multivitamins, manufacturers need to contend with the truly terrible taste of certain minerals. Magnesium, iodine, copper, and iron are probably the worst tasting. Some solve this dilemma by skimping on the amounts of these minerals in their children’s formulas. Others cover up the bad taste with either massive amounts of sugar or artificial flavors, or both.
However, a select few multivitamin makers have discovered how to offer a natural flavored, great tasting children’s multivitamin that contains these vital minerals. The best children’s vitamins are prepared in a base of natural fruit that provides both antioxidants and other healthy phytonutrients. Children’s multivitamins made in such a fruit base have very low sugar content, as well, providing as little as four calories a day. Fructose – fruit sugar – is the preferred sweetening agent, in addition to the fruit content.
Q. What vitamins should be in a multivitamin for children?
A. There are several vitamins and minerals that children need to take each and every day. They include biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamins B12, B1, A, B6, C, D, E, and K. Let’s review a few. We’ll start with folate, one of the B vitamins. This vital vitamin helps the body use protein, helps make DNA, helps cells grow and divide, and keeps the nervous system healthy. In fact, folate is so important to children that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that folate must be added to many foods most children eat daily. Since 1998, cereal, enriched bread, flour corn meal, rice, and pasta have been folate-fortified with this B vitamin.
One of folate’s vital actions is the reduction of homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid (the building block of protein) that is normally produced in the human body. Research has shown that high levels of homocysteine can irritate blood vessels, make blood clot more easily than it should, and cause blockages in arteries increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes .
However, study after study has proven that taking folate reduces harmful homocysteine levels. While most of this research has been in adults, a recent study looked at children’s homocysteine levels. Researchers examined over 3500 children and discovered that high homocysteine levels increased the risk for heart disease in these children, especially as they grow. The researchers leading this study reinforced how critical folate is for all children.
Other critical vitamins for children are the vitamins C and E. The rates of childhood asthma have increased significantly here in the
Q. Which minerals do children need?
A. It is absolutely crucial that children get calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, and phosphorus every day. Sadly, however, the majority of our children are not getting the recommended amounts of many of these vital minerals. Children in
According to statistics from the National Institutes of Health, only 13.5 percent of girls and 36.3 percent of boys age 12 to 19 in the
Lack of adequate calcium has immediate consequences for children, as well. The number of fractures among children and young adults has increased as a direct result of poor calcium intake. Pediatricians are also seeing children with rickets, a bone disease caused by low levels of vitamin D. Rickets became almost nonexistent after vitamin D was added to milk in the 1950s, but, due to lower milk consumption, is now appearing at greater rates around the country. And milk itself can be problematic for some children. Aside from alarming reports of hormones and herbicides in commercial dairy factory milk, even organic milk is not tolerated by all because of lactose intolerance and allergies.
Zinc is another mineral that’s vital for children. Because zinc is critical for normal growth and development, children need to take it every day. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, however, found more than half of US children ages two to 10 years fail to get the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for zinc. What’s even more troubling is that zinc is vitally connected to children’s ability to process information, pay attention, as well as remember and retain new information
Zinc does a lot to keep children healthy. More than 200 enzymes in our bodies rely on zinc. However, it’s zinc’s ability to connect with our immune systems to help fight infections that is crucial for children. While researchers are not certain how zinc precisely boosts a child’s immunity, they think that zinc might fight pneumonia and other infections by either enhancing the body’s immune status, preventing the infection from establishing itself, or improving the immune system’s ability to rid itself of the infecting organism. It’s possible that zinc does all three.
Q. No matter what I do, my children seem to come down with bad colds each year. Besides giving them a multivitamin, are there other nutritional supplements that can keep my children healthy?
A. Absolutely! In fact, there are 100% natural flavored children’s immune formula nutritional supplements that contain their good buddy zinc, vitamins B6, C, and A (as beta carotene), plus elderberry extract. Elderberry extract has been used as a traditional medicine for hundreds of years to treat colds and flu. And as it so often happens, scientific research has validated this use. In fact, scientists have discovered that elderberry keeps viruses from invading other cells and replicating. It also spurs important immune cells into action to fight invading germs.
While we previously discussed vitamin C’s ability to help children with asthma breathe easier, it also provides powerful immune protection. It speeds up the healing of wounds, such as those knee and elbow scrapes so common in childhood. However, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and can’t be stored in the body. It must be replenished every day. When children are under increased stress (like when they get sick with a cold or flu), their vitamin C levels are more rapidly depleted.
Vitamin B6 is also water-soluble and can only work in children’s bodies for eight hours. Then more B6 must be obtained. Vitamin B6 strengthens the immune system by helping white blood cells make antibodies. Vitamin A helps make lysozymes, important anti-infectious agents found in tears, saliva, and sweat. It also stimulates the thymus gland, an important immune organ, especially in children, to work better.
Q. Should children take an immune formula every day or only when they are sick?
A. It can be taken several ways. Some parents may want to give the formula when school first starts or other times that their children are exposed to lots of germs. For a child who suffers from asthma or seasonal allergies or just seems to get sick frequently, parents could provide the immune formula every day, increasing the dose when needed. And still others might feel it’s best to give their children the immune formula only whey they do catch a cold or have the flu.
No matter how it is given, the 100% all natural flavored, immune boosting nutritional supplement can provide powerful protection against all those disease-causing germs your children are exposed to every day.
The nutritional choices we make for our children today will have a profound effect on their health tomorrow. Recent research has revealed that diabetes, heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and cancer in adults often result form nutritional deficiencies that occurred in childhood.
Thankfully, the reverse is just as true. This means that children who are well nourished with an optimal intake of minerals, vitamins, and helpful herbs can grow into healthy and happy adults. Providing high quality multivitamins and immune boosting nutritional supplements for our children can be an important part of that process.
Exotic Herbs From The Amazon Basin
June 22, 2007 05:07 PM
Although many traditional herbal medicines have yet to find complete scientific corroboration in the West, it follows logically that people wouldn't use an herbal product for centuries if it didn't work.
Many of the popular herbs we all recognize as having great health benefits were only recently considered pretty exotic. Even green tea - a staple in China for centuries -has only lately gone main stream.
So it will likely be with herbs from the Amazon basin and its environs. The Amazon basin is one of the most bountiful environments on the planet. Explorers and botanists from the West have looked to this region for generations for the "next big thing." Of course, in many cases, the "next big thing" has already been in use for centuries.
In this issue of Ask the Medicine Hunter, we're going to look at some energizing and life- stimulating herbs that also happen to have great antioxidant properties, too. Best yet, many of them are available to us here from companies that practice fair trade policies.
Let's take a look at some of the herbal powerhouses coming out of the Amazon (and its nearby neighborhoods):
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) has been cultivated for a long time at least 2000 years. Related to brassica family plants like radishes, mustard and cabbage, its foliage does actually look somewhat radish-like, but grows close to the ground.
Maca is cultivated by the Andean people in Peru's central highlands, and contains a plethora of beneficial compounds that enhance overall health and vitality. The tradition of cultivating maca is an old one some strains have been found in Incan sites that date from 1600 B.C. During early European colonization, maca was used by the local native culture as a form of currency, much of the way cocoa was used by the Aztecs, further north in pre-Columbian Mexico.
Maca thrives in high altitudes - between 10,000 and 16,000 feet. The harsher the conditions, the better it grows, or so it seems. In fact, efforts to grow the plant in Central Europe haven't been as successful - maca seems to enjoy its home turf the best. In Peru, maca is a popular and beloved nutrient-packed superfood, and is commonly powdered and mixed into drinks at roadside stands throughout the Andes.
Q. I've heard of maca being used for healthy libido - are there any other benefits?
A. Maca is a natural energizer, and although it is recognized for it's libido enhancing abilities, it has other uses, too, acting as an adaptogen - similar to rhodiola or ginseng. In fact, in South America, maca is known as "Peruvian Ginseng." Though maca is not ginseng at all, some of the benefits of both plants are similar.
In any event, maca is recommended for boosting the immune system, menopause support, and hormonal balance in general. For daily use, maca is most recognized as a great source of energy and all-day endurance. Alkaloids from maca root may be partially responsible for both maca's energizing and libido boost. Research shows that maca affects the hypothalamic-pituitary (HPA) axis - boosting energy and overall aphrodisiac prowess in men and women. Maca contains novel compounds called macamides and macaenes, which have been proven in animal studies to significantly enhance energy, stamina and sexual function reasons people have been so consuming maca for 2000 years.
There are other serious reasons why maca is such an excellent plant. One group of compounds in maca is the isothiocyanates-aromatics constituents that are responsible for the "hotness" of mustards and radishes - fellow members of the brassica family. Isothiocyanates from other members of the brassica family may reduce the risk of breast and stomach cancer. Although the same constituents specifically from maca haven't beentested, it's plausible that they could have the same effects.
Q. I've heard a little about guarana extracts - is it just caffeine?
A. Guarana is widely loved for its mild stimulating effect, which is due to caffeine. But this is by no means this Amazonian herb's sole beneficial compound. Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is so logically ingrained in the culture of Brazil that it's practically a rival (actually out-sells) Coca-Cola in its soft-drink form. Like many other indigenous herbs, guarana was in use locally well before European settlement. Its Latin name comes fromthe German botanist C.F. Paullini, who first encountered the herb in the 1700s. This evergreen vine typically climbs fairly far up the Brazilian forest trees. The seed is the part that gets used. In one clinical study, guarana boosted the memory alertness of participants, even when the caffeine level per dose was a low 9 mg., as compared with approximately 100 mg for a cup of coffee. This effect suggests that other agents than caffeine contribute to a feeling of well being.
Guarana also contains powerful antioxidants including catechin, epicatechin and proanthocyanidins, which protect cells against destruction from free radicals, and impart benefits to the body's tissues and blood. The small seed of this plant is powerful in its health benefits.
Catuaba (Erythroxylum catuaba) is a common tree found in South America from Brazil to Peru, in the same genus as the coca plant. Catuaba contains components known as alkaloids. These alkaloids (called catuabine A, B, and C) are probably responsible for themental boost most people get when they take catuabe-based supplements or mixes.
There may be little confusion regarding catuaba, because various species and genus typesuse the common name. As a result, "catuaba" gets bandied around a lot, and one person'scatuaba may not be the next. Read labels carefully. The catuaba I've had the best luck with is Erythroxylum catuaba.
One of my favorite drinks in the world is coffee, and I'm sure at many people reading thisconsider it the essential part of their morning, too.
The part of coffee that we use the most is the seed of the coffee fruit - which appears as a bright, red berry. Most of the time, this fruit is sloughed off and left behind in the process of making coffee - it's really too delicate to last long in hot conditions.
But advances in technology have tapped a previously discarded resource. Though the fruit of coffee is available in any coffee-growing economy, a high antioxidant commercial extract of "coffee cherry" is now available from the fruits of coffee plants in Mexico.
Coffee fruit has many of the attributes of other dark-colored, anthcyanin-rich fruits. Coffee fruit (also referred to as "coffee cherry") appears not to be just another antioxidant, however. Current research on this once-forgotten, former castoff shows impressive abilities to decrease tumor size, and possibly even prevent their formation in the first place. It seems that the elements in coffee berry activate T-lymphocytes in such a way that mammary tumors are shrunk or simply put on hold. It will be fascinating to see how this science plays out.
Muira Puama Bark:
Muira puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides) grows between 15 to 45 feet high. Native to theAmazon basin of Brazil, the dried bark has been used for centuries as a traditional energysupport. Components include beta-sitosterol, campesterol and lupeol.
Muira puama, like other central nervous stimulants has been researched lately for its ability to boost memory retrieval and protect neural (brain) tissue. Who knows? Maybe this traditional ingredient could someday be on the cutting edge of natural medicines fighting Alzheimer's, much the way green tea and turmeric are currently. In one unpublished French study of 262 men with low libido and poor erectile function, 62% experienced significant improvement after taking an extract of Muira puama for two weeks.
Acai (Euterpe acai) berry is a traditional favorite (and readily available) food source for people in the Amazon. The tree is a tall-growing palm with berries that provide - a rich source of anthocyanins, potent PURPLE pigments with extraordinary high antioxidant activity.
Once harvested, acai fruits decay rapidly. As with coffee fruits, special processing is the surest way to make certain the nutrients of acai berry make it to those of us outside the Amazon basin.
However, these wonderful fruits not only fight against free radical damage, but help our natural digestive enzymes and boost natural immune defenses, too. In fact, current research is investigating whether compounds in acai may have a fighting effect on leukemia, too. So far, the results have been very positive.
Look for supplements made using organically-grown, fair trade acai berry. The best companies ensure that the local people harvesting acai and the communities where they live gather more than just short-term benefits. The best companies work not just to provide jobs, but better lives for generations to come.
Q. What is sustainability and fair trade, anyway?
A. Sustainability refers to a set of naturally occurring circumstances, or intentionally designed practices and principles, which ensure that all parts or members of a situation are adequately nourished to promote their healthy continuance. In current parlance, sustainability often refers to practices and programs designed and implemented to keep natural systems healthy and flourishing. Many such programs focus on environmental protection and preservation of traditional cultures. In the world of medicinal plants, sustainable practices include organic agriculture, species management, fair trade, and benefit-sharing programs.
In other words, sustainability pays people fair wages, puts resources back into their communities, and ensures that the resources that benefit us all are going to be around for a long time. It is an earth-friendly, people-friendly concept of commerce that happily, is taking root around the world.
The traditional cultures that use - and have used - these ingredients for generations wouldn't have done so if they hadn't been effective. Fortunately we live in an era when formerly locally-used herbs are now available far beyond their previous range. We are also fortunate to have companies and individuals working hard to make sure that the people who tend and care for these precious resources are paid fairly for their efforts, andthat their families and communities benefit from this commerce as well.
The great thing about using traditional herbs and ingredients that have been gathered in this manner is that you know they'll be around for a long time.
April 09, 2007 05:02 PM
EpiCor® is a unique and novel dietary supplement used for support of immune health, with a fascinating history of discovery. In 1943, a company in
Interestingly, when the company became self-insured, they became aware of unusually low rates of illness in employees that worked in the manufacturing plant for this animal product. This led to very low increases in their insurance premiums over the years compared to other companies, saving them quite a lot of money. Hence they began to investigate what might be the cause of the “healthfulness” of the employees at the fermentation plant. This investigation and subsequent research studies led to the formation of a new company called Embria Health Sciences, which now produces EpiCor® as a supplement for humans to support immune system health.1 Doctor’s Best® is proud to now offer the benefits of EpiCor® to its customers.
Beneficial Support of the Immune System and Activation of Natural Killer (NK) Cells in vitro*
A comparison study was performed on blood from 10 fermentation plant workers compared to that from 10 age and gender matched controls. The fermentation plant workers had several immune cell parameters that appeared superior to the control group. These included decreased levels of CD8 cells resulting in significantly increased CD4 to CD8 ratios, significantly improved cytotoxic natural killer (NK) cell activity even though total NK cells were decreased in number, higher killing efficiency of NK cells, significantly increased levels of secretory IgA, increased numbers of EpiCor™ specific antibodies, higher levels of red blood cell intracellular glutathione, and significantly lower levels of immune complexes. These results represent benefits on various cellular players of both the specific and innate parts of the immune system.1,3,4
NK cells are one of the first lines of defense used by the immune system. An in vitro study performed on human cells showed that NK cells were activated after incubation with EpiCor®, as evaluated by expression of the CD69 activation marker. The CD25 marker (IL-2 receptor) was also induced in the NK cells, although to a lesser degree.1,2 B cell activation was also noted through increased expression of CD80 and CD86 markers.2 Immediate increases in calcium levels were evident in peripheral blood mononuclear cells after exposure to EpiCor®, suggesting increased activation through calcium regulation.2
High Metabolite Immunogen*: Nutrient Make-up
Production of EpiCor® utilizes the common and harmless bakers or brewers yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae in a patented process called MetaGen4™, a multi-stage fermentation and drying process. It differs from other yeast products in that it contains both the yeast itself as well as the metabolites or “nutrilites” formed by the fermentation process, which are present in the media.1 Together the media containing the metabolites and the yeast are dried to form EpiCor®. Analysis of EpiCor® reveals that it contains a mixture of natural polyphenols, phytosterols, beta-glucans, mannan oligosaccharides, fiber, trace amounts of B vitamins and minerals, as well as a host of other nutritional compounds.1,2
Beneficial Antioxidant Activity*
EpiCor® was tested for antioxidant activity in an in vitro assay called the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity assay (ORAC). In this assay, EpiCor® was shown to have a total ORAC antioxidant level of 610 micromol TE (tocopherol (vitamin E) equivalents) units (ORAC units) per gram dry weight, which soared above other high antioxidant level foods such as cranberries (93 ORAC units per gram dry weight) and blueberries (62 ORAC units per gram dry weight).1,3,5
In another study, freshly isolated human neutrophils were treated with EpiCor® followed by the free radical generator hydrogen peroxide. Cells were treated with a dye that fluoresces when attacked by free radicals. Those cells treated with EpiCor® showed decreased fluorescence intensity compared to control cells not treated with EpiCor®, verifying antioxidant activity in vitro.2
Numerous safety tests have been conducted on EpiCor®, revealing an extremely safe profile. Animal studies performed by a leading toxicology laboratory showed no indication of any toxic effects of EpiCor®. An acute oral toxicity study on 20 rats showed that the product was safe when given to rats at a single oral dose of 2000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (equivalent to a human ingesting 280 capsules at once). After 2 weeks the rats showed no clinical symptoms, no deaths, no abnormalities in body weight, and no gross pathological changes. The same safety results were found in a subchronic toxicity study where rats were given up to 1500 milligrams daily for 90 days (equivalent to a human ingesting up to 210 capsules daily for 1.5 years). Again, absolutely no signs or symptoms of toxicity were noted in these animals.1,3
In addition, a standard bacterial reverse mutagenicity test (AMES test) as well as a mammalian cell mutation assay using mouse lymphoma cells revealed no evidence of any increase in mutation rates after exposure to EpiCor®. EpiCor® also showed no evidence of mitogenicity (inducing increased cell division) in a human lymphocyte proliferation assay. This suggests that EpiCor® does not cause over-reactivity of cells1,3.
The effect of EpiCor® on specific liver enzymes CYP1A2 and CYP3A4 (enzymes involved in metabolizing certain drugs and other compounds) was assessed. Immortalized hepatocytes (liver cells) were treated with various concentrations of EpiCor® and compared to both positive and negative controls. EpiCor® did not increase the expression or activity of the liver enzymes, suggesting that it may not affect the metabolism of other substances or medications metabolized by these enzymes if they are taken simultaneously. It also did not appear to be toxic to the cells as measured by lactate dehydrogenase assays and microscopic analysis.1
Lastly, EpiCor® was tested for safety in humans in an open label study on 15 adult men and women given a single 500 milligram dose for 30 days. On various days throughout the study vital signs were monitored, and blood and urine samples were analyzed. No clinically relevant abnormal effects on the participants were found1.
EpiCor® also currently has received self-affirmed Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) status by an expert panel that included eminent toxicologists1.
EpiCor® is a novel compound with an incredibly unique composition that has been shown to enhance immune system function.*
Suggested Adult Use: Take one capsule daily with or without food.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
1. Embria Health Sciences
2. Hart et al. A new Saccharomyces cerevisiae based product has anti-inflammatory effects while specifically activating human NK and B lymphocyte subsets. Unpublished study, personal communication.
3. Schauss AG, Jensen G, Vojdani A, Financsek I. After decades of ingestion by farm animals, the discovery of a yeast fermentate with unexpected significant immune modulatory activity when consumed by humans. [abstract] Journal of the
4. Schauss AG, Vodjani A. Discovery of an edible fermentation product with unusual immune enhancing properties in humans. [abstract] FASEB J, 2006; 20(4):A143.
5. Wu X, Beecher GR, Holden JM, Haytowitz DB, Gebhardt SE, Prior RL. Lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidant capacities of common foods in the
Fruit and Vegetable Lightning drink mixes from Natures Plus
February 06, 2007 02:41 PM
Enjoy the Rainbow – the Color Wheel of Fruits and Vegetables
We’ve all heard the statistics, and have probably seen the signs in the produce section of our favorite grocery store: eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day is important,
Chances are also pretty good that we’ve also seen the newest food pyramid, encouraging Americans to “eat a rainbow of frits and vegetables.” That is, choose from the rich variety of colors for the best all-around health benefits.
In this Ask the Doctor, we’re going to look at the unique health components of different colored fruits and vegetables, and why they’re so important. Plus, we’ll learn about supplemental options, like fruit and vegetable drink mixes, for those days when our diets just aren’t that great.
Q. What’s the big deal about fruits and vegetables?
A. Well, for the main reason that they are whole foods – created by nature (or at least generations of farming) and are rich in a variety of nutrients. Processed foods can’t match the health benefits of strawberries or broccoli – items that have fiber, vitamins, and enzymes built right in.
Q. What does “eating a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables really mean?
A. This is simply an easy way of remembering to get as much color variety in your diet as possible to maximize your intake of a broad range of nutrients. The colors of fruits and vegetables are often a tangible clue to the unique vitamins and other healthy substances they contain. Getting a variety of colors, therefore, means getting a variety of the essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and strong.
Enjoying the Rainbow: Fruit and Vegetable Benefits:
Q. Can you tell me a little more about the healthy components of fruits and vegetables?
Let’s take a look at some of the most well-studied and important nutrients:
Quercetin is found in apples, onions and citrus fruits (also is hawthorn and other berries and apple-related fruits usually used in traditional herbal remedies and modern supplements). It prevents LSL cholesterol oxidation and helps the body cope with allergens and other lung and breathing problems.
Clinical studies show that quercetin’s main points of absorption in the body appear to be in the small intestine – about 50%. The rest – at least 47% is metabolized by the colonic micro flora – the beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum. You may consider adding these beneficial bacteria (found in yogurt) either through the diet or a supplemental form.
Ellagic Acid is a component of ellagitannins – dietary polyphenols with antioxidant (and possibly anticancer) properties. Polyphenols are the basic building blocks of many plant-based antioxidants. More complex phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids are created from these molecules.
Ellagic acid is found in many fruits and foods, namely raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts. Clinical studies suggest that ellagitannins and ellagic acid act as antioxidants and anticarcinogens in the gastrointestinal tract.
Ellagitannins are durable antioxidants, and happily, they do not appear to be diminished by processing, like freezing. This means the benefits are still strong, even in frozen packs of raspberries or strawberries, or some of the better multi-ingredient supplement drink mixes.
In scientific studies, ellagic acid also showed an anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells, decreasing their ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. ATP is the molecule that provides the primary energy source for the cells in our bodies. In a sense, ellagic acid seems to deprive cancer cells of their fuel.
Beta-Carotene: Probably the best-known of the carotenoids, beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A. Many vegetables, especially orange and yellow varieties, are rich in this nutrient. Think summer squash, yams and of course, carrots.
Beta-carotene has long been associated with better eyesight, but it has other benefits, too. In a scientific study, beta-carotene decreased cholesterol levels in the liver by 44% and reduces liver triglycerides by 40%.
Lycopene is a carotenoid mostly found in tomatoes, but also in smaller amounts in watermelon and other fruits. Clinical studies have shown that lycopene consumption may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, high intakes of lycopene are associated with a 30% to 40% reduced risk. And, as good as beta-carotene is, its cousin, lycopene, seems to be an even stronger nutrient, protecting not just against prostate cancer, but heart disease as well.
Lutein is found in many fruits and vegetables, including blueberries and members of the squash family. Lutein is important for healthy eyes, and in fact it is found in high concentrations naturally in the macular region of the retina – where we see fine detail. It is one of the only carotenoids, along with its close sibling zeaxanthin, that is found in the macula and lens of the eye.
Lutein also supports your heart, too. In a scientific study, lutein reduced atherosclerotic lesion size by 43%. In other words, high intakes of lutein may actually help prevent coronary artery disease!
Interestingly, as is the case with lycopene, cooking or processing foods with lutein may actually make it more easily absorbed.
In clinical studies, men with high intakes of lutein (and its close cousin, zeaxanthin, found in broccoli and spinach) had a 19% lower risk of cataract, and women had a 22% decreased risk, compared to those whose lutein intakes were much lower.
Vitamin C: One of the best-known nutrients out there, vitamin C keeps our immune system strong; speeds wound healing, and promote strong muscles and joints. A free-radical fighter, vitamin C prevents oxidative damage to tissues, builds strength in collagen and connective tissue, and even reduces joint pain.
Sources of vitamin C are scattered throughout the spectrum of fruits and vegetables.
Potassium: Most Americans are deficient in potassium. For the most part, it’s hard to get too much of this valuable mineral. Potassium does great things for our hearts. Higher intakes of dietary potassium from fruits and vegetables have been found in clinical research to lower blood pressure in only 4 weeks.
Many researchers believe that the typical American diet has led to a state of chronic, low-grade acidosis – too much acid in the body. Potassium helps change pH balance to a more alkaline environment in the body and increases bone density.
This was proven in the long-running Framingham Heart Study which showed that dietary potassium, (along with magnesium and fruit and vegetable intake) provided greater bone density in older individuals.
Fiber is another food component many just don’t get enough of – especially if they’re eating a “typical American diet.” Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. However, fiber from a good fruits and vegetable drink mix should be derived from inulin and chicory root. This soluble fiber source not only adds to the overall amount of fiber you need (25 to 38 grams a day), but also provides a nice “nesting ground” for the beneficial bacteria that populate the intestines. And, even though some fiber has a bad rap for inhibiting mineral absorption, inulin and chicory root are “bone building” fibers – they actually help the body absorb calcium.
Flavonoids are an overarching term that encompasses flavonols, anthocyanidins, and flavones, isoflavones, proanthocyanidins, Quercetin and more. They are almost everywhere: in fruits, vegetables, grains, herbs, nuts and seeds – even in the coffee, wine and tea we drink. Flavonoids are responsible for the colors in the skins of fruits and the leaves of trees and other plants.
Flavonoids have many health benefits. They can help stop the growth of tumor cells and are potent antioxidants. Additionally, flavonoids have also been studied for their ability to reduce inflammation.
Anthocyanins: High on the list of important “visible” nutrients are anthocyanins. They color fruits and vegetables blue and red.
Anthocyanins are members of this extended family of nutmeats, the flavonoids. Typically found in high amounts in berries, anthocyanins are readily absorbed in the stomach and small intestine.
As antioxidants, anthocyanins dive deep into cell membranes, protecting them from damage. IT may be one reason why the anthocyanins from blueberries are considered such an important component in battling neuronal decline, like Alzheimer’s. Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are also excellent sources of this flavonoids group.
SDG lignans, (short for secoisolariciresinol diglucoside) are polyphenolic components of flaxseed, pumpkin and other herbal sources. Much of the recent research surrounding lignans has focused on flaxseed. In scientific and clinical studies, lignans from flaxseed support hormonal balance and may have cancer-preventing abilities. In fact, in one study, flaxseed lignans reduced metastatic lung tumor by 82% compared to controls.
The lignans in pumpkin seed, also considered a major source, target 5-alpha reductase activity.
This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of testosterone into the more potent dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT, like testosterone, is a steroid hormone or androgen. Androgens are responsible for the development and maintenance of masculine sex characteristics in both men and women. Excess levels of DHT can cause serious problems with prostate or bladder health. That’s why modulation of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme is so important – it helps maintain healthy testosterone and DHT levels. By balancing the levels of these key hormones, pumpkin seed lignans provide protection for prostate and bladder cells.
In addition, pumpkin seed has been shown to modulate the enzyme aromatase. Aromatase is present in the estrogen-producing cells of the adrenal glands, ovaries, testicles, adipose tissue, and brain. Aromatase converts testosterone, an androgen, into estradiol, and estrogen.
Inhibition of the aromatase conversion can help maintain a balance of healthy testosterone levels in women, which has been shown to strengthen pelvic muscles and reduce incidence of incontinence.
In fact, a clinical study, involving a pumpkin extract in conjunction with soy, resulted in significant support for bladder health. After two weeks of supplementation, 23 of the 39 postmenopausal women enrolled in the study showed great improvement in urinary frequency and sleep. By the end of the six week study, 74.4 percent of participants found pumpkin extract safely and significantly improved “nocturnia,” that is, the need to urinate frequently at night. For individuals with 2 to 4 episodes of nocturnia prior to the stud, and 81.8% improvement was seen – also showing great improvement in sleep quality. After all, if you don’t have to wake up every couple of hours to go to the bathroom you’re bound to get better sleep.
Beta glucan: Mushrooms are intense immune-boosting powerhouses due to their beta-glucan content. Three well-studied power-house mushrooms that contribute beta glucan to the diet include maitake, reishi and shiitake.
The most significant constituents of mushrooms are long chain polysaccharides (molecules formed from many sugar units) known as beta-glucan. These huge molecules act as immunoregualtors in the human body, helping to stabilize and balance the immune system.
This includes specific support of white blood cells, or lymphocytes, the primary cells of the immune system. Lymphocytes fall broadly into three categories: T cells, B cells, and natural killer (NK) cells.
In one clinical study, 165 patients with various types of advanced cancer were given maitake mushroom compounds alone or with chemotherapy. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58% of liver cancer patients, and 62% of lung cancer patients. Plus, when maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, the immune cell activities were enhanced 1.2 to 1.4 times, compared with chemotherapy alone.
In another clinical study, researchers determined that Reishi increased the number of cancer killing white blood cells and made them more deadly to cancer cells.
And, in a scientific study of human breast cancer and myeloma cancer and myeloma cancer cell lines, shiitake compounds provided a 51% antiproliferative effect on the cells – inducing “apoptosis’ – the programmed cell death that should occur naturally.
While beta-glucan are distributed throughout the mushroom body, the beta-glucan concentrations are significantly higher in the mycelium – the interwoven fibers or filaments that make up the “feeding structure” of the mushroom.
Bioflavonoids are commonly found in bright yellow citrus fruits, including lemons, limes and oranges. They are responsible for the bright pigment found in the skin of the fruit, and are considered a “companion” to vitamin C, seeming to extend the value of the nutrient within the body.
Hesperidin is just one of the valuable bioflavonoids found in citrus. Hesperidin appears to lower cholesterol levels, as well as support joint collagen in examples of rheumatoid arthritis.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG):
Polyphenols, most notably EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, are well-studied and powerful components of tea. EGCG has been shown to reduce colon and breast cancer risk. Green tea also boosts the immune system and encourages T-cell formation – part of the front-line defense of our bodies against sickness and disease.
Q. I’ve been seeing articles about fruits, vegetables and supplements touting “high ORAC value.” What does this mean?
ORAC is an acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity, and is simply a measurement of antioxidant activity of nutrients. Oxygen radicals, or free radicals, are unstable molecules. They grab electrons from other cells to use for themselves, and in the process can damage them. It is believed that free radical activity plays a role in the development of many diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and also plays a role in aging.
Antioxidants help prevent this damage by “loaning out” extra electrons to stabilize free radicals/ Consider any fruit or vegetable with a high ORAC rating as having a lot of “antioxidant power.”
I know I should eat more fruits and vegetables, but it just seems so hard to get five servings a day.
The number one excuse I hear for not buying frits and veggies is that “fruits and vegetables are too expensive.” But are they really? Certainly, fresh foods that aren’t in season and have to be shipped a distance can be a bit pricey. If anyone added up how much spend on fast food, or prepackaged or processed snacks, it would probably be shocking.
Luckily, there are many ways to get your “Daily 5”. For instance, frozen fruits and veggies retain much of their nutrient profile. They can be an excellent alternative when certain foods are out of season. So too, are fruit and vegetable drink mixes – excellent supplemental sources of some of the nutrients our bodies need most.
More recently, the American
Of course, for people not accustomed to the fiber in fruits and veggies, there is some reason to think it’ll increase gas. When cell walls break down, and fiber passes through the system, it can create flatulence. Folks who eat fruits and vegetables every day generally don’t have this problem. Their systems are already accustomed to it.
For those just starting out on a better diet, however, start slowly – it helps your body adapt. Cooking vegetables can help, too, because it begins breaking down the cell walls early on.
One thing is certain, however. The “Typical American Diet” and good health are mutually exclusive. The increase in type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension all point to the abuse our bodies suffer by eating diets high in fatty meats, processed sugars, and refined grains.
Q. Can I just drink fruit and vegetables drinks in place of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables?
Green drinks and fruit and vegetable drink mixes aren’t meant to replace whole foods, but they can be an excellent substitute when you’re rushed or traveling or just trying to fill everyday nutritional gaps. Their whole food ingredients absorb very easily and gently in the gut, and many of these drink mixes contain healthy doses of fiber, too.
Green drink mixes and food-based drink mixes combine many colorful fruits and vegetables and sometimes grasses in a healthy, mixable supplement assortment. While there have been many advancements in the field of green drinks, there are only a few that take the primary reason we eat into consideration: taste!
Happily, there are some companies out there with great-tasting drink mixes that also formulate based on the color concept, ensuring you get the broadest assortment of nutrients from a full range of fruit and vegetable colors to promote optimal health.
High-quality fruit and vegetable drink mixes offer the best from nature’s color wheel in a convenient and great-tasting supplement. So, the next tie you feel like taking a coffee break – try a fruit and veggie break instead. Your body and spirit will thank you.
Mushrooms are good for the Immune System
January 26, 2007 06:12 PM
Medicinal Mushrooms Grown on PURPLE Kculli Corn Yield Life Changing Results
Even though we treat them like vegetables, mushrooms aren’t really plants. They’re fungi and fungi grow much differently than fruits and vegetables. Most food plants, like strawberries, broccoli, and red bell peppers make chlorophyll from sunlight to gain the nutrients they need to grow. Mushrooms don’t make chlorophyll; to get the nutrients they need to grow, mushrooms release enzymes into the forest floor or flora they’re living on to break down the organic matter into a form the mushroom can absorb.
Because most mushrooms that we eat or use today are raised as crops, or cultivated, they are grown on a variety of substrates. Similar to the commercial potting soils you can buy at nurseries and garden stores, mushroom substrates vary widely in quality and the kinds of nutrients within. Mushrooms are really unique in that they can grow on almost anything, such as sawdust, shredded newspaper, and straw.
However, mushrooms are only as nutritious as the substrate they were grown on-even those unique varieties called medicinal mushrooms. While the simple button mushrooms found on pizza are most often eaten for their woodsy taste and texture, the use of medicinal mushrooms is much more complex. These mushrooms are valued because they contain numerous compounds that have been extensively studies by researchers for their ability to activate cells of the immune system.
Researchers have recently discovered that when medicinal mushrooms are grown on a PURPLE Kculli (pronounced ka-coo-lee) Corn substrate, the resulting mushrooms are jam-packed with powerful and potent disease-fighting compounds. Beautiful PURPLE Kculli Corn has long been used by the people of the Peruvian Andes as a tasty vegetable, natural food color, and powerful functional food-keeping them healthy and free of disease.
In this issue of Ask the Medicine Hunter, we’re going to talk about four powerful medicinal mushrooms that, when grown on PURPLE Kculli Corn, have even more potent compounds to prevent and treat cancer and other serious health problems.
Q. How exactly do medicinal mushrooms prevent and treat cancer?
A. Medicinal mushrooms are very complex. They contain numerous compounds that have been extensively studied for their ability to activate cells of the immune system. Some of the most amazing immune boosting compounds in medicinal mushrooms are beta-glucans 1-3, beta glucans 1-6, arabinogalactins, and arabinoxylans – compounds that work “hand-in-hand” with certain cells of the immune system. But to get abundant amounts of these compounds, medicinal mushrooms must be grown on substrates with high levels of nutrients. And the most nutrient dense substrate of all comes from PURPLE Kculli Corn.
Q. Why is PURPLE Kculli Corn extract good for growing medicinal mushrooms?
A. You’ve probably heard that brightly colored fruits and vegetables (like beets, broccoli, and blueberries), have more antioxidant power than paler fruits and vegetables (like iceberg lettuce, onions, and garlic). In fact, the deeper the color, the better. And there is no deeper color in nature than the deep PURPLE of PURPLE Kculli Corn grown in the lush coastal plains of Peru. The kernels from PURPLE Kculli Corn are not only naturally beautiful, the pigment itself is extremely healthy and have been used by the people of the Peruvian Andes for centuries as both food and food coloring.
Once harvested, the PURPLE Kculli Corn is naturally processed into an antioxidant-rich extract. When certain medicinal mushrooms are grown on PURPLE Kculli Corn extract, the PURPLE Kculli Corn becomes a super-substrate, producing medicinal mushrooms with incredible amounts of the immune-boosting compounds. And when PURPLE Kculli Corn extract is added to medicinal mushroom formulas the antioxidant power increases, too.
Q. How do the medicinal mushroom compounds fight disease?
A. When bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens are present in the body, white blood cells, or leukocytes, swing into action. Leukocytes work together to defend the body against infections, like colds or the flu, as well as diseases that start within us, like cancer. These disease fighting cells are the backbone of the body’s defense system. And each type of cell works in different ways.
The macrophage, a name that means “big eater,” is a first-strike leukocyte that protects us from disease by, quit literally, devouring invading pathogens. Natural Killer (NK) cells act like sentries – constantly prowling for cancer cells, killing them quickly when they’re discovered. B-cells are the immune system’s military intelligence, seeking out targets and communicating their coordinates, while T-cells are the foot soldiers, destroying the invaders that the intelligence system has identified.
Scientists have long known that medicinal mushrooms help make white blood cells more deadly. But until recently, they weren’t sure how. Research has now shown that macrophages and NK cells have receptor sites specifically for beta-glucans 1-3 and beta-glucans 1-6. When the beta-glucans bind to the macrophages and NK cells, they make the lymphocytes stronger and more lethal. By increasing the lymphocytes’ strength, beta-glucans help them churn out more of the specialized chemical messengers, too.
Arabinogalactins and arabinoxylans, powerful polysaccharides found in medicinal mushrooms, are potent stimulators of the immune system. These compounds increase the activity of interleukins, interferons, and a tumor necrosis factor, all key components in a healthy immune system. When medicinal mushroom extracts with high amounts of Arabinogalactins and arabinoxylans are taken, diseases are dramatically reduced.
Researchers found that complex polysaccharides in four varieties of medicinal mushrooms – Agaricus blazei (Agaricus), Grifola frondosa (Maitake), Coriolus versicolor (Coriolus or Turkey Tail), and Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) – are serious cancer fighters. The chart below explains how:
Mushroom Health Benefit
Agaricus (Agaricus Blazei)
Agaricus not only contains the greatest number of medicinal compounds, it also contains a powerful anti-tumor polysaccharide that all other medicinal mushrooms are lacking. Recently, 100 women who were receiving carboplatin, a chemotherapy drug used to treat ovarian cancer, volunteered for an important study. Half of the women were given an extract of Agaricus mushrooms, while the other half were given a placebo or dummy pill. The researchers discovered that NK cell activity was significantly higher in the Agaricus group. The women in this group were also less nauseated, fatigued, and wear than the women taking the placebo, an important consideration for people with cancer.
Maitake (Grifola Frondosa)
Maitake is one of the most researched of all medicinal mushrooms. In one clinical study, the effect of Maitake mushroom compounds were studied in ten patients with cancer who were not currently taking any chemotherapeutic drugs. The researchers found that the Maitake not only significantly stimulated NK cell activity, it also repressed the cancer’s growth, and stopped the tumors’ ability to metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body. And in another clinical study, 165 patients with various types of advanced cancer were given Maitake mushroom compounds alone or with chemotherapy. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58% of liver cancer patients, 69% of breast cancer patients, and 62% of lung cancer patients. Plus, when Maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, the immune cell activities were enhanced 1.2 to 1.4 times, compared with chemotherapy alone.
Versicolor compounds show great promise as cancer immunotherapy agents in all cancer stages. In one clinical trial, 34 patients with advanced terminal lung cancer were given Coriolus versicolor polysaccharides or a placebo (dummy pill) for 28 days. While the group getting the Versicolor felt less fatigued and sick, very important considerations at the end-of-life, there were no changes in the placebo group.
Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum)
Reishi mushrooms are too tough to eat, but they’ve been used medicinally for centuries and have been extensively researched. In a safety study to determine Reishi’s effect on blood thinning mechanisms, healthy volunteers received 1.5 gm Reishi or placebo daily for 4 weeks. There were no significant changes in either group and all blood clotting measurements remained within the normal range, demonstrating its safety. In a recent clinical study, researchers determined that Reishi increased the number of cancer killing white blood cells and made them more deadly to cancer cells.
Not only do Agaricus, Maitake, Coriolus, and Reishi have incredible amounts of immune boosting polysaccharides, when they are grown on PURPLE Kculli Corn, they also have a much higher ORAC value than mushrooms grown on other substrates.
Q. What are ORAC values?
A. ORAC, or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, is a measurement of the antioxidant power in fruits and vegetables. The higher the power, or ORAC value, the stronger the antioxidant is against free radicals. While free radicals are made by breathing oxygen and digesting food, and are simply the consequences of being alive, the older we get the more free radicals we make. And the more free radicals we make the more destructive they can be. Free radicals will rip membranes, wreck cells, cripple mitochondria, and ruin DNA. As this damage accumulates, even more free radicals are made. And if not stopped or slowed, this might lead to heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, dementia, and cancer.
Q. How does PURPLE Kculli Corn increase the ORAC value of medicinal mushrooms?
A. All brightly colored fruits and vegetables have very high ORAC values; and the higher the ORAC value – the greater the antioxidant power. Not only can we measure the ORAC values of fruits and vegetables, we can also measure the ORAC values of mushroom substrate extracts. PURPLE Kculli Corn extract has an ORAC value of 1789 (measured in umolesTE/gram). Now, remember that mushrooms are fungi, not fruits and vegetables, and they gain most of their nutrients from the ground (or substrate) they are grown on. When mushrooms are cultivated or “farmed” on substrates with a high ORAC value, they will absorb compounds from the substrate giving them a higher ORAC value, too. So growing mushrooms on antioxidant rich, high ORAC value, PURPLE Kculli Corn yields medicinal mushrooms with high ORAC values as well.
Q. Some mushroom supplements have more than four medicinal mushrooms. Wouldn’t a mushroom supplement with seven mushrooms or more have a higher ORAC value than a supplement with only four?
A. Well, more is not always better – especially when it comes to medicinal mushrooms. Some supplements have a “kitchen sink” selection of mushrooms. The makers of these supplements hope that by adding modest amounts of many mushrooms, they will end up with a product that just might have some health benefits.
Clearly, it’s not how many or how exotic the mushrooms are in a medicinal mushroom supplement, it’s the substrate that mushrooms are grown on that makes the difference.
Q. How can I make sure the medicinal mushroom supplement I buy contains natural and organic mushrooms grown on PURPLE Kculli Corn substrate?
A. Become a label reader! Medicinal mushroom formulas have a statement showing accreditation from a certifying agency, such as the American Food Safety Institute, International; California Organic Farmer Association, Minnesota; or Crop Improvement Association, on the label, and have met certain criteria. They must be grown without chemicals or pesticides. The growers must be certified as organic mushroom produces by an accredited third party. And the growers must keep a record of their production and handling practices.
Of the nearly 38,000 varieties of mushrooms, Agaricus blazei, Grifola frondosa, Coriolus versicolor, and Ganoderma lucidum have impressive medicinal properties. With a little help from PURPLE Kculli Corn, these mushrooms can provide even more potent and powerful cancer preventing properties for superior mushroom supplements.
All Natural Hair Care Products - Salon Quality!
September 01, 2006 01:48 PM
New from Jason Natural Salon and Fragrance Free Hair Care
Jason Natural Salon Hair Care: Perfectly Styles, Perfectly Beautiful, All Natural.
This new line features a full range of functional products for healthy, style-conscious women. Jason has combined its expertise in developing natural and effective formulations with contemporary fashion to create luxurious styling and treatment specific products. Four specialized hair care systems offer a line of shampoos, conditioners, styling and finishing products to volumize, moisturize, naturalize, and style—for bold, sexy chic to soft, silky bounce. All the products are enriched with conditioning essential oils and botanical extracts to nourish and revitalize radiantly beautiful, stylish hair.
Jason Fragrance Free: Pure and Natural
Studies indicate that 15-30% of the population reports some sensitivity to fragrance. More than 80% report that exposure to fragrances is bothersome*. Fragrance chemicals can cause health effects, primarily in the skin, lungs and brain.
Jason Fragrance Free is a line of hair and body care products formulated for individuals with fragrance or skin sensitivities and those who just want to steer clear of fragrance, dyes and synthetics. Many “unscented” products mask the odor of the formula with fragrance so they remain a potential source of skin irritation. Synthetic fragrances often contain phthalates which have been linked to birth defects and health related issues.
Unlike “unscented” products-which often contain fragrance to mask the scent of the formula—Jason Fragrance Free is truly sans fragrance. Stock up on Jason Naturals complete product line.
*”scents and Sensitivity,” Environmental Health Perspectives, the research journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, www.herc.org, Nov. 1998
Buy Quality Hair Care Products at Vitanet
New Dynamic Health Laboratories
August 10, 2006 02:39 PM
A line of dietary supplement liquids featuring some of the most exciting nutritional products available in today’s market place. Dynamic Health has been supplying the industry with the highest quality natural liquid health products for more than a decade. Dynamic Health is a New York State Corporation established in 1994. it is licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and all product satisfy FDA labeling requirements. All Dynamic Health products are certified Kosher and some are certified organic.
Following are just a few of the 40+ Dynamic Health items available from VitaNet:
Goji Juice blend. The delicate berries of the Goji plant have been treasured for centuries by the Himalayan people. Formerly a Tibetan secret, goji juice was used in ancient recipes as a delicious elixir. Goji is rich in minerals, amino acids, antioxidant vitamins, polysaccharides and phytonutrients compounds.
Mangosteen Juice Blend. For centuries, the people of Southeast Asia have treasured the Mangosteen fruit for its many life-sustaining benefits. Recent scientific inquiry has revealed the extraordinary benefits of the Mangosteen and its rich supply of powerful antioxidants called xanthones.
Acai Juice. Acai palm tree flourish in the lush rainforests that are fed by the Amazon river. The dark PURPLE Acai berries contain up to 33 times the antioxidant content of red wine grapes. These amazing berries have traditionally been used to increase energy, stamina, vitality, and to promote overall healthy living.
Organic Noni Menopause formula. Designed especially for premenopausal, peri-menopausal, and post-menopausal women, this unique formula provides 12,000 mg of certified organic Tahitian Noni per 1 oz serving! In addition, the formula is enriched with soy isoflavones, dandelion, pomegranate juice, chaste tree berry, red clover, black cohosh and calcium.
Super Powerful Anti-Oxidants: Acai fruit, Green Tea, Mangosteen, Noni Fruit, and Pomegrana
July 07, 2006 12:00 PM
Acai (pronounced “ah-sigh-ee”) is a powerful berry that grows wild in the Amazon rail forest of Brazil and is considered by many (including Oprah Winfrey) to be one of the top super-foods available! This little, rich berry is no doubt one of the most nutritious foods in the world. Acai is packed full of anti-oxidants (to help combat premature aging), essential fatty acids, dietary fiber and amino acids. In fact, studies show that Acai pulp contains 10 – 30 times the anthocyanins (PURPLE colored antioxidants) of red wine!
Is any other food or drink reported to have as many health benefits as green tea? The Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea since ancient times, using it to treat everything from headaches to depression. Did you know that green tea has been used as a medicine in China for at least 4,000 years? Today, scientific research in both Asia and the west is providing hard evidence for the health benefits long associated with green tea.
Mangosteen, also known as “Queen of Fruits”, is a fruit grown in Thailand and Myanmar, and on some southern Caribbean islands. In addition, Mangosteen has a number of compounds, the most prominent being xanthones, a group of compounds that have antioxidant and other potent physiological properties.
For over 2000 years, Noni (morinda cetrifolla) has been used for its many beneficial properties. The early Polynesians used it as a general tonic. They found it particularly beneficial for imbalances of the immune, respiratory, digestive, and intestinal system. It was also determined to be helpful for the central nervous system and as an aid for injured muscles, bones and tissue. Currently, scientists are studying possibilities in treating hypertension, high blood pressure, and counteracting the aging process.
Pomegranate has quickly become one of the most talked about health foods in the past year. Pomegranate fruits contain polyphenols, tannins and anthocyanins – all are beneficial antioxidants. Interestingly, pomegranate juice contains high levels of antioxidants – higher than most other fruit juices, red wine or even green tea. In addition, preliminary evidence indicates pomegranate is particularly beneficial for cholesterol and blood pressure.
Acai is an exotic palm fruit from the Amazonian rain forest!
February 12, 2006 01:38 PM
Echinacea: why does it work in real life but not in trials?
February 04, 2006 09:54 AM
The Wellness Revolution
Why clinical trials must take into account real dosage amounts!
You took it, and it worked. You’re one of legions of people all over the world who have found the little PURPLE coneflower called Echinacea to be wonderfully effective in fighting colds. Echinacea is among the most popular herbal supplements in North America, accounting for 10% of herbal sales in the U.S.
So why are some in the scientific community saying it doesn’t work?
How Controversy Over a Little Flower
It was a July 2005 study done at the University of Edmonton in Canada, published in the pages of the New England Journal of Medicine, that fueled the fire of controversy. On one side, there’s the community of people who take Echinacea to ward off colds and other respiratory tract infections (staying well or getting better quickly tends to make enthusiastic and loyal followers). On the other side is a spate of studies, culminating in the July 2005, giving the thumbs down to the flower’s healing powers.
The much-touted study was a placebo-controlled trial and was double-blinded (neither test group knew what they were taking). Healthy college students were given a dose of a rhinovirus infection, and were then sent to individual dorm rooms to take either an extract of Echinacea or a placebo. The results were disappointing to those of us expecting the scientific community’s “proof” to match ours—based on what our bodies and senses tell us. The study found no statistically significant difference between severity of symptoms or duration of the rhinovirus between the Echinacea and the control group. Why didn’t the study results match those of so many individuals?
What went wrong?
Noted herbalist and author Roy Upton states, [“The studies which found] positive results had dosages which were consistent with herbalist recommendations.”]
The University of Edmonton study didn’t.
Two oft-cited clinical trials in which positive results were found in the use of Echinacea for the common cold, both in vivo and in human volunteers, have been conducted by researchers Vinti Goel.
Tiny Doses, Minuscule Amounts of Active Herb
It is widely agreed among herbalists that the trial—also conducted by the team at the University of Alberta, Canada—published in the New England Journal of Medicine in July 2005 used radically smaller doses than those traditionally taken, doses so small they couldn’t possibly have worked. In the Turner trial, Echinacea extracts were given in doses of 1.5 ml tid, equivalent to 900mg daily, if the conductors of trial had consulted the real-life herbalist, say the natural health care community, they could have run a test that would have, well, tested something. The usual prescription dose for Echinacea taken by mouth ranges from 500 to 1,000 milligrams per day, and is taken three to five times a day, for seven days. This creates a range of 1500 to 5,000 mg per day. Most studies have shown Echinacea to have the greatest effectiveness when one starts taking it immediately upon feeling the early symptoms of coming down with a cold or virus.
Importantly, Echinacea has been proven in many tests, including those by Bauer and Wagner, Foster, and Hobbs, to have a supportive effect upon the immune system. That Echinacea stimulates macrophages and killer cells is proven.
Turner RB et al. New England Journal of Medicine, 2005 jul 28;353(4):341-8.
Upton R et al. Echinacea purpurea root: standards of analysis, Quality control, and therapeutics, American herbal pharmacopoeia, 2004
Goel v et al. Efficacy of standardized Echinacea preparation (echinilin) for the treatment of common cold: a randomized, double-blind, placebo- controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Pharmaceutical Therapy 2004: Feb,29(1):75-83.
Vitaberry Plus + Super Fruit Antioxidant
December 07, 2005 05:43 PM
Vitaberry Plus +™ Super Fruit AntioxidantBy Nilesh Patel, NOW Quality Assurance, April 20, 2005 Why are FRUITS AND VEGETABLES important? “Diets rich in FRUITS AND VEGETABLES may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases.”- National Cancer Institute. OXYGEN AND ANTIOXIDANTS As we all know, “Oxygen is critical to life,” but is itself a double-edged sword. While oxygen is necessary to sustain life and for natural defense against microbes, too much oxygen in our cells can lead to the production of “free radicals” (mitochondrial respiratory chain) or ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). Free radicals come in many forms - singlet oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, superoxideperoxynitrite, to name a few - but all have one commonality. Each has an unpaired (unbalanced) electron, a situation it remedies by stealing an electron from a stable molecule. This sets off a domino effect of oxidation, a chain reaction that usually ends up damaging cellular integrity and compromising overall health. Nature has a defense system in place to protect these processes in the form of antioxidants. Whether endogenous (produced by the body, such as liver enzymes, SOD, coenzymes and sulfur-containing compounds) or exogenous (obtained through the diet, such as vitamins C & E, bioflavonoids, carotenes, etc.), antioxidants “quench” free radicals by donating an electron to stabilize a molecule, thus controling the chain reaction and stopping the oxidation “domino effect”. ANTIOXIDANT-RICH FOODS Research suggests that eating plenty of foods high in antioxidants helps to slow the processes associated with aging and protect against many chronic diseases. Maximizing one’s antioxidant power will enhance overall health. Fruit and vegetables contain both nutritive and non-nutritive factors that can affect oxidative damage and enzymatic defense and might contribute to redox (antioxidant and prooxidant) actions. A new “6-a-day” study looked into the effects of fruits and vegetables on markers of oxidative stress and antioxidative defense in healthy nonsmokers by The Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research in Denmark. The study found that fruits and vegetables increase erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity and resistance of plasma lipoproteins to oxidation more efficiently than do the nutritive factors (vitamins and minerals) that the fruits and vegetables are also known to contain. Certain berries, such as blackberries, also contain salicylates, which are also linked to heart health and prevention of atherosclerosis. The protective effects of fruits and vegetables intake on both heart disease death and deaths in general have previously been demonstrated but researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston. Quercetin is an anti-oxidizing flavonoid found in many berries (such as cranberries, bilberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.) and can prevent CVDs (coronary vascular diseases), according to a recent Finnish study. All these natural plant polyphenols are responsible for the colors of many red and PURPLE berries, fruits, vegetables and flowers. GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES The new federal guidelines released earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommend eating more fruits and vegetables, combined, than any other food group -- five cups or about 10 servings a day for most adults. The amount of fruits and vegetables recommended has increased for men and women of every age. “Fruits and vegetables are the "good news" story of the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans for food-loving consumers, the industry and America's public health”, stated the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH). Eating a variety of colorful phytochemical-rich fruits and vegetables has been associated with lower risk of some chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Many authoritative organizations such as the National Cancer Institute and The American Heart Association recommend getting phytochemicals from whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than from individual component supplements. The Scottish government is promoting healthy eating through a scheme designed to increase purchasing of fruit and nutritional foods. Scottish health minister Andy Kerr said, "This initiative shows that healthy eating can be good for customers and good for business." Scottish women are said to have the highest rates of death from lung cancer in the world as well as the highest rates in Europe for coronary heart disease. They also have low consumption of fruits and vegetables, shown in studies to help protect against some cancers and benefit heart health. ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) Free radicals and oxygen free radicals play an important role in the development and progression of many brain disorders such as brain injury, neurodegenerative disease, and Down syndrome. Oxidative stress is an important factor in the etiology and pathogenesis of diabetes & is also linked to other host of degenerative health conditions. Fortunately, antioxidants are available to support the body’s defense and fight disease and aging. Examples of “Fast acting antioxidants” in the body (serum) are: uric acid (polyphenols), ascorbate, bilirubin, vitamin E (the later two are lipid soluble). Examples of “Slow acting antioxidants” are glucose, urea nitrogen etc. In short, free radicals, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are generated as by-products of normal cellular metabolism. Their deleterious effects are minimized in vivo (in the body) by the presence of antioxidant systems. How do Antioxidants work? Antioxidants are substances in plants that help maintain health. Antioxidants protect against damage to cells caused by too many “free oxygen radicals,” which form because of the effects of oxidation. Smoking, sunlight, heavy exercise, and pollution all increase oxidation in the body. Most people would benefit by eating more (five to nine or more servings) fruits and vegetables & colorful plant foods, such as PURPLE, dark green, yellow, orange, blue, and red ones, each day. These have healthful pigments along with antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin C, carotenoids, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, selenium, flavonoids, and other beneficial substances. There are numerous ways in which these antioxidants affect, but can be explained in two groups: Alpha (a) Effects: This refers to the scavenging or neutralizing of free radicals. These effects do not change the way humans (or animals) feel. There are also no noticeable health, psychological or emotional benefits. While there are no obvious changes, increased total antioxidant intakes are associated with decreased tumor rates, prevention of heart attacks and increased longevity. Beta (ß) Effects: These are the changes on health, psychological or emotional state that you or others will notice. In this case, the antioxidant is affecting metabolic processes (enzymes) with consequent changes in the physical (improvement in joint movements, improved skin condition, tissue damage recovery), emotional (better ability to cope with stress) or psychological state (increased alertness). The ORAC value Because most of the active nutritional components in fruits and vegetables are antioxidants, accurate measurement of antioxidant activity serves as a good indicator of potential health benefit. Scientific opinion runs high that ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) will eventually become a government standard of reference for overall daily fruits and vegetables intake. ORAC units are a measurement of the ability of food to stop oxidation. It is most generally expressed in terms of Trolox equivalent per gram (µmole Trolox equivalents (TE)/g). POPULATION DATA A survey done by the National Research Council indicates that only 10% of the US population consumes the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The equivalent to eating 5 mixed servings of fruits and vegetables per day is about 1,670 ORAC units. Based on scientific evidence it is suggested that daily antioxidant intake should be increased to between 3,000 and 5,000 ORAC units per day, per human subject, in order to reach a significant antioxidant capacity in blood plasma and other tissues. WHAT IS NOW DOING TO HELP? In accord with our mission, “To provide value in products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives,” NOW® Foods is introducing an ALL-FRUIT-DERIVED antioxidant product called VitaBerry Plus +™ Super Fruit Antioxidant Vcaps (vegetarian capsules) (product number #3336). At time of manufacture this product provides an ORAC value of at least 2,500 units per serving from a full-spectrum antioxidant blend of fruits containing phytochemicals and phenolic compounds such as anthocyanins, proanthocyanins, chlorogenic acid, ellagic acid, quinic acid, resveratrol , many organic acids, resveratrol and vitamin C. VitaBerry Plus +™ is formulated with VitaBerry™ Hi-ORAC Fruit Blend [a proprietary blend of fruit extracts & concentrated powders containing Wild Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) extract, Grape (Vitis vinifera) & Grape seed extract, Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) & Raspberry seed extract, Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), Prune (Prunus domestica), Tart Cherry (Prunus cerasus), Wild Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) extract & Strawberry (Fragaria virginia)], Hi-Active™ Orange (Citrus sinensis) and Pomegranate (Punica granatum) min. 40% ellagic acid fruit extract. One gram of VitaBerry™ Hi-ORAC Fruit Blend provides at least 6,000 ORAC units (i.e., µmole Trolox equivalents (TE)/g). (Also watch for an upcoming antioxidant product from NOW called Enzogenol® (Pinus radiata bark extract from New Zealand) with Rutin (a flavonoid from South American fruit of Dimorphandra mollis) and Grapeseed extract. IS IT EFFECTIVE? Total ORAC value includes both lipophilic and hydrophilic components. VitaBerry Plus +™ contains only water/hydroethanol based extracts and concentrated (100:1 to 125:1) freeze-dried fresh fruit blends, so the lipophilic ORAC value is mere 2-4% of the total ORAC value. Glutathione peroxidase is a selenium-containing enzyme that decreases cell death from brain injuries. It also acts as a critical first-line antioxidant defense on the airway (respiratory) epithelial surface against ROS and RNS (reactive nitrogen species. Genetics research has found that the glutathione S-transferase gene controls the onset of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease etc. Taking glutathione (GSH) itself as a supplement does not boost cellular glutathione levels, since it breaks down in the digestive tract before it reaches the cells. So glutathione precursor dietary supplements (such as NAC and GliSODin), along with fruits and vegetables, are effective in boosting intracellular levels of GSH. The lungs have a defense system against the ROS oxidants consisting of low molecular weight antioxidants such as GSH and intracellular enzymes such as SOD, catalase and glutathione peroxidase to protect against the toxic effects of oxidants generated within the cells. Some of the primary effects of VitaBerry Plus +™ against the common reactive free-radical species or ROS are as follows: - Superoxide dismutase-SOD (destroys Superoxide radicals),
- Catalase (neutralizes peroxides),
- Functions similar to reduced Glutathione (GSH),
- Glutathione peroxidase enzyme (detoxifies peroxides, using GSH as a reducing agent),
- Functions similar to Glutathione S-transferase (GST),
- Nullifies Superoxide-generating NADH/NADPH oxidase system In conclusion More concentrated than fresh berries, with over 6000 ORAC units per gram, VitaBerry Plus +™ provides consumers with the antioxidant power of almost 15 servings per day of FRUITS AND VEGETABLES ina convenient vegetarian capsule form! VitaBerry™ PLUS +™ (# 3336) provides a powerful, convenient way to supplement diets that do not include sufficient fruit and vegetable antioxidants Selected References: USDA/HHS guidelines report at: etaryguidelines/dga2005/document/
ls.com/proprietary/pdf/VitaberryBrochure.pdf g Kaplan M., Hayek T. , Raz A., Coleman R. and Aviram M. Pomegranate juice supplementation to apolipoprotein E deficient mice with extensive atherosclerosis reduces macrophages lipid peroxidation, cellular cholesterol accumulation and development of atherosclerosis. J. Nutr. 131: 2082-2089 (2001) Lars O Dragsted et. al., The 6-a-day study:effects if fruit and vegetables on markers of oxidative stress and antioxidative defense in healthy nonsmokers. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 79, No. 6, 1060-1072, June 2004 Fuhrman B. and Aviram M. Polyphenols and flavaonoids protects LDL against atherogenic modifications.In: Handbook of Antioxidants Biochemical, Nutritional and Clinical Aspects, 2nd Edition. Cadenas E & Packer L (Eds.) Marcel Dekker, NY(Pub.). 16:303-336 (2001) Wood, Jacqueline, et al. Antioxidant activity of procyanidin-containing plant extracts at different pHs. Food Chemistry 77 (2002) 155-161 Aviram M. Pomegranate juice as a major source for polyphenolic flavonoids and it is most potent antioxidant against LDL oxidation and atherosclerosis. Free Radical Research 36 (Supplement 1): 71-72 (2002) Jennifer Schraag, Antioxidants: Nature’s Way of Balancing Life. HSR Health Supplement Retailer, Vol. 11, No. 2, 24-27, February 2005 com/news/printNewsBis.asp?id=58665 com/news/printNewsBis.asp?id=58697
Mangosteen 475mg 60ct from Thompson Nutritional
November 18, 2005 10:52 AM
New Just Mangosteen
Definition of Mangosteen: mangosteen is one of the two most popular Asian fruits. However, unlike Durian, which is a yang or hot food, mangosteen is thought to have cooling, yin properties. The fruit of an evergreen tree native to Malaysia and Indonesia, the mangosteen is often available in Asian markets when in season. The ripe mangosteen is roughly the same size as a mandarin orange, with a reddish-PURPLE rind. ...
The mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is a tropical evergreen tree, believed to have originated in the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas. The tree grows from 7 to 25 meters tall. The edible fruits are deep reddish PURPLE when ripe. The mangosteen fruit is known as the "queen of fruits," while the durian (Durio spp.) is known as the "king of fruits."
July 12, 2005 09:52 AM
HISTORY or Milk Thistle
Natural substances which afford us protection from toxins and potential carcinogens have recently come to the fore front of scientific attention. Compounds known as antioxidants, which can help minimize the damaging effects of chemical stru c t u res called free radicals, are extensively used today. One of these protectant substances is not as familiar to most people as vitamin C or beta-carotene. It is an herb called Milk Thistle and it has some extraordinary protective properties. Milk Thistle, also known as Silymarin has enjoyed a long history of use in European folk medicine. Centuries ago, Romans recognized the value of this herb for liver impairments. They routinely used the seeds and roots of the plant to restore and rejuvenate a diseased liver. Pliny the Elder, an ancient Roman, re c o rded how the juice of Milk Thistle, when mixed with honey was used for carrying off bile. Dioscorides extolled the virtues of Milk Thistle as an effective protectant against snake bites. The genus silybum is a member of the thistle tribe of the daisy family. Two species of the plant exist and both are native to southern Europe and Eurasia. Plants which grow in the Southern United States actually have more potent seeds than their European and Asian counterparts. Milk Thistle is a stout and sturdy looking plant, which can grow up to 12 feet tall. The flower heads can expand to six inches in diameter and are a vivid PURPLE color. They usually bloom from June to August. Very sharp spines cover the heads. The leaves are comprised of hairless, milky bands, and when young, are quite tender. Historically, the seed of Milk Thistle was used as a cholagogue which stimulated the flow of bile. The seed was also used to treat jaundice, dyspepsia, lack of appetite and other stomach disorders. Homeopathic uses included:
peritonitis, coughs, varicose veins and uterine congestion. While tonics were sometimes made from the leaves of Milk Thistle, the most valuable part of the plant was contained in its seeds.
Milk Thistle is also known as Marian Thistle, Wild Artichoke, Variegated Thistle or St. Mary’s Thistle. Reference to Milk Thistle as “Vi rgin Mary” stems from its white milky veins. Legends explained that these veins were created when Mary’s milk fell on the thistle. Subsequently, a connection between the herb and lactation arose, which has no scientific basis for its claims. Milk Thistle is frequently confused with Blessed Thistle, which does act to stimulate the production of mother’s milk. Gerarde, a practicing herbalist in 1597, said that Milk Thistle was one of the best remedies for melancholy (liver related) diseases. In 1650, Culpeper wrote of its ability to remove obstructions in the liver and spleen. In 1755, Von Haller recorded that he used Milk Thistle for a variety of liver disorders. Subsequently, Milk Thistle became a staple agent for the treatment of any kind of liver aliment. European physicians included it in their written materia medica. Unfortunately, for an extended period during the 18th century, the herb was not stressed, however in 1848, Johannes Gottfried Rademacher rediscovered its medicinal merits. He recorded in great detail how Milk Thistle treated a number of liver ailments and spleen disorders. His research was later confirmed in medical literature. In the early 20th century, Milk Thistle was recommended for female problems, colon disorders, liver complaints and gallstones. Almost every significant European pharmaceutical establishment listed Milk Thistle as a valuable treatment. In recent decades, Milk Thistle has been primarily used as a liver tonic and digestive aid. Nursing women who wanted to stimulate the production of their milk used Milk thistle as a traditional tonic. As mentioned earlier, modern day medical science now refutes this particular action of Milk Thistle, however, its benefit to the liver has been confirmed.
German herbalists have routinely used Milk Thistle for treating jaundice, mushroom poisoning and other liver disorders. This therapeutic tradition contributed to modern German research into Milk Thistle, resulting in its use as a widely prescribed phytomedicine for liver disease. Silymarin or Thisilyn, as it is also known, is a relatively new nutrient in the United States. Since 1954, scientists have known the Milk Thistle contained flavonoids, however, it wasn’t until the 1960’s that they discovered the just how unique silymarin is. Silymarin was considered an entirely new class of chemical compound, and its therapeutic properties continue to impress the scientific community.