Search Term: " Phyochemicals "
Study finds geranium demonstrates antidepressant and anxiolyticproperties
January 02, 2019 05:20 PM
Geranium is most often used as an essential oil, and researchers are finding that it has properties that can fight depression in struggling patients. They had a group of Swiss albino mice that they tested by giving geranium to them routinely through the study. The geranium was able to help produce serotonin, which is one of the leading ways that antidepressants work in aiding in the relief of depressive symptoms. The phytochemicals are what are responsible for this phenomena.
"The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that nearly 20 percent of the U.S. adult population is diagnosed with major depressive disorder or anxiety."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-22-geranium-has-antidepressant-and-anxiolytic-properties.html
Bitter melon can lower blood sugar levels and even prevent cancer
November 17, 2018 09:51 AM
It is important to pick foods on more qualifiers than simply what tastes good. Bitter melon is quite literally bitter, but has lasting health benefits. Bitter melon can help to lower your blood sugar and even fight cancer. A recent study shows that bitter melon can fight pancreatic cancer. In order to make the vegetable more palatable, once can cook bitter melon with more mild vegetables such as carrots. If it is really not edible to you, consider taking it in capsule form.
"When it comes to choosing healthy food, you must not decide based solely on taste."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-11-bitter-melon-can-lower-blood-sugar-and-even-prevent-cancer.html
Rosemary can be used to enhance memory in university students
November 01, 2018 10:51 AM
We all know the stress that college kids go through on a daily basis. Keeping up with their studies while also trying to maintain the life of a normal kid is very difficult. College is the time period where students need to figure some things out about themselves. Also, they need to retain information. Some people have better memories than others and that is evident in so many walks of life. Now, studies show that rosemary helps memory.
"Rosemary, known for its distinct fragrance, can also improve memory according to a recent study, proving that the herb’s effects on your brain go beyond making food more appetizing."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-10-18-rosemary-can-be-used-to-enhance-memory.html
Cancer-fighting super foods
August 30, 2017 12:14 PM
A diet high in phytonutrients, which are contained in vegetables is recommended to all persons to fight off cancer causing cells. In fact, it is recommended that people eat five to nine full servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily. The article says that it recommends six of these fresh foods in particular. What is interesting is that it only mentions five. The ones listed are broccoli, berries, tomatoes, walnuts, and garlic. The list of cancers mentioned that are fought off by these particular fresh foods is an astounding number.
"Broccoli helps fight breast, liver, lung, prostate, skin, stomach, and bladder cancers."
Read more: http://www.thedailystar.net/health/health-tips/cancer-fighting-super-foods-1454506
The goodness of matcha tea
August 02, 2017 09:14 AM
Matcha tea is a precursor of sorts to green tea and is well known and loved in Asian cultures. It is a powder made of the stone ground leaves of green tea. Since you ingest the whole leaf this way, matcha is said to provide more benefits in the form of phytochemicals, antioxidants and other components known to provide health benefits. Normally available as a powder for making a beverage, it is also commonly used as an ingredient in cooking, especially baking or when creating sweet dishes.
"Matcha tea is considered better than green tea in all respects because of its higher antioxidant levels, chlorophyll and other amino acids, says Sunita Roy Chowdhary, chief dietitian, BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi."
Read more: http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/cIjGhoxjciSkyEAvCw0fGP/The-goodness-of-matcha-tea.html
Cannabis phytochemicals found to be effective in destroying leukemia cells
June 14, 2017 07:14 PM
A recent study shows that cannabinoids fight against leukemia cancer cells if administered in the correct order. When the cannabinoids were given to patients after they received chemotherapy it showed cancer cell death, but it didn't show nearly as effective when given before chemotherapy. When cannabinoids are used in conjunction with chemotherapy it can diminish the unfavorable side effects of chemotherapy significantly. There is still more to be learned, but so far the results look promising.
Read more: Cannabis phytochemicals found to be effective in destroying leukemia cells
Top Health Benefits Of Pomegranate Juice That You Need To Know
February 01, 2017 07:59 AM
Pomegranates have come forward as a superfood believed to be as good for you as blueberries and green tea. Unlike some food where eating the raw item is healthier, pomegranates seem to give the best results when juiced. Along with 40% of the daily levels of folic acid, pomegranate juice also has vitamins A, C, and E. When added in with the antioxidants involve, it’s no surprise that pomegranate juice has been found to prevent the growth of tumor cells and help with Alzheimer’s. The anti-inflammatory properties of the juice also help with many other health issues.
"It was noted that extracting its juice was found to be the best way to reap its maximum benefits. Pomegranate juice contains Vitamins A, C and E and about 40% of the daily requirement of folic acid."
Want to Eat Better? Just Eat More Color
January 21, 2017 12:59 PM
I've heard of eating the rainbow. This talks more about that. Eating a wide variety of color when it comes to fruits and veggies helps you get the proper balance of nutrients. The different colors mean different vitamins and minerals are present in the food. A varied diet is both healthful and more interesting so no one gets tired of the same thing.
"Produce companies rarely include information on which phytochemicals are in their foods, making it even more important you know nature's color coding system."
4 Ways Food Can Fight Muscle Soreness
December 10, 2016 04:59 PM
These tears, coupled with inflammation and temporary muscle aches and pains are commonly referred to as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS. Typically, DOMS increases after exercise and peaks 24 to 72 hours later. Although more research is needed, proposed strategies for reducing exercise-induced inflammation, pain, soreness, and weakness include cold or hot water immersion, cryotherapy, and compression clothing. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the most commonly used drugs by athletes of all levels to reduce exercise-mediated inflammation and soreness.
"Several studies have highlighted the importance of recovery following prolonged or high-intensity exercise (like marathons, ultra-marathons, and triathlons)."
Joan Salge Blake: Can An Apple A Day Keep Your Cardiologist At Bay?
November 14, 2016 02:49 PM
Seems there is some truth to that old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” If that doctor is a cardiologist it seems there just may be truth there. Apples have many components that indeed work to keep your heart healthy and may help lower bad cholesterol. Apples may even help lower high blood pressure and slim your waistline.
"Apples are a low-calorie, rich source of fiber, phytochemicals, and potassium, all of which can keep your heart healthy."
How Cascara sagrada stimulates bowel movement
September 08, 2016 09:59 AM
Cascara sagrada is a herbal medicine that is obtained from the bark of California buckthorn tree. It is commonly used as an ingredient in many over the counter (OTC) laxatives. It is also taken in its fresh form but not recommended, this herb needs to be aged for a while before using.
Importance of Antioxidants and How Can We Get Them from Various Foods
December 18, 2015 04:29 AM
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.
A Simple Thing As Taking A Breath Causes Us To Age
November 22, 2015 05:28 PM
We are often told that stress level accelerates the process of aging. But, is there any kind of scientific evidence to prove this perception? Some of the results of scientific studies have already suggested that, oxidative stress has a negative impact on both physical and emotional health.
Breathing oxygen leads to the formation of ROS or reactive oxygen species within the body, which is essential for the cellular signaling process. Aerobic metabolism results in the generation of small amounts of ROS and free radicals. This is necessary for the normal functioning of the human body. But, there is a specific reason for which the ROS carry negative connotations. Whenever our body’s antioxidant defense mechanism malfunctions, the balance between oxidant and antioxidant gets spoiled. The circulative level of ROS moves out of control and causes a disturbance in the redox signaling and control and further damages the macromolecules, cells and tissues. The DNA damage response is a hierarchical procedure.
It has been widely recognized that, oxidative stress is one of the primary factors, which makes the aging process faster.
Best Anti-Aging Diet
What you eat has a great impact on how you are feeling and how you are aging. If you eat right, it will contribute to a great extent to keep your skin young and healthy. Antioxidants help stop unstable molecules from damaging healthy cells. You will get antioxidants in colorful fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, blueberries, leafy greens, dark red tomatoes, etc. So, your goal is to consume at least half plates of fruits and vegetables in each of your meals.
Vitamin C, zinc and beta carotene are three main antioxidants, which protects the eyes from macular degeneration and poor vision. Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, mustard greens, spinach and collard are great sources of these nutrients. Foods like oranges, corns and pepper also help to keep your eye healthy. Vitamin C is also beneficial for the skin. Some studies have also suggested that, daily consumption of yellow and green vegetables helps lessen the wrinkles of the skin.
Resveratrol is another powerful antioxidant, which is highly present in grapes and red wine. It not only lowers the aging process, but, also lowers the chances of cancer and heart disease. Studies have also revealed that, nuts are rich sources of unsaturated fats. They are also great sources of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals like antioxidants. Thus, it helps to keep the skin healthy and young.
Beans and lentils are great sources of fiber and plant-based protein. They are very beneficial for protecting you from early aging. So, you can easily consume them instead of red meat, which have saturated fat and are not great for your heart.
Dairy products like low-fat milk, yogurt, etc. are also great options for slowing down your aging process. If you do not eat dairy, you can replace them with soya milk, almond milk or cereals.
Try out these antioxidant rich foods and stay young for many years to come. Antioxidant Supplements are also available in the market.
Can Guggle Extract Improve Bile And Fat Metabolism?
May 05, 2014 08:13 PM
Guggul extract on weight loss
It is good to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you do not do so, falling prey to a number of health complications is inevitable. Among the causes of these complications, fats metabolism happens to play a big part. There are numerous ways to help deal with problems associated with fat metabolism; guggle extract is one of them. A plant found in Asia and North African parts is widely used in weight loss programs. Its bark contains some sap that is extracted to offer the desired product. Many people are asking questions on how this extract helps improve both bile and fat metabolism.
How effective guggul extract
The sap obtained is also referred to us gum guggle or rather guggglesterones. These plant steroids are responsible for the positive effects the herb on the body fat metabolism. How does it help reduce cholesterol? It simply prompts an increase in the functioning of the thyroid. Biologically, this helps enhance metabolism. It occurs because food digestion is improved while at the same time the conversion of carbohydrates to fats is inhibited thus reducing cholesterol levels in blood. Perhaps that is why it is used in most weight loss programs.
Other health benefits of guggle extract
Furthermore, guggle extract improves bile functioning due to its cholesterol reduction characteristics. It kills two birds with one stone. As seen earlier, it inhibits formation of cholesterol on blood. Second, it helps in the excretion cholesterol from the body system. It is able to do this effectively due to the presence of phytochemicals. They inhibit farnesoid X receptor, which happens to be the bile acid receptor responsible for cholesterol levels in the body. It even blocks oxidation of low-density lipo-proteins thus enabling the breakdown of cholesterol into manageable compounds.
Finally, there is no doubt on if guggle extracts helps improve bile and fat metabolism. There may be a few people who question its effectiveness, but numerous studies have cemented the truthfulness of the idea. This herb also has other uses thus check out for our next article to understand more about it.
What Health Benefits Does Black Currant Seed Oil Posses?
April 18, 2014 06:10 AM
What is a black currant
Blackcurrant is a small nutritious berry grown in places that experience temperate climates such as north and central Europe. For years, this nutritious fruit has been used for both food and medicinal purposes and scientists have also discovered that it contains vitamin C, antioxidants and phytochemicals.
Other medicinal properties of the fruit include:
Black currant seed oil is believed to contain lots of gamma and alpha linolenic acids, these compounds are also found in fish oils and are useful in improving memory and eyesight. Fatty acids also help in boosting cellular development including formation of healthy cell-membranes. According to a study conducted by Maryland University, gamma linolenic is the only Omega-6 fatty acid that can reduce swelling. It can also improve nerve functioning for diabetics and increase bone density by enhancing calcium absorption. Other studies also show fatty acids can help prevent allergic reactions, those who react adversely to external stimuli typically have lower levels of this compound in their bloodstream.
Preliminary studies show that those suffering from arterial malfunction experience reduced pressure levels after taking omega-3 fatty acids. The anti-inflammatory aspects of this substance also help in cutting back cholesterol levels within the blood vessels and platelet aggregation.
The substance is very useful in preventing untimely aging as it blocks wrinkle formation and fastens the process of repairing damaged tissues. Moreover, some scientists believe that omega-6 fatty compounds can be beneficial in curing eczema, including liver toxicity and symptoms of withdrawal caused by too much alcohol abuse. Black current seed oil can also lessen premenstrual syndromes by alleviating cramps, breast tenderness and depression while at the same time reducing nervous system stress. Though this product is beneficial in treating a myriad of conditions, it should be taken in moderation for the best results. You may also consult with a nutritionist for more information on how to consume it effectively.
Is Cocoa Butter Good For The Skin? Why?
March 06, 2014 03:27 PM
Doubtlessly, there are few preferred healthy skin items over cocoa butter and some few that likewise makes you feel great deductively notwithstanding feeling extraordinary because of the way your skin looks so great, but Cocoa butter is good solid skin reinforcement, and for additional data on characteristic healthy skin items with a great experimental foundation. Therefore it is good for the skin.
Reasons to why cocoa butter is good for your skin:
Powdered cocoa butter contains a lot of diverse antioxidants which behave synergistically presenting a massive bothersome resistant to the cost-free radicals which eliminate your skin layer cells along with lead to quick getting older. Therefore, therefore, is it doesn't suitable natural skin care solution.
Let's have a look at which record again. Precisely why your 'ideal' natural skin care solution? In order to solution which question, we need to have a look at precisely what antioxidants tend to be, along with precisely what hot cocoa butter can perform them, along with after that the reason why it is advisable than additional natural skin care merchandise on the market.
Totally free radicals tend to be small substances kinds in the body's fat burning capacity while vitality is generated coming from blood sugar in the mitochondria of each and every cell phone within your body. Fortunately they are shaped simply by experience of toxins including pesticides, along with particularly the several poisonous pieces of cigarette light up. Cigars along with water lines tend to be believe it or not harmful than tobacco, along with filtration system guidelines make not any difference towards the production connected with cost-free radicals.
What exactly that they do is always to eliminate cells, when they're pores and skin cells you continue to grow older. Your skin layer wrinkles along with dries up, and you begin to take on the style connected with an individual many years over the age of you're. These people try this by way of a procedure often known as oxidation, along with antioxidants can certainly keep the idea. These people reduce the effects of your cost-free radicals, and forestall your skin layer cells coming from getting ruined.
Contents of cocoa
Powdered cocoa butter contains several different antioxidants that can eliminate away from numerous diverse cost-free radicals along with superoxides, as well as hydrogen peroxide. Vitamin e is really a powerful antioxidant -- your strongest of all the so-called antioxidant vitamin supplements in fact, and will quickly eliminate away from hydrogen peroxide along with any oxidizing agent. Others tend to be vitamin supplements A new along with G, however they can not strategy the potency of vitamin E.
Furthermore, it contains phytochemicals (posh title pertaining to place chemicals) including flavanoids which might be also powerful antioxidants. Polyphenols are very effective in neutralizing cost-free radicals, and the hot chocolate mass polyphenols tend to be in particular successful. In fact, hot chocolate butter boasts a greater antioxidant awareness and then possibly blueberries as well as other so-called superfoods.
In order that hot cocoa butter to work, it will email numerous of the pores and skin cells as is possible, that involves do away with the idea properly directly into your skin layer. The epidermis is incredibly absorbent all of which will eliminate cost-free radicals in the reduced absolute depths of the pores and skin as soon as they're created, along with ahead of they are able to do injury.
It is clinically demonstrated which hot chocolate butter will certainly keep pores and skin degradation a result of the harmful consequences from the UV light in the rays of the sun -- UV rays builds cost-free radicals which are very effective in doing damage to pores and skin. Merely go through the influence connected with sunburn! However, there is additional in order to hot chocolate butter than which.
It contains a substantial percentage connected with vitamins as well as lime scale, potassium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper along with metal, all of which come in a highly bioavailable style which make them far better which business vitamins. Not just that, though. Furthermore, it contains tryptophan, involved in the development connected with serotonin, your 'feel good' neurotransmitter, and also dopamine along with phenylethylamine, many beneficial materials. It is a mental faculties food as well as food to your pores and skin.
Oregano Oil, Can It Help Me?
February 22, 2014 07:57 AM
Oregano oil contains powerful chemical substances that are responsible for its diverse medical applications. It contains a powerful combination of phytochemicals, flavonoids, and phenols that cannot be subdued by drug-resistant disease causing microorganisms. In addition, oregano oil is packed with considerable amounts of minerals, trace elements, and vitamins that make the body stronger and resistant to many diseases.
Benefits of oregano
Generally, oregano plant grows in harsh environments- conditions, which make it a good remedy for many stubborn health problems. To be precise, oregano plant grows in harsh environments in Portugal, Turkey, and Greece, where the soil is rich in minerals. The leaves of the oregano plant are crushed and distilled to get the oil, which is used for the following medical purposes.
Oregano oil is very effective in treating respiratory medical conditions such as pneumonia, colds, bronchitis, sinusitis, cold, and coughs. In most of the cases, antibiotics sold and bought in the drug stores are always not effective in getting rid of the viral cells that are mainly responsible for the majority of respiratory diseases. However, with oregano oil, it only takes a few drops to get rid of the viral cells from the respiratory tract.
Oregano oil is very important in the treatment of skin infections such as acne, ringworms, eczema, and skin rashes. The oil contains antiseptic chemicals that have the ability to get rid of all the bacterial microorganisms, which are responsible for various skin infections. In addition, the oil prevents the bacteria on the skin from multiplying and increasing in population.
Oregano oil is also used in the treatment of arthritis and herpes. The oil has an exceptional ability to fight and eliminate viral components in the body. As a result, it is used in fighting, killing, and eliminating Herpes Simplex Virus, which is responsible for herpes. Its anti-inflammatory qualities make it a good solution to arthritis and any other related problems.
Facts about Astaxanthin
October 22, 2013 10:47 PM
Astaxanthin is said to be a carotenoid which belongs to larger class of phytochemicals which is known as terpenes. It is built up of five carbon precursors. It is a metabolite of canthaxanthin and zeazanthin which contains both ketone and hydroxyl fuctional groups. Astaxanthin is a lipid-soluble pigment and is colorful. The color of it is due to the extended chain of conjugated double bonds which is also responsible for the astaxanthin’s antioxidant function. It is found in feathers of some birds, yeast, trout, shrimp, crustaceans, crayfish, krill, salmon and micro algae. The red color of cooked shellfish and red color of salmon is due to the presence of astaxanthin.
How Astaxanthin Helps the Eyes?
When astaxanthin is combined with omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E then it helps the eyes to recover the watery condition and it lubricates it too. It helps the eyes to absorb Vitamin E by which it then nurtures and feeds the choroid and optical nerve which is behind the retina. This is the place where the blood vessel enters in to and leaves and this is the place where communication between retina and brain are established. The macula is protected by astaxanthin by its antioxidant activity and it also helps in eliminating the free radicals. It helps in reducing the risk of cataracts and AMD. It also helps in preventing the eyestrain and it also decreases its effects. The inflammation in the muscles of the eyes is decreased by it and it also improves the blood flow of the eyes.
Health Benefits of Astaxanthin
It is considered as a strongest natural antioxidant which crosses the brain-blood barrier and protects the nervous system and brain, works in every part of skin, organs and body, crosses the retinal-blood barrier and thus protect the eyes and it reaches inside and out of every part of the cell. It also helps in repairing the injured tissue.
Why Is Acai, Goji, Pomegranate, Noni And Mangosteen Called Super Fruits?
January 15, 2013 04:55 PM
Health Benefits Of Super Fruits
"Super fruits" is an idiom that is frequently used to refer fruits that have extraordinary antioxidant and nutrient qualities and provides benefits over and above the basic nutrition. Exotic fruits such as acai berries, goji berries, mangosteen, noni and pomegranate have earned this distinguished status. These fruits have exceptional amounts of vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals that play a significant role in preventing various diseases.
Each of these super fruits restrains its own distinctive set of properties that prove to be extremely beneficial for the overall health of the body.
Health Benefits Associated With Super Fruits:
Acai berry is a rich source of dietary fiber, protein and a compound called anthocyanins. It also includes high levels of omega-6 as well as omega-9 fatty acids, which are believed to have a protective effect on the cardiovascular system and heart. In addition, the anthocyanins compound present in the acai berry helps in lowering the blood cholesterol level.
This fruit is abundantly grown in south Asian and due to its fine flavor it is also referred to as "The Queen of Fruits". Mangosteen retains high levels of phytochemicals known as xanthones that offer this fruit a unique medicinal property which is not found in other common fruits. Mangosteen also includes other powerful natural compounds such as polysaccharides, catechins, quinones, polyphenols and stilbenes. Each of these compounds are believed to be effectual in preventing diseases such as, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, kidney stones, glaucoma, cataract, Alzheimer's, neuralgia etc. The fruit is also used to treat aging, depression, obesity, allergies, skin diseases, ulcers, fevers, diarrhea and pain.
Noni juice is known to restrain more than 150 nutrients, including protein, all the essential amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and E, minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium and potassium, polysaccharides, phytonutrients and digestive enzymes. Noni is one of the most unique super fruits. Noni juice can help to normalize blood sugar levels; decrease inflammation, arthritis and joint pain; enhance digestive function, cleanse colon, remove parasites; reduce irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, constipation and menstrual cramps; prevents gastric ulcers; relives pain, mental depression and atherosclerosis.
Goji Berry Juice:
This miraculous berry is rich in polysaccharides. It also includes fiber, 18 amino acids, 21 minerals, Vitamins A, C, B, & E, protein and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Goji juice is a potent antioxidant that prevents premature aging. It also stabilizes molecules called free radicals that damage the DNA and gives rise to several diseases. Moreover, Goji juice helps in reducing the risk of cancer by averting DNA mutation, curtailing growth of tumors and by managing the peroxidation of lipids. This distinctive fruit helps to relieve insomnia and headache, improve functions of the heart, assist in digestion, aid to regulate weight, promote sexual health, improve fertility, enhance memory functions, and alleviate dry cough.
Pomegranate is one of the oldest known super fruits. It is rich in vitamins A, B and C, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium and sodium. Pomegranates are very high in dietary fiber which boosts the digestive system. Additionally, medical evidences reveal that a unique amalgamation of polyphenols found in pomegranate helps to lower LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood which eventually benefits the heart. Moreover, pomegranate's natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties aid to slow down the development of cancer especially, prostate and lung cancer.
Overall, super fruits are extremely valuable for our body due to its high anti-oxidant and nutrient content that helps to reinforce the body's natural defenses and make it healthier and less prone to most type of diseases.
Korean Ginseng Root Extract
December 14, 2012 12:28 PM
Korean ginseng is a perennial herb that has been long renowned for its medicinal properties in curing various health disorders. Extracts of the root of this plant are made by dilution of one part of ginseng root with one part of water and alcohol.
The Korean ginseng root has been a staple ingredient in traditional Chinese medicines for more than 2000 years. This herb was considered a miracle drug by them, and the theory of its beneficial properties has been passed down through the ages. People still recognize the miraculous powers of this root, and use it as a natural antidote for various ailments. The ginseng root is generally, powdered only after six years of its growth and is made available in the form of extracts at stores all over the world. The Korean root is believed to comprise of various phytochemicals which are the main cause of all beneficial properties.
Benefits of Korean ginseng root extract
General health tonic
Ginseng is classified as an adaptogen, which acts as a complete health tonic. This extract can help the body rebound from fatigue, arising from various kinds of stress. It also aids in improving energy and physical endurance, thereby, contributing to the overall well-being of an individual.
Improves cardiovascular function
- This root extract can prevent organ and tissue prolapse, and improve blood circulation for improved cardiovascular function. It lowers the bad cholesterol levels and increases HDL cholesterol in the human body.
Improves functioning of the nervous system
The plant nutrients found in the herb extract can enhance the cognitive abilities and act as memory boosters. They can cure problems related to poor concentration, memory, insomnia and anxiety.
The ginseng extract holds great promises for people with type-2 diabetes as it can result in greater glucose and insulin resistance.
Ginseng extract has also been proved to act as a preventive remedy for several kinds of cancer.
The extracts of this herb act as a stimulant for boosting the immunity and effectively prevent all kinds of flu and cold.
Korean ginseng root extract has worked miracles on improving the general well-being of a person. The numerous benefits of ginseng extract might seem compelling but it is advisable to exercise caution, as with other herbal supplements. Consult your physician before consuming ginseng to explore probable side-effects with existing medication.
The Numerous Health Benefits of Butcher's Broom
May 30, 2012 08:24 AM
Butcher's Broom is a herb that has many advantages, since it contains not only a variety of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and various vitamins, but also many phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are antioxidants which are essential when fighting free radicals, which are known to have a negative impact on our health. In this article you will find the main health benefits of this herb. The plant can be used both locally (as suppositories for treating hemorrhoids) and orally, under the form of tablets.
First and foremost, Butcher's Broom is known to be very useful when treating a variety of circulatory diseases. This happens because of this plant's capacity to narrow blood vessels. By doing so, it can significantly reduce the discomfort that is associated with various circulatory problems, such as varicose veins.
In addition, this herb can also reduce swelling of the legs, edema and inflammation, which makes it ideal for treating swollen lymph nodes. Even though it can have an anti-inflammatory effect, it is only a mild one, therefore it is recommended only for treating minor inflammation. In addition, the plant is also recommended for treating infections of the urinary tract and it has a fortifying effect on the muscles located around the blood vessel walls. This is why it is usually used for preventing blood clots as well as thrombosis that may appear after a surgery. Blood clots can be life-threatening, and this is why preventing them from appearing is essential.
Butcher's Broom also has laxative effects and it can be safely used to treat constipation due to the fact that it is entirely natural. Hemorrhoids can also be successfully treated with this herb, and this is why most suppositories that aim to relieve the upsetting discomfort associated with hemorrhoids (such as pain and swelling) contain this herb. Another important advantage of this herb is that no side effects have been reported so far.
This herb contains flavonoids as well, which are known for regulating the blood flow to hands, brain and legs. Due to the fact that blood circulation to the limbs is significantly improved, those who use this herb will no longer experience symptoms associated with bad circulation such as cold feet and legs.
Last but not least, when applied as a topical ointment, Butcher's Broom is very effective in relieving the pain and swelling that is associated with diseases such as rheumatism or arthritis.
Although it is entirely natural, you must consult your doctor before starting to use this plant. This is essential due to the fact that it may interact with other types of medication. In addition, this herb is contraindicated for individuals with hypertension. Nevertheless, your healthcare provider is the only person who can tell you if this herb is safe to use.
In conclusion, Butcher's Broom is a herb that can be used for treating a variety of circulatory diseases. Moreover, it can also relieve the pain associated with hemorrhoids and reduce swelling caused by arthritis due to its mild anti-inflammatory properties.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Rhodiola Rosea?
February 26, 2012 07:02 PM
Rhodiola rosea is medicinal herb that has many beneficial health effects on humans. It grows in the cold regions of the world like Europe, Central Asia and Arctic region. The phytochemicals present in this medicinal plant are good antioxidants and they are quercetin, chlorogenic acid, gallic acid and proanthocyanidins. It also consists of essential polyphenols namely rosiridin, rhodioniside and rhodiolin in the extracts of Rhodiola. These substances are the active ingredients of this herb and helps in improving the overall health of the body. The extracts of this plant can be taken in the form of tea, pills or liquid form and must be taken after prescription by medicinal health expert.
Some of the health benefits of Rhodiola rosea plant are explained as follows
Stabilize the Nervous system: This nature gifted herb is very helpful to stabilize the levels of neurotransmitters in our brain and thereby increase the levels of tryptophan, dopamine and norenephrine in our body naturally. Thereby, improve the neuro-chemical reactions inside the body.A Good Anti-oxidant: It acts as a good antioxidant and also protects our nervous system. It helps to overcome the damage caused to nervous system by eliminating the free radicals present in our body.
Treat Depression: It is known though a scientific research that Rhodiola rosea gave good results to treat mild and moderate depression on people of age group from 18 years to 70 years. The prescribed dosage to get the complete health benefit is 340 mg to 680 mg per day. SHR-5, the extract of this plant enhances the mental performance and also helps the person to concentrate on healthier subjects. This medicinal herb can also be used along with other anti-depressant drugs as it has the synergistic effect. Regular intake of the plant's extract according to the prescribed dosage by expert doctor reduced the symptoms of fatigue and helped them improve their concentration power. This herb is being used in cold counties like Scandinavia and Russia to overcome the stressful life and chill climate. Improves the Overall Health: This medicinal herb is known to enhance the immune system of a person and also improve the overall health. It helps in preventing the side-effects of stress and improve the physical activity, enhance the mood, appetite, estrus cycle, reduce fatigue etc.
It also helps to overcome stress, anxiety, anemia, hormonal imbalance cardiovascular diseases, and neurological disorders of a person. It is also known to decrease the time needed for recovery after any strenuous muscular activity.
Treat Insomnia: It is also being used to treat Insomnia and has given good results. Sleeplessness can be cured effectively with this herb without any side effects. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should not take this medicinal herb as it has some side effects on them.
Always consult your medicinal health expert before taking the extracts of this herb and take the correct dosage.It is known to maintain creatine phosphate at high levels and this is especially useful for athletes to maintain their stamina levels. Rhodiola rosea is also used to overcome the side effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Flax Meal?
February 21, 2012 08:01 AM
Flax meal is obtained after the flax seeds (brown or yellow/golden) areground into flour/powder which can be made into porridge or added into other foods/drinks so that those who consume it will be able to derive the health benefits that accompany the meal. In some cases flax seed meal can be used as a thickener in many food preparations hence imparting into the foods its components which can be enjoyed by many people across the population thus derive the health benefits that are associated with the flax seed meal.
Flax meal is considered very useful because of the following:-
It is rich in omega-3-fatty acids; this is one of the essential nutrients that the body can not synthesize hence it must be supplied from the diet for example from flax seed meal. The fatty acids play a very important role in fighting inflammation in the body and also breaking down the excess fats that may be present in the body. This is important as it will prevent many chronic diseases such as asthma, arthritis, cardiovascular heart diseases among others which pose danger to the lives of many more especially those who are overweight and obese. Most of the fatty acids that are found in flax meal are unsaturated which makes it very important in reducing body fat.
Fiber: Soluble And Insoluble
Fiber; flax meal is rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber which is essential when one wants to reduce the level of low density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol) in the body as the level of high density lipoproteins (good cholesterol) is increased. This is possible as the fiber is able to initiate fat breakdown in various areas of the body which will finally help in stabilizing sugar levels in the body, promote the overall functioning of the intestines and more especially the colon.
Flax meal is rich in phytochemicals, ligans and antioxidants which play various roles in the body. For example ligans are very good in balancing female hormones which in the long run will help in fighting hot flashes. It is worthy to note that this fiber is important in women because it helps in preventing some forms of cancer in women. Flax meal is also important as it helps in boosting the immune system hence puts the body in a good position to fight ailments which may want to take advantage.
Applications of flax meal
As a food additive; flax meal can be added into other foods such as yogurt, ice cream among other foods thus making these foods more nutritious.
In baking; flax meal is usually incorporated in mixes that are used in making cookies and other baked products as it is able to withstand very high temperatures that are experienced in the oven. It improves on the consistence of the baked products and at the same time improving their nutritional content.
Other uses of flax meal include; use in recipes of food preparations and it can be used to replace fats and eggs which will make the food more healthier and nutritious unlike using shortenings and margarines which are unhealthy.
Benefits Of Zeaxanthin
February 07, 2012 08:14 AM
With aging, our eyes and the associated muscles weaken. They can degenerate and lose our ability to see properly. Eyes enable us with vision to see the world, and losing the eyesight will halt affect our daily activities and movements. People are frequently worried about losing their sight, and try to find supplements that can prevent the loss of vision. However, this debility can be prevented.
Supplements should be ideally be all natural, healthy, and with no side effects. Zeaxanthin is an important nutrient for eye health. This is found in found in green leafy vegetables, and also in other foods like eggs. Zeaxanthin fulfills most of the requirements that most people look in a supplement.
WHAT IS ZEAXANTHIN
Zeaxanthin and lutein are carotenoids that filter out the harmful high-energy wavelengths of light, and also act as antioxidants in the eye. This helps to maintain and protect healthy eye cells. Out of the six hundred carotenoids found in nature, only these two, Zeaxanthin and Lutein are deposited in high quantities in the retina (macula) of the eye. Unfortunately, our body does not synthesize the zeaxanthin and lutein it requires.
This is the reason why green vegetables, eggs and other sources of these carotenoids are essential to proper nutrition. Daily intake of zeaxanthin and lutein through diet, beverages, fortified foods or nutritional supplements and is very important for the protection and continuation of good eye health.
Studies have indicated that zeaxanthin and lutein can help to lessen the chance of chronic eye illnesses, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Zeaxanthin, is also a bioflavonoid, that besides its benefits to ocular health, has been linked to providing many health benefits, including its anti-inflammatory property. Because of zeaxanthin being a carotenoid category bioflavonoid, its main action is over the blood vessels; it works by supporting the blood vessels around the retina area with their proper function.
Zeaxanthin is both an anti-inflammatory phytochemical and an antioxidant; hence this has been used as a preventative measure for macular degeneration and cataracts. Its antioxidant properties keep eyes from being damaged from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sunlight. Overall, zeaxanthin keeps the eye healthier, and looking younger.
ZEAXANTHIN AGAINST CATARACT: Our natural eye collects and focuses light on the retina, and to properly provide this function continuously, the lens must remain clear throughout life. A major cause of cataracts is oxidation of the lens, which clouds it. Antioxidant nutrients, like zeaxanthin and lutein neutralize the free radicals or the unstable molecules associated with this oxidative stress associated with retinal damage. Thus, these phytochemicals play a role in cataract prevention. Higher dietary intakes of vitamin E, zeaxanthin and lutein can considerably reduce the risk of cataract formation.
ZEAXANTHIN AGAINST AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION (AMD): Zeaxanthin and lutein reduces the risk of AMD. In fact, studies like AREDS2 (Age-Related Eye Disease Study) are being conducted with supplements containing ten mg lutein along with two mg zeaxanthin each day, how it affects or lowers the chance of developing this degeneration.
FOOD SOURCES OF ZEAXANTHIN
Zeaxanthin is naturally found in some green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach. Other sources of zeaxanthin include egg yolk, yellow squash and bell-peppers. This makes zeaxanthin available as a completely natural nutrient, with no side effects.
Can The Herb Passion Flower Help Pain?
September 08, 2011 11:43 AM
Furthermore, it is able to do so by not affecting respiratory activity and mental health functions unlike many of the synthetic pharmaceutical drugs available today for use of sedation. There are many Americans suffering from chronic pain and other symptoms that involve incessant pain in the muscles and other parts of the body. Many of us look towards medication for some relief however the side effects are enormous. Because in the same way that this medication can alleviate pain it also hinders many of our nervous system functions and the most important of which is brain functions. Side effects can range from being groggy to lack of mental alertness.
How passion flower works
Passionflower has a long history dating back to the ancient worlds to have uses against anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, epilepsy, and other conditions of hyperactivity because of its calming properties and this is in a general sense however let us try to look into how it is able to have these properties and how it translates to bodily functions. The key so far to its potency is its affects on muscle tension and mental conflicts. This is the same reason why a lot of medication in the market today has some sort of derivative of passionflower. It has been part of many nerve disorder treatments to aid in further relief of anxiety and even has shown signs of being helpful towards blood pressure regulation and aid in relief of heart palpitations.
Although it has been shown not be as strong as most drugs when it is not processed and just left as close to its natural form as possible it also does not have the same side effects and prevents addiction as well unlike most medications. The main way that it is able to play a big role in any efficient sedation process to relieve pain is because it has the ability to lessen neurotransmitter production or even as some research suggests block it all together through increasing GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) production which is a neurotransmitter inhibitor. Additionally it also has potent phytochemicals that studies have to shown to inhibit prostaglandin which is a chemical responsible for letting us feel pain. Therefore, passion flower could be used as a pain remedy!
Grab some passion flower today and feel the difference.
What Does Celery Seed Extract Do for the Body?
July 26, 2011 01:29 PM
Celery seed extract is obtained from the fruits of celery. Powdered celery seeds are historically noted as a natural analgesic, and have been in use as a pain reliever throughout the ages. Modern science has found out that celery seeds are a good source of vitamins and minerals as well as phytochemicals that display pharmacological activity. In addition, it exhibits diuretic and hepatoprotective properties.
Suppresses Pain Chemicals
Traditionally, the seeds are picked from the flowers, powdered, and made into tinctures. Herbalists have long prescribed celery seed extract for the treatment of rheumatism. Several historical sources cited that its use provides relief to sufferers of joint pain and muscle spasms. Laboratory studies have shown that it naturally contains organic compounds capable of blocking the release of pain chemicals.
Alleviates Skin Disorders
Psoralen refers to a group of chemical compounds that increase ultraviolet absorbance. As such, it is a major component of PUVA, a form of therapeutic remedy in use today. This therapy has been reported to effectively cure medical conditions of the skin, such as psoriasis, eczema, and vitiligo. Celery seed extract is a source of bergapten, a type of psoralen that has been utilized to treat psoriasis in particular.
Normalizes Blood Pressure
People suffering from hypertension are likely to benefit from celery seed extract. As the subject of much research in recent years, celery seeds have been observed to lower high blood pressure and bring about normal blood flow. While its exact mechanisms of action remain under investigation, initial studies yielded very desirable results, spurring more researchers to look into its medicinal potential.
Promotes Liver Function
Many food and drug products are precursors to metabolites that inflict direct damage to liver cells. The liver as an organ becomes increasingly ineffective in containing the damage as we age. There is a growing body of scientific literature devoted to the hepatoprotective properties of celery seed extract, which raises the capacity of the liver to defend against harmful metabolites and promote liver function.
Reduces High Cholesterol
The phytochemical content of celery seed extract is especially good for the cardiovascular system. In addition to its effects on blood pressure, it appears to alter the quality of lipids in the blood. It is now posited that it interferes with the utilization of fatty acids in the synthesis of cholesterol, lipoproteins, and triglycerides. By so doing, it lowers cholesterol in the blood and prevents cardiovascular diseases.
Counters Oxidative Stress
Celery seed extract contains bioflavonoids, which are a class of polyphenolic phytochemicals. These compounds have been extensively studied in the past few decades due to their antioxidant activity. Regular consumptions of foods high in polyphenols have been documented to counter radical damage during oxidative stress, protect body tissues from disease activity, and promote cellular longevity.
Can Nettle Leaves Help with Allergies?
July 12, 2011 12:48 PM
Nettle And Allergies
Nettle leaf is a traditional medication for excessive inflammation in many European countries. It is valued for its hollow hairs called trichomes, which work as a counter-irritant. In addition to its putative effect on allergic rhinitis or hay fever, it remains extensively used as a treatment for joint pain, muscle spasms, back ache, osteoarthritis, atopic eczema, gout, and other disorders induced by inflammation.
Urtica dioica is the plant species referred to as the common nettle or stinging nettle, from which nettle leaf is harvested from in general. It is an herbaceous shrub that grows up to 2 meters in height. It is botanically noted for its trichomes, which inject list of inflammatory agents into the skin upon contact. In alternative medicine, these organic compounds are processed to combat excessive inflammation.
Nettles enjoy a wide distribution in almost all continents, with the exception of Antarctica and South America. In particular, stinging nettle has been successfully naturalized in all regions outside the Frigid Zone. It prefers soils that retain moisture and receive high rainfall. Hence, it thrives well in tropical and subtropical regions. In temperate zones, it is often found in the wild and abandoned settlements.
Nettle leaf has had a centuries-old association with folk medicine of England, Germany, Sweden, and much of Northern Europe. It is mentioned in the Old English poem called Nine Herbs Charm, which describes the common nettle as a treatment for poison and infection. In Germany, herbal preparations that contain nettle extracts are among the leading adjuvant remedies for allergic rhinitis and joint pain.
Hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system in the form of allergies is a reaction to otherwise harmless substances called allergens. These reactions include eczema, hives, hay fever, asthma, anaphylaxis, insect bites, and even systemic allergic reactions. Modern herbalists have long employed nettle leaf for the prevention, amelioration, and cure of hay fever and related allergic reactions.
The hollow stinging hairs of nettle leaf are a natural source of organic compounds that are similar to the chemicals released by the body during allergic reactions, such as histamine and acetylcholine. It produces optimum results when applied directly, as is the case with topical creams and alcoholic tinctures. Allergies subside when these compounds are introduced to local tissues underneath the skin.
Extracts of nettle leaf contain phytochemicals that display anti-inflammatory activities when ingested. The exact mechanism of action is still under investigation. Based on initial results, researchers are positive that nettle leaf exerts an inhibitory effect on pro-inflammatory cell-signaling protein molecules known as cytokines, which are directly involved in hypersensitivity disorder, especially hay fever.
More importantly, nettle leaf has been observed to inhibit the transcription of tumor necrosis factor alpha, which is responsible for a diverse variety of inflammatory responses of cells and tissues. As a results, it downregulates the production of cytokines and interleukins incriminated in excessive inflammation during joint pain, back ache, food allergies, asthma attacks, and allergic rhinitis.
How Does Tart Cherry Work To Fight gout and Inflammation?
May 25, 2011 12:46 PM
Health Benefits Of Tart Cherry
Tart cherry may be the newest addition to the growing list of superfruits. This species of sour cherries have been cultivated for centuries, but only recently has research started to uncover its medicinal potential. It is believed to contain a larger number of phenolics and anthocyanins than its sweet counterparts. Plus, it has been linked to more studies in the past few years.
Prunus cerasus are species of cherries native to Europe and parts of Asia. Tart cherries have less than 10 varieties cultivated around the world, but they have steadily grown in popularity. There are two major cultivars: the bright red amarelle and the darker morello. Among the popular cultivars are Montmorency, Balaton, and Griotte de Kleparow.
Counteracts Pain Chemicals
Anthocyanins have long been associated with the alleviation of joint pains and related symptoms, and tart cherry are among the best sources of these organic compounds. Anthocyanins are actually pigments that give fruits such as apples and cherries their red coloration. As a general rule, fullness of color is directly proportional to the anthocyanin content of fruits. Cancer research on anthocyanins is considered unrivaled due to the availability and reliability of documented data. The anthocyanins found in tart cherries counteract the inflammatory mediators that initiate tumorigenesis, which are the same chemicals responsible for sensitizing joints to pain.
Promotes Purine Metabolism
Gout ensues when purine metabolites in the form of uric acid crystallizes and in the process triggers local inflammatory responses. High levels of uric acid in the blood may form into urate crystals anywhere, but often precipitate in the joints of the lower extremities. The big toe is particularly vulnerable to gout, but it may also manifest in the form of joint pains and kidney stones. Unfortunately, human beings lack a functional enzyme that breaks down uric acid and re-balance uric acid levels. This is when tart cherries come to the rescue. They contain phytochemicals that regulate purine metabolites and promote the excretion of uric acid.
Accelerates Muscle Recovery
It is a common belief in the nutraceutical industry that tart cherries are one of the best sources of antioxidants. Free radicals are natural by-products of cellular respiration, and they become so abundant during workout that the muscles begin to feel sore. It takes a longer time to recover from radical damage when the antioxidant defense of cells is compromised. The antioxidant profile of tart cherries enables the skeletal muscles to recuperate fast after intense physical exertion.
Improves Sleep Disorders
Tart cherries have been commercially touted to cure insomnia. While this remains to be proven, tart cherries are in fact excellent sources of melatonin, the primary hormone responsible for inducing sleep in response to dark environments. Sleep disorders may result from a variety of factors, including stress, and sudden lifestyle changes may interfere with the chemical reactions that govern our biological clock. Tart cherries provide a ready source of melatonin, which normalizes circadian rhythm and enables the brain to relax.
Fight back against gout and inflammation pain with Tart Cherry.
Why is Maca Called the Peruvian Ginseng and What Does this Herb Do
April 28, 2011 03:17 PM
Maca: Stress, Energy, Libido, and More.
Maca is a root vegetable traditionally grown at high altitudes in Peru. It is related to radish and turnip, both of which it resembles in appearance, size, and proportion. Its historical uses denote its adaptogenic properties, the reason why it is often called the Peruvian ginseng today. It is the subject of numerous studies underway, and preliminary results point to its effects on the endocrine system.
Lepidium meyenii is a plant species that belongs to the Brassicaceae family, which comprises over three thousand species of edible plants called cruciferous vegetables. Hence, maca is related to many green leafy vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, among others. Like these vegetables, maca contains an assortment of organic compounds that display bioactive properties.
Lepidium peruvianum refers to the same species. Modern herbalists argue that it is a more accurate scientific name for maca, though Lepidium meyenii remains in use in the scientific community. Until only recently, maca was exclusively cultivated in the Andes of Peru. Due to an increased interest in alternative forms of medicine in North America and Europe, it has enjoyed a sudden surge in popularity in the past few years.
Enhances Stress Resistance
Maca is marketed as an adaptogen, a natural remedy for stress. It has been compared to ginseng a number of times, earning itself the moniker Peruvian ginseng. Maca and ginseng do not interact with hormones in the body but rather contain phytochemicals that directly act on endocrine glands, including the hypothalamus, adrenals, and thyroid glands. These organs are pivotal to better management of stress. Several herbalists argue that maca is even more potent than ginseng in that it is believed to affect almost all endocrine glands and create a homeostatic effect on the chemical compounds that they secrete.
Modulates Energy Metabolism
The nutritional profile of maca has been described to be a combination of the nutrients found in whole grains and green leafy vegetables. It contains significant amounts of amino acids and dietary fiber. Its carbohydrate content accounts for 60 per cent of its dry weight, with emphasis on its low glycemic index. Its active constituents enable its carbohydrates to break down at a slow pace and release glucose into the bloodstream without raising blood sugar levels. By so doing, it provides the energy needed to fuel physical activities and athletic performance for extended periods of time.
Improves Sexual Performance
Maca is a popular aphrodisiac. In the old days, Inca warriors consumed large quantities of maca roots for the sole purpose of achieving desired virility. In addition to its energy-boosting and stress-relieving effects, regular intake of maca impacts sexual health as it contains organic compounds that stimulate gonadal tissues, especially in men. Randomized clinical trials have observed that maca affects semen quality, increases sperm count, and improves sexual performance, making it an ideal choice of supplement for men.
Maca root is an excellent herb for men and women. You can gain energy as well as a boost in energy with Maca root. Try maca root and feel the difference it can make on your life!
What is The Herb Yellow Dock Root And How Does It Detox
April 20, 2011 03:02 PM
What is The Herb Yellow Dock Root Good for?
Yellow dock root is a health tonic best known for its detox properties. It has enjoyed a long association with folk medicine since the ancient times, especially in the treatment of what were believed to be diseases of the blood. Today it is often linked to the removal of heavy metals and other toxins from ingested foods, and thus has been attributed with digestive and hepatoprotective properties.
Rumex crispus is known by many names in the vernacular throughout the ages, but the most common is yellow dock, which to this day remains popular. It is a shrubby plant species native to Europe and parts of Asia. It is a flowering plant that grows up to 1 meter in height, with a circular arrangement of basal leaves similar to that of dandelion. It thrives well in the wild, preferring open spaces, even roadsides, rail beds, and car parks, as long as the soil has enough moisture. Its seeds are on its stems and quite exposed, making it easier to propagate. It is believed to be widespread in all continents, with the obvious exception of Antarctica, and considered an invasive weed in many countries.
The part of the plant used in herbal preparations is, as its name suggests, its root. Yellow dock root are dried and made into tea. Supplements in the form of capsules and tablets contain extracts of the dried root. Its active ingredients are phytochemicals with laxative properties, such as anthraquinones. It contains chrysophanic acid, which has been studied for its positive effects on skin disorders. In addition, it is a good source of vitamin C and iron, the reason why it is good for the blood.
Cleanses the Body of Toxins
Yellow dock root is thought to bind with toxins found in food and promote its excretion through the feces. It is particularly good for the organs close to the digestive tract, such as the pancreas, the liver, and the gall bladder as it promotes the production of enzymes needed for the breakdown of foods and protects the liver from the harmful effects of hepatitis. Also, it is believed to cleanse the lymph nodes. As it contains high levels of iron, intake of yellow dock root has been tied to healthier red blood cells.
Alleviates Skin Inflammation
Chrysophanic acid occurs naturally in several plants, including yellow dock root. This organic compound has been observed to allay the symptoms of many medical conditions of the skin that are inflammatory in nature, such as contact dermatitis, atopic eczema, and acne rosacea. Folk medicine practitioners believe that eating or drinking yellow dock root reduces the severity of herpes outbreaks.
Promotes Bowel Movement
Yellow dock root is rich in anthraquinones, notably emodin. In medicinal niches, these compounds are valued for their purgative properties. In the old days, herbal preparations containing yellow dock were heavily utilized in the treatment of different digestive problems such as indigestion and diarrhea. It is particularly helpful for constipation as it stimulates the colon and promotes bowel movement.
Is There Any Benefit to Taking Grape Seed Extract?
April 15, 2011 02:12 PM
Grape Seed Extract And Your Health!Grape seed extract has been linked to many health benefits. It is entirely derived from grape products, but contains higher concentrations of organic compounds naturally occurring in grape seeds. It has long been known that grapes are excellent sources of bioactive compounds while grape seeds have more phytochemicals. In addition to their long list of all-natural antioxidants, such as tocopherols, flavonoids, and oligomeric proanthocyanidins, grape seed extracts contain the essential fatty acid linoleic acid, the reason why they are exceptionally good for the skin.
Accelerates Wound Healing
The circulatory system is the best venue for nutrient distribution throughout the body. The tissues that have direct access to the blood vessels are more likely to receive nourishment and heal faster in the process. Grape seed extracts induce the productions of proteins called vascular endothelial growth factor, which stimulates the growth of healthy blood vessels, thereby accelerating wound healing in any part of the body.
Improves Bone Density
Grape seed extracts have been noted to increase bone mass and strength. The bones are the primary storage of inorganic minerals in the human body, like elemental calcium. As such, they undergo a lifetime cycle of resorption and reabsorption to respond to the mineral needs of other body parts. Any imbalance in the process may result in bone porosity. It is postulated that the phytochemical content of grape seed extracts inhibits bone resorption.
Promotes Integumentary Health
Oligomeric proanthocyanidins, or OPCs, are of special note for their unique antioxidant activities. They are capable of scavenging free radicals and preventing cellular damage. At the same time, they protect the skin, the scalp, and the rest of the integumentary system from the harmful oxidative effects of ultraviolet rays. Grape seed extracts are particularly rich in OPCs, which have been tied to impede skin tumor growth.
Shows Cardioprotective Effects
Grape seed extracts contain an abundance of organic compounds that promote cardiovascular health. First, it has shown to be effective in lowering low-density lipoproteins, also known as bad cholesterol. Second, its antioxidant properties prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol, which results in the formation of arterial plaques if subjected to oxidative stress. Third, grape seed extracts reduce complications of preexisting cardiovascular disorders.
Eases Digestive Problems
Grapes have long been reputed as a digestive in many cultures. Grape seed extracts, having flavonoids with bioactive properties, serve as a cleanser of the alimentary canal. They aid digestion and modulate the effects of enzymes on food. The same organic compounds limit the growth of microorganisms that populate the colon, which is the cause of many disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
Prevents Tooth Decay
Grape seed extracts contain phenolics that interfere with the metabolism of sugars in the oral cavity. The bacteria that take up residence in the mouth rely on the availability of saccharine compounds, and they thrive well in the presence of simple sugars, such as sucrose, fructose, and glucose. Dental carries result from an abundance of these sugars and a growing bacterial population. Grape seed extracts impact both.
As you can see, grape seed extract has many health benefits. All who want to keep their body’s working in tip top shape should be taking grape seed extract daily!
What Is Thyme and How Can It Help My Lungs?
April 12, 2011 04:28 PM
Thyme And Lung Health.Thyme is a flavorful herb known for its significant presence in Western cuisines. It is grown for its strong flavor and pleasant aromatic odor, which are often attributed to an organic compound called thymol. The health benefits of thyme are ascribed to its unique combination of phytochemicals that protect the lungs and the rest of the respiratory system. The chemical compounds naturally occurring in thyme are extracted and added to many health and hygiene products.
Thymus vulgaris, the common thyme largely utilized as a culinary herb, is the same species where most thyme extracts are derived from. However, other species that belong to the genus Thymus have also been observed to produce similar health benefits. There are over 300 species of thyme, but the most widely cultivated in addition to the common thyme are T. herba-barona, T. serpyllum, T. x citriodorus, and T. variegata, and T. zygis. These species are known for their medicinal properties and commonly used in herbal preparations.
Fights Respiratory Tract Infections
In the pharmaceutical industry, thyme is best known for its high terpene content. Terpenes are organic compounds found in many plants that are noted for their antiseptic properties. Thymus species are very rich in thymol, which accounts for more than 50 per cent in essential oil extracted from Thymus vulgaris. Thyme is historically noted for its ability to ward off infections.
In ancient times, crushed leaves were added to poultices to disinfect wounds and dried leaves were made into tea to fight off sore throat. Today thymol is the main ingredient of many hygiene products such as natural sanitizers and the mouthwash Listerine. Thymol is so effective that adding it to water and gargling with the solution fights off infections of the respiratory tract and relieves inflammation.
Displays Antispasmodic Properties
Upper respiratory tract infection is often accompanied by respiratory spasms characteristic of coughs. Thyme also contains flavonoids, such as apigenin, luteolin, naringenin, and thymonin, all of which are spasmolytic in nature. Symptoms of cough may vary, depending on the nature of the condition. Fits of severe coughing may result from different causes, but are often caused by bacterial infection. The flavonoids content of thyme is thought to act on pulmonary tissues and bronchial tubes, creating a soothing effect that results in the amelioration of respiratory spasms and the expulsion of bacteria.
Promotes the Discharge of Mucus
Thyme is a reputed expectorant with a long association with folk medicine of the Mediterranean region. For centuries, certain European communities have relied on thyme to effectively expel infected matter from the lungs and the bronchi. Herbal preparations come in tincture, tea, syrup, and even steam. The inhalation of thyme essential oil has been reported to be very helpful in easing the discharge of mucus. Thyme contains terpenoids in addition to thymol, which all act to increase the fluidity of mucus and exert antimicrobial activity when they reach the lungs, making it easier to cough up phlegm while disinfecting the respiratory tract at the same time.
Give Thyme a try and feel the difference!
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!
Can Olive Leaf Boost My Immune System - answer is Yes
April 06, 2011 03:01 PM
Olive Leaf And Your Health
Olive leaf is highly prized for its antimicrobial properties in booth food and supplement industries. For centuries, the leaf of the olive tree has been utilized as a natural antibiotic. It has become the subject of modern day scientific research in the past few years, and preliminary studies appear to be in favor of its age-old claims. In addition, it is now known to modulate immune responses and display potent antioxidant activities.
Olea europaea may be best known for its long association with Mediterranean cuisines although cultures around the world have also used various parts of the plant as flavor enhancers. Its medicinal value continues to gain prominence as recent studies point to the health benefits of the organic compounds it contains. Olive leaf is identified to be an excellent source of the phytochemicals hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein, and oleocanthal, all of which are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, fresh olive leaves are widely accepted to have an antioxidant content that is 400 per cent higher than vitamin C, that’s double the antioxidant capacity of green teas.
Fights Bacterial and Viral Infections
Olive leaf is antiseptic in nature. It was an important ingredient in poultices used to treat war wounds in the ancient world. Elenolic acid is an organic compound naturally occurring in olive leaf, which is under scrutiny for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. This compound is described to be both bactericidal and bacteriostatic, which means it is directly involved in killing bacterial strains and at the same time interferes with bacterial cellular metabolism. In addition, the antiviral properties ascribed to olive leaf are attributable to its ability to viral protein synthesis necessary for viral replication. This explains why it is effective in the treatment of many known infections, such as candidiasis, shingles, herpes, and Epstein-Barr virus infectious mononucleosis. It has also been reported to reduce the symptoms of colds and flu and shorten their duration.
Scavenges Reactive Oxygen Species
The natural antioxidants found in olive leaf are believed to be the most powerful antioxidants in the market, and as such often marketed as anti-aging. Antioxidants are indispensable in the prevention of the tissue damage caused by reactive oxygen species, or ROS. Free radicals, the best known ROS, are among the group of by-products of oxygen metabolism in the human body. They are also deployed by cells in response to invasive pathogens. Each cell does have its own antioxidant defense, but an imbalance between endogenous antioxidants and ROS is quite common. Chronic stress and physical fatigue are thought to compromise the antioxidant defense of the body, which is restored by antioxidants found in the diet.
Boosts the Innate Immune System
Furthermore, olive leaf strengthens the innate immune system. Its proponents believe that regular intake contributes to the non-specific responses of the immune system, such as the production of neutrophils during inflammation. This type of white blood cells is often the first to engage with pathogens. By speeding up their releases, olive leaf prepares the body against infections.
If you want an Immune Boost, Give olive leaf a try!
Can Butterbur Help Me with Migraines
April 02, 2011 12:14 PM
Butterbur and Headaches
Butterbur has helped countless of migraine sufferers for more than three decades. In Europe, it is available as a prescription drug, which neurologists have prescribed since 1972. It has been the subject of numerous studies and reviews in a span of 40 years that have come to a conclusion that it does alleviate symptoms of migraine and reduce frequency of attacks. It is one of the herbal remedies clinically tested in migraine centers in the US. To date there has been no recorded adverse effects and harmful drug interactions, and as such available in the US over the counter, no prescription required. It has been compared to beta blockers and anticonvulsants and in general believed to be better than both of these more common treatments.
Petasites hybridus, the common butterbur, is the herb where butterbur extracts are obtained from although other species that belong to the genus Petasites are also known to produce the same health benefits. Petasites comprises up to 20 plant species widely distributed across the globe, a number of which have been tied to folk medicine throughout the ages. Petasites hybridus is native to North America and thrive well in marshes and wetlands, where there is a significant amount of moisture in the soil.
American Indians have long used its rhizomatous roots to fight off headaches and inflammation-induced diseases, such as asthma attacks and hay fever. Indeed the discovery of the organic compounds petasin, isopetasin, and oxopetasin explained its long-standing association with the treatment of migraines and allergies. Today most butterbur preparations do not contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which were identified to cause liver damage. That being said, it is still best to seek professional advice and ask assistance in choosing products from a reputable laboratory.
Interferes with Releases of Pain Chemicals
The phytochemicals unique to Butterbur have been well investigated, and results point to their effects on inhibiting the productions of local pain chemicals, which are pro-inflammatory in nature. Leukotrienes are lipid mediators that supervise the productions of other intermediaries of inflammation. Prostaglandins are responsible for vasodilation of blood vessels and their consequent sensitization to pain. Butterbur has been observed to influence these two pain chemicals.
Plays the Role of a Natural Beta Blocker
Beta-adrenergic antagonists, or simply beta blockers, are a class of drugs that target endogenous catecholamines implicated in migraine attacks. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are catecholamines that act on beta-andrenergic receptors, leading to a reduced blood flow in the brain. This results in the spasmodic contractions of cerebral blood vessels characteristic of migraines. Butterbur works on the principle of blocking the effects of catecholamines and inducing normal blood flow to the brain.
Produces No Known Serious Side Effects
Most analgesics and beta blockers have been associated with several adverse effects, which more often than not include nausea, dizziness, and muscle weakness. Many have been reported to cause weight gain. None of these have been linked to regular use of butterbur, one of the reasons why it has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years.
If you suffer from Migraine headaches, give butterbur a try!
Can Herbs and Prunes Help with Constipation
March 30, 2011 02:41 PM
Herbs and Prunes as a natural laxative
Herbs and Prunes must be the best digestive formula out there. It contains a select combination of herbs whose laxative properties are tried and tested for decades, namely: senna leaf, Chinese rhubarb root, Chinese asparagus, beet leaf, buckthorn bark, cabbage leaf, cascara sagrada bark, celery leaf, cranberry fruit, Culver’s root, parsley leaf, spinach leaf, and prune fruit. In addition to their long-standing association with alternative medicine, medical research has pointed to their active ingredients that are purgative in nature. These herbs not only relieve digestive problems such as constipation and indigestion but also cleanse the gastrointestinal tract, effectively disposing of toxins.
Induces Bowel Movement
There are several factors that may give rise to constipation, but in most cases it results from withholding bowel movement far longer than what is considered normal. In general, a healthy individual is expected to discharge fecal matter from the bowels at least once a day although it may vary from person to person. The rectum sends messages to the brain every time the final phase of digestion is about to take place, and not responding to these messages leads to reversing the direction of the feces, which are temporarily stored in the colon. However, the colon is not able to reduce the pressure the feces produce for long periods of time, leading to constipation. The unique formulation of Herbs and Prunes relaxes the intestinal walls and softens the stools, making it much easier to evacuate the bowels.
Alleviates Abdominal Pains
The phytochemicals that are considered the active ingredients of Herbs and Prunes include anthraquinones, such as senna glycosides, sorbitol, and isatin, such as dihydrophenylisatin, among others. These organic compounds are reputed for their laxative properties that soothe the muscles tissues within the intestinal walls and influence the releases of chemicals that sensitive the digestive tract to pain. Irregular bowel movement causes what we refer to as stomach pains, and more often than not the foods that we eat influences regularity. A balanced diet is named so because it promotes digestion as well as gives us the nutrients our body needs in right amounts. Herbs and Prunes works on the principle of supplying our body with all-natural, plant-based dietary fiber and phytochemicals that restores normal digestion.
Detoxifies the Digestive Tract
Herbs and Prunes comprises a significant fraction of both soluble and insoluble fiber that are guaranteed to wash away toxins when ingested with ample amounts of liquids. As diet significantly influences human health, it is not surprising that the digestive system may be rendered susceptible to unhealthy foods. The alimentary canal is our first line of defense against toxins that the foods we eat produce. Plant-based foods that contain fiber remove by-products of digestion that otherwise accumulate in the bowels. In conjunction with phytochemicals, fiber is known to reach parts of the alimentary canal that play host to harmful microorganisms, the reason why plant-derived medications are often the cure to many diseases of the digestive system.
Herbs and Prunes
It is always recommended to keep a herbs and prunes formula on hand when irregularity hits. Grab yourself a bottle today!
Does Aloe Vera Juice Help with Digestive Problems?
March 28, 2011 02:01 PM
Aloe vera and your Colon
Aloe vera juice is one of the oldest herbal remedy for digestive problems that up to now remains in common use. It is extracted from the succulent plant aloe vera, which is known for its medicinal properties all over the world. Cultivation of this medicinal aloe predates written history, and its place of origin has eluded scholars for centuries. The fact that it is widely distributed across the globe today makes it a ready source of medicine in treatment of common digestive ailments. Also, large-scale production has contributed to its growing popularity worldwide.
You may have heard of aloe vera juice as a health tonic. Folk medicine practices in just every continent highly value this medicinal aloe for its cleansing properties, but the first recorded use for illnesses of the gastrointestinal tract is in an Egyptian medical papyrus. In Greek and Roman antiquity aloe vera extracts in the form of juice were prescribed by physicians who practiced humorism to patients afflicted with constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and stomach cramps. Both De Materia Medica by Greek botanist and pharmacologist Pedanius Dioscorides and Naturalis Historia by the Roman natural philosopher Gaius Plinius Secundus made mentions of its medicinal powers known to cleanse not only the alimentary canal but also the blood.
Heals Ulcerations of the Gastrointestinal Tract
It is common knowledge that aloe vera promotes the healing of wounds and other skin lesions. Aloe vera juice works on the same principle when ingested. This medicinal plant contains phytochemicals that increases the rate of healing of skin lesions and damaged epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract. There is a growing body of literature devoted to the effects of this medicinal aloe on inflammatory intermediaries present in the processes that are implicated in lesion of body surfaces, including the inner walls of the alimentary canal.
Inhibits Growth of Harmful Strains of Bacteria
Aloe vera juice has long been postulated to have antibacterial properties, and scientific evidence in support of this claim has surfaced in the past few years. One of the reasons why aloe vera speeds up the recovery of wounds is the fact that it is both bacteriostatic and bactericidal in nature, which means it inhibits the growth of bacteria and actively eliminates them at the same time. In addition, aloe vera contains polysaccharides that benefit probiotics, or friendly bacteria. By raising the number of helpful strains of bacteria such as lactobacillus, populations of harmful bacteria are curbed.
Induces Peristaltic Movement of the Intestines
There is strong scientific evidence that aloe vera juice is particularly beneficial for individuals afflicted with constipation. For one, anthroquinone glycosides found in aloe vera have been noted to accelerate defecation by adding bulk to the impacted feces and attracting water to soften the stool. Furthermore, aloe vera stimulates the muscle cells within the intestinal walls, which consequently produce contractions. The resulting peristaltic movement moves the ball of food, leading to the evacuation of the bowels.
Aloe vera is an excellent remedy to take daily to maintain good intestinal health as well as skin health. Take your aloe daily!
How Does the Herb Holy Basil Help with My Health?
March 10, 2011 02:04 PM
Holy Basil And Cholesterol, Inflammation, and more
Ocimum tenuiflorum, known as Holy Basil in the vernacular, is an herbal plant indigenous to South Asia, where it is called Tulsi. It is widely distributed across the subcontinent of India and surrounding countries and is primarily cultivated for its age-old medicinal benefits in addition to its religious significance to Vaishnavite practices of Hinduism. It has earned popularity as a health tonic over the centuries, and recent studies have supported its positive effects on human health. Today it is often associated with lowering cholesterol and glucose, acting as an antioxidant, and regulating inflammatory intermediaries.
Counteracts Stress Factors
The juice of holy basil has long been reputed to display adaptogenic properties. There have been countless accounts of its effectiveness in combating stress. In fact, the most compelling of all anecdotal evidence has something to do with its ability to create a feeling of wellness right after ingestion, the same tonic benefits attributed to ginseng. To date studies point to its homeostatic effects on the stress hormone cortisol, creating homeostatic effects on its metabolites and their interactions with compounds released in response to stress.
Neutralizes Free Radicals
Holy basil has been observed to show antioxidant activities, and this is one of its mechanisms in allaying symptoms brought on by fatigue. Free radicals are released by the body to dispose of pathogens, but are in turn disposed of by endogenous antioxidants. Oxidative stress ensues when there is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to neutralize them. The polyphenols found in holy basil helps the body quench excesses of free radicals.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
There has been a growing body of literature devoted to the lipid-lowering properties of holy basil. The phytochemicals found in holy basil have been cited to affect the metabolic pathway that produces very-low-density lipoproteins, which is a precursor to low-density lipoproteins, or bad cholesterol, and bring about an increase in high-density lipoproteins, dubbed good cholesterol. Also, it has been associated to the overall decrease of lipids present in the bloodstream, notably free fatty acids.
Reduces Blood Glucose
One of the earliest observations on the health effects of holy basil is its properties that counter the progression of diabetes. It has been reported many times to have helped patients of type 2 diabetes mellitus, which results from the compromised ability of cells to respond to the hormone insulin. The use of holy basil extracts has yielded promising results on promoting the glucose uptake of cells, and, of course, the consequent decrease in glucose present in the blood.
Holy basil has been extensively studied for its anti-inflammatory benefits. The most recent research has pointed out that organic compounds found in holy basil may inhibit the enzyme called COX-2, which facilitates the synthesis of inflammatory mediators. Eicosanoids are endogenous substances produced by local tissues during inflammation, and a special group called prostanoids is responsible for the pain tied to inflammation. By targeting COX-2, holy basil greatly aids against inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
What is stopping you from giving holy basil a try today?
What is Dandelion Tea Good for?
March 08, 2011 02:38 PM
Dandelion tea must be best known as a detoxifying beverage that has been associated with improving liver and kidney functions. In the old days the plant is often considered a pesky weed, but today health organizations, such as the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy, have endorsed its efficacy in relieving liver problems among others. The tea produces a pronounced bitter taste and is often sweetened, but it also packs large quantities of micronutrients.
Peoples from the Old World are no stranger to dandelion tea, but the plant species are native to both Europe and North America. What we refer to as dandelion comprises a large group of flowering plants. The two most notable species are Taraxacum officinale and Taraxacum erythrospermum, both of which are used to make dandelion tea. The fact that it can be found right in your yard is the reason why health magazines regard this herb as one of the readily available nutritional powerhouses.
Maintains Intake of Nutrients during Weight Loss
Dandelion tea has been noted to contain significant levels of vitamins and minerals, the reason why it is popular among individuals who are following a weight-loss program. Many people seem to overlook the fact that depriving themselves of important food sources, such as whole grains, compromises their daily intake of dietary nutrients. Chronic dieting is particularly dangerous in the long run even for those who used to be physically healthy. Dandelion tea offers a solution to people on a diet by meeting the RDA for vitamin A and K and providing up to 30 per cent of vitamin C and vitamin B7. It is also rich in minerals like calcium, potassium, and iron.
Promotes Excretion of Toxins through Diuresis
Not surprisingly, dandelions have been used to aid a long list of symptoms and diseases, and it has been reputed as a natural diuretic for centuries. Due to its worldwide distribution, it is one of the few herbs that have earned visible presence in traditional medicine of the East and the West, and its use has always had something to do with the proper functioning of the liver and the kidneys. The bioflavonoids found in dandelion remove toxins from the liver, like ethanol metabolites, and facilitate their excretion through the urine.
Facilitates Absorption of Bioactive Compounds
Health professionals often point to the nutritional content of dandelion tea and other products from the herb. Most species of dandelions have been documented to be completely edible, and the quantities of bioactive compounds present in them have been compared with vegetables like spinach and broccoli. Consumptions of dandelions have even been considered tantamount to intake of dietary supplements as they are rich in phytochemicals that display the activities of many known polyphenolic substances found in black and green teas and other foods rich in antioxidants. While the plant contains high quantities of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber, the tea has been tied to more effective absorption of these bioactive compounds, making it an ideal beverage to match with any food source.
How Does Cherry Fruit Extract Help with Gout?
March 07, 2011 04:39 PM
Cherry fruit extracts contain the micronutrients and phytochemicals found in cherries. They are available as supplements widely touted to display antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Cherries, the fruits, are in fact very high in anthocyanins, which have a long association with the prevention of inflammation, even including the type that results in most known cardiovascular diseases. Also, research on anthocyanins in connection with its chemopreventative potential has yielded the most reliable public data. Individuals suffering from gout will definitely benefit from cherry fruit extracts as supported by an abundance of reports and anecdotal evidence concerning its efficacy.
Stabilizes Metabolism of Purine Nucleotides
The development of gout is greatly attributable to an anomaly in the metabolism processes involving purine nucleotides. A class of organic compounds classified as purines is necessary for life and present in many chemical reactions. They are a major component of ATP, the primary energy of cells, and several nucleotide bases of DNA and RNA are purines. The problem lies in its final metabolic product, uric acid, which at high levels condense into urate crystals that are deposited in tendons and ligaments, as is the case with gout and tophus. Cherry fruit extracts bring about twofold effects. First, they stabilize purine metabolites, notably uric acid, and, second, they facilitate the effective excretion of uric acid. If you consume a lot of foods high in purines such as animal products, especially beef, pork, and seafood, taking cherry fruit extracts will make sure that the uric acid they produce gets out of your system.
Affects Releases of Inflammatory Mediators
While high levels of uric acid is the causation of gout attacks, the painful inflammation that ensues is triggered by an entirely different group of endogenous compounds in the employ of the immune system. Eicosanoids have long been identified to precipitate pain not only during gout attacks, but in all inflammatory responses of the human body. These compounds are released locally by the cells around the joints containing urate deposits in an attempt to fight off the degenerative effects of uric acid on the surrounding tissues. They deal with the joints the same way they get rid of pathogens during infections, bringing on the redness, swelling, and pain characteristic of gout. A group of bioflavonoids called anthocyanins that are known to interfere with the releases of eicosanoids are abundant in cherries, and intake of cherry fruit extracts deliver these flavonoids into the region of pain.
Normalizes Acidic Digestive Environments
Cherries belong to the group of foods that are alkaline forming. With gout thriving in an acidic setting, it is just prudent to carefully reassess your diet and cut down on foods high in purines. Not surprisingly, your doctor may tell you to minimize consumptions of meat products especially if you suffer from recurrent gout attacks. Cherry fruit extracts rebalances the pH level of your gastrointestinal tract, and supplementation will keep your body in an alkaline state in the long run, protecting you not only against gout but also against the aging process.
If you suffer from gout or other uric acid buildup disease, give cherry fruit extract a try today!
Anise Seed Is Anti-Fungal Herb And Much More!
February 23, 2011 01:44 PM
Anise Seed And Your Health
Anise seed, or simply aniseed, refers to the seed pods of the herbaceous plant native to the Mediterranean and Southwest Asia. It is famed for its moderate flavor, which is similar to fennel, licorice, and tarragon. The plant species, Pimpinella anisum, has been part of many cuisines on both the West and the East, incorporated in aromatic, sweet-tasting dishes. There is a wide array of uses for anise in the food industry, especially in recent years because of its health benefits. For centuries, it has been utilized to treat digestive problems, and the recent discovery of its high phytochemical levels has been reported to show antibacterial and antifungal properties.
The first undisputed mention of anise seed was in Naturalis Historia by Pliny the Elder, which recorded its widespread use as a breath freshener, a therapeutic remedy for insomnia, and a cure for insomnia. Some translations of biblical accounts also recorded the use of the seeds in ancient Israel and surrounding areas. By the time of Roman antiquity, it had become a popular spice added to seafood dishes, valued for of its sweet fragrance. In the Indian subcontinent and nearby regions, anise has up to now been used as a digestive, taken after meals to avoid indigestion, especially after feasts.
The English herbalist John Gerard noted in his encyclopedia Generall Historie of Plantes the carminative effects of anise seed, which means it decreases pressure in the lower esophagus, thereby removing related digestive ailments such as excessive flatulence. It has become quite commonplace in Europe, not only due to its presence in traditional medicine, but also its increasing visibility in the food and beverage industry. It is used in soups and stews, in confectionery, adding a very strong sweet flavor. Anethole, an organic compound extracted from aniseed is added to liquor to produce a cloudy appearance.
Phytochemical Content or Anise Seed
Anise seed is known to contain many different phytochemicals that are polyphenolic and phytoestrogenic. It has high levels of phenylpropenes, a class of polyphenols that are present in essential oils, the reason why aniseed is one of the most common ingredients used in aromatherapy. These organic compounds have shown to lower the body temperature, act on the nervous system to relieve pain, and have a positive effect on epileptic seizures. In addition, it creates strong phytoestrogen-like activities in the human body, relieving cramps during menstrual period.
Anethole is widely believed to be responsible for the antimicrobial activities of anise seed, acting against bacteria, yeast, and other types of fungi. It is a bacteriostatic antibiotic and a bactericide, which means it inhibits the growth of bacteria by interfering with bacterial cellular metabolism responsible for their replication and, at the same time, actively kill them. This explains why anise seed is effective as a breath freshener in the old days, and removes digestive ailments related to bacteria. Interestingly, aniseed is also anthelmintic; it expels parasitic worms from the body.
That being said, keep in mind that the benefits of anise seed are largely therapeutic.
Anise Seed is one of those herbs you want to keep in the medicine cabinet for quick use when needed.
Nopal Prickly Pear And Your Health
August 18, 2009 12:41 PM
Nopal is also referred to as the prickly pear cactus. The broad, thick, succulent leaves of the cactus are used for medicinal purposes. The nopal prickly pear herb is the most commonly found in the southwestern United States.
The nopal prickly pear is a vegetable that is made from the young cladophyll, pad-like, segments of the prickly pear plant. These are carefully peeled to remove the spines. The nopal prickly pear is extremely common in its native Mexico. Although the pads of almost all Opuntia species are edible, farmed nopales are most often of the species Opuntia ficus-indica. Generally, a nopal is sold fresh, bottled, or canned. Less often, it is sold dried. It is used to prepare nopalitos. The nopal has a light, slightly tart flavor, and a crisp, mucilaginous texture. This herb is commonly used in Mexican cuisine dishes include huevos con nopales, which is eggs with nopal; carne con nopales, also known as meat with nopal; or tacos de nopales. Nopales are also an important ingredient in New Mexican cuisine. Currently, the nopal is gaining popularity elsewhere in the United States.
De-thorned nopal stems are used as food in Mexico and among Native Americans. Early settlers used the stems in wound dressing after they had been peeled. The gel that comes from the cactus pads was used to soften the skin. This lessened tension against the wound and alleviated pain. Nopal juice is valued as an anti-inflammatory diuretic. Practitioners of folk medicine recommend this herb fore use against painful urination. The mashed pulp of the cactus was traditionally eaten by the West Coast Indians in order to ease childbirth. Additionally, the pulp was used as a lung remedy and as a cardiac aid.
The nopal prickly pear herb contains a variety of phytochemicals. Among these components are pectin, mucilage, and gums that assist the digestive system. This herb also contains nutrients which inhibit bowel absorption of dietary fat and excess sugars. Nopal is responsible for fortifying the liver and pancreas. This enhances insulin’s ability to move glucose from the blood into the cells, where it is able to produce energy. Research has determined that nopal prickly pear has hypoglycemic benefits as well. This could be extremely helpful for those people suffereing from diabetes. Other studies have determined that nopal lowers serum levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Additionally, it may inhibit cancer growth and prevent cancer development. Laboratory animals that were treated with cactus juice showed an increase immune response regarding tumor growth, Epstein-Barr virus, and suppressed immune function.
The leaves of the nopal plant are used to provide antiasthmatic, astringent, laxative, pectoral, and vemrifuge properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are mucilage, pectin, and phytochemicals. Primarily, nopal is extremely beneficial in dealing with cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, and immune function. This herb also acts as a great digestive aid.
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 nopal prickly pear, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
August 04, 2009 12:50 PM
The schizandra plant belongs to the family of the Magnoliaceae family. The herb is a creeping woody vine that is native to both China and Japan. The fruit of the schizandra plant has a sweet, salty, bitter, hot, and sour taste. This explains the Chinese name for it, wu wei zi, which means five taste fruit. The seeds of the schizandra plant are both bitter and pungent. Along with the phytochemicals, schizandra is also rich in minerals, vitamins, and essential oils. Schizandra fruit can be found growing wildly in northern China. There, it has been used as a natural medicine for thousands of years. It is often prescribed by physicians in that region. The herb was listed in a book on pharmacy written in the sixteen century by Li Schizheng. Schizandra is used to increase energy; replenish and nourish the viscera, which are the internal abdominal organs; improve vision; boost muscular activity; and soothe both coughs and digestive upsets. In short, schizandra is an adaptogenic, Asian herb that is gaining popularity throughout the world.
This herb helps the body to heal itself. It can help increase energy in the cells of the brain, muscles, liver, kidney, glands, nerves, and the entire body. Schizandra good for adrenals and stimulates the immune system and protects against free-radical damage, radiation, and the effects of sugar, as well as boosting stamina, normalizing blood sugar and blood pressure, and protecting against infections. This herb has a tonic action on the immune system, as well as other body system. For this reason, it can be taken regularly. Schizandra is able to help protect the body from both viral and bacterial infections.
Scientific research has determined that schizandra is antibacterial, stimulant, and protects the liver against toxins. Problems with the liver can lead to immune disorders because of the buildup of toxins. This herb has also been found to help allergies, depression, and fatigue in mice. The herb has been found to protect against the effects of alcohol in laboratory mice. Additional studies have determined that this herb has a mild regenerative effect on the liver. The herb has been used effectively in China to treat infectious hepatitis. Schizandra seems to have a liver-protective effect that is similar to that of milk thistle extracts.
In short, the berries of the schizandra plant are used to provide alterative, antibacterial, astringent, and sedative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, and vitamin C. Primarily, schizandra is extremely beneficial in treating diabetes, lack of energy, fatigue, impotence, lack of mental alertness, nervous disorders, and stress. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with aging, anxiety, arteriosclerosis, asthma, high blood pressure, coughs, diarrhea, edema, gastritis, heart palpitations, hepatitis, indigestion, infections, insomnia, kidney disorders, lung disorders, motion sickness, effects of radiation, uterine problems, and poor vision.
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 schizandra, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Schizandra is available at your local or internet health food store in capsule or tablet forms. Always look for name brands of schizandra to ensure that you purchase a product that is high quality and pure.
Noni Fruit Extract
November 22, 2008 09:34 AM
Tahitian Noni juice can promote a healthy body in many ways. These Noni benefits are conferred by the phytochemicals contained within the fruit pulp, but before discussing the benefits of Noni let's first have a look at what it actually is.
Morinda citrifolia is also known as the Indian or beach mulberry tree, and is a member of Rubiaceae family. Although it originated in Southeast Asia, it has spread all the way to French Polynesia and the Dominican Republic. It is mainly cultivated in Tahiti for its fruit, known as cheese fruit or Noni fruit.
Although it is a staple food in some areas of the Pacific, it has a pungent smell and a bitter taste, and often eaten either raw or cooked only in times of famine. However, the fruit is particularly rich in phytonutrients, and many people swear by the Noni benefits it to maintain a glowing healthy body, free from disease and many of the health problems from which most people suffer.
The strange thing about it is the taste: you would not drink Tahitian Noni juice by choice, nor eat the fruit, so how were these Noni health benefits discovered? Hunger likely explains it: those forced to eat it through hunger were likely the lucky ones, who actually ate a nutritional diet even though they were eating a fruit normally eaten only in times of famine.
Among the conditions that Noni fruit is believed to protect you from are cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol levels, asthma, cholesterol, strokes, migraines, a weak immune system, arthritis and some cancers. Many of these conditions should give you a clue as to the nature of the phytochemicals contained within the fruit, since most of them involve free radical attack and immune system response.
Prior to examining thee diseases and conditions in detail, let's have a look at the chemicals the fruit has been established to contain. It is rich in dietary fiber, offering 100% of the Dietary Reference Intakes of the Institute of Medicine for each 100g serving, and also contains enough carbohydrate to meet 55% of you DTI needs. However, that is just the start.
The Noni pulp powder contains ten times the DRI of Vitamin C, and large quantities of Vitamin B3 niacin), potassium and iron. The Tahitian Noni juice itself contains few nutrients, and only the Vitamin C is retained to any useful level. It is therefore the pulp powder that offers the major nutritional benefit. In fact, because it has to be pasteurized at high temperature to meet regulations the for liquid product, Noni juice loses most of its nutritional content, and even the 31% Vitamin C content is surprising since that too is destroyed at high temperatures.
It is the high phytochemical content of Noni powder that renders it such an important supplement, and a scan down the following components will give you an idea of how the fruit got its reputation. The known Noni benefits are obtained from:
Lignans: these are phytoestrogens that have been reported to offer a reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancers, osteoporosis and also cardiovascular disease. They possess antioxidant properties and although reports as to their effectiveness are varied, they appear to have beneficial health effects.
Flavanoids: These are phenolics, including asperulodisic acid and rutin. The former is believed to be effective against certain cancers, while rutin, also contained in buckwheat, is a strong antioxidant that strengthens capillaries, and also helps to prevent atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Catechin and epicatechin: strong antioxidants that help prevent heart disease, strokes, diabetes and cancers. It also protects your skin against the harmful effects of the ultra-violet component of the sun's rays. Catechin is a form of flavanoid, and one of the more powerful of the antioxidants needed to destroy the free radicals that would otherwise ravage your body through the destruction of your body cells.
B-Sitosterol: a plant sterol that is believed to reduce the cholesterol in your blood, but still requires scientific proof, even though there is plenty of evidence to support its effect. Plant sterols are the basis of the cholesterol-lowering yoghurt drinks that you can but in your local supermarket.
This list is not exclusive, and there are several other phytochemicals found in Noni pulp powder that are believed to confer significant health benefits, but that are still seeking scientific support. The fact that such support has yet to be provided is not a reason to doubt their effectiveness, although the above benefits are sufficient to justify the reputation of this nutritional supplement that few have heard about.
There have been only around 110 reports on Noni research since the 1950s, so it is not surprising that the scientific proof is weak, although of these around 100 have appeared since the year 2000. Don't forget that there was no proof for the effectiveness of penicillin until it was discovered!
Even the biochemistry of the components of Tahitian Noni juice, such as the polysaccharides not mentioned in the above list, is in the early stages of research, and an increasing number of traditional remedies are being found to have a valid scientific and medical basis. These polysaccharides are a form of dietary fiber with probiotic properties that can be fermented by bacteria in the gut to form short chain fatty acids that possess many beneficial health properties.
Take the heterocyclic iridoids, for example. These are unknown to most people, yet they are found in many plants that have extensive medicinal properties, and might be responsible for many of them. They appear to possess anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antispasmodic properties, and support the cardiovascular system, the immune system and help to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. These are also contained in Noni pulp powder.
Another component of Noni fruit that most people have not heard of is damnacanthal. This inhibits certain tyrosine kinesis that basically have a controlling effect on the division of body cells. They particularly inhibit the Ras genes, responsible for some cancers due to uncontrolled cell division. Damnacanthal can prevent Ras genes from causing these cancers.
There are many more benefits that Tahitian Noni juice, or particularly the powdered Noni pulp, can confer, and it is recommended that it be taken as a supplement by anybody needing a general health tonic since it possesses such a wide variety of beneficial properties. The Noni benefits which those that use it enjoy area available to everyone, even though it is one of the lesser known of the beneficial health supplements.
November 12, 2008 09:51 AM
Gymnema sylvestre is found naturally in central and southern India, where it has been used in traditional Indian medicine for almost two thousand years. It is known as 'gurmar' in ancient Indian texts, a word meaning 'sugar destroyer', which gives an indication of its uses in medicine.
It is used to reduce the absorption of glucose into the body, and also reduce the sweetness of foods, both of which are desirable for those wishing to lose weight and to reduce the level of sugar in their blood. It was used for this purpose in Ayurvedic medicine, subjects being given the leaves to chew. As with many other ancient Ayurvedic remedies, this use of gymnema sylvestre has passed into modern times, and has sound scientific basis. First, however a bit more about the plant itself.
It is found predominantly in the Western Ghats, and also to the west of the mountains, around coastal Goa. It is a vinous plant that climbs on other bushes and trees, known in Sanskrit as Meshasringa, or ram's horn after the shape of the leaves from which the supplement is extracted. For what it's worth, the official name seems a mix of Greek and Latin (gymnos(Gr) - naked and Silva (L)- forest) for naked forest. That, however, is irrelevant to its uses, so let's have a look at the science involved and the active ingredients in the plant.
The main constituents are terpenoid saponins known as gymnemic acids, so one can assume that they were first found in this plant. They are glycosides, including hodulcine and ziziphin, which act as sweetness inhibitors so that there is no sweet taste in anything that is sweetened by sucrose. There are over 20 types of gymnemic acid in the leaves, of which the strongest, Gymnemic Acid 1, can suppress the sweetness even of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.
These are not irreversible effects, and last only about 10 minutes, after which normal sweetness is detectable by your tongue. During the active period, however, a solution of normal sugar will taste like ordinary unsweetened water. However, is this just a matter of taste, or does it affect the sugar itself?
Studies have shown that animals fed the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre develop hypoglycemia, probably because it stimulates the pancreas to generate insulin that reduces the level of sugar in the blood. Further studies have shown the presence in the leaves of a number of types of acylated derivatives of deacylgymnemic acid. There are well over a dozen types of saponins known to be contained within the leaves.
Other chemicals found include anthraquinones, flavanoids, chlorophylls, querticol, phytin, a number of glycosides and anthraquinones. The bush also contains alkaloids, although these are constituents in most plants used in ancient remedies. This is by no means all of the chemicals discovered, and many of the minor benefits of using it could be due to the minor constituents of this amazing little leaf.
A study of the above constituents will reveal a few antioxidants, and it is no surprise that the extract from Gymnema sylvestre also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Gymnemic acid is believed to have a similar chemical structure to saccharose, and the plant extracts can be used not only to reduce a craving for sugar, but also to treat digestive problems and high cholesterol levels. So what scientific evidence is there other than the obvious effects reported by those that use it?
A study in the UK in 2005 found that an aqueous extract of Gymnema sylvestre caused the secretion of calcium and insulin from mouse and human cells to be increased at a specific concentration without affecting the cellular function. This means that the supplement can be used to stimulate the secretion of insulin with people with Type 2 diabetes without otherwise affecting health. Its usefulness to diabetics is obvious, but there are other health benefits to those that are not diabetic.
Anything that modulates a sweet tooth must be of use to those seeking to lose weight, particularly if they feel the need for sweet foods. In fact Gymnema tends to reduce food cravings for carbohydrates and sweets, and can be used by those seeking a natural means of curbing their appetite for sweet and sugary foods. Because excess weight can lead to diabetes,
Although there have been many discussions about the biochemical mechanism of the gymnemic acids in this effect on taste, recent evidence suggests that the phytochemicals act on both your taste buds and on those parts of the intestine responsible for absorbing nutrients from digested foods.
Not only that, but studies have also indicated that Gymnema sylvestre removes the bitterness of acerbic chemicals such as quinine in the same way that it removes the sweetness form cakes and candies, and if you drank tonic water it would taste just like water. On the other hand, if you ate an orange, you would taste the acidity but not the sweetness.
The way to use this remarkable supplement is to follow the instructions, and within about a week you will be able to control your appetite much better, and any cravings for carbohydrates you previously had will be much reduced. After a month or so, you will notice an accelerated rate of weight loss if you had been overweight, and diabetics will find a significant reduction on blood sugar between insulin shots.
Gymnema sylvestre can take care of any sugar or carbohydrate cravings, and is of significant use to the overweight, obese or to diabetics, and the mechanism by which it works has now been all but understood, although there are still some biochemical secrets that this amazing plant has yet to reveal. This amazing herb can be found at your local or internet vitamin store.
Green Tea Extract
October 23, 2008 01:43 PM
Green tea is a form of tea made from the leaves of the Carmellia Sinensis, a shrub that is native to China and has spread to other areas of Asia including Japan and the Middle East. Drinking it is believed to impart many health benefits, including the prevention of obesity, heart disease and some forms of cancer and it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 400 years.
Tea is known to have been consumed in China for around 5,000 years, and used, not only in Chinese medicine, but also in that of Japan, Thailand and India for a number of ailments including regulating blood sugar, treating wounds and digestive problems. The drinking of green tea to benefit the heart and other vital organs is described in the Kissa Yojoki (Book of Tea), written in 1191 by Eisai, a Japanese Zen priest.
This two-part book talks about the various medicinal benefits of green tea, such as preventing fatigue, curing beriberi, quenching thirst, clearing the thoughts, maintaining health of the urinary tract and improving digestive problems. It also explains how to grow tea and how to prepare and use the leaves. The methods of treatment of various ailments and medical conditions are described in the second part of the book.
The active ingredients in green tea are catechins, polyphenols with strong anti-oxidant properties. Antioxidants are important components of your diet due to their effect on free radicals. These are small molecules, generally oxygenated, such the superoxide cation and hydrogen peroxide that are generated during normal metabolic processes and also ingested in pollutants such as traffic and factory fumes and insecticides. Free radicals are also formed by the effect of the ultra-violet component of sunlight on your skin and other tissues.
The effect of free radicals on your body can be devastating, and they not only destroy cell membranes but also oxidize such molecules as the low density lipids (LDL) that carry cholesterol around your bloodstream. This allows the LDLs to be absorbed by the white blood cells and then deposited as fatty plaques in the walls of your arteries. The end result is a thickening and hardening of the arteries that leads to a condition known as atherosclerosis, where the blood supply to the brain and heart muscle is restricted, which can in turn lead to strokes and heart disease.
Their effect on your cells is to cause cancer and premature aging, among others, and free radicals are also believed to play a part in conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and also inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and diabetes. They can also cause damage to your DNA.
It is essential, therefore, that these free radicals are destroyed as quickly as they are generated, and that is what antioxidants do. You might be more familiar with the antioxidants Vitamins A, C and E, and phytochemicals such as flavonoids and carotenoids, but there are many substances available to you that are even more powerful such as the polyphenols found in green tea.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most powerful of these with antioxidant properties at least twenty five times that of Vitamin E, and 100 times that of Vitamin C. EGCG comprises around 10-50% of the total catechin content of the tea and studies indicate that it likely helps to protect against DNA damage by free radicals, to protect against oxidation of LDL, provide protection against the damage of ultra-violet radiation and to protect you from the free radicals that are generated by smoking tobacco and general airborne pollution.
There are suggestions that the bioavailability of EGCG can be increased by consuming black pepper when drinking green tea, possibly due to the presence of piperine in the pepper. The piperine appears to retard the intestinal glucuronidation of EGCG and so allow more of it to be absorbed as opposed to excreted. So if you are using green tea for health reasons, spice up your food with a small amount of black pepper - that's all it needs. You don't have to smother your food in it! It should be stressed that these tests were carried out on animals, although the biochemistry involved is much the same.
The oxidation of fat by your metabolism to provide energy is a very important factor in weight control. If the contribution of the fats you ingest to the energy generated by your metabolism is low, then the fats can go on to be deposited in your body. This is not only unsightly, in that it can basically make you look 'fat', but is also dangerous to your health. Fat deposits around your midriff and round the major organs of your body can be extremely damaging and a severe risk to your health.
It has been shown by a recent study in the UK (Birmingham University) that those taking green tree extract displayed a 17% increase in fat oxidation over those given a placebo. Not only that, but the ratio of fat oxidation to the overall energy expenditure showed a similar differential between the study and the control group. This provides evidence of green tea extract being able to control your weight by burning fat, and also to improve the tolerance to glucose and sensitivity to insulin of healthy people.
Many other health claims have been made for green tea extract, although many of these have little, if any, scientific basis. Among these are the claims that it can treat multiple sclerosis and be used to treat cancer, although claims that it can prevent the destruction of cell membranes due to its oxidative effect are supported by the biochemistry, if not the medical proof. There are cases where theoretical biochemistry can explain many of the applications of ancient remedies without needing modern day studies to support it.
Some of the research supporting the green tea theories include:
1. In 2006, a study was announced that had followed over 40,500 Japanese men and women, aged between 40 and 79, that had no history of coronary heart disease, stroke or cancer starting in 1994. It was found that those who drank at least 5 cups of tea per day had a 16% lower risk of dying from any cause and a 26% less risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than those that drank less than one cup of tea each day. Since cardiovascular disease and cancer are the major causes of death world-wide, these are significant results.
2. Again in 2006, it was reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that studies indicated that a higher consumption of green tea was associated with a reduction in human mental impairment when compared to the average.
3. Yale University School of Medicine reported later that year that, in spite of smoking more than their western counterparts, Asians suffered lower rates of cancer and heart disease, and put that down to them drinking over 4 pints of green tea daily. It was the polyphenol content of green tea and its antioxidant effect that was proposed for this result, known commonly as the 'Asian paradox'. A specific reason given for this was the antioxidant effect preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, and its subsequent deposition in the artery walls.
4. Another component of green tea is the amino acid L-Theanine that promotes relaxation, and it is believed that this could help to fight stress by inhibiting the excitation of cortical neurons.
There is a lot more evidence for the health benefits of green tea, and once again it appears that the ancients have been proved correct. Perhaps we should pay more attention to ancient remedies, although without the proper evidence much of it is ignored - for the time being at least. Green tea, however, has generally been accepted due to the research and studies carried out on ECGC (Epigallocatechin gallate) and in additional to the traditional form, is also available as a dietary supplement.
Grape Fruit Pectin Fiber
October 21, 2008 12:56 PM
Grapefruit pectin fiber is a source of soluble fiber that can bind to cholesterol and inhibit the formation of atherosclerosis. It is also effective in maintaining good blood sugar levels, and promoting a healthy colon. However, before discussing how grapefruit pectin fiber works in these ways, it is first necessary to explain how they occur in the first place.
First cholesterol. This is a steroid lipid, most of which is biosynthesized by your body rather than being present in your diet. Although it has a bad name health wise, cholesterol is actually essential to good health because it helps your digestive system break down fast, it strengthens cell walls and is a major ingredient in the manufacture of vitamin D by your liver. It is also essential for the formation of several hormones, including cortisone, cortisol and aldosterone by the adrenal glands, and also of estrogen and testosterone. A bloodstream without cholesterol is therefore not good for you.
Given that cholesterol is essential for good health, then why does it have such a bad press? The root cause of that is that cholesterol is not water soluble, and to be carried round the bloodstream to where it is needed it needs some transport. For that, it uses low density lipoproteins (LDLs). However, it’s not a return journey, and to get back they must use another form of lipid known as a high density lipoprotein (HDL). The protein part is water soluble, wile the lipid part can attach to the cholesterol and carry it around the bloodstream.
The problem arises with free radicals, which are oxygenated molecules that are generated by the body’s metabolism, and also created from pollutants, such as pesticides and cigarette smoke, and the UV portion of daylight. These can oxidize the low density lipoproteins so that they can be attacked by phagocytes (while blood cells) deposited as plaques in the artery walls. This hardens and thickens the arteries, reducing the heart’s blood supply which in turn can cause strokes and heart attacks.
This can be prevented in a number ways, the major of which are by consuming plenty antioxidants in your food, mostly contained in phytochemicals (plant chemicals), reducing your LDL cholesterol levels to the minimum needed by your body, and also by increasing the HDL levels in your bloodstream by as much as possible.
Grapefruit pectin fiber can bind to cholesterol, and prevent it from being deposited in the artery walls by the oxidized LDL. A sixteen week double blind study (neither the subjects nor those carrying out the test and analyzing the results knew who were given the placebo) found that grapefruit pectin successful reduced the low density cholesterol level of 27 subjects by 10.8% and overall plasma cholesterol by 7.6%. These volunteers were at a medium to high risk of atherosclerosis due to a high LDL cholesterol concentration in their blood.
Animal studies have also been carried out, whereby animals were fed a high cholesterol diet, and those fed a high fat diet were found to have an average of 45% narrowing of their arteries, and those fed the same diet, but with added grapefruit pectin fiber, were found to have only 25% narrowing, thus corresponding with the results of the human volunteers.
It is essential that you maintain a stable level of sugar in your blood since the body reacts to low blood glucose by making you feel hungry, and thereby forcing you eat. If you are trying to lose weight you will find it very difficult if your blood sugar levels fluctuate. Grapefruit pectin can reduce the rate at which carbohydrates enter your bloodstream, and therefore the rate at which sugars are absorbed.
Studies have also indicated that pectin can even out your blood sugar concentration, so that you experience fewer fluctuations or sudden spikes that can make you feel either very hungry, and so binge on carbohydrates, or very satisfied so that you eat nothing at all. The maintenance of a stable level of glucose in the blood is necessary for a normal life since it is that that determine your need to eat food. If your blood sugar is low, the desire to eat high calorie carbohydrate food is uncontrollable.
This is the theory behind the so-called ‘grapefruit diet’. You eat a grapefruit prior to a meal, and allow it to be digested. The grapefruit pectin will make you feel full and so eat less, so that you can eat normal foods, but still lose weight. Many people take the grapefruit pectin in supplement form for its ease and economy of use. It is also more convenient since you don’t have to carry grapefruit around with you everywhere you go.
A Healthy Colon
Like any other soluble fiber, grapefruit pectin fiber is a dietary fiber that can help to maintain the health of your colon. In fact it is the only one of the basic four fibers of lignin, cellulose, hemicelluloses and pectin that is soluble. Although referred to as soluble, pectin softens and expands and provides substance and added weight to faeces in order to allow it to pass easier through your colon.
Other than ensuring the easy passage of your stool through your colon, and avoiding constipation, grapefruit pectin fiber can help to prevent excessive growth of bad bacteria in the intestine, and because it accelerates the passage of substances through the colon, there is less time for toxic or cancerous substances to be in contact with your bowel lining. It is that which causes bowel cancer, and grapefruit pectin fiber can help to prevent it.
Fiber can also help to prevent diverticulosis, where the intestinal wall develops small sacs and becomes weakened. It also prevents hemorrhoids, eases the symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). In short, it offers many benefits for the health of your colon, and can help to cure many bowel conditions.
However, it is important that you don't just rush into using any form of dietary fiber, but take it gradually. You start with a small intake, and then increase it slowly; since it is not absorbed through the intestine too much can lie in your colon and ferment, causing any number of intestinal problems. When used properly it can ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, but if used to excess, or too quickly, can actually cause the same symptoms, in addition to blocking the absorption of essential minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium.
Grapefruit pectin fiber can do a great deal for health, including maintaining good blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and helping to keep your colon healthy. It is available in convenient supplement form, but make sure that you drink sufficient liquid each day in order to prevent the fiber blocking your intestine rather than allowing free passage of waste product into, through, and out of your colon.
October 15, 2008 09:46 AM
To fight off aging you have to understand what causes it, and the take steps to avoid these causes. It is fairly obvious that all causes of aging cannot be circumvented, but there are things that can be done to keep some of them at bay. Here, we are specifically concerned with the aging of your skin, which is the most visible form of aging. The first aspect of aging to understand is that there are two types: intrinsic and extrinsic.
Intrinsic aging is natural aging, and is largely genetic. Starting when you are fairly young, normally in the early to mid 20s, intrinsic aging is typified by wrinkling, hair loss or graying of the hair, hollowing of cheeks and other areas where the fat underneath the skin that normally contributes to your physical appearance is lost, and also bone loss that causes your skin to sag due a gradual loss of the structure that sculpts your physical appearance.
The age at which this occurs, and its speed is determined by your genes; although the process generally begins around the mid 20s, the speed with which it progresses is genetically controlled.
This is where grape seed extract can help. Extrinsic aging is not genetic, but environmental. Ten majority of this type of aging is due to exposure to the damaging UV light of the sun, which cause the typical 'leathery' look of the skin of people raised in areas such locations as the hotter parts of Australia and the USA, without the benefit of the native skin pigmentation that filters out these harmful ultra-violet rays.
Other factors that can cause the same degradation of your skin cells are smoking, the way you sleep and gravity. The sun generates free radicals (more on these later) that can destroy skin cells, cause freckles, leathery skin and a blotched complexion and also skin cancer. Smokers are more likely to develop leathery and wrinkled skin than non-smokers, and as the elasticity of your skin reduces, gravity cause jowls to develop and also a more pronounced lower lip.
Even your sleeping position can make you appear to age quicker, particularly using the same sleeping position on your pillow each night that cause what are known as sleep lines, that are really wrinkles that are difficult, if not impossible to remove. However, one of the most relevant factors is pollution, and the effects of car emissions, pesticides and other agricultural chemicals, paint fumes and 1001 other forms of chemical pollution that produce free radicals.
Where grape seed extract is involved in fighting off aging is in extrinsic aging is by destroying the free radicals. All substances, from the air to the oceans, are formed of atoms that contain electrons. Stable molecules contain an even number of electrons, or what are known as 'electron pairs'. When a molecule loses one electron it is known as a free radical, whose prime purpose in its very short life is to steal an electron from the nearest molecule. This 'short' lifetime can as long as a day or as short as thousandth of a second: it depends on is size and the degree of steric hindrance to the reaction with the spare electron.
Now that the reasons for aging and the nature of free radicals are better understood it is easier for you understand why grape seed extract can help to fight aging caused by the effects of free radicals on your skin.
Grape seed is a waste product of the wine industry. You cannot make wine from grape seeds, so they are removed from the final product by filtration or sedimentation. It contains a large number of phytonutrients, the most important being polyphenols in the form of flavanoids, lipids and carbohydrates. It also contains proteins that don't have much of an effect on aging. Flavonoids (also spelled flavanoids) are powerful antioxidants that destroy free radicals; they are twenty times as powerful as Vitamin E and over fifty times more powerful an antioxidant than Vitamin C.
Both of these vitamins are regarded as strong antioxidants in their own right, which is an indication of how good grape seed extract is at killing free radicals. It's like a combination of Harry Callahan, Paul Kersey, John McClane and the whole of the Magnificent Seven after the scavengers in your body cells. They succeed, and do it in spades!
Not only do the ingredients of grape seed extract kill off free radicals with the efficiency of a Delta Task Force, but are also anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti just about anything else you can think of. However, let's have an even closer look and find out exactly what polyphenols are present in this so-called wonder juice.
Procyanadin was originally named Vitamin P in 1936 by its discoverer, Prof. Jacques Masquelier, and is believed to bond with collagen to protect you from premature aging by retaining and even improving the elasticity of your skin. An added benefit is that it also improves the elasticity of your blood vessels, and so helps to fight off the effects of high blood pressure and places less strain on your heart. The overall effect on your face is to practically give you a chemical face lift and also provide protection from the damaging effect of the UV component of sunlight through its lethal attitude towards the free radicals that UV radiation generates.
Another component of grape seed extract particularly that of muscadine grapes is resveratrol; a phytoalexin that has strong anti-inflammatory properties and can also fight off the effects of aging. Phytoalexins are antibiotics produced by plants that are under attack, and, in addition to helping you age slower, confers other benefits to your body including helping your brain to carry out its work more efficiently.
All in all, grape seed extract confers many benefits to your health and is also believed to possess powerful anti-cancer properties. However, it is for its ability to fight off aging that most people use it as a supplement, and in this respect it has been found to be extremely effective. Any antioxidant is of benefit to your body, but grape seed extract is of particular benefit due its high antioxidant potency.
Phytoestrogen - Plant Estrogen
September 25, 2008 05:57 PM
Phytoestrogens mainly belong to a group of phenolic compounds known as flavonoids: the coumestans, prenylated and isoflavones are three of the most active in estrogenic effects. Phytoestrogens are not considered as nutrients because the lack of in the diet will not produce any characteristic deficiency syndromes nor do they participate in any essential biological function. Phytoestrogens are considered archi-estrogens (naturally occurring) and as dietary phytochemicals they are considered as safe and effective in its estrogenic activity.
Phytoestrogen content varies in different foods, and may vary significantly within the same group of foods due to the way these foods are grown such as soil content. Phytoestrogen when consumed as a treatment for menopause was well tolerated and caused no changes in liver enzymes, creatinine levels, body mass index, or blood pressure. Phytoestrogen is found in a wide variety of edible plants and generally display both estrogenic and anti-estrogenic properties.
Canadian researchers examined the content of nine common phytoestrogens foods in a Western diet, foods with the highest relative phytoestrogen content were nuts and oilseeds, followed by soy products, cereals and breads, legumes, meat products, and processed foods that may contain soy, vegetables, fruits, alcoholic, and nonalcoholic beverages. Researchers are also studying if phytoestrogens can prevent prostate cancer, preliminary results are promising. Researchers focused primarily on the compound isoflavones because of its greater abundance in soy plus it exhibit estrogenic properties in the same strength as the other phytoestrogens compounds..
Isoflavones are structurally similar to the estrogen in human body’s, and thus have been shown to possess both estrogenic and anti-estrogenic activity. Isoflavones may directly inhibit bone re-sorption and prevent the onset of osteoporosis. The weak estrogenic effects of isoflavones have been postulated as being protective against various forms of cancer as well. Being that isoflavones are chemically similar to estrogen, one can take isoflavones as an estrogenic replacement with little to no side effects.
Two other clinical trials suggest that over the short term, soy isoflavones may reduce lumbar spine bone loss in peri- and postmenopausal women. Red Clover contains all four estrogenic isoflavones: biochanin formonoetin daidzein Genistein. Much research has been performed on soy and red clover based phytoestrogens sources. We do not eat much red clover and so we will focus more on soy sources.
Soybeans contain large amounts of isoflavones or phytoestrogens such as genistein, daidzein, glycitein, and isoflavones. Soybeans display a biological effect when ingested by humans and animals. Soybean oil is the most commonly used vegetable oil in the United States and Europe. Soybean oil contains approximately 61 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids making it a healthy alternative to other oils currently available on the market for cooking.
Soybeans contain high levels of phytoestrogens and are the most widely used oil in the United States, and is sold as either pure soybean oil or as a main ingredient in vegetable oil. Most of the supplements on the natural foods market contain isoflavones derived from soybeans or red clover and some contain botanicals such as black cohosh.
Phytoestrogen flavonoids and lignan exhibit significant antioxidant activity which is great for those anti-aging minded individuals. The antioxidant activity in flavonoid and lignan helps support breast, heart and bone health. Antioxidants can reduce free radical damage in the body as well as reduce oxidative stress which causes aging. We all know that over time we age, phytoestrogens might help one age more gracefully.
Finally, phytoestrogens, sometimes called "natural estrogens", are a diverse group of naturally occurring non steroidal plant compounds that, because of their structural similarity with estradiol (estrogen), have the ability to cause estrogenic or/and anti-estrogenic effects in the body. Isoflavones are found in high concentration in soy bean and soy bean products changing ones diet to more soy based foods or taking a phytoestrogens supplement can help reduce estrogen related cancers and maybe even prostate cancer.
September 02, 2008 10:10 AM
An isoflavone from soy has been evaluated for its effect on various female functions such as the menopause and some effects on estrogens. Soy products have been part of the diet in the Far East for thousands of years, and it is a known fact that these people suffer fewer incidences of conditions such as breast cancer, menopausal problems, rectal cancer and diseases of the heart and joints.
The benefits that such a diet appeared to confer on those taking it initiated many studies into the active constituents of soy, and how the biochemistry involved imparted these benefits. A result of this was an intensification of investigations into many so-called -women's functions' or 'women's problems' that hitherto had been accepted as a part of life. Now, however, they are better understood, just as many other components of the Oriental diet are being found to have wider implications in terms of disease prevention and increasing life expectancy. So back to soy and its isoflavone content.
Soy contains a number of isoflavones, commonly known as phyto-estrogens - plant estrogens - because their chemical formula is similar to that of estrogen, a female hormone. Isoflavones possess some properties that support the beneficial properties of estrogens, and others that suppress some of the risk factors possessed by estrogen. We shall discuss here how these isoflavones are related chemically to estrogens, and how they can be used to support some specific female functions.
In order to understand how isoflavones work we go back to the 1980s, when alpha and beta estrogen receptors were discovered. Until then, the biochemistry of estrogen was not fully understood, and problems connected with estrogen had not been fully investigated.
Like all hormones, estrogen works by finding receptors that are located on cells. With regard to estrogen there are two types of receptor. The beta receptors are connected with the beneficial properties of estrogen, while the alpha receptors tend to lead to the unfavorable effects such as cancers related to estrogen. Each of your different tissue types possesses different ratios of these two receptor types.
The unfavorable alpha receptors predominate in tissues such as the breast, ovaries and uterus. The favorable beta receptors predominate in the blood cells, bladder, prostate gland, thymus and bones. Studies have indicated that isoflavones appear to attack to the beta receptors and simulate the beneficial effect of estrogen when the levels of estrogen in the body are low, and allow the proper functioning of these cells in the body.
The alpha cells are also populated by isoflavones, which then protect these areas of your body against cancers that can be stimulated by estrogen, such as cancers of the breast, ovaries and uterus. It appears that cancers that can develop when the alpha receptors are populated by estrogen do not occur when isoflavones have captured them
Isoflavones are present in the form of glucosides. These are composed of sugar and non-sugar components, the latter known as aglycones, and the main isoflavones in soybean are based on the three aglycones genistein, daizein and glycetein. The glucosides are water soluble and are broken down into enzymes known as B-glucosidases in the intestine. This releases the aglycones that can be further metabolized into other substances.
Current studies are examining the possibility that a diet rich in isoflavones taken early in life up to teenage years can reduce the incidence of breast cancer in later years. Isoflavones have been used in the laboratory to reduce the growth of prostate cancer cells, and animal studies have reinforced this finding. The fact that Japanese men suffer less from prostate cancer than those eating diets low in isoflavones also tend to reinforce this connection.
The same mechanism can be used to in prostate cancer by binding to testosterone receptors. Genistein, in particular, can help treat certain types of cancer by inhibiting enzymes such as tyrosine kinase that can become hyperactive and overstimulate the growth of potentially cancerous cells.
It is probable that the estrogen binding facility of isoflavones complements the activity of estrogen in women with low levels of hormone. When the female estrogen level is low, isoflavones can reduce the effects of the menopause and symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats become less severe. While not all women benefit, it has been found that women with these symptoms tend to suffer less when taking a diet rich in soy foods containing isoflavones.
In addition to its moderating effect on these cancers, and its effect on the menopausal symptoms on many women, soy isoflavones possess a few other beneficial health properties. They are strong antioxidants, and help to support the immune system by mopping up free radicals. They also help to protect from atherosclerosis by preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and depositing it as plaque in the arteries.
There is evidence that isoflavones in the diet can help to maintain strong healthy bones. This is largely through the fact that Chinese women taking a diet rich in soya suffer fewer fractures than those on a low soy diet, but studies are continuing into potential reasons for this. Estrogen receptors in bones regulate bone growth and density. Isoflavones can modulate these receptors and promote greater bone density just like estrogen hormones with out estrogen side effects.
Isoflavones have few dietary sources, the richest being soybeans and other soy products. These are very low in the non-Asian diet, so few people, other than Asians, receive the benefit of these phytochemicals. This is believed to be the major reason for Asians suffering significantly lower rates of certain cancers than non-Asians.
Soy milk and tofu are the richest sources, although there is no standardization of isoflavones in soy-based foodstuffs. This is because the isoflavone content varies according to growing conditions, although a diet containing the recommended quantities of soy foods, such as soy milk or soy beans, together with a low cholesterol diet, should help women to overcome many of the problems associated with excess estrogen, or a lack of it especially when taking in conjunction with essential fatty acids.
Any supplement containing soy will be beneficial to most women, particularly during the menopausal stages, although the effect of isoflavones on certain cancers to which women are susceptible cannot be ignored. Such supplements should therefore be used by all women from at the teens onwards, studies having indicating that an isoflavone-rich diet should be beneficial over the longer term.
Isoflavones from soy is effective in helping to support female functions, although the normal Western diet is traditionally very short in these forms of phytoestrogen. Isoflavones can modulate estrogen receptor sites through out the body helping the body regulate its functions and easy the symptoms related to a estrogen deficient body.