Search Term: " kidney sone "
Has your doctor told you about these natural ways to eliminatekidney stones?
December 20, 2018 08:50 AM
Kidney stones are both very painful, and frightfully common. One in ten people will experience a kidney stone in their life. There are some natural remedies that can help dissolve kidney stones once they form. One option is pomegranate juice, and a different option is dandelion root. Basil is also known for being good for kidney health. Lemon juice is full of citrate that may help break down kidney stones making them easier to pass.
"Citrate found in lemon breaks down kidney stones into smaller pieces so that they can pass more easily. Moreover, this substance also prevents the formation of calcium stones."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-15-natural-ways-to-eliminate-kidney-stones.html
19 Natural Diuretics to Help Relieve Water Retention, Bloating &More
September 04, 2018 09:53 AM
When someone is suffering from liver disease or other ailments such as diabetes, they are often prescribed diuertics in order to help the flow of liquids throughout their system. Unfortunately, these pharaceutical interventions can often come with a plethora of unwanted side effects such as dizziness and headaches. There is, however, a much less invasive solution. Many foods and herbs act as natural diuretics such as juniper berries and dandelion. Their consumption ends up leading to much less unwanted side effects while delivering the same potent results.
"Whether you’re looking to flush out water weight or keep kidney stones at bay, including a few servings of natural diuretics in your diet may be just what you need."
Read more: https://draxe.com/natural-diuretics/
How To Cleanse Your Kidneys Almost Instantly Using This Natural Home Drink!!
September 15, 2017 12:14 PM
There is a way to cleanse your kidneys almost instantly using one natural home drink. The kidneys perform so many vital functions in your body. The most important is filtering blood and getting rid of toxins in your body. It is essential to detox your body, so that your kidneys can do their job to the fullest. There are many herbs that can help top prevent kidney disease. Parsley is one of these amazing foods.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-AZWcKcsio&rel=0
"Parsley has a range of abundant medicinal properties which improve overall health."
These Natural Remedies Will Help You To Remove The Stones In The Kidneys!!
September 11, 2017 12:14 PM
There are some natural remedies that will assist you with removing kidney stones. Stones in the kidneys are a common disease. So many people have experienced kidney stones in their lifetime. One of the remedies is lemon and apple cider vinegar. That helps to dissolve the stones that form in your kidneys. The infusion of celery seeds is another thing that you will want to try. They help to stimulate kidney cleansing in the case of stones.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dotr38mpYao&rel=0
"The diuretic properties of celery seeds are useful to stimulate kidney cleansing in case of stones."
Health Benefits of Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica) | Natural Cures
August 28, 2017 12:14 PM
Stinging nettle has a lot of good health benefits that people can gain by eating it. This plant is famous for its ability to help people with their respiratory problems, like asthma. It prevents men from getting prostate cancer and it also helps your kidneys. It detoxifies the kidneys and will help people avoid kidney stones. It is also great for your hair as well. Many parts of the body will benefit from this amazing food.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbGSgP2d7Ac&rel=0
"Because it's a powerful diuretic, it helps to detoxify the kidneys."
Is Apple Juice Acidic or is it Good for Acid Reflux?
July 06, 2017 09:14 AM
Some people might wonder if apple juice is acidic or if it is bad for acid reflux. Apple juice is very delicious and refreshing. It contains good amounts of vitamins and minerals. It is very rich in vitamin C and it provides 159% of the recommended intake. Most of the fruit juices that have an acidic quality have a low PH. For example, the PH of apple juice varies from 3.35 to 4, which is interesting.
"Is apple juice good for acid reflux? No, in fact consuming acidic juices like apple juice may worsen acid reflux."
Read more: http://www.foods4betterhealth.com/is-apple-juice-acidic-35901
Hematuria: What Causes Blood in Urine?
July 02, 2017 09:14 AM
Hematuria is the term for having blood present in your urine. it can be caused by urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and more. Often, it is not serious, but it can be a sign of a serious problem. You should see a doctor but there are things you can do to treat the root problem. It can also be caused by a variety of things. Any person can have to deal with this issue in their lifetime regardless of age or gender.
"Blood in the urine can originate at any point along the urinary tract from the kidneys to the urethra"
Read more: https://draxe.com/hematuria/
After Watching This Video, Say Goodbye To The Stones In The Kidney And Bladder!!
June 23, 2017 12:14 PM
Even bladder and kidney stones can be cured through herbal remedies! The first cure discussed is the bladder cherry. By simmering this fruit in water and drinking the resulting liquid one can prevent the formation of stones in the bladder and kidneys. Next, other cures are discussed using natural and readily available ingredients such as pomegranate, honey and blueberries. Several different recipes for cures are given, so you can choose which one is best suited for your unique situation.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeQwNE-ZTPM&rel=0
"Cherry bladder is incredibly effective in the treatment of kidney stones."
If Your Doctor Scares You With Your Thyroid, Just Use This and…
May 10, 2017 04:44 AM
If you are suffering from a thyroid condition, then watch this video for information on a vegetable that provides enormous support to the thyroid. While you should always follow your doctor's directives, nutritional medicine should not be ignored either because certain vegetables can be just as potent and beneficial as many medications. This video contains information on a very inexpensive vegetable that helps cleanse the liver and has anti-inflammatory properties. You will also learn a very effective way to prepare it to maximize its benefits.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoe6ZXdQDvU&rel=0
"Some vegetables have been found to have more important properties than conventional medicine."
LOOK HOW IT IS EXPELLED TO THE LAST STONE OF THE KIDNEY WITH A HALF CUP OF THIS DRINK!!
March 22, 2017 04:44 AM
Anyone who has ever had a kidney stone knows how incredibly painful the experience can be. A kidney stone is solid waste that can form in the kidneys. Most of the time they move through the body and are secreted out with no problems. However, sometimes they get can get too large to pass and get stuck causing a great deal of pain and trauma to the body. Watch this video for a recipe for a simple drink that can cleanse the kidneys and help prevent kidney stones.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj_ngkHlW8o&rel=0
"The renal calculus has claimed many victims, which is why we make this a known article according to survey kidney calculus more lives than prostate cancer and breast cancer."
THIS HEALING OF A SINGLE LUNG STRIKE, ELIMINATES KIDNEYS STONE, SLIMS AND MAKES YOU FEEL 15!
March 21, 2017 11:44 AM
Health Benefits of Lemon Juice and Olive Oil for Liver Cleansing & More
Now you can use a simple homemade recipe mixture of lemon juice and olive oil to maintain good health, cleanse your liver and whole body. Just by taking two teaspoons of the lemon and olive oil mixture each day in the morning on a empty stomach. To deep cleanse your liver, skin, organs, cut down on heart disease, toxins in the body due to overeating of junk foods. The mixture can also, remove dark circles under eyes, create healthy blood vessels, remove kidney stones and helps you lose weight. Feel lots of better and again gain healthy liver functions, good organs and skin health.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qJxSUaNf4c&rel=0
"The liver is an extremely important organ, as it is responsible for cleaning the blood and eliminating toxins that could harm the body."
Health Benefits Of Corn Silk | Health Tips Education
February 08, 2017 10:19 AM
There are many good uses for corn silk, it is a must have in any diet. Corn silk is used for bladder infections, inflammation of the urinary system, inflammation of the prostate, kidney stones, and bedwetting. It is also used to treat congestive heart failure, diabetes, high blood pressure, fatigue, and high cholesterol levels.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCOObBMXsM4
"Corn silk is a common term to describe the shiny, thread-like, silky style on corn ears; the tuft or tassel of silky fibers growing at the tip of an ear of corn."
4 Main Health Benefits Of Grapefruit
Grapefruits are fruits loved by many. Most people prefer eating this fruit mainly because they're rich in vitamin C. Besides that, grateful also has a number of health benefits that you should probably know about. This fruit is found in 3 different pulps; white, red or pink pulps. But nevertheless, they still offer similar benefits. I'm going to show you some of the most unexpected health benefits of grapefruits that you probably need to be aware of.
Benefits of Grapefruit
Grapefruit is a good remedy for those who want to shed some weight. A high metabolism is good because it will help you burn down excessive fat in your body even when you're resting. Eating grapefruit before meal can tremendously help you lose some weight. This is because grapefruits have a high amount of enzymes and less sodium which helps to burn excessive fat easily.
Reduces the risk of having kidney stones
According to reports, grapefruits reduce the risk of having kidney stones. Naringenin is a natural compound that regulates protein a called PKD2 which is responsible for the prevention of kidney cysts. The antioxidant effects will also prevent the kidneys from swelling which is mainly caused by fluid retention.
Strengthen the immune system
Typically, any fruit that is rich in vitamin C will support and strengthen the immune system. This vitamin also works in conjunction with other micronutrients in order to provide the body with good nourishment. Having high levels of the vitamin will help reduce cold symptoms. This will make it easier to control allergies since vitamin C reduces histamine levels.
Protects against cancer
Grapefruits have also been linked to reducing the chances of getting certain cancers. Recent studies have discovered that the fruit can help repair/restore damaged DNA found in prostate cancer cells. The natural compound called naringenin stimulates repair of DNA in the cancer cells and will prevent your body from cancer. Grapefruits have been linked to reducing the risk of cancer like breast cancer, cancer of the stomach, colon, esophagus as well as bladder.
Reflux and ulcer medications linked to kidney stones and chronic kidney disease
December 04, 2016 07:59 AM
A University in Rome has found information that links medications taken for acid reflux and heartburn to a higher incidence of kidney stones. By reviewing patient files, they found that patients who took proton pump inhibitors were at a 12% higher risk of developing kidney stones throughout their lives, and those who took histamine receptor-2 were at a 13% higher risk. They have stated that more research needs to be done, but any link between the medicine and kidney stones is cause for alarm.
"Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine receptor-2 (H2) blockers are commonly used to reduce gastric acid production."
Health Benefits Of Having Cucumber Everyday
November 11, 2016 06:49 AM
Many of us are making a conscience effort the be healthy in our everyday lives. New research shows that an act as simple as eating a cucumber a day can give your body a lot of health benefits. Benefits that range from healthy skin, helping with stomach ulcers, and regulating blood pressure are just a few. So if you are looking to improve any of these issues in your life, grab a cucumber and feel even better that you did.
"Cucumbers are vitamin rich, have high water content, contain minerals like potassium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, iron and calcium."
Magnesium Can Offset The Effects of Calcium
For a healthy cells, a proper balance between magnesium and calcium is required. A proper balance is one where magnesium level is high and calcium level is low. If your cell has a high level of calcium then it can store anywhere and cause many serious problems in your body. A perfect balance between calcium and magnesium is required to regulate the harmful effects of calcium.
How calcium affects your body
Too much calcium can create a number of health complications. If it builds up around your bones, you might experience arthritis. If its level is high in your heart, then you might develop arterial lesions. Calcification might cause the bone spurs, cancer, heart disease, kidney stones, dental problems, cataracts, wrinkled skin, osteoporosis, and some other health complications.
What is the demand of the body?
Our body structure demands a proper balance of calcium and magnesium to operate smoothly. It needs an adequate level of magnesium to maintain a healthy heart. People who die of heart attacks have lower level of magnesium and high levels of calcium in the heart muscles. Patients with coronary heart disease is suggested to take large amounts of magnesium as it works better than any other drug. Magnesium lowers the fat and cholesterol levels and dilates the arteries of the heart.
How calcium and magnesium work together
Calcium and magnesium work together for the muscles. If the level of calcium is high and magnesium is low, then magnesium deficiency will create some major health problem. Even if the calcium level is not too high, the low level of the magnesium can result in some health problems. Hence, it is important to have an adequate amount of magnesium to make a balance between calcium and magnesium and to avoid magnesium deficiency.
Benefits of Chanca Piedra (phyllanthus niruri)
Chanca piedra also known as phyllanthus niruri and whose common names are stonebreaker, seed-under-leaf or gale of the wind is a tropical plant, indigenous to Amazon Rainforest in South America and India. It is a highly regarded plant, familiar to naturopaths. Read on to find why?
For centuries, the indigenous people of Amazon have used Chanca piedra to treat and remove kidney gallstones. In fact, the name Chanca piedra is a Peru word for “stone breaker”. In addition to curing gallstones, the plant has diuretic qualities which, is why over 300 studies have been done since the 1960s to ascertain its healing abilities.
From this research, the plant has been found to cure a number of diseases. These include;
Gallstones, and Kidney Stones – Chanca is believed to hold the most promising treatment for kidney stones, not only among the indigenous people but also, in the Ayurvedic medicine.
Preliminary studies indicate that the plant has the potential to protect the kidney from kidney stones by simply increasing the secretion of bile and reducing the formation of any obstructions in the kidneys and the gall bladders. The extra bile secreted enhances digestion and increase absorption fats, like fat soluble vitamins.
Chanca piedra and the Liver – the herb contains a protein which research has shown that it protects the tissues of the liver against oxidative stress by simply increasing antioxidative defense.
Antioxidant Activities – Chanca piedra has also been found to contain phenolic content which reflects antioxidant activities when tested. The antioxidants support optimal blood pressure levels in addition to supporting balanced blood sugar levels.
Defense against harmful organisms – water extracts from this herb have indicated toxic activities against several organisms that are harmful to human body. Additionally, Chanca piedra has been found to defend the body against;
Can Coral Calcium Alkalize The Body?
October 27, 2013 09:30 PM
What is coral calcium
Coral calcium is popularized on media as being a natural supplement with many health benefits. Coral calcium contains trace minerals, calcium and magnesium, that are necessary to the human body. Coral calcium contains an ideal ratio of the proper nutrients.
Another major benefit of coral calcium is the ability to balance the body’s pH levels. Coral calcium has a pH natural range of 10 to 11. A person is considered acidic if the pH level of the body falls below 7. If the pH level is above 7 then the person is considered to have an alkaline environment in the body. Coral calcium can help people to balance their acidity levels and change them to alkaline. Many scientific studies show that an increased acidity level in the body can be the cause of diseases.
People with an imbalanced pH are prone to an increased risk of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, kidney stones, heart disease, arthritis, and others. The modern diet is one of the causes of this pH imbalance because it usually contains foods that are mostly acidic. Soda, junk food and meat are just a few examples of highly acidic foods.
The natural pH level of coral calcium can help to supplement an alkaline intake that will balance the pH level in the body. Coral calcium supplements cannot cure diseases but they are a method of prevention against such diseases caused by a high acidity level in the body. It also can help the body to fight disease naturally and more effectively.
A proper alkalinity of the blood is an important factor in maintaining a good overall body health. The cells in the body are slightly acidic and they need a slightly alkaline environment of the body fluid in order to survive. The metabolic wastes from the cells are also acidic. The body needs to detoxify and neutralize those acids and the coral calcium supplements can help your system to balance the pH level to an optimum alkalinity level of 7 to 7.5.
Cranberry The Best Solution For Bladder And Urinary Tract Problems
October 26, 2013 11:28 PM
What is cranberry
Cranberries are among the healthiest and most nutritious fruits in the world today. They are small red berries commonly grown in Canada, Europe and the United States of America because of the nature of the climate in these regions that support the cultivation of these berries. Cranberry is loaded is rich in antioxidants and other essential nutrients required by the body. The following are the many health benefits of cranberries.
Helps in the treatment of urinary tract diseases
Cranberry juice is known for its healing properties as far as urinary tract and bladder infections are concerned. This juice contains proanthocyanidins that prevent bacteria from sticking to the uterine walls and the walls of the bladder. For effectiveness you are advised to drink a single glass of this juice on a daily basis.
Effective in dealing with kidney and bladder problems
Cranberry is rich in citric acid among other nutrients that can help in preventing kidney stones the cause of many kidney problems including kidney failure. It is also helpful in treating bladder problems.
Boosts your immune system
Cranberries are very rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants that are responsible for boosting your immune system. Antioxidants are very essential in the removal of harmful toxins from the body. This means that you will have a very strong immune system that will help in fighting of other diseases.
Enhances mental health
Studies show that cranberries are also important when it comes to mental health. This is because they have the ability to boost your moods, suppress anxiety and deal with depression. On top of that cranberry juice helps in improving your memory. It is therefore recommended that you include a glass of this juice in your diet.
Helps in fighting cancer
A recent study shows that cranberry extracts can help in fighting breast cancer by preventing the cancer cells from spreading or the growth of tumors. For a healthy body you are encouraged to drink a glass or two of the juice made from cranberry.
In summary, if you have bladder infections or urinary tract problems simply drink a glass of cranberry juice or simply eat the fruits and you will no longer experience these problems.
Magnesium Malate Benefits
January 30, 2013 12:54 PM
The compound Magnesium Malate was discovered by combining malic acid with magnesium. Malic acid is a naturally occurring element that aids in the generation of energy during aerobic as well as anaerobic activities while, magnesium is the fifth most abundant mineral found in the human body, which is vital for the health of the kidneys, bones and heart.
Malic acid and magnesium together offers several health related benefits. It helps to control numerous essential biological functions in the body such as the formation of nerves and muscle. It is naturally found in bananas, yogurt, fish, artichokes, almonds, grains, black beans, cashews and other nuts.
Health Benefits Of Magnesium Malate:
The malic acid present in magnesium malate attaches itself to the aluminum content of the body and helps to eliminate it. This allows the growth and detoxification of healthy nerve cells. Magnesium malate also assists in loosening stools due to its laxative properties so; it is used to treat constipation effectively. Physicians or technicians also use it as a cleansing agent prior to a bowel surgery or colonoscopy. This vital compound is known to relax muscles therefore; it is often utilized to treat uterine cramping, headaches and several other general muscle discomforts.
As per medical research, people who do not receive adequate magnesium through their diet usually stand the risk of kidney stone formation however; they can prevent this condition by consuming magnesium malate. This important compound also aids to synthesize adenosine triphosphate or ATP - a nucleotide that aids to store energy in the tissues of muscles and converts it into cellular energy source. This energy generating properties are useful in treating chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
Magnesium malate also encourages the production of saliva, which in turn controls oral bacteria. Moreover, due to its antiseptic properties, it is also used in mouthwash and toothpaste.
Studies have found that 70% or more of the American population is deficient in magnesium, magnesium malate taken daily is a good way for anybody to get more dietary magnesium. Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzyme processes in the body, if you are deficient in magnesium, these enzyme processes that maintain the body will fail and your health can decline. Consider taking magnesium in the form of magnesium malate. Have you had your magnesium today?
Why Is Acai, Goji, Pomegranate, Noni And Mangosteen Called Super Fruits?
January 15, 2013 04:55 PM
Health Benefits Of Super Fruits
"Super fruits" is an idiom that is frequently used to refer fruits that have extraordinary antioxidant and nutrient qualities and provides benefits over and above the basic nutrition. Exotic fruits such as acai berries, goji berries, mangosteen, noni and pomegranate have earned this distinguished status. These fruits have exceptional amounts of vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals that play a significant role in preventing various diseases.
Each of these super fruits restrains its own distinctive set of properties that prove to be extremely beneficial for the overall health of the body.
Health Benefits Associated With Super Fruits:
Acai berry is a rich source of dietary fiber, protein and a compound called anthocyanins. It also includes high levels of omega-6 as well as omega-9 fatty acids, which are believed to have a protective effect on the cardiovascular system and heart. In addition, the anthocyanins compound present in the acai berry helps in lowering the blood cholesterol level.
This fruit is abundantly grown in south Asian and due to its fine flavor it is also referred to as "The Queen of Fruits". Mangosteen retains high levels of phytochemicals known as xanthones that offer this fruit a unique medicinal property which is not found in other common fruits. Mangosteen also includes other powerful natural compounds such as polysaccharides, catechins, quinones, polyphenols and stilbenes. Each of these compounds are believed to be effectual in preventing diseases such as, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, kidney stones, glaucoma, cataract, Alzheimer's, neuralgia etc. The fruit is also used to treat aging, depression, obesity, allergies, skin diseases, ulcers, fevers, diarrhea and pain.
Noni juice is known to restrain more than 150 nutrients, including protein, all the essential amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and E, minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium and potassium, polysaccharides, phytonutrients and digestive enzymes. Noni is one of the most unique super fruits. Noni juice can help to normalize blood sugar levels; decrease inflammation, arthritis and joint pain; enhance digestive function, cleanse colon, remove parasites; reduce irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, constipation and menstrual cramps; prevents gastric ulcers; relives pain, mental depression and atherosclerosis.
Goji Berry Juice:
This miraculous berry is rich in polysaccharides. It also includes fiber, 18 amino acids, 21 minerals, Vitamins A, C, B, & E, protein and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Goji juice is a potent antioxidant that prevents premature aging. It also stabilizes molecules called free radicals that damage the DNA and gives rise to several diseases. Moreover, Goji juice helps in reducing the risk of cancer by averting DNA mutation, curtailing growth of tumors and by managing the peroxidation of lipids. This distinctive fruit helps to relieve insomnia and headache, improve functions of the heart, assist in digestion, aid to regulate weight, promote sexual health, improve fertility, enhance memory functions, and alleviate dry cough.
Pomegranate is one of the oldest known super fruits. It is rich in vitamins A, B and C, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium and sodium. Pomegranates are very high in dietary fiber which boosts the digestive system. Additionally, medical evidences reveal that a unique amalgamation of polyphenols found in pomegranate helps to lower LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood which eventually benefits the heart. Moreover, pomegranate's natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties aid to slow down the development of cancer especially, prostate and lung cancer.
Overall, super fruits are extremely valuable for our body due to its high anti-oxidant and nutrient content that helps to reinforce the body's natural defenses and make it healthier and less prone to most type of diseases.
How Does Tart Cherry Work To Fight gout and Inflammation?
May 25, 2011 12:46 PM
Health Benefits Of Tart Cherry
Tart cherry may be the newest addition to the growing list of superfruits. This species of sour cherries have been cultivated for centuries, but only recently has research started to uncover its medicinal potential. It is believed to contain a larger number of phenolics and anthocyanins than its sweet counterparts. Plus, it has been linked to more studies in the past few years.
Prunus cerasus are species of cherries native to Europe and parts of Asia. Tart cherries have less than 10 varieties cultivated around the world, but they have steadily grown in popularity. There are two major cultivars: the bright red amarelle and the darker morello. Among the popular cultivars are Montmorency, Balaton, and Griotte de Kleparow.
Counteracts Pain Chemicals
Anthocyanins have long been associated with the alleviation of joint pains and related symptoms, and tart cherry are among the best sources of these organic compounds. Anthocyanins are actually pigments that give fruits such as apples and cherries their red coloration. As a general rule, fullness of color is directly proportional to the anthocyanin content of fruits. Cancer research on anthocyanins is considered unrivaled due to the availability and reliability of documented data. The anthocyanins found in tart cherries counteract the inflammatory mediators that initiate tumorigenesis, which are the same chemicals responsible for sensitizing joints to pain.
Promotes Purine Metabolism
Gout ensues when purine metabolites in the form of uric acid crystallizes and in the process triggers local inflammatory responses. High levels of uric acid in the blood may form into urate crystals anywhere, but often precipitate in the joints of the lower extremities. The big toe is particularly vulnerable to gout, but it may also manifest in the form of joint pains and kidney stones. Unfortunately, human beings lack a functional enzyme that breaks down uric acid and re-balance uric acid levels. This is when tart cherries come to the rescue. They contain phytochemicals that regulate purine metabolites and promote the excretion of uric acid.
Accelerates Muscle Recovery
It is a common belief in the nutraceutical industry that tart cherries are one of the best sources of antioxidants. Free radicals are natural by-products of cellular respiration, and they become so abundant during workout that the muscles begin to feel sore. It takes a longer time to recover from radical damage when the antioxidant defense of cells is compromised. The antioxidant profile of tart cherries enables the skeletal muscles to recuperate fast after intense physical exertion.
Improves Sleep Disorders
Tart cherries have been commercially touted to cure insomnia. While this remains to be proven, tart cherries are in fact excellent sources of melatonin, the primary hormone responsible for inducing sleep in response to dark environments. Sleep disorders may result from a variety of factors, including stress, and sudden lifestyle changes may interfere with the chemical reactions that govern our biological clock. Tart cherries provide a ready source of melatonin, which normalizes circadian rhythm and enables the brain to relax.
Fight back against gout and inflammation pain with Tart Cherry.
Five Tips for Healthy Bones and Teeth
May 19, 2011 03:36 PM
1. Take calcium in your diet: dairy products, green vegetables or legumes. If you cannot take any of the dietary components for some reason, then a calcium supplement with magnesium should be sufficient. Fermented dairy products are best (yoghurt, kefir, or Calcium Supplement).
2. You need Vitamin D, which is generated in your skin by sunlight. So either get sufficient from sunlight or take a Vitamin D supplement.
3. Reduce consumption of foods containing oxalic acid (rhubarb, plums, spinach, cranberries) and presoak those that contain phytic acid (nuts, seeds, grains, legumes). Oxalates and phytates reduce calcium absorption by binding to the calcium - calcium oxalate is the predominant mineral that forms kidney stones.
4. Cut down your consumption of coffee, alcohol, chocolate, sugar and honey - they inhibit the absorption of calcium.
5. Exercise regularly - exercise helps to prevent loss of calcium and also helps to increase your bone density and mass.
By taking each of these 5 tips, you should be able to avoid excessive loss of calcium that can lead to osteoporosis and other problems associated with low calcium absorption. Calcium is also essential for the proper function of your central nervous system and in the maintenance of a healthy blood pressure.
Spearmint Is a Powerful and Natural Remedy for all who use its leaves
September 09, 2010 12:59 PM
The spearmint is a species of mint that is native to a lot of Europe and southwest Asia. However, its exact natural range is uncertain because of extensive early cultivation. The herb can be found growing in wet soils. It is also an invasive species in the Great Lakes region. There, it was first sighted in 1843. The spearmint plant is an herbaceous rhizomatous perennial plant. It can be found growing thirty to one hundred centimeters tall. The leaves are five to nine centimeters long and have a serrated margin. The plant produces pink or white flowers that are slender spikes. The name ‘spear’mint comes from the pointed leaf tips.
The spearmint plant is grown for its aromatic and carminative oil. This oil is referred to as oil of spearmint and grows well in nearly all temperate climates. The plant is often grown by gardeners in pots or planters because of its invasive spreading roots. The plant prefers partial shade. However, it is still able to flourish in full sun or even mostly shade. The plant is best suited for loamy soils that have plenty of organic material. The leaves of the plant can be used whole, chopped, dried and ground, frozen, preserved in salt, sugar, sugar syrup, alcohol, oil, or dried. After the plant flowers, the leaves lose their aromatic appeal.
Spearmint is very similar to peppermint in the action that it provides. However, it is milder in its activity. Spearmint was the original mint that was used for healing. It should be noted that peppermint is actually a hybrid of spearmint. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used the mint anciently for its medicinal value.
This herb is very valuable. Most individuals are able to tolerate spearmint well. It is excellent for the gastrointestinal tract. One of its best helps is in soothing an upset stomach by soothing the stomach and intestines. Spearmint increases circulation in the stomach. It also helps to control vomiting that is a result of morning sickness during pregnancy. The oil that is found in spearmint leaves is responsible for working on the salivary glands to aid digestion. It also stimulates gastric secretions. The herb is a gentle and effective remedy for babies with colic. The herb also helps to relieve smooth muscle spasms, increase blood circulation, promote sweating, and relieve pain.
In short, the leaves of the spearmint plant are used to provide alterative, antiemetic, antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, nervine, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, and vitamins A, B-complex, and C. Primarily, spearmint is extremely beneficial in treating colds, colic, flu, gas, nausea, and vomiting. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating bladder inflammation, chills, cramps, dizziness, edema, fever, indigestion, kidney inflammation, kidney stones, spasms, and inhibited urine.
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 spearmint, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Hops And Good health
September 20, 2009 08:47 PM
Hops are the female flower cones, which are also known as strobiles, of the hop plant. The hop plant is part of the Cannabaceae family, which also includes hemp. Primarily, hops are used as a flavoring and stability agent in beer. The first documented use in beer is from the eleventh century. Today, hops are used extensively in brewing because of their many benefits. Among these are balancing the sweetness of the hops with bitterness. However, hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine.
Nicholas Culpeper, a seventeenth-century herbalist, suggested the use of hops to open obstructions of the liver and spleen, cleanse the blood, loosen the belly, cleanse the veins, and promote urination. Hops were used as food by the Romans. Gerard, a famous herbalist, recommended using the buds in salads. Native American tribes also found hops to be of value. The Mohicans used it as a sedative and also for toothaches, while the Menominee tribes used hops as a cure-all. The lupulin that is found in hops is described as both a sedative and hypnotic drug. It was recognized in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1831 to 1916. Most often, hops are probably used in the production of beer.
Hops are best known for their sedative action. Also, they are used for their antibiotic properties. These properties are beneficial for sore throats, bronchitis, infections, high fevers, delirium, toothaches, earaches, and pain. Although hops are strong, they seem to be safe to use. Their main uses are to alleviate nervous tension and promote a restful sleep. They have been used to naturally relieve insomnia. For inflammation, boils, tumors, and swelling, a poultice of hops is recommended. Hops have been used as a stimulant to the glands and muscles of the stomach. They have also been used as a relaxant on the gastric nerves. Hops have a relaxing influence on the liver and gall duct and a laxative effect on the bowels. Many studies indicate that hops have sedative properties. This herb is known to be fast-acting, soothing, and calming to the nervous system. Hops are often nervine herbs that aid in promoting sleep. Certain elements of the plant have been shown to possess hypnotic effects. Hops are also used for their antispasmodic effects. Additionally, hops contain antibacterial properties, which validates some of their historical uses.
The flower of the hops plant is used to provide alterative, anodyne, antibacterial, antibiotic, antineoplastic, carminative, cholagogue, galactagogue, nervine, sedative, stomachic, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are chlorine, copper, fluorine, iodine, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, sodium, vitamin B-complex, and zinc. Primarily, this herb is extremely beneficial in treating appetite loss, bronchitis, delirium, gastric disorders, headaches, hyperactivity, and indigestion, insomnia, absent lactation, nervousness, pain, and excessive sexual desire.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with alcoholism, anxiety, blood impurities, coughs, intestinal cramps, dizziness, earaches, fevers, gas, jaundice, kidney stones, liver disorders, menstrual symptoms, menopausal symptoms, neuralgia, restlessness, rheumatism, skin disorders, sleeplessness, toothache, ulcers, venereal diseases, water retention, whooping cough, and worms. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by hops, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
September 04, 2009 12:17 PM
The juniper plant is a coniferous plant which is part of the genus Juniperus of the cypress family. There are approximately 50-67 different species of juniper, which are distributed widely throughout the northern hemisphere. Among these locations include the Artic, south to tropical Africa in the Old World, and to the mountains of Central America.
Juniper berries were used in ancient Greece as a diuretic. In Europe, the scent of juniper berries was used to help ward off the plaque. Nicholas Culpeper, a seventeenth-century herbalist, recommended the use of juniper as an appetite stimulant. Native Americans used juniper berries as a survival food during the cold winter months. The berries were dried and ground and then made into cakes. Some tribes even roasted the berries, ground them, and then used them as a coffee substitute. The tea was recommended to be used by Jethro Kloss for kidney, prostate, and bladder disorders, and for dropsy and digestive diseases. The berries and oil of the juniper plant were listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1873. They were also listed in the National Formulary until 1960.
Juniper berries contain a volatile oil that has traditionally been used to treat conditions of the urinary tract. The berries of the juniper plant are often used to increase the flow of urine. They are also beneficial for ridding the body of uric acid, which may crystallize in the kidneys. They are also used to dissolve kidney stones and sediment in the prostate. Juniper berries are also recommended for treating digestive problems, indigestion, gas, and to cleanse the blood. The berries may even help to stimulate the appetite. This herb contains natural insulin which is responsible for helping to restore the pancreas when no permanent damage has occurred. Juniper may be applied directly to wounds as a poultice for healing and infection prevention.
One study that was done using animals found that juniper acts as an effective diuretic. The berries are believed to stimulate the flow of urine and the filtration process. The volatile oils, which are found in the juniper berries, are responsible for increasing the glomerular filtration rate of the kidneys. Juniper berries are often used for their diuretic properties. This herb is not recommended for use by pregnant women as it may increase uterine contractions.
The berries of the juniper plant are used to provide anodyne, antispasmodic, aromatic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, nephritic, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in juniper are copper, sulfur, and vitamin C. Primarily, juniper is extremely beneficial in dealing with adrenal gland problems, bed-wetting, bleeding, colds, diabetes, edema, hypoglycemia, infection, kidney infections, kidney stones, pancreatic problems, uric acid irritations, urinary problems, uterine problems, and water retention.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating acne, ague, hay fever, allergies, arthritis, arteriosclerosis, insect and snake bites, blood impurities, bursitis, catarrhal inflammation, colic, coughs, convulsions, uterine and stomach cramps, cystic fibrosis, fungus, gas, gonorrhea, gout, bleeding gums, irregular menstruation, excessive mucus, prostate problems, rheumatism, scurvy, sores, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, urinary incontinence, and worms. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by juniper, please feel free to contact a representative at your local health food store.
September 02, 2009 11:55 AM
Both the Cherokee and the early American settlers used a decoction of hydrangea for calculous diseases with great success. This herb was considered by Dr. Edward E. Shook to be remarkable, with curative powers that were better than any other herb. This doctor also considered it a powerful solvent of stone and calculous deposits in the renal organs. This herb contains alkaloids that act like cortisone without the side effects. Hydrangea also has similar cleansing powers to those of chaparral.
The hydrangea plant is a flowering shrub that grows easily and provides color in the garden from mid-summer through fall. Often, people use them as specimen plants and in shrub borders. The name hydrangea comes from the Greek hydra, which means water, and angeon, which means vessel. This refers to the plant’s preference for moisture and to the shape of the seed capsule. This plant is undergoing a revival of interest, which is much deserved. The hydrangea plant produces flowers from early spring to late autumn. These flowers are carried in bunches and found at the ends of the stems. Each individual hydrangea flower is relatively small, while the plant has large blooms that bring huge amounts of color to the garden in late summer and autumn. The plant is easy to grow, dependable, and improves with time.
Herbalists have found hydrangea to be a gentle and effective remedy. It cleans toxins from the body by cleansing the kidneys. Hydrangea also works to increase the flow of urine to remove stones and the pain that is associated with kidney stones. Hydrangea can help stop infection and dissolve hard deposits in the veins and urinary organs. This herb is thought to help with rheumatic conditions, work as a diuretic, help with bed-wetting, and treat lymphatic conditions.
When taking hydrangea as a supplement, one teaspoonful of syrup should be taken three times a day, or thirty grains of a fluid extract. As a tincture, one should consume two to four milliliters, three times a day. As a decoction, one should boil two teaspoons of root in one cup of water for fifteen to twenty minutes. The decoction should be drunk three times each day. Two to four grams of the dried root should be consumed for effective results. A one to one ratio in twenty-five percent alcohol of the liquid extract should be taken in dosages of two to four milliliters. Two to ten milliliters of a tincture prepared in a one to five ratio with forty-five percent alcohol will provide the best results.
The leaves and root of the hydrangea plant are used to provide alterative, antilithic, antirheumatic, astringent, diuretic, mild purgative, nephritic, and sialagogue properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. Primarily, hydrangea is extremely beneficial in treating arthritis, cystitis, gallstones, gonorrhea, gout, kidney stones, rheumatism, and uterine problems.
Additionally, hydrangea is very helpful in dealing with arteriosclerosis, backaches, edema, inflammation, kidney problems, pain, and paralysis. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by hydrangea, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
August 31, 2009 01:36 PM
Horsetail has been used for healing in both Chinese and Asian cultures. During times of famine, the Romans ate horsetail shoots, while Native Americans used horsetail as a diuretic for kidney problems, cancer, and dropsy to increase blood circulation. The Hopi tribe in New Mexico mixed horsetail and cornmeal as a mush and in their bread. One of the oldest plants on the earth, horsetail is approximately two hundred million years old. It used to be a giant fernlike plant. However, there are now around twenty species of the original plant living today. These species are small in comparison to the original plant and are usually considered to be a nuisance. The species Equisetum arvense is a small perennial fern plant that is most common in North America.
The horsetail plant is a descendent of huge tree-like plants that thrived 400 million years ago during the Paleozoic era. The plant is a non-flowering weed that can be found throughout parts of Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America. This plant returns each year with hollow stems and shoots that resemble asparagus. As the plant dries, silica crystals, which form in the stems and branches, give the plant the scratching effect that made it historically useful for polishing metal.
Horsetail is believed to aid the immune system and the nervous system because of its silica content. The nerves contain almost the same amount of silica as does the albumin in the blood. The pancreas is especially rich in silica. Silica is found combined with fluorine in the enamel of the teeth. Additionally, hair needs silica to grow, and it is needed as a protection for the skin and cell walls. This herb helps in treating urinary tract problems. It contains silicic acid, which is responsible for helping with circulation of the blood. This herb is also credited with helping coagulate the blood and decreasing blood flow. An externally-applied decoction has the ability to stop bleeding of wounds and help with healing. Horsetail can also be used as a mouthwash for mouth infections. Often found in calcium combinations, horsetail is helpful in building the skeletal system and improving bone structure. The silica that is found in horsetail also helps in healing bones, keeping the arteries clean, and facilitating the absorption of calcium in the body.
This herb is known for its antibiotic properties and its contribution to the overall healing process. Horsetail is also thought to help with bleeding, urinary and prostate disorders, bed-wetting, skin problems, and lung disease. Horsetail also possesses a weak diuretic effect, which is most notably due to the equisetonin and the flavone glycosides.
In short, the entire horsetail herb is used to provide alterative, antilithic, antineoplastic, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, lithotriptic, nephritic, nutritive, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are flavonoids, iodine, iron, manganese, PABA, pantothenic acid, silicon, sodium, and vitamin E. Primarily, this herb is extremely beneficial in treating arthritis, poor circulation, diabetes, glandular problems, weak hair, kidney stones, weak nails, nervousness, osteoporosis, parasites, rheumatism, and urinary problems.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with edema, eyestrain, gas, gout, heart problems, hemorrhage, incontinence, liver disorders, membrane irritations, neuralgia, palsy, skin disorders, tumors, and water retention. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by horsetail, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
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.
July 29, 2009 04:35 PM
Salvia is the Latin name for sage, meaning healthy. The sage plant was highly revered for its healing benefits in the Mediterranean. It also originated in the Mediterranean. The plant is a perennial herbaceous shrub that can be found growing up to heights of fifty meters. It prefers dry chalky soils in sunny areas, but it will thrive in a rich soil with good drainage. Although it can now be found growing in many areas throughout the world, it should not be confused with the brush sage that grows in the desert areas.
Often, dried sage leaves are used as culinary spices. Sage is, and has been, a staple in many households. Traditionally, it is used to prolong life. It is also used in lotions to help heal sores and other sin ailments. Fresh sage leaves are chewed in order to remedy infections of the mouth and throat. Gargling with sage can also be an effective way to help treat a sore throat. Additionally, sage helps with excessive mucus discharge, nasal drip, sores, and excessive saliva secretions. The herb has antipyretic qualities that have been known to help with fevers, night sweats, and related problems.
This herb is also beneficial for mental exhaustion and for increasing the ability to concentrate. Sage improves memory and has been used on some forms of mental illness. Also, it has been used to treat digestive disorders such as ulcers, nausea, and diarrhea. It is used topically as an antiseptic for sores, and sore gums. The herb is even used as a teeth cleaner or hair tonic.
Sage has been found in clinical studies to contain antioxidant properties. It is thought that the labiatic acid found within is the active constituent. Evidence has shown that there is some antimicrobial activity in this herb as well. Recent research using laboratory animals has found antispasmodic activity in sage extracts. This activity may account for its use as a digestive aid. It should be noted that those people with seizure disorders should only use sage under the supervision of a health-care provider.
The leaves of the sage plant are used to provide alterative, antigalactagogue, antihydrotic, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, febrifuge, parasiticide, stimulant, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, and vitamins A, B-complex, and C. Primarily, sage is extremely beneficial in dealing with coughs, diabetes, fevers, gastic disorders, sore gums, indigestion, infection, absent lactation, memory impairments, mental illnesses, mouth sores, nausea, nervous conditions, night sweats, sores, sore throat, and worms.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating snake bits, blood infections, colds, cystitis, diarrhea, dysentery, flu, hair loss, headaches, kidney stones, laryngitis, lung congestion, mucus discharge, nasal drip, palsy, parasites, phlegm, sinus congestion, skin disorders, tonsillitis, ulcers, 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. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by sage, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
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.
Fight Cold Sores And Build Collagen
April 29, 2009 10:18 AM
Lysine is an essential alpha-amino acid, in that it cannot be biosynthesized by the human body, and therefore must be taken in your diet or as a supplement. It is synthesized in plants from aspartic acid, and metabolized in the body to produce acetyl-Coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA).
Before discussing its action on herpes, we shall first have look at how Lysine helps with the formation of collagen. Collagen is a protein that is produced in the body from lysine and proline, another amino acid. In fact the primary role of amino acids in your diet is as building blocks to form the much larger protein molecules.
Collagen is fibrous, and forms the connective tissue such as cartilage, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels and skin. Even the external parts of the ears. It literally holds our skeletons together, and wraps the whole body up in skin, so if we had no collagen we would literally fall apart! Collagen is also used by body cells to form the matrix that the body cells use to attach to each other and is one of the most important types of tissue in your body.
It is so ubiquitous that over 30% of the protein contained in your body is collagen, and it is designed for its structural strength as opposed to its ability to take part in chemical reactions as other proteins are. Lysine and Vitamin C are essential for the maintenance and formation of collagen.
There is not a lot of lysine in collagen - only about 4%, but it is very active in the cross-linking that forms the fibrils of collagen. Fibrils are the hair-like structures formed in a triple helix arrangement by three protein chains twisting round one another. The fibrils are bundled together in a straight line that has amazing tensile strength. The tensile strength of collagen is, weight for weight, stronger than steel!
In order for lysine to take part in this process effectively, some molecules have to be hydroxylated and others oxidized, forming aldehydes. Things can go wrong here, and deficiencies in the metabolic process can lead to some heritable conditions, or diseases of connective tissue. Among these are lathyrism, Cutis-Laxa and the Menkes kinky hair syndrome.
However, lysine is a very versatile amino acid, and not only is it necessary for the biosynthesis of all proteins, but is also heavily involved in the production of enzymes, hormones and antibodies. It is an important component of the calcium absorption process, and also, as previously stated, can be used in the treatment of herpes simplex.
This form of herpes is known commonly as 'cold sores', and is a result of the activity of the herpes virus. Viruses do not reproduce in order to ensure the 'continuation of the species', but replicate. In order to achieve this it requires the help of another amino acid, arginine. This is a common amino acid whose sources include grains, seeds, peanuts, raisins and chocolate.
Lysine and arginine competes for the absorption and entry of tissue cells, and reduces the strength of arginine, so preventing the growth of herpes. For this reason a supplement of lysine can be used to reduce the effects of the herpes simplex virus, and lessen the symptoms of the cold sore.
However, it is not only cold sores but other forms of herpes that lysine can help to relieve. Herpes zoster is a virus that causes shingles. This virus is generated by the reactivation of the dormant varicella-zoster virus left in the tissues after chickenpox. It is a recurrent condition, and lycine can help to reduce recurrences as well as its severity. Apart from being an effective defense against herpes, and forming collagen, the amino acid imparts several other benefits to the human body.
Among these is osteoporosis. L-lysine is involved in calcium absorption in the intestine, and also helps to reduce the loss of calcium in the urine. In osteoporosis we have to try to make every calcium molecule ingested in the diet to be incorporated in the bone structure. L-arginine can work with lysine to enhance the activity of the body cells that produce bone.
Canker sores are often mistaken for cold sores, but they are actually quite different. They are small sores inside the mouth, and appear in the form of very painful ulcers. The cause is unknown, but is believed to be a virus, and lysine appears to help the condition. Although there have been no proper clinical tests carried out on its use as a remedy for canker sores, lysine appears to help, and a supplement is recommended as a treatment by many doctors. It will do no harm, and anybody suffering from these tiny but painful sores will try anything.
Although lysine deficiency is rare, it can occur, particularly amongst those observing a vegetarian macrobiotic diet, and also in athletes who frequently undertake vigorous exercise, especially with too little recovery time. The effects of a deficiency are fatigue, nausea, appetite loss, anemia, slow growth and kidney stones. The latter is likely due to a failure to absorb calcium, that L-lysine promotes, and the formation of calcium oxalate and other insoluble salts in the kidney.
Dietary sources include beans and other legumes, and although it should be available in cereals, baked foods and doughnuts, for example, the carmelization of sugars binds the lysine to the sugar, and so reducing its bioavailability. However, you can also get it in cheese, eggs, tofu and red meats.
If you are taking an arginine supplement, you should consult your physician prior to taking lysine. The reason for this is that lysine and arginine share biochemical pathways, and arginine can reduce the effective concentration of lysine.
However, it has not been tested by the FDA, nor approved, and any use is at your own risk. This risk appears to be very small, although its manufacture is not regulated. However, do not let this bother you: the proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say.
Many have found lysine to be effective with collagen or herpes problems, and a supplement of between 3,000 and 9,000 mg per day is recommended for those with herpes viral infections. It is not recommended for children under two years old. Lysine is available at your local or internet health food store at discount prices. Look for name brands to ensure purity and quality of the product you purchase.
Another Great Cold Sore Remedy is Red Marine Algae!
April 08, 2009 07:59 PM
There have been few herbs throughout history that have been valued as highly as the aloe vera plant. Aloe vera has been used for thousands of years because of its medicinal value and therapeutic benefits. Today, it is widely used and cultivated all over the world. The aloe vera plant is a member of the lily family. However, it looks much more like a cactus plant. This perennial produces yellow flowers and has tough, stiff, spiny, and triangular leaves. This plant may grow up to twenty inches long and five inches across, while the leaves grow in a rosette with three layers.
Historically, aloe has been used by many people. This includes the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Hebrews, Chinese, Indians, Algerians, Moroccans, Tunisians, and Arabians. Records of folklore have indicated many medicinal uses of aloe, with recent research adding validity to the many beneficial uses of the aloe plant.
Traditionally, aloe vera has been used to treat wounds, frostbite, burns, radiation burns, and external pain. This herb also aids in digestion and combats constipation, inflammation, ulcers, kidney stones, and tissue damage from X-ray exposure and other forms of radiation. Aloe vera can prevent scarring and heal minor scars because it contains enzymes, saponins, hormones, and amino acids that can be absorbed into the skin. Aloe vera can also promote the growth of living cells. Aloe contains many substances that are referred to as uronic acids. These uronic acids are natural detoxicants which take part in the healing process by stripping toxic materials of their harmful effects.
Aloe vera is best known for its soothing and external healing effect on burns, wounds, and rashes. According to modern research, when aloe is applied externally, it can help speed healing and restore skin tissue. This is primarily because of the plant’s moisturizing effects. Aloe is easily absorbed into the skin, preventing the air from drying damaged skin tissue and helping to relieve the pain that is associated with both burns and wounds.
Many studies have found the positive effects that are linked to the use of aloe juice in the digestive process. Used in the digestive process, this herb can treat stomach disorders, ulcers, colitis, constipation, and other colon-related problems. Aloe can also help to soothe, reduce inflammation, and heal the digestive tract. One study found that ulcer patients can be completely healed with the use of aloe juice just as effectively as anti-ulcer drugs and without the chance of toxic side effects.
Aloe gel is made up of acemannan, which is a complex carbohydrate that possesses immune-stimulating and antiviral properties. The acemannan in aloe has shown antiviral activity against HIV-1, as it inhibits the reproduction of HIV-1. Aloe gel has also been found to be effective in fighting the spread of some viruses, like herpes, measles, and rhinotracheitis.
The primary applications of aloe vera are to treat insect bites, burns and scalds, hemorrhoids, body odor, gastric disorders, and scar tissues. However, aloe vera has also been shown to be extremely beneficial in dealing with abrasions, acne, anemia, constipation, heartburn, poison ivy/oak, psoriasis, ringworm, sores, sunburn, tapeworm, tuberculosis, wrinkles, leg ulcers, and peptic ulcers.
Aloe vera is available in capsule, tablet, liquid and powder forms. Always purchase a liquid form to ensure freshness. When looking to purchase this product, always stick to name brands that you can find in your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Aloe vera 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.
Dandelion Root Tea
July 05, 2008 09:53 AM
Just about everybody knows what a dandelion is. In the western world it is a weed, but in many other societies it is an important herb that is used to treat many common diseases and conditions of the human body.
It is also a food, being used in salads and the roots are also used by some as a coffee substitute the same as chicory. It is also used to make a herbal tea, and most people have likely heard of dandelion tea. However, its medicinal properties are not so well known, even though it has been use for hundreds, if not thousands, of years for the treatment of many conditions including those associated with the gall bladder, liver and kidneys.
However, that is not all, and there are several more traditional uses of dandelion in the folk medicine of many different countries including conditions as diverse as water retention and eczema. So, taking all of this into consideration, what exactly are the main benefits of dandelion to the body and what is it that provides these benefits?
Dandelion contains its fair share of minerals and vitamins, and is rich in vitamin C of course, with its strong antioxidant properties. It also contains the antioxidant vitamin A together with several B vitamins and the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D, which is so important for the absorption of calcium by the kidneys and into the bone structure. The minerals it contains is like an encyclopedia entry of minerals important to the human body. It’s not so much what minerals dandelion contains, as what it doesn’t contain.
The list includes phosphorus, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, silicon, manganese and boron, and the organic nutrients include lecithin, carotenoids, terpenoids, tannins, sterols, choline, inulin, aspargine and so on. It would take a whole book to describe the health benefits of each of these, but an attempt will be made later to discuss the more important of them.
Suffice it to say that the list contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and substances that help to reduce blood cholesterol levels and also maintain the health of your blood and major organs. However, the effect of dandelion on the liver and the digestive system are due largely to substances known collectively as taraxacin. That is what gives dandelion its bitter taste.
What was once known as taraxin, is now known to consist of sesquiterpene lactones known as eudesmanolide and germacranolide, which although claimed to be unique to the dandelion, are very similar to other sesquiterpenes found in chicory. In fact, dicaffeolquinic acid and chicoric acid (dicaffeoyltartaric acid) have been found to comprise a significant proportion of the extract from dandelion roots, together with a number of phenolic acids and flavanoids. Each of these, of course, is important and effective antioxidants, responsible for many positive health effects in the body.
Among the more important of these is the stimulation of the circulation of the blood throughout the body. The sesquiterpenes are also believed to support the activity of the pancreas, and the presence of so many strong antioxidant species within the leaves and roots of the dandelion explains the traditional use of dandelion for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.
Antioxidants support the immune system that causes inflammation when it is under stress. Studies of rats have indicated that dandelion is effective in reducing acute pancreatis, which is itself an inflammatory condition. The large querticin glycoside and flavanoid content of dandelion root extract posses anti-inflammatory properties, and suddenly dandelion is beginning to take on the appearance of a ‘wonder plant’.
However, let’s get away from the technical stuff for a while, and check out exactly what you can use dandelion for. Pregnant and post-menopausal women can gain the benefit of all these nutrients detailed above by taking dandelion extract, and it also has a diuretic effect. Although mild, this can help to remove excess water from the body, and helps to reduce blood pressure and the effects of heart problems. LDL cholesterol levels can be reduced by virtue of its anti-oxidant properties, and can help to resolve minor digestive complaints.
Traditionally it is claimed to have been used as a laxative and a cure for rheumatism. The latter can be explained by its antioxidant effects, and the way the sesquiterpenes reduce the inflammation associated with rheumatism. It is this inflammation of the tissues that causes so much of the swelling and pain of rheumatism and arthritis. Anti-inflammatories help to reduce this effect.
Dandelion is also believed to stimulate the flow of bile from the gall bladder to the duodenum, and help promote the digestion of fats and oils, thus alleviating many of the digestive problems associated with a fatty diet. This also appears to have the effect of stimulating the appetite, and dandelion juice is frequently drunk before a meal for these reasons. It is believed to help bladder and kidney stones, and also helps to alleviate infections of the urinary tract.
Although dandelion is normally safe to take, those with problems associated with the bile ducts should not take it, and if you are already on diuretic drugs, or any medicines designed to lower your blood pressure, you should stay clear of dandelion extract. The same is true if you are taking lithium for manic depression since some of the components of dandelion juice can exaggerate the side effects. It is also recommended that diabetics do not use dandelion extract, and neither should anyone on blood thinning drugs such as Coumadin, or any other form of warfarin.
Although dandelion can be a very effective natural remedy for many conditions, you should always refer to your physician before taking it, since it could interfere with any medications you are currently taking. Your doctor might also be aware of certain medical conditions you have that, while you are not being treated for, could deteriorate in the presence of one of the constituents of dandelion extract.
Although all of this could suggest that dandelion is dangerous to take, in fact what it indicates is that it is very effective against many conditions, and that taking it could lead to the effects of an overdose of the treatment you are already on. Had it not so many contra-indications, dandelion wouldn’t be as effective at doing what it does.
B Vitamin Complex
June 23, 2008 03:19 PM
The vitamin B supplement you take is a mixture of nutrients that, although they share the same vitamin letter, are in fact distinctly different chemical entities. The reason that they share the same reference letter of the alphabet is that they are all essential water soluble vitamins (Vitamin C being the only other), they frequently work in synergy with each other and they often come from common sources and have similar properties in the body. They were therefore at one time believed to be just the one chemical entity.
They are essential in that they must form part of our diet because our bodies cannot manufacture these substances from others, and although most share common biochemical and health functions, there is no health function that requires all of them, and none of them can be totally replaced by another.
The B-Vitamin complex that you take can consist of as many as eight different B vitamins, each of which is essential for a healthy body and at one time it was believed that this mixture was only one single vitamin. That is why they are collectively known as vitamin B and were subsequently allocated numbers: it was only later that the individual components were discovered.
These eight are vitamin B-1 (thiamine), vitamin B-2 (riboflavin), vitamin B-3 (niacin), vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B-12 (cobalamins), biotin and folic acid (folate). They are found in yeast, liver, tuna, bananas and rice among other sources, and, as with all vitamins, without them life would not be possible. Not all vitamins are found in each of these food sources, and vitamin B-12, for example, is available in nutritional quantities only from animal sources.
Knowing what they are is all very well, but what does your body do with the B vitamin supplement that you take? Before considering that, the reason that a regular supply is important is because of their water solubility. This is a useful property for a vitamin to possess, because it means that they can easily be transported by the body fluids to the tissues where they are needed. The downside, however, is that they are consequently also easily flushed from the body, and your body cannot store any of the B vitamins.
You therefore must have a regular dietary source that can be augmented through supplementation. This is particularly desirable in alcoholics, those on diets to lose weight and vegans who are advised to take a regular vitamin B-12 supplement.
A lack of vitamin B will make you feel tired and lack energy because they play a big part in your body’s metabolism of blood glucose into energy. They also help to maintain a healthy immune system, keep your nervous system in tip-top condition and maintain good healthy skin, hair and muscles. The B complex is also very important in maintaining healthy blood and liver, and each and every component of the mixture has a specific part to play, both on individually and by interaction with others in the B complex.
Rather than examining what your body does with the supplement as a whole, let’s have a look at each component, and what your body does with that. Taking them one at a time, thiamine (B1) helps you to burn carbohydrates to generate energy. It is highly water soluble and must be taken daily. In the form of thiamine pyrophosphate it plays a key part in the metabolism of carbohydrates to energy, and also in the metabolism of certain amino acids. If you rely heavily on a high carbohydrate diet, you will need a good regular supplement of thiamine to be able to convert them to energy.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) also plays a part in fat and carbohydrate metabolism and the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the molecule of energy. It plays a significant part in the health of your skin and a deficiency is associated with mouth ulcers, cracked lips, flaky skin and bloodshot watery eyes. It also activates vitamin B6 and folic acid, one of the cases where the B vitamins work together synergistically.
Vitamin B3, or niacin, is well known to women as a component of some shampoos, and helps to promote health hair. However, this vitamin also takes part in the process of energy creation within your body, and helps to maintain a good muscle tone within the digestive tract. It is also used as a supplement for the treatment of diseases related to high levels of LDL cholesterol and is useful for the treatment of atherosclerosis.
Pantothenic acid is also found as a component of shampoos, so no prizes for guessing one of its functions. Vitamin B-5 plays a significant part in the energy-producing Krebs Cycle, or Citric Acid Cycle, that is used by every cell in your body to generate energy just where it is needed. It is also needed to synthesize acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter needed for good brain function and it helps to reduce stress. Pantothenic acid is also closely involved in the production of cholesterol in your liver: cholesterol is not all bad, and is needed by your body to produce some of the steroid hormones and also vitamin D.
Amino acids are the small units that are used to biosynthesize proteins and ultimately the genes and DNA that determine who you are. The major factor involved in processing these amino acids is Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), one of the lesser known of the vitamin B complex. It synthesizes and breaks up different amino acids to produce a variety of other compounds, such as the hormones serotonin, melatonin and dopamine.
Deficiencies in these hormones can be very serious, Parkinson’s disease believed to be connected with a dopamine deficiency for example, and other disorders include kidney stones, anemia and many skin complaints. Although deficiency of vitamin B6 is rare, it can occur in alcoholics and those with chronic kidney problems. It is believed that many diets are deficient, however, and a good vitamin B supplement would ensure that this did not occur.
Vitamin B-12 is one where deficiency can occur, particularly in alcoholics and vegans. It is available in sufficient quantities only from meat sources, and a supplement is indicated in anyone with a low meat intake in their diet. It is used by your body for the replication of DNA and to allow the normal activity of your body cells. It also helps to control homocysteine levels in conjunction with vitamin B6 and folic acid: homocysteine is a high-risk amino acid associated with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, heart attacks and strokes.
The seventh, biotin (sometimes referred to as vitamin B7) also takes part in the metabolism of energy, but deficiencies have not been known, and the final known member of the B vitamin complex is folic acid. This is essential for cell growth and the synthesis of RNA and DNA in the body. RNA (Ribonucleic acid) is responsible for the synthesis of proteins in your body, and the well known Deoxy-ribonucleic acid (DNA) holds the genetic information of your body. Folic acid is therefore essential in the growing fetus, and any other cellular system that rapidly regenerates such as blood cells and the various cells of the immune system.
Without folic acid your body would be more susceptible to bacterial and viral attack, and less able to protect you from foreign invaders into your body tissues. Although deficiency is not common, folic acid is present in fresh food only and degrades when stored at room temperature and when cooked. A supplement is therefore advisable during pregnancy to help to prevent neural tube defects.
It is evident that the Vitamin B complex plays many parts in the chemistry of your body, and that a supplement can be of benefit in assuring that there are no deficiencies. A good B complex can be found at your local or internet health food store.
June 05, 2008 11:13 AM
An overactive bladder is a common complaint for pregnant women and men with enlarged prostates. Nearly 30 million people in the United States complain of incontinence. The problem is prevalent, yet can still be embarrassing. Even minor leaking can stop you dead in your tracks.
Pressure on the bladder makes it feel as if you always have to go to the bathroom. There is nothing worse than having to run to the restroom throughout the day, whether you are at work, at home or on a vacation. Making frequent pit stops is not in your best interest. Having an accident is worse.
Possible Bladder Problems
Bladder problems can occur in a number of ways. Be aware of these issues and don't be afraid to talk to your doctor to get help if you experience any of the following:
* Weak muscles that allow urine to leak
Supporting a Healthy Bladder
There are some simple habits you can get into that will help support a healthy bladder. Consistency is the best policy to avoid potential problems down the line.
* Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water per day
Create a Healthy Bladder with Butterbur
Butterbur is taken from the root of a purple flowering plant that has been used for fighting fevers, asthma, colds and urinary problems.
Butterbur is a supplement that supports healthy bladder functioning. It is an anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory. It works to relax the muscles of the bladder and reduce pressure. It is also good for liver problems, gastrointestinal disorders, kidney stones, ulcers, painful menstrual periods, and muscle spasms. Butterbur acts as a natural pain reliever, making bladder problems easier to handle.
People are becoming more reluctant to take prescription drugs for things like urinary tract infections. Antibiotics build up to the point where our bodies resist them and then no longer work. There are also unhealthy side effects that come with prescription drugs.
Naturally, this is leading more people to search for home remedies. Butterbur is an herb that can help relieve bladder problems without relying on an antibiotic. Of course, healthy habits that prevent urinary tract infections and other bladder problems are recommended. Early detection and treatment are in order when the bladder is not functioning well though.
Research shows that butterbur can reduce the sudden urge to urinate. It can restore the bladder to a healthy state and reduce your trips to the restroom. Make sure you are eating healthy foods, drinking cranberry juice, getting regular exercise and taking a butterbur supplement to relieve bladder problems.
Fight Stress With Magnesium Supplements
April 17, 2008 04:16 PM
When stress hormones are released into the body due to a stressful situation, several things may happen. Your metabolic rate can increase, heart rate jumps, blood vessels contract and get tighter, the rate at which one breaths gets more frequent and shorter, muscles contract in response to stress among other things.
At the cellular level a significant inflow of calcium decrease cellular magnesium to calcium ratios which stimulates cellular function such as secrete fluids, contract, go into active mode. The muscles prepare to contract this includes the lungs, heart, and blood vessels. Nerves start to fire more frequent, the blood gets ready to clot, and secondary stress hormones are released. Normally when the stress crisis is over, magnesium moves back into the cells at the cellular level forcing calcium out relaxing the cells, this allows the body to slow down and relax, the nerves calm down and blood flow slows.
Magnesium plays a vital role to relax the body, once the stressful situation is over. The demand for magnesium goes up with stress. If there are inadequate amounts of magnesium in the body, this magnesium deficiency can in itself sustain a stress response. A magnesium deficiency itself can initiate and maintain a stress response without a trigger to cause the stress in the first place. Low magnesium states can prevent the body from relaxing and cause muscle cramping. After a stressful situation, adequate magnesium is needed to help the body shift over to a relaxed state.
Boarder-line magnesium individuals can have a mental, emotional, environmental or physical state of continuous stress where their bodies never come down out of the stress state. This can be detrimental to health and wellness. Drinking coffee, alcohol, and eating lots of sugary foods will cause the body to become depleted. Today’s diets high in over processed foods are lacking magnesium; one should supplement by either changing ones diet or adding magnesium to their diet in mineral supplement form.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include signs such as, muscle cramps or twitches, insomnia, irritability, sensitivity to loud noises, anxiety, nervousness, autism, ADHD, heart palpitations, angina, constipation, spasms in the muscles, headaches, migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, asthma and kidney stones (typically caused by a calcium-magnesium imbalance), diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, menstrual cramps, irritable bladder, irritable bowel, acid reflux, and premenstrual syndrome, depression, low energy, weakness in the muscles, weakening bones (bone density loss), and calcification of organs.
Women who consume high amounts of calcium can actually create a greater deficiency in magnesium leading to greater bone mineral density lost then if no calcium was consumed at all. Foods today that are being fortified with calcium are actually helping women loose more bone density because magnesium is not in the right proportions.
To word off the negative effects of a prolonged or over-reaction to stress including a shortened lifespan, one needs to balance out their magnesium to calcium ratios by adding adequate amounts of both magnesium and calcium to their diet. Supplementing with 400 mgs to 800 mgs of elemental magnesium is critical for one looking to live a healthier longer life that is free from stress.
Keywords: Magnesium Deficiency, Fight Stress, Magnesium, Calcium, Fight High Blood Pressure
Description: Are you feeling tired, sick or maybe you feel like something is wrong but not quite sure what it is? Would you know if you had a magnesium deficiency? Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic functions in the body; learn how it can help you!
Did You Know There Is One Mineral That Could Change Your Life Forever?
March 05, 2008 04:05 PM
Did you know there is one mineral that could affect the way you feel and change the way you live life forever? Yes that’s correct – forever - magnesium is that mineral! More than 50% of all Americans consume less then the required amounts of magnesium to stay healthy.
You might be wondering how you would know if you are deficient in magnesium and where you can get a test. Unfortunately it is not that simple. A magnesium test is available from your doctor, but when most people take this test, the results normally come back as normal, so we think everything is fine. This test only measures blood serum levels and not cellular magnesium. One needs to have their red blood cells tested to accurately measure the uptake of magnesium and at this time. This kind of testing needed is not readily available.
You might ask, “how can I tell whether I have a deficiency or not?” It is simple, look at your medical history. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include signs such as, muscle cramps or twitches, insomnia, irritability, sensitivity to loud noises, anxiety, nervousness, autism, ADHD, heart palpitations, angina, constipation, spasms in the muscles, headaches, migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, asthma and kidney stones (typically caused by a calcium-magnesium imbalance), diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, menstrual cramps, irritable bladder, irritable bowel, acid reflux, and premenstrual syndrome, depression, low energy, weakness in the muscles, weakening bones, and calcification of organs.
If you did not notice, this is an extensive list of symptoms that may be attributed to a deficiency in magnesium. Magnesium is essential for cardiac function in stabilizing cardiac membranes preventing arrhythmias. This mineral helps the cardiovascular system relax aiding in the relief of angina symptoms. Millions of Americans are diagnosed with heart disease yearly, a magnesium deficiency may be the cause.
The reason we are deficient in magnesium is mostly due to the fact that we eat refined, over-processed foods with white flour that have absolutely zero magnesium. The consumption of foods not rich in magnesium will rob our bodies of the little we still have in our bones and organs. Drinking coffee, alcohol, eating lots of sugary foods and stress will cause the body to become depleted.
If you are experiencing one of the above mentioned symptoms and suspect you have a magnesium deficiency, changing they way you eat can help. Pick up a nutritional almanac and find foods high in magnesium like nuts, sea vegetables, dark leaf vegetables and beans to start. Also, kelp, wheat bran, wheat germ, buckwheat, millet, brown rice, rye, tofu, soybeans, brown rice, figs, dates, avocados, parsley, barley, dandelion greens and garlic all contains high amounts of magnesium. Adding a magnesium supplement to your diet which provides 200 to 400 milligrams per day will help. One should limit the intake of coffee, alcohol, colas, salt, and sugar. Actually, many medications can deplete the body of magnesium such as water pills (diuretics) and antibiotics to name two.
So now you know what to do, you might be thinking that a magnesium supplement would be the fastest way to boost magnesium in the body for the time being. What form of magnesium is best? The recommended form of magnesium is magnesium citrate, because of its digestibility and absorbability in the body. Avoid magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, and oxide if at all possible for these forms of magnesium are harder to digest and will result in smaller amounts being absorbed by the body. Now what are you waiting for, give magnesium a try and see how good you can feel from it!
Better Vision Through Bilberries
January 17, 2008 02:20 PM
"Eat your carrots! They're good for your eyes!" Isn't this what your mother always told you? Isn't that what you learned as a kid? Well, how about re-writing that phrase? How about making it into the phrase: "Eat your bilberries!"
What is a bilberry? A bilberry is a shrub just over a foot tall. The bilberry plant possesses a fruit, the cousin of the blueberry, that is indigenous to Northern Europe. These fruits contain bioflavonoids, an antioxidant with a variety of health benefits. A thousand years ago bilberries were used to relieve diarrhea and kidney stones. Today, the bilberry sees use as a treatment and preventive measure in a variety of situations. Some of the benefits seen in the modern age include possible prevention of heart disease and macular degeneration. In fact, bilberries may help strengthen the eyes when used by people regularly who aren't suffering from any ocular conditions.
The active ingredients in the fruit are tannins, which are an astringent and anti-inflammatory. The bilberry also contains anthocyanidins, which are compounds that strengthen capillaries and improve the flow of blood through the circulatory system. These anthocyanidins also increase the body’s production of rhodopsin, which is a pigment responsible for enhanced night vision and increased adaptability to changes in light by the eye. In fact, a jam made from the fruit was used by British Royal Air Force pilots in World War II who often reported that it improved their night vision, a crucial aid in an ace pilot's career.
The anthocyanidins in the bilberry fruit are a bioflavonoid. A bioflavonoid is a substance found in plants which helps strengthen the walls of capillaries. Many bioflavonoids support human health in various ways, such as naringenin which aids in cancer prevention. Others may be useful in treating liver conditions such as cirrhosis. The variety of bioflavonoid uses is a field that is still being developed.
Bioflavonoids have an extensive history. From the previously mentioned uses for bilberries to research after World War II into the connection between bioflavonoids and vitamin C, these biologically active wonder substances are an exciting branch of health supplements. They are available in various forms for your convenience.
Bilberry extract comes in a capsule form, usually meant to be taken three times daily. The manufacturer will have instructions in case of varying dosages. Bilberry extract contains the most potent dose of bioflavonoid that the bilberry has to offer. It is this potency that makes the extract the best choice for maximum ocular benefit. But it is not the only choice, in case you are looking for another way to enjoy receiving its unique health bonuses.
Bilberry tea is also made from the dried berries or the leaves of the plant. The berries are also eaten fresh or made into jam, just like the aforementioned British pilots did. The taste of a bilberry is very similar to that of a blueberry: slightly tart, slightly sweet. It has traditionally been baked in pies and it a special treat with syrup and ginger ice cream. That's a taste worthy of the fruit's pedigree!
In the world of health supplements, the unique properties and advantages this fruit, particularly bilberry extract, make it a worthy addition to anyone's daily regimen. Maybe there's a toddler in the house who won't eat his carrots. He will get similar eye benefits by eating the sweet fruit of the bilberry plant. Perhaps a tasty dessert that packs its own reward would be a welcome addition to the dinner table. The possibilities are limitless. Try some of the fruit or extract and invest in a healthier future.
Best Bladder Support
October 28, 2005 05:17 PM
Crateva nurvala is an ancient herb used for generations in the traditional Indian sys tem of medicine kn own as Ayurveda. Ancient Ayurvedic practitioners used it as an internal purifier that helped maintain homeostasis and balance. This herb has a long history of use as the herb of choice to maintain healthy urinary tract and bladder function. The tree that is the source of this herb is often found growing along the banks of rivers in the sub-Himalayan regions of India. The stem bark is the part used to benefit urinary health.1
Studies with Crateva nurvala have been conducted in India demonstrating the herb's efficacy in maintaining healthy urinary bladder function. Animal studies with the water extract of Crateva have shown that the herb has the ability to increase the tone of smooth muscle and skeletal muscle. In a rat model of kidney stones, researchers were able to show that rats given Crateva extract had significantly smaller stones than in the untreated group.3 In addition, a study conducted in dogs showed that the animals receiving Crateva extract for 40 days had significantly higher maintenance of bladder tone than control animals.
2 A tea prepared from the bark of the plant was given to 30 individuals (50 ml twice daily). Baseline measures of urinary function and bladder tone were assessed at the beginning of the study. It was found that when compared to baseline, the Crateva tea showed a high ability to promote healthy urinary function and enhance bladder tone in these individuals after 3 months of use.2
Equisetum arvense, also known as horsetail, is a traditional plant that is especially rich in silica and other essential minerals. It is a member of a prehistoric family of plants that is now one of the most common species in northern temperate climates. In addition to being extremely rich in the mineral silica, horsetail also contains saponins and flavonoids. The combination of these constituents is thought to be responsible for its beneficial properties.
4 Traditional cultures have used horsetail over the years for its various healing properties. Traditional herbalists recommended horsetail for healing wounds be cause of its noticeably astringent effects. Internally,horsetail was used to promote healthy digest ive function.5
HERBAL FIRST AID KIT
July 11, 2005 09:44 PM
HERBAL FIRST AID KIT
It is important to know the area where you will be going to determine plants that will be available in case they are needed and access to emergency help if necessary. The herbal first aid kit is meant to be used for minor conditions that may occur while traveling. Any serious condition should be seen by a health care professional. Gathering herbs along the trail can be fun as well as useful. Simple plant remedies can be brought along in the first aid kit. Major injuries require immediate medical attention by a professional. Minor problems can often be taken care of with simple herbal remedies. Supplies can be obtained from the local health food store or by collecting plants locally.
Along with the herbs, a few supplies should be part of the kit available at the local drugstore or market.
ALOE VERA: Aloe is great for minor skin abrasions, burns and as a natural laxative. It is excellent to soothe and repair damage from a sunburn. Aloe can be applied to stings and bites to soothe and heal.
TEA TREE OIL: Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and contains many antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. It helps to speed the healing process and is excellent to apply externally on wounds to promote healing and prevent infection. It is also a natural bug repellent and can soothe and promote healing after bites and stings.
ECHINACEA: One of the most often used herbs, echinacea is useful for pre venting infection by stimulating the immune function. It can be found in herbal salve preparations and applied directly to the wound. A salve can also be applied to skin irritations from contact with poison ivy or oak. LAVENDER: Lavender is a natural bug repellent and can be applied topically to bites and stings.
GINGER: Ginger root is excellent for an upset stomach. It is effective when used to combat motion and altitude sickness. Studies have found ginger to be just as effective when treating motion sickness due to riding in the car, boating or flying in and airplane, as over the counter remedies which often have side effects such as drowsiness. Ginger can be made into a tea or taken in capsule form. ARNICA: Arnica can be applied externally to areas of bruising and swelling, but not to broken skin. It can help to reduce inflammation.
PLANTAIN: A poultice of plantain can help reduce inflammation when applied to the affected area. It can also help with bites, stings, scratches and cuts. GARLIC: Along with being a natural antibiotic to help prevent infection, garlic also helps to keep mosquitoes away. They don’t seem to like the scent of garlic. Capsules or pills should be taken internally.
CAYENNE (CAPSICUM): This is effective for both internal and external bleeding. Externally, apply pressure and raise affected area. Sprinkle cayenne powder over the wound. MINT: Mint leaves, often found growing in the wild, can be made into a tea to help with digestion and calm the nerves. Some members of the mint family include peppermint, spearmint, catnip and horsemint.
FEVERFEW: This daisy like plant found growing in the wild, can help with migraine headaches and inflammation.
Chew the leaves, make into a tea or take in capsule form. Some have developed mouth irritations from chewing the leaves.
Tea Tree Oil Fights Staph Infection
There is much concern regarding the overuse of antibiotics leading to drug resistant strains of bacteria. Some forms of bacteria are difficult to control as they change form. Tea tree oil holds promise as an effective treatment for inactivating Staphylococcus aureus.
A study reported in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, (1995; 35: 421-45), and lead by Dr. C. F. Carson, researched tea tree oil at the University of Western Australia. The results were significant. Tea tree oil successfully inactivated the staph bacteria which was resistant to methicillin, a salt of penicillin. It is a versatile substance with a broad spectrum of capabilities. It is generally used topically.
Blueberries for Health
Blueberries are packed full of nutritional value. A study published in the Food and Nutrition Re s e a rch Br i e f s , January, 1997, found that two-thirds of a cup of blueberries had more antioxidants than the recommended daily amounts of vitamins E and C. Blueberries were followed by Concord grape juice, strawberries, kale and spinach in their antioxidant content.
Antioxidants are an important part of optimal health. They protect the body from free radical damage which can lead to a variety of conditions such as aging, cancer, heart disease and other diseases. Adding blueberries could aid in p rotecting the body and strengthening the immune response.
Worldwide Concern About Antibiotic Overuse
A recent report called for doctors throughout the world to be careful in administering antibiotics needlessly. Overuse of antibiotics has lead to germ mutations resistant and untreatable with current antibiotics. Pediatricians in the United States have received a brochure from the American Academy of Pediatrics urging them to take precautions before prescribing. Antibiotics are not always the answer as they do not work on viral infections which cause the common cold, sore throats and some ear infections. Staphylococcus aureus is one example of an antibiotic resistant strain. Over 90 percent of this staph strain are resistant to penicillin and other antibiotics. And other bacteria are also developing a resistance to antibiotic therapy. Save antibiotics for conditions that require their use.
Aloe Vera, Woodland Health Series
Aloe vera is one of the most widely used plants for medicinal purposes. It has been used for over 4,000 year for its therapeutic benefits. Aloe Vera, a pamphlet written by Deanne Tenney, offers valuable information and up to date research on the aloe vera plant.
The benefits of the aloe plant are truly amazing. It has been used to treat burns, radiation burns, skin disorders, wounds, scratches, sunburn, dermatitis, constipation, digestion, ulcer, kidney stones, bacterial and viral infections, and to relieve pain. It is widely used for skin disorders, but its benefits go far beyond the skin.
As a natural home remedy, there are few plants more valuable than the aloe. It is a simple and easy way to treat minor injuries. The plant contains antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, anesthetic and tissue healing properties. The Aloe Vera pamphlet offers historical as well as modern uses for this ancient plant. Aloe Vera is available through Woodland Publishing.
Tea Tree Oil, Woodland Health Series
Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, a shrub-like tree found in Australia. It contains significant medicinal value and beneficial properties. Another pamphlet in the Woodland Publishing Health Series, Tea Tree Oil offers historical uses as well as current scientific information.
The essential oil of the tea tree leaves is one of the most powerful essential oils. It is used extensively in Australia, and popularity is growing throughout the world. It contains antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties helping to prevent and heal infection.
Tea tree oil has been used successfully for many conditions such as athlete’s foot, acne, burns, warts, vaginal yeast infections, ringworm, skin rashes, herpes, cold sores, canker sores, insect bites and in preventing infection to name a few. Tea tree oil is a natural alternative that can be used effectively for extended periods of time without.
HERBS FOR SUMMER HEALTH
July 11, 2005 09:29 PM
HERBS FOR SUMMER HEALTH
Just about everyone looks forward to the summer months when school is out and more time can be spent outside. Backpacking, hiking, camping, boating, and bike riding are just a few of the adventures available. It’s a time for connecting and becoming reacquainted with nature while exploring the out of doors. Family camping trips and backpacking through the wilderness can help us put our hectic lives in perspective and renew as well as refresh the body. Along with the adventures, a few bumps, bruises, bites and stings are expected. Before the summer holiday begins, prepare by having some herbal remedies on hand to help with minor accidents that may occur.
Aloe is one of the best choices for the first aid kit. Commercial preparations can be taken along on trips. A leaf from the plant can be sealed in a zip lock bag and tucked in the first aid kit for short term use. The plant has numerous healing abilities and can be used on minor burns, rashes, bumps, scrapes and bruises. The aloe plant is very useful for many conditions.
Modern research has proven many of the benefits of Aloe vera. It has been used effectively for treating radiation burns, skin disorders, wounds, sunburn and dermatitis, to name a few. Aloe vera can help clean, soothe and relieve pain on contact. It penetrates through all three layers of the skin rapidly to promote healing. There are many different types of aloe products. Some include:
Aloe gel: This is the undiluted gooey substance that is found in the center of the leaves. Aloe concentrate: The concentrate is the gel when the water content has been removed.
Aloe juice: The juice is a digestible version of the aloe plant made from the gel with at least 50 percent Aloe vera gel. Aloe latex (aloin): The latex is the bitter yellow liquid from the pericyclic tubules of the outer rind of the leaf. The main constituent of this is aloin.1
Aloe is known for its healing and soothing effect on burns, wounds, and rashes. It can help clean, soothe and relieve pain on contact. It is able to penetrate all three layers of the skin rapidly to promote healing. It contains salicylic acid and magnesium which work together to produce an aspirin like analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect. The transparent gel on the inner leaf is applied directly to areas of the skin to treat burns, wounds, skin irritations and frostbite. The gel can is commonly found in many first-aid creams.
Research has found that aloe when applied externally can actually help speed healing and restore skin tissue.2 It also aids in healing when used externally in cases of wounds, frostbite and burns.3 The healing of burns may be due in part to the moisturizing effect of aloe. It is easily absorbed into the skin preventing the air from drying the damaged skin tissue.4 Aloe can help with many minor irritations that can occur during the summer months. Steven R. Schechter, N.D. conducted a study in 1967 at the Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati to determine the healing benefits of aloe. Research animals were being treated for laser burns. Dr. Schechter used several different preparations and consistently found the aloe vera gel to produce the most healing results. He found the gel to help with many skin disorders including burns, lesions and cancers. 5
As much as we try to avoid sun exposure, it is almost impossible to completely avoid getting a sunburn at some point in our lives. We may forget the sunscreen or stay out longer than expected. Excessive exposure to the sun can be detrimental to health. But, aloe vera may help to lessen the damaging effects of the sun. A sunburn can damage the skin as well as the immune system. Research by Dr. Faith Strickland of the Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas points to the possibility of aloe vera helping to eliminate the damage done to the immune system and skin. It may even help to restore the immune system to full function.
Many individuals have found that having an aloe vera plant growing in the home, within easy access, is an easy and simple way to treat common injuries. Commercial p reparations are also available which contain aloe. Scientists have found the plant to contain antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, anesthetic and tissue healing properties.
So why shouldn’t it be useful as a natural home remedy? Simply break off a leaf of the plant and slice down the middle of the leaf. Apply the thick inner gel to the injury whether it be a burn, insect bite, abrasion, scrape, rash, or other injury. The cut leaf can be placed directly on the wound and wrapped with gauze to secure it into place for a more serious injury. The skin will soak up of the gel as it soothes the affected area.
Toxicity is rare, but some do have allergic reactions to Aloe vera products. The aloin, found in the bitter yellow latex, containing anthraquinones, may cause severe cramping and should be avoided by pregnant women and children. Aloe can also help with the following:
Ginkgo: A Urinary Tonifier
June 25, 2005 12:03 PM
Ginkgo: A Urinary Tonifier
Ginkgo has been used extensively in China to treat kidney infections, kidney stones and other urinary tract disorders. It is considered valuable because it has a tonifying effect on the urinary system.12
June 14, 2005 10:52 AM
Nutritional Scorecard by Sylvia Whitefeather Energy Times, June 15, 2004
For over 50 years, the federal government has produced Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) as guidelines for vitamin and mineral intake. Then, in 1993, the Reference Daily Intakes (RDIs) superseded the RDAs. By applying this new designation, the government's guidelines are now supposed to represent the designated amounts that an average person should consume. With this in mind, and the fact that many experts think you should consume more than some of the RDIs, how does your nutritional scorecard add up? Answering a few nutritional questions can point you in the right direction.
Are you trying to lose weight? If you are, the latest thinking on weight loss opines that eating more protein may be the key to keeping your weight down. Two recent studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (5/18/04) found that people who ate a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet lost more weight and had better cholesterol levels than dieters who ate fewer fatty foods. Both studies found that a low-carb diet can improve your triglycerides (blood fats) and boost your HDL, or good, cholesterol.
Eating protein satisfies both tummies and taste buds. Researchers have found that the amount of protein eaten in a meal determines not only how much food you eat but also how satisfied you feel after eating (J Nutr 2004 Apr; 134(4):974S-9S). And when you feel satisfied after eating less food you improve your odds of losing weight.
We need about 50 grams of protein a day to support the body's functions. The best sources of protein are eggs, meat, milk, protein shakes and yogurt.
Does your energy level go up and down during the day? To get off the energy rollercoaster, cut down on carbohydrates, and make sure the carbs you do eat are complex.
Carbohydrates have been getting some unflattering press lately. Yes, if you want to lose weight, you may want to go on a strictly low-carb diet. But for those not concerned with weight, carbohydrates are the principle source of energy for the body.
What's more, even if you do restrict carbohydrates, you should still eat a tiny bit of them. Without some carbs in the diet your body cannot regulate protein or fat metabolism. According to Michael and Mary Eades, MD, authors of The 30-Day Low-Carb Diet Solution (Wiley), "Carbohydrates control insulin and insulin controls your metabolic health."
So, make your carbohydrates count. Indulge in complex carbohydrates: whole grains, fruits and vegetables. In those foods, carbs are accompanied by fiber and larger amounts of vitamins and phytonutrients. Other reliable sources of complex carbohydrates are whole wheat bread, brown rice and oatmeal.
Are you concerned about your heart health? Fiber from beans, oats, legumes, nuts, rice bran, fruits and vegetables helps stabilize blood sugar and reduce cholesterol. Pectins, found in apples, pears, prunes and plums, are a particularly useful form of water-soluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber, in cereals, wheat bran and vegetables, reduces the risk of colon-related problems. In addition to adding fiber to the diet, dried beans and soybeans have been shown to lower cholesterol, improve vascular health and kidney functioning, preserve bone mineral density and reduce menopausal discomforts (AJCN 1999 Sept; 70(3 suppl):464S-74S). Fiber also promotes good bowel health and encourages the growth of beneficial intestinal flora.
You need 25 to 40 grams of fiber daily. If you have cut back on your carbohydrates, be sure to take a reliable fiber supplement.
Do you have problems focusing on mentally challenging tasks? If so, you should eat more fish and get more of the omega-3 fatty acids that fish and flax contain. Higher levels of this type of fat have been linked to better concentration while performing demanding intellectual work (Lipids 2004 Feb; 39(2):117-23).
Fats add flavor to food, making meals taste better. Monounsaturated fats like plain olive oil and canola are liquid at room temperature and are suitable for use in cooking at high temperatures. Researchers have found that a diet high in monounsaturated fat has the ability to decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol (J Nutr 2001; 131:1758-63). Other fats, such as extra virgin olive oil and flaxseed oil, are best used in dishes that don't need cooking, such as salads.
Although the RDI for fat is less than 30% of the total calorie intake, some researchers believe that if you eat healthy fat, eating too much is not a concern. Omega-3 fats are available in supplement form.
Do you suffer from dry skin? You may not be drinking enough water. This precious liquid is used by every cell of our bodies and makes up 60% to 75% of our body weight. Water is important for kidney function. Researchers in Italy found that drinking adequate amounts of water can help prevent the formation of kidney stones (Urol Int 2004; 72 Suppl 1:29-33).
Your activity level, environment and diet influence how much water you need daily. Try to drink at least eight cups of fluid a day from noncaffeinated, nonalcoholic sources.
Do you exercise frequently? If you do, you need more antioxidant vitamins like natural vitamin E and vitamin C as well as a healthy supply of carotenoids. A study at the School of Applied Medical Sciences and Sports Studies, University of Ulster, found that exercisers need more antioxidants. Otherwise, their exertion may release an excess number of free radicals (caustic molecules) in their bodies and do damage to the heart arteries and other internal organs.
Vitamins, in general, are defined as micronutrients that are necessary for life. They are necessary for the production of energy, a healthy immune system and hundreds of other functions in the body.
Vitamins aren't the only substances that produce big benefits in small quantities. Phytonutrients are chemicals in plants that have health-promoting properties. These nutrients are getting more and more attention from researchers who are keeping score on our nutritional requirements.
Do your meals contain plenty of calcium? If not, you may need supplements to keep your bones strong and help keep your weight down. One study, presented at the Experimental Biology 2003 meeting in San Diego, found that young women who consumed more calcium had better luck controlling their weight. In this research, it didn't take much calcium to make a difference in waistlines. Consuming just one more serving daily (a cup of milk or a thumb-sized piece of cheese, each of which contain about 300 mg of calcium) made, on average, about a two-pound difference.
In addition, many experts recommend multimineral supplements (along with multivitamins) to promote better health. A recent study of people with immune problems, for instance, found that those kinds of supplements seem to help boost the immune system (AT News 2004 Feb 27; 398:4-5).
Cancer at the Millenium - the war on cancer entering its third decade...
June 13, 2005 10:23 AM
Cancer at the Millenium by Harriet Brown Energy Times, May 1, 1999
With the war on cancer entering its third decade, the necessity grows clearer for medical science to engage the enemy on several fronts. Until recently, high-tech medical weapons like vaccines and gene therapy, inspired by a flood of insights into the molecular basis of cancer, garnered most of the hope, hype, headlines and research money. The science was sexy and the prospect of a "cure" dramatic. But, today, advocates of prevention receive equal, if not greater, attention.
Improving our diets and prudently supplementing with vitamins and minerals, can deliver a major preventive impact. Contentious experts concede that at least a third (and probably more) of all cancers can be blamed on a combination of eating too much of the wrong foods and not enough of the right ones.
The Dietary Difference
Though cancer can progress rapidly once it leaps past its inception, it develops over many years and in several stages. Beneficial compounds in food and supplements may intervene along a line that runs from initial exposure to carcinogens to the final step into outright malignancy. Nutrients may: - counteract environmental poisons and the toxic byproducts of liver metabolism
The Big Picture The dietary guidelines advocated by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute (which generally coincide with those of most health organizations) may sound familiar: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Get lots of fiber. Limit fat, especially animal fat. Go easy on meat and avoid the cured variety (they contain nitrites). If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation. Watch your total calories, and your weight. Pretty straightforward stuff.
Carotenoids, as their name suggests, are orange and red pigments in fruits and vegetables, most notably carrots and tomatoes, although they're also in everything from sweet potatoes to spinach and brussels sprouts (in the latter their distinctive color is masked by green chlorophyll).
Lycopene, a carotenoid found primarily in tomatoes, displays double the free radical-fighting activity of beta carotene, the most widely studied carotenoid. Of 72 studies looking at consumption of tomatoes or tomato-based products reviewed in the February 1999 Journal of the National Cancer Institute, almost half showed a significant reduction in one or more of a variety of cancers.
Research shows that lycopene may be best at lowering a man's risk of prostate cancer. A 1995 Harvard Medical School study (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995; 87: 1767-76) queried nearly 48,000 male health-care professionals about their consumption of fruits and vegetables. The only foods that reduced their risk of prostate cancer were, apparently, tomato sauce, tomatoes, pizza (tomato paste). For those who ate ten servings a week, risk dropped 45 percent; with four to seven servings, 20 percent. In animal studies lycopene decreased the number and size of mammary tumors (Eleventh International Symposium on Carotenoids, 1996).
Tomatoes are one of the richest sources of lycopene. Cooking tomatoes helps by releasing the lycopene from the plant cell walls. Also, the oil in tomato sauce enhances absorption in the stomach. Lycopene is also available in supplements.
Wine drinkers rejoiced when resveratrol, a constituent of the skin of red grapes, was found to protect their hearts (by blocking oxidation of LDL cholesterol and discouraging blood clotting). Now they have another reason to toast this potent antioxidant. When researcher John Pezzuto at the University of Illinois at Chicago screened about 1,000 plants for anticancer activity, he came up with one whose active ingredient turned out to be resveratrol. In lab tests it squelched both free radicals and inflammation, two well-known cancer inducers (Science, 6/10/97). In a study with mice, resveratrol reduced the number of skin tumors by up to 98 percent compared to control animals. Because the effective doses were high (Pezzuto estimates a person would have to quaff about five gallons of wine a day to get the equivalent) and because more than a drink or two a day may raise the risk of breast cancer, researchers don't recommend nondrinkers take up wine. But supplements of synthesized resveratrol (as well as grape juice) may help.
Saturated fat is an authentic dietary villain. Aside from clogging arteries, it's a suspected contributor to several cancers, though the evidence is greater for some cancers (prostate) than for others (breast cancer)
Of the two other main categories of fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, mono seems benign, if not positively protective. For example, in a study of the influence of diet on breast cancer, Greek researchers discovered that women who consumed higher amounts of olive oil (which is mostly mono) were less likely to be afflicted with breast cancer (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995: 87; 110-116).
When it comes to polyunsaturated fats, however, things get complicated. The fat that predominates in corn, sunflower and other vegetable oils, called omega-6, has long been associated with cancer risk in animal experiments. Likewise the type found in margarines, trans fats, which are partially saturated vegetable oils. On the other hand, the omega-3 fats called EPA and DHA, which are found primarily in deep- and cold-water fish like cod, mackerel, and halibut, protect against both heart disease and cancer. In an epidemiological study covering 24 European countries, British researchers established that mortality rates for colon and breast cancers declined as fish and fish oil consumption rose (British Journal of Cancer 1996: 74; 159-64). And Finnish scientists discovered that the breast tissue of women who had breast cancer contained significantly less DHA and EPA than the breasts of healthy women (Nutrition and Cancer 1995: 24; 151-160).
Experts believe the omega-3s' anticancer effect derives from its ability to tamp down the prostaglandins that stimulate inflammation. Chronic inflammation unleashes a steady stream of free radicals, which can damage DNA and thereby trigger cancer. Omega-3s also help the liver detoxify potentially harmful substances.
Fortunately for the fish-phobic, nonmarine sources of omega-3 fats include flaxseed and hemp oils.
Minerals to Lower Cancer Risk
n Calcium: possibly protective against colon cancer. In a recent trial (New England Journal of Medicine, 1/14/99) researchers gave people with a history of precancerous colon polyps either two 600 mg calcium tablets a day or a placebo for nine months and found fewer polyps. n Selenium: powerful antioxidant and supporter of immunity. Researchers find that cancer rates in various regions is lowered when soil and vegetables contain more selenium
In a selenium-depleted area in China afflicted with one of the highest incidences of stomach and esophageal cancer mortality in the world, scientists asked different groups to take various combinations of nutrients. After five years they found a significant reduction in the cancer rate among those who had gotten supplements of selenium, vitamin E and beta carotene (Biological Trace Element Research 1985; 7: 21-29). In the U.S. researchers studying the potential effectiveness of selenium supplementation for preventing nonmelanoma skin cancers came up with a surprise. The 200 mcg a day the subjects received for an average of 4.5 years had no impact on skin cancer but did significantly cut the rates of lung, colorectal and prostate cancers (Journal of the American Medical Association, 12/25/96).
More recently Harvard researchers determined that men with prostate cancer had much lower levels of selenium in their toenails (a measure of consumption) than healthy men (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 8/119/98).
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale, have long been singled out for their association with protection against cancer. In a 1996 survey of 94 population studies and clinical trials focusing on consumption of cruciferous vegetables, 67 percent showed a reduced risk, the strongest link being with lung, stomach, colon and rectal cancers (Cancer Epidemiological Biomarkers 1996; 5: 733-748).
Scientists at Johns Hopkins showed that sulforaphane, from these plants, stimulates enzymes that help detoxify carcinogens generated in the liver. When they injected rats with a cancer-causing chemical, only 26 percent of the rodents pretreated with sulforaphane developed mammary cancer, compared to 68 percent of controls. Even animals who did come down with cancer had tumors that appeared later and smaller.
Other researchers have focused on a cruciferous-vegetable compound called indole-3-carbinol, which has proved especially effective against breast cancer cells. Recently, scientists at the University of California at Berkeley found that indole-3-carbinol, rather than acting as an anti-estrogen, (as had been thought), actually stops breast cancer cells by turning off a protein critical to their replication (Jrnal of Bio Chem, 2/13/98). Consequently, when treating certain forms of cancer, some doctors have paired indole-3-carbinol with the chemotherapy drug tamoxifen - which counteracts estrogen - and found that the combination has proven more potent than either separately.
Several decades ago British physician Denis Burkitt proposed that the low incidence of colon cancer among native peoples in South Africa was attributable to the fact that their diet was rich in fiber. The fiber, it was hypothesized, bulked up the stool, speeding its passage through the bowel and reducing the time carcinogens contact its lining; it also helped neutralize cancer-promoting bile acids.
This concept has been backed up by numerous studies. Recently, Harvard researchers sprinkled cold water on this idea, finding that an examination of the eating habits of more than 80,000 female nurses, could find no protective effect against colon cancer or precancerous polyps from consuming fiber (NEJM, January 21, 1999). Most experts' take on this apparent refutation: Maybe the "high fiber" intake in this case wasn't high enough, and this is just one study among many.
Fighting Breast Cancer
Fiber has also been linked to reduced rates of breast cancer. At first it was thought that if fat was a breast-cancer culprit, fiber might just be a marker for a low-fat diet. But a look at Finland undermined that idea: Finnish women eat both a lot of fat and a lot of fiber, and their breast cancer rate ranks much below that in the U.S., (where we eat gobs of fat and little roughage).
Fiber helps take estrogen out of circulation as it passes through the liver, while the isoflavones in many high-fiber plants and vegetables are themselves weak estrogens, which compete for slots on breast tissue's estrogen receptors. The special fiber in flaxseed oil called lignans act against estrogen in two ways: by binding its receptors and by inhibiting the enzyme that converts other hormones into estrogen.
Fiber comes in two basic forms, insoluble (e.g., wheat bran, celery, the skins of fruits and vegetables) and soluble (e.g., oat bran, citrus fruits, beans). Until a few years ago, scientists believed that cancer protection came mainly from insoluble fiber, but that thinking has turned around.
A soluble fiber called citrus pectin has been shown to halt the tendency of prostate, lung, breast and skin cancers to metastasize, or spread (e.g., Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1995; 87: 3448-353). Typically cancer turns deadly only when it gets into the bloodstream and invades new territory. Modified citrus pectin appears to stop this aggression by preventing cancer cells from attaching to healthy tissue.
While the name inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) sounds like a mouthful, many of us consume mouthfuls of this natural substance every day - in foods like corn, rice, whole-grain cereals, oats and wheat.
But now scientists have isolated IP-6 and found that this powerful antioxidant can slow the destructive cellular processes that lead to tumors. In a study published in Anti-Cancer Research (Nov/Dec 1998), scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine demonstrated that IP-6 could shrink liver tumors in laboratory animals.
The researchers believe that IP-6 can help prevent cancer and also be useful in lowering the risk of health problems like kidney stones and heart disease. Research like this continues to expand our knowledge of how to lower the risk of cancer. In the next millennium, with more and more information making its way into the media and onto websites, our power and the responsibility to reduce our risk of cancer will continue to grow and offer new possibilities.