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  Messages 1-18 from 18 matching the search criteria.
Edible or poisonous? Tips on how to determine which wild plants are safe to consume Darrell Miller 6/30/18
4 Ways You're Eating Your Way Toward an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Darrell Miller 5/6/17
how to treat snake bites naturally with herbs? Darrell Miller 3/17/17
Could magical mushrooms contain the cure for depression? Darrell Miller 2/8/17
What Are The Benefits of Cedar Essential Oil ? Darrell Miller 10/6/16
What is Xylitol? Darrell Miller 2/9/14
History And Uses Of Xylitol Darrell Miller 2/7/12
Fight Inflammation With Herbs from Planetary Herbals Darrell Miller 6/2/10
Supplements to Fight Prostate Cancer Darrell Miller 7/29/07
Breast Cancer and Natural Supplements Darrell Miller 5/11/07
Mushrooms are good for the Immune System Darrell Miller 1/26/07
Q. What exactly are maitake mushrooms? Darrell Miller 11/22/06
An Interview with Congressman Sam Farr, Representing California’s Central Coast. Darrell Miller 5/30/06
Q. What exactly are maitake mushrooms? Darrell Miller 11/11/05
Source Naturals Darrell Miller 8/20/05
Botanical Arsenal - Plants can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly ... Darrell Miller 6/13/05
<b> Mushrooms </b> Darrell Miller 6/10/05
Aromessentials Darrell Miller 6/10/05



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Edible or poisonous? Tips on how to determine which wild plants are safe to consume
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Date: June 30, 2018 05:54 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Edible or poisonous? Tips on how to determine which wild plants are safe to consume





Edible or poisonous? Tips on how to determine which wild plants are safe to consume

If you're an avid nature lover, it is important to familiarize yourself with which plants and flowers can be potentially toxic to you and your family's health. A good rule of thumb is to always be on the lookout for white, flowered buds. They typically appear in groups, and they indicate that the plant is either a Cicuta or a Conium plant. Both are known to be super toxic to human health, and should be avoided at all costs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Plants that have white, umbrella-shaped cluster of flowers are poisonous. The water hemlock and poison hemlock are in this group. Try to avoid them.
  • Poisonous plants usually have waxy leaves which they use to retain water.
  • Any plant that has thorns or fine hairs should be presumed to be poisonous or dangerous.

"If you find yourself forced to survive in the woods, it is important to know which plants are safe to forage."

Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-06-28-tips-on-how-to-determine-which-wild-plants-are-safe-to-consume.html

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4 Ways You're Eating Your Way Toward an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
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Date: May 06, 2017 12:44 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: 4 Ways You're Eating Your Way Toward an Anti-Inflammatory Diet





The different foods we eat affects us all in different ways, we all react differently to different foods but diets in our times seem like that just keep escalating towards backwoods progression regarding the health part of eating. The diets that people are catering themselves to are compleatly ridicules and the different amounts of colestroal is vast without the fat sliver of people painfully overeating different types of junk food, not emunesuly affecting the public but taking steps.

Key Takeaways:

  • Inflammation how your immune system responds to foreign things. However, too much inflammation is bad and can lead to health problems.
  • Whole foods can help reduce inflammation. Specific ones include fatty fish, vegetables with vitamin C, nuts with Vitamin D, foods high in fibre, and probiotics (like yogurt).
  • Processed foods are pro-inflammatory, so avoid them and maintain a balanced diet.

"Registered dietitian Jessica Guarnieri tells us how anti-inflammatory foods can relieve the onset of chronic conditions related to inflammation—think swelling, discomfort, joint pain or stiffness, tiredness, energy loss, headaches, or appetite loss."

Read more: http://verilymag.com/2017/04/anti-inflammatory-foods-inflammation

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how to treat snake bites naturally with herbs?
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Date: March 17, 2017 04:44 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: how to treat snake bites naturally with herbs?





Whether you spend a lot of time in the Woods, hiking, and enjoying nature, or go outside only when the grass is well-kempt, the danger of a snake bite is still a concern that you should take seriously. Many snakes are out in nature, ready to strike any time they feel threatened. While you shouldn't fear the outdoors, you should be prepared, especially now that you can find an array of natural herbs that will treat snake bites quickly and easily.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYWiynZDEDk&rel=0

Key Takeaways:

  • Herbs are an important compound that can have many healing effects, when used appropriately.
  • It is important to do the research when trying to heal series illness with herbs.
  • Some herbs have a connection with healing from snake bites, at least in some areas.

"Snake bites are a global public health problem, with highest incidence in Southeast Asia."

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Could magical mushrooms contain the cure for depression?
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Date: February 08, 2017 02:59 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Could magical mushrooms contain the cure for depression?





More Americans over aged twelve have been diagnosed with depression, a condition that can lead to high risk behaviors and even death from suicide. A medical journal from China recently published the benefits of the hen of the Woods mushroom in treating depression. Early studies on mice have shown that it is a safe and effective treatment and has less side effects than chemically formulated medications to treat depression.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mental health issues, and depression in particular, have risen to alarming proportions in recent years. The CDC reports that at any given time, 7.6 percent of people in the U.S. over the age of 12 are afflicted with this condition.
  • As the CDC further notes, depression is associated with an increased risk of death from suicide and other causes; absenteeism and lower workplace productivity,
  • Fortunately, there is new hope for those afflicted with this devastating condition. Chinese medicine has long utilized mushrooms in the treatment of a variety of ailments, and Western medicine is finally catching on.

"Mental health issues, and depression in particular, have risen to alarming proportions in recent years. The CDC reports that at any given time, 7.6 percent of people in the U.S. over the age of 12 are afflicted with this condition."



Reference:

//www.naturalnews.com/2017-02-04-could-magical-mushrooms-contain-the-cure-for-depression.html

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What Are The Benefits of Cedar Essential Oil ?
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Date: October 06, 2016 04:27 PM
Author: Darrell Miller
Subject: What Are The Benefits of Cedar Essential Oil ?

Cedar essential oil is a type of oil which is typically extracted from the leaves and branches of cedar trees.  For over a hundred years, cedar essential oil has been used to treat a whole range of health problems including respiratory problems, skin diseases, fungus and eczema.

Cedar oil can be cooked with tea to treat coughs, headaches and colds. It can also be mixed with bathing water to treat gout and rheumatism arthritis. This oil can be used to wash swollen feet in order to treat burns and other common problems.

Cedar essential oil is commonly used in making Woodsy and rustic perfumes. The oil is normally mixed with lavender, pine and citrus to assist in boosting the smell of the perfume.  Cedar acts as powerful fresheners which means it can help keep your room smelling better. It can as well be used for staving away bacteria and insects.

Cedar can freshen up your day.  Consider adding it to your diffuser each day for better health and wellness.

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=3325)


What is Xylitol?
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Date: February 09, 2014 08:50 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: What is Xylitol?

What is Xylitol?

xylitolXylitol is a 5-carbon Sugar alcoholic recognized even more particularly like a polyalcohol (polyol) and it has already been getting used because the 60's. You can find this within nourishments with regard to unique nutritional reasons as well as a number of without having Sugar goodies, candy, mints as well as biting down hard gums.

Never such as additional designed sweeteners, for instance, sorbitol, mannitol xylitol assists an all natural flavor and it has absolutely no after-taste. This particular organic sweetener additionally statements in order to help fat loss since it offers forty % less calories from fat compared to Sugar. Due to the reduced glycemic report worth associated with simply 7, this particular Sugar alcoholic beverages has developed into well-liked choice along with diabetes or even people with hypoglycaemia. It's minimum effect on blood sugar levels as well as doesn't assist insulin in order to metabolize. Some of the greatest recognized wellsprings of the Sugar alternative tend to be fruits, mushrooms, as well as lettuce.

In spite of, actually these types of sustenances most abundant in raised levels include only a fragile quantity of the actual Sugar. For example, 1 cup associated with raspberries consists of simply not precisely 1 gram from it. Appropriately, this particular Sugar alternative is actually in a commercial sense ready with the hydrogenation associated with wooden Sugar (zylose) deduced in the xylan hemicellulose polymer bonded present in hardWoods, hammer toe husks, birch trees and shrubs, oats, nutshells, and so forth. The entire chemical substance process is actually vitality severe as well as big size, consequently causeing this to be Sugar alcoholic beverages 10 occasions more expensive compared to desk Sugar, sucrose.

Additionally, I have to stipulate which around it's producer statements which it's 100% organic Sugar, the way in which this particular sweetener may be handled as well as changed in order to draw out the actual Sugar deposits certainly merely does not seem because wholesome or even an amazing identical to something which normally occurs within meals developed in the floor, is not which correct? It is just difficult to think about this a proper Sugar whenever it's already been therefore extremely dealt with.

Is Xylitol Safe?

Indeed, the actual FDA offers mentioned which Xylitol is actually secure with regard to human being usage within never-ending amounts. The primary threat may be the concern associated with Xylitol as well as young puppies. Don't allow your dog consume Xylitol as it might result in a unexpected as well as possibly deadly decrease within dog sugar!

What exactly are Xylitol's Many benefits?

1. It is normally fairly sweet without any unusual aftertaste

2. Appears & preferences such as Sugar

3. 40% less calories from fat & 75% much less carbohydrates compared to Sugar

Xylitol's Dental & Dental care Advantages

Xylitol represses the power associated with germs to stick to tissue within the mouth area as well as can't be digested through germs, therefore it significantly shells from the procedure which produces dangerous, enamel-eating acids.

1. No cario-genic (doesn't trigger cavities)

2. Reduces cavities through 80%

3. Substantial long term reduction in cavities (88-93%)

4. Reduces dental care plaque development through producing plaque much less adhesive

An additional well-known wellness declare of the Sugar is actually it's capability to homicide germs and steer clear of teeth rot as well as dental illness. It's also believed to assist reduce plaque as well as impede current cavities through decreasing. Like the majority of Sugar alcohols, it may change the calm laxative effect from higher dimensions. Based on research brought within 1977, spending 1. four oz . from the Sugar alcoholic beverages for each day time may cause diarrhoea in several topics. It's producer announced which within doses associated with bigger than 15 gr, that is around 3 teaspoons, the actual sweetener isn't secure for everyone to make use of. Diagnostic tests exposed which 1. 65 gr from it might lead to passing away inside a 100gram rat. An average little bit of xylitol-gum consists of 0. 7 -- 1 gram associated with xylitol, and therefore about 50 % the quantity of the actual sweetener is needed to perform the rat.

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History And Uses Of Xylitol
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Date: February 07, 2012 07:50 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanet.net)
Subject: History And Uses Of Xylitol

Xylitol is the 5-carbon sugar which is found within the birch tree sap and it's naturally found in the fibers of various vegetables and fruits. This is a sugar-alcohol sweetener commonly used as the sugar substitute.

History of xylitol

Although discovered in the 19th century during the Second World War, Xylitol has been recognized ever since the tardy 1800s. The researchers from Germany and France were the first individuals to try to produce this product approximately 100 years ago, but ended up creating syrup-like consistency mixture. This product became commercially available in the 1960s and the commercial process is still the same as it was during the 1960s.

Before 1943, the scientists' categorized this sugar with various sugary carbohydrates (polyols) and it lingered so till the beginning of the war-associated deficiency of sugar which initiated the call for an alternate sugar. This initiated further research in to the xylitols insulin-independent properties, this resulted in discovery of its other biological benefits. In 1962 this chemical was introduced in the infusion therapy demonstrating that it can be introduced to ill individuals.

The commercial production process involves extraction of Polysaccharides rich in Xylose from various agricultural by-products and hardWoods. These are hydrolyzed with various intense acidic treatments and then it is purified before hydrogenation is done. This process needs a lot of harsh chemicals and is quite expensive and inefficient.

It was until 1970 that the odontological benefit of xylitol was ascertained in Finland, Turku. The initial study of the effects of this sugar on the dental plaque began during the same year. This resulted in large scale production of xylitol, in 1974 by the Finnish sugar company. Sugar-free dental product was first launched in Finland which was a xylitol chewing-gum.

How xylitol works

This sugar can prevent cavity in various ways by actually blocking the tooth decaying process. The bacteria causing decay cannot ferment this sugar into acids as it does with other sugars including dextrose, fructose, glucose and sucrose. This results in production of less acidic by-product thus interfering with the dental plaque environment which favors decaying. This results in prevention of tooth demineralization.

The high pH condition caused by xylitol sugar is not favorable for the cariogenic bacteria which are responsible for decaying. This results in fewer bacteria in the plaques and long-term exposure has an effect on which type of bacteria will prevail within the plaque. This also inhibits the growth of specific xylitol-sensitive bacteria strain. Since they cannot breakdown this sugar, they end up not reproducing and growing in population. The lack of fermentable sugars results in creation of anti-cavity effect.

The starvation effect created by this sugar prevents accumulation of cariogenic bacteria in the plaques. Long term xylitol exposure results in change of predominant cariogenic bacteria to xylitol-resistant strains from xylitol-sensitive. This xylitol-sensitive strain of bacteria cannot colonize the plaque since they have less adhering capabilities.

The less acidic condition in the dental plaque interface created by this sugar can initiate demineralization. Demineralization occurs when the plaque interface is at a pH of 5.5 or below since fewer bacteria live in the plaques. Studies have showed that demineralized tooth samples immersed in a solution containing 20% xylitol experienced a great remineralization degree. This is noted in the deep and middle tooth layers.

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Fight Inflammation With Herbs from Planetary Herbals
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Date: June 02, 2010 04:39 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Fight Inflammation With Herbs from Planetary Herbals

Inflama-Care 60 tabs from PLANETARY HERBALSOur modern lives have untold benefits, as well as challenges. Our dependence on man-made toxic chemicals, junk food, nutrient imbalanced diets, and our stressful, sedentary lifestyles can alter our biochemical metabolism and affect our health.

These lifestyles and environmental change can challenge immune health, so that the various components of the immune system are not able to carry out their protective functions. Or our immune systems can go into overdrive, often leading to a state called metabolic inflammation.

A Powerful Herbal Blend

Inflamma-Care is a potent, herbal response to the metabolic inflammation that can result from inappropriate immune response. The main component of inflama-care is the rhizome of the curcuma spicies, long used as a spice in India. Known worldwide as turmeric (curcuma longa), it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the activities of cytokines – inflammation messengers.

This world-renowned spice is supported by boswellia, which inhibits pro-inflammatory enzymes, and ginger an antioxidant that inhibits prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis. Other herbs in the formula that inhibit inflammatory action include willow bark, Chinese skullcap, corydalis, holy basil, and hops.

Inflama-care also contains systemic enzymes to clear and protect the arteries and circulatory system. Systemic enzymes like bromelain and papain cleanse the bloodstream and enable the blood to flow smoothly. A free-flowing bloodstream helps the body by circulating important nutrients to the cells while clearing the body of wastes.

Immune Activating Mushroom

Planetary Herbals also offers you new Full Spectrum Chaga in 1000mg tablets and a 1:4 liquid extract. Preliminary studies suggest that chaga triggers immune responses and protects the cells with antioxidant activity.

Chaga is a mushroom that is found attached to trees like birch, alder, beach, and other hardWoods, throughout the northern Chaga Full Spectrum 60 tabs from PLANETARY HERBALSlatitudes. A polyphore, the mushroom looks somewhat like coal – a brownish black mass often seen in tree trunks. In China, Siberia, Finland, Japan, Poland and North America, ancient and native peoples have long known the benefits of chaga. In an acient treaties, the Chinese monk shen nog declared in 100 BC that chaga is “a precious gift of nature.”

In modern research, chaga has been shown to have 215 phytonutrients, including 29 beta-glucans. Chaga also absorbs a nutrient from the outer birch tree bark: betulin, a natural anti-inflammatory. Among the components in chaga are triterpenes, sterols, beta-glucans, flavonoids, melanins, polyphenols, saponins, lignin, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This fascinating combination of nutrients is being studied worldwide.

The PhytoDynamic Difference

Both inflama-care and full spectrum chaga are formulated with a profound understanding of the ways in which plant compounds interact with human physiology. Planetary Herbals phytodynamic principles draw on herbal tradition, scientific research, and a level of clinical expertise unmatched in the natural products industry. The result: herbal products unsurpassed for quality and consumer satisfaction.

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Supplements to Fight Prostate Cancer
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Date: July 29, 2007 11:41 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Supplements to Fight Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer and Nutritional Supplements

 

Years of research have discovered that the foods a man chooses to eat (or doesn’t eat) can have a profound impact on the health of his prostate gland. Because of this close nutritional link, prostate cancer may be the most preventable type of cancer (after smoking-related lung cancers).

Recently, there has been an incredible amount of research and investigation of prostate cancer. Many of these studies have explored the use of certain nutrients to prevent and actually treat prostate cancer. These nutrients, calcium D-glucarate selenium, broccoli, green tea, maitake, and lycopene are powerful prostate cancer fighters. All are available as nutritional supplements that men can take every day as an important part of a healthy diet.

In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss prostate cancer and how men can actually prevent it with the use of these six nutrients. Plus, if men already have prostate cancer, these nutrients can be an important part of their treatment regimen in fighting their disease.

 

Q. What does the prostate gland do?

A. The prostate is a gland in a man’s reproductive system. It makes and stores seminal fluid, the milky fluid that nourishes sperm. This fluid is released to form part of the semen. The prostate is about the size of a walnut and it is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate actually wraps around the upper part of the urethra, the tube that empties urine from the bladder through the penis.

 

Q. What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

A. Early prostate cancer often does not cause any symptoms. However, many symptoms of prostate cancer are also symptoms of other problems with the prostate, such as an infection or benign prostatic hyperplasia, a prostate enlargement associated with age-related changes.

A man who has any of these symptoms should see his health care practitioner for evaluation:

-A need to urinate frequently, especially at night

-Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine

-Inability to urinate

-Weak or interrupted flow of urine

-Painful or burning urination

-Difficulty in having an erection

-Painful ejaculation

-Blood in urine or semen

-Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.

 

Q. Are certain men more prone to get prostate cancer?

A. Age is the biggest risk factor: most prostate cancers occur in men over 65 years of age. A man’s risk for developing prostate cancer is higher if his father or brother has had the disease. African-Americans are at higher risk for the disease. Mechanics, farmers, sheet metal workers, and workers exposed to cadmium have also had high rates of prostate cancer.

 

Q. How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

A. A man who has any of these risk factors may want to ask his health care professional whether to begin screening for prostate cancer (even though he does not have any symptoms), what tests to have, and how often to have them.

The usual prostate tests include: Digital rectal exam: the doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum and feels the prostate through the rectal wall to check for hard or lumpy areas.

Blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA): a lab measures the levels of PSA in a blood sample. The level of PSA may rise in men who have prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland), or an infection in the prostate.

These tests will only determine if there is a problem with a man’s prostate gland. They cannot determine if the problem is cancer. Only a biopsy of a sample of prostate tissue can reveal the presence of actual prostate cancer.

 

Q. What nutrients help prevent or treat prostate cancer?

A. The prostate health nutrients, calcium D-glucarate, selenium, broccoli, green tea, maitake, and lycopene, each work in unique ways. Some help men’s bodies’ work more effectively some keep cancer cells from growing, while others actually kill prostate cancer cells. Let’s discuss each nutrient and how it works.

 

Calcium D-Glucarate

It is a troubling fact of modern life that we are continuously exposed to cancer-causing chemicals and toxins. These toxins come in part from contaminants in the food we eat and pollutants in the air we breathe. There are also “natural” toxins that are produced in our bodies. Excess hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, can cause cancer when they are no longer needed. Cancer causing chemicals not only initiate cancer, but exposure to them can also cause existing cancers to grow bigger, stronger, and more deadly.

Our bodies do a fairly good job of eliminating some of these toxins before they can cause us harm. In the liver, the toxin is bound or attached to a chemical called glucuronic acid. The bound toxin is then excreted in bile and eventually eliminated as a waste product in the stool. However, yet another chemical, an enzyme called glucoronidase, can break this bond between the toxin and glucuronic acid. When this happens, the hormone or toxin is released back into our bodies, capable of causing us harm once more. The longer the toxins and excess hormones are in our bodies, the greater the chances they can make us seriously sick. Scientists have discovered that increased glucuronidase activity in the body is strongly associated with prostate cancer.

Fortunately, scientists have also discovered that a natural substance found in foods, calcium D-glucarate, can greatly reduce the activity of glucuronidase. Calcium D-glucarate helps our bodies keep the harmful toxins and chemicals bound to glucuronic acid. While CDG is found in fruits and vegetables, the amounts may not be sufficient to maintain effective levels to stop beta-glucuronidase. CDG has been shown in many experimental studies to significantly stop prostate cancer growth. Studies have shown that by taking calcium D-glucarate, our bodies and get rid of the toxic chemicals and excess hormones that might stimulate cancer formation.

 

Selenium

Selenium is an essential trace mineral fund in the soil. Both plant foods like oatmeal and meats that we eat, such as chicken and beef, contain selenium. How much selenium, however, is difficult to determine. This is because the amount of selenium in soil, which varies by region, determines the amount of selenium in the plant foods that are grown in that soil. Animals, too, will have varying levels of selenium in their muscle, depending on the amount of selenium in their feed. The actual selenium level in the grasses and grains that make up animal feed reflect the amount of the selenium in the soil where they grew.

A major antioxidant, selenium slows down aging, keeps our skin supple, and helps prevent dandruff. Selenium also keeps our blood vessels healthy and protects us from heart disease. However, some of selenium’s most powerful effects are on the prostate gland.

In a recent study, researchers recruited 974 men to take part in a large clinical trial to determine if selenium could prevent cancer. Half of the men were given selenium supplements and half were given a placebo. Researchers, who did know which group got the placebo, watched and recorded the men’s progress. The researchers were amazed to learn that selenium cut the rate of prostate cancer by 63%!

The results of this study were so impressive that it has led to many other studies of selenium and prostate cancer. In fact, researchers at the Arizona Cancer Center and the Arizona College of Public Health in Tucson are currently studying the effect of selenium on prostate cancer in four ongoing clinical trials.

 

Broccoli

Scientists have observed over for a long period of time, that men who eat lots of broccoli have a lower risk of getting prostate cancer. It seems that sulforaphane, a compound abundant in broccoli, is the secret ingredient responsible for this connection. Sulforaphane increases certain enzymes in the body, called phase 2 enzymes, which deactivate cancer-causing chemicals. In lab experiments, prostate cancer cells that were exposed to sulforaphane, the compound inhibited the growth of the cancer cells up to 80 percent.

 

Green Tea

There is a potent plant substance in green tea that is a very effective killer of prostate cancer cells. A recent study tested four common components of green tea and determined that one of these compounds, epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, has a special affinity for prostate cancer cells. Scientists discovered that EGCG can stop the growth of prostate cancer dead in its tracks. The chemical structure of EGCG is very similar to substances in red wine and cruciferous vegetables, known cancer killers.

 

Maitake mushroom

For many years, maitake mushrooms have been linked to good health in those who eat them. Called “dancing mushrooms” (possibly due to their wavy, rippling appearance or possibly due to the little dance of joy mushroom hunters perform when they find them in the Woods), maitakes contain an important compound called D-fraction.

A recent study at New York Medical College showed that maitake D-fraction destroyed 95% of human prostate cancer cells in lab experiments.

 

Lycopene

Some of the most exciting nutritional news in relation to prostate health involves lycopene. This carotenoid is found primarily in tomatoes, and men who eat lots of cooked tomatoes have very low rates of prostate cancer. Because promising preliminary reports demonstrate that lycopene can actually kill prostate cancer cells, there has been an explosion of lycopene and prostate cancer studies.

In one of these studies, 32 prostate cancer patients ate a pasta meal covered with three-fourths cup of tomato sauce every day for three weeks. Results showed their PSA levels dropped two points. Even signs of DNA damage dropped sharply. The ability of lycopene to drop these levels in just three weeks has impressed researchers and scientists worldwide.

 

Q. Do I have to take each nutrient separately?

A. While you can purchase each one of these nutrients and take them separately, all of these nutrients are available in prostate health formulas. Make sure the formula you buy contains calcium d-glucarate, lycopene, and selenium, broccoli standardized to contain a minimum of 125 mcg sulforaphane, green tea, and maitake mushroom extract. Standardized ingredients provide consistently effective nutrients.

 

Q. What else can men do to prevent prostate cancer?

A. Adopting a healthy diet, including eating 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, eating several servings of whole grain cereals and bread, and reducing red meat consumption to 2 or 3 servings per week has been shown to reduce the risk of all kinds of cancer. In addition, the recent lycopene studies suggest that a diet that regularly includes tomato-based foods may help protect men from prostate cancer.

Men 50 years and older should have a digital rectal exam (DRE) and PSA test each year. African-Americans and those at higher risk should begin at age 40. Talk with your health care professional to determine how frequently the test should be done.

 

Conclusion

This year doctors expect to find 180,000 new cases of prostate cancer is the United States and 37,000 men will die of it. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. But there is hope.

More cancers are caught early and new treatments might help make it possible for men to live long and healthy lives following their diagnosis. By taking a few simple steps, men diagnosed with prostate cancer can take charge of their lives and overcome much of the fear and anxiety that accompany a cancer diagnosis.



--
Buy Prostate Cleanses at Vitanet LLC

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Breast Cancer and Natural Supplements
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Date: May 11, 2007 10:47 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Breast Cancer and Natural Supplements

Breast Cancer and Nutritional Supplements

 

There is probably nothing more frightening for a woman than the discovery of a lump in her breast. Cancer and all its consequences quickly come to mind. This quick association may materialize, in part, because no woman is immune. Most have a friend, a sister, a mother, or a coworker who has been diagnosed with the disease. And they know how difficult dealing with this disease can be. Fortunately, 80% of all breast lumps are not cancerous. Most are cysts or a benign clump of tissue.

Over her lifetime, a woman’s breasts undergo many, many changes. From before puberty and on, breast tissue is continually evolving. Breasts often feel different before menstrual cycle, returning to normal a few days after. Pregnancy certainly causes changes in a woman’s breasts, as does breastfeeding. And as women age, breast tissue becomes less dense.

Because of these continual changes, breast tissue especially requires adequate nutrition. While everyone benefits from a healthy diet, there are additional nutrients from which women can specifically benefit.

In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss breast cancer and the vast amount of research that has explored the role nutrition plays in this serious and still deadly disease. Specifically, we will discuss how two B vitamins, calcium D-glucarate, broccoli extract, green tea, maitake mushrooms, and iodine can all help prevent breast cancer.

 

Q. How can these nutrients prevent breast cancer?

A. Scientists learn a lot about disease from simply observing what is happening around them. One observation that has been recognized for many years is that certain cultures have very low incidence of breast cancer. Women n China and Japan are good examples of this. Compared to women in America, Canada, and parts of Europe, Asian cultures have much lower breast cancer rates. It seems likely that something in their diet might be protecting these women from the disease because once Asian women adopt a western diet, their breast cancer rates climb.

Moms (and dads) have also learned a lot about diseases simply by observing what is happening in their families. They have notices that certain vegetables play a large role in the prevention of all types of diseases, including cancer. And, accordingly, they have been urging their offspring to eat their vegetables for several generations.

Building on these observations, scientists have designed and carried out many studies to determine what it is about these nutrients that can prevent breast cancer. What they have discovered, so far, follows. Let’s start with the B vitamins.

 

Vitamin B12

Deficiencies of this vitamin can result in a serious type of anemia. Nerve damage can also occur if B12 levels are too low. Researchers are now investigating whether breast cancer may, in part, be caused by a B12 deficiency as well.

At John Hopkins University in Maryland, two large but separate blood sample donations were evaluated against cases of breast cancer. In 1974, 12,450 blood samples were donated by female volunteers. In 1989, another 14,625 women again voluntarily donated samples of their blood. Cases of breast cancer that occurred in these groups of women were then recorded and their blood samples examined. Women, who had the lowest levels of B12 in their blood, had the highest rates of breast cancer.

Another study, this one taking place in a laboratory setting, discovered that vitamin B12, applied directly against experimental breast cancer cells, actually stopped the cancer cells from growing. The researchers conducting the experiment believe that giving vitamin B12 to women with breast cancer as part of a chemotherapy regime, might help keep the cancer in check.

 

Folic Acid

Low folic acid intake is linked to the development of all cancers. This is because folic acid is crucial to the making and continual repair of DNA, the molecule that carries our genetic code. A recent study discovered that high intakes of folic acid might actually reduce the risk of breast cancer. The researchers looked at the diets of over 2600 women. During interviews with the researchers, the women reported what they usually ate. Once the data was collected, the results showed that women, who ate lots of foods that contained folic acid, had much lower rates of breast cancer.

There is no clear-cut, single cause of breast cancer. Many factors are required for the disease to appear. One such factor is estrogen. A recent study showed that women who developed breast cancer tended to have higher levels of estrogen circulating in their bodies than women without breast cancer. This means that women who got their periods before age eleven or entered menopause after age fifty-five have a higher risk of breast cancer. This also supports the theory that the number of menstrual cycles a woman has affects her risk for breast cancer.

Another factor is drinking alcohol. Because alcohol raises estrogen levels, if a woman consumes even moderate amounts of alcohol her risk of breast cancer also is increased. The link between alcohol and breast cancer may even be stronger than other dietary links. However, an important study has discovered that folic acid may uncouple this link.

A very large study of over 34,000 women recently studied the effect of folic acid on the risk of breast cancer. This project was part of the Nurses’ Health Study, an ongoing, long-term study that looks at nutrition’s role in the development of disease. The women in the folic acid and breast cancer study were followed for 12 years. The participants completed detailed food questionnaires that provided the researchers with important data.

The women were divided into four groups:

1.      Women with low folic acid levels and drink alcohol

2.      Women with high folic acid levels and rink alcohol

3.      Women with low folic acid levels and don’t drink alcohol

4.      Women with high folic acid levels and don’t drink alcohol

Within these four groups the women were further divided into subgroups according to the amount of alcohol they consumed each day and their specific folic acid intake.

The researchers found that women who consumed the lowest amounts of folic acid and drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day had the highest rate of breast cancer. In contrast, women who had high intakes of folic acid and also drank at least one alcoholic beverage a day, had the same rate of breast cancer as the women with high folic acid intakes who did not drink. In other words, women who had high levels of folic acid in their diet erased their alcohol-related increase in breast cancer risk.

 

Calcium D-Glucarate

It seems estrogen can be both friend and foe. While women need the hormone to soften skin, thicken hair, and fill out hips and breasts, estrogen can also nourish breast tumors, helping them grow bigger, stronger, and more deadly. Thanks, in part, to good nutrition, American women get their periods early and go through menopause alter in life. Women today also have fewer pregnancies; families with one or two children are quite common.

All of these factors increase the time women’s bodies are exposed to estrogen. As we discussed before, longer exposure means increased opportunities for estrogen to cause trouble. It is also a troubling fact of modern life that we are continuously exposed to cancer-causing chemicals and toxins. These toxins come in part from contaminants in the food we eat and pollutants in the air we breathe.

The body does have a system that eliminates some of the excess estrogen and toxic chemicals before they can cause harm. In the liver, they are bound or attached to a chemical called glucuronic acid. The bound toxin or estrogen is then excreted in bile and eventually eliminated as a waste product in the stool.

However, an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase can break this bond between estrogen and glucuronic acid. When this happens, the hormone or toxin is released from its bone, capable of causing harm once more. Increased beta-glucuronidase activity is associated with an increased risk for various cancers, particularly hormone-dependant cancers like breast cancer.

Fortunately, scientists have discovered that a natural substance found in foods calcium D-glucarate (CDG) can stop the activity of beta-glucuonidase. CDG keeps the harmful estrogen bound to glucuronidase. While CDG is found in fruits and vegetables, the amounts may not be sufficient to maintain effective levels to stop beta-glucuronidase.

CDG has been shown in experimental studies to significantly stop beast cancer growth. And several human trials are currently underway with CDG to determine its capability to decrease the breast cancer risk in women at high risk for the disease.

 

Iodine

There are some very interesting connections between breast tissue and thyroid tissue. Iodine is an essential trace element present in a hormone of the thyroid gland and is involved in several metabolic functions. One iodine function is the protection of breast tissue from cancerous cells.

In a laboratory study, researchers exposed breast cancer cells and breast tissue without any cancer to a type of seaweed that contains high levels of iodine. The seaweed killed all of the cancerous cells, yet did not harm the normal breast cells. Japanese women frequently eat this type of seaweed and have very low rates of breast cancer. The study’s researchers believe one reason for this low incidence of breast cancer may be the iodine in the seaweed.

And, for some as yet unknown reasons, women who have thyroid cancer are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. While they are unsure why this happens, researchers are continuing to study this link, and support of healthy thyroid function remains an important consideration.

 

Broccoli

For quite some time, scientists have observed that cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, significantly reduce the risk of disease, including cancer. It seems a phytochemical in broccoli sulforaphane, is one of the chemicals responsible for this beneficial activity. Sulforaphane increases certain enzymes in the body called phase 2 enzymes that deactivate cancer-causing chemicals.

Breast cancer cells exposed to sulforaphane in several lab experiments showed that the compound inhibited the growth of the cancer cells up to 80 percent. Researchers are in the process of setting up clinical trials to study sulforaphane’s effect in women who have breast cancer.

 

Green Tea

There is a tall amount of research, including finding from the Nurses’ Health Study, that suggest green tea beverage consumption is associated with a lower incidence of breast cancer. In fact, researchers have long noted the low rates of breast cancer in Japan, a country where green tea consumption is very high.

The active compound in green tea responsible for breast cancer inhibition is epigallocatechin-3 gallate or EGCG. When breast cancer cells are exposed to EGCG in lab experiments, the cells stop growing, lose their ability to replicate, and die.

In a recent study, researchers discovered that drinking green tea prevented the recurrence of breast cancer in women who have previously been diagnosed and treated for the disease. This study involved over 1100 Japanese women. The women who drank green tea every day had very low rates of their breast cancer returning.

 

Maitake Mushrooms

For thousands of years, maitake mushrooms have been linked to good health in those who eat them. Called “dancing mushrooms” (possibly due to their wavy, rippling appearance or possibly due to the little dance of joy mushroom hunters perform when they find them in the Woods), maitakes contain an important compound called D-fraction.

Not only does the D-fraction in maitake mushrooms stop the growth of cancerous tumors, it also alerts and stimulates immune cells (including macrophages and natural killer cells) to fight the disease. Maitake also inhibits some of the mechanism that promotes metastasis, or spread, of cancer cells in the lymph and bloodstream.

Because of this success, maitake is now being used in clinical trials of women with breast cancer. One study reported significant improvement of symptoms, including reduction of the tumor. The maitake was given to breast cancer patients in addition to standard chemotherapy.

 

Q. Should these nutrients be used in place of traditional treatment for breast cancer?

A. Absolutely not. None of these nutrients can cure breast cancer. However, they can be a part of a validated plan of treatment. If you have breast cancer, talk to your health care practitioner about these nutrients. Remember, nutritional supplements are just that: supplements to food, medication, and treatment. They are intended to enhance and prevent, not replace.

 

Conclusion

Despite apprehension in performing self-breast exams, women are very proactive in their health. Yearly mammograms and pap tests have been an important part of their lives for many years, and newer and more accurate diagnoses are emerging. The prevention of health problems in themselves and their families has always been a high priority for women. And for women, nutrition has played an important part of health problem prevention.

Nutritionally speaking, what benefits your breasts benefit your whole body. However, as we have learned, there are specific links between nutrition and developing breast cancer that seem to be fairly strong.

Making a few changes may reduce the risk of developing the disease. The nutrients listed here, vitamin B12, folic acid, calcium d-glucarate, iodine, broccoli, green tea, and maitake mushrooms can be an important part of a woman’s preventative health regimen.



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Mushrooms are good for the Immune System
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Date: January 26, 2007 06:12 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Mushrooms are good for the Immune System

Medicinal Mushrooms Grown on Purple Kculli Corn Yield Life Changing Results

Even though we treat them like vegetables, mushrooms aren’t really plants. They’re fungi and fungi grow much differently than fruits and vegetables. Most food plants, like strawberries, broccoli, and red bell peppers make chlorophyll from sunlight to gain the nutrients they need to grow. Mushrooms don’t make chlorophyll; to get the nutrients they need to grow, mushrooms release enzymes into the forest floor or flora they’re living on to break down the organic matter into a form the mushroom can absorb.

Because most mushrooms that we eat or use today are raised as crops, or cultivated, they are grown on a variety of substrates. Similar to the commercial potting soils you can buy at nurseries and garden stores, mushroom substrates vary widely in quality and the kinds of nutrients within. Mushrooms are really unique in that they can grow on almost anything, such as sawdust, shredded newspaper, and straw.

However, mushrooms are only as nutritious as the substrate they were grown on-even those unique varieties called medicinal mushrooms. While the simple button mushrooms found on pizza are most often eaten for their Woodsy taste and texture, the use of medicinal mushrooms is much more complex. These mushrooms are valued because they contain numerous compounds that have been extensively studies by researchers for their ability to activate cells of the immune system.

Researchers have recently discovered that when medicinal mushrooms are grown on a Purple Kculli (pronounced ka-coo-lee) Corn substrate, the resulting mushrooms are jam-packed with powerful and potent disease-fighting compounds. Beautiful Purple Kculli Corn has long been used by the people of the Peruvian Andes as a tasty vegetable, natural food color, and powerful functional food-keeping them healthy and free of disease.

In this issue of Ask the Medicine Hunter, we’re going to talk about four powerful medicinal mushrooms that, when grown on Purple Kculli Corn, have even more potent compounds to prevent and treat cancer and other serious health problems.

Q. How exactly do medicinal mushrooms prevent and treat cancer?

A. Medicinal mushrooms are very complex. They contain numerous compounds that have been extensively studied for their ability to activate cells of the immune system. Some of the most amazing immune boosting compounds in medicinal mushrooms are beta-glucans 1-3, beta glucans 1-6, arabinogalactins, and arabinoxylans – compounds that work “hand-in-hand” with certain cells of the immune system. But to get abundant amounts of these compounds, medicinal mushrooms must be grown on substrates with high levels of nutrients. And the most nutrient dense substrate of all comes from Purple Kculli Corn.

Q. Why is Purple Kculli Corn extract good for growing medicinal mushrooms?

A. You’ve probably heard that brightly colored fruits and vegetables (like beets, broccoli, and blueberries), have more antioxidant power than paler fruits and vegetables (like iceberg lettuce, onions, and garlic). In fact, the deeper the color, the better. And there is no deeper color in nature than the deep purple of Purple Kculli Corn grown in the lush coastal plains of Peru. The kernels from Purple Kculli Corn are not only naturally beautiful, the pigment itself is extremely healthy and have been used by the people of the Peruvian Andes for centuries as both food and food coloring.

Once harvested, the Purple Kculli Corn is naturally processed into an antioxidant-rich extract. When certain medicinal mushrooms are grown on Purple Kculli Corn extract, the Purple Kculli Corn becomes a super-substrate, producing medicinal mushrooms with incredible amounts of the immune-boosting compounds. And when Purple Kculli Corn extract is added to medicinal mushroom formulas the antioxidant power increases, too.

Q. How do the medicinal mushroom compounds fight disease?

A. When bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens are present in the body, white blood cells, or leukocytes, swing into action. Leukocytes work together to defend the body against infections, like colds or the flu, as well as diseases that start within us, like cancer. These disease fighting cells are the backbone of the body’s defense system. And each type of cell works in different ways.

The macrophage, a name that means “big eater,” is a first-strike leukocyte that protects us from disease by, quit literally, devouring invading pathogens. Natural Killer (NK) cells act like sentries – constantly prowling for cancer cells, killing them quickly when they’re discovered. B-cells are the immune system’s military intelligence, seeking out targets and communicating their coordinates, while T-cells are the foot soldiers, destroying the invaders that the intelligence system has identified.

Scientists have long known that medicinal mushrooms help make white blood cells more deadly. But until recently, they weren’t sure how. Research has now shown that macrophages and NK cells have receptor sites specifically for beta-glucans 1-3 and beta-glucans 1-6. When the beta-glucans bind to the macrophages and NK cells, they make the lymphocytes stronger and more lethal. By increasing the lymphocytes’ strength, beta-glucans help them churn out more of the specialized chemical messengers, too.

Arabinogalactins and arabinoxylans, powerful polysaccharides found in medicinal mushrooms, are potent stimulators of the immune system. These compounds increase the activity of interleukins, interferons, and a tumor necrosis factor, all key components in a healthy immune system. When medicinal mushroom extracts with high amounts of Arabinogalactins and arabinoxylans are taken, diseases are dramatically reduced.

Researchers found that complex polysaccharides in four varieties of medicinal mushrooms – Agaricus blazei (Agaricus), Grifola frondosa (Maitake), Coriolus versicolor (Coriolus or Turkey Tail), and Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi) – are serious cancer fighters. The chart below explains how:

Mushroom Health Benefit

Agaricus (Agaricus Blazei)

Agaricus not only contains the greatest number of medicinal compounds, it also contains a powerful anti-tumor polysaccharide that all other medicinal mushrooms are lacking. Recently, 100 women who were receiving carboplatin, a chemotherapy drug used to treat ovarian cancer, volunteered for an important study. Half of the women were given an extract of Agaricus mushrooms, while the other half were given a placebo or dummy pill. The researchers discovered that NK cell activity was significantly higher in the Agaricus group. The women in this group were also less nauseated, fatigued, and wear than the women taking the placebo, an important consideration for people with cancer.

Maitake (Grifola Frondosa)

Maitake is one of the most researched of all medicinal mushrooms. In one clinical study, the effect of Maitake mushroom compounds were studied in ten patients with cancer who were not currently taking any chemotherapeutic drugs. The researchers found that the Maitake not only significantly stimulated NK cell activity, it also repressed the cancer’s growth, and stopped the tumors’ ability to metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body. And in another clinical study, 165 patients with various types of advanced cancer were given Maitake mushroom compounds alone or with chemotherapy. Cancer regression or significant symptom improvement was observed in 58% of liver cancer patients, 69% of breast cancer patients, and 62% of lung cancer patients. Plus, when Maitake was taken in addition to chemotherapy, the immune cell activities were enhanced 1.2 to 1.4 times, compared with chemotherapy alone.

Coriolus(Coriolus Versicolor)

Versicolor compounds show great promise as cancer immunotherapy agents in all cancer stages. In one clinical trial, 34 patients with advanced terminal lung cancer were given Coriolus versicolor polysaccharides or a placebo (dummy pill) for 28 days. While the group getting the Versicolor felt less fatigued and sick, very important considerations at the end-of-life, there were no changes in the placebo group.

Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum)

Reishi mushrooms are too tough to eat, but they’ve been used medicinally for centuries and have been extensively researched. In a safety study to determine Reishi’s effect on blood thinning mechanisms, healthy volunteers received 1.5 gm Reishi or placebo daily for 4 weeks. There were no significant changes in either group and all blood clotting measurements remained within the normal range, demonstrating its safety. In a recent clinical study, researchers determined that Reishi increased the number of cancer killing white blood cells and made them more deadly to cancer cells.

Not only do Agaricus, Maitake, Coriolus, and Reishi have incredible amounts of immune boosting polysaccharides, when they are grown on Purple Kculli Corn, they also have a much higher ORAC value than mushrooms grown on other substrates.

Q. What are ORAC values?

A. ORAC, or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, is a measurement of the antioxidant power in fruits and vegetables. The higher the power, or ORAC value, the stronger the antioxidant is against free radicals. While free radicals are made by breathing oxygen and digesting food, and are simply the consequences of being alive, the older we get the more free radicals we make. And the more free radicals we make the more destructive they can be. Free radicals will rip membranes, wreck cells, cripple mitochondria, and ruin DNA. As this damage accumulates, even more free radicals are made. And if not stopped or slowed, this might lead to heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, dementia, and cancer.

Q. How does Purple Kculli Corn increase the ORAC value of medicinal mushrooms?

A. All brightly colored fruits and vegetables have very high ORAC values; and the higher the ORAC value – the greater the antioxidant power. Not only can we measure the ORAC values of fruits and vegetables, we can also measure the ORAC values of mushroom substrate extracts. Purple Kculli Corn extract has an ORAC value of 1789 (measured in umolesTE/gram). Now, remember that mushrooms are fungi, not fruits and vegetables, and they gain most of their nutrients from the ground (or substrate) they are grown on. When mushrooms are cultivated or “farmed” on substrates with a high ORAC value, they will absorb compounds from the substrate giving them a higher ORAC value, too. So growing mushrooms on antioxidant rich, high ORAC value, Purple Kculli Corn yields medicinal mushrooms with high ORAC values as well.

Q. Some mushroom supplements have more than four medicinal mushrooms. Wouldn’t a mushroom supplement with seven mushrooms or more have a higher ORAC value than a supplement with only four?

A. Well, more is not always better – especially when it comes to medicinal mushrooms. Some supplements have a “kitchen sink” selection of mushrooms. The makers of these supplements hope that by adding modest amounts of many mushrooms, they will end up with a product that just might have some health benefits.

Clearly, it’s not how many or how exotic the mushrooms are in a medicinal mushroom supplement, it’s the substrate that mushrooms are grown on that makes the difference.

Q. How can I make sure the medicinal mushroom supplement I buy contains natural and organic mushrooms grown on Purple Kculli Corn substrate?

A. Become a label reader! Medicinal mushroom formulas have a statement showing accreditation from a certifying agency, such as the American Food Safety Institute, International; California Organic Farmer Association, Minnesota; or Crop Improvement Association, on the label, and have met certain criteria. They must be grown without chemicals or pesticides. The growers must be certified as organic mushroom produces by an accredited third party. And the growers must keep a record of their production and handling practices.

Conclusion

Of the nearly 38,000 varieties of mushrooms, Agaricus blazei, Grifola frondosa, Coriolus versicolor, and Ganoderma lucidum have impressive medicinal properties. With a little help from Purple Kculli Corn, these mushrooms can provide even more potent and powerful cancer preventing properties for superior mushroom supplements.



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Q. What exactly are maitake mushrooms?
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Date: November 22, 2006 01:39 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Q. What exactly are maitake mushrooms?

A. Maitake (pronounced my-tok-kee) mushrooms are native to the mountain forests of Japan. They are large mushrooms, some growing up to fifty pounds, characterized by overlapping, rippling caps. For thousands of years, maitake mushrooms have been linked to good health in those who eat them. They have been highly prized for centuries. During the feudal era of Japan, maitake mushrooms were equal to their weight in silver.

Maitake mushrooms are known by many names. Maitake’s Latin name is “Grifola frondosa” which refers to the griffin, a mythical half-lion and half-eagle that symbolizes strength and vigilance. They are sometimes called “Hen-of-the-Woods”, as their overlapping caps are similar to the plumage of barnyard fowl. Maitakes are also known as “dancing mushrooms.” This name may reflect the mushrooms’ wavy, rippling appearance. It may also originate from the dance of joy mushroom hunters perform when they find maitakes in the Woods.

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An Interview with Congressman Sam Farr, Representing California’s Central Coast.
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Date: May 30, 2006 02:36 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: An Interview with Congressman Sam Farr, Representing California’s Central Coast.

Ambassador to Health Profile

An Interview with Congressman Sam Farr, Representing California’s Central Coast.

Congressman Sam Farr, a fifth-generation Californian, represents the state’s beautiful central coast. His district encompasses the length of the big Sur coastline in Monterey County, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Salinas Valley “Salad bowl,” the redWoods, mountains and beaches of Santa Cruz County, and the majestic rural landscape of San Benito County. The health and wealth of this region has been strengthened by Rep. Farr’s focus on the environment, education and the economy. Rep. Farr was raised in Carmel, California and graduated from Willamette University with a BS in biology. He later attended the Monterey Institute of International Studies and the University of Santa Clara. He is fluent in Spanish. As a tough advocate for the health food industry, he has lobbied for strict federal organic standards.

Todd: Congressman Farr, thank you for taking the time to speak with us! Id also like to thank you for all the great things you’ve done for our community, form funding marine sanctuaries and authoring the Ocean’s Act to expanding Pinnacles national Monument. The League of Conservation Voters and others have recognized you as an “Environmental Hero”. And, you’ve worked hard to support the economic vitality of central coast’s $3 billion agriculture industry which includes a substantial organic segment. Our backyard here is also the home of a robust group of nutritional supplement manufacturers. An estimated 187 million Americans are currently taking dietary supplements as part of their daily healthy diet. In California, we’ve got 792 natural product manufacturers and distributors. Where do you stand on the state of our industry?

Congressman Farr: Well, thank you for the introduction and for asking to talk to me about nutritional supplement issues. I am very supportive of this industry and include myself in the 187 million Americans taking dietary supplements. I think supplements offer many safe and viable tools to maintain your health. The continued growth of this industry is an indication of both consumer confidence in the products and the products’ ability to fill the gaps where conventional medical care falls short.

Todd: It is estimated that by 2030, more than 70 million Americans will be over the age of 65 and the cost of health care could reach $16 Trillion per year. A recent study by the Lewin Group showed that by taking certain dietary supplements, seniors can lead healthier, more productive, independent lives while saving billions in reduced hospitalizations and physician services. Do you share our view that a Wellness Revolution is needed to counter the dilemma of an aging population versus shrinking health care support in the future?

Congressman Farr: Our health care system is definitely facing a challenge, especially as the Baby Boomers hit their 60’s and Americans are living longer than ever before. As a Baby Boomer myself, I am well aware of America’s aging population and the impact that will likely have not only on our social institutions but also our fiscal well-being. I agree that dietary supplements do play and will play an even larger role in the future as more seniors look for a way to augment their diets in order to stay healthy and active longer than past generations.

Todd: Our industry is regulated by DSHEA (the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act), which was passed unanimously by Congress in 1994 to create a reasonable regulatory framework for access to, information about, dietary supplements. But many say that the FDA and DSHEA weren’t adequately funded to do the job as tasked. “Supplements are unregulated” is a false argument we sometimes hear. To ensure that the FDA is able to carry out the law as Congress intended, Representatives Dan Burton (R-Ind.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) introduced H.R. 2485, the DSHEA Full Implementation and Enforcement Act of 2005. Did you support this bill and where does it stand today?

Congressman Farr: I think the DSHEA is a critical law and was proud to support it when Congress considered it in 1993 and 1994. I would certainly support H.R. 2485 if it came up for a vote in Congress. Unfortunately this bill has not moved since it was first introduced and referred to the Subcommittee on health in the house energy and commerce committee. Since this is an election year we have a tight schedule with only about 60 legislative days scheduled before we adjourn. That means it’s likely Congress will only finalize bills such as the appropriation bills that fund government before adjournment.

Todd: Our business climate has included some valid and rigorous challenges to improve our industry, from good manufacturing practices (GMP), to allergy labeling, to implications of Prop-65 in California. It’s disconcerting that a new bill, H.R. 3156 The Dietary Supplement Access and Awareness Act would try to capitalize on misconceptions about the industry. In an era of declining health care and declining insurance coverage, this bill would regulate supplements as prescription drugs. Among other things, it would also require adverse event reports to be turned over to the FDA, even though other foods, including those with identical ingredients, do not have the same requirements. This has the potential to be the next Prop-65-like Lawsuit mill. The result of H.R. 3156 would be chilling. It will knock smaller producers out of the market. It will result in higher prices for all supplements. It will decrease the availability of health-giving supplements to the public. What’s your feeling on this?

Congressman Farr: I am similarly concerned about H.R. 3156 and would oppose it if it came up for a vote in Congress. Like H.R. 2485, this legislation has been referred to a subcommittee on Health in the House Energy and Commerce Committee without any further action. The supplement industry has worked in good faith with the FDA since passage of DSHEA and H.R. 3156 would re-invent a wheel that isn’t needed. Instead, adequate funding as proposed in H.R. 2485 would provide ample oversight for the industry.

Todd: According to a recent study, 72% of the general population believe the government should fund more research on health benefits of nutritional supplements. Do you agreen and what can be done to meet this need?

Congressman Farr: I definitely agree that the federal government should play a bigger role in support of research regarding the health benefits of nutritional supplements. As a member of the House Appropriation Committee, I sit on the subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the FDA’s budget and I know the tight fiscal restraints the agency is under. I’ve worked with my colleagues to provide adequate funding, but it’s an uphill battle especially when we’re in a “robbing Peter to pay Paul” kind of situation. I recommend that people within the industry organize and use your consumer base to actively lobby Congress for additional funds. I’m fond of reminding people that the squeaky wheel gets grease – so let every Congress member and Senator know how much this issue matters to you.

Todd: When there is overwhelming scientific evidence that nutritional supplements provides relief for a disease condition, it currently takes a lawsuit to get the FDA to relent and allow the claim. Even then, the FDA strictly limits the claim and requires a disclaimer that does more harm than good in communicating this important information to the public. There is a new bill, H.R. 4282, The Health Freedom Protection Act that would end FDA and FTC censorship of health information. As an example, the 50% of all adult males who suffer from an enlarged prostate could receive relief from that condition by consuming a simple and safe ingredient, saw palmetto derived from the fruit of the dwarf American palm tree. The FDA censors that information. The public deserves a better opportunity to be informed about omega-3 EFA and heart disease, folic acid and birth defects, phosphatidylserine and cognitive impairment. Do you agree and do you support this bill?

Congressman Farr: I agree the public needs to access to the best information possible so they can make well informed choices about their health. I likely would support H.R. 4282 if it came up for a vote in Congress. Unfortunately this bill is in a similar situation as other we’ve mentioned in this interview – and again because of the tight schedule of an election year, it’s unlikely action will happen this year.

Todd: According to the barometer study, 85% of the US population is currently using some type of dietary supplement. Do you? Looking at your busy schedule from co-chairing the House Oceans Caucus to your seat on the Travel and Tourism Caucus, you are one busy congressman! Are you popping nutritional supplements please tell us!

Congressman Farr: I do take some nutritional supplements, though they vary and since Ginkgo Biloba isn’t among them I cant remember their names off-hand! One product I do use faithfully is Airborne to help me combat germs and colds that I might get from sitting on an airplane. But, like many Americans my life is over-scheduled and combined with the amount of air-travel I do, I find nutritional supplements helpful as I try to stay healthy despite my hectic lifestyle.

Todd: Thank you Congressman Farr! Live long and prosper!



DSEA Release of Health/Cost Impact Study Conducted by the Lewin Group, Initial Results, Wash DC; Nov. 2, 2005

NNFA database. Adam.F on 3-15-06.

DSEA Nutritional Supplement Barometer Study, 2005 Report, Prepared by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI).

Todd Williams; Source Naturals Marketing Programs Manager.



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Q. What exactly are maitake mushrooms?
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Date: November 11, 2005 05:54 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Q. What exactly are maitake mushrooms?

Q. What exactly are maitake mushrooms?

A. Maitake (pronounced my-tok-kee) mushrooms are native to the mountain forests of Japan. They are large mushrooms, some growing up to fifty pounds, characterized by overlapping, rippling caps. For thousands of years, maitake mushrooms have been linked to good health in those who eat them. They have been highly prized for centuries. During the feudal era of Japan, maitake mushrooms were equal to their weight in silver.

Maitake mushrooms are known by many names. Maitake’s Latin name is “Grifola frondosa” which refers to the griffin, a mythical half-lion and half-eagle that symbolizes strength and vigilance. They are sometimes called “Hen-of-the-Woods”, as their overlapping caps are similar to the plumage of barnyard fowl. Maitakes are also known as “dancing mushrooms.” This name may reflect the mushrooms’ wavy, rippling appearance. It may also originate from the dance of joy mushroom hunters perform when they find maitakes in the Woods.



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Source Naturals
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Date: August 20, 2005 11:48 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Source Naturals

Source Naturals is located in California’s Santa Cruz Mountains, overlooking Monterey Bay. The 400 people who work at our company are surrounded by nature’s beauty. The ebb and flow of tides, the flight patterns of shore birds, the migration of whales, the rings that mark the years of ancient RedWoods—all are daily reminders of nature’s quest for balance and alignment. Our strong connection to nature guides us, as we apply these holistic principles to the development of nutritional supplements. We believe our formulations are at the leading edge of a revolution in health consciousness, which includes new perspectives in diet, lifestyle, emotional and personal development and complementary health care. Source Naturals’ Strategy for Wellnesssm is to provide education that helps individuals take charge of their health. The result is people who are more fulfilled and a world that is stronger and healthier.



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Botanical Arsenal - Plants can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly ...
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Date: June 13, 2005 10:31 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Botanical Arsenal - Plants can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly ...

Botanical Arsenal by Fred Thomas Energy Times, May 3, 1999

The complexities surrounding the various types of cancer stem from the variety of ways in which these diseases can wreak their havoc. Luckily, the equally complex world of plants contains novel compounds that can help our bodies fight off cancer's deadly progress.

Research Expands

Research into these botanical compounds is mushrooming. An example: The mighty maitake, a fungus with flair, alternately known as the king (it can grow as large as a basketball, worth its weight in silver to the ancient Japanese); the prince; the Hen of the Woods (it sticks out of from trees when it grows in the wild); and the dancing mushroom to those who leaped for joy when they found one growing in its native northeastern Japan.

Researchers today dub it with a new moniker: Herbal Heavyweight.

Mushroom with Potential

The maitake, with such other medicinal mushrooms as shiitake and reishi, historically has been eaten to promote general well-being and vitality. In the modern lab, however, scientists focus on the potent immune enhancing powers of maitake, which spotlight its cancer fighting potential.

Twenty years ago, maitake, Grifola frondosa, was an obscure, largely unavailable mushroom. A series of significant Japanese studies then catapulted it into prominence-and popularity.

Maitake Magic

Hiroaki Nanba, PhD, of the department of immunology at Kobe Women's College of Pharmacy on Kobe, Japan, and a leading international researcher on maitake, conducted the preliminary tests on the mushroom, demonstrating that it stimulates immune function and inhibits tumor growth.

In 1986, Dr. Nanba fed powdered maitake to mice injected with tumor cells; 86.3% displayed inhibited tumor growth.

Dr. Nanba and his colleagues went on to run additional mouse tests, finally reporting that this potent mushroom "directly activates various effector cells (macrophages, natural killer cells, killer T-cells, etc.) to attack tumor cells."

From then, maitake mushrooms were headed to fame as cancer ninjas.

Stoking The Immune Engine

Like other mushrooms, maitake is rich in complex polysaccharides, immunomodulators that successive tests after Dr. Nanba's have shown to be effective in cancer and AIDS treatment.

The polysaccharides in maitake have a unique structure, rendering them some of the most powerful to be studied (Chem Pharm Bull 1987:35:1162-8).

What makes maitake a particularly hot property is beta-D-glucan, its primary polysaccharide. Studies show that the body absorbs it readily, at which point it effectively stimulates interleukin-1, natural killer cells and macrophages, anti-tumor warriors that battle solid cancers (Chemotherapy 1990;38:790-6; also International Conference on AIDS, Amsterdam, 1992).

Effective And Safe

In addition to lab tests, trials on people have shown that maitake may offer powerful therapy against liver and stomach cancer (studies in China), breast and colon cancer (US research) and Kaposi's Sarcoma, the virulent cancer attacking AIDS sufferers.

Importantly, studies show that no side effects or interactions accompany maitake's efficacy.

Maitake fortunately has won the interest and enthusiasm of the scientific community. Currently, researchers at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, headed by Denis Miller, MD, are completing an exhaustive test of the anticancer and immunostimulatory actions of maitake on folks with advanced colorectal cancer. These investigators hypothesize that the polysaccharide beta-glucans derived from the fruitbody of maitake fight tumors and boost immune function. "Though it cannot be said that maitake ...[is] the cancer cure," said Dr. Nanba in his closing remarks at the Adjuvant Nutrition in Cancer Treatment Symposium in Tampa, Florida, in October 1995, "one can safely say that they do maintain the quality of life of patients and improve the immune system, resulting in the possible remission of cancer cells with no side effects."

More Bodily Benefits

Maitake maven Dr. Nanba also has tested-with strongly positive results-the effect of maitake on blood glucose, insulin and triglycerides in mice, whose levels of all three substances declined when they were fed the mushroom (H. Nanba working paper, Anti-Diabetic Activity by Maitake Mushroom, 1994).

With colleagues, Dr. Nanba showed that maitake lowered blood pressure in hypertensive rats (Chem. Phann. Bu//36:1000-1006,1988). Other studies suggest it may accelerate weight loss.

This admirable adaptogen (meaning it helps the body adapt to stress and normalize its functions) is water soluble and may be eaten in food or taken as a supplement. Vitamin C is believed to intensify maitake's beta-glucans and enhance their absorption.

Tea Time

It's not just what you eat that may help protect against cancer, but what you drink as well. Research from China and Japan, where tea is the everyday drink and rates of several cancers like breast and prostate are lower, may persuade you to turn over a new leaf in your own beverage choice. One of the first studies to spark interest in tea came from Shanghai (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, June 1, 1994), where people who drank two to three cups a day were found to have about a 60% reduction in the risk of cancer of the esophagus. The reason: tea leaves contain compounds called polyphenols, potent antioxidants.

In fact, in tests at the University of Kansas, three of these, known as catechins, far outshone the common antioxidant vitamins C and E. Clinical trials are just starting, but early results are encouraging. A team of Chinese scientists reported that in a third of people with precancerous mouth sores who drank three cups of a mixture of green and black tea the lesions shrank significantly.

Researchers at the Saitama Cancer Center in Japan found that green tea seems to improve the prognosis of breast cancer. They followed a group of women with early-stage tumors for seven years. Those who drank more than five cups of green tea a day were only half as likely to suffer a recurrence as patients who consumed fewer than four cups a day.

Lung Help

And at the University of Indiana, toxicologist James Klaunig found that the lungs of cigarette smokers who drank the equivalent of six cups of tea a day suffered 40 to 50 percent less damage from the toxins in smoke, potentially lowering their risk of lung cancer and other pulmonary problems. Simultaneously, research from Purdue University suggests tea's cancer-discouraging powers go beyond being an antioxidant. Scientists Dorothy and D. James Morre showed that a tea catechin dubbed EGCG inhibits a growth-promoting enzyme on the surface of many cancer cells-happily without affecting normal cells. And researchers at the Ohio State University College of Medicine found that EGCG counteracted another enzyme, urokinase, that helps cancer cells spread. To top it off, Mayo Clinic scientists recently showed that EGCG prompted prostate cancer cells to commit suicide (Cancer Letters, Aug. 14, 1998).

Tea Research

So far, most tea research has focused on green tea, and investigators agree it's more potent than the black tea most Americans favor. But because both kinds come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis (it's the processing that makes the difference as black tea is fermented, green tea isn't) both contain cancer-fighting polyphenols, just in different quantities. As long as the tea you drink (even decaffeinated) is fresh brewed, it's likely to provide some benefit; powdered and prepared teas probably don't. And adding milk may dilute the effect.

Astragalus Against Tumors

Astragalus, an herb commonly used in Asia to boost stamina, has impressed western doctors for its potential for helping people cope with chemotherapy. As John Diamon, MD, W. Lee Cowden, MD and Burton Goldberg point out in the Definitive Guide to Cancer (Future Medicine), "Astragalus appears to protect the liver against the harmful toxic effects of chemotherapy and may be effective in treating terminally ill liver cancer patients." (They cite a study in the Jrnl of Ethnopharmacology 1990, 30:145-149.) In addition, they point out, research in Japan supports using a ginseng-astragalus combination to improve the function of natural killer (NK) cells which can boost immunity (Japanese Jrnl of Allergy, 37:2, 1998, 107-114).

Other studies confirm astragalus' potential in fighting off cancer. Research at the General Hospital of PLA, Beijing, showed that flavonoids (pigments) in astragalus could help protect cell membranes from oxidative damage caused by ultraviolet exposure (Chung Kuo Chung Yao Tsa Chih, 21(12):746-8; 1996 Dec).

A study of laboratory animals at Cunma University in Maebashi, Japan, found that Astragalus could help preserve immune function against the harmful side effects of chemotherapy (Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih, 15(2):101-3, 1995 Feb).

Garlic Benefits

Like a flame attracting moths, garlic bulbs have irresistibly drawn the attention of medical researchers. A study at Aarhus University, Denmark, found that skin cells in laboratory dishes treated with garlic supplements lived longer, healthier lives than untreated cells (Jrnl Ethnopharm, 1994. 43:125-133).

Meanwhile, a long list of research demonstrates that garlic's phytochemicals may fight tumors and reduce the carcinogenicity of the pollutants and chemicals that assault us daily. A study in China reported in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine showed that garlic helped slow tumors in lab animals (1983, 11:69-73). Another study in the Journal of Nutrition found that compounds in garlic could "suppress the growth of human colon tumor cells" (126, 1355-1361).

Added to those benefits, Robert A. Nagourney, MD, reports in the Journal of Medicinal Food (1:1, 1998, 13-28), garlic may "modify the carcinogenicity of foodstuffs." In other words, studies show that garlic can make chemicals in foods like pork less likely to cause your cells to become cancerous. (Ind J Physiol Pharmacol, 39:347-353).

DNA Protection

DNA, the stuff that genes are made of, face constant threats from free radicals, caustic molecules that can alter cellular structure and possibly cause genetic mutations that lead to cancer. But research into what are called oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC), flavonoids (pigments) derived from fruits vegetables, grape seed extract and the bark of maritime pine trees shows that OPC may be able to shield DNA from injury.

In particular, studies of a grape seed extract called Activin have demonstrated this substance can help liver cell DNA escape a destructive process called peroxidation (FASEB, 11:3, 2/28/97).

In these experiments, Activin demonstrated the ability to inhibit the growth of tumor cells as well as slow the replication enzymes of HIV viruses. This protective ability proved to be more potent than that of vitamin C, beta carotene and vitamin E.

Future Promise

What does the future promise to reveal? Scientists believe that many unexamined plants probably contain undiscovered phytochemicals that hold great potential for helping us fight the cancer epidemic.

Certainly, if the next few years produce as many results as the past decade, the next millennium will witness a long line of cancer-prevention discoveries. Before long, you should be able to take advantage of these potent substances.

As you gulp your garlic, tip your tea cup, mull your maitake, acquire Activin and await your astragalus, you may meditate on what may soon be added to our growing anti-cancer arsenal. Undoubtedly, scientists with a botanical bent will be uncovering more coveted anti-cancer secrets before too long.



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Mushrooms
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Date: June 10, 2005 10:16 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Mushrooms

Mushrooms by Frank Sturges Energy Times, December 7, 1999

The interest in mushrooms as health enhancers has... mushroomed. Mushrooms, researchers have found, are filled with a long list of substances that may help us fight disease. Some of these natural chemicals boost immunity. Others may be effective against cancer and heart disease.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the research into mushrooms stems from the vast number of mushrooms that dot the landscape. At least 1.5 million types of fungi populate forests, fields, nooks and crannies, but studies have detailed the properties of less than 3,000.

Compound Interest

Mushrooms produce so many beneficial compounds because they constantly fight off other fungi and microbes to survive. These substances, which mushrooms utilize for defense, can apparently help humans.

One of the most important of these classes of compounds are the polysaccharides. Scientists believe these long starch molecules spark immune action that can protect us against invading germs or cancer. They may do this by persuading the body to create what are called killer T-cells. These immune warriors destroy microscopic invaders and may help stop tumors.

According to Paul Stamets, author of Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms (Ten Speed), use of polysaccharides... "will synergistically, in combination with the individual's immune system, result in dramatic recoveries...Right now we don't clearly understand all the elements in those formulas to be able to predict downstream what will happen. But clearly with some people, it is tremendously effective" (Townsend Ltr, 6/98).

In addition, mushrooms also make biologically active chemicals called steroids and terpenes, says Christopher Hobbs, author of Medicinal Mushrooms (Interweave). These substances are thought to help fight off the formation of cancerous tumors.

Maitake: Useful Fungus

Maitake (Grifola frondosa) mushrooms, also known as "Hen of the Woods," contain chemicals called beta glucans that can enhance immunity. Scientists are particularly fascinated by substances called the "D-fraction." Studies show these can spur immunity (Biol. Pharm. Bull. 17(12), Dec. 1994: 1554-60).

Researchers are also looking into the possibility that Maitake can help people with AIDS regain weight. And scientists are examining their effect on high blood pressure and diabetes.

Reishi's Effects

In Tibet, the Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) has long been used to battle altitude sickness in the Himalayan mountains. Reishi is also reputed to soothe frayed nerves.

Scientific studies have supported these traditional uses, finding that people who consumed Reishi functioned better in low oxygen (Proceedings Contrib Symp 59 AB, 5th Intl Cong, 8/14-21, 101-104). Other research finds Reishi may help ease arthritis (Proc 1st Intl Symp on Ganoderma l. 11/17-18, 99-103, Tokyo).

Lion's Mane

Lion's Mane (Heri-cium erinaceus), also called "Monkey's head," has traditionally been a treatment for stomach problems in China. But researchers have found that chemicals in this mushroom help fight tumors (Biosci Biotech Biochem 56(2), Feb. 1992: 347-8).

During the past few years, scientific investigators have also begun to extract chemicals called erinacines from lion's mane. These substances, (known as Nerve Growth Stimulant factor) appear to encourage neuron regeneration. The potential uses: boosting nerve performance, fixing neurological damage and treating Alzheimer's disease (Tetrahedron Ltrs 35(10), 1994: 1569-1572).

Divine Fungus

Known as Cogmelo de Deus (Mushroom of God) in Brazil, the Royal Agaricus (Agaricus blazei) has been grown in Japan since the '70s where it enjoys widespread popularity. Researchers find that it provokes powerful anti-tumor effects. This fungus harbors more beta-glucans, immunity enhancers, than other mushrooms.

Mushroom Performance

Can a fungus make athletes faster? A few researchers think so, pointing to Chinese Olympians who use Cordyceps sinensis. This fungus, traditionally grown on caterpillars, is another native of the Himalayas.

Traditionally, Cordyceps has been used to foster stamina, better breathing and immunity.

At least one study shows this fungus may help blood vessels dilate during exercise. By supplying extra blood to working muscles, Cordyceps may help fight off fatigue and boost performance (Abstracts from 5th Mycological Cong, Vancouver, 8/14-21).

Research Extravaganza

The mushroom called Shiitake has been the subject of an extravagant amount of research since the '60s. Called the "elixir of life," it boosts immunity. Stamets reports that people with cancer who take Shiitake do significantly better in coping with their disease (Abstract 2nd Meeting Soc of Natl Immunity, Italy, 5/25/94).

Another characteristic of Shiitake mushrooms: a celebrated taste. The tongue and the palate take great pleasure in this health enhancer!



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Aromessentials
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Date: June 10, 2005 05:38 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Aromessentials

Aromessentials by Joanne Gallo , February 3, 2002

Aromessentials By Joanne Gallo

But aromatherapy is more than just a '90s-style novelty. The practice of using aromatic essential oils for psychological and physical well-being dates back more than 4,000 years to medicinal practices in Egypt and India.

The term "aromatherapy" was coined in 1937 by French cosmetic chemist R.M. Gattefosse, who discovered the benefits of essential oil after burning his hand in a laboratory accident. Gattefosse immersed his hand into the nearest available cool liquid: a vat of lavender oil. The near miraculous soothing of his pain and rapid healing spurred him to dedicate his life to the study of aromatic plants and their therapeutic effects.

How it Works

For those who turn their noses up at this most seemingly-subtle of senses, keep in mind that the perception of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than the sense of taste. "The sense of smell is the sense of the imagination," noted French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau; this emotional connection lies at the heart of aromatherapy.

Aromas are transmitted rapidly from olfactory cells in the nose to the limbic system in the brain which perceives and responds to emotion, pleasure and memory. Scents trigger the limbic system to release neurochemicals which influence mood. Well-known neurochemicals like endorphins and serotonin help create a sense of well-being.

When you inhale essential oils, some of the molecules travel to the lungs, where they proceed to enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.

Oils applied to the skin are absorbed into the bloodstream as well. Because they are oil/fat soluble, essential oils are highly absorbed by the body, where they circulate for anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours and are eventually eliminated through sweat and other bodily secretions.

Plant Power

Essential oils are extremely potent and volatile: approximately 75 to 100 times more concentrated than dried herbs.

Most essential oils are steam distilled from herbs, flowers and plants. Others are cold expressed from the rind of the fruit, which produces the purest essential oils because no heat or chemical treatment is involved.

The components of various oils are beneficial for a wide variety of beauty and hygiene conditions. Some of the more indispensable essential oils include:

Chamomile (anthemis nobilis): soothing properties for sensitive and inflamed skin; calming, balancing and relaxing.

Clary Sage (salvia sclarea): warming, female balancing herb used for PMS; calms anxiety, tension and stress; also used as a muscle relaxant for aches and pains.

Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus): antibacterial; fresh, herbal menthol aroma; widely used as an inhalant for colds, coughs and congestion; excellent for massaging tired or sore muscles.

Geranium (pelargonium graveolens): one of the best all-around tonic oils for mind and body; soothes nervous tension and mood swings; balances female hormones and PMS; gently astringent and antiseptic, it improves general tone and texture of skin.

Jasmine (jasminum grandiflorum): a warm, rich, sensual floral scent used historically as an aphrodisiac; moisturizing for dry/mature skin.

Lemon (citrus limonum): refreshing and invigorating; eases tension and depression; useful for oily skin and treatment of acne.

Peppermint (mentha piperita): cool, menthol, invigorating stimulant; cleans and purifies the skin.

Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis): stimulating and uplifting; purifying and cleansing for all skin types; warm and penetrating for massage to ease muscular aches and pains.

Tea Tree (melaleuca alternifolia): an antiseptic from the leaves of the Australian tea tree; antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral; excellent for skin irritations like cold sores, insect bites and acne.

Ylang Ylang (cananga odorata): enticing and sensual; helps alleviate anger, stress, insomnia and hypertension; helps balance the skin's sebaceous secretions.

Oil Well

Essential oils can be utilized in a variety of ways: in electric or candle-based diffusers, to spread the aroma through a room; in sachets and air fresheners; added to shampoos and lotions; or diluted and applied to pulse points like the temples, on neck or on wrists. Undiluted essential oils should never be applied to the skin. First mix them with carrier oils: pure vegetable oils such as sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil and apricot kernel oil. Use a general guideline of six to 18 drops of essential oil per one ounce of vegetable oil. Blended, diluted oils are also available which can be used directly on your skin.

Pond's Aromatherapy Capsules come in four scents: Happy, which is fruity and floral; Romantic,with musk and vanilla; Relaxing, a floral and Woodsy aroma; and Energizing, with fresh citrus and bright floral scents.

Sarah Michaels offers four essential oil blends: Sensual Jasmine, Soothing Lavender, Refreshing Citrus and Invigorating Peppermint.

The San Francisco Soap Company's Simply Be Well Line features an essential oil light ring set, a diffuser that uses the heat of a light bulb to spread an aroma through your room.

Tub Time

One of the most popular and luxurious ways to enjoy aromatherapy is in a steaming hot bath. Numerous bath products formulated with plant essences can turn your tub time into a rejuvenating experience. Body & Earth features Body Wash, Foam Bath and Soap in five essences: Vanilla Serenity, Lavender Whisper, Playful Peach, Raspberry Rapture and Pear Essence.

The Healing Garden offers a full line of aromatherapy products; try their Tangerinetherapy Wake Up Call Body Cleanser, Gingerlily Therapy Upbeat Bath & Shower Gel; or Minttherapy Fresh Start Bath & Shower Gel.

Simply Be Well products take traditional aromatherapy one step further by combining essential oils with herbal extracts and natural nutrients.

The line includes Shower Gel and Bath Salts in four fragrances: Explore contains ginkgo, eucalyptus, lemon and vitamin B6; Share features dong quai, passionflower, ylang ylang and zinc; Unwind includes kava kava, geranium, lavender and vitamin E; and Celebrate contains ginseng, wild mint, hemp and vitamin C.

Yardley London Bar Soaps, formulated with botanicals and moisturizers, are available in five fragrances: soothing English Lavender, exfoliating Oatmeal and Almond, Aloe Vera for natural healing, skin-softening Chamomile Essence, and astringent Evening Primrose.

Skin Deep

"Aromatherapy and the cosmetic use of essential oils have made a tremendous contribution to skin care," asserts Joni Loughran, author of Natural Skin Care: Alternative & Traditional Techniques (Frog, Ltd.). "Every type of skin (such as oily, dry, and normal) can benefit." Some of the natural products that can help balance your skin include these:

Kiss My Face Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal/Oily skin features citrus oils which act as antiseptics, marigold for healing, licorice root for toning, lavender to normalize oil production, plus the antioxidant green tea.

Kiss My Face's Gentle Face Cleaner for Normal/Dry skin includes essential oils plus organic, detoxifying herbs goldenseal and red clover, echinacea and rose hips with natural vitamin C.

Naturistics Almond Facial Moisture Cream contains almond, allantoin and calendula to smooth dry skin; Wild Chamomile Facial Lotion with rose hips and honeysuckle soothes and conditions rough skin.

Simply Be Well products, which use essential oils combined with herbal extracts like ginkgo and dong quai, are available in Body Lotion and Body Mist.

Wicks and Sticks

Perhaps the easiest way to get your aromatherapy fix is to light a candle and just sit back, relax and breathe.

The Healing Garden offers a wide variety of aromatic candles to suit your every mood; try their Green Teatherapy Meditation Candle; Jasminetherapy Embrace the Light Love Candle; or Lavendertherapy Peace & Tranquility Candle.



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