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The Best Natural Over-the-Counter Sinus Remedies: Effective Solutions for Your Sinus Problems
April 30, 2022 11:04 AM
Sinus problems are a common occurrence during the winter months. Cold weather, dry air, and allergens can all contribute to sinus congestion and inflammation. If you are looking for an over-the-counter sinus remedy that will provide relief from your symptoms, you have come to the right place! In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most effective over-the-counter sinus remedies on the market. We will also provide tips on how to choose the right one for you. So don't suffer any longer - read on for information on the best over-the-counter sinus remedies available today!
What are the most common symptoms of sinus problems?
Sinus problems are very common, and the symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the issue. One of the most common symptoms is a feeling of congestion or fullness in the sinuses. This can be accompanied by pain and pressure in the forehead, cheeks, or around the eyes. Other common symptoms include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, and fatigue. In some cases,sinus problems can also lead to fever and difficulty breathing. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor so that you can get proper treatment.
What are the causes of sinus problems?
Sinus problems are a common and often frustrating issue, with a wide range of underlying causes. From environmental irritants like pollen and dust to infectious agents like bacteria and viruses, there are an almost limitless number of possible culprits behind sinus troubles. Additionally, certain foods, medications, or other habits can also affect the delicate balance of mucus in the sinuses. Ultimately, understanding the various factors that influence a person's susceptibility to sinus problems is the key to effectively managing these conditions. By identifying any triggers or risk factors one can minimize the impact of sinus issues on everyday life.
What are the best natural over-the-counter sinus remedies available today?
Sinusitis is a condition that affects the sinuses, the small, air-filled cavities located around the nose and eyes. It occurs when these cavities become inflamed, often due to a viral infection. Sinusitis can be extremely painful, causing congestion, headaches, and facial pain. While there are many over-the-counter medications available to treat sinusitis, some people prefer to use natural remedies. One popular natural remedy is steam inhalation. This involves inhaling steam from a pot of boiling water or from a humidifier. The steam can help to loosen mucus and reduce inflammation. Another popular option is saltwater irrigation, which involves using a neti pot or nasal sprayer to rinse the sinuses with warm saltwater. This can help to flush out irritants and ease congestion. Natural remedies are often safe and effective, making them a good option for treating sinusitis.
Luckily, there are a number of effective natural over-the-counter remedies that can help to alleviate symptoms like congestion and inflammation. For example, nettle leaf is a popular herb with a long history of use in naturopathic medicine. Rich in minerals and anti-inflammatory compounds, it can help to clear out toxins from the sinuses while also soothing swelling and reducing pain. Other possible remedies include quercetin, an antioxidant found in many fruits and vegetables that has been shown to have antihistamine effects, and anti-histamine formulas containing herbs or plant oils that naturally regulate histamine levels. Ultimately, the best remedy for your individual sinus issues will depend on your specific symptoms and preferences.
Nettle leaf to relieve sinus allergy symptoms.
As we have said, allergies are a common problem, affecting millions of people worldwide. They can cause a range of symptoms, from mild sniffling and sneezing to severe congestion and difficulty breathing. Many people rely on over-the-counter medications to alleviate their allergy symptoms, but these drugs can have undesirable side effects. Fortunately, there are natural alternatives that can be just as effective in relieving allergy symptoms. One such remedy is nettle leaf. Nettle leaf has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including allergies. It works by inhibiting the release of histamine, which is one of the main compounds that triggers allergy symptoms. In addition, nettle leaf has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce congestion and swelling. If you're looking for a natural way to relieve your allergy symptoms, nettle leaf may be worth trying.
Quercetin and allergies
Quercetin is a potent antioxidant that has been found to be effective in preventing and treating a variety of health conditions, including allergies. Many people are familiar with quercetin as an antihistamine, an effect that is due to its ability to inhibit the production of "histamines" in the body. Histamines are the chemicals responsible for triggering allergic reactions such as watery eyes, runny nose, itching, and sneezing. By blocking their production, quercetin can effectively reduce or even eliminate these symptoms. Furthermore, quercetin has also been found to strengthen lung function by reducing inflammation in the airways and protecting against oxidative damage. Overall, quercetin may be an ideal natural remedy for alleviating allergy symptoms.
Cayenne and Allergies
Cayenne is a popular spice that is prized for its pungent, spicy flavor. In addition to being used in cooking, however, cayenne has also been shown to be an effective remedy for certain allergies. Studies have found that the active ingredient in cayenne, capsaicin, can help to block inflammatory responses in the body and neutralize histamine, the chemical that triggers allergic reactions such as sneezing and watery eyes. As a result, regular consumption of cayenne may help to reduce allergic symptoms and improve overall quality of life for those affected by allergies. Whether through fresh peppers or cayenne powder or supplements, incorporating this powerful spice into your diet may be a great way to treat your seasonal allergies naturally.
Is there a supplement that combines them all? Yes, Solaray Sinus Source?
Yes, there is a supplement that combines all the key ingredients typically found in nature-based sinus cleansers and decongestants. This supplement is called Solaray Sinus Source, and it contains a combination of three active ingredients: nettle leaf, quercetin, and cayenne pepper. Each of these ingredients has been shown to provide natural relief from sinus problems, helping to reduce inflammation, congestion, and other unwanted symptoms. By combining these powerful botanicals into one convenient formula, Solaray Sinus Source provides a safe and effective way to support healthy sinuses. So if you're looking for a natural solution to your sinus woes, look no further than this powerful blend!
Ginger Oil: Fighting Inflammation And Other Healing Health BenefitsOf The Oil
April 19, 2019 01:43 PM
Ginger oil is made from the versatile kitchen spice, and provides a wide variety of antibacterial, anti inflammatory and other health benefits. Ginger can help clear out your airway and soothe a troubled digestive system. You can also apply it topically to help relieve muscle and joint aches. Ginger oil is easy to make at home, and it retains the spicy taste of its main ingredient, making it an excellent addition to baked goods and other dishes.
"Ginger is one of the healthiest spices you can add to your diet and all its healing properties are credited to the presence of the bio-active compound gingerol."
Read more: https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/ginger-oil-fighting-inflammation-and-other-healing-health-benefits-of-the-oil-2000177
The most powerful and effective home remedies you can use insteadof ibuprofen
February 26, 2019 08:02 AM
Ibuprofen is a NSAID that is commonly used to relieve pain and inflammation. The drug is not without side effects such as constipation, bloating, and nervousness. There are many other natural remedies available. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory long used in natural medicine, along with the other spice ginger. Spirulina is another super food anti-inflammatory that will also boost immune system properties. Bosewllia is an extract from the gum resin of the Bosewllia tree used for thousands of years. It can improve circulation to joints and used as a topical cream. Spicy cayenne peppers are great at reducing inflammation as well, through capsaicin stopping your body from producing Substance P. Other remedies include cinnamon, cat’s claw, and green tea.
"Fortunately, you can still relieve pain and inflammation without the unintended side effects by using a range of powerful and effective natural home remedies."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-20-the-most-powerful-and-effective-home-remedies-that-you-can-use-instead-of-ibuprofen.html
Could eating chili peppers actually help you live longer?
February 17, 2019 02:42 PM
Do you enjoy your food spicy? Well, there is good news. The University of Vermont recently published a study of people who are chili peppers versus those who did not. They discovered that the chili eaters tended to live longer lives. In fact, a surprising 12% was the absolute risk reduction. Chili peppers have long been regarded as containing health benefits. They have been used to treat toothaches or other forms of pain. They are also loaded with antioxidants and vitamins A and C.
"It may not always feel like you’re going to live longer after you’ve consumed a very spicy meal, but it seems that those hot peppers are doing quite a bit of good."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-10-could-eating-chili-peppers-help-you-live-longer.html
These natural fixes can prevent heartburn
February 08, 2019 08:23 AM
It’s estimated that 46% of people suffer regularly from heartburn. The good news is that heartburn can be treated through many natural remedies. One way to address heartburn is to improve digestion. The most basic way to do this is to chew your food properly. Quite simply, take smaller bites and chew for what seems like a long time. Also, avoid food triggers such as spicy foods, onions, mint, and carbonated drinks, all of which contribute to acid reflux. Finally, weight loss and decreasing your intake of alcohol and caffeine can also help to ease your heartburn woes.
"To reduce the need for over-the-counter medications, here are some tips on how to get rid of heartburn once and for all."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-20-these-natural-fixes-remedy-a-heartburn.html
Turmeric & Curcumin Benefits: Can This Herb Really Combat Disease?
January 25, 2019 10:22 AM
Tumeric is a spice that is found in almost all Indian dishes. it gives a meal a nice spicy flavor. But, Turmeric, as well as its sister herb Curcumin, do more than flavor foods. Recent research proves that the health benefits of the herb can change life for the better. The herb can greatly reduce signs of depression, boost the skin health, fight off inflammation, and do so very much more for your good health!
"Currently, there are over 12,500 peer-reviewed articles published proving turmeric benefits, especially one of its renowned healing compounds, curcumin."
Read more: https://draxe.com/turmeric-curcumin-benefits/
Powerful Ear Acupressure Points to Treat Pains
October 03, 2017 12:14 PM
As a supplement and ingredient in a wide variety of recipes, ginger has been used for thousands of years—not only in the Far East, but also in Europe. Different cultures incorporate this spicy root into their dishes because it’s so flavorful, but also because of its health benefits. In India they grate it into their tea, while in Japan ginger is used in miso soup, and in Greece it goes well with fish. However, there’s another great way to enjoy ginger’s benefits: By using ginger oil. Used on the skin, rather than ingested, ginger oil has been known to relieve minor aches and pain. Did you know that ginger oil can also reduce swelling and bloating, aid in digestion, kill microorganisms in the body, and help the blood circulate normally.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdY98nsb1sc&rel=0
"Pinching the lower middle part of your ear will provide relief in your sinuses and throat."
Do You Eat Ginger? Then You Should Watch This!
October 02, 2017 12:14 PM
As a supplement and ingredient in a wide variety of recipes, ginger has been used for thousands of years—not only in the Far East, but also in Europe. Different cultures incorporate this spicy root into their dishes because it’s so flavorful, but also because of its health benefits. In India they grate it into their tea, while in Japan ginger is used in miso soup, and in Greece it goes well with fish. However, there’s another great way to enjoy ginger’s benefits: By using ginger oil. Used on the skin, rather than ingested, ginger oil has been known to relieve minor aches and pain. Did you know that ginger oil can also reduce swelling and bloating, aid in digestion, kill microorganisms in the body, and help the blood circulate normally.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu2tjh4Y_ZE&rel=0
"Used on the skin, rather than ingested, ginger oil has been known to relieve minor aches and pains"
The Real Red Hot Chili Peppers
May 22, 2017 10:44 AM
Variety is the spice of life, or so the saying goes. Now, studies show that chili peppers may be the key to longer life. A research study was published in BMJ, and found that people who consumed spicy foods 6-7 days per week had a 14% decrease in mortality rates, compared to those who didn't. The risk is even lower if you stay away from alcohol. This is likely due to their active ingredient, capsaicin, with a host of benefits that include a decrease in appetite, obesity, and even cancer, as well as antibacterial activity. Perhaps its time to start experimenting with these peppers, and they're already found in a variety of Asian cuisines.
Read more: The Real Red Hot Chili Peppers
Radicchio: The Vitamin K Vegetable that Supports the Heart & Bones (And Kills a Common Parasite!)
May 15, 2017 03:44 PM
Many people have not heard of radicchio, and if they have, they don't really know what it is, let alone use it for their own consumption. Radicchio is a leafy vegetable that can be used in many salads or other recipes. It has a somewhat spicy radish flavor. It has many health benefits including fighting cancer cells, creating stronger bones and being good for the heart. It is also loaded with antioxidants and actually gets rid of some parasites. So load up and fun tasty ways to use this helpful vegetable.
"Radicchio also contains a large amount of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are specifically known as the antioxidants responsible for keeping your eyes healthy."
Read more: https://draxe.com/radicchio/
Acid Reflux Symptoms, Causes & Natural Treatments
May 10, 2017 03:44 PM
Acid reflux is a common condition that can cause a range of issues ranging from mild discomfort all the way up to causing cancer. The signs of acid reflux vary but are typically a discomfort burning feeling in the chest. Treatments can range from specialty diets to prescription drugs. Some foods to avoid are alcohol, fried foods and spicy foods. Foods high in healthy fats and enzymes tend to help reduce acid reflux. Probiotics and chamomile are two other natural options to help control reflux.
"Contrary to popular belief (and what many pharmaceutical companies say in advertisements), acid reflux symptoms are not caused by too much acid in the stomach."
Read more: https://draxe.com/acid-reflux-symptoms/
Fruit Often Mistaken as a Vegetable That Triggers Endorphin Rush and Targets Pain
May 03, 2017 08:44 AM
A self professed health nut writes in her blog about peppers, which she states are actually fruits that are mistakenly called vegetables. She describes the various types of peppers, such as bell, banana, and chili. Chili peppers are spicy, with the Mexican habaneros being the hottest. She states the hotness comes from capsaicin. She saids capsaicin can be helpful in reducing pain and even fighting breast cancer. The writer goes on to write how to grow both bell and chili peppers.
"There are many different types of peppers, from sweet to flaming hot, making more than one variety useful in a single dish, adding complexity to the flavors."
Read more: http://www.healthnutnews.com/fruit-often-mistaken-vegetable-triggers-endorphin-rush-targets-pain/
Peeing Too Much At Night? Here’s How To Stop
May 01, 2017 03:44 PM
If you have to get up to pee at night this can cause a lot of problems. It will affect your sleep and that affects lots of other areas of your health. It can also disturb your loved ones, especially if you have a partner sleeping with you. This tells you how you can change your habits. You can help yourself get up to pee less. You'll find your sleep and your health improved once you figure this out.
"There are several lifestyle choices, health conditions and medications that affect the presence of nocturia."
Read more: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/how-to-stop-peeing-during-the-night/
IF YOU DRINK TURMERIC WATER EVERYDAY THEN THIS WILL HAPPEN TO YOUR BODY - TURMERIC HEALTH BENEFITS!
April 24, 2017 04:44 AM
Tumeric, is this spice in your cabinet? If so, use it as often as possible in as many of the foods you prepare as you can. But, do not be shy, and make sure that you're also enjoying this Tumeric water. Drinking this spicy water everyday can do incredible things to your body, and those benefits are things that you do not want to miss. Learn the benefits and start drinking Tumeric water without a moment's delay.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIe8YyxsjI0&rel=0
"Turmeric is one of the most popular spices added to South Asian dishes, and it becoming growingly popular all around the world, due to its multiple health-boosting properties."
You Might Live Longer If You Eat Hot Peppers (Science-Backed Evidence)
April 16, 2017 09:14 AM
Hot peppers are not for everyone, but they are undoubtedly very good for you and provide numerous health benefits. They can actually increase your lifespan. A study has linked the use of hot peppers to a decrease in mortality from all causes by an impressive 13 percent. The root of these health benefits lies in capsaicin, the compound that gives spice to hot peppers. Furthermore, peppers are known to contain high levels of antioxidants, protect the eyes, help with digestion and increase metabolism. If you have never tried peppers, this article provides many excellent reasons to give them a try.
"You can probably find at least a couple varieties of hot sauce in their kitchen and perhaps a few varieties of fresh chiles, as well."
Read more: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/eat-spicy-peppers-for-a-longer-healthier-life/
HERE’S HOW TO DETOX YOUR ENTIRE BODY TO NEVER BE SICK OR TIRED AGAIN!!
March 30, 2017 11:44 AM
Detoxing is a topic that has aroused much interest. One spice that is often overlooked is ginger. Ginger is a very healthy and nutrient dense spice. It contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, detoxifying and anti-cancer abilities, especially gastrointestinal issues. Ginger is a very important spice that can help ease a variety of ailments. Watch this video for an in-depth look into ginger's many uses. Included is a recipe for a ginger bath that you'll definitely want to try.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IA4ORIfrfCc&rel=0
"Aromatic, pungent and spicy, ginger is among the healthiest and most delicious spices on the planet."
Study Finds Hot Chili Peppers May Extend Life
March 16, 2017 01:59 PM
According to a news study published in the journal PLOS One, eating hot chili peppers could extend your life. Analyzing data from more than 16,000 Americans who had been followed for an average of nearly 19 years, the researchers found that hot red chili pepper consumption was associated with a 13 percent lower risk of death.
"According to a news study published in the journal PLOS One, eating hot chili peppers could extend your life."
Four foods you need to stop eating before bed if you're trying to lose weight
February 09, 2017 02:59 PM
There are 4 foods you need to stop eating before bed if your goal is to lose weight. Baked goods are among the worst possible things you could eat before going to bed. You should also avoid red wine because it will not be good before going to sleep. Salsa and dark chocolate are two others that you will want to avoid.
"If you like a bit of chip and dip before you hit the sack, salsa or any food with a spicy kick can result in heartburn and a bad sleep."
What are health benefits of parsley?
February 05, 2017 07:59 AM
Parsley has a lot of health benefits it turns out. Parsley is used all over the planet because of how helpful it us. There are so many different things that parsley does for our system. The parley plant is very rich in minerals and nutrients. Every single part of parsley is good for the human body.
"Parsley chlorophyll cleanses the blood, normalizes blood sugar, and tones the blood vessels."
10 foods that are healthy, except when they aren't
January 17, 2017 12:59 PM
On a diet and looking for those healthy foods to consume and lose weight? It is important when looking into those healthy foods to make sure they are really healthy. Some cereals can be a convenient and healthy breakfast but watch out for those sugary cereals they can cause a blood sugar spike and a crash before lunch time. Another healthy choice is sushi but beware sushi that is battered and fried can contain 200 more calories and three times the amount of fat.
"Popcorn, cereal, sushi: We love them, and we may tell ourselves they are healthy. But are they? Most of the time, it depends on how they're prepared."
Can Peppermint Tea Sooth An Upset Stomach?
Almost everyone has experienced upset stomach at some point in life. There are various possible causes of upset stomach including food and drink, lifestyle factors, and medical issues.
Food and Drink
Upset stomach often results from the food or drinks that we take. According to C. Health (2015), upset stomach might result from food poisoning. For example, food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or parasites can cause upset stomach or vomiting. Overeating and drinking can also lead to upset stomach. C. Health (2015) warns that if an individual drinks or eats too much, he/she can get upset stomach or indigestion. Similarly, some types of foods such as fatty, greasy, or spicy food, can cause upset stomach.
Upset stomach can also result from a number of lifestyles including emotional stress, eating too fast, or smoking (C. Health, 2015). The other possible lifestyle causes of upset stomach include too much alcohol or caffeine.
There are various medical problems associated with upset stomach. These include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or intestinal infections (C. Health, 2015). The other possible medical causes of upset stomach include lactose intolerance or ulcers.
There are various treatments for upset stomach. These include peppermint tea.
Peppermint is a common flavoring for tea and toothpaste (UMMC, 2015). Peppermint tea helps to soothe upset stomach in various ways.
Peppermint tea calms stomach muscles and improves the flow of bile that helps in digestion of fats (UMMC, 2015). As such, food passes through the stomach more quickly. However, it is not advisable to use peppermint if the indigestion symptoms result from GERD.
Peppermint tea relaxes stomach muscles thus allowing digestive gas to pass.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Peppermint tea treats irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) including, diarrhea, pain, bloating, and gas. UMMC (2015) found that patients who took peppermint flavored tea 3 to 4 times daily for one month rarely experienced upset stomach.
Overall, peppermint kills some types of viruses, bacteria, and fungi implying that it has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. UMMC (2015) asserts that the main ingredients of peppermint include menthol and methyl salicylate which have calming effects on the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, peppermint tea can soothe upset stomach.
C. Health. (2015). Digestive health. Retrieved from, //chealth.canoe.com/channel_section_details.asp?text_id=5293&channel_id=1017&relation_id=76888
University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). (2015). Peppermint. Retrieved from, //umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/peppermint#ixzz3hn1seQSm
What Is Marjoram Oil?
February 21, 2014 04:52 PM
What is marjoram
Marjoram oil is extracted from the marjoram plant. The plants’ flowering leaves are distilled (using steam) to obtain the yellow marjoram essential oil. The plant is cultivated primarily for its leaves. Though the name marjoram is derived from French, the plant is indigenous to the Southern regions of present-day Turkey and Cyprus.
Historically, marjoram oil has been used by traditional healers thousands of years back. It is mentioned in old medical texts as an essential oil with healing properties for many illnesses. Up to date, the plant’s oil is renowned for its great medicinal value. The essential oil has a woody and spicy aroma when dilute and pungent-smelling when concentrated. Some of marjoram oil’s health benefits are discussed below.
Benefits of marjoram
Marjoram oil has therapeutic properties. Rich in antioxidants, it is used to calm nerves and relieve headaches when massaged on the temple. The essential oil is also used to soothe and relieve muscles of pain. A body massage with the oil helps ease stiff joints. Inhaling the marjoram oil’s aroma helps clear mucous from the breathing system as well as easing a congested nasal tract. It helps stem severe coughing.
Marjoram oil is best known for improving digestion and easing digestive tract disorders. It is a common essential oil used in aromatherapy as well. Adding a few drops of marjoram oil to bathing water or using it for massage helps relax the mind, bringing calmness. This can be used to pacify people who are stressed because it is a great sedative.
As an antiseptic, marjoram oil can be applied on wounds to help prevent these sores from becoming septic. For ladies who have to endure painful menstruation, this essential oil can be used to relieve menstrual cramps. Studies have also shown that this oil has the ability to lower blood pressure, slightly. Marjoram oil has quite a number of medicinal uses making it a versatile essential oil.
What is Schizandra Fruit Good for?
May 17, 2011 02:57 PM
Schizandra and your Health.
Schizandra fruit refers to the berries of schizandra. It is widely used in China and the plant is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is a highly prized ingredient to a health tonic historically prepared for Chinese royalty and nobility. In recent years it has become available to more people across the globe as cultivation increases to meet large-scale productions. Also, herbal supplements that contain extracts of schizandra fruit are becoming popular.
Schisandra chinensis is an indigenous plant species of, as the name suggests, China. However, its native range goes as far north as Asiatic Russia. It is cultivated for its leaves, bark, and berries. The name of the fruit in Chinese translates as “the berry that possesses all five basic flavors,” inasmuch as the Chinese believe it contains organic compounds responsible for its unique taste: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and spicy. The berries are often dried and made into tea that can be served hot or cold.
Scavenges Reactive Oxygen Species
Reactive oxygen species, or ROS, are natural by-products of cellular respiration, the process of energy metabolism that takes place within each individual cell. These include peroxides, singlet oxygen, and free radicals. ROS can interrupt cellular activities and even damage DNA synthesis, the reason why each cell has its own antioxidant defense. That being said, cells are overwhelmed by ROS as we age.
The process of aging has been tied to the weakening antioxidant defense of cells. Free radicals are also believed to be responsible for the fast progression of many life-threatening diseases, such as cancer. Schizandra fruit is a natural remedy for oxidative stress, the cellular damage brought on by ROS. The berries are rich in antioxidants that help replenish the antioxidant stores of the body.
Displays Hepatoprotective Properties
Schizandra fruit is particularly good for the liver. Practitioners of Chinese herbal medicine believe that its berries rejuvenate the liver, the kidneys, and the circulatory system by washing away the toxins these tissues have amassed over the years. The cleansing properties of juices and tinctures that contain schizandra have been ascribed to the organic compounds naturally occurring in the fruit.
Lignans are a class of polyphenolic substances that occur naturally in nature. Schizandrin, deoxyschizandrin, gomisin, and pregomisin are lignans unique to the schizandra fruit. The antioxidant properties of lignans are well established, but those found in the berries of this plant species have an affinity toward hepatocytes, or liver cells. It protects liver cells from oxidative damage and raises the capacity of liver to deal with drugs and their harmful metabolites during first pass metabolism.
Increases Physical Working Capacity
Schizandra fruit is a symbol for youth in the East, and for good reason. For one, it is an adaptogen that increases tolerance to stress and raises the physical capacity of the human body. It is also an aphrodisiac believed to enhance libido and improve sexual performance. Modern herbalists believe its aphrodisiac effects are attributable to its stress-relieving properties.
You too can experience the health benefits of schizandra by picking up a bottle at your health food store.
What is Bioperine and How Does It Help with Absorption of Vitamins
April 21, 2011 03:14 PM
Get more from your food with Bioperine.
Bioperine is a patented form of an alkaloid found in black pepper. It is derived entirely from piperine, an organic compound responsible for the spicy taste of black pepper and long pepper. Piperine has been noted for its thermogenic properties believed to speed up the absorption metabolism of digested foods. Recent studies have discovered that it also interferes with the release of enzymes that govern the bioavailability of drugs and supplements. By so doing, it enhances the rate of absorption of vitamins.
The human body has a complex mechanism of controlling the substances that get in and out of systemic circulation. The first pass occurs in the alimentary canal, where gastrointestinal enzymes break down substances into smaller compounds. It is believed that a very small percentage manages to undergo intestinal absorption after digestion. In general, this is the part where constituents of supplements remain undigested and instead enter the colon together with waste materials.
The liver plays a central role to the metabolism of drugs and most bioactive compounds. The compounds that pass the intestinal walls and enter the hepatic portal system, a group of veins that direct blood and other compounds from the gastrointestinal tract to the liver, is further metabolized inside the liver. Anything that the body considers foreign is sent to the kidneys and easily excreted through the urine. This is the reason why bioavailability is significantly reduced after ingestion.
Counteracts Effects of Enzymes
Bioperine is the only compound known to interact with enzymes that controls the metabolism of foreign materials within the intestinal epithelium. P-glycoprotein is released in the digestive tract to deal with drugs and xenobiotics found in our diet. Vitamins are no exception to the tightly regulated process of absorption in the intestines. These enzymes transport digested compounds to the liver.
It has been observed that piperine appears to reduce the expression of p-glycoprotein in the alimentary canal and other parts of the body. Proponents believe that bioperine, a purer form of piperine, is capable of counteracting the effects of the enzyme within the intestinal epithelium, making it easier for vitamins and supplements to enter the hepatic portal system.
Increases the Rate of Metabolism
Not all compounds that undergo the first-pass effect interact with the cells and tissues they are supposed to act on. If they should have an effect on any cell, they are still subjected to the actions of enzymes specialized for the expulsion of xenobiotics found in the systemic circulation and the rest of the body. For example, CYP3A4 removes foreign materials from the cells and facilitates their excretion.
Bioperine is touted to induce thermogenesis and stimulate cellular activities. By so doing, the effects of bioactive compounds are achieved while they remain inside the cells and tissues. The thermogenic properties of bioperine influence the rate of metabolism of digested compounds, including vitamins, minerals, and components of herbal preparations. Note that it can increase the update or prescription medications as well, so caution should be observed when consuming bioperine with medications.
If you want to give your body a nutrient boost, add bioperine to your supplement regiment to boost absorption.
September 22, 2009 10:53 AM
The prickly ash plant is a tall shrub that is often described as a small tree. It can usually be found growing up to a height of twenty feet. The shrub can be distinguished by its barbed stalks and branches. The leaves of this plant are covered with fine hair-like material when they are young. As the leaves mature, they become smooth and develop spots of resins on the outer surface. When crushed, the leaves give out a fragrance that is similar to that of the lemon. The shrub is responsible for bearing green colored flowers. These appear in bunches on old wood before the leaves. Reddish-brown casings can be found on the wood, which house black seeds that are spicy to taste. The prickly ash shrub can be found in the region that ranges from Canada to Virginia and Nebraska.
The Native American tribes used prickly ash for toothaches and infection. Subsequently, it appeared in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1829 to 1926. It was also found in the National Formulary from 1916 to 1947 as a treatment for rheumatism. This herb was often used in the South during cholera and typhus epidemics. There, it was able to produce positive results. Prickly ash is often used in combination with a variety of other herbs.
Samuel Thomson, a nineteenth-century herbalist, considered prickly ash to be a valuable natural stimulant. It helps with problems such as rheumatism, cold hands and feet, ague, and fever. This herb is responsible for stimulating circulation, which is essential for a healthy body. Prickly ash can also help circulation that is impaired. This is the case in cold extremities and joints. Additionally, this herb can help with arthritis and lethargy because of its stimulant action and because it shows promise as way to enhance the immune system and relieve exhaustion.
Prickly ash can be used as a poultice to help speed up the healing of wounds and preventing infection. Also, it helps increase the production of saliva. This helps to eliminate mouth dryness. The bitter and sweet qualities of this herb are responsible for helping to heal deficiencies in the heart, lungs, spleen, and intestine. These qualities also help to strengthen them. As an example, prickly ash has been used to treat ulcers, asthma, and colic. Prickly ash is also used to aid digestion. Additionally, it helps in relieving feminine problems such as premenstrual cramps. This herb also is used to treat skin diseases.
The bark and berries of the prickly ash plant are used to provide alterative, anthelmintic, antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, astringent, blood purifier, sialagogue, and stimulant properties. Primarily, prickly ash is extremely beneficial in dealing with poor circulation, fevers, paralysis, mouth sores, ulcers, and wounds. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating ague, arthritis, asthma, blood impurities, cholera, colic, uterine cramps, diarrhea, edema, gas, gastric disorders, indigestion, lethargy, liver disorders, rheumatism, primary tuberculosis, skin diseases, syphilis, thyroid problems, and typhus.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen while on prescription medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by prickly ash, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
August 14, 2009 11:49 AM
Mustard is also referred to as mustard greens, Indian mustard, and leaf mustard. This herb is a species of the mustard plant. One of its sub-varieties includes Southern Giant Curled Mustard, which is very similar in appearance to headless cabbage such as Kale. However, it has a distinct horseradish-mustard flavor. It is also known as green mustard cabbage.
The leaves, seeds, and stems of the mustard plant are edible. The plant can be found in some forms of African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Soul food cuisine. The leaves are used in African cooking, and the leaves, seeds, and stems are used in Indian cuisine. The plant has a particularly thick stem, it is used to make the Indian pickle and the Chinese pickle. The mustard made from the seeds of this plant is called brown mustard. The leaves are also used in many Indian dishes.
This species of mustard plant is more pungent than closely-related greens like kale, cabbage, and collard greens. It is often mixed with these milder greens in a dish of mixed greens, which may even include wild greens like dandelion. Mustard greens are high in both vitamin A and K. Mustard greens are often used in Chinese and Japanese cuisines. Asian mustard greens are typically stir-fried or pickled.
The ancient Greeks used mustard for its medicinal value. Additionally, it was used for its flavoring. The Romans also used this herb. They added crushed seeds to wine for a spicy flavor. John Parkinson and Nicholas Culpeper, English herbalists, both recommended mustard for ailments like epileptic seizures and toothaches. The herb was used by Native Americans and early colonists for rheumatism and muscle pain.
Mustard is a strong stimulating herb. It is responsible for promoting the appetite and stimulating the gastric mucous membranes to aid in digestion. An infusion of the mustard seed stimulates urine and helps to promote menstruation. Additionally, it is a valuable emetic for narcotic poisoning, as it empties the stomach without depression of the system. Mustard is often used externally as a plaster or poultice for sore, stiff muscles. A plaster of mustard can also be used to treat congestion, warm the skin, and clear the lungs.
The seeds of the mustard plant are used to provide alterative, analgesic, blood purifier, caminative, digestive, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, irritant, rubefacient, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in mustard are calcium, cobalt, iodine, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, and C. Primarily, mustard is extremely beneficial in dealing with indigestion, liver disorders, and lung disorders.
Additionally, the herb is very helpful in treating appetite loss, arthritis, blood impurities, breath odor, bronchitis, emphysema, sore feet, fevers, gas, hiccups, kidney problems, pleurisy, pneumonia, snakebites, sprains, and sore throat. Before supplementing with this, or any other nutrient, it is important to consult your health care provider. In doing so, you will ensure yourself optimum health benefits. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by mustard, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
Apple Cider Vinegar to Fight Heart Burn
February 16, 2008 08:55 AM
Strange as it may seem, apple cider vinegar can be used to fight heart burn, even though that type of vinegar is composed of acetic acid the same as any other. It wouldn’t seem logical to use an acid to alleviate a condition caused by excess acidity in the stomach, but all will be clear shortly.
First, let’s have a look at what cider apple vinegar is, and what health benefits it can impart to the body. There is more to the old maxim regarding an apple a day than most appreciate. Although an orange has more vitamin C, apples have a lot going for them. They not only contain the soluble dietary fiber and prebiotic pectin, that can help reduce blood cholesterol levels, but are also rich in vitamins and minerals. Many consider apple cider vinegar the form of the apple that provides its ultimate health benefits.
Hippocrates himself has written of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar and used it for the benefits to health that it imparted. That goes back almost 2400 years, to an age when the biochemistry of the body was unheard of and even the alchemists had yet to work their magic. There was no surprise then that an acid could be used to increase the alkalinity of the body since the terms had yet to be understood, let alone invented.
The later applications of vinegar followed a path that would be expected of a substance recognized as a form of medicine, and it has been poured over wounds to sterilize them from early in history, and by people of the 14th and 17th centuries to protect themselves against the Black Death and the Great Plague respectively. It was believed by people in these times that the disease was transferred by breathing in the ‘ill vapors’ and that a vinegar-soaked cloth over the face would protect them.
Many people, associate vinegar with ‘bad wine’ or solutions of acetic acid, generally 5%. But how is real cider apple vinegar produced? All vinegar has acetic acid as its key ingredient. The reason that it can be produced from wine is that acetic acid is produced naturally by the fermentation of ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, the main alcoholic product of the fermentation of sugars. If the fermentation of wine is allowed to continue after the sugar has been used up, then the yeast will act on the ethanol and convert it to acetic acid. In fact the word comes from the old French ‘vin aigre’ or ‘sour wine’, due to it resulting from the undesirable continuing fermentation of wine.
The concentration varies according to the use it is put, though commercial pickling vinegars can be distilled to any required concentration of acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar is obtained by the over-fermentation of apple must usually used for cider, and can be obtained either the clear filtered form, or unfiltered with a hazy light brownish color. Although the manufactured distilled vinegars consist of acetic acid at various concentrations, natural vinegars contain by-products of the fermentation process such as citric and tartaric acids.
However, none of this explains why apple cider vinegar should help to cure heartburn. The first thing you should keep in mind is that this type of vinegar has some nutritional value that will be explained later, but also that it is less bitter than many other types of vinegar and many enjoy drinking it with a small amount of honey as an energy pick-me-up and also to prevent various digestive problems that it appears to alleviate such as bloating and diarrhoea.
The reason that many people experience heartburn is due to the body finding that that the acidity of the stomach is lower than it should be to digest a meal. There might be several reasons for the body believing this, such as drinking too much milk during the meal and thereby neutralizing some of the acid while also introducing more fat to be digested. The body reacts by injecting more acid into the stomach. Excessively spicy foods or alcohol can cause the same effect.
Stomach acid is concentrated hydrochloric acid that is very corrosive and can even dissolve a nail. If your stomach is slightly full, the acid causes a slight, but not full, reflux and you get the burning sensation known as heartburn due to the corrosive effects of the very strong acid on the esophagus, which is not protected by the stomach lining that is designed to withstand it. Sometimes the excessive acid in your stomach will cause the bottom of the esophagus to open, allowing some of the stomach contents into the esophagus giving the horrible burning sensation. That sensation is acid corrosion of your body tissue, but it is rapidly repaired and does no lasting damage unless it is chronic when you have to see your doctor.
Since heartburn is caused by excess acidity then, it will seem strange that you can use an acid to alleviate it. However, keep in mind that your heartburn is due to the body (brain) being convinced that there is insufficient acid in your stomach. If you introduce a weak acid, then you can convince your brain that the acid has been brought to a satisfactory level and so it will stop sending signals to the stomach lining cells that secrete the HCl.
If you remember what I asked you to remember above, regarding the traditional uses of apple cider vinegar and how easy it is to drink, then that vinegar is the ideal acid to take. It floods the stomach with acetic acid and signals pass back and forth between the stomach wall to the brain and back again to the effect that the stomach has enough acid and so no more hydrochloric acid need be secreted.
Had you treated it with milk or even an antacid, it would have worked initially, but eventually the signal would be initiated and the lining would secrete more HCl. With an antacid that can occur after the stomach contents have been passed on, but although it has had its effect, your food will have been poorly digested, and so the better remedy is likely not an alkaline antacid but a weak acid such as apple cider vinegar.
That’s how it works, but what other benefits does it bring to you. For starters it is a good source of potassium which is essential to maintain a proper cardiac rhythm. Potassium can also help to maintain a good blood pressure, and it is necessary for healthy nails, hair and teeth, and also helps to repair damage to soft tissues and to allow cells to repair internal tissue loss.
Potassium is an essential mineral, although there is normally sufficient in a healthy diet. However, if somebody is displaying the symptoms of potassium deficiency then this form of vinegar can help to resolve the problem. The elderly especially can benefit from a regular dose.
Other than its antiseptic effect, the most common popular use of apple cider vinegar, however, is to fight heart burn and in that respect it is very effective, even if it seems a bit of a paradox.
Cayenne for your aches and pains!
December 22, 2007 11:15 AM
Cayenne is the spicy pepper that is found in the same family as bell peppers and jalapenos. It is responsible for putting the kick into a lot of different spicy dishes, but it also helps to promote better health. Cayenne creams have capsaicin, an active compound which has proven to ease the pain of arthritic joints, along with the discomfort from shingles, muscular aches and spasms, bursitis, diabetic neuropathy, and phantom pains that follow amputation. By rubbing capsaicin on the skin, one can get rid of the chemical messengers that usually send pain signals. Even though the source of pain will still be there, using capsaicin will cause relief from the pain. However, this effect won’t last, so you will need to keep applying the cream to continue to deplete messengers that send pain signals. To use capsaicin, start by applying it four times a day for the first four days, then cut back to twice daily. You can tell a cayenne cream is working because there is a definite tingle, sometimes even a sting when you first apply them. Be careful not to put too much of this potent stuff on irritated or broken skin and be sure to wash your hands after applying so that you do not get the cream into sensitive areas such as your eyes and mouth.
By consuming cayenne in foods or in a capsule, one can ease the pain of stomachache, cramps, gas, or indigestion. One can also benefit the cardiovascular system by lowering LDL cholesterol and can also protect the body from free radical damage. Even more promising research on cayenne has found that cayenne cranks up thermogenesis and also suppresses appetite, assisting in weight loss. This means that while your mouth is burning from the spicy food, you are also burning calories. This spicy herb has also shown promising results in its ability to protect the stomach lining from damaging effects of aspirin. If you know that you have an ulcer or gastritis, make sure to use cayenne cautiously as it could worsen those conditions.
If you are looking for a great way to cleanse your system, an effect detox drink can be made from cayenne. By simply squeezing the juice of one lemon into a pint of warm water and adding a pinch of cayenne and one tablespoon of maple syrup, an effective drink can be created. Drinking one or more cups daily will produce great effects. If you’ve decided to eat mostly raw fruits and veggies during your cleansing diet, you might find that the raw foods can be tough to digest. A lot of people have found that when their digestive fire is weak, the raw fruit and vegetables are not easily digested. By sprinkling a little cayenne on your foods, you can build up the inner digestive fire, making raw foods much more easily digested. To get all of these great and helpful benefits, you can find cayenne at any local health food store or pharmacy. Cayenne can enhance absorption of the vitamins and prescription drugs you are currently taking; always first, be sure to consult your health care practitioner to make sure that cayenne is right for you.
Triphala: A Traditional Ayurvedic Herb to Help Cleanse the Body
November 01, 2007 01:44 PM
Triphala is a traditional Indian ayurvedic remedy, that, as the name suggests, is actually composed of three different herbs or fruits. However, before describing the constituents, first an explanation of what ayurveda is and what it does.
Ayurveda is a science that is centuries old, and has been in use for at least five thousand years. Originating in prehistoric India, it is based upon the approach it takes in that all ills are caused by anomalies of the digestive system. All that exists on earth is believed to be composed of five elements (the pancha mahabhooota): earth (prithyi), fire (agni), water (jal), air (yayu) and ether (akash). The latter can be approximately described as space
Ayurveda combines these into three main doshas: Vata, a combination of the ether are air elements, Pitta, which is the same as the fire element, and Kapha that is a combination of the earth and water elements). Each of these has specific effects on the body, and when in equilibrium then the body is also in equilibrium.
Vata governs what is loosely described as movement in both the mind and body. An excess of vata leads to worries, anxiety, constipation and cramps of the stomach. It is responsible for waste elimination, flow of the blood, breathing and even movement of thought. Everything connected with movement in the body. It is believed to be expressed visibly and audibly as creativity and art and is believed also to be the initial cause of all disease and illness.
Pitta, the fire dosha, governs the metabolism and body heat. It is responsible for the way we digest our food and how we know right from wrong. An excess of pitta causes anger, ulcers, dyspepsia and criticism. If your pitta is balanced you are a good friend and warm personality.
Kapha provides and maintains the physical elements of the body, such as good joints, healing of wounds and strength. It maintains a strong heart and lungs, and everything physical. It promotes love and forgiveness, but also envy and greed. Too much in an individual causes lethargy, allergies, congestion and weight gain. It is also called the mucus humor.
The three fruits of triphala are amalaki, bhibitaki and haritaki, and together maintain these three doshas in balance. Amalaki, or amla, is used to treat an imbalance in the pitta, or fire humor. It is sour and is exceptionally rich in vitamin C and is therefore a strong anti-oxidant. It is the highest natural source of this vitamin. It is used as a tonic, for boosting the immune system and for its anti-aging properties. It is also a good adaptogen and has strong stomach acid neutralizing effects. It is therefore effective in reducing dyspepsia and in the treatment of gastric ulcers, and also possesses cholesterol-reducing properties. Amalaki provides the body with strength and is used in the treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract and any illness that creates burning sensations.
Bhibitaki, or bihara, is also useful in the treatment of respiratory disorders, and has a number of effects that are useful in treating digestive disorder. It deals with problems associated with the kapha or mucus humor. Thus, it possesses anti-mucal, laxative, astringent, digestive and anti-spasmodic properties, and is also a tonic and an expectorant and helps deal with allergies.
Haritaki, or haradaha, deals with diseases of the vata humor. It is very bitter with a strong antimicrobial and laxative effect on the digestive system, and is a rejuvenator that promotes long life and boosts the immune system of the body (though the scientific effect was unknown to the ancient exponents of ayurveda). It also possesses an astringent and lubricant effect and used to treat constipation, anxiety and stress.
When combined into triphala, the products are a popular treatment for all digestive disorders and is popularly used to cleanse the colon. It aids digestion, improves the metabolic processes involved and also aids abdominal pains, flatulence and eases conditions of the liver. It is useful in the treatment of what today are termed ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. The ancient Indians were able to treat these conditions of the digestive systems without understanding what they were and what caused them.
Triphala is also widely used in the treatment of conjunctivitis and prevention of atherosclerosis. This is likely due to its antioxidant effect and the high level of ascorbic acid it contains. Its anti-inflammatory properties are also likely derived from the same source. These properties, and its effects as a tonic and cleanser, render it a popular treatment for many skin conditions. It is a multi-purpose treatment for a multitude of illnesses and conditions and has been used effectively for thousands of years.
Modern science has provided an explanation for most of these effects. Many of the conditions that triphala is effective in treating have been shown to be caused by excessive blood cholesterol and lipid levels. Many can be attributed to circulatory disorders caused by cholesterol build up in the arteries, or atherosclerosis. Some of the benefits of the three fruits are associated with the lowering of cholesterol and of blood pressure that benefits circulation.
Cholesterol build up and internal stress is associated with the consumption of hot spicy foods, the use of excessive stimulants and repression of the natural emotions. The way the body handles these is to produce corticosteroids that can contribute to cholesterol build up in the blood. Triphala can be used to reduce blood LDL cholesterol and increase the HDL lipoprotein that eliminates cholesterol from the body. Amla fruit has been shown to reduce serum and aortic cholesterol, and also increase cardiac glycogen that provides an energy source for the heart that can help prevent cardiac disease.
Bihara contains 35% oil of which 31% is linoleic that increases the good HDL cholesterol and reduces the bad LDL cholesterol. Harada has been found to reduce blood pressure and intestinal spasms, thus backing up its use for treating heart and intestinal conditions.
Triphala is a traditional ayurvedic herb that has many uses in cleansing the body that have been investigated and backed up by modern medical science. The mixture of the three fruits have strong anti-oxidant, anti-spasmodic and cholesterol reducing effects, and also possess laxative properties that can ease a large number of different physical and psychological health problems.
Oil of Oregano – The Natural Antiseptic
March 08, 2007 02:39 PM
Oregano is an aromatic herb that grows in the Mediterranean region, and is cultivated in many areas of the world. It is a member of the Lamiaceae or mint family, a plant family recognized for square stems and opposing pairs of leaves. The ancient Greek’s original name for this plant, “oreganos”, translated to “Delight of the Mountains”. It earns this name because the fragrance that is exuded, which has been described as complex, warm and spicy. The Greeks believed that if their cows ate oregano, it gave the meat a better flavor. Today, Oregano is recognized internationally as a culinary spice. It is a popular herb with Americans, especially in the distinctive aroma of Italian style cooking. Aromatic spices have been used through out the world for centuries for both their distinctive flavor and aroma as well as for their medicinal qualities.
Oregano is rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin A and C, niacin, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, boron and manganese. In addition, the herb contains many active chemical constituents that provide beneficial support to our bodies, such as thymol and carvacrol these components strongly discourage the growth of microorganisms, as action recognized by traditional herbalists throughout history as well as supported by modern scientific research. Oregano additionally provides antioxidant activities, useful to offset the effects of free radical damage.
There is a lot of confusion about oregano, because there are many plants throughout the world that are called oregano. Marjoram is often referred to as oregano, because it is a close cousin to the “true” oregano, and the genus and species name of marjoram is Origanum marjorana. To add to the confusion, the plant called oregano in Spain, Thymus nummularius, is different than Mexican oregano, Lippia graveolens. It is important to be aware of this because different species have different chemical constituents. The active ingredient, carvacrol, is found in high amounts only in “true” oregano, origanum vulare, the exact species that vitamin supplement manufacture use.
It takes approximately 200 pounds of oregano to produce 2 pounds of oregano oil. This highly concentrated form provides you with a quality plant remedy containing all the important volatile oils intact, thus remaining true to maintaining the plant in its holistically balanced state.
Oregano oil is exceptional in its ability to destroy many different kinds of pathogenic (disease-causing) microorganisms. It has a stronger effect than commercial preparations of phenol, a well-recognized medical antiseptic. Disease causing microorganisms including bacteria, fungus, virus and parasites are involved in illnesses ranging from colds and flues to gingivitis of the gums, athlete’s foot and candida. Oregano oil has been shown in scientific studies to actively inhibit and destroy E. Coli, candida albacans and the bacteria’s that cause strep and staff infection. It has been used for diarrhea, intestinal gas and digestive problems, as well as sore throats and minor breathing difficulties in traditional herbology. Oil of Oregano can act as an immediate first aid for insect bites and minor cuts and scrapes as well as dandruff, diaper rash and other skin disorders.
Unlike pharmaceutical drug antibiotics, Oregano oil does not cause the development of resistant strains of bacteria. Although it is always possible for an individual to have an allergic reaction to any substance, there are no known adverse effects to Oil of oregano.
Try Oil of Oregano on the skin for external conditions such as athlete’s foot. A few drops can be diluted in a teaspoon of water and used to brush the gums to help with gingivitis. Due to its high concentration, suggested internal use is just four drops (Start with one drop) in a full glass of water, three times per day. Each four drop dose of Nature’s Answer Oil of Oregano provides 13mgs of Oregano oil, which is guaranteed to contain a minimum of 7mg of Carvacrol. It is also available from Nature’s Answer in soft gel form.
Wasabi Rhizome Cleanse - Supports Phase II Liver Detoxification - Wasabi Health Benefits
August 01, 2006 10:41 AM
Most people know of it as a pale-green lump on the side of their plates in Japanese restaurants—a hot, spicy accompaniment to sushi or sashimi. The fiery yet sweet taste perfectly compliments the saltiness of soy sauce and the cool delicacy of raw fish. But wasabi is much more than a burst of culinary flavor, it has been used by traditional herbalists of Japan since the 10th century and is now being rediscovered by modern health practitioners for its stunning health benefits.
Wasabi has powerful detoxification properties, in particular, it supports the immune system and cleanses the liver. Wasabi contains precursors to phytochemicals called isothiocyanates that help remove toxic substances that are stored in the liver’s fatty tissues.
The rare wasabi plant is a natural, potent support to a healthy, cleansed liver that in turn affects the detoxification and cleansing of the entire body. Source Naturals is pleased to bring you this convenient, effective addition to your wellness program.
Wasabia Japonica - Rooted In Health
The wasabi plant (Wasabia japonica) grows naturally in the mountains of Japan in the gravel and sandbars of coldwater streams and rivers. Rare and difficult to grow, it takes three years for a wasabi root or rhizome to reach maturity. Because of its popularity, wasabi is now cultivated hydroponically and in cold, wet environments outside of Japan, such as in New Zealand and Oregon. Traditionally, the rhizome was freshly grated at the table with a sharkskin grater, popular with dishes such as seafood or udon noodles. Now wasabi is usually dried into powder form and made into the pale green paste familiar to most westerners. Often, however, restaurants do not serve real wasabi; since it is so rare and expensive, a dyed horseradish paste is served in most American restaurants.
What makes wasabi so special? It comes from a good family; the brassica vegetables in the cruciferae family include such health giants as broccoli, horseradish, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. All of these are well-known detoxifying plants, and wasabi appears to be the most amazing of them all, with detox capacities far beyond the others in the family because it is loaded with isothiocyanate precursors. This chemical not only gives wasabi its famous “fire,” it is likewise a fireball of detoxification properties.
Phase II Detox
The liver detoxifies the by-products of digestion and other harmful substances through a complex series of chemical reactions often referred to as Phase I and Phase II Detoxification. Phase I enzymes begin the process by taking the toxic molecule and changing it into a bioactive form. This process breaks down toxins. A second set of enzymes, Phase II, then neutralizes the toxin and makes it water soluble for elimination. Wasabi, with its long-chain isothiocyanate precursors, induces the Phase II enzymes. Simply stated, it is the sparkplug that starts Phase II enzymes on their work. This process, all done in the liver, supports the body’s ability to clean itself of impurities.
Part of a Complete Wellness Program
In the modern world, with so many pollutants, it is critical to your health and longevity that you cleanse these toxic compounds from your body. Wasabi, along with a whole food, high-fiber diet and reduction of alcohol consumption, supports the liver— the largest of the vital organs and the key to the digestion and elimination systems and most particularly, the body’s ability to cleanse itself. Source Naturals is pleased to bring you this exceptional product as part of your wellness program.
Depree, JA (1999) Flavour and pharmaceutical properties of the volatile sulphur compounds of Wasabia japonica. Food Research International: 31(5):329-337.
Morimitsu Y, et al. (2002) A sulforaphane analogue that potently activates the Nrf2-dependent detoxification pathway. J Biol Chem: 277:3456-3463.
Munday, R (2002) Selective induction of phase II enzymes in the urinary bladder of rats by allyl isothiocyanate, a compound derived from Brassica vegetables.
Nutrition and Cancer: 44(1):52-59.
Watanabe, M (2003) Identification of 6-methylsulfinylhexyl isothiocyanate as an apoptosis-inducing component in wasabi. Phytochemistry: 62(5):733-739.
Rose, P (2000) 7-methylsulfinylheptyl and 8- methylsulfinyloctyl isothiocyanates from watercress are potent inducers of phase II enzymes. Carcinogenesis: 21(11):1983-1988.
Cayenne pepper is a very hot ground spice
February 01, 2006 11:30 AM
Life is more enjoyable when your stomach is prepared for it.
November 28, 2005 12:05 PM
Help the stomach at Vitanet
Progesterone Cream - Supports Hormonal Balance
June 28, 2005 09:40 AM
Recent medical reports have profoundly shaken popular beliefs about the safety of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for women in menopause. You may be one of the six million women who are searching for alternatives. Source Naturals PROGESTERONE CREAM and PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM can help address normal menopausal discomforts, when used as part of a care for their own health needs. Source Naturals is committed to joining with your health food retailer to help insure that right.
Menopause and Hormonal Balance
Public confidence in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) suffered a major blow when the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health halted a large clinical trial out of concern for the safety of participants. Women are looking for natural alternatives to risky HRT.
Source Naturals Progesterone CREAM and PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM address the hormonal fluctuations that bring on the first disturbing hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. Used together or separately, these creams address declining levels of progesterone and estrogen.
Progesterone Cream from Woman-Friendly Soy
Progesterone is a steroid hormone made by the corpus luteum of the ovary at ovulation, and in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands. It is a precursor to most other steroid hormones, including cortisol, androstenedione, estrogen and testosterone. Because it is the precursor to so many hormones, progesterone is crucial for overall hormone balance. Yet progesterone levels can drop to near zero during menopause. Source Naturals PROGESTERONE CREAM supplies natural progesterone from soy.
Unlike creams which don’t divulge their progesterone content, Source Naturals PROGESTERONE CREAM is guaranteed to contain 500 mg of progesterone per ounce! This pure white cream softens and smoothes skin. Along with natural progesterone, it contains aloe vera, wild yam extract, natural vitamin E, lecithin phospholipid, jojoba oil, and extracts of ginseng root and grapefruit seed. Natural rosemary oil is added as a fragrance. Available in both tubes and jars for your convenience.
Phyto-Estrogen Cream: Plant Compounds Renowned for Menopause Estrogen levels drop 40-60% at menopause. Phytoestrogens—estrogens from plants—have been shown to bind to the same receptor sites as estrogen, helping maintain normal menstrual cycles and menopausal transitions. When there is too little estrogen (the situation during menopause), phytoestrogens substitute for the lack of human estrogen. Conversely, when estrogen levels are high (as in some women who experience PMS), phytoestrogens compete with human estrogen for binding to receptors and decrease overall estrogenic activity.
Source Naturals PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM is an almond-colored cream that can be massaged into smooth skin areas to add oil-rich, moisture-binding protection. PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM offers some of the finest phytoestrogens in the botanical world, including 60 mg of soy isoflavones per ounce. PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAM also contains pomegranate seed juice (a natural source of estrone), red clover tops extract, black cohosh root extract, and dong quai root extract, along with aloe vera gel, natural vitamin E, cocoa butter, grapefruit seed extract, rosemary oil, and natural cherry almond fragrance.
Warning: Phyto-Estrogen Cream is not for use by women of childbearing age. DO NOT USE if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you may become pregnant.
Source Naturals offers you the first progesterone and phytoestrogen creams to utilize unique liposomal delivery of key ingredients. Liposomes are micro-penetrating lipid spheres made from lecithin, which pass through skin layers more easily than non-liposomal creams—for highest possible penetration of skin cells. Both creams are available in 2 and 4 oz jars. PROGESTERONE CREAM is also available in 2 and 4 oz tubes.
Lifestyle Tips for Menopause: A Strategy for Wellness
Eat Well: In certain cultures, hot flashes are practically unknown. It is generally true that women in these cultures eat foods rich in phytoestrogens. For example, in Southeast Asia, where soy proteins comprise 20% to 60% of daily protein intake, epidemiological studies suggest an association between a positive, trouble-free menopause and soy consumption.
Lignans—phytoestrogens found in flaxseed oil and unprocessed olive oil—may also have a protective effect. You should eat fresh, organic vegetables, fruits, cereals, beans, whole grains and small portions of fish or hormone-free chicken. Increase fluids and eat low-fat dairy foods. Avoid fatty meats, sugar, processed foods, fried foods, and chemicals. Adequate calcium intake— 1,500 mg per day—is crucial.
Use Supplements: Source Naturals HOT FLASH is an excellent complement to PROGESTERONE and PHYTO-ESTROGEN CREAMS. A recent comprehensive scientific review of natural menopause products (Annals of Internal Medicine 11/19/02) singled out soy isoflavones and black cohosh for their benefits in addressing hot flashes. Unlike most products, HOT FLASH contains clinical potencies of both soy isoflavones and standardized black cohosh extract. In addition, HOT FLASH contains additional herbs, renowned for use in menopause: vitex, licorice root and dong quai. To be sure you are covering all your nutritional bases, take a good daily multiple like MENOPAUSE MULTIPLE, especially designed for women 40+ years old.
Maintain a Healthy Weight: Women who are overweight have an increased risk of heart disease, while those who are thin or underweight are more susceptible to osteoporosis and hot flashes.
Rest and Relax: It is important to get adequate sleep, take naps if you feel tired, and avoid stress. Meditation and yoga can be helpful in reaching a state of calm. Take Care of Your Skin: A 1997 study of 3,875 postmenopausal women documented the relationship between low estrogen levels and skin dryness and loss of elasticity. Research has associated wrinkling with consumption of full-fat dairy products, butter, margarine, fatty meats and sugar. Drink lots of water—at least 1.5 liters daily. Water flushes out wastes, and acts as an internal moisturizer, keeping skin hydrated and supple. Spring water is beneficial since it contains trace minerals vital to healthy skin. For radiant skin, you should also try the Source Naturals SKIN ETERNAL™ family of creams and serums. This advanced cosmetic system recharges and revitalizes all skin types. Keep Cool. Avoid triggers such as spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, overheated rooms, hot beverages and stress. Wear layered clothing, and choose natural fabrics, such as cotton or wool.
Stay Active: Exercise benefits the heart and bones, helps regulate weight and contributes to overall well-being. Weight-bearing exercises are especially important for increasing bone mass. Kegel exercises (tightening and relaxing of the pelvic muscles) can improve bladder control, and may enhance sexual pleasure. Try Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM): Alternative therapies— herbal remedies, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine and much more—can help you cope with the physical and emotional changes of menopause.
June 23, 2005 11:24 AM
Ironically, if you suffer from a peptic or duodenal ulcer, the last thing you feel probably feel inclined to take is hot Cayenne Pepper. While it goes against eve rything we’ve ever heard about what aggravates an ulcer, the facts are that most “spicy” foods do just the opposite. Capsicum has the ability to serve as a local anesthetic to ulcerated tissue and can even help to control bleeding. While some individuals may be bothered by eating “peppery” or spicy foods, these foods do not cause the formation of gastric ulcers in normal people. What is particularly interesting is that people suffering from ulcers who would normally avoid Cayenne Pepper, may actually benefit from its therapeutic action. In addition, taking Capsicum may significantly reduce the risk of ever developing a peptic ulcer. A Chinese study published in 1995 stated, “Our data supports the hypothesis that the chile used has a protective effect against peptic ulcer disease.”52 Another 1995 study found that Capsicum can even protect the stomach lining from aspirin induced ulcers.5 3 As most of us are aware, aspirin can cause stomach ulceration in certain individuals if a sensitivity exists or if taken with too little liquid. Researchers concluded after experiments with human volunteers that the capsaicin content of capsicum has a pronounced gastro - protective effect on the mucous membranes of the stomach.5 4 Eighteen healthy volunteers with normal gastrointestinal mucosa took chile and water followed by 600 mg of aspirin and water. The study was conducted over a period of four weeks. Endoscopy results showed that taking 20 gm of chile before the aspirin definitely demonstrated a protective action on the stomach lining.55 In short, Capsicum has the ability to rebuild stomach tissue. Note: The ability of Capsicum to bring blood to regions of tissue at a faster rate boosts the assimilation of foods that are consumed with it.56 Several clinical studies support this phenomenon. It is thought that Capsicum initiates the release of certain substances which increase secretions and facilitate better profusion of blood to the stomach and intestines.57 Capsicum can increases the flow of digestive secretions from the salivary, gastric and intestinal glands. Capsicum and the Gastro-Intestinal Tract In 1992, researchers tested the effect of chile or Capsicum on gastrointestinal emptying. Eight healthy volunteers were evaluated before and after the addition of Capsicum to their meals. The results conclusively demonstrated that the ingestion of Capsicum greatly effects intestinal transit time.58 If food moves faster through from the stomach through the intestines, caloric assimilation and bowel evacuation may be influenced for the better. Capsicum seems to “speed up” various physiological processes. To add transit time to the list of functions Capsicum boosts comes as somewhat of a surprise and additional benefit. Capsicum and Weight Loss Capsicum may be an unheralded weight loss aid that is perfectly safe to use. Studies have suggested that Capsicum can slow fat absorption in the small intestines and actually boost the metabolic rate so the thermogenesis (fat burning) is enhanced.5 9 In many instances excessive weight gain is thought to be a result of a sluggish metabolism. Capsicum has been singled out by herbalists as an herb which may boost the burning of fat.60 Unlike other stimulants, Capsicum does not cause palpitations, hyperactivity or a rise in blood pressure. For this reason, it may be a valuable weight loss supplement that has been generally overlooked.
As mentioned earlier, capsaicin has the ability to inhibit a neurotransmitter called substance P. Interestingly, an excess of substance P has been associated with psoriasis. Michael T. Murray, in his book, The Healing Power of Herbs, points out that this finding led researchers to study the effects of capsaicin ointments on psoriasis .61 Regarding the use of such an ointment for psoriasis, he states: “ . . . In one double-blind study, forty-four patients with symmetrically distributed psoriasis lesions applied topical capsaicin to one side of their body and a placebo to the other side. After 3 to 6 weeks, significantly greater reductions in scaling and redness were observed on the capsaicint reated side. Burning, stinging, itching, and skin redness were noted by nearly half of the patients initially, but these diminished or vanished on continued applications.”62 There is no question that capsaicin based ointments should be employed for psoriasis. Tests have conclusively found that treating psoriasis with capsaicin caused significant improvement in a variety of symptoms as well as the severity of the attack.63
Capsicum has also scientifically proven its value in people suffering from vasomotor rhinitis. By using Capsicum in spray form, researchers found that it was able to significantly reduce nasal obstruction and secretion.64 It is important to understand that in these particular instances, a Capsicum solution was applied directly to the mucous membranes of the nose. It did initially cause a painful burning and stimulated nasal secretion. However, in time, after repeated applications, these side effects disappeare d .6 5 Apparently, Capsicum may block the action of peripheral nerve endings which may stimulate nasal secretion and blockage. More study of Capsicum as a viable treatment for rhinitis has been recommended. Note: One of the many pro p e rties of Capsicum is its ability to b reak up mucous congestion which makes expectoration much easier.66 For this reason, Capsicum is recommended for upper respiratory infections which are characterized by excess mucus.
Fever and Chills
While it may seem somewhat contradictory, Capsicum actually l owers the temperature of the body by stimulating the region of the hypothalamus, which cools the body.6 7 “The ingestion of cayenne peppers by cultures native to the tropics appears to help these people deal with high temperature s . ”68 Capsicum also pro- motes perspiration which helps to cool the body off. In tropical areas, local people eat substantial amounts of hot peppers on a daily basis which helps to boost the elimination of sweat and thereby keeps body temperature down. This same mechanism can be used to treat fever and chills. In addition to this action, using Capsicum for any infection that may be causing a fever is also warranted. Capsicum helps to boost immune defenses and fights microorganism invasion.
June 23, 2005 10:49 AM
How many of us give the red hot chile pepper the respect it d e s e rves? Mo re often than not, most of us re g a rd red pepper or Capsicum as nothing more than the spice added to give Cajun and Mexican cuisine its piquant kick. Technically speaking, caye n n e pepper is the strongest red pepper variety of the Capsicum family, with paprika being the mildest.
Throughout this discussion, the terms capsicum and cayenne pepper will be used interchangeably. For our purposes, it’s important to know that herbalists have designated both of these terms for the same botanical agent. Health practitioners have known for centuries that Capsicum is much more than a culinary spice. Because they considered it a “ h o t” plant, Chinese physicians utilized it for physiologic conditions that needed stimulation. Capsicum or Cayenne Pepper is one of the few herbs that can be measured by its BTU or thermal units. In other words, it is a hot and stimulating pepper plant that can generate heat.
Recently, new and very valuable medicinal uses for Capsicum h a ve emerged through scientific inquiry. The red chile pepper is experiencing a rediscovery among health care practitioners, who have only just begun to uncover its marvelous therapeutic actions. It has been referred to as the purest and most effective natural stimulating botanical in the herbal medicine chest. The most recent clinical findings re g a rding Capsicum will be explored in our discussion with special emphasis on Capsicum’s ability to heal ulcers, protect stomach mucosa and alleviate peripheral pain. Unquestionably, Capsicum exe rts potent physiological and pharmacological effects without the side-effects commonly associated with powerful medicinal drugs. Ironically, in the past, Capsicum’s classification as a hot and spicy substance has done it a disservice. Because Capsicum is fiery and pungent, it is frequently regarded as dangerous and unpalatable. To the contrary, if it is used properly, Capsicum can be perfectly safe and impressively effective against a wide variety of physical disorders ranging from indigestion to ulcers to migraines. It s ability to lower blood cholesterol, boost circulation and even step up metabolism are worth serious consideration. In addition, its value for mental afflictions like depression must also be assessed. In a time when the notion of treating disease after the fact is more the rule than the exception, Capsicum offers protection from infectious invaders by boosting the effectiveness of the immune system. Today, amidst the over prescription of antibiotic drugs, Capsicum emerges as a potent immune fortifier, antioxidant and infection fighter.
A powerful compound called capsaicin is what gives Capsicum its bite and is also responsible for most of its beneficial effects on human physiology.1 The hotter the pepper, the higher its content of capsaicin.2 The re m a rkable pro p e rties of capsaicin will be discussed and documented clinical evidence supporting the use of capsaicin will be delineated. It is important to realize in evaluating this herb that while it can be used alone, Capsicum is frequently added to herbal combinations to potentiate their overall action. This fact alone attests to the powerful but safe stimulant action of Capsicum. Stimulation is thought to be one of the keys to swift and complete healing. Capsicum is ascending in prestige and is regarded as a modernday botanical which is accruing new and impressive credentials. The fruit of this particular pepper plant is a valuable herbal treasure. It is vital to our health that we inform ourselves about its many medicinal uses.
CAPSICUM (CAPSICUM ANNUUM)
Common Names: Cayenne Pepper, Red Pepper, African Bird Pepper, Bird Pepper, Spanish Pepper, American Red Pepper Plant Parts: Fruit Active Compounds: alkaloids (capsaicin), fatty acids, flavonoids, volatile oil, carotene pigment Nutritional Components: Capsicum is rich in Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and Zinc, two nutrients which are vital for a strong and healthy immune system. It is also high in vitamins, A, C, rutin (a bioflavonoid), beta carotene, iron, calcium and potassium. Capsicum also contains magnesium, phosphorus, sulphur, B-complex vitamins, sodium and selenium. The nutritional breakdown of Capsicum is as follows:
Pharmacology : Capsaicin (active component) contains over 100 distinct volatile compounds.3 It also contains capsacutin, capsaicin, capsantine, and capsico. Character: analgesic, antibacterial, antioxidant, antipyretic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, astringent, blood thinner, cardiovascular tonic, carminative, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, hemostatic, herbal accentuator, nerve stimulant, stomachic and tonic (general) Body Systems Targeted : cardiovascular, circulatory, gastrointestinal, nervous, integumentary, skeletal, metabolic Herbal Forms: loose dried powder, capsulized, tincture, infused oil, ointment or cream Usage : Capsicum can be used liberally in a variety of forms. Capsulized dried Capsicum is probably the easiest and most practical way to take the herb. Commercial ointments can be purchased which contain from 0.025 to 0.075 percent capsaicin for the treatment of pain and psoriasis. Dried Capsicum can be mixed in hot water or can be used in tincture form, which can be added to water or juice. Safety: Capsicum is generally recognized as safe in the United Sates and has been approved as an over-the-counter drug. A four week feeding study of Capsicum concluded, “It appears that red chile is relatively non-toxic at the doses tested in male mice.”4 The seeds of the fresh Capsicum plant should not be ingested. Doses of Capsicum should be followed precisely as prescribed to avoid gast rointestinal upset. Pregnant women or breast feeding mothers should avoid using Capsicum. Initial use of topical Capsicum can result in some skin irritation or burning; howe ve r, clinical tests have found that this diminishes with continued application. Avoid direct contact with eyes or other mucous membranes in general.
Centering Your Heart
June 13, 2005 10:15 AM
Centering Your Heart by Lisa James Energy Times, January 4, 2004
The romantic view of the human heart conjures up vivid images: The gallant lover, the committed enthusiast, the wise sage. When the romantic philosophy speaks of the heart, it speaks of things that lie at the very center of what it means to be human.
Western medical science, though, views the heart as a biomechanical pump-marvelously engineered to be sure, but a physical device amenable to surgical and pharmaceutical tinkering.
Between romance and technology lies the Eastern path. Eastern medical traditions, including Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and India's Ayurveda, see the heart as a seat of energy that must be kept in right relationship with the rest of the body.
TCM: Yin, Yang and Qi
The two great polarities of yin and yang are always shifting and rebalancing, according to Chinese philosophy, in our bodies as in everything else. Yin is dark, inward, cold, passive and downward; yang is light, outward, warm, active and upward.
The energy that keeps us alive is called qi, or life force. Organs, including the heart, are seen as places where qi resides. Organs supply and restrain each other's qi, which flows along carefully mapped meridians, or channels. Disease occurs when disturbances in qi interrupt the flow of energy so that an organ experiences either a deficiency or excess of yin/yang.
According to Chinese precepts, disturbances in the heart affect the whole body. "The movement of the blood throughout the body, TCM circulation, is managed by multiple organs, which in turn interact with one another. A failure in any one part of this system can result in pathology," says Jonathan Simon, LAc, an acupuncture expert in private practice and at the Mind-Body Digestive Center, in New York.
"If there's a circulation issue, all the organ systems are going to be deprived of the nourishment supplied by the blood. The heart seems to have a dramatic effect on everything else in the body," says Ross Rosen, JD, LAc, CA, MSTOM, Dipl AC & CH (NCCAOM), of The Center for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine P.A. in Westfield, New Jersey.
Connecting the Dots
While Western medicine probes the heart's physical functioning, TCM searches for energy imbalances by looking for patterns in a person's complaints.
"The wrong approach, in my opinion, is to try to relieve a Western ailment before you have established the proper pattern," Simon notes. "For example, I once had a 20-year-old, slim patient who came to me complaining of hypertension. She had seen several other acupuncturists before she got to my clinic, all of whom had prescribed the number-one formula for hypertension in TCM. When I interviewed her, I discerned a very different pattern from the classic one for hypertension. I gave her the formula associated with her pattern, not her symptom, and she had great relief over the next three weeks. After consultation with her Western physician, she began to cut back on her medication, and is now off of her meds."
TCM emphasizes taking a thorough medical history and using a sophisticated pulse-taking technique called the shen hammer method. Rosen calls pulse "the blueprint of one's health."
As in conventional Western medicine, TCM sees diet as a major culprit in heart disease. "Poor diet will cause problems depending upon on the constitution of the person," explains Simon. "For example, if one eats an excess of greasy and spicy food, that may build up and generate excess heat in the body. That may manifest itself as someone with a quick temper, red face and high blood pressure. On the other hand, a vegetarian who eats only salads may have low energy, a sallow complexion and low blood pressure. I try to tell my patients to keep balance in their diets, but to avoid cold, raw and greasy foods."
TCM also sees unsettled emotions as a source of illness. Stress "creates stagnation in qi and in the blood, eventually," Rosen says. "When stagnation is long or severe, heat starts being produced. We say that heat goes into the blood and steams the body, and heat starts to dry out the vessels. This process winds up turning into atherosclerosis-it kind of vulcanizes the vessel wall. It deprives the vessel of its moisture, which deprives it of its elasticity. Blood pressure starts to increase."
Managing one's emotions and not overworking body or mind is key, says Rosen: "The heart houses the spirit, the shen. When we see people with imbalances in emotion, the spirit starts to become agitated; once the spirit becomes agitated, the whole heart system goes out of balance."
Signs of agitation include insomnia, anxiety and an inability to feel joy, along with chest pain and heart palpitations. TCM uses nutrition, herbs and acupuncture to bring the body back into balance.
Ayurveda: Constitutional Energies
Like TCM, Ayurveda sees health as a matter of balancing the subtle energies that power our bodies. In Ayurveda, these energies exist as three doshas, or basic constitutions:
* Vata is cold, dry, light, clear and astringent. The skin of vata individuals is generally dry, thin, dark and cool, with hair that's curly, dark and coarse. Vatas change their minds readily and crave warmth.
* Pitta is sharp, light, hot, oily and pungent. Pitta people tend to have skin that's soft, fair, warm and freckled, along with fine, fair hair. Quick-witted, pittas hold strong convictions. They prefer coolness, since they tend to perspire profusely.
* Kapha is cold, heavy, oily, slow and soft. Kapha skin is pale, cold and thick, and kapha hair, which is usually brown, is thick and lustrous. Stable and compassionate, kaphas don't like the cold.
Few people are one, pure dosha. Most contain varying levels of vata, pitta and kapha (abbreviated VPK), generally with one predominating.
Ayurveda views the heart as "governing emotions and circulating blood," according to Sophia Simon, MS, LAc, of the Karma Healing Center in Newtown, Pennsylvania. In Ayurveda "heart problems arise mainly due to improper diet and stressful lifestyles," which causes a "derangement of vata dosha. This leads to thickening of the arteries, resulting in angio-obstruction."
"Stress reduction is very important in heart disease," says Simon. "Meditation helps a lot with stress reduction, especially simple breathing exercises, yoga, etc." Some of Simon's recommendations have a familiar ring: Don't smoke, do exercise, eat a plant-based, low-fat diet. In addition, she says you should:
* Avoid coffee and other beverages that contain caffeine.
* Be loving and compassionate to all mankind.
* Do things in a casual way. Speak softly. Avoid anger, especially holding anger for a long time.
* Indulge in healthy, whole-hearted laughter.
In addition, Simon notes that garlic is an Ayurvedic herb "most useful for heart problems.
Keep your balance: In the great Eastern healing traditions, it is the key to keeping your heart healthy.
June 10, 2005 04:08 PM
Basic Detox by Harriet Epstein , February 4, 2002
Basic Detox By Harriet Epstein Trying to stay healthy and clean in a dirty world can prove a difficult task. The rise of modern industry and agriculture has meant the widespread accumulation of toxins in our environment that can cause health problems.
As Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin point out in their book The Road to Immunity (Pocket), "Fat soluble chemicals are readily absorbed by the body but are difficult to excrete. To be excreted, they must first be enzymatically converted into water-soluble substances. Some of them can't be converted at all."
Bock and Sabin point out that a 1990 survey by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that looked at people's tissues found that everyone the agency examined had styrene (a chemical used to make plastic) and xylene (a paint and gasoline solvent) stored in their bodyfat.
The toxins that you encounter every day are not only present in air and water, but also may be found in food and medicines. If we eat beef that's been exposed to pesticides, those chemicals may be shunted into our bodyfat. Pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables may end up in a similar place.
To cope with chemicals, the human body has evolved methods for detoxifying. When we breathe out we often release inhaled toxins. Other toxins are purged through urine, feces and sweat.
One of the chief organs responsible for cleansing the body is the liver. This organ utilizes a pair of chemical pathways for breaking down and eliminating toxins. In our hectic, industrialized world, this flow of toxins can overwhelm the liver's ability to detoxify. In addition, the dual processes the liver uses to eliminate noxious substances may become unbalanced, allowing toxins produced by one pathway to build up to dangerous proportions.
Once liver function falters, toxic havoc ensues. Toxins may remain in the body, often stored indefinitely in bodyfat. The body's detoxifying systems may be swamped with toxins.
In protecting the liver and enhancing its detox functions, many naturopathic practitioners recommend the herb milk thistle (silybum marianum). According to Steven Bratman, MD, and David Kroll, PhD, authors of the Natural Health Bible (Prima), milk thistle helps the liver cope with its toxic load. Consequently, milk thistle is frequently used in Europe for liver problems like jaundice.
Bratman and Kroll point out that milk thistle "is one of the few herbs that have no real equivalent in the world of conventional medicine." As Lise Alschuler, ND, medical director at the Bastyr Natural Health Clinic, told Natural Digest, "Milk thistle protects the liver against toxic damage (and) helps prevent damage to the rest of the body."
The compounds in milk thistle that help zap toxins, known as silymarin, protect the liver by binding with substances that would otherwise interact with the liver and slow its function. They also help the liver repair itself and regenerate new liver cells.
As an extra bonus, silymarin acts as an antioxidant, protecting liver cell membranes from oxidative damage.
Dandelion has a place as another traditional treatment for toning the liver and boosting the body's filtration system. The leaves are a cornucopia of antioxidants and nutrients including B vitamins, vitamins A, C and D, plus boron, silicon, potassium, magnesium and zinc. They help detoxify by acting as a mild diuretic: they cause the body to eliminate excess fluid.
But herbalists worldwide have found the compounds in dandelion root most useful for helping alleviate liver and gall bladder malfunction. (If you think you suffer these difficulties, consult your health practitioner.) Two unique and helpful natural substances found in dandelion root are chemicals called germacranolide and eudesmanolide. The root, according to the Natural Health Bible, has traditionally been used to speed up a sluggish or congested liver as well as detoxing the body by eliminating constipation. Research indicates dandelion root may stimulate bile flow (Arzneimittel -forschung 9, 1959: 376-378).
Juniper berries (Juniperus communis), may also be taken with dandelion as a diuretic. This botanical, often used to combat urinary tract problems, is also an anti-inflammatory (Phyto Res 1, 1997: 28-31).
Heavy metals rank as dangerous toxins unleashed by modern industry. As Michael Murray, ND, and Joseph Pizzorno, ND, explain in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), metals like lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel and aluminum can "accumulate within the (body) where they can severely disrupt normal function."
Public health experts estimate at least one in five Americans has been a victim of heavy metal poisoning. Lead may be the most common villain. In your everyday life, you may be ingesting metals from your cookware, from pesticides, cigarette smoke, dental fillings, polluted fish, and chipping house paint.
Signs that you may suffer from toxicity linked to heavy metals: Unusual fatigue, Persistent headaches, Unexplained muscle pains, Anemia, Ringing in the ears or dizziness and Tremors.
Of course, if you think you suffer from heavy metal poisoning, you should see a knowledgeable health practitioner as soon as possible. Murray and Pizzorno recommend an array of precautions to protect yourself against heavy metals in the environment:
Take a daily multivitamin and mineral.
Take extra amounts of vitamin C and B-complex.
Take amino acids that contain sulfur (taurine, cysteine and methionine) and high sulfur foods like onions and garlic (or supplements). (Consult your pharmacist of health practitioner before taking individual amino acids.)
In addition, Leo Galland, MD, in his book The Four Pillars of Healing (Random House) offers these tips for keeping your digestive tract functioning at top capacity:
Take supplements of lactobacil-lus acidophilus and lactobacillus plantarum, friendly bacteria that in-habit the large intestine. These microorganisms can help break down toxins and eliminate them.
Use aspirin and ibuprofen as little as possible. They increase the permeability of the digestive system, allowing allergens and other problematic substances to enter the body.
Do not use antacids. The stomach's acidic environment is designed to kill ingested bacteria and parasites.
To fight digestive problems or heartburn, cut back on saturated fat; eat smaller meals. Chewing on calcium tablets after meals may help. Foods that can exacerbate heartburn include coffee, alcoholic beverages and very spicy foods.
Dr. Galland also recommends not eating for four hours before bed.
Environmental Free Radicals
Detoxing the body may also require taking antioxidant nutrients to fight off what are called free radicals.
Free radicals are caustic molecues thought to be involved in causing many chronic problems such as cancer and heart disease. Free radicals are created within the body and its cells every time a metabolic activity takes place. While the human body has developed its own mechanisms for defending itself against these byproducts of metabolism, exposure to pollution, radiation and other toxins may overburden the body's free radical burden. Scientists believe that taking extra antioxidant nutrients like vitamins C and E and carotenoids (natural substances found in many vegetarian foods) may help prevent damage by free radicals.
Environmental oxidizing agents include ionizing radiation (from industry, sun, cosmic rays, x-rays) ozone and nitrous oxide (from auto exhaust) heavy metals (mercury, cadmium, lead) and cigarette smoke, along with other chemical and compounds from food, water and air. Free radicals are believed to play a role in more than sixty different health conditions, including the aging process, cancer and arteriosclerosis. (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1993;90:7915-7922).
The good news? Reducing exposure to free radicals and increasing intake of antioxidant nutrients can shrink the risk of these health problems.
"Antioxidants can't get rid of heavy metals and solvents," says Dr. Glidden, "but they do cut down on the damage they do while they're there. As toxins wander through your body, they generate metabolic reactions, resulting in free radicals. And anti-oxidants mop them up." The liver is the last line of defense in handling toxins; supplements help it regenerate itself.
The body itself does produce enzymes like Superoxide dismutase (SOD) catalase, and glutathione peroxidase which can defend against and defuse many types of free radicals.
Supplements of these compounds are also available to augment the body's supply.
These building block nutrients include the minerals manganese, zinc, and copper for SOD and selenium for glutathione peroxidase. Many vitamins and minerals act as antioxidants. Dr. Crinnion recommends a multivitamin with "a lot of B, especially magnesium."
Since chlorinated pesticides like DDT "rob the body" of B1 and Vitamin A, he says, it's a good idea to supplement these as well.
In addition, acidophilus, a beneficial bacteria that grows in the digestive tract (and found in yogurt) may restore immunity hurt by pollutants. A study on women with recurrent vaginal candidiasis found that acidophilus cut their infections by 300% (Annals Int Med 1992; 116:353-357.)
Another immunity enhancer, colostrum, a natural immune enhancer that promotes cellular repair (Food Res Intl. 1995, 28(1):9-16) can also help the immune system battle pollution.
Vitamin C vs Pollution
A study of vitamin's C's antioxidant properties, conducted by University of Buffalo epidemiologists, and presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Epidemiologic Research, revealed that people with higher levels of vitamin C in their blood serum have lower levels of a marker of oxidative stress.
"It is well known that oxidative stress (cell damage caused by free radicals) plays a role in arteriosclerosis, cancer, pulmonary disease and other chronic conditions," said Holger Schunemann, M.D. a research assistant professor of social and preventive medicine at the University of Buffalo and lead author on the study.
"In this population, vitamin C was negatively associated with oxidative stress, suggesting it may play a role in protecting against these diseases." Vitamin C is the "greatest antioxidant," says Dr. Crinnion. "It has even been shown to clear lead from the blood."
A powerful fat-soluble antioxidant, Vitamin E scavenges free radicals protecting cells from oxidative damage. Vitamin E, "reverses toxicity of various toxic chemicals," says Dr. Walter Crinnion, "it is also a stabilizer of membranes." A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition regarding antioxidant vitamin supplementation and lipid peroxidation in smokers even indicates that an antioxidant-supplemented drink can reduce lipid peroxidation and susceptibility of LDL to oxidation in smokers and may ameliorate the oxidative stress of cigarette smoke.
Dr. Glidden recommends E preferably in the form of mixed tocopherols )If you take blood thinners, check with your health practitioner.)
Unfortunately, completely avoiding toxins in today's world is probably impossible. Civilization and toxic chemicals accompany each other hand in rubber-glove-encased hand. Still, with proper attention to nutrition and supplements to keep our bodies detoxifying, we can probably minimize health difficulties linked to these undesirables.
June 10, 2005 04:01 PM
Real Solutions by Susan Risoli Energy Times, November 1, 1997
The alarm sounds, you stumble out of bed and head to the bathroom. Suddenly, a burning sting wakes you with a jolt as you begin to urinate. One doctor visit later, you're on a strict antibiotic regimen to treat your urinary problem.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) affect 8 million to 10 million Americans, mostly women, each year. The culprit: the bacteria E. coli. Neglect may allow a UTI to spread to the bladder (where it causes cystitis), or kidneys: possibly life-threatening.
The good news: medical experts recognize that a diet change and avoiding certain risk factors may help fight off UTIs.
According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, about 20% of women experience UTI at least once, and many suffer recurrences. Sexually active women tend to incur more UTIs because of anatomical vagaries: the bladder sits just above the vagina, while the urethra, a structure from the bladder to the outside, protrudes in a tubelike ridge down the top part of the vagina to just above the vaginal opening. This structure allows sexual intercourse to push infecting bacteria into the urethra. Women's vulnerability to UTI also derives from their short urethras which are located near the rectum, a main source of UTI germs. These tubes provide an easy path to a bacterial home in the bladder.
Another risk booster: pelvic exams which may increase chances of UTI. A 1996 study conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago and reported in the Archives of Family Medicine (1996;5:357-360) found that 43% of women with UTIs had received a pelvic examination within the two months preceding infection. Only 16% of the uninfected had been examined.
Bladder infections can occur frequently in postmenopausal women due to thinning and drying of the vaginal lining. And mid-life women are not immune. "With the loss of estrogen support, the urethra becomes less flexible and elastic and, like the vagina, it can become easily irritated after sexual intercourse and, thus, much more prone to infection," reports Susan Lark, MD, in her book, Women's Health Companion: Self Help Nutrition Guide and Cookbook (Celestial Arts). "As women age, the lower urinary tract also stops manufacturing anti-adherence factors, which help to prevent bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall."
Every woman should keep her own "female" botanicals on hand to help boost her immune system when she is at high risk of developing a bladder infection. These include:
Cranberry: This immune-boosting, vitamin C-rich berry prevents germs from invading the lining of the urinary tract. A 1994 study of 153 elderly women conducted by researchers at the Harvard Medical School and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (1994:271: 751-4) showed that cranberry juice may keep harmful bacteria at reduced levels. More recently, a study by Amy B. Howell, PhD, and a team at Rutgers University found that cranberries contain a type of condensed tannin, a chemical compound called proanthocyanidins, that seemed to stunt the growth of E. coli, preventing it from adhering to the walls of the bladder and kidneys.
"However, once you have an infection, cranberry juice cannot eradicate the bacteria. So drinking cranberry juice may be helpful in preventing an infection, but not in treating an existing one," according to Larrian Gillespie, MD, in her book You Don't have to Live with Cystitis (Avon Books).
Drinking two glasses of juice a day can help if you're UTI-prone. To avoid the sugar added to cranberry juice, concentrated cranberries are available in a gel-cap form.
Echinacea: This North American herb bolsters immune function and is believed to possess antiseptic and antiviral properties which may rev up the white blood cells that fight infection, reports John Cammarta, MD, in his book A Physician's Guide To Herbal Wellness (Chicago Review Press).
While cranberry is most commonly recommended for prevention, other herbs can also kill bacteria and are diuretic. These include:
Barberry: "The chemical berberine found in this herb is an impressive infection fighter. Studies show it kills the bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections," says author Jim O'Brien in his book Herbal Cures for Common Ailments (Globe).
O'Brien recommends making a tea with one half teaspoon of powdered root bark, then put it on low boil for 30 minutes. "The taste is unpleasant, so you may wish to add natural sweeteners and flavorings."
Uva-ursi: contains the ingredient arbutin, which fights germs in the urinary tract. "In addition," adds O'Brien, "the herb contains several diuretics that help flush the urinary tract, leading to faster healing. It also has several tannins, which act as powerful astringents drying out swollen, infected tissue. A third property of uva-ursi is allantoin, which promotes the growth of new cells."
"For this herb to be effective you must not eat or drink anything of acidic nature, such as citrus fruits or juices. Don't even take vitamin C supplements while using it," cautions O'Brien.
Coping With Pain
In her book Herbal Remedies for Women (Prima), medical herbalist Amanda McQuade Crawford offers an herbal recipe to help restore the urinary tract's normal pH. Herbal Formula I calls for 4 ounces of uva-ursi leaf, three ounces of marshmallow leaf, two ounces of yarrow flower (omit during pregnancy) and one ounce (or to taste) cinnamon bark. Steep the herbs for 10 to 20 minutes, then strain through bamboo or wire mesh. Drink 2 to 5 cups daily for 10 days. Crawford advocates drinking one to two cups per day for a week to 10 days after all symptoms have disappeared.
Urologist Gillespie has found that women with cystitis may notice certain foods and beverages (such as alcohol and acidic foods) exacerbate problems of pain and burning. Gillespie recommends cystitis sufferers avoid foods like apple juice, apples, apricots, melon, carbonated drinks, spicy foods, citrus fruits, coffee, ginger, grapes, guava, lemon juice, peaches, pineapple, plums, rhubarb, strawberries, tea, tomatoes and vinegar.
Limit refined sugar: this nutrient may stunt immune reactions. Most importantly, you can lower the risk of UTIs by drinking liquids. Water helps flush bacteria from the body so drink at least 6 to 8 eight-ounce glasses of filtered water daily.
Fibro Response - Feel your Vitality ...
June 02, 2005 09:56 AM
Millions of Americans, the majority of them women, are looking for a product to soothe muscles, relieve joints, support energy, and assist the liver’s natural detoxification process. Source Naturals FIBRO-RESPONSE is based on recent research into the physiological mechanisms involved in muscular metabolism. This research has given new hope to millions of people.
Fibro-Response: A Bio-Aligned Formulation™ FIBRO-RESPONSE is the latest in a series of formulas we refer to as Bio- Aligned Formulations. We evaluate the underlying causes of system imbalances, then design products that support alignment and harmony in your body’s interdependent systems and functions. These formulas provide targeted nutrition to help create Body Systems in Harmony™.
FIBRO-RESPONSE was designed to help bring harmony to the interdependent systems and functions that influence joint and muscle health. Our muscles need energy and oxygen to prevent them from becoming fatigued. FIBRO-RESPONSE soothes muscles and joints by supporting oxygen supply and energy production, provides powerful antioxidants for healthy joints and connective tissue, assists healthy liver function, and supports the nervous system and circulation. The ingredients were carefully selected to influence a range of body systems. Some were included for their combined effects with other ingredients; some play important roles in more than one body system.
Muscles and Energy Production: Our muscle cells are powered by adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a compound popularly referred to as “the energy molecule.” ATP supplies energy for all the body’s myriad physiological processes. To provide this chemical energy, the body generates and uses an amazing two to three pounds of ATP every day! ATP production occurs through a series of complex chemical reactions, including the Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain—and these energy production systems in turn require sufficient nutrients. Malic acid, a natural fruit acid that is also produced in our cells, and the essential mineral magnesium, are critical components of the energy production cycle in muscle cells. FIBRO-RESPONSE supplies both in the amounts used in recent scientific research. Additional ingredients that support energy production include coenzyme Q10, a coenzyme in the energy- producing pathways; manganese, which activates many metabolic enzymes; and copper, an important component of energy-producing enzymes. Pantothenic acid, and alpha-lipoic acid help form coenzyme A, a primary starting material for ATP production (pantothenic acid also supports the adrenal glands). Vitamins B-1, B-2, niacin and B-6 are all required for energy production.
Connective Tissue: Healthy connective tissue is essential for proper muscle function. MSM dietary sulfur supports the integrity of connective tissue and joints. MSM is included in FIBRO-RESPONSE in the amount used in recent joint health studies. Vitamins A and C, zinc, manganese, and copper all have important roles in supporting connective tissue. Liver Support: The liver is the largest and one of the most important body organs. Its vital functions include clearing the blood of toxins, and producing bile, which aids in fat digestion and carries waste products away from the liver. Liver detoxification is essential for muscle and joint comfort. Silymarin from milk thistle seeds is an important contributor to the support of healthy liver function. N-acetyl cysteine serves as a precursor to glutathione, a critical selenium-containing antioxidant produced in the liver, which binds to toxins to help remove them from the body. Alpha-lipoic acid and coenzyme Q10 play important roles in supporting liver health. This is partly because they are components of the body’s energy production process, and the liver demands a great deal of energy. FIBRORESPONSE also contains a classic Chinese herbal combination traditionally used to harmonize liver “chi” or “energy”: bupleurum, ginseng, pinellia, skullcap, ginger, cinnamon, and licorice. Their actions are complemented by the traditional Western herb dandelion.
Antioxidant Support: Antioxidants protect tissues and joints from highly destructive molecules called free radicals. Alpha-lipoic acid, termed the “ideal antioxidant,” complements the antioxidant activity of beta carotene and coenzyme Q10. Nacetyl cysteine, best known for supporting the liver, is also highly valued as an antoxidant. Zinc, selenium and copper support our natural defenses. Together, they provide a full armory of powerful antioxidants for joints and connective tissue.
Nervous System Support: Ginkgo biloba is renowned for promoting blood flow to the brain. This is crucial, since brain tissue is very metabolically active, accounting for 2% of our body weight, yet using 15% of our total energy supply. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that may regulate the nervous system and support clear focus. The herb skullcap, and vitamin B-6, add further support.
Taking Back Your Life: A Strategy for WellnessSM
Source Naturals’ expert formulators have created an experiential product that can make a difference in the way you feel. But supplementation is only part of the picture. Healthy lifestyle habits can redefine and empower your own strategy for wellness.
Rest and Relaxation. Deep, uninterrupted sleep is essential for energy and a healthy nervous system. Sleep 8 to 10 hours nightly and aim to finish meals two hours before retiring.
Exercise. Even if you feel exhausted and it hurts to move your muscles, you must keep moving. Start easy with nonimpact movement—yoga is an excellent beginning. Do some gentle stretches, followed by 5 to 10 minutes of blood-pumping activity (i.e. biking, stair-stepping, or dancing). Listen to your body: increase activity time only when it feels comfortable. Food and Nutrition. You’ve heard it before but now it’s time to pay attention: eat healthy. Avoid spicy, oily foods and choose light, mild alternatives. Go easy on sugar and incorporate whole grains into your diet. Enjoy steamed vegetables, alternate brown and white rice, and eat less red meat and more fish or soy. Reduce or eliminate milk products. Relax and take time to chew. And drink LOTS of water—it is essential for hydrating the body, flushing out wastes, and absorbing nutrients.
Breathing. Many people hold their breath unintentionally, often as a result of stress or anxiety. This can become a habit, reducing blood oxygen, interrupting the pumping mechanism of the diaphragm that helps circulation, and causing muscles to become tense. Breathe deeply and feel your lungs expand and fill. Notice how different you feel.
You have in your hand a powerful, comprehensive formula. Combined with a healthy lifestyle FIBRO-RESPONSE can help you make lasting changes that will empower you throughout life.
FIBRO-RESPONSE is available in bottles of 45, 90 and 180 tablets.
References Abraham, G. and J. Flechas. 1992. J. Nutritional Medicine (3): 49-59. American Medical Association, Encyclopedia of Medicine. New York: Random House, 1989. Garfinkel, L. and D. 1985. Magnesium (4): 60-72. Russell, I.J. et al. 1995. J. Rheumatology 22(5): 953-8.
Targeted Nutrition Muscle Cell Metabolism Malic Acid, Magnesium, CoQ10, Vitamin B-1, (ATP Production) Vitamin B-2, Vitamin B-3, Vitamin B-6, Manganese, Pantothenic Acid, Copper, alpha-Lipoic Acid. Connective Tissue MSM, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Zinc, Manganese, Copper Liver Silymarin from Milk Thistle, N-Acetyl Cysteine, Ginkgo Biloba, Dandelion Root, Chinese Liver Blend (Bupleurum, Skullcap, Panax Ginseng, Pinellia Root, Ginger, Cinnamon, Licorice Root) Antioxidant Support N-Acetyl Cysteine, alpha-Lipoic Acid, Beta Carotene, CoQ10, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Nervous System GABA, Skullcap, Ginkgo Biloba, Vitamin B-6.