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Honeybush tea is a nutrient-rich, antioxidant-filled, heart-healthydrink from South Africa
May 03, 2019 04:06 PM
South African honeybush tea is made from a plant called Cyclopia intermedia and provides a diverse mix of health benefits. In addition to providing many important minerals, honeybush also contains a very wide range of antioxidants, including flavones, polyphenols, flavonoids and many others. It also contains compounds with expectorant and antimicrobial effects that can help ward off colds and other minor infections. Animal studies suggest honeybush tea also helps prevent your body from storing as much fat, and assist in burning the body fat you already have.
"Drinking a cup of honeybush tea can provide the body with minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium, and zinc."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-01-honeybush-tea-a-nutrient-rich-heart-healthy-drink.html
The Benefits of Anise.
Anise is a perennial herbal plant that grows to a height of about 0.3 to 0.6m above the ground. It is a native plant to Egypt and Greece and it has been in use for health ailments since seventh century. Moreover, anise has been in use as a fragrance and spice according to its history. The following are health benefits of anise.
Anise seed oil which is obtained by extraction has so many applications traditionally as a medicine to cure expectorant, anti-septic, stomachic, and anti-spasmodic as well as a stimulant agent.
Anise seed oil and anethol is also added to medicines such as lozenges and syrups because of its potent antioxidant action.
Anise oil is also very effective against conditions that are associated with convulsions, cramps, spasms, muscle pains and diarrhea due to its anti-spasmodic and relaxant effects.
Anise oil also is use by individuals who have flu and cough usually get some relief when they administer the herb because of its expectorant and decongestant abilities.
Improve Your Skin Naturally with Tamanu Oil
May 18, 2014 11:36 AM
What is a tamanu?
Tamanu oil is originated from Polynesia and prefers a salty and sandy soil, which is why it grows profusely near the sea. According to the native people, the best Tamanu oil comes from trees that grow near the coastal regions, better than those that grow inland.
Benefits of tamanu oil
The Tamanu oil is well known because of its healing properties, which can actually equal or even surpass contemporary skin care products. There are already scientific studies that the oil produce new skin tissues, as well as studies that support the natural antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-neuralgic, and antioxidant properties. Some of the ailments that Tamanu oil can treat include ringworm, itching, athlete's foot, dermaphytosis of the scalp or beard, burns and wounds. It also has a superb cicatrizing capacity that is far from other substances.
Cicatrization is the term coined for the process of forming new tissue. It is also amazingly effective for healing acne and acne scars, stretch marks, psoriasis, diabetic sores, blisters, sunburn, abrasions, cuts, burns, eczema, insect bites, herpes sores, fissures, and dry or scaly skin. It can even reduce or completely remove age spots!
One of the leading reasons tamanu oil profits skin is because of the oil holding an extent of lipids, including glycolipids, nonpartisan lipids and phospholipids, notwithstanding an exhibit of components not normally connected with different oils, including calophyllolide, that helps stop aggravation, lactone, which performs like an anti-infection, and calophyllic corrosive, which is an extraordinary type of vital unsaturated fat. An alternate segment, coumarin, adds to the mitigating impact of this astounding oil.
Generally, tamanu oil has received as being a germicide, a diuretic, an expectorant, an astringent in addition to a laxative. An alternate of the various tamanu oil ascribes is its ability to help mend skin conditions including sunburn, rankles, players foot, dermatitis, pimple inflammation, dried-out skin, rash, little cuts and bug chomps.
In Europe, now and again called Domba oil, it is been demonstrated to have a 70 to 75 percent rate of achievement in diminishing stiffness and scabies. In the Philippines, it’s utilized as an astringent for hemorrhoids. It is likewise significant on for administering to gout and ringworm. Loads of individuals additionally rub this oil into your skin to help for the torment coming about because of neuralgia; in addition to it can positively help decrease the visual appearance of scars and stretch imprints. It can help to treat diaper rash on a child.
Tamanu oil is normally utilized in numerous diverse skincare items as it is overall ingested by the skin and serves to keep skin feeling delicate. Unlike some other crucial oils, tamanu oil does not desert an oily film once you utilize it, in addition, it will not exacerbate slick skin. Some methods you do not generally need to hold up quite a while so you can get dressed in the wake of utilizing it to help make skin look velvety. Many individuals think about the emanation of this oil as being satisfying, then again it is just a mellow fragrance so it will not clash with any viable aroma you decide to utilize. Against maturing items, some of the time holds tamanu oils, because they are accepted to help recover your skin.
Can Ivy (Hedra helix) Support Healthy Airways And Lungs?
April 19, 2014 05:48 AM
The fact is that we cannot live without oxygen. Our respiratory tract acts as the link or rather the airway between the outside environment and our lungs. This explains why it is of much importance to ensure optimum health for our respiratory tract. The respiratory system being very sensitive, our lung health is largely enforced by the cilia, which keeps bacteria, dust particles and viruses at bay.
Benefits of ivy
Ivy (Hedra helix) is a plant that has been clinically proven an excellent cough medicine especially for those with asthma or bronchitis.
The Ivy leaf extract has various modes of action.
As an expectorant. This mode of action acts in that it helps bring mucus up from the lungs. This ensures that there are minimal problem ingredients entering the lungs.
As a mucolytic.This means it, helps dissolve mucus. Some types of coughs thicken mucus leading to blocked tracts.
As a bronchial dilator. This means that the medicine helps in opening up the air passageway for easier breathing.
The Ivy leaf extract has been termed as a solution to painful coughing though it does not really block out the action. Through the mucolytic action, it dissolves the mucus thus easing constriction. As opposed to other solutions, the Ivy is tolerable to children thus making it suitable for both adults and children. Most importantly, it works efficiently with all age groups.
Where it grows. The Ivy can be described as a climbing plant, evergreen and fast growing. It grows in woodland and hedgerows especially in winter gardens. It is not a threat to healthy trees and requires regular trimming to avoid it becoming too heavy. In a close up, lung health is paramount for easier and safe breathing. Ivy leaf extract is a medicine that we count can on for excellent results. If pregnant or nursing, consult health care practitioner before use.
Can DGL Licorice Help Soothe The Stomach And Intestinal Tract?
April 11, 2014 09:41 AM
What is a locorice root
Licorice root, commonly known as DGL is a characteristic herb that is utilized within numerous requisitions. It is otherwise called Yashti-Madhu, sweet root, Spanish licorice and Glycyrrhiza glabra. All structures are accessible generally on and logged off. Licorice root is a common supplement with expectorant properties. This can help with the arrival of harmed mucous covering brought on by GERD which is the reason licorice root and indigestion illness are in some cases specified together. With a few properties of cortisone and estrogen, it likewise helps the body bargain with anxiety.
Benefits of licrorice
Stress has not been demonstrated to really cause indigestion, however it does normally increase the manifestations to a degree. Then again, studies have indicated that unwinding or anxiety alleviating pills, vitamins or minerals can essentially diminish the force of the side effects. By methodology, since licorice root helps us manage stress, it has a tendency to keep the body in a more loose state. This reduces the impacts of GERD.
Licorice root is synthetically known as deglycyrrhizinated licorice or DGL. The greater part of it is prepared in Greece, Turkey and Asia. It has been utilized for a long time as a society medication for some issue including indigestion ailment. Numerous clients say that it is charming to take as it has a commonly satisfying flavor. This makes DGL a most loved of numerous sufferes searching for alleviation from their manifestations.
Licorice root as an indigestion sickness cure is not utilized as a cure, however as an agony reliever. General dosing of licorice is said to reduce the agony of GERD manifestations throughout flare ups. So as a matter of course, it is a preventive measure also. Patients who use licorice root report that typically once a day is sufficient, however twice day by day could be called for in extreme cases. Licorice root is not ordinarily utilized as a part of situations where there is now extreme harm to the throat lining. It is all more generally utilized within sufferers with mellow side effects like acid reflux and heartburn.
The imperative thing to know here is that utilizing licorice root, with its regular properties, is a great approach to reduce the impacts of GERD before they happen. DGL appears to have some impact on gastric corrosive preparation too since it is generally utilized within the medication of a few sorts of stomach ulcers. In Japan, doctors have endorsed a man-made type of licorice to treat ulcer patients. While this medicine is not accessible in the USA, it has had some significant brings about Japan.
Study on licorice
A study was carried out on 100 patients that had not enhanced with ordinary medications. These patients were given the manufactured licorice for 6 weeks. Of these, 90 percent demonstrated a pointed change. In 22 cases, the ulcers vanished totally.
So even as a society cure or in a manufactured structure, DGL or licorice root is demonstrated to be powerful as an agony reliever for GERD manifestations, as a compelling preventive treatment and as a corrosive preparation reducer. These are hints of something better over the horizon for the GERD sufferer.
As dependably, you ought to counsel your doctor before beginning on a regimen of licorice establish in any structure. Some unfavorably susceptible responses have been accounted for. In this way, to be sheltered, converse with your specialist to see whether a licorice root - heartburn illness cure is ideal for you.
Does Black Currant Have Healing Properties?
March 28, 2014 10:26 PM
Truly, the leaves of black currant and borage plants have been used for different rheumatic and provocative conditions, and as natural diuretics. Black currant has likewise been utilized to loose bowels, while borage has additionally been utilized as an antipyretic, expectorant, and general tonic. Right now, both plant oils are utilized as rich wellsprings of gamma-linolenic corrosive (GLA). Alongside, night primrose oil, these GLA-holding oils are utilized for interminable provocative and other conditions, for example, dermatitis, rheumatic issue, nostalgia, premenstrual syndrome, and diabetic neuropathy.1-4 Patients with these issues are thought to be unable to sufficiently change over their dietary vital greasy acids to GLA, an antecedent of mitigating eicosanoids 5; in this manner, supplementation with GLA-rich plant oils is viewed as advantageous.
Benefits of black currant
The Health Benefits and therapeutic employments of black currants incorporate it being utilized for the medicine of different cardiovascular ailments because of vitamin C. Likewise, black currants are additionally used to anticipate heart inadequacy as they have a tendency to enhance the safety of the energetic vessels that are known to be delicate and likewise minimize blood vessel hypertension.
Black currants are additionally valuable for those miseries of menopause as they have a tendency to escalate the feeble fringe flow and likewise dispose of the cholesterol, waste and poisons from the blood. Black currants likewise help women experiencing menopause.
Some of the other medicinal employments of black currants might be it being exceptionally beneficial in the common medication of gout, stiffness and joint pain.
The homegrown cure arranged using the buds of the black currant plant is utilized within the medication of urticaris and the products of the soil of the black currant are utilized as a common solution for treating skin conditions, for example, bug stings, dermatosis, and abscess and skin inflammations.
Black currants are a brilliant soil grown foods for ladies particularly, by virtue of their various benefits, for example, treating the indications of premenstrual syndrome, menopause, bosom delicacy and excruciating periods. Black currants are additionally useful in upgrading one's general unsusceptibility.
Health benefits and therapeutic employments of the black currant likewise make it an amazing common cure for kidney related issues in a distinctive as the dried leaves of the black currant plant are known to advertise stream of urine, work against the shaping of bladder stones and additionally sterilize the urine particularly when expended on a customary groundwork as a cleansing tea.
Jasmine Oil : An Useful and Amzing Essential Oil
February 27, 2014 11:41 AM
Jasmine oil is the most powerful and prized essential oil, and jasmine is a famous flower. Jasmine has a pleasing, strong, romantic fragrance, and sweet which is bloom at night. The aromatic jasmine oil has a lot of health benefits, its medicinal properties such as anti spasmodic, anti depressant, and anti septic that could help our body from some problems.
Below are some health benefits you could get from jasmine essential oil :
- Disinfectant and anti septic : It is contains Benzoic acid, Benzyl Benzoate, and Benzaldehyde that have the natural oil acts, helps in healing some fungal problems, bacteria infection, and use to make an anti septic product.
- Anti depressant : It is helps to calm your mind, make you happy, arouses desires, and change your mood.
- Cures spasmodic quickly : This could be use for spasmodic infections like asthma, lungs congestion, and coughs, its treats spasms and other muscular pains due to spasms. - Healer during childbirth : This essential oil is a parturient and an uterine tonic, it could works by helping reduce pain and increasing the contractions.
- Works as a skin ally : Jasmine oil could clean skin impurities, help to balance oily, and nourish a dry scalp, because jasmine is an anti-septic.
- Helps to give you a good sleep : insomnia is a common health problem, and this essential oil could give you a sound less and deep sleep that many people want for. This oil has the expectorant effect that give you undisturbed sleep, even when you are suffering from a cold or cough.
- Could increase milk secretion : This is a good option for lactating mothers and for the babies, this oil effect also protect from breast cancer and breast tumor. This essential oil have so many health benefits that are useful for us, and it comes from the evergreen shrub, a native plant of Northern India and China, "Jasminum Gradiflora", and has been used for an aphrodisiac by Chinese people.
February 26, 2014 08:51 AM
What is thyme
Thyme is delicate herb with a highly penetrating fragrance. It has very many varied importance in culinary, medicinal and ornamental purposes. Thyme is an ancient herb that was used for medical purposes by Greeks and Egyptians. It has a sweet yet strong herbal smell and is reddish-brown to amber in color. Thyme essential oil is carefully extracted through distillation from Thymus Vulgaris that belongs to the Labiatae plant family. This oil is considered to have very many health benefits that range from curing some ailments to preventing as well as improving the general body health.
Benefits of thyme
To begin with, it is an excellent disinfectant that is highly regarded particularly in aromatherapy for the protection against infectious diseases. Thyme oil is an antiseptic as well as an expectorant. When diffused into the atmosphere, it can be really beneficial in the treatment and as well as revealing the symptoms of bronchitis, sinusitis, pneumonia, coughs, cold and flu.
The components in this volatile oil have also been proven to expel antimicrobial activity against a host of different bacteria and fungi. For thousands of years, this essential oil has been used to preserve foods; protecting them from microbial contamination. In this way, using the oil helps people avoid various health issue associated with contaminated food.
Thyme oil is also crucial in stimulating the formation of white blood cells as well as aiding in the oxygenation of cellular tissues; which helps in the removal of toxic wastes during illness. Thyme oil generally boosts your lymphatic system and builds your self-esteem and confidence in your ability to make quick recovery during illness.
For a vitamin or supplement, thyme oil taken by mouth and can be very helpful in curing arthritis, stomach pain and a sore throat. It has also been used to treat skin disorders, movement disorders (dyspraxia) as well as parasitic worm infections. This oil can also be applied directly to the skin for swollen tonsils, hoarseness and sore mouth.
I would like to caution you. Please note that there are lots of cheap, synthetic copies of essential oils. You, therefore, need to be careful when purchasing thyme oil and ensure that you get it from a trusted supplier to avoid getting a counterfeit product that may not give you the expected results.
What Is Pine Oil?
February 23, 2014 08:07 AM
What is pine
Human beings have used the bark and roots of pine for many years for medicinal purposes. Pines also could be used for religious purposes in some communities. Most pine trees are found in Europe and Asia. There are approximately eighty species of pine trees and Norwegian and Scottish pine produces the greatest amount of pine oil.
The following are major benefits of pine oil.
Injuries: One of the characteristics of pine oil is being antiseptic. This makes it to be commonly used in treating boils, injuries and cuts. It is not only because of its antiseptic characteristics but also anti-fungal properties. The fungal infections are very difficult and dangerous conditions to treat especially when they become internal. Pine helps in clearing all these problems.Respiratory Problems: Pine oil can help greatly in curing respiratory problems and medical experts use it in making coughing and cold drugs. Pine oil is an expectorant and this enables it to loosen mucus and phlegm from respiratory tracts. When your body has little deposition, it becomes very easy and faster in fighting infections reducing the recovery period.
Reduce inflammation: pine oil reduces inflammation of the gall bladder and gallstones. Apart from medicinal purposes, pine oil has pleasant aroma and this makes it widely used when making most household products.
Eye Health: Pine oil has the ability to neutralize free radicals and has a positive health effect on human eye. Free radicals often cause cataracts, macular degeneration and many other vision related problems. Free radicals cause degradation of eye cells.
Pain: Pine oil has analgesic properties therefore making it the best in treating people suffering from rheumatic, joint pain and arthritis conditions. Apart from being analgesic, pine oil is also an anti-inflammatory agent. This means that it can as well reduce inflammation and some redness on areas affected, hence pain reduction.
What Is Atlas Cedar Oil And What Are The Health Benefits?
February 09, 2014 09:18 AM
What is atlas cedar oil
Atlas cedar oil is one of the oldest embalming oils. The oil was initially extracted in Egypt and used by spiritualists as an embalming component. In the contemporary world, this oil has been widely acknowledged and accepted as an aromatherapy product. This oil is processed through steam chemical distillation from pieces of cedar wood.
Health benefits of atlas cedar oil
Medically, the oil has an antiseptic capacity. It has been widely used as a form of antiseptic for wounds to prevent infection of the wounds and prevent them from becoming septic. It helps keep tetanus germs at bay.
Atlas cedar oil has been globally used in the treatment of arthritis particularly among the old. This oil has an anti inflammatory benefit and has been used largely on patients living with the arthritis condition.
It is also a antispasmodic. This oil is used in massaging the legs and the hands and has a known effect of reducing the profound effects of arthritis. Similarly, this oil has been widely applied to control dandruff and combat acne. It has proven very helpful in relieving spasms which occur in the body such as the intestines and the nerves.
Further, this oil is used as an astringent. It has been clinically adopted for dental use to firm the gums and prevents falling of teeth. It is also used as cure for toothaches.
Lastly, this oil can be used as an expectorant. Patients suffering from severe coughs can use this oil to combat irritate coughs. This cough gets rid of phlegm from the lungs and the air pipe and controls the cough.
This oil has been accepted as to have the effects of calming negative emotions and control anger. It comes in handy when one is faced with stressful situations and helps in calming the nerves especially during mediation time.Further, the atlas cedar oil is the attractive aroma it produces. With this effect it has been used in the preparation of perfumes and other scented beauty products. Due to this strong aroma this oil has been globally used as a aphrodisiac.
Apple Cider Vinegar
November 20, 2012 12:49 AM
Apple Cinder Vinegar commonly known as ACV is one type of vinegar products that is made from quality apple fruit and cider products. But some may ask, how can I make it? Well, this can be done at home by anyone suppose they have the necessary knowledge.
How is it Made?
The preparation involves complete crushing of apples and extracting the liquid inside.Then, ferment the liquid by the addition of yeast and bacteria which stimulate the ideal alcoholic fermentation. This leads to the transition of sugars to alcohol and the final step involves fermenting the alcohol into vinegar by the help of acetic acid bacteria. Before delving into the benefits carried along the usage of acetic acid, it is equally important we know the chemical composition of the solution which is the main component of the product. Primarily, the active constituents components found in ACV are malic acid, pectin and acetic acid. However, acetic acid has proven to be a topic worth discussion.
How Does Acetic Acid from Apple Cider Vinegar Help Improve Your Health?
1. Pearl White Teeth
The acetic acid, due to its acidic nature, is ideal when it comes to killing bacteria, removing stains, whitening and hence strengthening the teeth.However, so as to achieve this fulfilling yet equally rewarding merit, you have to gargle the apple cider vinegar every morning and brush the teeth thoroughly with a regular paste or alternatively, salt.Your teeth will ultimately be a specter to behold.
2. Exhaustion Removal
The build up of lactic acid in our bodies is due to the severe exercises and stress we go through. This causes fatigue making us feel frustratingly uncomfortable.However, if you apply apple cider vinegar; the case will never be the same again. This is because it contains amino acids that fight the fatigue as well as enzymes and potassium that relieve exhaustion.
3. Prevent Indigestion Problems
You can try the folk methodology of sipping a glass full of apple cider that is rich in acetic before consuming delicacies that will make you regret after a few hours. This can be done by mixing one tea spoonful of honey or sugar (to neutralize acidity) and another one of apple cider and pour in one glass of warm water. Take a few gallops after stirring and you're safe to dine.
4. Troubles with Tummy
Thanks to acetic acid's antibiotic properties as they can satisfyingly contain any problems associated with your tummy. Any bacterial infection in form of diarrhea will be squarely dealt with by only a few sips of vinegar water. This is because the presence of acetic acid in ACV helps sooth spasms entailed in the intestinal region.
5. A Stuffy Nose and Occasional Hiccups
A study carried out proved that the application of acetic acid could highly lead to reduction in the drainage of sinus which is characterized by a stuffy nose. Additionally, it showed that the same treatment could be used for occasional hiccups only if a tea spoonful of it was used. Although a number of scientific facts are not supported by the theory, the primary compound of Apple Cider Vinegar which is acetic can be an expectorant in helping address the problem of phlegm and mucus. However, it is important to note that it will not prevent the root of sinus and phlegm build up. You can now enjoy all the health conveniences with exclusive ACV.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Raw Honey?
May 03, 2012 11:23 AM
Raw Unrefined Honey
Raw honey does not only taste sweet but also has numerous health benefits. It is one of Mother Nature's best gift to us and has been used for its natural healing powers since ancient time. The goodness with it is that it has retained its natural properties, excellent flavor and health benefits.
Raw honey is much better than processed honey. Processed honey normally undergoes many heating processes that destroy the critical enzymes. It might appear clean and clear on the outside but it really has no much benefits as compared to the raw unrefined honey. The ultra filtration that processed honey goes through to make it look fine normally removes an important aspect of raw honey; pollen. With no further argument we can boldly complain that raw honey reigns supreme over processed ones. The following are some of the health benefits that can be harvested from consuming it.
It provides a natural healing solution for allergies.
You can eliminate all kinds of allergies by eating raw honey. Honey contains anti-inflamatory, anti-allergenicand expectorant elements which reinforce the immune system in the most effective manner ever known to man. That's part of the reason why it's recommendable to take honey with lemon and hot water when having a cold.
It is the healer of most skin problems.
Raw honey heals and mends skin affected by harmful chemicals. It is applied to rashes,acne and burns with would be regarded as a thin layer of baking soda to reduce the sticky effect. it is also used as a natural moisturizer or use it for treating their scalp with by mixing it with olive oil. It is also a perfect remedy for bleeding gums and canker sores. It aids in the digestive process.
Raw honey is a kind of inverted sugar that doesn't cause bacteria or ferment in the stomach. Hence it isn't absorbed easily. Its extremely good enzyme content helps in the digestive process. For many years raw honey has been used as a remedy for gall bladder disease,intestinal ulcers as well as a natural laxative.
It contains anti-cancer properties.
Studies done show that raw honey has both the capability as well as ability to prevent and inhibit cancerous diseases. It can also aid in the chemotherapy treatment for cancer patients.
As a sleep aid.
Raw honey is full of vitamins, minerals, calcium, zinc, manganese, potassium, chromium and selenium. All these minerals are needed in the sleep formation processes and to fight insomnia. If you are sleep-deprived, take two teaspoons right before bedtime and experience the magic of this wonderful product made by bees.
It is a natural energy booster.
The sugars found in raw honey are a perfect source of energy, revitalizing the body especially after a workout session.
Now that you know why raw honey is good for you, why not opt for it instead of the processed and refined ones? The next step to take is replacing it with sugar for your cup of coffee and baking needs. It is a natural sweetener that will not only sweeten your beverages and cakes, but also make you healthier.
What Is Thyme and How Can It Help My Lungs?
April 12, 2011 04:28 PM
Thyme And Lung Health.Thyme is a flavorful herb known for its significant presence in Western cuisines. It is grown for its strong flavor and pleasant aromatic odor, which are often attributed to an organic compound called thymol. The health benefits of thyme are ascribed to its unique combination of phytochemicals that protect the lungs and the rest of the respiratory system. The chemical compounds naturally occurring in thyme are extracted and added to many health and hygiene products.
Thymus vulgaris, the common thyme largely utilized as a culinary herb, is the same species where most thyme extracts are derived from. However, other species that belong to the genus Thymus have also been observed to produce similar health benefits. There are over 300 species of thyme, but the most widely cultivated in addition to the common thyme are T. herba-barona, T. serpyllum, T. x citriodorus, and T. variegata, and T. zygis. These species are known for their medicinal properties and commonly used in herbal preparations.
Fights Respiratory Tract Infections
In the pharmaceutical industry, thyme is best known for its high terpene content. Terpenes are organic compounds found in many plants that are noted for their antiseptic properties. Thymus species are very rich in thymol, which accounts for more than 50 per cent in essential oil extracted from Thymus vulgaris. Thyme is historically noted for its ability to ward off infections.
In ancient times, crushed leaves were added to poultices to disinfect wounds and dried leaves were made into tea to fight off sore throat. Today thymol is the main ingredient of many hygiene products such as natural sanitizers and the mouthwash Listerine. Thymol is so effective that adding it to water and gargling with the solution fights off infections of the respiratory tract and relieves inflammation.
Displays Antispasmodic Properties
Upper respiratory tract infection is often accompanied by respiratory spasms characteristic of coughs. Thyme also contains flavonoids, such as apigenin, luteolin, naringenin, and thymonin, all of which are spasmolytic in nature. Symptoms of cough may vary, depending on the nature of the condition. Fits of severe coughing may result from different causes, but are often caused by bacterial infection. The flavonoids content of thyme is thought to act on pulmonary tissues and bronchial tubes, creating a soothing effect that results in the amelioration of respiratory spasms and the expulsion of bacteria.
Promotes the Discharge of Mucus
Thyme is a reputed expectorant with a long association with folk medicine of the Mediterranean region. For centuries, certain European communities have relied on thyme to effectively expel infected matter from the lungs and the bronchi. Herbal preparations come in tincture, tea, syrup, and even steam. The inhalation of thyme essential oil has been reported to be very helpful in easing the discharge of mucus. Thyme contains terpenoids in addition to thymol, which all act to increase the fluidity of mucus and exert antimicrobial activity when they reach the lungs, making it easier to cough up phlegm while disinfecting the respiratory tract at the same time.
Give Thyme a try and feel the difference!
October 04, 2010 03:30 PM
Saw Palmetto Health benefitsSaw Palmetto has been used traditionally to treat a number of ailments, particularly in the medicine of Native Americans and Central Americans. It is specifically the fruit or berries of the plant that is used and its historical uses have included treating female infertility, menstrual pains and lactation problems. In men it has been used to reduce enlarged prostate glands and it is also used in the treatment of whooping cough, laryngitis and as an expectorant.
Present-day saw palmetto benefits are generally focused on the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), commonly known as an 'enlarged prostate, characterized by the development of large nodules in the area of the prostate around the urethra. This causes the urethra to be compressed, and the flow of urine to be partially blocked - in fact sometimes complete blockage occurs.
Saw palmetto benefits in this respect are believed to lie in relaxation of the smooth muscle tissue and enable improvement in the passing of urination. Native American medicine men used to carry a medicine bag of saw palmetto with them to treat these and related conditions.
Have you had your Saw Palmetto Berry Extract Today?
November 25, 2009 03:40 PM
Fenugreek is one of the oldest herbal remedies, used for both a cooking spice and a medicinal remedy. Fenugreek is a plant that can be found in the family Fabaceae. This plant is used both as an herb and as a spice. The leaves of the plant are used as an herb, while the seeds of the plant are used as a spice. Fenugreek is cultivated worldwide as a semi-arid crop. Frequently, fenugreek can be found as a main ingredient in curry. Originally native to southwestern Asia, this herb was used for inflamed bowels and stomach problems because of its bowel-lubricating abilities. Fenugreek was used by the Greeks for respiratory problems. Additionally, fenugreek was used in both the East and West and thought of as one of the most effective medicinal herbs. Often, fenugreek plants were fed to sick animals to improve their health.
This herb has a reputation of being able to dissolve hardened masses of accumulated mucus in the body. Fenugreek helps to rid the lungs of mucus and the bronchial tubes of phlegm. Often, it is combined with lemon juice and honey to help expel waste through the lymphatic system. Fenugreek is known for the antiseptic properties that it contains, which help kill infections in the lungs. Additionally, this herb is recommended for treating an inflamed gastrointestinal system. This herb contains thirty percent mucilage, which may be used as a poultice on wounds, inflammations, boils, and skin ailments. Formulas containing fenugreek are often touted as the miracle medicine for all gynecological problems. Some studies have found that fenugreek simulates the uterus and contains diosgenin, a constituent similar to estrogen. Research on diabetic animals has found that Fenugreek seeds are able to reduce urinary glucose levels. The active ingredient seems to be the defatted portion of the seed, which possesses the alkaloid trogonelline, nicotinic acid, and coumarin. When the defatted seeds were added to insulin treatment of diabetic dogs, it was noted that insulin dose was decreased. Fenugreek contains choline and liptropic, which aid in dissolving cholesterol and lowering cholesterol levels. Animal studies have shown beneficial results in lowering serum cholesterol levels. Fenugreek helps reduce mucus in cases of asthma and sinus and bronchial congestion. Evidence of anti-inflammatory activity has been show in some studies, which may explain why some individuals with arthritis have been helped by fenugreek.
The seeds of the fenugreek plant are used to provide alterative, anti-catarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, bitter, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, febrifuge, galactagogue, mucilant, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are choline, iron, lecithin, minerals, protein, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and D. Primarily, fenugreek is extremely beneficial in treating allergies, loss of appetite, bronchial catarrh, high cholesterol, diabetic retinopathy, gas, gastric disorders, lung infections, excessive mucus, and sore throat.
Additionally, the herb is very helpful in dealing with abscesses, anemia, asthma, body odor, boils, bronchitis, cancer, swollen eyes, fevers, gallbladder problems, heartburn, inflammation, sinus problems, ulcers, uterine problems, and water retention. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by fenugreek, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
November 12, 2009 04:47 PM
Fennel is a plant species that is part of the genus Foeniculum. A member of the family Apiaceae, this plant is a hardy, perennial, umbelliferous herb. The plant has yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is generally found growing on the shores of the Mediterranean, but it has become widely naturalized elsewhere. Now, the plant can be found growing wild in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on river-banks. The plant is highly aromatic and flavorful. It is actually one of the primary ingredients of absinthe. Some species of fennel possess a swollen, bulb-like stem base, which is used as a vegetable. Fennel is used as food plant by some moth and bird species.
The fennel plant is native to the southern areas of Europe and Asia Minor. The herb is now cultivated in the United States and Great Britain. It was used anciently in many civilizations. Used in ancient Egypt, this herb aids in digestion and flatulence. In Italy, fennel was used to bring surgical patients out of anesthesia. Fennel was recommended by Hippocrates and Dioscorides to increase milk production in nursing mothers. The ancient Greeks used this herb for weight reduction, while the seventeenth-century herbalist Nicholas Culpeper also recommended this herb for losing weight.
Fennel is extremely helpful in weight reduction, as it suppresses the appetite. This herb aids in stabilizing the nervous system and can be used as a sedative for small children. Fennel can be used to expel phlegm from the throat, eliminate toxins from the body, and purify the blood. This herb is known for its ability to fortify the immune system and be good for the eyes. Additionally, fennel aids in digestion, improves night vision, relieves gas, expels worms, improves the quality of milk in nursing mothers, and cleans the bladder and liver. This herb has been used to stimulate menstruation and can help too soothe the smooth muscles of the digestive tract, as it aids in digestion and related problems.
Research on rats has found that the fennel seeds have estrogenic effects on the genital organs. The herb has been found to promote the production of milk in nursing mothers. Fennel is good for digestion, colic, and other stomach complaints. This herb contains essential oils that have a composition similar to catnip and peppermint. The seeds of the fennel plant are used to provide anorectic, antacid, anti-inflaamtory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, estrogenic, expectorant, galactagogue, sedative, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, magnesium, niacin, potassium, sodium, sulfur, vitamins A, C, B1, and B2. Primarily, fennel is extremely beneficial in dealing with abdominal cramps, colic, gas, gastric disorders, indigestion, intestinal problems, and weight-related conditions.
Additionally, this herb can be very helpful in treating excessive appetite, asthma, constipation, convulsions, coughs, uterine cramps, gout, kidney ailments, absence of lactation, liver disorders, lung disorders, and nervous disorders. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by this herb, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
October 28, 2009 11:39 AM
The horseradish plant is a perennial plant that is part of the Brassicaceae family, which includes mustard, wasabi, broccoli, and cabbages. Native to southeastern Europe and western Asia, the plant is popular around the world today. The horseradish plant grows up to five feet tall and is mainly cultivated for its large, white, tapered root. The intact horseradish root has hardly any aroma. However, when cut or grated, enzymes from the damaged plant cells break down to produce allylisothiocyanate, which often irritates the sinuses and eyes. Once grated, if the plant is not mixed with vinegar or used immediately, the root darkens and loses its pungency. It quickly becomes unpleasantly bitter when exposed to air and heat.
Horseradish has been cultivated since ancient times. The Delphic Oracle in Greek mythology told Apollo that horse radish was worth its weight in gold. Horseradish was known in Egypt by 1500 BC and has been used by Jews from Eastern Europe traditionally in Passover. The plant is discussed by Cato in his treatises on agriculture. It is thought that horseradish is the plant known as Wild Radish by the Greeks. Both the root and leaves of the horseradish plant were used as a medicine during the Middle Ages, with the root used as a condiment on meats in Germany, Scandinavia, and Britain. This herb was taken to North American during Colonial times. It is not certain as to where the name horseradish come from. Some believe that it derives by misinterpretation of the German Merettich as mare radish. Others think the name comes from the coarseness of the root. The common thought in Europe is that it refers to the old method of processing the root called hoofing, in which horses were used to stamp the root tender before grating it.
For at least two thousand years, horseradish has been cultivated. It was brought to America by early settlers and used to treat conditions such as pain from sciatic, colic, and intestinal worms. Horseradish provides antibiotic action that is recommended for respiratory and urinary infections. The volatile oil in horseradish has the ability to work as a nasal and bronchial dilator. Internally, it has been used to clear nasal passages, alleviate sinus problems, help with digestion, work as a diuretic, aid with edema and rheumatism, and cleanse various body systems. Also, horseradish has been used to stimulate digestion, metabolism, and kidney function. This herb helps promote stomach secretions to aid in digestion. Horseradish can be used as a compress for neuralgia, stiffness, and pain in the back of the neck. Additionally, this herb can be used as a parasiticide.
The root of the horseradish plant can be used to provide antibiotic, antineoplastic, antiseptic, bitter, caminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, hepatic, parasiticide, mild purgative, rubefacient, sialagogue, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, and vitamins A, B-complex, and P. Primarily, horseradish is extremely beneficial in dealing with loss of appetite, circulation, coughs, edema, excessive mucus, sinus problems, internal and skin tumors, and worms.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, congestion, gout, jaundice, kidney problems, irritated membranes, neuralgia, palsy, rheumatism, skin conditions, water retention, and wounds. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by horseradish, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
October 23, 2009 11:10 AM
Since the beginning of civilization, flax has been around. The early Swiss used the fibers for weaving, while Egyptians decorated their tombs with carvings of the flax plant and wrapped mummies in linen due to the high esteem they had for this plant. The fibers of the flax plant were a main source of clothing in biblical times, with even Christ being believed to have been buried in linen. The use of flaxseed oil was recommended by Hippocrates for inflammations of the mucous membranes. Charlemagne required his subjects to eat the seeds to remain healthy during the early eighth century in France.
Flaxseed has many medicinal properties, as the oil has been used as a remedy for colds, coughs, sore throats, mucus, congestion, lung conditions, and as an expectorant. The herb is soothing to the mucous membranes and has been used to treat asthmatic conditions.
Additionally, this herb is a mild, natural laxative, providing roughage to aid the body when constipation is a problem. It is also healing on the stomach and intestines. Flaxseed oil can be very beneficial for gastritis, ulcers, and heartburn, while the tea can be used to help detoxify the liver and purify the blood. This herb is also believed to aid in reducing the clotting tendency of blood, potentially lowering the risk of heart attacks and reducing cholesterol levels in blood. It is also used for reducing inflammation and for urinary tract irritations. Crushed flaxseed, made into a poultice, is often used to treat sprains or bruises.
Unrefined, cold-pressed flax oil is considered to be the richest vegetable source of omega-3 and 6 oils, which are essential fatty acids. These oils are useful for balancing the hormones in the body and helping in the weight-loss process. Essential fatty acids help to improve the function of the glands, which in turn helps weight loss. Those individuals on low or no-fat diets often experience symptoms of fatigue and no weight loss which is partly due to the absence of essential fatty acids in the diet. A small amount of essential fatty acids actually helps one to lose weight. This herb also contains lignans, which are a type of fiber that has anti-estrogenic activity. A study done at the National Cancer Institute followed vegetarian women. The study indicated a correlation between a high amount of lignans in the blood and a lower risk for breast cancer. It has also been discovered that people living in countries where flaxseed is consumed in high amounts have a lower risk for developing both breast and colon cancer. It should be noted that stabilized flaxseed has a higher content of lignans than any other food.
Flaxseed can also be helpful in preventing heart disease and lowering cholesterol. One study found that ground flaxseed, when added to the diet, can reduce the incidence of heart disease.
The seeds of the flaxseed plant are used to provide anti-neoplastic, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, mucilant, mild purgative, and vulnerary properties. Primarily, flaxseed is extremely beneficial in dealing with arthritis, cardiovascular health, high cholesterol, constipation, immune disorders, multiple sclerosis, and skin disorders.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating bronchitis, cancer, colds, gallstones, weak heart, jaundice, liver, lung disorders, muscular rheumatism, and tumors. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by flaxseed, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
October 08, 2009 01:20 PM
Plantain is one of the most commonly used plants found throughout the world. The herb is generally used for cooking and is lower in sugar content than general bananas. Plantain was known for its medicinal properties from England to the New World. Its popularity continues to grow to this day. The seeds of this herb are related to psyllium seeds. They are often used for the same purposes.
The outer layer of the seeds of plantain contain mucilage. This is a product that swells up when moist. These seeds are responsible for helping to lower cholesterol. However, plantain is most known for its gastric benefits. This herb is responsible for both neutralizing stomach acids and normalizing stomach secretions. Fresh plantain juice has been used to treat mild stomach ulcers. This herb helps to absorb toxins from the bowels and promotes normal bowel function. Plantain is a bulk laxative and increases in mass when it is mixed with water. Research has determined the value of plantain as a mild laxative. The intestinal transit time was decreased in those subjects who were tested.
Along with intestinal use, plantain can help with bladder infections and kidney problems. It can also help with bed-wetting in children. This herb is great as an expectorant. Plantain ingested in tea-form clears the head and ears of congestion. The tea is also helpful in treating chronic lung problems in children.
Plantain is known for its ability to neutralize poisons in the body. Those patients who had poison ivy were treated topically with crushed plantain leaves. Itching was eliminated and the condition was prevented from spreading in those who were treated. Additionally, the leaves were able to stop hemorrhaging when they were applied to the bleeding surface. The astringent properties that are found in this herb are helpful in stopping bleeding and promoting the healing of wounds.
Plantain works as an anti-inflammatory to help with problems like edema and hemorrhoids. Other conditions that plantain has been included for include nerve problems, fevers, burns, eye pain, and jaundice.
The leaves and seeds of the plantain plant are used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antivenomous, astringent, blood purifier, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, febrifuge, mucilant, parasiticide, gentle purgative, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, potassium, sulfur, trace minerals, and vitamins C, K, and T. Primarily, plantain is extremely beneficial in treating bed-wetting, snake bites, cystitis, diarrhea, intestinal problems, kidney problems, chronic lung disorders, neuralgia, blood poisoning, poison ivy, sores, ulcers, urinary incontinence, and wounds.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with insect bites, bronchitis, burns, high cholesterol, colitis, coughs, cuts, dysentery, edema, epilepsy, sore eyes, fevers, gas, external hemorrhages, hemorrhoids, infections, jaundice, leucorrhea, excessive menstruation, respiratory problems, primary tuberculosis, skin conditions, and stings. 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 prescription medication. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by plantain, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
September 24, 2009 10:50 AM
The pleurisy plant is a perennial herb that has several stems. It can be found growing three feet high, with branches at the top. The leaves are dark green on the upper surface and pale green on the underside. The flowers are richly colored orange and are found blooming from June through September. This plant is a member of the milkweed family. Monarchs, swallowtails, and other butterflies are especially attracted to the pleurisy plant when it is in flower. The plant prefers open, dry fields. It is often growing in abundance in the southern United States. Similar to other milkweeds, pleurisy root produces pods that reveal rows of silky reeds that drift in the wind in autumn. However, unlike most milkweeds, this species does not produce a milky sap.
This plant is native to North America. It was long used by Indians and pioneers. Often, it was spread onto sores after being powdered and mixed into a paste. Indians of several regions brewed a tea from the leaves to induce vomiting in certain rituals, while settlers and Indians alike made a tea from the root to induce perspiration and expectoration in severe respiratory conditions. Pleurisy was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopeia in the 19th century.
Pleurisy root developed its name because of its use for treating lung conditions. The name comes from the Greek root word pleura, which means “lung membranes.” This name implies that this herb is extremely valuable for treating pleurisy. This is because it relieves chest pain and eases breathing difficulties. Pleurisy was used by Native Americans. Then, they introduced it to the European settlers who were suffering from numerous respiratory problems.
This herb works primarily as an expectorant. Pleurisy helps to expel phlegm from bronchial and nasal passages. The herb is responsible for opening lung capillaries. This aids in the release of mucus, which thins discharge. This process helps to reduce lung congestion and improve breathing.
In addition to its uses for pulmonary problems, pleurisy root is also used as a gentle tonic. This tonic helps with stomach pain that is caused by gas, indigestion, and dysentery.
Additionally, pleurisy root is a powerful diaphoretic. It increases body temperature and opens pores to induce perspiration. It has also been used against poisoning and acute rheumatism. Unfortunately, this is not recommended for children.
The root of the pleurisy plant is used to provide alterative, anodyne, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, febrifuge, nervine, mild purgative, and stimulant properties. Primarily, pleurisy is extremely beneficial in treating spasmodic asthma, bronchitis, acute dysentery, emphysema, fevers, indigestion, lung disorders, pleurisy, and pneumonia. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with croup, contagious diseases, flu, gas, kidney problems, measles, and excessive mucus, absent perspiration, poisoning, acute rheumatism, scarlet fever, tuberculosis, and typhus.
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 prescription medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by pleurisy, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
September 21, 2009 11:12 AM
Horehound has been around for thousands of years. The Romans used this herb in a combination as an antidote for poison. The horehound plant is a bushy plant that produces numerous annual branching stems. The plant is a foot or more in height and has whitish flowers. The leaves are much wrinkled, opposite, petiolate, and about an inch long. They are covered with white, felted hairs that give them a wooly appearance. The leaves have a strange, musky smell that can be diminished by drying the plant. Horehound is known to flower between June and September.
An ancient Greek physician by the name of Galen first recommended horehound for use in treating respiratory conditions. Early European physicians also used horehound to treat respiratory ailments. Early settlers in North America brought horehound with them to treat coughs, colds, and tuberculosis. The herb was also used to treat hepatitis, malaria, and intestinal worms. Horehound was also used to promote menstruation and sweating. Most commonly, the herb is used to treat colds and coughs, to soothe the throat and loosen mucus in the chest. Horehound is a well-known lung and throat remedy.
Warm infusions of horehound are able to relieve congestion and hyperemic conditions of the lungs. They do this by promoting an outward flow of blood. In large doses, horehound will work as a mild laxative. Applying the dried herb topically is a great way to treat herpes simplex, eruptions, eczema, and shingles.
The Romans praised horehound because of its medicinal purposes. Its Latin name Marrubium is derived from the word Maria urbs, which is an ancient town of Italy. The plant was called the ‘Seed of Horus” or the ‘Bull’s Blood,’ and the ‘Eye of the Star’ by the Egyptian Priests. Horehound was a main ingredient in Caesar’s antidote for vegetable poisons. It was recommended, in addition to its uses in coughs and colds, for those that had drunk poison or had been bitten by serpents. Horehound was once thought of as an anti-magical herb. Additionally, horehound is a serviceable remedy against cankerworm in trees. Some believed that if it is put into new milk and set in a place where there are a lot of flies, it will quickly kill all of them.
The marrubiin content of horehound is believed to be the responsible component, giving it its ability to stimulate bronchial mucosa secretions. This information was obtained by German research done in 1959. Horehound can be used as a safe and effective expectorant.
The entire horehound plant should be used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, aromatic, bitter, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, mild purgative, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are iron, potassium, sulfur, and vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and F. Primarily, horehound is extremely helpful in dealing with asthma, colds, coughs, croup, lung ailments, excessive mucus, phlegm, and respiratory problems.
Additionally, this herb is beneficial in treating bronchitis, infectious diseases, earaches, external eczema, fevers, glandular problems, jaundice, absent menstruation, and external shingles. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by horehound, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
September 03, 2009 12:33 PM
The hyssop plant is a genus of about ten to twelve species of herbaceous or semi-woody plants in the Lamiaceae family. These plants are native to the east Mediterranean and to central Asia. They are aromatic and have erect branched stems up to 60 centimeters in length and covered with fine hairs at the tips. The leaves are about two to five centimeters long. The plant possesses small blue flowers that grow on the upper part of the branches during the summer.
Hyssop tea was used in ancient Babylon to reduce fever and for sore throats, colds, lung infections, and eye infections. Hyssop was recommended by Hippocrates for pleurisy. The word hyssop is of Greek origin, and means “holy herb.” The Bible even contains references to hyssop, but the actual identity of the plant is in question. More than two thousand years ago, Jewish priests used hyssop to cleanse the temple. Hyssop was also used to reduce perspiration and to treat dropsy and jaundice during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Colonists brought hyssop to the New World, using it to treat colds and chest congestion.
This herb is most often used for lung ailments and fevers. Hyssop is extremely useful in lung disorders. Among these include bronchitis, chest congestion, hay fever, tuberculosis, and asthma. The herb also helps relax and expel phlegm from the lungs and relieve coughing. Hyssop helps promote sweating, which expels toxins through the skin. The leaves of the plant grow a mold which produces penicillin and may contribute to the herb’s healing abilities. Hyssop also contains essential oils that can help build resistance to infectious disease. The leaves of hyssop can be applied directly to a wound to stop infection and promote healing. Hyssop is generally found in a combination with other herbs.
This herb is a member of the mint family. It is believed to aid in digestion and also help relieve gas. History has a long history of use as a body purifier. The herb is able to strengthen the immune system. It also works as a blood pressure regulator. Some of the volatile oils that are found in hyssop may actually be responsible for its use in treating sore throats and also as an expectorant. Hyssop is thought to be effective for mild irritations. The herb has also been studied for the treatment of herpes simplex virus. It has been found to inhibit the growth of the virus. This can be attributed most likely to the tannin content.
The entire hyssop herb is used to provide carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, febrifuge, galactagogue, pectoral, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are Diosmine, flavonoids, marrubin, and tannins. Primarily, hyssop is extremely beneficial in dealing with congestion, coughs, hay fever, absent lactation, lung ailments, excessive mucus, phlegm, wheezing, and worms.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating asthma, high blood pressure, bronchitis, bruises, intestinal catarrh, cuts, ear ailments, edema, epilepsy, fevers, hoarseness, jaundice, kidney problems, lice, sore throat, and spleen ailments. In order to obtain additional information on the many beneficial effects provided by hyssop, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Red Clover Blossom
August 29, 2009 01:51 PM
Red clover is also commonly referred to as wild clover, purple clover, meadow clover, honeysuckle clover, or cow grass. This herb is a member of the pea family. It is commonly found in pastures, lawns, along roadsides, and in meadows. Many consider this herb to be a nuisance and, thus, they try to eliminate it from their lawns. However, this is not easily accomplished due to red clover’s hearty nature.
The use of red clover most likely originated in Europe. There, it was used as an expectorant and a diuretic. Additionally, it was burned as incense to invoke the spirits of the deceased. Some people even wore the leaves of red clover as charms against evil. The red clover was revered by early Christians because they associated its three leaves with the Trinity. The flowers of this plant were dried by the ancient Chinese and then put in pillows to help relax both the body and mind. The Native Americans used red clover as an infusion gargle for sore throats, whooping cough, and asthma. Additionally, they used it on children because it was a milder, safer way to fight debilitating childhood diseases.
This herb has been used for treating cancer, bronchitis, nervous conditions, spasms, and toxins in the body. It is considered by herbalists to be a blood cleanser. Herbalists also recommend this mild herb in formulas when using a cleansing program. Red clover is often mixed with honey and water to make a cough syrup and act as an expectorant. The herb is a mild sedative and is useful for spasmodic conditions, bronchitis, wheezing, and fatigue. Because red clover is mild, it can often be used by children.
Research has determined that red clover contains some antibiotic properties that are beneficial in fighting several kinds of bacteria. Among these types of bacteria is the one that causes tuberculosis. Additionally, red clover has a long history of use in treating cancer. Scientists at the National Cancer Institute have uncovered some anticancer activity in red clover, including daidzein and genistein activity. Even though the findings are preliminary and the use of red clover as a cancer treatment has not yet been validated, research is continuing to show promising results.
Externally, red clover has been used to treat skin problems such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and even vaginal irritation. It can also be applied topically to burns, boils, sores, and ulcers. Red clover has also been documented for use in treating AIDS, syphilis, and leprosy. This herb can be applied externally to help soothe lymphatic swelling and as an eyewash.
In short, the flowers of red clover are used to provide alterative, antibiotic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, nutritive, sedative, stimulant, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in red clover are calcium, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, nickel, selenium, sodium, tin, and vitamins A, C, B-complex, F, and P. Primarily, red clover is extremely beneficial in dealing with acne, AIDS/HIV, athlete’s foot, blood impurities, bronchitis, cancer, eczema, leukemia, liver disorders, nervous disorders, psoriasis, skin disorders, spasms, and the effects of toxins.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating arthritis, asthma, boils, burns, childhood diseases, colds, constipation, coughs, muscle cramps, fatigue, flu, gallbladder, gastric disorders, indigestion, leprosy, lymphatic irritations, rheumatism, sores, syphilis, sore throat, tuberculosis, ulcers, urinary infections, vaginal irritations, whooping cough, and wounds.
For more information on red clover, look for this wonderful herb at your local heath food store. Remember to always look for name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
August 27, 2009 02:40 PM
Garlic is very popular because of its health benefits. A perennial plant and member of the lily family, the bulb of the garlic plant is used for many medicinal purposes. Garlic was used by the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Egyptians. The Chinese used this herb at least three thousand years ago to treat various ailments. The Egyptians ate garlic while building pyramids to increase their strength and endurance. Hippocrates suggested that this herb be used for treatment of uterine cancer. Native Americans used garlic to fight abdominal cancer, while the Europeans used this herb during the plague years to provide immunity. The main historical uses of garlic were to treat colds, coughs, toothaches, earaches, diarrhea, infection, arteriosclerosis, headaches, dandruff, tumors, worms, and hypertension.
Garlic is nature’s antibiotic. This herb is very effective in fighting bacteria which may be resistant to other antibiotics. The herb stimulates the lymphatic system in order to throw off waste material. Garlic is different from other antibiotics in the fact that it has the ability to stimulate cell growth and activity. This herb rejuvenates all body functions. Garlic opens up blood vessels, reducing hypertension. It is known as a health-building and disease-preventing herb.
Several studies have linked garlic to a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. This herb has been found to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, while lowering blood pressure, increasing immunity, and reducing the blood’s clotting ability. Research suggests that eating the equivalent of one-half to one clove of garlic daily can decrease total serum cholesterol levels by about nine percent. Anticoagulant capabilities have also been found in garlic by German researchers. Garlic is able to benefit those individuals who are suffering from peripheral arterial occlusive disease, which is better known as blood clots in the legs.
Garlic also contains antitumor properties, with studies showing it having the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer-causing nitrosamine. The National Cancer Institute even recommends adding more garlic, onions, and other similar vegetables to the diet. This would lower the risk of developing stomach cancer. Results from one study showed that garlic may be toxic to some cancer cells. It may encourage the immune system to spot the invaders and destroy them, allowing a natural immune process to destroy tumor cells.
Garlic is believed to stimulate the lymphatic system by ridding itself of toxins. The Russians consider garlic to be a natural antibiotic, which is why they consume it regularly. This herb is often used to prevent disease and heal the body. It is nourishing for the entire body, especially the heart, circulation, stomach, spleen, and lungs. Additionally, it has been used to stimulate circulation and to help the immune system function more effectively. Some believe that this herb may help prevent some forms of cancer, heart disease, strokes, and infections.
In summary, the bulb of the garlic plant is used to provide adaptogen, alterative, antibiotic, anticoagulant, antifungal, antineoplastic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, diaphoretic, digestive, expectorant, febrifuge, rubefacient, stimulant, and vulnerary properties. Primarily, garlic is extremely beneficial in dealing with asthma, blood impurities, high blood pressure, bronchitis, cancer, candidiasis, poor circulation, colds, colitis, coughs, infectious diseases, ear infections, fevers, flu, fungus, gastric disorders, heart disease, indigestion, infection, liver disorders, lung disorders, parasites, blood poisoning, prostate problems, respiratory problems, and staph/strep infections.
This herb is also good for treating acne, allergies, arthritis, childhood diseases, diabetes, diarrhea, edema, emphysema, gallbladder problems, hypoglycemia, insomnia, kidney ailments, pneumonia, rheumatism, sinus problems, ulcers, warts, and worms.
Garlic is a wonderful all purpose herb that can be found at your local or internet health food store. Always look for name brands when buying garlic to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
August 25, 2009 12:12 PM
The caraway plant, also known as Persian cumin, is a biennial plant that is found in the Apiaceae family. This plant is native to Europe and western Asia. The plant is very similar in appearance to a carrot plant, with finely divided, feathery leaves that have thread-like divisions that grow on twenty to thirty centimeter stems. The main flower stem is forty to sixty centimeters tall and has small white or pink flowers that are in the shape of umbels. The caraway fruits, which are erroneously called seeds, are crescent-shaped and about two millimeters in length and have five pale ridges. The caraway plant prefers warm, sunny locations and a well-drained soil as well.
The fruits of the caraway plant are usually used whole. They have a pungent, anise-like flavor and an aroma that is derived from the essential oils carvone and limonene. These oils are used as a spice in breads, especially rye bread, which is denser due to the yeast killing properties of the essential oil, limonene. Caraway is also used in liquors, casseroles, and other foods, especially in Central European and Northern European cuisine, like sauerkraut. This herb is also used to add flavor to cheeses. A substance made from the seeds is used as a remedy for colic, loss of appetite, digestive disorders, and to dispel worms.
Caraway herbs have been used as a flavoring in foods such as rye bread for thousands of years. It has also been used medicinally by the Romans, Germans, and the English. Generally, it was used to treat flatulence and indigestion. It was also used to relieve colic in babies.
Caraway is very similar to anise. Both of them are recommended for the same purposes. This herb is a powerful antiseptic. It is especially effective in relieving toothaches. When it is applied locally to the skin, it also acts as an anesthetic. This herb can be mixed with other herbs such as mandrake and culver’s root in order to help modify its purgative action. Caraway is also useful in treating stomach problems. Additionally, it helps prevent fermentation in the stomach. It can help to settle stomach after people have taken medication that causes nausea. Caraway also helps to relieve intestinal cramps and colic in babies.
This herb is known to encourage menstruation and the flow of milk in nursing mothers. Caraway also helps to ease uterine cramps.
The root and seed of the caraway plant are used to provide anesthetic, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, galactagogue, mild purgative, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, lead, magnesium, potassium, silicon, vitamin B-complex, and zinc. It is important to consult your local health care professional before taking this, or any supplement in order to obtain the best results. Priamrily, caraway is extremely beneficial in treating loss of appetite, colic, uterine and intestinal cramps, gastric disorders, indigestion, and spasms.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with colds, absent lactation, absent menstruation, upset stomach, and toothaches. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by caraway, feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
August 20, 2009 05:32 PM
Anise is a flowering plant that is part of the Apiaxeae family. It is native to the eastern Mediteranean region and southwest Asia. It is known for its flavor, which resembles licorice, fennel, and tarragon. The anise plant is an herbaceous annual plant that grows to three feet tall. The leaves are at the base of the plant and are very simple. They are about two to five centimeters long and shallowly lobed. The leave higher on the stems are feathery pinnate and divided into numerous leaves. The flowers of the anise plant are white and about three millimeters in diameter. They are produced in dense umbels. The anise fruit is an oblong dry schizocarp that is about three to five millimeters in length. The seedpods are referred to as aniseed. Anise is usually used as food by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, such as butterflies and moths. Among these are the lime-speck pug and the wormwood pug.
The best growth for the anise plant can be found in light, fertile, well drained soil. The plants should be started from seeds as soon as the ground warms up in the spring. Because the anise plants have a taproot, they do not transplant well after they are established. For this reason, the plants should be started where they are to grow, or transplanted while the seedlings are still small.
Anise is sweet and very aromatic. It can be distinguished by its licorice-like flavor. It is widely used in a variety of regional and ethnic confectioneries, including British Aniseed balls, Austrailain Humbugs, New Zealand Aniseed wheels, Italian pizzelle, German pfeffernusse and springerle, Netherland Muisjes, Norwegian knots, and Peruvian Picarones. Anise is a key ingredient in Mexican “atole de anis” which is similar to hot chocolate. It is taken as a digestive after meals in India.
Anise was used in ancient Rome as flavoring. However, it contains nutrients like calcium and iron. This herb was added to foods to prevent indigestion when eating large quantities of food. Additionally, it was used to help with bad breath. Hippocrates recommended this herb to relieve both coughs and congestion.
Anise is used to help remove excess mucus from the alimentary canal and the mucus that is associated with coughs. It is used to stimulate the appetite, relieve digestive problems, and treat colic pain. Some herbalists recommend that anise be used for stimulating the glands and vital organs. Among these organs are the heart, liver, lungs, and brain. Additionally, it helps to normalize estrogen levels.
The oil and seeds of the anise plant are used to provide anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, galactagogue, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are B vitamins, calcium, choline, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Primarily, anise provides extraordinary benefits in treating colds, colic, coughs, gas, indigestion, absent lactation, excessive mucus, and pneumonia.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with loss of appetite, breath odor, emphysema, epilepsy, nausea, and nervous disorders. It is important to speak with a health care professional before considering supplementing with any nutrient in order to obtain the best results while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by anise, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
Freez Dried Nettle Leaf
August 15, 2009 02:07 PM
The nettle plant is native to Europe and can be found throughout the United States and into Canada. This herb was cultivated in Scotland for use in making a durable cloth. The nettle plant is so rich in chlorophyll that it was used by the English to make a green dye for camouflage paint. This camouflage paint was used during World War II.
Nettle is one of the most useful of all plants. It contains alkaloids that neutralize uric acid. By decreasing uric acid, one can help to reduce symptoms of conditions like gout and rheumatism. Additionally, the astringent activity of nettle helps to decrease bleeding. The nettle plant is rich in iron, which is extremely vital to good circulation. It helps to reduce high blood pressure. Tannins that are found in the nettle root have been used as part of an astringent enema. This is used to shrink hemorrhoids and reduce excess menstrual flow. This herb became popular because of its use in irritating the skin of an inflamed area and increasing the flow of blood to reduce inflammation. The stinging action of nettle can be attributed to the histamine reaction that is caused by the formic acid in the hairs. Nettle has a reputation for use in cases of asthma and other respiratory conditions.
The use of nettle root extract was recommended by German physicians for treating urinary retention that is caused by benign prostatic hypertrophy. This recommendation was based upon evidence from clinical studies. Additional studies have determined that nettle root can increase the excretion of chlorides and urea from the urine. The diuretic activity produced by nettle root ahs been confirmed in animal studies. The diuretic properties can be attributed to the high potassium content. However, this has not been verified. A study that was conducted at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon found evidence of nettle for treating hay fever. In this study, freeze-dried capsules of 300 mg were used. The results showed significant relief from hay fever symptoms in the participants.
The leaves and roots of the nettle plant are used to provide alterative, antiseptic, astringent, blood purifier, diuretic, expectorant, galactagogue, hemostatic, and nutritive properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, chlorophyll, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, potassium, protein, silicon, sodium, sulfur, vitamins A, C, D, E, F, and P, and zinc. Primarily, nettle is extremely beneficial in dealing with external and internal bleeding, blood impurities, bronchitis, high blood pressure, rheumatism, and diarrhea. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating anemia, asthma, poor circulation, eczema, hay fever, hemorrhoids, hives, inflamed kidneys, excess menstruation, mouth sores, nosebleeds, skin disorders, and vaginitis.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on prescription medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by nettle, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Nettle 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.
August 15, 2009 01:37 PM
Myrrh is the reddish-brown resinous material that comes from the dried sap of a number of trees. Primarily, it is obtained from the Commiphora myrrha, which is native to Yemen, Somalia, and the eastern parts of Ethiopia. Additionally, it comes from Commiphora gileadensis, which is native to Jordan. The sap of a number of other Commiphora and Balsamodendron species is also referred to as myrrh. Its name is most likely of Semitic origin. The quality of myrrh can be identified through the darkness and clarity of the resin. However, the best method of judging the resin’s quality is by feeling the stickiness of the freshly broken fragments. The scent of raw myrrh resin and its essential oil is sharp, pleasant, somewhat bitter, and be described as being stereotypically resinous. It produces a heavy, bitter smoke when it is burned.
In ancient times, myrrh was valued as a fragrance and healing agent. Ancient Egyptain women used the burned myrrh to get rid of fleas in their homes. The Chinese used myrrh to heal wounds. They also used this herb for menstrual problems, bleeding, hemorrhoids, and ulcerated sores. Myrrh is often mentioned throughout the Bible. In the Old Testament it is referred to in the preparation of the holy ointment. In Esther, myrrh is used as a purification herb for women and it is a perfume in Psalm 45:8.
This herb is a powerful antiseptic. Similar to Echinacea, it is a valuable cleansing and healing agent. Myrrh works on the stomach and colon to soothe and heal inflammation. This herb also provides vitality and strength to the digestive system. Myrrh stimulates the flow of blood to the capillaries. Additionally, it helps speed the healing of the mucus membranes. Among these include the gums, throat, stomach, and intestines. Myrrh can be applied to sore and it also works as an antiseptic. It can help promote menstruation, aid digestion, heal sinus problems, soothe inflammation, and speed the healing process.
Research has verified the use of myrrh as an antiseptic. Sometimes, it is added to mouthwash and toothpaste. Myrrh has also been found to have mild astringent and antimicrobial properties. This herb contains silyamrin, which is able to protect the liver from chemical toxins and help increase liver function.
The resin of the myrrh plant is used to provide alterative, antibiotic, antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, emmenagogue, expectorant, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are chlorine, potassium, silicon, sodium, and zinc. Primarily, myrrh is extremely beneficial in treating asthma, bronchitis, colds, colitis, colon problems, cuts, emphysema, gangrene, gastric disorders, sore gums, hemorrhoids, herpes, hypoglycemia, indigestion, infection, lung disease, excessive mucus, pyorrhea, sinus problems, mouth sores, skin sores, tonsillitis, and toothaches.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with abrasions, arthritis, boils, breath odor, canker sores, coughs, diarrhea, diphtheria, eczema, gas, menstrual problems, nervous conditions, phlegm, rheumatism, scarlet fever, thyroid problems, tuberculosis, ulcers, wounds, and yeast infections. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by myrrh, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
August 14, 2009 11:49 AM
Mustard is also referred to as mustard greens, Indian mustard, and leaf mustard. This herb is a species of the mustard plant. One of its sub-varieties includes Southern Giant Curled Mustard, which is very similar in appearance to headless cabbage such as Kale. However, it has a distinct horseradish-mustard flavor. It is also known as green mustard cabbage.
The leaves, seeds, and stems of the mustard plant are edible. The plant can be found in some forms of African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Soul food cuisine. The leaves are used in African cooking, and the leaves, seeds, and stems are used in Indian cuisine. The plant has a particularly thick stem, it is used to make the Indian pickle and the Chinese pickle. The mustard made from the seeds of this plant is called brown mustard. The leaves are also used in many Indian dishes.
This species of mustard plant is more pungent than closely-related greens like kale, cabbage, and collard greens. It is often mixed with these milder greens in a dish of mixed greens, which may even include wild greens like dandelion. Mustard greens are high in both vitamin A and K. Mustard greens are often used in Chinese and Japanese cuisines. Asian mustard greens are typically stir-fried or pickled.
The ancient Greeks used mustard for its medicinal value. Additionally, it was used for its flavoring. The Romans also used this herb. They added crushed seeds to wine for a spicy flavor. John Parkinson and Nicholas Culpeper, English herbalists, both recommended mustard for ailments like epileptic seizures and toothaches. The herb was used by Native Americans and early colonists for rheumatism and muscle pain.
Mustard is a strong stimulating herb. It is responsible for promoting the appetite and stimulating the gastric mucous membranes to aid in digestion. An infusion of the mustard seed stimulates urine and helps to promote menstruation. Additionally, it is a valuable emetic for narcotic poisoning, as it empties the stomach without depression of the system. Mustard is often used externally as a plaster or poultice for sore, stiff muscles. A plaster of mustard can also be used to treat congestion, warm the skin, and clear the lungs.
The seeds of the mustard plant are used to provide alterative, analgesic, blood purifier, caminative, digestive, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, irritant, rubefacient, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in mustard are calcium, cobalt, iodine, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, and C. Primarily, mustard is extremely beneficial in dealing with indigestion, liver disorders, and lung disorders.
Additionally, the herb is very helpful in treating appetite loss, arthritis, blood impurities, breath odor, bronchitis, emphysema, sore feet, fevers, gas, hiccups, kidney problems, pleurisy, pneumonia, snakebites, sprains, and sore throat. Before supplementing with this, or any other nutrient, it is important to consult your health care provider. In doing so, you will ensure yourself optimum health benefits. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by mustard, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
August 13, 2009 03:49 PM
The mullein is a genus of about 250 species of flowering plants. They are all part of the figwort family. Mullein plants can be found growing natively in Europe and Asia. The highest species diversity can be found in the Mediterranean region. The mullein plant is a biennial or perennial plant that grows from 0.5 to three meters tall. They have leaves that are spirally arranged and often densely hairy. The flowers have five symmetrical petals and can be yellow, orange, red-brown, purple, blue, or white depending upon the species.
Mullein was suggested to be used in treating eye problems, tonsillitis, coughs, stings, and toothaches by Dioscorides. This herb was first introduced to America by the early European settlers. Native Americans used mullein to treat lung problems, with some tribes even smoking the leaves to treat asthma. Mullein was used during the Civil War for respiratory problems. It was made into syrup for coughs. Dr. Edward Shook referred to mullein as a great herb for treating tuberculosis and other lung problems.
Mullein is traditionally well known for its use in treating respiratory disorders such as asthma, bronchitis, coughs, tuberculosis, and congestion. The herb can help to loosen mucus from the respiratory and lymphatic systems. Mullein both nourishes and strengthens the lungs. This herb is also used to relieve pain, soothe hemorrhoids, treat burns and bruises, and to induce sleep. Mullein has a calming effect on tissues that are inflamed and irritated nerves. Mullein helps to control coughs, cramps, and spasms. In tea form, this herb is good for dropsy, sinusitis, swollen joints, and can be applied to mumps, tumors, a sore throat, and tonsillitis. Though this herb has been used traditionally for centuries, there is still very little information known of its healing components.
Recent research has determined that the saponins, mucilage, and tannins in this herb contribute to the soothing topical effect that it possesses. These properties are ideal for treating lung ailments, coughs, colds, asthma, whooping cough, and emphysema. Also, this herb is suggested for pain, as a sleep aid, a laxative, and to get rid of warts. One study concluded that mullein inhibits the growth of bacteria, which is a known cause of tuberculosis in vitro.
The leaves of the mullein plant are used to provide analgesic, anticatarrhal, antispasmodic, antitussive, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, mucilant, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iron, potassium, sulfur, and vitamins A, B-complex, and D. Primarily, this herb is extremely beneficial in treating allergies, hay fever, asthma, bleeding of the bowels, bleeding of the lungs, bronchitis, colds, sinus congestion, coughs, croup, diarrhea, dysentery, earaches, emphysema, glandular problems, hemorrhages, insomnia, swollen joints, lung disorders, lymphatic congestion, irritated membranes, nervousness, pain, pleurisy, pulmonary disease, and tuberculosis. Additionally, mullein is very helpful in dealing with bruises, constipation, diaper rash, edema, eye problems, intestinal problems, menstrual symptoms, mumps, skin disorders, sore throat, toothaches, tumors, venereal diseases, ulcers, warts, and wounds.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by mullein, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Marshmallow Root Herb
August 12, 2009 11:30 AM
The marshmallow plant can be found in southern and western Europe, western Asia, and the northeastern region of North America. The plant originally grew in salty soils, but now it thrives in moist, uncultivated ground. The fleshy, upright stems of the marshmallow plant reach a height of three to four feet. The pale yellow roots are tapered, long, and thick. They have a tough, yet flexible, exterior. The short-stemmed leaves are round, with irregularly toothed margins and three to five lobes. The leaves and stem are covered with a soft and velvety down. The flowers have five reddish-white petals. The whole plant, especially the root, is filled with a mild mucilage.
Since ancient Egyptian times, marshmallow has been used as food and medicine. One of the herbs found in the grave of a Neanderthal man in a cave in Iraq was marshmallow. This herb was used anciently for irritated throats and intestinal tracts. The Europeans used marshmallow for bronchitis, colds, and coughs. This was because of its soothing and healing properties. Native Americans also used marshmallow to treat snakebites and wounds.
This herb is responsible for helping to expel phlegm and relax the bronchial tubes while soothing and healing. The herb aids in healing lung ailments such as asthma and inflammation. The soothing and healing properties that are found in the mucilage in marshmallow make it a valuable herb for many lung ailments. Also, it is useful on sore throats, infections, diarrhea, dysentery, skin irritations, and for coughs. This herb is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant. This fact makes it good for both the joints and the gastrointestinal tract. Marshmallow is used as a poultice with cayenne, which allows it to help with gangrene, blood poisoning, burns, bruises, and wounds.
Studies have found that the mucilaginous properties of marshmallow yield a soothing effect on the mucous membranes. A study that was done on animals showed some indication of a reduction in blood sugar levels and hypoglycemia activity. This may be beneficial for diabetics.
The root of the marshmallow plant are used to provide alterative, anticatarrhal, anti-inflamamtory, antilithic, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, galactagogue, lithotriptic, mucilant, nutritive, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iodine, iron, pantothenic acid, sodium, and vitamins A and B-complex. Primarily, marshmallow is extremely beneficial in treating asthma, bed-wetting, bleeding, boils, bronchitis, emphysema, kidney problems, lung congestion, nervous disorders, pneumonia, urinary incontinence, urinary problems, uterine problems, whooping cough, and wounds. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with allergies, breast problems, burns, constipation, coughs, diabetes, diarrhea, dysentery, sore eyes, gangrene, gastric disorders, glandular problems, inflammation, intestinal problems, kidney stones, absent lactation, liver disorders, irritated membranes, excessive mucus, and skin disorders.
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 marshmallow, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
August 03, 2009 12:53 PM
Saw palmetto was used by Native American tribes in the South for sore eyes. The dried root was used to lower high blood pressure, and the crushed root was applied to sore breasts in women. An early American botanist, John Lloyd, noticed that animals eating the berries were fat and healthy. From 1910 to 1916, saw palmetto was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia. It was also listed in the National Formulary from 1926 to 1950 as a diuretic, sedative, expectorant, and an analgesic recommended for neuralgia. This herb has also been known in folk history as an aphrodisiac and sexual stimulant. Saw palmetto was used to treat urination problems, inflammation of the bladder, and prostate enlargement.
This herb has been used to treat conditions of the genitourinary system. Saw palmetto is also used as an antiseptic, for excessive mucus in the head and sinuses, and for both male and female reproductive organs. This herb is known for its ability to help with male health. However, it also helps with thyroid function, regulating development of the reproductive system, stimulating glandular function, removing excess mucus accumulation in the sinuses, and for colds, sore throat, whooping cough, bronchitis, and asthma. The berries of the saw palmetto plant are useful for improving digestion, increasing weight, and building strength. This herb has even been reported for its ability to increase the size of breast in women of child-bearing age. Often, this herb is found in herbal combinations for diabetes, thyroid function, digestion, nutrition, female reproductive problems, and prostate difficulties.
Studies have determined that saw palmetto has diuretic properties. It is also very effective in treating an enlarged prostate and other prostate disorders. Great deals of men suffer from prostate problems which have an effect on sexual function and obstruct the bladder. Research published in the Animals of Urology studied a group of men with enlarged prostate glands. The group that was taking saw palmetto increased their urine flow rate by fifty percent. The herb also reduced the number of times they got up at night to urinate by forty-five percent. On the other hand, the group taking the placebo had a response increase of nine percent. Studies on laboratory animals have found that the hexane extract found in saw palmetto contain anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory activity. One study found that saw palmetto produces better results over a three-month period to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia than the common drug prescribed for this condition.
The fruit of the saw palmetto plant is used to provide alterative, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, and sedative properties. The primary nutrient found in this herb is vitamin A. Primarily, saw palmetto is extremely beneficial in treating gastric disorders, glandular problems, hormone imbalance, impotence, indigestion, prostate problems, and reproductive organs. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with alcoholism, asthma, Bright’s disease, bronchitis, colds, diabetes, frigidity, infertility, kidney disorders, lung congestion, excessive mucus, nerve pain, neuralgia, obesity, sore throat, and urinary problems. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by saw palmetto, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Saw palmetto is available in capsule, tablet, and softgel forms at your local or internet health food store. always purchase name brands like Solaray and Source Naturals to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
July 28, 2009 11:32 AM
Saffron was used by the Greeks and Chinese as a royal dye because of its yellow color. Wealthy Romans used this herb to perfume their homes. In Europe, it was used medicinally between the fourth and eighteenth centuries. It was also being used in the kitchen to cook with.
In the book The Complete Herbal, Nicholas Culpeper recommended using saffron for the heart, brain, and lungs. The herb was also suggested for acute diseases like smallpox and measles. It was also recommended for hysteric depression. Dr. David Culbreth characterized the herb as a pain reliever and was said to promote perspiration and gas explosion and ease painful menstruation in the book Materia Medica and Pharmacology. Saffron was also said to relieve eye infections and encourage sore eruptions.
This herb is soothing to both the stomach and colon. It is responsible for acting as a blood purifier. Saffron helps stimulate circulation and regulate the spleen, heart, and liver. It is also helpful in reducing inflammation; treating arthritis, gout, bursitis, kidney stones, hypoglycemia, and chest congestion; improving circulation; and promoting energy. Small doses should be taken internally for coughs, gas, and colic and to stimulate appetite. The herb can also be applied externally in a salve for gout.
It has been shown that saffron may even help to reduce cholesterol levels. It neutralizes uric acid buildup in the system. Recent research determined that rabbits, which were fed crocetin, which is a component of saffron, had a significant reduction in cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Saffron is eaten daily in Valencia and Spain, resulting in little heart disease occurring among inhabitants. The evidence has shown that saffron increases oxygen diffusion from the red blood cells. Not only does it discourage uric acid buildup, it also inhibits the accumulation of lactic acid. Therefore, it may help prevent heart disease.
Other research done on saffron suggests that the crocetin ingredient may have the potential to act as an anticancer agent in studies done both in vitro and in animals. On study that was done using saffron extract in vitro found that tumor colony cell growth was limited by inhibiting the cellular nucleic acid synthesis. Additional research on cancer has found that saffron that was given orally helped in increasing the life span of mice with variety of laboratory-induced cancers.
The flowers of the saffron plant are used to provide alterative, anodyne, antineoplastic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, blood purifier, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, sedative, and stimulant. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, lactic acid, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and vitamins A and B12. Primarily, saffron is extremely beneficial in treating fevers, gout, indigestion, liver disorders, measles, excessive perspiration, phlegm, psoriasis, rheumatism, scarlet fever, and stomach acid. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with appetite loss, arthritis, blood impurities, bronchitis, cancer, colds, conjunctivitis, coughs, fatigue, gas, headaches, heartburn, uterine hemorrhages, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, insomnia, jaundice, kidney stones, menstrual symptoms, skin disease, tuberculosis, ulcers, water retention, and whooping cough.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by saffron, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions. Saffron is available at your local or internet health food store. Note: Saffron should not be consumed internally.
Slippery Elm Bark
July 23, 2009 10:35 AM
The slippery elm plant can be found natively growing in eastern North America. It is similar to the American elm in general appearance, but it is more closely related to European Wych Elm. Other common names for this plant are Red Elm, Gray Elm, Soft Elm, Moose Elm, and Indian Elm.
The Greek physician Dioscorides used slippery elm in ancient times to help speed up the healing of broken bones. A seventeenth-century herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, also recommended this herb for healing broken bones, balding, and burns. This herb was known as a survival food by Native Americans and early colonists. These people considered this herb to be extremely valuable. They used the inner bark of slippery elm as a salve and applied externally for burns and wounds. Slippery elm bark was also used for colds, coughs, sore throats, wounds, as a poultice to bring boils to a head, and also for bowel complaints. This herb was considered to be one of the most valuable remedies in herbal practice by Dr. Edward Shook.
This herb contains about the same amount of nutrition as oatmeal. It is responsible for providing a wholesome and sustaining food for those people for young children and invalids. Slippery elm is mainly used to treat gastrointestinal problems. Like stomach and intestinal ulcers, soothing the stomach and colon, indigestion, acidity, and to lubricate the bowels. The mucilage content that is found in this herb is believed to help in healing ulcers and ulcerated colons. The herb has also been used for asthma, bronchitis, colitis, colon problems, and all lung problems. Slippery elm is also a mild purgative, which helps to assist with elimination.
Research done on slippery elm has found that it is an excellent demulcent. It is also beneficial for diarrhea, coughs, stomach problems, colitis, and lung problems. The bark of slippery elm contains mucilage which is responsible for swelling in water. This swelled mixture can then be applied to wounds or taken internally to soothe and heal. Some lozenges for throat irritations have powdered bark included in them to help soothe the throat and promote healing.
In short, the inner bark of the slippery elm plant is used to provide antacid, antineoplastic, astringent, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, mucilant, and nutritive properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, copper, iodine, iron, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, vitamins A, F, K, and P, and zinc. Primarily, slippery elm is extremely beneficial in treating abscesses, asthma, bronchitis, burns, colitis, colon problems, constipation, coughs, diaper rash, diarrhea, gastric disorders, and lung problems.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with appendicitis, bladder problems, boils, cancer, croup, diphtheria, dysentery, eczema, eye ailments, fevers, flu, hemorrhoids, herpes, inflammation, kidney problems, pain, phlegm, pneumonia, sores, syphilis, sore throat, tuberculosis, tumors, ulcers, uterine problems, vaginal irritations, warts, worms, wounds, and whooping cough. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by slippery elm, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Honey And Your Health
July 02, 2009 10:59 AM
Honey is the perfect food, as it contains large amounts of vitamins, minerals, and is particularly rich in vitamins B and C. Additionally, it contains almost all vitamins of the B-complex, which are essential in the system for the digestion and metabolism of sugar. Honey is rich in minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and silicon, just to name a few. This is especially true for the darker varieties of honey like buckwheat. Although the amount of vitamin C varies considerably depending on the source of nectar, some kinds of honey may contain as much as 300 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams of honey.
Honey has been used for centuries to supply energy and rejuvenate the body. Athletes all over the world use honey in order to increase their reserve of immediate energy. Due to its balanced sugar formula, honey requires no intermediate steps for proper digestion, making a rapidly supplied source of energy. A spoonful of honey is said to pass into the bloodstream and able to produce quick energy in ten minutes. If honey is taken with a calcium supplement, the glucose provided by honey can increase the body’s uptake of calcium by almost twenty-five percent. Even though many people see honey as just another form of sugar, it has a lot of advantages over refined, white, table sugar.
One universal application of honey is its ability to promote the rapid healing of wounds. Honey is perfect for any kind of injury that involved breaking the skin, as it protects against infection and boosts the healing process. A good amount of clinical studies have found the wound healing abilities of unprocessed, with tests confirming that honey can exert a protective effect against all kinds of abscesses including gastric lesions and ulcers.
Increasing amounts of research is confirming what ancients already knew about honey: that it has an impressive, natural antibiotic and antiseptic property. Research in Nigeria found that honey does exert an antibacterial effect on certain pathogens that cause cases of diarrhea. The ability of honey to stop proliferation of infection has made it a traditional treatment for wounds. Today, honey’s antibiotic action is in the process of re-discovery in the scientific community.
Recent trials have found that honey exhibits a significant inhibitory effect on the helicobacter pylori bacteria that is thought to be one of the single most common causes of gastric ulcers. These tests determined that honey was better at stopping the action of H. pylori than several other antimicrobial agents.
Another important use of honey is to treat a whole variety of respiratory ailments. Because honey has bactericidal, anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant properties, the body is insured an immuno-biological defense and as the capacity to regenerate cells that are attacked. Results of one study found that honey facilitated improvement in cases of chronic bronchitis, asthmatic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, chronic rhinitis, allergic rhinitis, and sinusitis. The report on this study concluded that treatment of non-specific disease of the air passages with honey is efficient when the right honey type and method are used. It should be noted that honey should never be used to treat any condition if there is a pre-existing sensitivity to honey. Anyone who is allergy prone should determine whether they are allergic to honey before using it therapeutically.
Honey is available in a wide range of forms including whole raw, pasteurized, and capsule forms for internal use. Look for your local or internet health food store for great name brands like Premier one and Montana big sky to ensure that you receive a quality and pure product to consume on a regular basis.
*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.
June 16, 2009 09:46 AM
Chickweeds are an annual herb that can be found growing in temperate zones, artic zones, and throughout. The most likely origin of this plant, although not known for sure, is Eurasia. Chickweeds have established themselves all over the world, as they may have been carried by clothes and shoes of explorers. Chickweed plants are as numerous in species as they are in region. Most species are succulent with white flowers. All of the species have practically the same edible and medicinal values.
This plant exhibits an interesting trait, as it folds its leaves over its buds and the new shoots every night. This event is known as the sleeping of the plant. Cultivating this plant is not exactly necessary, as it is abundant and easy to find. The plant can be gathered fresh and edible between May and July, as soon as the flowers appear. Not only can the plant be used fresh, it can also be dried for later herb use.
Chickweed can be found growing abundantly in areas of Europe and North America. The Ojibwe and Iroquois Native American tribes used chickweed as eyewash. They also used it in poultice form to heal wounds. It has recently been studied for its abilities in helping to prevent cancer.
Chickweed is extremely valuable in treating blood toxicity, fevers, and inflammation. Its mucilage elements are known to help with stomach ulcers and also inflamed bowels. Chickweed is great for helping to dissolve plaque in blood vessels as well as other fatty substances that can be found in the body. Chickweed acts as an antibiotic in the blood, as it may be recommended as an anticancer treatment. Some people have used chickweed to treat tumors.
Chickweed can be used as a poultice for boils, burns, skin diseases, sore eyes, and swollen testes. Chickweed is also recommended to aid in weight loss and to break down cellulite. This herb is mild and has been sued as a food as well as a medicine.
Chickweeds are very nutritious and high in vitamins and minerals. They can be added to salads or cooked as a pot herb. The plant tastes somewhat like spinach. The whole plant can be taken internally as a postpartum depurative, emmenagogue, glactogogue, and cirucaltory tonic. A decoction can also be used externally to treat rheumatic pains, wounds, and ulcers. Chickweed can be applied as a medicinal poultice to relieve any kind of roseola. It is effective wherever there are fragile superficial veins or itching skin conditions.
The entire chickweed herb is used to provide alterative, anorectic, antineoplastic, blood purifier, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, febrifuge, mucilant, nutritive, pectoral, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, sodium, vitamins C, D, and B-complex, and zinc. Primarily, this herb is extremely beneficial in dealing with excessive appetite, bleeding, blood impurities, convulsions, obesity, skin rashes, and ulcers. Additionally, chickweed can be extremely helpful in treating arteriosclerosis, asthma, bronchitis, bruises, bursitis, colitis, constipation, cramps, eye infections, gas, hemorrhoids, lung congestion, excessive mucus, pleurisy, blood poising, swollen testicles, inflamed tissue, water retention, and wounds. For more information the many beneficial affects of chickweed, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Chickweed is available in capsule and tablet forms at your local or internet health food store. Look for name brands like Solaray, Natures Answer, and Natures Herbs to ensure quality and purity of the products you purchase.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Chickweed 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.
June 08, 2009 10:39 AM
For thousands of years, blue vervain has been used as an herbal remedy. The Chinese used this herb to treat malaria, dysentery, and congestion. It was also used during the middle Ages to help cure plagues. Blue vervain was also used by Native Americans as a natural tranquilizer for treating nervous conditions, along with female problems. In Germany, modern research has been found to support the use of blue vervain for the nervous system and for pain relief.
Because of its bitter taste, vervain is used by herbalists to improve digestion. Additionally, this herb was used to treat people with depression and spastic pains in the gastrointestinal tract. Blue vervain was also used as a mild diaphoretic and for all manner of female reproductive system problems that are associated with melancholy or anxiety. Physicians in the United States during the early 20th century believed that vervain may be helpful for mild digestive problems. This herb also had a reputation of being a traditional remedy for stimulating the production of breast milk. Although the active constituents of vervain have not been thoroughly demonstrated, it is believed that glycosides such as verbenalin and acucubin, as well as a volatile oil may be the key contributors to its activity.
Additional research shows that blue vervain has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to relieve respiratory inflammation. These properties are also calming for coughs. This herb works to fight mucus, especially for coughs that are associated with colds. Dr. Edward E. Shook, a herbalist, recommended using blue vervain to treat all diseases of the spleen and liver. This herb is also used to restore circulation and alleviate menstrual symptoms, epilepsy, indigestion, and dyspepsia.
A vervain tea made from leaves and flowers can be prepared by adding one to two teaspoons to a pint of hot water. This is then left to steep, covered for ten to fifteen minutes. Doctors typically recommend that a person takes three cups each day. Because the taste of the tea is somewhat disagreeable, the majority of people prefer to take this extract in a tincture or pill form. A tincture of one to two teaspoons, three times daily, is also suggested to consume this extract.
No adverse effects of vervain have been reported to this date. However, vervain should be avoided during pregnancy. Even though it was used traditionally during the last two weeks of pregnancy to facilitate labor, if it is used during pregnancy, one should only do so under the guidance of a healthcare professional that is experienced in herbal medicine.
The entire herb is used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiperiodic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, expectorant, nervine, and purgative properties. The primary nutrients found in blue vervain include calcium, manganese, and vitamin C and E. Primarily, blue vervain is extremely beneficial in dealing with asthma, bronchitis, poor circulation, colds, colon problems, congestion, convulstions, coughs, fevers, flu, gastric disorders, indigestion, insomnia, liver disorders, lung congestion, nervous conditions, pneumonia, seizures, upset stomach, sore throat, uterine problems, and worms.
Additionally, this herb is extremely helpful in treating catarrh, constipation, diarrhea, dysentery, earaches, epilepsy, gallstones, headaches, kidney problems, malaria, menstrual symptoms, excessive mucus, pain, skin diseases, sores, and spleen ailments. For additional information on the many beneficial effects of blue vervain, please contact a representative from your local health food store. Always purchase name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you buy.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Blue vervain 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.
June 07, 2009 04:16 PM
Blue cohosh is one of the oldest indigenous plants that can be found in America. Blue cohosh is a woodland herb that is slowly becoming endangered because of over harvesting. A small plant that rarely grows more than two and a half feet in height, it can be found blooming in early April on wooded slopes. It was used by Native Americans to treat rheumatism, colic, cramps, epilepsy, and fevers. This herb also aided in childbirth and acted as a contraceptive. Blue cohosh was adopted by early settlers for both delivery and to help reduce fevers. The dried root was considered to be an official herb, found in the United States Pharmacopoeia from 1882 to 1905, where it was recognized for its abilities to induce labor and menstruation.
Blue cohosh is also known as Caulophyllum thalictroides, blue ginseng, papoose root, yellow ginseng, blueberry root, and beech drops. This herb has been used to stimulate menstrual flow, induce labor, and for rheumatism, cramps, and epilepsy.
The chemical caulosaponin is found in blue cohosh. It is this chemical that induces uterine contractions and should be used only under medical supervision. Additionally, a study that was published in the Journal of Reproduction and Fertility found that blue cohosh is responsible for inhibiting ovulation in animals.
Blue cohosh is recommended by herbalists for irregular menstrual cycles, inflammation of the uterus, and to stop false labor pains. This herb has also been used as an antispasmodic and to relieve muscle cramps. Scientific studies have validated these uses, especially the herb’s estrogenic and antispasmodic properties. The hormone and menses-regulating powers have been shown to work best when the herb is combined with pennyroyal. Some studies have found that blue cohosh may also stimulate the immune system. This herb helps with cases of toxemia and has also been found useful in reducing emotional and nervous tension.
In short, the rhizome of blue cohosh is used to provide alterative, anthelmintic, antispasmodid, diuretic, emmenagogue, estrogenic, expectorant, and oxytocic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, chlorine, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and E, and zinc. Primarily, blue cohosh is very beneficial in dealing with pain in childbirth, cramps, epilepsy, and estrogen deficiency, absence of menstruation, urinary problems, and uterine problems. Additionally, this herb has been shown to be extremely helpful in treating high blood pressure, bronchitis, colic, convulsions, cystitis, diabetes, edema, heart palpitations, excessive mucus, neuralgia, spasms, vaginitis, vaginal discharge, and whooping cough. For more information on the many beneficial effects of blue cohosh, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
Blue cohosh’s use in cultural and traditional settings is somewhat different from the concepts that are accepted by current Western medicine. It is advisable to consult with a primary health care professional when considering the use of herbal supplements. It may also be advantageous to consult with a practitioner that is trained in the uses of herbal supplements. It is important to note that one should always purchase herbal supplements from a reliable source in order to guarantee safety and efficiency.
Blue Cohosh is available in capsule or tablet forms at your local or internet health food store. Look for blue Cohosh in name brands like Natures Answer and Solaray to ensure that you receive a quality product that is pure.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Blue Cohosh 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.
May 08, 2009 10:00 AM
L-Cysteine is what is known as a non-essential amino acid, meaning that it can be biosynthesized by the body and hence not an essential part of your diet. Due to its possessing a thiol side chain, it is termed a hydrophilic amino acid with an affinity for aqueous systems. Because of this it is relatively highly reactive, and is therefore an important component of a large number of enzymes and proteins.
Although, after all, it is not an essential amino acid, deficiencies can occur in the young and in the old, and also in those suffering certain metabolic diseases. Dietary sources include high-protein foods such as chicken, turkey, pork, dairy products and vegetables such as cereals, broccoli, garlic and onions.
The biochemistry of this amino acid begins with another amino acid known as serine, and also methionine. The latter is fist converted to homocysteine, which is then combined with serine to form cystathionine. This is then converted into cysteine and alpha- ketobutyrate. The thiol group is highly reactive and gives cysteine its biological properties.
L-Cysteine possesses strong antioxidant properties due to the thiol group which easily undergoes redox reactions. However, it is for its detoxification effect on the body that the amino acid is mainly taken as a supplement. It is, therefore, these properties that we shall discuss first.
Cysteine can reduce the toxic effects of alcohol, such as a hangover or the more serious liver damage. The by-product of alcohol metabolism that does most damage and is responsible for the majority of the negative after-effects of excessive alcohol consumption is acetaldehyde. L-Cysteine converts acetaldehyde into the more acceptable acetic acid, and so prevents the aldehyde from having too much of a negative effect on your health and well-being. However, the results obtained from such studies have been from animals only, and the therapeutic effects of cysteine have not yet been tested on humans.
What has been tested and is known is that L-cysteine is effective in the detoxification of heavy metals in the body. A common source of heavy metal toxicity is mercury from amalgam fillings in the teeth. Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared in 1989 that dental amalgams are a hazardous substance under the Superfund law, many people still have them in their mouths.
The thiol group and L-cysteine has a high affinity for mercury and other heavy metals, as previously stated, and a supplement can be used to remove from the body any mercury leached from mercury-based tooth fillings. It can also be used to bind to copper, lead and cadmium. Lead and cadmium are particularly toxic to the human body, and even though lead is no longer used in plumbing or paints, and cadmium in toys or paints, there are still many sources of these two heavy metals available that can lead to human toxification.
An L-cysteine supplement can be used to remove these heavy metals from the body. Any proteins containing cysteine will tightly bind heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, molybdenum, cobalt and mercury, and allow them to be excreted by the body in the usual fashion. This direct involvement in heavy metal detoxification is a very useful property of this amino acid.
Another detoxification application of L-cysteine is in direct involvement in protecting cellular glutathione levels, and also the prevention of the death of liver cells by acetaminophen poisoning. The latter is of particular interest to many people since acetaminophen is better known as paracetamol, and since this is a freely available over-the-counter drug, overdoses are not unknown. The result of an overdose is the necrosis of liver cells, with eventual liver failure and death.
The treatment of choice is N-acetylcysteine. If used within 10 hours of the overdose it is extremely effective, and even from 16 to 24 hours it is better than other controls. It is believed that the acetylcysteine liberates cysteine which, when available to the liver, enables the biosynthesis of glutathione. Glutathione can then maintain the production of the fifth metabolite required for the specific detoxification of the paracetamol/acetaminophen.
L-Cysteine is also an essential component in the biosynthesis of coenzyme A, an enzyme essential for the production of energy from fats and carbohydrates. It is also a very important component of hair, from which it is commercially produced. Without an adequate intake of L-cysteine the growth of healthy hair would not be possible.
There are several supplemental uses of L-cysteine including the treatment of bronchial conditions for which the amino acid can help to liquefy and clear mucus from the airways and lungs. It is also used to protect against side effects of chemotherapy treatment of cancers and for medical treatments for excessive exposure to radiation.
However, there are certain situations in which L-cysteine should be avoided when at all possible. Diabetics should not use it, and neither should those suffering from cystinuria, whereby large quantities of amino acids, including cystine, are excreted in their urine. L-cystine, incidentally, is formed by oxidation of L-cysteine.
Paradoxically the amino acid is one of the several hundred additives made to tobacco by the cigarette companies. Although, as with the majority of tobacco additives, its purpose is unknown there are two possible reasons for its inclusion. L-Cysteine is a known expectorant, so it could be added to promote the expectoration of mucus in the lungs which is promoted by smoking, and it also increases the production off the antioxidant glutathione that is depleted in smokers.
There are several other non-medical uses for the amino acid, but it is for is its detoxification properties that it is most used as a supplement. However, because it is largely derived from human hair or duck feathers, it may not be classed as kosher or halal in spite of many claims made to that effect, though the more expensive source of microbial fermentation from corn sugar can be.
The substance is recognized as safe by the FDA, and must be labeled as L-cysteine when it is present in a preparation intended for its therapeutic effects. Keep in mind however, that it should be avoided by diabetics.
Is Saw Palmetto's Safe?
July 15, 2008 06:58 PM
Saw palmetto, a small palm tree which is found in Florida and South Carolina, produces berries which contain many beneficial compounds. Florida is the biggest producer of saw palmetto. Small patches of this herb can be found from the southeast coastline of South Carolina and southeastern Georgia to southern Mississippi. But it does not grow naturally in Texas, Mexico, or the Caribbean. It grows in every Florida County, but much of its production is found in South Florida.
Supplements that contain saw palmetto are extremely effective in treatment of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH), one of the most common health conditions in older men, with half of all men aged 40-60 and more than 90 percent of men over 80 having BPH. BPH is caused by the conversion of estrogen to a very potent form of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Saw palmetto berry extract has been found to relive the symptoms of BPH by furthering the production of DHT. With the use of saw palmetto extract, it has been found that most men achieve some relief of symptoms within the first 30 days.
Additionally, saw palmetto is an herb that is commonly used to treat benign prostate enlargement, is rich in phytosterols, especially beta-sitosterol. Also, saw palmetto is very effective for excess testosterone, as it promotes testosterone excretion. Native Americans use the fruit for food, but it is also used in the treatment of a variety of urinary and reproductive system problems. Similarly, the Mayans drank it as a tonic, while the Seminoles used the berries both as an expectorant and as an antiseptic.
Recent concerns over the safety of saw palmetto supplements for prostate health have emerged and may be unfounded. A new study reported that there were no adverse effects from the supplementation of saw palmetto. The randomized clinical trial, Saw palmetto for Treatment of Enlarged Prostates (STEP) study, recruited two hundred and twenty-five men, all of which had moderate-to-severe symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Each of these men was assigned to receive either 320 milligrams per day of a saw palmetto supplement or a placebo.
This study lasted one year. After the study, researchers concluded that there were no significant differences between the groups when it came to suffering from at least one serious adverse event. 5.4 percent of men in the saw palmetto group had one serious adverse event as compared to 9.7 percent in the placebo group. There were also no significant differences that were observed when it came to non-serious symptomatic adverse events, as 34.8 percent of men in the saw palmetto group experienced such an event, compared to 30.1 percent in the placebo group.
The study was welcomed by Daniel Fabricant, PhD., vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the industry association of the Natural Products Association. Dr. Fabricant said that he agreed with the authors of the study and that the results are reassuring, saying that he believe the study supports the viewpoint that those people with experience in botanicals have held for an extended amount of time in that when they are used responsibly and the amounts and concentrations are supported by clinical literature, botanicals are extremely safe and effective.
May 23, 2008 11:53 AM
Medical professionals, especially in Europe and Japan, have been using licorice more and more in medicine. The Chinese consider licorice to be a superior balancing and harmonizing agent, so it is added to many herbal formulas. It is reputed in many countries, including the United States, to be a treatment for stomach, intestinal and many other problems. What is it used for?
Licorice is being studied for its effects against oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which is a major component in atherosclerosis. Approximately 300 different phytonutrient compounds found in natural licorice are considered possible antioxidants.
Licorice is being tested for its ability to help prevent certain viruses from replicating themselves in body cells. It appears to stimulate the immune system into producing interferon, which is known for its anti-viral effects. It is an effective aid in treating herpes and hepatitis. Promising results are also being reported in tests using licorice to combat SARS, influenza and HIV.
Stomach and Intestinal Problems
Licorice is a natural home remedy for heartburn, gastritis and acid reflux. It helps to promote new cell growth in the lining of the stomach. It also enhances the stomach's self-protecting abilities. Licorice has been used to treat peptic ulcers and aid in healing other types of ulcers.
Throat and Respiratory Problems
Licorice is widely known in the world of alternative medicine as an expectorant and cough suppressant. Colds and flu have been treated with licorice since the days of the Romans. Many over-the-counter cough medicines contain licorice extract because it soothes the mucous membranes.
Other Medicinal Properties
Is Licorice Safe?
Licorice is not recommended for use by people who suffer from diabetes mellitus, heart disease, hypertension or kidney disease. It is also not recommended for use by women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Licorice, although not thought to suppress the immune system like pharmaceutical cortisones, may cause similar side effects in high doses. Some of these include weight gain, fluid retention and high blood pressure.
Description and Cultivation
The licorice plant stands up to five feet tall. It has spikes of lilac-colored flowers that have bean-like pods containing three or four seeds apiece. The root, which is used most frequently, reaches underground about three feet and branches into networks of rhizomes.
After three to five years, the roots and rhizomes are cleaned, pulped, boiled and then concentrated by evaporation. The root, if kept dry, will keep for an indefinite amount of time. If the licorice is powdered, it should be stored in an airtight container.
Licorice has been used for centuries in conjunction with established medicine, as an alternative herbal medicine, and as an herbal confection in many parts of the world. It is noted for its medicinal value in treating stomach, intestinal and other ailments, including helping to stimulate the immune system. Studies are ongoing to discover more potential uses for this naturally sweet herb.
Triphala: A Traditional Ayurvedic Herb to Help Cleanse the Body
November 01, 2007 01:44 PM
Triphala is a traditional Indian ayurvedic remedy, that, as the name suggests, is actually composed of three different herbs or fruits. However, before describing the constituents, first an explanation of what ayurveda is and what it does.
Ayurveda is a science that is centuries old, and has been in use for at least five thousand years. Originating in prehistoric India, it is based upon the approach it takes in that all ills are caused by anomalies of the digestive system. All that exists on earth is believed to be composed of five elements (the pancha mahabhooota): earth (prithyi), fire (agni), water (jal), air (yayu) and ether (akash). The latter can be approximately described as space
Ayurveda combines these into three main doshas: Vata, a combination of the ether are air elements, Pitta, which is the same as the fire element, and Kapha that is a combination of the earth and water elements). Each of these has specific effects on the body, and when in equilibrium then the body is also in equilibrium.
Vata governs what is loosely described as movement in both the mind and body. An excess of vata leads to worries, anxiety, constipation and cramps of the stomach. It is responsible for waste elimination, flow of the blood, breathing and even movement of thought. Everything connected with movement in the body. It is believed to be expressed visibly and audibly as creativity and art and is believed also to be the initial cause of all disease and illness.
Pitta, the fire dosha, governs the metabolism and body heat. It is responsible for the way we digest our food and how we know right from wrong. An excess of pitta causes anger, ulcers, dyspepsia and criticism. If your pitta is balanced you are a good friend and warm personality.
Kapha provides and maintains the physical elements of the body, such as good joints, healing of wounds and strength. It maintains a strong heart and lungs, and everything physical. It promotes love and forgiveness, but also envy and greed. Too much in an individual causes lethargy, allergies, congestion and weight gain. It is also called the mucus humor.
The three fruits of triphala are amalaki, bhibitaki and haritaki, and together maintain these three doshas in balance. Amalaki, or amla, is used to treat an imbalance in the pitta, or fire humor. It is sour and is exceptionally rich in vitamin C and is therefore a strong anti-oxidant. It is the highest natural source of this vitamin. It is used as a tonic, for boosting the immune system and for its anti-aging properties. It is also a good adaptogen and has strong stomach acid neutralizing effects. It is therefore effective in reducing dyspepsia and in the treatment of gastric ulcers, and also possesses cholesterol-reducing properties. Amalaki provides the body with strength and is used in the treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract and any illness that creates burning sensations.
Bhibitaki, or bihara, is also useful in the treatment of respiratory disorders, and has a number of effects that are useful in treating digestive disorder. It deals with problems associated with the kapha or mucus humor. Thus, it possesses anti-mucal, laxative, astringent, digestive and anti-spasmodic properties, and is also a tonic and an expectorant and helps deal with allergies.
Haritaki, or haradaha, deals with diseases of the vata humor. It is very bitter with a strong antimicrobial and laxative effect on the digestive system, and is a rejuvenator that promotes long life and boosts the immune system of the body (though the scientific effect was unknown to the ancient exponents of ayurveda). It also possesses an astringent and lubricant effect and used to treat constipation, anxiety and stress.
When combined into triphala, the products are a popular treatment for all digestive disorders and is popularly used to cleanse the colon. It aids digestion, improves the metabolic processes involved and also aids abdominal pains, flatulence and eases conditions of the liver. It is useful in the treatment of what today are termed ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. The ancient Indians were able to treat these conditions of the digestive systems without understanding what they were and what caused them.
Triphala is also widely used in the treatment of conjunctivitis and prevention of atherosclerosis. This is likely due to its antioxidant effect and the high level of ascorbic acid it contains. Its anti-inflammatory properties are also likely derived from the same source. These properties, and its effects as a tonic and cleanser, render it a popular treatment for many skin conditions. It is a multi-purpose treatment for a multitude of illnesses and conditions and has been used effectively for thousands of years.
Modern science has provided an explanation for most of these effects. Many of the conditions that triphala is effective in treating have been shown to be caused by excessive blood cholesterol and lipid levels. Many can be attributed to circulatory disorders caused by cholesterol build up in the arteries, or atherosclerosis. Some of the benefits of the three fruits are associated with the lowering of cholesterol and of blood pressure that benefits circulation.
Cholesterol build up and internal stress is associated with the consumption of hot spicy foods, the use of excessive stimulants and repression of the natural emotions. The way the body handles these is to produce corticosteroids that can contribute to cholesterol build up in the blood. Triphala can be used to reduce blood LDL cholesterol and increase the HDL lipoprotein that eliminates cholesterol from the body. Amla fruit has been shown to reduce serum and aortic cholesterol, and also increase cardiac glycogen that provides an energy source for the heart that can help prevent cardiac disease.
Bihara contains 35% oil of which 31% is linoleic that increases the good HDL cholesterol and reduces the bad LDL cholesterol. Harada has been found to reduce blood pressure and intestinal spasms, thus backing up its use for treating heart and intestinal conditions.
Triphala is a traditional ayurvedic herb that has many uses in cleansing the body that have been investigated and backed up by modern medical science. The mixture of the three fruits have strong anti-oxidant, anti-spasmodic and cholesterol reducing effects, and also possess laxative properties that can ease a large number of different physical and psychological health problems.
Elder Berry - For Natural Respiratory Health
June 30, 2005 09:30 AM
Elder Berry By Ellen J. Kamhi, Ph. D. with Dorie Greenblatt The plant known as Elder Berry occurs as several different species and grows throughout Europe and North America. It can be a tall tree or smaller bush, earning it the knickname "Dwarf Elder". The berries that appear as the ripe fruits can range in color from red to black. Only the blue/black berries are medicinal. The genus and species name for this variety is Sambucus nigra. This plant has a long history of use as both a food and medicine in many countries. In England, for example, it was a common belief that Elder-Berry was a favorite tree of witches who enjoyed residing among its branches. To disturb such a tree was thought to incur a witch's wrath. To this day, many British still refuse to cut an Elder Tree down or burn its branches. In Denmark, the tree was said to house Hylde-Moer, "The Elder Tree Mother", who would haunt anyone found harming the tree. In addition, many believed that an Elder Tree was a symbol of "good luck" if found growing on one's property.
As a food source Elder Berries are commonly made into jams, jellies, chutneys and wine. As a medicinal, the fruit is often prepared as a syrup. For example, the "Duke of Monmouth's Recipe" was made with Elder syrup and other herbs, and was used for sciatica. Native Americans used different parts of the plant for infections, coughs and skin conditions. Today Elder can be found listed as an "official medicine" in the Holland pharmacopeia, and was listed in the past in the pharmacopeias of both England and the United States.
The most common medicinal uses for Elder Berry are:
Elder Berries contain vitamins A, B and C plus various flavonoids including quercetin. However, these substances alone cannot account for its remarkable effect of disarming the symptoms of a cold or flu. An Israeli scientist, Dr. Madeleine Mumcuouglu, Ph.D., performed research that uncovered the mechanism of activity of Elder Berry's anti-cold and flu activity. The flu is triggered by a virus, which must invade living cells in order to reproduce and spread. The virus enters the cell by puncturing the cell's outer membrane with tiny spikes known as hemagglutinin. Dr. Mumcuoglu discovered that the active ingre- dients in Elder Berry bind onto the hemagglutin, deactivating it and ultimately preventing the piercing of the cellular membranes.
Scientific investigations collaborate the effectiveness of Elder berry. One scientific study tracked a reduction of flu symptoms during an outbreak of influenza. (Zakay-Rones Z, Varsano N, Zlotnik M, et al. Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza B Panama. J Alt Compl Med 1995; 1:361-9.) An added advantage to the use of Elder Berry is its record of safety. There are no known adverse reactions to the use of Elder Berry, although the possibi-lity of an individual allergic reaction can never be discounted.
Nature's Answer® offers Elder Berry in an alcohol-free, tangy-tasting 4oz. liquid herbal extract form. This concentrated (1:1) maximum strength fluid extract contains 5,000mg of Elder Berry in each 1 teaspoonful dose. Nature’s Answer® also supplies Elderberry in two encapsulated products, Sambucus & Ester-C®, and Sambucus & Maitake Bio-Beta Glucan™.
A great companion product is Nature's Answer®'s Elder Flower (organic alcohol). Flowers from the Elder tree contain tannins that have been shown to help dry up excess mucous, and can act as an expectorant.
One final note...when deciding on an Elder berry liquid, remember to check the kind of sweetener it contains. Many brands add sugar or sorbitol, while Nature's Answer's® Elder berry contains only pure coconut glycerine.
Ester-C® is a licensed trademark of InterCal Corporation and manufactured under U.S. patent #4,822,816 and other patent applications.
GARLIC (allium sativum)
June 25, 2005 09:54 AM
GARLIC (allium sativum)
Common Names: Stinking Rose, Poor Man’s Treacle
Plant Parts: bulb
Active Compounds: Garlic contains more than 200 chemical compounds.
Some of its more important ones include: volatile oil with sulphur-containing compounds: (allicin, alliin, and ajoene), and enzymes: (allinase, peroxidase and myrosinase). Allicin is what gives garlic its antibiotic properties and is responsible for its strong odor. Ajoene contributes to the anticoagulant action of garlic. Garlic also contains citral, geraniol, linalool, Aphellandrene and B phellandrene. The allyl contained in garlic is also found in several members of the onion family and is considered a very valuable therapeutic compound.
Pharmacology: The allicins contained in garlic have a fibrinolytic activity which reduces platelet aggregation by inhibiting prostaglandin E2. Allivium sativum has also exerted some effect on glucose tolerance for both hypo-and hyperglycemia by reducing insulin require-ments to control blood sugar. The compounds contained in garlic have also demonstrated their ability to lower total serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels while elevating HDL levels. LDL synthesis is suppressed by garlic. Garlic allicins have also acted as a larvacide and bacteriostat, active against gram-positive or gram-negative microorganisms. In addition, the compounds can destroy certain fungi such as Candida albicans. Several other microbes are effected by garlic, including some viruses. Most researchers agree that the sulfur containing compounds of garlic, especially allicin, alliin, cy-croalliin, and dialllyldisulphide are the most biochemically active. In addition, certain unidentified substances of garlic will probably emerge as other therapeutic agents.
(Note: Before a bulb of garlic is crushed or chopped, it contains relatively few medically active compounds. Once it is cut, however, chemical reactions take place which create dozens of new compounds.)
Vitamin and Mineral Content: B-vitamins especially B-1, vitamin C, vitamin A, flavonoids, ascorbic acid, phosphorous, potassium, sulphur, selenium, calcium, magnesium, germanium, sodium, iron, manganese and trace iodine. Seventeen amino acids are found in garlic, including eight essential ones.
Character: antibiotic, antihistamine, anticoagulant, expectorant, antibacterial, antiparasitic, alterative, diaphoretic, diuretic , expectorant, stimulant, antispasmodic, promotes sweating, lowers blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels, lowers blood pressure Body Systems Targeted: respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, and nervous systems
Clearing the Air
June 13, 2005 10:34 AM
Clearing the Air by Robert Gluck Energy Times, August 1, 1999
One crisp winter morning in Vermont, Alan hoisted his skis over his shoulder and tracked through the dazzling snowpack to the lift about a quarter-mile away. He had trekked this gently uphill route many times and valued it as an invigorating warmup for a day on the ski trails. The path seemed to grow steeper, however, and the winter sun more blazing as Alan struggled for breath, sweat dampening his woolen cap. Weak and wheezing, he paused for what seemed like an eternity and finally turned back, plodding arduously through the ice.
Fit and athletic, the 42-year-old Alan heard the alarming news from his health care practitioner: asthma. The therapy: inhaled steroids.
The incidence of asthma-a chronic condition characterized by narrowing of the bronchial tubes, swelling of the bronchial tube lining and mucus secretion that can block the airway, making breathing difficult-has ballooned to alarming rates.
In the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of people reported to suffer from asthma increased from 10.4 million in 1990 to 15 million in 1995. In 1998, the epidemic cost about $11.3 billion.
Worldwide, experts estimate that the prevalence of asthma increased approximately 50% over the last 10 to 15 years. Nations with the highest rates are the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia; lowest are Indonesia, Albania, Romania and Georgia.
Deaths from asthma have doubled in the last decade and, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, asthma is the seventh most common chronic health condition in the United States. Children constitute the most disturbingly burgeoning segment of the asthma explosion, its sufferers numbering five to six million. The rate of asthma among children five to 14 years old increased 74% between 1980 and 1994; the rate for preschool kids skyrocketed 160%. Asthma is the number one chronic childhood illness and the third leading cause of hospitalization for children under age 15. More than 5000 Americans die from asthma annually; the fatality rate among children five to 14 years old more than doubled from 1979 to 1995, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation.
Waging War on the Wheeze
Asthma is indeed chronic, but it can be prevented and controlled and its effects reversed. Mainstream MDs command an arsenal of pharmaceuticals, some of which are essential for severe or urgent conditions. Consult your health care practitioner about any breathing difficulties.
Because of its complexity, however, asthma requires a balanced therapeutic approach: careful attention to diet, exercise and stress reduction while taking supplemental nutrients and botanicals can help ease asthma's discomforts. Antioxidant nutrients like vitamins C and E, fruits and vegetables rich in phytochemicals plus herbs like echinacea and garlic, all possess the potential for helping the body fight asthma.
Induced by an array of inherent physiological vulnerabilities, some of which may not manifest until adulthood, as well as environmental factors, asthma benefits from extra sleuthing into its causes and planning for relief.
Triggers and Therapies
Asthma is derived from the Greek word meaning panting or breathing hard, which pretty much sums up the malady: Wheezing and shortness of breath typify the attack.
In bronchial asthma, the commonest variety, the passages that carry air from the throat to the lungs narrow as a result of muscle contraction, local inflammation or production of excess mucus. Breathing becomes difficult and wheezy as air is expelled.
"Asthma symptoms are triggered by various factors such as allergens, irritants, infections, pollutants, medications, and emotions," says Anthony Rooklin, author of Living with Asthma: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Controlling Asthma While Enjoying Your Life (Penguin). "Triggers are substances or situations that would be quite harmless to people with ordinary airways, but that bring on asthma symptoms in susceptible individuals."
According to Ellen W. Cutler, nutritionist, enzyme therapist, chiropractor and author of Winning the War Against Asthma & Allergies: A Drug-Free Cure For Asthma and Allergy Sufferers" (Delmar), asthma is an allergic disease that is always triggered by allergens. "These allergens include not only foods, pollens and environmental factors such as perfume, animal dander and chemicals but also bacteria, climactic conditions and emotions," says Cutler.
"When these allergies are active from birth, asthma can be diagnosed early in life, even in infancy," she adds.
Cutler believes every individual with asthma should be able to lead a normal, drug-free life.
"Most asthmatics have been told that asthma is a chronic problem they will have to contend with for the rest of their lives. Asthma can be cured, not miraculously and instantaneously, but inevitably and permanently, once the allergies that cause it have been eliminated," she adds.
Dilating on Nutrients
Although it is vitally important for folks with asthma to develop a treatment plan with a trusted health care provider, that plan, according to experts, may lend itself to a rich variety of complementary options, especially nutrients, phytochemicals, minerals and enzymes.
According to Ruth Winter, author of A Consumer's Guide to Medicines in Food: Nutraceuticals That Help Prevent and Treat Physical and Emotional Illnesses (Crown), researchers in Nottingham, England, linked magnesium and lung function.
"Magnesium is involved in a wide range of biological activities, including some that may protect against the development of asthma and chronic airflow obstruction," Winter says. "Dr. John Britton and his colleagues at Nottingham University measured the magnesium in the diets of 2,633 adults aged 18 to 70 and they found that low magnesium was associated with reduced lung function and wheezing" (The Lancet 344, 1994: 357-62).
Magnesium actually boasts a long history as a bronchial relaxant, first demonstrated in 1912 on cows. Its potential was eclipsed, however, by pharmaceutical antihistamines and bronchodilators until its recent rediscovery.
Defending the Lungs
Antioxidants, with their ability to bolster the lungs' defense mechanisms by battling oxidizing free radicals that constrict bronchial tissue, wield tremendous force in the anti-asthma offensive. Michael T. Murray, ND, and Joseph E. Pizzorno, ND, in their Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), connect the steady decrease in dietary intake of antioxidants to the burgeoning incidence of asthma.
Among the top asthma-busting antioxidants:
Vitamin C. Murray and Pizzorno note that C is the major antioxidant present in the lining of the airway and cite generous evidence that when vitamin C is low, asthma incidence is high (Annals Allergy 73, 1994: 89-96). Vitamin C, taken over time, effectively suppresses histamine secretion by white blood cells.
Flavonoids. Also credited with reducing histamine production, flavonoids, notably quercetin and the extracts from grape seed, pine bark and ginkgo biloba, are key asthma-fighting antioxidants (J Allergy Clin Immunol 73, 1984; 769-74).
Carotenes. They limit production of allergy-related compounds (called leukotrienes) and bolster the lining of the respiratory tract (Biochem Biophys Acta 575, 1979: 439-45).
Vitamin E and selenium. Both reduce secretion of leukotrienes (Clinical Exp Allergy 26, 1996: 838-47).
Vitamin B12. Murray and Pizzorno cite the work of Jonathan Wright, MD, whose clinical trials with supplemental vitamin B12 proved strongly effective, especially for children with asthma.
A Bundle of Botanicals
Herbal remedies for asthma date back more than 5000 years to the Chinese emperor Shen-nung. The ancient Egyptians treated respiratory ailments with herbs as well; the Greeks favored mint, garlic, cloves and myrrh for pulmonary problems.
Today, the power of plants has been validated by clinical research and standardized for predictability. (Always consult a health care practitioner when seeking complementary therapies, and read the package labels carefully for dosages and cautions.)
In their book, Asthma: An Alternative Approach (Keats), Ron Roberts and Judy Sammut provide a concise guide to asthma-easing botanicals: Garlic: acts as antiviral, antibacterial and antihistamine; enhances immune response; contains the antioxidant selenium. Garlic also is an expectorant.
Echinacea: a traditional treatment for immune disorders and infections of the upper respiratory tract, known to shorten the duration of colds, coughs and flus.
Ginkgo biloba: inhibits the chemical responses that induce asthma discomfort (Br J Clin Pharmacol 29, 1990: 85-91).
Ginseng: stimulates immunity and the production of steroid-like hormones; helps chronic coughs.
Licorice: an expectorant, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic that also inhibits leukotriene production (Acta Med Okayama 37, 1983: 385-91).
Tylophora asthmatica: an Ayurvedic treatment that many respected experts believe can act both as an antihistamine and antispasmodic (Planta Med 57, 1991: 409-13).