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Sweet dreams: Eating honey before you go to bed can help you sleepbetter
May 14, 2019 05:01 PM
It is noted that when one eats sweets before going to bed this could have a negative impact on his sleep. If one does not sleep well, the next day would be a dreadful one. But for those who want to indulge themselves at night with something sweet, there is a natural alternative they can go for which can also help them to sleep better at night. That alternative is honey. Honey is a potent superfood and effective for relaxation, and can serve as a sleep remedy. The use of honey is not new. For centuries, various cultures have used it for food and medicine. Honey is a good source of nutrition because it has lots of antioxidants and nutrients. It is also rich in natural compounds. Honey is recommended as a daily food and its does not have negative drawbacks no matter how often one takes it. Honey possesses many properties which include being an important alternative to sugar, for the treatment of insomnia, for the promotion of deep sleep, and for the relaxation of the body. Therefore, honey is recommended by health practitioners to be taken daily.
"Eating honey at night can kick-start a whole chain of events throughout your body. Raw honey naturally contains high levels of fructose and glucose. Glucose can immediately boost your energy levels, whereas fructose gets stored in your liver as glycogen to serve as an energy source while you sleep."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-18-eat-honey-to-help-you-sleep-better.html
The many uses of peppermint oil
January 17, 2019 08:07 AM
Common culture associates peppermint and thus peppermint oil with the holiday season. It is common to find it in holiday themed cookies, candies and candles. Ancient cultures, however, viewed peppermint as a substance with powerful medicinal properties. Studies have shown that peppermint can boost energy levels and kill microorganisms. Menthol, which is in peppermint, has been shown to reduce pain as an anti-inflammatory and prevent tumor growth. It also has positive effects for your skin.
"This is because of its menthol component, which has anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects. It also provides some additional help by increasing your pain tolerance."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-18-the-many-uses-of-peppermint-oil.html
4 amazing reasons to take manuka honey
December 07, 2018 09:35 AM
Honey is something that is very popular around the world. For many cultures, honey is so prevalent. It is always present in foods and it is something that people find to have a lot of use cases. For that reason, many people are starting to come on to manuka honey. This sort of honey is a little bit different than the honey that you find in your grocery store. With that being said, this one is good for your immune system and offers lots of nutrients.
"Manuka honey, which is produced in New Zealand and some parts of Australia, has gained immense popularity in recent years due to its many health benefits."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-05-4-amazing-reasons-to-take-manuka-honey.html
7 health benefits of hibiscus tea (Zobo)
March 22, 2018 09:18 AM
Interested in a new natural product with a host of health and wellness benefits? Consider hibiscus tea as your next supplement of focus. This natural product will bring a host of benefits, all in a simple cup of tea. These include lowering cholesterol. serving as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, and protecting the liver. Plus, hibiscus tea can also help you to manage your blood pressure, regulating it without the need for manmade and synthetic drugs.
"The health benefits include its ability to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, disturbed the digestive and immune system, and inflammatory problems as well."
Read more: http://www.pulse.ng/lifestyle/food-travel-arts-culture/7-health-benefits-of-hibiscus-tea-zobo-id8101810.html
Reds Pak has over 150 Nutrients Per Packet
March 21, 2018 01:39 PM
If you are looking for a great reds supplement, give Trace Minerals Research a try, This Reds Pak is Gluten free and Certified Vegan.
Reds Pak is a full-spectrum antioxidant supplement of energy-packed whole foods and extracts, super fruits, vegetables, and other essential nutrients for superior health. It is designed to help maintain cellular integrity, support cardiovascular health and immune system function, provide increased energy, support healthy digestion, and fight against free radical damage.**
Red Pak also Contains a Proprietary Liver Supplement Blend and an Enzyme & Probiotic blend that work together to support healthy digestion and aid in the processing and elimination of harmful toxins.** The digestive enzymes help break down macronutrients and absorption while the probiotics help boost production of the beneficial cultures that naturally reside in the digestive tract for good gut flora and healthy bacterial balance of the intestines.** To complete the formula, a complex of over 72 ionic trace minerals are added.
Feel the difference, give it a try!
HERE IS HOW TO DETOX YOUR BODY THROUGH YOUR FEET
March 19, 2018 01:18 PM
For many years, cultures have believed that there are zones in our feet that are connected to all the major organs in our bodies. If we were to detox our bodies by soaking our feet in a variety of foot baths, they believed that any health issue could be cured. One of the most common detox bath is using hot water and epsom salt. If you added a cup of sea salt to the mixture and soak your feet until the water is dark you have a simple method of detoxing your body.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMdfGJWV4VI&rel=0
Dandelion Root Benefits vs. Dandelion Greens Benefits
November 26, 2017 07:59 AM
Dandelions have a bad reputation as weeds and pest plants. In fact, dandelions have been considered healing greens in many ancient cultures. Both root and leaves are edible and contain healing properties. They contain high levels of vitamin A and other nutrients and are used as diuretics and pain relievers. You can cook greens like any leafy vegetable and the root can be baked or roasted and used as a coffee drink. Dandelion is also common as a tea.
"Both the root and the greens of the dandelion are high in nutrients and commonly used as both natural remedies and versatile ingredients."
Read more: https://draxe.com/dandelion-root/
Powerful Ear Acupressure Points to Treat Pains
October 03, 2017 12:14 PM
As a supplement and ingredient in a wide variety of recipes, ginger has been used for thousands of years—not only in the Far East, but also in Europe. Different cultures incorporate this spicy root into their dishes because it’s so flavorful, but also because of its health benefits. In India they grate it into their tea, while in Japan ginger is used in miso soup, and in Greece it goes well with fish. However, there’s another great way to enjoy ginger’s benefits: By using ginger oil. Used on the skin, rather than ingested, ginger oil has been known to relieve minor aches and pain. Did you know that ginger oil can also reduce swelling and bloating, aid in digestion, kill microorganisms in the body, and help the blood circulate normally.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdY98nsb1sc&rel=0
"Pinching the lower middle part of your ear will provide relief in your sinuses and throat."
Do You Eat Ginger? Then You Should Watch This!
October 02, 2017 12:14 PM
As a supplement and ingredient in a wide variety of recipes, ginger has been used for thousands of years—not only in the Far East, but also in Europe. Different cultures incorporate this spicy root into their dishes because it’s so flavorful, but also because of its health benefits. In India they grate it into their tea, while in Japan ginger is used in miso soup, and in Greece it goes well with fish. However, there’s another great way to enjoy ginger’s benefits: By using ginger oil. Used on the skin, rather than ingested, ginger oil has been known to relieve minor aches and pain. Did you know that ginger oil can also reduce swelling and bloating, aid in digestion, kill microorganisms in the body, and help the blood circulate normally.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu2tjh4Y_ZE&rel=0
"Used on the skin, rather than ingested, ginger oil has been known to relieve minor aches and pains"
The goodness of matcha tea
August 02, 2017 09:14 AM
Matcha tea is a precursor of sorts to green tea and is well known and loved in Asian cultures. It is a powder made of the stone ground leaves of green tea. Since you ingest the whole leaf this way, matcha is said to provide more benefits in the form of phytochemicals, antioxidants and other components known to provide health benefits. Normally available as a powder for making a beverage, it is also commonly used as an ingredient in cooking, especially baking or when creating sweet dishes.
"Matcha tea is considered better than green tea in all respects because of its higher antioxidant levels, chlorophyll and other amino acids, says Sunita Roy Chowdhary, chief dietitian, BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi."
Read more: http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/cIjGhoxjciSkyEAvCw0fGP/The-goodness-of-matcha-tea.html
Top 7 Benefits of Green Tea: The No. 1 Anti-Aging Beverage
June 27, 2017 04:14 PM
There are numerous benefits to drinking green tea. It is consumed more than any other drink after water. Green tea is extremely beneficial and has more antioxidants than any other tea on the market. It fights heart disease, diabetes, it can help with weight loss, and most importantly it can help elders with their memories and bone density. The article lists all the benefits that green tea has, along with it's rich history, and most importantly how to steep and drink the tea.
"According to dozens of studies, regularly drinking green tea may reduce your risk of developing heart disease or Alzheimer’s, help you maintain better bone mineral density, ward off eye diseases that affect vision in older age, prevent strokes, and even extend your life."
Read more: https://draxe.com/benefits-of-green-tea/
This American Doctor Reveals Us The Most Powerful Natural Antibiotic That Kills Any Infection!!
June 24, 2017 12:14 PM
An American doctor gives a remedy for diseases that affect many people on a regular basis such as the flu, colds, and or respiratory problems. The remedy consists of raw garlic and organic honey in order for the remedy to work better. Garlic in many cultures is called white gold, which has allicin, the substance released when the garlic is chopped up. The honey should have no air bubbles in it when added to the bottle of chopped garlic. Make sure the bottle is labeled and stored in a cool dry place. It can last on the shelf for up to three months. It can be added to other foods and or taken in two tablespoon doses for easing the symptoms of the flu or other respiratory illnesses.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zxpENGmHxs&rel=0
"But on this occasion we will teach you how to prepare an excellent natural antibiotic which consists of two well known ingredients, honey and garlic."
Jarrow challenges FDA on probiotics
June 05, 2017 11:14 AM
Jarrow Formulas Inc. has released a 32 page comment challenging the FDA on it's stance on probiotics. It notes how the FDA won't approve the term probiotics in several cases, instead using the phrase active cultures and just how the FDA labels probiotics in general. The company also takes issue with the fact that fermentation is considered chemical alteration under the current guidelines. The draft was vetted by the supplement company's lawyers and could dramatically change dietary guidelines if accepted.
Read more: Jarrow challenges FDA on probiotics
Psyllium Husk: Fiber for Well-Being
May 18, 2017 03:44 PM
Plantago Ovata, known as the Horse Flower, is found in East Asia and the Mediterranean. It has been used for centuries as an important herbal medicine ingredient. The psyllium seed coat can retain large amounts of water and the outer husk of the seed is high in fiber, making it a good digestive aid. It absorbs toxins and aids in elimination from the bowel by increasing stool's bulk and aids in softening it to ease elimination.
"Ancient plants have been used by cultures around the world to aid and support dietary needs for centuries."
Read more: http://www.healthplusinc.com/blog/psyllium-husk-fiber-for-well-being
Soy should not be consumed in significant quantities unless it has been fermented or otherwise traditionally processed; industrially processed soy should be avoided
November 01, 2016 09:04 AM
Are dairy products hard for you to tolerate? Have you ever tried using soy products? Do you know of the different things that you should be aware of with Soy? If you said yes to either of the first two questions then you should take a look at this article about how soy should and should not be consumed.
"What many debates over the nature of soy fail to take into account is that soy-based foods are neither healthy nor unhealthy; it all depends on the processing."
It's True: Cinnamon Bark Can Help With Blood Sugar
Cinnamon and blood sugar
Cinnamon also contains magnesium
If you want to take control of your blood sugar, give cinnamon bark powder, capsules, and tablets a try!
7 Amazing Benefits Of Alfalfa Leaf
Alfalfa is an amazing plant with many health benefits. Many cultures, mainly in Asia, have long used this plant as an appetite stimulator, as well as a healing digestive remedy for alleviating ulcers.
10 Benefits of this excellent plant:
There are many other amazing health benefits of Alfalfa Leaf, but these are the most important. Like all detoxification herbs, alfalfa may have minor side effects when taken in the beginning. These small effects are the result of your body detoxing and cleansing itself and are short-lived. Always consult your health care provider before using this, or any other herb, if you're pregnant or if you're taking any other medications. Do you wanna feel better? Give Alfalfa a try!
The Health Benefits Of Frankincense Oil
February 17, 2014 06:39 AM
What is frankincense
The history of frankincense oil dates back to early times of the great Roman Empire during the time of Jesus Christ. With over 5000 years of great benefits, frankincense oil comes from Boswellia plant commonly found in parts of Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. It is said that frankincense was found in King Tut’s Tomb, and that it is mentioned in the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. People say that was brought by one of the three wise men who visited Jesus and his parents in Bethlehem from the Middle East. However, today, frankincense is being used in many scientific fields, especially in the medical field across the world.
Uses of frankincense
Frankincense oil is used in the treatment of many medical conditions, diseases, and infection. Some of the diseases include wounds, wrinkles, dry skin, sore muscles scars, and other skin problems. Other than treating these infections, research has also revealed that it is able to treat cancer, arthritis, and anxiety.
A study conducted by scholars from the University of Oklahoma revealed that frankincense oil has the ability to differentiate between cancer cells and normal bladder cells. This study also revealed that this product could help in inhibiting growth and development of cancer cells in an individual. Due to this fact, it can be used to instigate the death of cancer cells on the bladder.
Another separate research conducted by scholars from Virgina-Maryland school of Veterinary Medicine in 2006 found that frankincense oil could be used in relieving horses from skin cancer lesions.
Another important benefit of frankincense oil is that it causes relaxation and general mood control in individuals. For this reason, it is used as an incense in many cultures around the world. It does this by targeting specific parts of the brain and the nervous system. Frankincense oil can also be used in the treatment of osteoarthritis.
November 10, 2013 09:54 PM
What is Probiotics?
Probiotic are microorganisms that offer health benefits to the host. These types of microorganisms can be found in different foods. Probiotics play important roles in regulating proper digestion and intestinal function by balancing intestinal microflora. They are normally consumed in fermented foods that have live cultures such as yogurt. Probiotics are also available in supplement form such as chewable, liquid and capsules. There’re many different strains of probiotics in the world today. But the common ones are Bifid bacterium and Lactobacillus
These friendly bacteria have a number of important roles as listed below:
Bifidus and acidophilus are important bacteria that live naturally in your intestine. The two bacteria work together in order to balance your digestive system and also increase your immunity. Bifidus and acidophilus supply your body with essential nutrients and vitamins. They produce vitamins B, lactase enzyme, vitamins K. An effective dose should contain 10 billion colony forming units. They work together in order to improve immunity and decrease diarrhea & other digestive problems.Sources of these microorganisms Yougurt
Fresh & unpasteurized yogurt contains bifidus and acidophilus. Pasteurized milk and yogurt will not have these bacteria since the process kill them. Therefore, it is important to opt for those brands that have active and live cultures since they will provide a healthy dose of bacteria.Acidophilus kefir and milk
This is supplemented or fermented milk that have cultures. Kefir is a type of fermented milk drink that is often found flavored or mixed with fruits. These are just a few sources of these microorganisms.
To sum up, taking a probiotic supplements everyday will promote a good health and also help you in preventing diseases. Nevertheless, not all probiotic supplements are made equally. They have different effect in your body.
Boswellia Can Help you to Reduce all type of Inflammation Pain
November 06, 2013 09:15 PM
What is Boswellia
There are so many natural medicines that can help you to fight against pain and boswellia is one of them. This is one of those herbs that are being used by various cultures as an effective pain killer since a long time. Other than this, this herb is also known to the world as Indian Frankincense and it can help you in inflammation as well as circulation of joints and stiffness of muscles.
Benefits of Boswellia
Talking about the effect of boswellia on pain, many modern researches also proved that it works great as an anti inflammatory medicine. These researches proved that boswellia contain a triterpenoids that is commonly known as boswellic acids and this is responsible for relief in pain. These researches also proved that t boswellic acids are highly beneficial in pain and it has very few toxic or harmful content compared to any other popular anti inflammatory product.
Effect of Boswellia
Other than this, researchers did some blind study in which they included 30 people that had problem of osteoarthritis of knee and researched compared the effect of boswellia against placebo that is another good anti inflammatory product. In this study participants either received boswellia as an anti inflammatory product or they got placebo for initial 8 weeks. After that researchers switched the medicines for next 8 weeks and patients found that they received much better result in pain with boswellia compared placebo. Additionally they also found great improvement in knee mobility, walking and reduction of knee pain while consuming boswellia.
On the basis of these researches and its history we can easily say that boswellia can easily help you to fight against any kind of pain it gives great result in case of muscles stiffness or joint pain. Other than this, its anti inflammatory property can help you in variety of other pain including sprain, fatigue or hurting.
Can Butcher's Broom Boost Cardiovascular Health?
October 30, 2013 09:48 PM
Where to find Butchers Broom
The butcher’s broom also known as ruscus aculeatus is an evergreen low shrub that grows in the Eurasian region. It is known to produce greenish flowers that are small sized and blooms during Spring. It has leaves that produce red berries after the falling off of its female flowers. It is reputed among native cultures as much as asparagus, with the roots been eaten in various preparations.
It is mainly recurrent in woodland as a result of bird-spread though is now grown as a garden plant in regions across the world. It has general names like the pettigree, Jews’myrtle, sweet broom, petit houx and knee holly. Its roots are deployed as medicines in different remedies.
It has been used as an effective tool to constrict capillaries and blood vessels by herbal and alternative medicine practitioners. Its efficiency in constricting blood vessels is considered to result from the constituent chemicals. This prevents the veins from pooling blood thereby improving the flow of blood in the hands, brain and legs.
It has been used to heal fractures and reduce swelling, as well as treatment for hemorrhoids and gallstones. It is reputed for constipation relief and ease of urine ejection.
As a result of its wide application and effectiveness, the German Health Commission listed it as a useful for the treatment of hemorrhoids. It is advised in medical circles that its use by pregnant women should be subject to consultation of a qualified medical practitioner to avoid possible contraindications and safeguard the fetal balance.
Clinical research is still open in several fronts to ascertain its virility and possible side effects as a result of the widespread usage across the globe by alternative medicine practitioners for a variety of medical conditions. This evidently will provide clues as to acceptable dosage and prescription in the years to come.
4. botanical.com: Broom, Butcher's
Benefits of Natural Honey?
December 19, 2012 03:06 PM
Raw And Natural Honey
Raw honey is one of the oldest sweetening agents known to mankind. This substance is laden with lots of substances that have proven useful to humans from time immemorial. In fact, many cultures and civilizations have used this substance with a great deal of success which underscores its importance even in modern times. Without wasting much time, we shall delve straight into some of the most fascinating health benefits of natural honey.
While many people know that honey is basically a sweetening agent, few of them know that honey good for the skin. Ancient Greeks pioneered the use of honey as skin mask. Honey can be combined effectively with oils and aloe vera to produce fantastic skin masks. The resulting mixture can be used to cure a great deal of skin problems from acne scars, blemishes, and dark spots on the skin.
Honey is also laden with nutrients and elements that nourish and moisten the skin leaving you with a soft texture and young looks. Honey is packed with powerful amino acids and enzymes that revitalize the skin.
So, instead of going for expensive creams and moisturizers, why not tap the power of raw honey?
Did you also know that raw honey is a powerful antibacterial agent? Scientists believe that pure honey can cleanse pores and eliminate microbes leaving you with a natural looking and healthy skin. Besides that, natural honey can act as an effective sunblock. It has antioxidant properties that can shield the skin from the effects of harmful ultraviolet rays.
Moving away from the skin, natural honey is also a great remedy for ulcers and abdominal problems. Honey has agents that attack bacteria while strengthening the stomach linings at the same time. Natural honey can also be used as remedies for moles and cough and chest problems.
Certainly, there is a whole lot more you can do with raw home. This underscores the fact that natural honey is a powerful substance with multiple purposes.
How Fast Does Acidophilus Capsules Work?
October 13, 2011 03:16 PM
Acidophilus And Colon Health
The body contains a normal flora of good microorganisms which is helpful not only in protecting the body from harmful microorganisms but also in the production of several body fluids and enzymes required for its many biological processes. One of the areas of the body which has an abundant number of good bacteria is the digestive tract. As many health experts claim, “Good digestion largely depends on a healthy digestive tract”.
However, these floras of good bacteria in the stomach and intestine can be easily depleted under certain circumstances which include excessive stress and antibiotic therapy. In antibiotic therapy, it is not only the bad bacteria that are destroyed but also the good ones. Antibiotics will greatly lower the population of good bacteria in the stomach and intestine. Under stressful conditions, the good bacteria may be gradually destroyed by the bad bacteria inside the digestive system and since the body is under stress, it cannot produce enough number of good bacteria which can outnumber the bad bacteria. Good thing, there are supplements which can increase the number of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. These are called probiotics. One of the most common probiotics is Lactobacillus acidophilus. This is effective in adding more good microorganisms in the digestive tract thus helping in the maintenance of a healthy and reliable intestinal flora.
Lactobacillus acidophilus consists of billions of live good bacteria which can greatly help in promoting healthy digestive system and good digestion. Most studies revealed that the improvement of digestion would be apparent about a week or two. Probiotics supplements can be used everyday and can be taken together with prebiotic supplements. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are not live cultures of good bacteria but are supplements to help the existing good bacteria inside the digestive tract to produce more good bacteria. The two can effectively work hand in hand to improve digestion.
Lactobacillus acidophilus can help defend the body against harmful microorganisms. When it is used by the body, its by–product called hydrogen peroxide can make an unfriendly environment for bad bacteria. This toxic environment helps kill and eliminate bad bacteria thus maintaining the health of the digestive system. Lactobacillus acidophilus can also produce certain enzymes which can be helpful in the breakdown and absorption of food nutrients which are essential to the human body. The best widely – known source of Lactobacillus acidophilus is yogurt. It is easily discernible because of its sour taste due to its lactic acid content produced by the billions of Lactobacillus acidophilus. Other food products which are considered as good source of Lactobacillus acidophilus are sauerkraut, kefir, aged cheese and many other fermented products. Lactobacillus acidophilus is also available in the form of pill supplements. One pill approximately has an amount of three billion live cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus depending on the brand you purchase for internal use.
If you have ever been on antibiotics, you should be taking acidophilus daily!
When Should Probiotics Be Taken?
October 04, 2011 02:00 PM
Probiotics are digestive bacteria which are naturally present in the gastric environment. This type of bacteria is necessary for the proper digestion of food as well as absorption of nutrients. Clinical studies have shown that the digestive tract must contain at least 10 to 15 % good bacteria to have a healthy digestion. In addition, trace amount of bad bacteria is also present inside the digestive tract. This is also important for digestion because these bacteria produce essential enzymes that aid digestion and absorption.
The most popular probiotics is called Lactobacillus acidophilus. This kind of bacteria produces lactic acid inside the stomach when they reproduce. Lactic acid increases the acidity of the gastric environment thus enhancing digestion. The acidity of the digestive tract also helps protect the stomach and intestines from overgrowth of harmful microorganisms such as yeasts, spores, molds and bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella.
The population of good bacteria in the digestive tract is depleted when the individual is on antibiotic therapy or under prolonged stress. Antibiotics are non – selective. This means that they do not only kill the harmful microorganisms but also the good ones. Good thing probiotics can be obtained from the diet such as yogurt, buttermilk, kefir and other fermented products. In addition, probiotics can also be provided by supplements. Therefore, when the person is to have an antibiotic therapy, the physician usually prescribes probiotic supplement to replenish the digestive tract with the killed good bacteria.
Moreover, if probiotics are prescribed, another form of supplement may also be recommended to aid the activity of probiotic supplements. These are called prebiotics which are considered to be fibers, either soluble or insoluble. These prebiotics does not increase the number of good bacteria in the digestive tract. Prebiotics serve as food for good bacteria thus making them healthy and strong against bad bacteria. Sources of prebiotics include fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains.
Other health benefits of probiotics are that it can enhance the health of the immune system and boost the intestinal barrier function. Probiotics also lessen the development of allergies to food and drugs. For lactose – intolerant individuals, yogurts with live and active cultures of lactobacillus acidophilus are recommended to relieve its disturbing symptoms. In addition, probiotics also has an anti – diarrheal property and at the same time helps in the regulation of normal bowel movement.
A good probiotic supplement must have at least ten million live bacteria. Experts also stressed that the good bacteria contained in a supplement must be that of the Lactobacillus strains. This family of bacteria is the only considered group of good bacteria which is strong enough to reach the intestines, bypassing the acidic environment of the stomach. Another helpful tip on what a good probiotic supplement must be is that the product must be guaranteed organic. Organic probiotics ensure that the bacteria are in its natural and live state and have not been destroyed with heat and strong chemicals during processes. Experts also suggest that you must choose those probiotic supplements in which the source is from organic vegetables.
Is Wasabi Healthy For The Body?
September 22, 2011 04:02 PM
In the modern world we are familiar with different kinds of cuisine and we even focus on it sometimes. How many newly opened restaurants have you seen in your local area draw a crowd or how many food festivals do you go to a year? We as a society love food and most of the time comfort food. With this enthusiasm towards food it’s hard to find a person that is not familiar with wasabi.
Many consider this in a way as a comfort food in Japanese society and this is a food staple in most Japanese kitchens if not all of them. This is the common condiment to accompany any Japanese cuisine and it’s almost unfathomable to find a Japanese restaurant that does not have wasabi in their condiment menu. Beyond its greatness as a symbol of Japanese cuisine it would also seem that it has other benefits, health benefits in fact, so let’s try to find out what those are. First though, let’s find out more about this well known food condiment and see it in another light.
What is Wasabi?
Wasabi in its most natural form pretty much looks like any other herb plant, green and leafy. Many times in the past it has been compared to be most like mustard and horseradish. The main thing that sets it apart is its unique smell. As one would expect the wasabi plant is native to Japan and grows in its cool regions which are its mountain regions. In recent times though especially with the exceptional health of most Japanese compared to other cultures in the world the interest in wasabi for health benefits has been more looked in to.
Wasabi Health Benefits
Wasabi has many positive effects to our body but number one on my list would be cancer protection. Many studies have shown that wasabi is isothiocyanates rich which is a potent anti cancer chemical also found in broccoli and cabbage. This chemical is what gives wasabi its cancer fighting properties because it is believed to activate liver detoxifying substances that aids in clearing the liver of substances that damages cells and ultimately cause cancer. In addition it also is able to do this without causing any side effects on cells and cause damage to it. It also has been proven over time and nowadays modern research that it has anti inflammatory effects.
The same chemical once again that makes wasabi a cancer fighter is also what makes it an effective anti inflammatory. It also has the ability in certain studies to protect from platelet aggregation which in turn give wasabi the ability to aid in heart health and help in the prevention of stroke. You also may have seen in the market today some antibacterial products, mainly soaps and hand washes that are wasabi based. This should attest to the fact that wasabi also has antibacterial properties and it seemed to have the right characteristics to stop certain strains of bacteria from growing and proliferating.
Grab some wasabi today and reap the health benefits for your self.
Can Tea Tree Oil Reduce Scarring?
September 16, 2011 03:50 PM
Scarring can be traumatic for any person and yet it may be a source of pride for others, in fact many native cultures in the world that is still left untouched by the modern world still has scarring as part of decorating their bodies. However we also need to look at it in a different view, it is a fact of life that we do not live in a native world, we need to adhere to common beliefs in terms of what beauty is and let’s face it, being full of scars is not something that many people look for and deem as beautiful.
How does it happen?
The formation of scars is a natural process. It simply is our body healing itself after injury. The main difference though is that when the skin is the part of the body that is injured it leaves a mark that we can see and I say that because like all healing processes in the body their always is a small mark left and the problem never really gets completely repaired unless the injury happens while you are very young or if you have amazing regenerative gifts. There are a lot of factors that could influence scars and of course depth and size of the injury are the ones that play a major role in shaping the scars characteristics.
Types of Scars
First and most common are Keloid scars. This is a result of a very aggressive healing process by the body and in some cases it even can affect mobility as it extends beyond the normal wound or injury. Second would be Hypertrophic scars. These types of scars are a little similar to keloid but the main difference is that it does not extend out of the injury zone but in terms of look and texture it is very similar to keloid. The third are contracture scars. This is commonly caused by the burning of the skin. It also has the ability to impair your mobility as this has a characteristic of going deeper into your muscles and nerves to impede its functionality. Lastly you have the scars that result from acne and which is appropriately named as acne scars.
Tea Tree Oil and Scars
This oil has been known to have wondrous effects to the health with even just one drop. Studies have shown that the use of Tea Tree Oil or also known as meleleuca alternifolia on scars is one of the most effective ways to aid in the treatment of scars. Its strong cell regenerative properties are what makes tea tree oil important and potent in healing scars. It also could help in preventing other skin problems and acne.
Another reason why it is so effective is it has a natural antiseptic effect for skin infections and problems and it is able to penetrate the epidermis to do its healing from within which adds to its potency. Plus, the best thing about it is that, it is mild on the skin, it does all this without any side effects that other skin treatments has like drying the skin or causing minor irritations.
Is There Any Benefit to Taking Grape Seed Extract?
April 15, 2011 02:12 PM
Grape Seed Extract And Your Health!Grape seed extract has been linked to many health benefits. It is entirely derived from grape products, but contains higher concentrations of organic compounds naturally occurring in grape seeds. It has long been known that grapes are excellent sources of bioactive compounds while grape seeds have more phytochemicals. In addition to their long list of all-natural antioxidants, such as tocopherols, flavonoids, and oligomeric proanthocyanidins, grape seed extracts contain the essential fatty acid linoleic acid, the reason why they are exceptionally good for the skin.
Accelerates Wound Healing
The circulatory system is the best venue for nutrient distribution throughout the body. The tissues that have direct access to the blood vessels are more likely to receive nourishment and heal faster in the process. Grape seed extracts induce the productions of proteins called vascular endothelial growth factor, which stimulates the growth of healthy blood vessels, thereby accelerating wound healing in any part of the body.
Improves Bone Density
Grape seed extracts have been noted to increase bone mass and strength. The bones are the primary storage of inorganic minerals in the human body, like elemental calcium. As such, they undergo a lifetime cycle of resorption and reabsorption to respond to the mineral needs of other body parts. Any imbalance in the process may result in bone porosity. It is postulated that the phytochemical content of grape seed extracts inhibits bone resorption.
Promotes Integumentary Health
Oligomeric proanthocyanidins, or OPCs, are of special note for their unique antioxidant activities. They are capable of scavenging free radicals and preventing cellular damage. At the same time, they protect the skin, the scalp, and the rest of the integumentary system from the harmful oxidative effects of ultraviolet rays. Grape seed extracts are particularly rich in OPCs, which have been tied to impede skin tumor growth.
Shows Cardioprotective Effects
Grape seed extracts contain an abundance of organic compounds that promote cardiovascular health. First, it has shown to be effective in lowering low-density lipoproteins, also known as bad cholesterol. Second, its antioxidant properties prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol, which results in the formation of arterial plaques if subjected to oxidative stress. Third, grape seed extracts reduce complications of preexisting cardiovascular disorders.
Eases Digestive Problems
Grapes have long been reputed as a digestive in many cultures. Grape seed extracts, having flavonoids with bioactive properties, serve as a cleanser of the alimentary canal. They aid digestion and modulate the effects of enzymes on food. The same organic compounds limit the growth of microorganisms that populate the colon, which is the cause of many disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
Prevents Tooth Decay
Grape seed extracts contain phenolics that interfere with the metabolism of sugars in the oral cavity. The bacteria that take up residence in the mouth rely on the availability of saccharine compounds, and they thrive well in the presence of simple sugars, such as sucrose, fructose, and glucose. Dental carries result from an abundance of these sugars and a growing bacterial population. Grape seed extracts impact both.
As you can see, grape seed extract has many health benefits. All who want to keep their body’s working in tip top shape should be taking grape seed extract daily!
How Do I Eliminate Parasites Naturally from the Colon?
April 11, 2011 09:36 PM
Intestinal parasites infect over 3 billion people worldwide. These worm-like organisms populate the gastrointestinal tract and interfere with the absorption of foods. In children they may slow the normal progress of physical growth and intellectual development. In adults they cause muscle weakness, vitamin deficiencies, and susceptibility to fatigue. People from all over the world may acquire parasites from contaminated water and infected soil. Deworming is an effective way to get rid of these parasites. Fortunately, there are many herbs reputed for their anthelmintic benefits.
Allium sativum, the popular spice known as garlic, is the best known anti-parasitic herb. Its wide distribution in every continent has enabled cultures from all over the world to take advantage of its medicinal uses. Garlic contains the organic compound allicin, which is the primary substance responsible for warding off worms and bugs that attack the plant. This is the same compound that destroys intestinal parasites, notably threadworms.
Juglans nigra, or black walnut, is recommended specifically for the removal of pathogenic microorganisms, yeast infections, and intestinal worms. It is a flowering tree that belongs to the hickory family, and anthelmintic extracts are derived from the juice of unripe walnuts. Its antifungal effects are very visible after topically applied to fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. When taken orally, it has been noted to be particularly helpful against tapeworms.
Hydrastis canadensis, called orangeroot or goldenseal in the vernacular, is historically noted for its ability to ease anomalies of the alimentary canal. It is rich in the alkaloid berberine, which restores health to the damaged epithelial tissues of the intestinal walls and expels invasive microorganisms. In recent years it has been observed to act against the parasites E. histolytica, G. lamblia, and Plasmodium as well as the bacterium E. coli.
Artemisium absinthium, better known as wormwood, is an ingredient of traditional herbal preparation used for deworming in the Mediterranean region. The discovery of sesquiterpene lactones in the plant explained its bitter taste and supported its centuries-old use as a vermifuge. Recent studies point to its activities inside the human body that inhibit growth of the parasites Giardia, Plasmodium, A. lumbricoides, and S. mansoni and effectively expel them.
Seeds of pumpkin cultivars that belong to the species Cucurbita pepo have a long-standing association with the natural expulsion of intestinal parasites. Pumpkin Seed oil has a milder effect than other herbs but guaranteed to be the safest of all anthelmintic herbal remedies. It is most effective against tapeworms and roundworms. For better results, it is consumed in large quantities with ample liquids, and often ground into a pulp beforehand.
Syzgium aromaticum, or Cloves, refers to the dried flowering buds of the plant commonly used as a spice. It is often linked to Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine and known for the treatment of digestive ailments. Its oil has been proven effective against infections induced by certain strains of bacteria and fungi. It contains sesquiterpenes that are believed to kill intestinal worms.
If you have worms, you can experience fatigue, malnutrition, and leaning development delays or mental foggyness. Taking an herbal remedy to help expel worms of any kind should be used with a yearly detox and cleans to maintain good health and wellness.
Can Olive Leaf Boost My Immune System - answer is Yes
April 06, 2011 03:01 PM
Olive Leaf And Your Health
Olive leaf is highly prized for its antimicrobial properties in booth food and supplement industries. For centuries, the leaf of the olive tree has been utilized as a natural antibiotic. It has become the subject of modern day scientific research in the past few years, and preliminary studies appear to be in favor of its age-old claims. In addition, it is now known to modulate immune responses and display potent antioxidant activities.
Olea europaea may be best known for its long association with Mediterranean cuisines although cultures around the world have also used various parts of the plant as flavor enhancers. Its medicinal value continues to gain prominence as recent studies point to the health benefits of the organic compounds it contains. Olive leaf is identified to be an excellent source of the phytochemicals hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein, and oleocanthal, all of which are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, fresh olive leaves are widely accepted to have an antioxidant content that is 400 per cent higher than vitamin C, that’s double the antioxidant capacity of green teas.
Fights Bacterial and Viral Infections
Olive leaf is antiseptic in nature. It was an important ingredient in poultices used to treat war wounds in the ancient world. Elenolic acid is an organic compound naturally occurring in olive leaf, which is under scrutiny for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. This compound is described to be both bactericidal and bacteriostatic, which means it is directly involved in killing bacterial strains and at the same time interferes with bacterial cellular metabolism. In addition, the antiviral properties ascribed to olive leaf are attributable to its ability to viral protein synthesis necessary for viral replication. This explains why it is effective in the treatment of many known infections, such as candidiasis, shingles, herpes, and Epstein-Barr virus infectious mononucleosis. It has also been reported to reduce the symptoms of colds and flu and shorten their duration.
Scavenges Reactive Oxygen Species
The natural antioxidants found in olive leaf are believed to be the most powerful antioxidants in the market, and as such often marketed as anti-aging. Antioxidants are indispensable in the prevention of the tissue damage caused by reactive oxygen species, or ROS. Free radicals, the best known ROS, are among the group of by-products of oxygen metabolism in the human body. They are also deployed by cells in response to invasive pathogens. Each cell does have its own antioxidant defense, but an imbalance between endogenous antioxidants and ROS is quite common. Chronic stress and physical fatigue are thought to compromise the antioxidant defense of the body, which is restored by antioxidants found in the diet.
Boosts the Innate Immune System
Furthermore, olive leaf strengthens the innate immune system. Its proponents believe that regular intake contributes to the non-specific responses of the immune system, such as the production of neutrophils during inflammation. This type of white blood cells is often the first to engage with pathogens. By speeding up their releases, olive leaf prepares the body against infections.
If you want an Immune Boost, Give olive leaf a try!
August 31, 2009 01:36 PM
Horsetail has been used for healing in both Chinese and Asian cultures. During times of famine, the Romans ate horsetail shoots, while Native Americans used horsetail as a diuretic for kidney problems, cancer, and dropsy to increase blood circulation. The Hopi tribe in New Mexico mixed horsetail and cornmeal as a mush and in their bread. One of the oldest plants on the earth, horsetail is approximately two hundred million years old. It used to be a giant fernlike plant. However, there are now around twenty species of the original plant living today. These species are small in comparison to the original plant and are usually considered to be a nuisance. The species Equisetum arvense is a small perennial fern plant that is most common in North America.
The horsetail plant is a descendent of huge tree-like plants that thrived 400 million years ago during the Paleozoic era. The plant is a non-flowering weed that can be found throughout parts of Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America. This plant returns each year with hollow stems and shoots that resemble asparagus. As the plant dries, silica crystals, which form in the stems and branches, give the plant the scratching effect that made it historically useful for polishing metal.
Horsetail is believed to aid the immune system and the nervous system because of its silica content. The nerves contain almost the same amount of silica as does the albumin in the blood. The pancreas is especially rich in silica. Silica is found combined with fluorine in the enamel of the teeth. Additionally, hair needs silica to grow, and it is needed as a protection for the skin and cell walls. This herb helps in treating urinary tract problems. It contains silicic acid, which is responsible for helping with circulation of the blood. This herb is also credited with helping coagulate the blood and decreasing blood flow. An externally-applied decoction has the ability to stop bleeding of wounds and help with healing. Horsetail can also be used as a mouthwash for mouth infections. Often found in calcium combinations, horsetail is helpful in building the skeletal system and improving bone structure. The silica that is found in horsetail also helps in healing bones, keeping the arteries clean, and facilitating the absorption of calcium in the body.
This herb is known for its antibiotic properties and its contribution to the overall healing process. Horsetail is also thought to help with bleeding, urinary and prostate disorders, bed-wetting, skin problems, and lung disease. Horsetail also possesses a weak diuretic effect, which is most notably due to the equisetonin and the flavone glycosides.
In short, the entire horsetail herb is used to provide alterative, antilithic, antineoplastic, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, lithotriptic, nephritic, nutritive, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are flavonoids, iodine, iron, manganese, PABA, pantothenic acid, silicon, sodium, and vitamin E. Primarily, this herb is extremely beneficial in treating arthritis, poor circulation, diabetes, glandular problems, weak hair, kidney stones, weak nails, nervousness, osteoporosis, parasites, rheumatism, and urinary problems.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with edema, eyestrain, gas, gout, heart problems, hemorrhage, incontinence, liver disorders, membrane irritations, neuralgia, palsy, skin disorders, tumors, and water retention. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by horsetail, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
August 19, 2009 03:31 PM
Kombucha is also known as Manchurain tea or mushroom. It is not an official member of the fungi family. Actually, it is a symbiotic culture of genus Saccharomyces yeast and xylinum bacteria. Kombucha dates back as far as two thousands years in East Asia. Originally, it was used for healing in Japan, China, and Korea. Kombucha use spread with the beginning of trade. Merchants took the kombucha plant to Russia and then to Eastern Europe. Although it is not technically a fungus, it contains many similar healing properties. Because of this, it is often recommended along with members of the mushroom family.
This herb is usually placed in a nutrient solution of distilled water, black tea, and sugar. The process of brewing kombucha was introduced in Russia and Ukraine at the end of the 1800s. However, it did not become popular until the early 1900s. The kombucha culture is known locally as chayniy grib and the drink itself is referred to as grib, tea kvass, or simply kvass. Then, it undergoes chemical changes which make it beneficial for human consumption. The chemical reactions that occur in this process are very complex. The kombucha feeds on sugar, thus producing glucuronic acid, lactic acid, vitamins, amino acids, and some antibiotic solutions.
The healing properties are thought to be due to the production of glucuronic acid, B-complex vitamins, C vitamins, and lactic acid. Like all foods, there must be some care taken when preparing and storing kombucha, or else contamination may result. Keeping this herb safe and contamination-free is a concern to many home brewers. Key components of food safety when brewing kombucha include a clean environment, proper temperature, and low pH.
Russian studies have uncovered the presence of substances in the kombucha tea that contain antibiotic properties. The tea was found to prevent the growth and colonization of other yeasts and bacteria. The kombucha plant is also believed to help with a wide variety of conditions. It seems to have a detoxifying effect on the entire body, which makes it extremely beneficial for invigorating the whole body.
Research done in Germany led by Dr. Valentin Koehler found that kombucha has the ability to increase the function of the immune system. It does this by boosting levels of interferon. Kombucha contains many different cultures along with several organic acids, active enzymes, amino acids, and polyphenols. Due to the acidic fermentation process used in it’s brewing. Kombucha contains ethyl alcohol in amounts that vary from 0.5% to 1.5%. The range depends on the anaerobic brewing time and proportions of microbe. Commercial preparations of this herb are typically 0.5% in order to comply with distribution and safety procedures.
The entire kombucha plant is used to provide antibacterial, antibiotic, antifungal, and immuno-stimulant properties. Primarily, this herb is extremely beneficial in dealing with immune deficiencies and effects of toxins. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by kombucha, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Honey from bee's
July 01, 2009 12:12 PM
Bees make honey out of the nectar that they sip from flower blossoms. A long and tedious process is necessary to transform nectar into the thick, golden substance that we call honey. Like each product that is produced by the honeybee, care and a number of steps are essential in order to create this beehive food, with honey being no exception. This sweet, nutritious edible substance is a viscous fluid that is exclusively created by the honeybee. Even the most sophisticated modern techniques have failed to synthetically manufacture honey. Like royal jelly, propolis, and bee pollen, honey is only available from Mother Nature. It is a precious and coveted substance that has fascinated and pleased cultures throughout time.
The ancient Greeks called honey one of nature’s most precious gifts, while the Assyrians, Chinese, and Romans routinely prescribed it for its medicinal value. Numerous biblical references refer to the “Honeycomb” and the “Land of Milk and Honey,” as well as the “Enlightenment” that comes from eating honey. Hippocrates recorded that a honey drink cures phlegm and calms down a cough. He was one of the first known advocates for using Honey and Vinegar for fevers and other ailments. All of ancient cultures believed that the use of honey each and every day would insure health and longevity. All kinds of wines and foods were routinely mixed with honey, causing them to be viewed by all peoples as a treasure which the gods provided for health.
Of all the ancient cultures, Egyptians prized honey enough to use it as a form of money. Hieroglyphics often refer to honey as the universal healer and jars of honey were routinely placed in tombs of the dead. Because of its superior preservative properties, honey used to be an integral part of the formula that was used in the mummification process. Throughout all of history, honey has been used to treat open wounds and fight infection. Unfortunately, the advent of refined sugar caused honey to take a back seat to other more popular sweeteners. Thankfully, today honey is experiencing resurgence, as it was once an often overlooked beehive food that is full of nutritive and medicinal value.
When a bee lands on a flower, it sucks a tiny amount of nectar to its honey sac. It is within this sac that the transformation of nectar to honey begins. The nectar is mixed with acid secretions to eventually form the coveted honey that we consume. Substantial amounts of nectar are necessary to produce significant amounts of honey, making flying the distance of up to three miles necessary to obtain the amounts of nectar that is needed to fill the sac. Once the sac is full, the honeybee returns to the hive, where a receiving bee takes the nectar and continues the process, changing, enriching, and concentrating the nectar. Following this, the receiving bee drops the mixture into the empty cells of the honeycomb.
In order to produce a single pound of honey, bees must provide the hive with over 70,000 loads of nectar. A healthy beehive can produce about 300 pounds of honey each season. The health benefits of honey have now been captured by manufactures like Premier one and Montana big sky. Natural honey is available in liquid form at your local or internet health food store. Look for name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Honey is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Fine Honey Products from Premier one are available at VitaNet ®, LLC Health Food Stores.
April 09, 2009 03:08 PM
Amaranth is an herb full of vitamins. It was traditionally used by Native Americans in both Central and North America as a survival food. This herb has been cultivated for thousands of years in many different cultures due to the fact that it grows well in most climates and uses a very small amount of water. Amaranth contains a huge amount of protein and a lot more calcium than milk provides. It also contains the amino acid l-lysine, which is not often found in plants. Amaranth seeds were used by the Aztecs in their pagan ceremonies. Additionally, mature seeds of the amaranth plant were eaten raw, mixed with cornmeal, or added to soups. The leaves, which taste similar to spinach, can also be eaten.
Often, amaranth is used for gastroenteritis or the stomach flu. It helps to lessen the irritability of the tissues. A strong decoction of amaranth can be used to remove worms and other parasites from the digestive tract. Applying amaranth topically can help to reduce tissue swelling. The herb can be used with bandages for medical treatment. Additionally, it can help stop excess bleeding which is often caused by sore gums, nosebleeds, and heavy menses. Amaranth is highly digestible and is recommended for infant formulas.
Amaranth is a traditional food plant in Africa with the potential to improve nutrition greatly. There are several species of amaranth grown in Asia and the Americas for grain. Ancient grains still used to this day include three species: Amaranthus caudatus, Maranthus cruentus, and Amaranthus hypochondriacus. Even though amaranth was grown on a small scale in parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, India, and Nepal, there is a huge potential for future cultivation in the U.S. and tropical countries. Because of this, this herb is often referred to as “the crop of the future.” Because of a weedy life history, amaranth grains grow very rapidly, with their seedheads weighing up to 1 kilogram and containing a half-million seeds. Amaranthus species have a 30% higher protein value than rice, wheat flour, oats, rye and other cereals.
Amaranth was revived in the 1970s because of it is very palatable, easy to cook, and a protein that is well suited to human nutritional needs. This herb was recovered in Mexico from wild varieties, now being commercially cultivated. A popular snack sold in Mexico City, this herb is often mixed with chocolate or puffed rice. Its use has recently spread to Europe and parts of North America. Amaranth is a pseudo grain because it has a very similar flavor and cooking ability to grains. Along with protein, amaranth provides a great source of dietary fiber and dietary minerals including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese.
The leaves, seeds, and flowers of the amaranth plant are responsible for all of the health benefitis provided. Amaranth’s properties include: alterative, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, and nutritive. Primarily, amaranth is used for diarrhea, dysentery, excessive menstruation, and nosebleeds. Amaranth can also be used for canker sores, bleeding gums, stomach and mouth ulcers, worms, and wounds. For more information on the benefits of this herb, please contact your local health food store.
Red Pepper, Cayenne, Capsicum
December 18, 2008 04:51 PM
A remarkable whole body stimulant, Capsicum can boost blood flow, tone the nervous system, relieve indigestion, promote sweating, help to cauterize and heal ulcers, ease persistent pain, and fight off infection. One study on African plants found that Capsicum, when regularly ingested, is highly beneficial in hemorrhoids varicose veins, anorexia, liver congestion, and vascular conditions. The therapeutic actions of capsicum can be attributed to the alkaloid or glucoside content of the herb.
Capsicum boosts peripheral circulation and stimulates organ secretion as it expedites the therapeutic delivery and action of other herbs. This allows the medicinal benefits of these herbs to reach the inflamed tissue more rapidly because of enhanced blood flow. Cayenne insures rapid and even distribution of the active parts of the rest of the herbs to critical parts of the body, which include those that are involved in cellular respiration, metabolism, data transmission, and neural-hormonal activation.
For this reason, cayenne is included in many other blends, as even extremely small quantities can dramatically increase the efficiency of most other herbs. Capsicum stimulates everything from blood flow to peristaltic action in the stomach, to intestinal transit time. Capsicum’s ability to stimulate organ secretion and heart action makes it one of the strongest natural stimulants that are known.
Capsicum is also known to be unequaled in its ability to boost circulation and increase heart action. Cultures that consume significant amounts of cayenne pepper in their diets have been found to have lower rates of cardiovascular disease. A variety of desirable actions on the entire cardiovascular system can be produced by Capsicum, with its extraordinary ability to enhance cardiovascular performance and lower blood pressure. Capsicum is considered a superior food for the heart by herbalists, where capsicum in hot water is thought to help lessen the severity of heart attacks.
Many studies have also been done on Capsicum’s ability to reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis by reducing blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. When cayenne is ingested along with dietary cholesterol, the typical rise in liver and blood serum cholesterol levels that ordinarily results was significantly inhibited. Additionally, bile acids and free cholesterol were subsequently eliminated from the body through the stool.
Another bonus of Capsicum is its ability to lower blood serum cholesterol, as it decreases blood pressure. There is additionally evidence that suggested that the herb is able to initiate other mechanisms that help in fighting hypertension. Because Capsicum stimulates organ secretion and boosts peripheral blood flow, it is not shocking that is also facilitates the faster removal of toxins from the blood stream and lymphatic system.
Additional benefits of Capsicum include its ability to boost the circulatory system, as it has the ability to help in preventing cold hands and feet, as well as Reynaud’s Syndrome. Capsicum also has antioxidant capabilities, making it a great scavenger of free radicals. Anti-cancer research has also found that Capsicum does demonstrate anticancer properties, as it inhibits certain enzymes that initiate the mutation of cells. This implies that taking Capsicum can give the body some protection against cellular mutation.
Capsicum has also been found to be an impressive pain killer, an anesthetic to ulcerated tissue, an aid in weight loss, a helper in psoriasis and rhinitis, and a reliever of fevers and chills. The list goes on and on, about the benefits of this amazing herb. Cayenne or red pepper can be found at your local health food store.
Polyphenols is an Antioxidant
October 13, 2008 02:14 PM
A lot of new evidence suggests that consuming more plant polyphenols is a powerful way to protect aging arteries. These polyphenol compounds help improve endothelial function, a critical factor in preventing atherosclerosis; inhibit abnormal platelet aggregation which causes most sudden heart attacks and strokes; fight inflammation; and support healthy blood lipids. Polyphenols that are of particular interest are those derived from green tea, cocoa, apples, and black chokeberry, which all complement each other in helping to build the body’s defenses against various ailments.
All throughout history, the medicinal potential of plants has been celebrated. Modern science has found that edible plants are to be valued for their high vitamin and fiber along with their rich store of polyphenols. Polyphenols are found in fruits and vegetables, as well as cocoa, tea, and chokeberry and have been shown to be a type of chemical that may protect the body against some common health problems as well as certain effects of aging. Polyphenols protect cells and body chemicals against damage that is caused by free radicals and block the action of enzymes that cancers need for growth, deactivating substances that promote the growth of cancer. The increased consumption of polyphenols has been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and potentially cancer and stroke.
In Aztec culture, cocoa was one of the most highly prized due to its medicinal and stimulant value, along with its taste. The polyphenols found in cocoa occur in a higher concentration than can be found in any other food. They also have antioxidant activity much greater than those found in broccoli or red wine. The catechins and procyanidins that are found in cocoa seem to lower the risk of cancer and heart disease. Cocoa has also been proven in studies to reduce blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, and slightly ameliorate the lipid profile. Although cocoa is a healthy and tasteful food, it is high in caloric content and therefore, its ingestion must be accompanied by the careful reduction of calories from other sources.
Many studies have shown that tea polyphenols can be extremely beneficial to human health, possessing anti-obesity, antihypertensive, anti-diabetic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects. Tea is the world’s second most consumed beverage, although less popular in the Western diet. Green tea and white tea retain more polyphenols in their intact form, as oolong and black teas undergo more extensive processing before they are marketed. Tea polyphenols break down in high temperatures therefore; freshly brewed tea contains a higher amount of polyphenols per serving than do tea drinks that are canned or bottled.
Similar to the blueberry, the black chokeberry is high in anthocyanins and antioxidant activity. It is native to eastern North America and has become popular in Eastern Europe and Russia due to its health-promoting potential. This berry protects the liver from chemical poisoning and the stomach lining from ulcers. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, lowers harmful cholesterol levels, and prevents dangerous swings in blood pressure. Some studies have shown that this berry seems to prevent the harmful mutations in cell cultures, regulates immune function of human white blood cell cultures, and suppressed the growth of human colon cancers.
Lutein 20mg (FloraGlo)
September 26, 2008 03:49 PM
Maintains Healthy Visual Function*
It has been well established that lutein is present in high concentrations in the retinal tissue of the human eye. However, a study was conducted in human volunteers to determine whether taking lutein in supplement form actually increased the density of the carotenoid pigments present in the macula. In this study of eight individuals, researchers estimated the density of the macular pigments prior to having each individual take 10 mg of lutein daily in supplement form for 12 weeks. Plasma lutein concentrations were measured at 4-week intervals. During the first four weeks of the study, plasma levels increased five-fold from pre-supplement measures, and then remained at this level for the duration of the study. It was also shown that, due to increased deposition of lutein in optical tissues, macular pigment density increased by an average of 5.3% at the 4-week mark, and continued to increase until the duration of the study.1
A study was also conducted to investigate the possible role of specific nutrients in protecting the lens of the eye against aging, a risk factor for compromised visual function. The study was comprised of 376 individuals aged from 18 to 75. Of the nutrients measured, it was found that the lenses of individuals with higher concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin showed less of an effect from the aging process. The investigators concluded that these carotenoids might play a protective role in supporting the maintenance of healthy vision.2
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) was a landmark study of the effects of diet and antioxidant supplementation on eye health. The study enrolled over 3500 subjects aged 55 to 80 years who were followed for approximately 6 years. Among the data collected in this multi-faceted study was a self-administered Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). The AREDS Report No. 22 examined the data from the FFQs and determined that, of the nutrients evaluated, only lutein and zeaxanthin were directly related to maintaining eye health with statistical significance3. These findings corroborated similar results of an earlier multi-center study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that also found that those with a higher intake of lutein and zeaxanthin maintained healthier eye function.4 These promising results have spurred the design of a second major clinical trial (AREDS2), which is currently enrolling participants to study the impact of supplemental xanthophylls (FloraGLO® Lutein and zeaxanthin) and other nutrients on age-related eye health.5
In addition, a double-blind placebo controlled trial was performed in ninety individuals who had signs of compromised visual function. Individuals were divided into three groups and received either 10 mg FloraGLO® lutein, 10 mg FloraGLO® lutein plus a multivitamin/multimineral formulation, or placebo for 12 months. In both the FloraGLO® lutein and FloraGLO® lutein plus other nutrients groups, improvements were seen in mean eye macular pigment optical density, visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. No improvements were noted in the placebo group.6 These results demonstrate FloraGLO® lutein’s beneficial effect on maintaining healthy visual function.
Newly published research has demonstrated that lutein and zeaxanthin supplementation may enhance visual performance under glare conditions. Forty healthy subjects took daily doses of 10 mg FloraGLO® Lutein plus 2 mg zeaxanthin for six months. They were evaluated for changes in macular pigment, glare disability and photostress recovery at the onset of the study, and at 1, 2, 4 and six months. After six months, subjects experienced an average increase in macular pigment optical density (MPOD) of 39% compared to baseline, and all but two participants experienced some increase in MPOD. This increase in MPOD was also directly related to measured improvements in visual performance after exposure to bright light, as well as photostress recovery.7 This study suggests another way in which lutein and zeaxanthin can help support optimal visual function in healthy individuals.
Potent Antioxidant Protection*
Most of the beneficial effects of lutein are ascribed to its potent free radical scavenging abilities. It is well-known that lutein is a carotenoid related to beta-carotene and possesses antioxidant activity against a number of reactive oxygen species.8
More direct evidence for the free radical scavenging activity of lutein is found in studies of its effects on human lens epithelial cells. Cell cultures were exposed to ultraviolet light after pretreatment with lutein or alpha-tocopherol. Both nutrients were found to reduce ultraviolet-induced damage to lens epithelial cells. However, lutein was shown to have significantly higher photoprotective activity than alpha-tocopherol9 demonstrating its potential as a high-powered antioxidant.
A further review of the mechanisms of lutein in conferring a protective role reveals evidence for its antioxidant activity in various body tissues. Lutein has been shown to be an effective antioxidant in vitro as well as in experimental models of a number of body systems.10
Supports Healthy Skin*
A recent randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study has demonstrated the positive effects of oral and topical administration of lutein on skin health parameters (surface lipids, hydration, photoprotective activity, skin elasticity and skin lipid peroxidation). Forty female subjects were divided into four treatment groups. Treatment options included oral administration of 5 mg of FloraGLO® Lutein twice daily or placebo and topical administration of 50 ppm FloraGLO® Lutein twice daily or placebo. Each treatment group received either an active oral treatment with a placebo topical treatment, a placebo oral treatment with an active topical treatment, both active treatments, or both placebo treatments. Statistically significant improvements were seen in all five parameters tested in all treatment groups compared to the group receiving only placebos. The greatest overall improvements were seen in the group receiving both active oral and topical treatments, while lesser but still significant improvement was seen in both the active oral only and the active topical only groups. Additionally, oral administration of lutein conferred superior photoprotective activity (as measured by skin surface redness after exposure to ultraviolet light) and prevention of lipid peroxidation (as indicated by levels of malondialdehyde in skin lipids after exposure to ultraviolet light) than either topical lutein or placebo.11
Diverse Cinical Benefits*
Evidence from various experimental trials suggests that lutein may play a protective role on the circulatory and cardiovascular systems. Its antioxidant activity may also extend to the heart, skin, lungs and blood vessels, making it a nutrient with diverse clinical benefits. Lutein possesses the ability to promote the health of many body tissues.12
Suggested Adult Use: One softgel daily with food, or as directed by a health care professional.
Does Not Contain: milk, egg, wheat, sugar, sweeteners, starch, salt, or preservatives.
1. Berendschot TT, et al. Influence of lutein supplementation on macular pigment, assessed with two objective techniques. Invest Opthalmol Vis Sci. 2000 Oct; 41(11): 3322-6.
2. Berendschot TT, et al. Lens aging in relation to nutritional determinants and possible risk factors for age-related cataract. Arch Opthalmol. 2002 Dec; 120(12): 1732-7.
3. Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. The relationship of dietary carotenoid and vitamin A, E, and C intake with age-related macular degeneration in a case-control study: AREDS Report No. 22. Arch Ophthalmol. 2007 Sep; 125(9): 1225-32.
4. Seddon JM, et al. Dietary Carotenoids, Vitamins A, C, and E, and Advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration. JAMA. 1994 Nov; 272(18):1413-1420.
5. www.nei.nih.gov/neitrials/viewStudyWeb.aspx?id=120. Clinical Studies Database. Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2). Last Updated 2/28/2008. Viewed 5/15/2008.
6. Richer S, et al. Double-masked, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of lutein and antioxidant supplementation in the intervention of atrophic age-related macular degeneration: the Veterans LAST study (Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial). Optometry. 2004 Apr; 75(4): 216-230.
7. Stringham JM and Hammond BR. Macular pigment and visual performance under glare conditions. Optom Vis Sci. 2008 Feb; 85(2):82-8.
8. “Lutein and Zeaxanthin”. PDR Health. www.gettingwell.com/drug_info/nmdrugprofiles/nutsupdrugs/lut_0164.shtml
9. Chitchumroonchokchai C, et al. Xanthophylls and alpha-tocopherol decrease UVB-induced lipid peroxidation and stress signaling in human lens epithelial cells. J Nutr. 2004 Dec; 134(12): 3225-32.
10. Krinsky NI. Possible biologic mechanisms for a protective role of xanthophylls. J Nutr. 2002; 132: 540S-542S.
11. Palombo P, et al. Beneficial Long-Term Effects of Combined Oral/Topical Antioxidant Treatment with the Carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin on Human Skin: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2007; 20: 199-210.
12. Mares-Perlman JA, et al. The body of evidence to support a protective role for lutein and zeaxanthin in delaying chronic disease. Overview. J Nutr. 2002; 132: 518S-524S.
September 09, 2008 10:38 AM
Kombucha is a mushroom like substance made up of a group of yeasts and bacteria. It is a symbiotic colony of several cultures, which include genus saccharomyces yeast and xylinum bacteria. Used in East Asia as far back as 2,000 years ago, Kombucha was originally used for healing in Japan, China, and Korea, with its use spreading when European trade began. Merchants took the herb to Russia and then to Eastern Europe. Although it is not technically a mushroom, kombucha has many similar healing properties, which makes it often recommended along with other members of the mushroom family.
It is usually placed in a nutrient solution of distilled water, black tea, and sugar. Then, it undergoes complex chemical changes that make it beneficial for human consumption. Kombucha feeds on sugar-producing glucuronic acid, lactic acid, vitamins, amino acids, and some antibiotic solutions. The healing properties that are associated with kombucha are thought to come from the production of glucuronic acid, vitamins B-complex, vitamin C, and lactic acid.
Russian research has found that substances in kombucha tea contain antibiotic properties. These properties prevent the growth and colonization of certain yeasts d bacteria. There is a group of organisms in kombucha that contain usnic acid, which has shown possibilities of being responsible for the antibiotic activity that kombucha provides.
The most important function of kombucha is its ability to detoxify the body, as it is virtually impossible to avoid contact with some forms of toxins on a daily basis. A buildup of these toxins can result in many forms of illness. Keeping the body as clean as possible is essential for health. Kombucha helps us achieve a clean and health state because it works on the entire body to clean toxins from the system. It is also helpful to the support and strengthening of the glandular system. Additionally, it has been found to be useful for conditions including cancer, arthritis, fatigue, constipation, gout, multiple sclerosis, and arteriosclerosis.
Kombucha has been proven to be helpful in a wide variety of conditions. It has a detoxifying affect on the entire body, which allows for it to be beneficial in invigorating the entire body. It does not seem to specifically work for individual diseases, but it does work on cleansing the body as a whole, so that it may more effectively fight disease. Once toxins are eliminated, the body is able to better heal itself.
German research under the supervision of Dr. Valentin Koehler has discovered that kombucha possesses the ability to increase the function of the immune system, as it boosts the levels of interferon. The detoxifying abilities that kombucha holds allows it to help the body in working more effectively in fighting disease keeping one healthier.
Many remedies of great value are offered from the plant kingdom, with medicinal mushrooms turning out to be one of the richest offerings. Mushrooms can help to heal naturally and gently, without the toxic side effects that most synthetic drugs have. The use of mushrooms is beginning to grow thanks to increasing evidence of their healing potential. They stimulate the immune system and aid the body in preventing and healing illness. Kombucha is a mushroom like substance which has been used by eastern healers for thousands of years, and is now making its way into the western world.
Health Comes From The Honey bee
August 08, 2008 04:08 PM
The substances found in the beehive have held a treasured place in history among the ancient cultures of Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, Middle East, and the Slavic and Native American peoples. Experts have long theorized that bees came into being when flowering plants first began blossoming in abundance. The fossilized remains of pollen, leaves, and even flowers have been dated back to when dinosaurs roamed the land back when time began.
Bees collect pollen from flowers and mix it with their nectar, which transforms it into a nutrient-dense super food with bioactive ingredients numbering in the thousands including enzymes, bioflavonoids, essential fatty acids, free amino acids, natural chelated minerals, and whole vitamin complexes. Ancient Egyptians, Orientals, Hebrews, and South American natives often applied a combination of honey mixed with bee pollen to wounds, burns, and boils, while Orientals used honey and bee pollen mixed with fruit or vegetable juice as a health drink. Norse mythology even states that honey and bee pollen were the secret to the eternal life of their gods.
Whether bee pollen is the secret to eternal life or not, there have been many studies done which show the connection between its consumption and healthy longevity. Bee pollen is seen as an immune system enhancer due to its ability to strengthen the body against viral infections. It is also effective in relieving fatigue, improving concentration, the treatment of asthma and of allergies, and in confronting skin problems and inhibiting wrinkles.
Bee pollen has also helped many women with painful menstrual cramps or hot flashes. It can also relieve headaches and heart palpitations as well as increase sexual potency, fertility, and benefit the prostate. Bee pollen can be used to regulate colon problems and as a diuretic for the kidney and bladder. Evidence has even been found for bee pollen’s effectiveness on children with ADD.
Bee pollen is packed with many different nutrients including amino acids, antibiotic factors, DNA/RNA, enzymes, glucosides, hormones, minerals, vitamins, and other ingredients that have not yet been determined. There are a total of 22 amino acids in bee pollen, including all of the essential ones, which makes it an extremely usable and complete source of protein. It is higher in protein than steak, eggs or cheese weight for weight, without large amounts of fat.
Bee pollen is rich in phytochemicals such as flavonoids, carotenes, and phytosterols, which allows it to provide important antioxidants including lycopene, selenium, quercetin, and beta carotene. Bee pollen also has the ability to regulate intestinal bacterial, which neutralizes toxic waste and improves blood health. Bee pollen contains 18 different enzymes including amylase, diastase, phosphatase, pepsin, and tryspin. Because bee pollen is such a rich source of enzymes, it greatly assists the body since they are required for all bodily functions.
Glucosides, which are natural sugars, are involved in the creation of energy within the body, can be found in bee pollen, as they promote better healing and coagulation and also control hypertension by regulating blood flow. Bee pollen contains plant hormones which activate and assist the body’s own endocrine glands, allowing them to function better, which can lead to an increased sperm count for men.
Twenty-seven different kinds of minerals can be found in bee pollen including calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, boron, chlorine, copper, iodine, molybdenum, phosphorus, selenium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, titanium, and zinc. All known vitamins, from A through K, are found in concentrated amounts in bee pollen. With all of these nutrients present, bee pollen is an excellent addition to the diet which will ensure healthy functioning of all your body’s processes.
Exotic Herbs From The Amazon Basin
June 22, 2007 05:07 PM
Although many traditional herbal medicines have yet to find complete scientific corroboration in the West, it follows logically that people wouldn't use an herbal product for centuries if it didn't work.
Many of the popular herbs we all recognize as having great health benefits were only recently considered pretty exotic. Even green tea - a staple in China for centuries -has only lately gone main stream.
So it will likely be with herbs from the Amazon basin and its environs. The Amazon basin is one of the most bountiful environments on the planet. Explorers and botanists from the West have looked to this region for generations for the "next big thing." Of course, in many cases, the "next big thing" has already been in use for centuries.
In this issue of Ask the Medicine Hunter, we're going to look at some energizing and life- stimulating herbs that also happen to have great antioxidant properties, too. Best yet, many of them are available to us here from companies that practice fair trade policies.
Let's take a look at some of the herbal powerhouses coming out of the Amazon (and its nearby neighborhoods):
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) has been cultivated for a long time at least 2000 years. Related to brassica family plants like radishes, mustard and cabbage, its foliage does actually look somewhat radish-like, but grows close to the ground.
Maca is cultivated by the Andean people in Peru's central highlands, and contains a plethora of beneficial compounds that enhance overall health and vitality. The tradition of cultivating maca is an old one some strains have been found in Incan sites that date from 1600 B.C. During early European colonization, maca was used by the local native culture as a form of currency, much of the way cocoa was used by the Aztecs, further north in pre-Columbian Mexico.
Maca thrives in high altitudes - between 10,000 and 16,000 feet. The harsher the conditions, the better it grows, or so it seems. In fact, efforts to grow the plant in Central Europe haven't been as successful - maca seems to enjoy its home turf the best. In Peru, maca is a popular and beloved nutrient-packed superfood, and is commonly powdered and mixed into drinks at roadside stands throughout the Andes.
Q. I've heard of maca being used for healthy libido - are there any other benefits?
A. Maca is a natural energizer, and although it is recognized for it's libido enhancing abilities, it has other uses, too, acting as an adaptogen - similar to rhodiola or ginseng. In fact, in South America, maca is known as "Peruvian Ginseng." Though maca is not ginseng at all, some of the benefits of both plants are similar.
In any event, maca is recommended for boosting the immune system, menopause support, and hormonal balance in general. For daily use, maca is most recognized as a great source of energy and all-day endurance. Alkaloids from maca root may be partially responsible for both maca's energizing and libido boost. Research shows that maca affects the hypothalamic-pituitary (HPA) axis - boosting energy and overall aphrodisiac prowess in men and women. Maca contains novel compounds called macamides and macaenes, which have been proven in animal studies to significantly enhance energy, stamina and sexual function reasons people have been so consuming maca for 2000 years.
There are other serious reasons why maca is such an excellent plant. One group of compounds in maca is the isothiocyanates-aromatics constituents that are responsible for the "hotness" of mustards and radishes - fellow members of the brassica family. Isothiocyanates from other members of the brassica family may reduce the risk of breast and stomach cancer. Although the same constituents specifically from maca haven't beentested, it's plausible that they could have the same effects.
Q. I've heard a little about guarana extracts - is it just caffeine?
A. Guarana is widely loved for its mild stimulating effect, which is due to caffeine. But this is by no means this Amazonian herb's sole beneficial compound. Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is so logically ingrained in the culture of Brazil that it's practically a rival (actually out-sells) Coca-Cola in its soft-drink form. Like many other indigenous herbs, guarana was in use locally well before European settlement. Its Latin name comes fromthe German botanist C.F. Paullini, who first encountered the herb in the 1700s. This evergreen vine typically climbs fairly far up the Brazilian forest trees. The seed is the part that gets used. In one clinical study, guarana boosted the memory alertness of participants, even when the caffeine level per dose was a low 9 mg., as compared with approximately 100 mg for a cup of coffee. This effect suggests that other agents than caffeine contribute to a feeling of well being.
Guarana also contains powerful antioxidants including catechin, epicatechin and proanthocyanidins, which protect cells against destruction from free radicals, and impart benefits to the body's tissues and blood. The small seed of this plant is powerful in its health benefits.
Catuaba (Erythroxylum catuaba) is a common tree found in South America from Brazil to Peru, in the same genus as the coca plant. Catuaba contains components known as alkaloids. These alkaloids (called catuabine A, B, and C) are probably responsible for themental boost most people get when they take catuabe-based supplements or mixes.
There may be little confusion regarding catuaba, because various species and genus typesuse the common name. As a result, "catuaba" gets bandied around a lot, and one person'scatuaba may not be the next. Read labels carefully. The catuaba I've had the best luck with is Erythroxylum catuaba.
One of my favorite drinks in the world is coffee, and I'm sure at many people reading thisconsider it the essential part of their morning, too.
The part of coffee that we use the most is the seed of the coffee fruit - which appears as a bright, red berry. Most of the time, this fruit is sloughed off and left behind in the process of making coffee - it's really too delicate to last long in hot conditions.
But advances in technology have tapped a previously discarded resource. Though the fruit of coffee is available in any coffee-growing economy, a high antioxidant commercial extract of "coffee cherry" is now available from the fruits of coffee plants in Mexico.
Coffee fruit has many of the attributes of other dark-colored, anthcyanin-rich fruits. Coffee fruit (also referred to as "coffee cherry") appears not to be just another antioxidant, however. Current research on this once-forgotten, former castoff shows impressive abilities to decrease tumor size, and possibly even prevent their formation in the first place. It seems that the elements in coffee berry activate T-lymphocytes in such a way that mammary tumors are shrunk or simply put on hold. It will be fascinating to see how this science plays out.
Muira Puama Bark:
Muira puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides) grows between 15 to 45 feet high. Native to theAmazon basin of Brazil, the dried bark has been used for centuries as a traditional energysupport. Components include beta-sitosterol, campesterol and lupeol.
Muira puama, like other central nervous stimulants has been researched lately for its ability to boost memory retrieval and protect neural (brain) tissue. Who knows? Maybe this traditional ingredient could someday be on the cutting edge of natural medicines fighting Alzheimer's, much the way green tea and turmeric are currently. In one unpublished French study of 262 men with low libido and poor erectile function, 62% experienced significant improvement after taking an extract of Muira puama for two weeks.
Acai (Euterpe acai) berry is a traditional favorite (and readily available) food source for people in the Amazon. The tree is a tall-growing palm with berries that provide - a rich source of anthocyanins, potent purple pigments with extraordinary high antioxidant activity.
Once harvested, acai fruits decay rapidly. As with coffee fruits, special processing is the surest way to make certain the nutrients of acai berry make it to those of us outside the Amazon basin.
However, these wonderful fruits not only fight against free radical damage, but help our natural digestive enzymes and boost natural immune defenses, too. In fact, current research is investigating whether compounds in acai may have a fighting effect on leukemia, too. So far, the results have been very positive.
Look for supplements made using organically-grown, fair trade acai berry. The best companies ensure that the local people harvesting acai and the communities where they live gather more than just short-term benefits. The best companies work not just to provide jobs, but better lives for generations to come.
Q. What is sustainability and fair trade, anyway?
A. Sustainability refers to a set of naturally occurring circumstances, or intentionally designed practices and principles, which ensure that all parts or members of a situation are adequately nourished to promote their healthy continuance. In current parlance, sustainability often refers to practices and programs designed and implemented to keep natural systems healthy and flourishing. Many such programs focus on environmental protection and preservation of traditional cultures. In the world of medicinal plants, sustainable practices include organic agriculture, species management, fair trade, and benefit-sharing programs.
In other words, sustainability pays people fair wages, puts resources back into their communities, and ensures that the resources that benefit us all are going to be around for a long time. It is an earth-friendly, people-friendly concept of commerce that happily, is taking root around the world.
The traditional cultures that use - and have used - these ingredients for generations wouldn't have done so if they hadn't been effective. Fortunately we live in an era when formerly locally-used herbs are now available far beyond their previous range. We are also fortunate to have companies and individuals working hard to make sure that the people who tend and care for these precious resources are paid fairly for their efforts, andthat their families and communities benefit from this commerce as well.
The great thing about using traditional herbs and ingredients that have been gathered in this manner is that you know they'll be around for a long time.
Resveratrol - Easing the Ails of age
May 28, 2007 11:35 AM
Resveratrol’s antioxidant actions at least partially explain its ability to battle both cardiovascular disease and cancer, two disorders linked with the kind of damage that accumulates as people age. For example, cholesterol becomes a heart hazard only after bombardment by free radicals causes it to adhere to artery walls; in lab studies Resveratrol has been found to reduce this effect. Resveratrol also makes blood less “sticky,” and thus less inclined to forming dangerous clots, while simultaneously coaxing blood vessels into a relaxed, open state that leads to enhanced circulation. No wonder one Taiwanese study found that rats given Resveratrol enjoyed 30% increase in blood flow within their brains, which reduces the risk of stroke (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 4/19/06).
Cancer development and the body’s anti-cancer defenses—depend on an elaborate interplay of enzymes and proteins, a system that Resveratrol has modified in several investigations. As a result, this compound shows great promise in helping to both stop cancer before it gets started and slow tumors down once they do become established. Resveratrol has also induced apoptosis—a kind of cellular suicide—in tests done on various cancer cell cultures.
If you’re having a party, open a bottle of wine. But if you want access to wine’s heartful advantages in concentrated form, open a Resveratrol supplement body instead. –Lisa James.
Breast Cancer and Natural Supplements
May 11, 2007 10:47 AM
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Scientific Method of Evaluating the Effectiveness of Natural Medicines
April 21, 2007 01:57 PM
Author Dale Ericsson, M.D.; Shinian Cao, M.D.; Fred Crawford, Ph.D; Dale Haufrect, M.D. and Tommy E Hall, Jr.; USA
It has been traditionally assumed that long chain mucopolysaccharide and other natural ingredients found in aloe vera are active only in aloe vera are active only in their unadorned and non-modified state. There is little scientific evidence, however, to support this conclusion. In fact, certain isolated components of aloe vera have pronounced specific pharmaco-therapeutic effects. The purpose of this series of experiments is to evaluate this unique method of scientifically evaluating biological and herbal products and to specifically compare fractionally distilled aloe preparation from a traditional ale preparation.
Utilizing the scientific method of white blood cell (T lymphocyte) culture, stimulation and metabolic turnover rates of more than 25 substances it was determined that:
1. the pivotal study had demonstrated that this type of T lymphocyte cell culture metabolic analysis is useful for evaluation the safety and efficacy of a variety of treatments in which there is only antidotal or clinical studies to support the therapeutic effect.
2. This technique of single blinded study has been employed to define the efficacy as well as compare fractionally distilled aloe vera (warren Aloe) and a traditional aloe vera product. Application of this type of blinded study to two different forms of aloe vera showed that the following conclusion may be expressed with certainty.
This data suggest that the fractionally distilled Aloe vera is bio-pharmaceutically active and provides specific changes in T cell cultures when compared to baseline and with natural aloe vera juice.
This information has been condensed. For entire report refer to EXPLORER! For the processional magazine; volume thirteen: number Two: Pages 15-19.
July 08, 2006 01:22 PM
Acidophilus pearls is a prebiotic dietary supplement designed to help support digestion and a healthy intestinal system. It provides a combination of two different active, live cultures to support overall health of the intestinal tract. Acidophilus pearls are processed using an advanced, patented, encapsulation technique, which results in a product that is stable at room temperature for up to 18 months. Many other live bacteria products are unstable at room temperature, and fail to meet their level claim in less than 12 months after manufacture. Additionally, the patented True Delivery Technology pearl capsule protects the bacteria from harsh stomach acid so they can be released live and intact in the intestines, where they need to arrive in live form to perform their beneficial function.
Potent Antioxidant Protection *
February 11, 2006 09:28 AM
Goji berry possesses a unique combination of flavonoids, vitamins, minerals and polysaccharides that are thought to be responsible for the antioxidant and anti-aging properties attributed to Goji. Studies have been conducted which characterize some of these antioxidant nutrients and show possible beneficial effects of the berry and its extracts on various systems and organs.
In a study published in 2004, scientists undertook an experiment to assess whether Goji berries contained compounds that would be known to exert potential beneficial effects on skin complexion and anti-aging properties. After analyzing the berry, leaf and roots of the Goji plant, they found that the Goji berry contained a unique analog of vitamin C known as 2-O-(beta-D-glucopyranosyl) ascorbic acid. They determined that this compound was unique to the berry and not found in the other parts of the plant. Furthermore, the vitamin C compound was present in levels equivalent to those found in citrus fruits such as lemons. However, the question remained as to whether this vitamin C analog served as a precursor to vitamin C when ingested in the body. A further experiment in rats was performed to determine the intestinal absorption and tissue uptake of this vitamin C analog. The results showed that some of the compound was indeed metabolized into vitamin C in the blood, while the rest was absorbed intact. These studies suggested that the compound was easily transported from the blood into cells and tissues, where it is activated to active vitamin C. Therefore, the vitamin C from Goji berries seems to be highly absorbable and targeted for delivery to the cells that utilize it.1
Zeaxanthin is a carotenoid that is widely distributed in fruits and vegetables and, along with lutein, is present in significant amounts in the macula of the human eye. Studies suggest that the presence of zeaxanthin is highly desirable for healthy visual function. Goji berries are used in traditional Chinese herbalism to support eye health and are also known to contain a high level of zeaxanthin dipalmitate. Researchers compared the bioavailability of this naturally esterified zeaxanthin to that of an unesterified form in 12 individuals who underwent a 23-day study in which they received one form or the other, and then switched. Administration was done on day one followed by a three-week washout period. The individuals were then crossed over to get the other form on day 23 in a single administration. Analysis revealed that the esterified zeaxanthin from Goji berry caused a higher increase in plasma levels than the non-esterified form, indicating higher bioavailability.2
A second study confirmed these findings. In this study, fourteen individuals consumed 15 grams of whole Goji berries daily for 28 days. These individuals were compared to thirteen age and sex-matched controls who did not consume the berries. Fasting blood samples were taken for all individuals before and after the 28-day period. Results indicated that zeaxanthin plasma levels increased 2.5-fold in the group who consumed the berries daily, suggesting the high bioavailability of zeaxanthin from the berries.3
Goji berry was also studied on various measures of antioxidant activity. Researchers subjected three Chinese herbs, one of which was Goji berry, to various assays of reactive oxygen scavenging potential. The results indicated that all of the herbs had significant free radical scavenging properties; however, Goji berries showed the most potent scavenging effect in the assays. Goji berry was especially strong at inhibiting the formation of superoxide anion and scavenging free radicals. The researchers concluded that among these herbs, Goji could be considered the best antioxidant to promote healthy aging.4
An interesting study was performed in human skin cultures to determine the mechanism of the potentially protective effect of Goji berry extracts. Researchers found that bathing human skin cultures with an extract from Goji berry impacted the function of several enzymes that promote skin aging. This provides evidence of an anti-aging and antioxidant effect of Goji berry extract in these human skin cultures. Researchers also noted that when these skin cultures were subjected to suboptimal growth conditions (lack of adequate nutrients), supplementing the medium with this Goji berry extract allowed the skin to maintain normal metabolic functions.5 Goji berry extract contains numerous compounds that confer potent antioxidant protection to various tissues.*
Olive Leaf Extract
January 02, 2006 10:17 AM
In today’s stressful world, immune system health is more important than ever. History has proven that no matter what we do to combat viruses, bacteria and parasites, they have the remarkable capability to mutate for survival, often returning in a more virulent form than before. New strains of the flu and other microbial invaders are being discovered at an alarming rate, and modern medicine is constantly on the defensive. At the time this was written, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta is predicting a “bad flu season” because a “killer drift variant” strain of flu had been discovered, called type A Fujian. This new strain has already caused deaths abroad, and vaccinations are strongly recommended, especially for the very young and the elderly.
However, mutating microbes are only part of the problem confronting our immune systems. Factors such as environmental pollution and over-processing of foods are believed by many researchers to play a major role in many health conditions. Which means, more than ever before, you need to make sure your immune system is functioning at peak efficiency. Fortunately, there are a number of natural products available that can assist you in reaching this goal.
One of the most effective discovered to date is Olive Leaf Extract (OLE). Natural olive leaf extract is derived from the olive tree (Olea europaea), which happens to have a very long and interesting history. One of the most revered botanicals, the olive tree is mentioned numerous times in the Bible. One of the earliest and most powerful mentions is the delivery of the olive branch to Noah by a dove, a sign that the floodwaters were receding and life was returning. The olive tree was, and still is, a life-giver. It’s fruit is used for food, and the oil is used for cooking and as a source of light to ward off the darkness. Ancient cultures soon discovered that the various components of the olive tree provided a myriad of health benefits as well, benefits confirmed by modern science.
Extract of olive leaves is one of the best, if not THE best, natural antimicrobials and antioxidants ever discovered.* Oddly enough it might have been well recognized in this role much sooner since it was reported in the mid-1850’s that a bitter tea brewed from olive leaves might be a potential cure for malaria. However, not all great discoveries are immediately recognized as valuable, and physicians of that era didn’t give much credence to the reports. It wasn’t until decades later that a simple analysis conducted on olive leaves led to the discovery of an active component, the phenolic compound oleuropein, which has since been associated with many health benefits.
More recently, numerous studies have been conducted on olive leaves and the active components found in the leaves, with a preponderance of positive results. A 1999 study conducted at the University of Rome assessed the antimicrobial activity of oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, two of the most active components in olive leaf extract. They were pitted against many different bacterial strains, including salmonella and staphylococcus, in vitro. The study concluded, “Olea europaea can be considered a potential source of promising antimicrobial agents” for the support of intestinal and respiratory health.* 4
A 2002 study conducted at the University of South Australia compared the effectiveness of some of the typical components of the Mediterranean diet, including oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, as reactive oxygen species inhibitors and free radical scavengers. Researchers also examined their capability in protecting against low-density lipoprotein oxidation in vitro. Results clearly indicated that these components are potent inhibitors of free radical generation, as well as effective free radical scavengers.* 5
NOW® Foods carries a number of olive leaf extract products, including our Olive Leaf Extract 500mg, standardized to contain 6% oleuropein, our Extra Strength product with 18% oleuropein and 100mg of Echinacea Extract, and Olive Leaf Glycerite liquid, which contains 18% oleuropein.
Why would you want a standardized Olive Leaf Extract product over a whole herb Olive Leaf product? We’re glad you asked! Standardization allows for consistently effective herbal products because the active ingredient, or marker compound, is accurately identified and measured, ensuring that the product delivers a certain minimum level of the active component or components. In simpler terms, standardized herbal products allow the consumer to obtain the benefits of an herb without having to consume massive quantities because there is a much greater concentration of active components, which also improves the effectiveness of the herbal product. Purchasing standardized Olive Leaf with a guaranteed concentration of oleuropein is a smart choice.
HERBAL EXTRACTS FOR IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPORT
December 23, 2005 12:27 PM
For years, Nature’s Apothecary’s reputation for producing high quality natural products, specifically multi-herb and single herb extracts and aromatherapy products, has been unparalleled. This family-owned, environmentally-conscious herbal extract company has laid deep roots on the front range of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, and in the natural products industry as well. NOW® is proud to continue their tradition of excellence in providing only the highest quality natural herbal extracts with the purchase of this premier liquid herbal extract supplier. We’re committed to using the same processes and procedures that have made the Nature’s Apothecary line one of quality and longevity.
Nature’s Apothecary herbal extracts are created with pure herbs grown on small organic farms, or herbs that have been ethically hand-harvested with respect for the earth, just as herbalists have done for thousands of years. While the various herbs used in these formulations offer a broad range of health benefits, two of the most important are immune system enhancement and detoxification. Herbs have a long history of usefulness in these categories. There is evidence of the use of herbs by Stone Age humans, who either cultivated or gathered hundreds of herbs and plants for a variety of uses. The histories of various cultures are filled with references to the use of herbs. Ancient Sumerians, Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Chinese, Europeans, and American Indians – all used herbs to heal and to nourish. Herbs that support the immune system and provide detoxification benefits were, and still are, very popular. Two of the most effective are Astragalus and Shiitake Mushroom.
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is a member of the legume family and is considered an adaptogenic herb in traditional Chinese medicine, where it has been safely used for centuries. Native to central and western Asia, specifically China, Korea and Taiwan, Astragalus offers a unique benefit found in very few herbs - it seems to selectively support immune system function by stimulating certain immune functions and depressing others. One reason is that Astragalus has a high selenium content, a trace element with documented immune system benefits. It also contains polysaccharides and flavonoids, which support healthy immune system function as well as minimizing the effects of free radicals on various membranes. The mechanisms of action through which Astragalus supports immune system function are varied. It has shown promise as a means to stimulate “resting” immune system cells, increasing their activity. Research shows that Astragalus supports the body’s production of immunoglobulins, macrophages, T cells and natural killer (NK) cells, the grunts of the immune system’s army. Astragalus has been shown to support healthy cardiovascular function by protecting membranes from oxidative stress as a result of free radical damage.
Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes) is a culinary delight with some serious health benefits. The name Shiitake is from a combination of shiia, the Japanese word for a variety of chestnut tree, and take, the Japanese name for mushrooms.
Shiitake is also referred to as the Forest Mushroom and the Black Forest Mushroom. Indigenous to Eastern Asia, primarily Japan and China, Shiitake is Japan’s leading agricultural export, accounting for about eighty percent of the world’s Shiitake production. While it’s culinary reputation is well-known, Shiitake is also a medicinal herb with a long history of use. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Shiitake is well-regarded and has been used to treat a variety of ailments. Modern research has shown that Shiitake supports healthy immune system function and cardiovascular health, primarily due to the naturally-occurring nutrients found in Shiitake. It contains an excellent B vitamin profile, as well as amino acids, protein, iron, and beta glucan, a major structural component in the cell walls of most fungi, including Shiitake. Beta glucan has been shown to support healthy immune system function by stimulating the activity of phagocytes, white blood cells and NK (natural killer) cells, vital components of the body’s immune system defenses. Astragalus and Shiitake Mushroom are just a few of the immune supporting herbal extracts to be found in the Nature’s Apothecary line. With over 250 SKU’s, Nature’s Apothecary is your best source for high-quality, effective herbal extracts.
December 22, 2005 09:37 AM
Glucosamine & Chondroitin - JOINT HEALTH
Everyone old enough to walk appreciates the value of fl exibility and ease of movement. Unfortunately many of us take such good things for granted. A famous folksinger sang, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” That’s certainly true for millions of Americans who live with stiff and uncomfortable joints.
Fortunately there are a number of nutrients available that provide the vital components of healthy joint structure and function and ease of mobility. These nutrients are referred to as “chondroprotective agents,” and include glucosamine and chondroitin, which supply the raw material necessary to produce new cartilage, and may even help rebuild worn cartilage. Other chondroprotective nutrients and herbs, like Cetyl Myristoleate, MSM, and Boswellin, work synergistically with glucosamine and chondroitin and further support normal joint function To understand how chondroprotective agents work, one must fi rst understand how joints work. The key element in human joints is articular cartilage, the shock-absorbing tissue that connects two bones together and allows pain-free movement. Articular cartilage is comprised of two different molecules, collagen and proteoglycans, with the remainder composed primarily of water (65-85%). Collagen, a protein that binds tissue together, provides elasticity. Proteoglycans, composed of sugars and protein, absorb water, which provides lubrication and resiliency, nature’s shock absorber for your joints. Both compounds are produced by chondrocytes, caretaker cells responsible for the formation and maintenance of cartilage. A defi ciency in any one of the above constituents will increase the likelihood of wear and tear on articular cartilage, which can eventually lead to compromised joint function.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are safe, natural and effective nutrients that support healthy joint function by supplying the materials needed to produce collagen and proteoglycans.
Glucosamine is composed of glucose (a sugar) and glutamine (an amino acid). It is utilized by chondrocytes to form glycosaminoglycans (GSG) and proteoglycans (PG). Both of these constituents attract and bind water into cartilage, increasing resiliency. Research indicates that glucosamine may actually help your body repair damaged or eroded cartilage. A number of studies have been conducted on glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride, with a preponderance of positive results. Glucosamine sulfate is considered the more effective of the two. One study from the University of Liege in Liege, Belgium studied the effects of glucosamine sulfate on 212 patients with knee osteoarthritis. Participants took either 1,500 mg glucosamine or a placebo once daily for three years. The study compared joint-space width at enrollment, one year, and at the study’s conclusion.
The 106 patients on placebo had a progressive jointspace narrowing, while participants taking glucosamine experienced no significant joint-space loss, indicating glucosamine may benefi cially modify cartilage structure.3 A study published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage in 1998 investigated the in vitro effects of glucosamine sulfate on proteoglycan and collagen production by chondrocytes taken from osteoarthritic articular cartilage. The results showed “a statistically signifi cant stimulation of PG production by chondrocytes from human osteoarthritic cartilage cultured for up to 12 days in 3-dimensional cultures.” 4 Another study from Italy enrolled eighty inpatients with established OA. They received either 1,500 mg of glucosamine sulfate or placebo daily for 30 days. The patients treated with glucosamine sulfate experienced a reduction in symptoms almost twice as large and twice as fast as those receiving placebo. Researchers also used electron microscopy of patient’s articular cartilage to support this hypothesis. Patients who received glucosamine sulfate showed a picture more similar to healthy cartilage. The researchers concluded that glucosamine sulfate tends to rebuild damaged articular cartilage and restore articular function.5
Chondroitin is classifi ed as a glycosaminoglycan. It bonds with collagen to form the basis of connective tissue. Chondroitin helps attract fl uid into proteoglycans, thereby bringing nutrients into cartilage and providing shock absorption. While glucosamine helps manufacture and maintain cartilage, chondroitin keeps cartilage from becoming malnourished. Chondroitin works synergistically with glucosamine, and these two nutrients form the basis of most joint health supplements on the market today. A 6-month randomized, multi-center, double-blind, doubledummy study published in 1996 compared the effectiveness of chondroitin versus a popular non-steroidal anti-infl ammatory drug (NSAID) in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). One hundred and forty-six patients with knee OA were recruited and separated into two groups; an NSAID group and a chondroitin sulfate (CS) group. The NSAID group was given the NSAID and a placebo for the fi rst month, then placebo alone for months 2-3. The CS group was given the NSAID and CS for the fi rst month, and then CS alone for months 2-3. Both groups were then given 1200mg of CS for months 4-6. “Patients treated with the NSAID showed prompt and plain reduction of clinical symptoms, which, however, reappeared after the end of treatment; in the CS group, the therapeutic response appeared later in time but lasted for up to 3 months after the end of treatment. CS seems to have slow but gradually increasing clinical activity in OA; these benefi ts last for a long period after the end of treatment.”6
NOW® Foods is your source for natural joint support products. Our Extra Strength Glucosamine & Chondroitin is one of our best-selling products, and we also have combination supplements that include MSM, Concentrace® minerals, and more. We also carry both glucosamine and chondroitin as separate products, as well as in powder and lotion forms.
7-Keto - Anti-Aging and Antioxidant Protection
December 18, 2005 09:44 PM
“Anti-Aging and Antioxidant Protection”
The Fountain of Youth Discovered in Wisconsin
It turns out that Ponce de Leon was looking in the wrong place for the fabled Fountain of Youth. It was recently discovered – in Wisconsin! And it turns out that the Fountain of Youth isn’t really a fountain – it’s a biological compound produced in our own bodies. This compound is extremely important for the growth and development of the human body, and, as the body’s production of this substance decreases with age, the signs of aging begin to appear – weight gain, wrinkled skin, loss of muscle, loss of cognitive function, and loss of libido.
This biological Fountain of Youth was discovered by Dr. Henry Lardy and associates at the Institute for Enzyme Research at the University of Wisconsin. It’s called 7-Keto™, a metabolite of a hormone produced by the adrenal glands called DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). Research on 7-Keto™ indicates that it may work through a number of pathways to combat the signs of aging. Helping the body maintain a healthy weight as we age greatly improves overall health and longevity and is one of the strongest benefits discovered for 7-Keto™ to date.
Unfortunately, because 7-Keto™ is a metabolite of DHEA, whose levels decline as we age, so to does this wonderful, natural bio-nutrient. Scientists originally looked to DHEA for improved cardiovascular vitality, and strengthened immune and brain function3. Researchers believed that declining DHEA so profoundly impacted our bodies that it could be partly responsible for the effects of aging. They hypothesized that supplementation with DHEA could sustain hormone levels and stave off many of the degenerative changes we collectively call aging. But there was a catch. Because DHEA is converted into sex hormones, people taking supplemental DHEA would sometimes experience the frightening, unwanted side effects associated with hormone supplementation.
In 1989, Dr. Lardy and his colleagues set out to solve the mystery of eliminating DHEA’s side effects by examining all of the constituents that make up DHEA. Ten long years of research unearthed hundreds of DHEA derivatives, which were developed and tested continuously, until one derivative rose above all the others – a metabolite that was incredibly bio-active and far more promising than any other substance they’d tested. That metabolite is 7-Keto™. 7-Keto™ outperformed DHEA and other metabolites in immune modulation, memory enhancement and thermogenesis and, more importantly, without any adverse side effects3.
The most significant benefit of 7-Keto™ supplementation is its ability to support healthy body weight. Obesity is a major contributing factor in a number of serious medical conditions. A recent study assessed the effectiveness of 7-Keto™ on weight loss and body fat loss. Participants were divided into two groups; one group received 100mg of 7-Keto™ twice daily and the other a placebo. Both groups exercised three times per week. At the end of the study, researchers noted a statistically significant reduction in body weight and body fat only in the 7-Keto™ group. Researchers concluded that 7-Keto™ was three times more effective than diet and exercise alone in promoting weight and fat loss1,2,7. Preliminary research also indicates that 7-Keto™ may support healthy immune and nervous systems. One study measured the effects of 7-Keto™ on memory function. Subjects were given a single dose of a substance that inhibits nerve cell communication and causes shortterm memory loss. Afterwards subjects were given a single dose of 7-Keto™. Results showed that 7-Keto completely reversed the memory impairment, suggesting that 7-Keto™ supports memory retention6.
Another study gauged 7-Keto™’s ability to support immune system function. Interleukin 2 (IL2) is a substance produced by T lymphocytes that causes an increase of disease fighting white blood cells. White blood cells were taken from healthy volunteers and introduced into a solution that contained 7-Keto™ for 24 hours. When the cultures were tested for heightened IL2 production. 7-Keto™ was shown to augment IL2 production by a statistically significant 68%4.
NOW® 7-Keto™ is a well-researched and patented form of this amazing product that’s supplied by the Humanetics Corporation. Humanetics 7-Keto™ has been proven safe and well-tolerated in doses up to 200mg5. Research is clear, the rate at which we age can be influenced by the diet and lifestyle choices we make. One very smart choice would clearly be adding NOW 7-Keto™ to your diet.
1) 7-Keto™: The Key to Healthy Aging – Scientific Support; Humanetics Corporation, 1999
IMMUNITY ENHANCERS and ADAPTOGENIC HERBS
December 17, 2005 01:43 PM
ADAPTOGENIC HERBS AND IMMUNITY ENHANCERS
In addition to Rhodiola Rosea, NOW® Foods carries a number of other dietary supplements with adaptogenic and immuneenhancing effects.
These products come from different parts of the world and have been used safely and effectively by different cultures for thousands of years.
December 17, 2005 01:02 PM
Ashwaghanda- Also known as “Indian ginseng”, Ashwaghanda (Withania somnifera) has been used by Asian Indian cultures for more than 2,500 years. It’s called Indian ginseng because it’s used in ayurvedic medicine in the same fashion ginseng’s used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). This herb is also considered an adaptogen because it has the ability to aid the body in resisting different types of stress, being used primarily to relieve fatigue and nervous tension, as well as aiding cognitive function, particularly memory. Ashwaghanda is also believed to have aphrodisiac properties and to promote restful sleep. Similar to Rhodiola, Ashwaghanda’s adaptogenic properties seem to be attributable to its ability to regulate hormone production during stressful situations.