Bladderwrack – It has a reputation in the relief of rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis and may be used both internally and as an external application for inflamed joints. The main phytotherapeutic use of Fucus is during debility and convalescence, and also to remineralise the body.
Fucus also appears to assist in the problem of lipid balance associated with obesity, and where obesity is associated with thyroid dysfunction, this herb may help to reduce excess weight. Bladderwrack is rich iniodine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfur, silicon and iron and high in some B-complex vitamins.
Bladderwrack is rich in iodine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfur, silicon and iron and high in some B-complex vitamins. It contains moderate amounts of phosphorus, selenium, manganese and zinc and small amounts of vitamins A, C, E and G. It also contains anti-sterility vitamin S as well as vitamin K. It is rich in algin and mannitol, carotene and zeaxantin with traces of bromine.
Yarrow – This herb plant was first used by ancient Greeks over 3,000 years ago for treating external wounds on the skin. The flowers and leaves of yarrow were eaten and also made into a tea-like drink. The fresh leaves were used to stop bleeding wounds, treat gastrointestinal problems, fight fevers, lessen menstrual bleeding and better circulation. The fresh leaves were also chewed on to relieve tooth aches. Scientists have credited yarrow for its benefits relating to almost every organ in the body.
Native Americans used yarrow for wounds, infections and bleeding. Chinese medicine gives it praise for the ability to affect the kidney, spleen, liver and energy channels throughout the body. Animal studies have also shown support for the use of yarrow in cleansing wounds and controlling the bleeding of wounds, cuts and abrasions. Many times yarrow is categorized as a uterine tonic, which supports the circulation in the uterine. Many studies show that it helps the uterine by improving the tone, increasing menstrual flow and reducing spasms in the uterine.
Fights bacteria. Yarrow has an antiseptic action. The bitter parts and fatty acids encourage bile flow out of the gallbladder, known as the cholagogue effect. The free-flowing action improves digestion and prevents and gallstones from forming. Decongestant. Yarrow contains a drying effect and seems to improve coughs and sinus infections with sputum formation. Astringent. Very helpful with allergies where nasal secretions and watery eyes are caused by molds, dust, pollen and dander. Yarrow is also known to cause sweating in cases of flu, fevers and colds, helping to cure simple infections. Infusion. Yarrow is used to aid in healing skin conditions, such as eczema. The essential oils are used and rubbed onto the affected area. Anti-inflammatory. The oil found in the yarrow has been used to treat arthritis. Expectorant. Helps to cure colds. Promotes digestion. Helps in the secretion of enzymes and digestive juice and increases appetite; both help in digestion. herbwisdom.com
Cascara Sagrada – a natural laxative made from the reddish-brown bark of a tree (Rhamnus purshiana) native to western North America. In 1999, the herb made up more than 20% of the national laxative market in the U.S., with an estimated value of $400 million. In fact, it is widely considered to be the most widely used cathartic in the world.
Originally used by Pacific Northwest Native American tribes to treat constipation, the herb was introduced to Spanish conquerors that gave it the name “Sacred Bark” (cascara sagrada) in honor of its effectiveness. In 1877, cascara sagrada was admitted to the U.S. Pharmacopoeia and is still included in the registry as an official medicine.
Early plant chemists have identified the active laxative constituents in cascara sagrada bark as anthraquinone derivatives. These compounds stimulate peristalsis, the vigorous wavelike contractions of the large intestine that keep food moving through the digestive system. When cascara speeds the process up, the body produces a softer, quicker bowel movement because the intestine has had less chance to absorb the liquid from the stool. Several studies have shown that cascara sagrada is effective in easing chronic constipation in elderly people.
Possibly one of the herb’s most valuable properties is that once used, repeated dosages are not typically necessary. Not only does the herb alleviate constipation, but may also prevent it as well. According to the Dispensatory of the United States, “It often appears to restore tone to the relaxed bowel and in this way produces a permanent beneficial effect.” It literally gives the muscles in your bowel a work-out so they can be strong again and do their job. Pretty impressive remedy from mother nature! Jon Barron.org
Sea/Irish Moss –
- Has a soothing effect on the mucous membranes throughout the body. …
- Soothes the mucous membranes of the digestive tract and also has a mild laxative effect.
- Contains antioxidants to help fight free radicals.
- Has a large array of ionic minerals. …
- Used externally, it softens and soothes the skin. rawbayarea.com
- Contrary to the name, Irish moss is not actually a moss.
- It is a type of seaweed that is found along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, and especially in Ireland. The Irish would take it on long journeys as a good luck charm and a sign of prosperity. When the Irish went through a major famine in the 19th century, and they greatly relied on Irish moss as a main source of nutrition.
- Let’s take a look at the health benefits of Irish moss.
- Antioxidant rich:
- It is an excellent source of antioxidants such as vitamin A and E. Antioxidants protect the body from the effects of oxidative stress, which may help strengthen the immune system and ward off diseases. Dr. Andrew Weil explains, “Oxidative stress is the total burden placed on organisms by the constant production of free radicals in the normal course of metabolism plus whatever other pressures the environment brings to bear (natural and artificial radiation, toxins in air, food and water; and miscellaneous sources of oxidizing activity, such as tobacco smoke).” The effects of oxidative stress are often linked to chronic illnesses such as heart disease and many types of cancers.
- Anti-viral properties:
- Irish moss is believed to have anti-viral properties according to recent research, and is often used to treat conditions such as cold, flu, and mumps.
- Healthy skin:
- Irish moss is often found in skin creams because of their skin healthy vitamins A, E, and K, which keep skin soft and treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
- Rich in nutrients:
- Irish moss contains 15 of the 18 essential nutrients that make up our bodies. These nutrients include vitamins A, D, E, F and K. It is also a great source of iodine, potassium, sulphur, and calcium.
- Source of iodine:
- Irish moss is a great source of iodine, which is known to help heal the effects of radiation poisoning. stepin2mygreenworld.com
African Bird Pepper (Cayenne) – African Bird Pepper is a type of cayenne pepper and is known to be an effective way to lower blood pressure. There are several types of cayenne pepper and the hotter they are the more effective for lowering blood pressure. African Bird Pepper is an extremely hot cayenne pepper.
African Bird Pepper has many health benefits related to cardiovascular health all of which effect blood pressure. It helps with circulation and lowers the risk of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) which in turn helps lower blood pressure, according to Blood Pressure: Use Cayenne Pepper To Control Hypertension. The effects on blood pressure may be secondary, but it is very effective.
Using African Bird Pepper is very good for the cardiovascular system. It is very effective at lowering blood pressure and has many other health benefits. It can be taken as a tea by mixing one teaspoon in hot water and simmering for a few minutes before drinking.
1. Anti-Irritant Properties
African Bird Pepper has the ability to ease stomach upset, ulcers, soar throats, spasmodic and irritating coughs as well as diarrhea.2. Anti-Cold & Flu Agent
When you have a cold or flu, African Bird Pepper helps break up congested mucus and gets it moving. Once the mucus starts to leave your body, you will get some relief from many of the flu symptoms you may be experiencing.
3. Anti-Fungal Properties
The results of one study indicated that African Bird Pepper could effectively prevent the formation of the fungal pathogens phomopsis and collectotrichum.
4. Migraine Headache Prevention
Many naturopaths have known of the health benefits of African Bird Pepper, especially for headaches.This may be related to the pepper’s ability to stimulate a pain response in a different area of the body, thus reverting the brain’s attention to the new site. Following this initial pain reaction, the nerve fibers have a depleted substance P (the nerve’s pain chemical), and the perception of pain is lessened.
African Bird Pepper is a wonderful anti-inflammatory agent and may even help w/ allergies
6. Digestive Aid
This spice is a well-known digestive aid. It stimulates the digestive tract ncreasing the flow of enzyme production and gastric juices. This, in turn, aids the body’s ability to metabolize the food (and toxins) we take into the system. African Bird Pepper pepper is also a wonderful medicinal herb for relieving intestinal gas. It stimulates intestinal peristaltic motion, aiding in both assimilation and elimination.
7. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
African Bird Pepper’s anti-inflammatory properties makes it a great herb for arthritis, diabetes, psoriasis and herpes-related nerve damage.
8. Helps Produce Saliva
African Bird Pepper stimulates the production of saliva, an important key to excellent digestion and maintaining optimal oral health.
9. Prevents & Treats Blood Clots
African Bird Pepper pepper also helps reduce atherosclerosis, encourages fibrinolytic activity and prevents the formation of blood clots, all of which can help reduce the chances of a heart attack or stroke.
10. Detox Support
African Bird Pepper is a known circulatory stimulant. It also increases the pulse of our lymphatic and digestive rhythms. By heating the body, the natural process of detoxification is streamlined. African Bird Pepper also causes us to sweat, another important process of detoxification. Combined with lemon juice and honey, African Bird Pepper tea is an excellent morning beverage for total body detox.
11. Join-Pain Reliever
Extremely high in a substance called capsaicin, African Bird Pepper acts to cause temporary pain on the skin, which in turn sends chemical messengers from the skin into the joint, offering relief for joint pain.
12. Anti-Bacterial Properties
African Bird Pepper is an excellent food-preserver and has been used traditionally to prevent food contamination from bacteria.
13. Possible Anti-Cancer Agent
Studies done at the Loma Linda University in California found that African Bird Peppercan prevent lung cancer in smokers. This may be again related to cayenne’s high quantity of capsaicin, a substance that can stop the formation of tobacco-induced lung tumors. Other studies have also shown a similar reaction in African Bird Pepper’s ability to inhibit liver tumors.
14. Supports Weight Loss
Scientists at the Laval University in Quebec found that participants who took cayenne pepper for breakfast were found to have less appetite, leading to less caloric intake throughout the day. African Bird Pepper is also a great metabolic-booster, aiding the body in burning excess amounts of fats.
15. Improves Heart-Health
African Bird Pepper helps to keep blood pressure levels normalized. It also rids the body of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
16. Remedy for Toothache
African Bird Pepper is an excellent agent against tooth and gum diseases.
17. Topical Remedy
As a poultice, cayenne has been used to treat snake bites, rheumatism, inflammation, sores, wounds and lumbago wellandgoood.blogspot.com/
Kelp – Because it absorbs the nutrients from its surrounding marine environment, kelp is rich in:
- trace elements
According to nutritionist Vanessa Stasio Costa, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.N., kelp “is often considered a ‘superfood’ due to its significant mineral content. It’s especially concentrated in iodine, which is important for optimal thyroid function and metabolism.”
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) say that seaweed such as kelp is one of the best natural food sources of iodine, an essential component in thyroid hormone production. A deficiency in iodine leads to metabolism disruption and can also lead to an enlargement of the thyroid gland known as goiter.
But beware of too much iodine. Overconsumption can create health issues, too. The key is to get a moderate amount to raise energy levels and brain functioning. It is difficult to get too much iodine in natural kelp but this could be an issue with supplements.
Stasio Costa also notes that kelp contains notable amounts of:
- vitamins A, B-12, B-6, and C
The benefits of these vitamins and nutrients are substantial. B vitamins in particular are essential for cellular metabolism and providing your body with energy. According to UCSF Medical Center, kelp has more calcium than many vegetables, including kale and collard greens. Calcium is important to maintain strong bones and optimal muscle function.
Since inflammation and stress are considered risk factors for many chronic diseases, Stasio Costa says including kelp in one’s diet could have numerous health benefits. Kelp is naturally high in antioxidants, including carotenoids, flavonoids, and alkaloids, which help to fight against disease-causing free radicals.
Antioxidant vitamins like vitamin C, and minerals like manganese and zinc, help to combat oxidative stress and may offer benefits to cardiovascular health. There have been many claims regarding kelp’s abilities to fight chronic disease, including cancer.
Recent studies have explored the role of sea vegetables in estrogen-related and colon cancers, osteoarthritis, and other conditions. Researchers found that kelp can slow the spread of colon and breast cancers. A compound found in kelp called fucoidan may also prevent the spread oflung cancer and prostate cancer. This doesn’t mean that kelp should be used to cure any diseases or be considered a guaranteed protection against disease.
Weight Loss Claims
In recent years, researchers have looked into kelp’s potential fat blocking properties. Because kelp contains a natural fiber called alginate, studies suggest that it may halt the absorption of fat in the gut. A study published in Food Chemistry found that alginate could help block fat absorption in the intestines by 75 percent. In order to reap the benefits of alginate, the research team plans to add the thickening compound to common foods such as yogurt and bread.
Kelp may have great potential for diabetes and obesity, although research is still preliminary. A study published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism found that a compound in the chloroplasts of brown seaweed called fucoxanthin may promote weight loss in obese patients when combined with pomegranate oil. Studies also suggestthat brown seaweed may influence glycemic control and reduce blood glucose levels, benefitting people with type 2 diabetes.
In addition to its potential to slow down fat absorption in the gut, kelp is low in fat and calories. healthline.com
Plant sources of anti-cancer agents
In the 1950s, scientists began systematically examining natural organisms as a source of useful anti-cancer substances. It has recently been argued that “the use of natural products has been the single most successful strategy in the discovery of novel medicines”.
Plants need to defend themselves from attack by micro-organisms, in particular fungi, and they do this by producing anti-fungal chemicals that are toxic to fungi. Because fungal and human cells are similar at a biochemical level it is often the case that chemical compounds intended for plant defence have an inhibitory effect on human cells, including human cancer cells. Those plant chemicals that are selectively more toxic to cancer cells than normal cells have been discovered in screening programs and developed as chemotherapy drugs.
Some plants that indicate potential as an anticancer agent in laboratory-based in vitro research – for example, Typhonium flagelliforme, and Murraya koenigii are currently being studied. There can be many years between promising laboratory work and the availability of an effective anti-cancer drug: Monroe Eliot Wall discovered anti-cancer properties in Camptotheca in 1958, but it was not until 1996 – after further research and rounds of clinical trials – that topotecan, a synthetic derivative of a chemical in the plant, was approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration.
- Camptotheca acuminata
- Catharanthus roseus
- Podophyllum spp.
- Taxus brevifolia
- Euphobia peplus
- Maytenus ovatus
Trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla) is an antibody conjugated to a synthetic derivative of the cytotoxic principle of the Ethiopian plant Maytenus ovatus. It used to treat breast cancer.
Cloves – offer many health benefits, some of which include providing aid in digestion, having antimicrobial properties, fighting against cancer, protecting the liver, boosting the immune system, controlling diabetes, preserving bone quality, and containing anti-mutagenic properties, as well as fighting against oral diseases and headaches, while displaying aphrodisiac properties as well.
Cloves are one of the spices indigenous to Asian countries like Indonesia, India, Pakistan, and even areas of East Africa. It is native to the Maluku islands in Indonesia. Cloves are a popular flavouring agents used in a variety of ways across the world, particularly in Asia. Cloves form the culinary base in a number of different Asian cuisines.
Clove, just like many other spices originating in Asia, has a great history behind it. During the 13th and 14thcenturies, cloves were transported all the way from Indonesia to China, India, Persia, Africa, and Europe. During this time, cloves had a very high price, thus wars for monopoly over clove production and distribution began. Many wars were waged in order to control the islands of Maluku during both the medieval and modern period. The Dutch emerged victorious and held the Maluku islands for a very long time. Today, clove is a very important commercial crop all around the world.
Scientific Facts About Clove
Clove, as we know it, is the dried bud of the flower from the tree Syzygium aromaticum. It belongs to the plant family named Myrtaceae. The plant is an evergreen plant growing in tropical and subtropical conditions.Clove is an herb and people use various parts of the plant, including the dried bud, stems, and leaves to make medicine. Clove oil is also famous for its medicinal properties.
Clove has been used for thousands of years in India and China, not only as a spice and condiment, but also as a medicine for many ailments. Ayurvedic medicing used cloves for tooth decay, halitosis, and bad breath. In Chinese medicine, clove was considered to possess aphrodisiac properties.
Nutritional Value of Cloves
According to the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, the nutrients found in 100 grams of cloves include 65g of carbohydrate, 6g of protein, 13g of total lipids, 2g of sugars, 274 kcal of energy and 33g of dietary fiber. Minerals in cloves include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and zinc. The vitamins found in cloves include vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin K. There are two major components present in clove extract oil, eugenol and B-caryophyllene. These compounds were particularly effective against fibroblasts and endothelial cells.
Bioactive Substances in Cloves
Certain bioactivecompounds have been isolated from clove extracts. Some of them include: flavonoids, hexane, methylene chloride, ethanol, thymol, eugenol, and benzene. These biochemicals have been reported to possess various properties, including antioxidant, hepato-protective, anti-microbia, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Health Benefits of Cloves
Better Digestion: Cloves improve digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive enzymes. Cloves are also good for reducing flatulence, gastric irritability, dyspepsia and nausea. Cloves can be roasted, powdered, and taken with honey for relief in digestive disorders.
Antibacterial Properties: Cloves have been tested for their antibacterial properties against a number of human pathogens. The extracts of cloves were potent enough to kill those pathogens. Clove extracts are also effective against the specific bacteria that spreads cholera.
Chemo-Preventive Properties: Cloves are of interest to the medical community due to their chemo-preventive or anti-carcinogenic properties. Tests have showed that cloves are helpful in controlling lung cancer in its early stages.
Liver Protection: Cloves contain high amounts of antioxidants, which are ideal for protecting the organs from the effects of free radicals, especially the liver. Metabolism, in the long run, increases free radical production and lipid profile, while decreasing the antioxidants in the liver. Clove extracts are helpful in counteracting those effects with its hepatoprotective properties.
Diabetes Control: Cloves have been used in many traditional remedies for a number of diseases. One such disease is diabetes. In patients suffering from diabetes, the amount of insulin produced by the body is not sufficient or insulin is not produced at all. Studies have revealed that extracts from cloves imitate insulin in certain ways and help in controlling blood sugar levels.
Bone Preservation: The hydro-alcoholic extracts of cloves include phenolic compounds such as eugenol and its derivatives, such as flavones, isoflavones and flavonoids. These extracts have been particularly helpful in preservingbone density and the mineral content of bone, as well as increasing tensile strength of bones in cases of osteoporosis.
Anti-Mutagenic Properties: Mutagens are those chemicals that change the genetic makeup of the DNA by causing mutations. Biochemical compounds found in cloves, like phenylpropanoids, possess anti-mutagenicproperties. These were administered on cells treated with mutagens and they were able to control the mutagenic effects to a significant rate.
Boosts the Immune System: Ayurveda describes certain plants to be effective in developing and protecting the immune system. One such plant is clove. The dried flower bud of clove contains compounds that help in improving the immune system by increasing the white blood cell count, thereby improving delayed type hypersensitivity.
Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Cloves possess anti-inflammatory and pain-killing properties.Studies on clove extracts being administered in lab rats suggest that the presence of eugenol reduced the inflammation caused by edema. It was also confirmed that eugenol has the ability to reduce pain by stimulating pain receptors.
Cure for Oral Diseases:Cloves can be taken for gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. Clove bud extracts significantly controlled the growth of oral pathogens, which are responsible for various oral diseases. Cloves can also be used for toothaches due to their pain-killing properties.
Aphrodisiac Properties: Spices such as clove and nutmeg have been said to possess aphrodisiac properties, according to Unani medicine. Experiments on clove and nutmeg extracts were tested against standard drugs administered for that reason and both clove and nutmeg showed positive results.
Cure for Headaches: Headaches can be reduced by using cloves. Make a paste of a few cloves and mix it with a dash of rock salt. Add this to a glass of milk. This mixture reduces headaches quickly and effectively.
The health benefits of Indian Gooseberry, also known as Amla, can be partially attributed to its high vitamin-C content. Amla enhances food absorption, balances stomach acid, fortifies the liver, nourishes the brain and mental functioning, supports the heart, strengthens the lungs, regulates elimination of free radicals, enhances fertility, helps the urinary system, increases skin health, promotes healthier hair, acts as a body coolant, flushes out toxins, increases vitality, strengthens eyes, improves muscle tone and, acts as an antioxidant.
The Indian Gooseberry belongs to the Euphorbiaceaefamily. This fruit ripens in the autumn in wet, forested, hilly areas on the Indian subcontinent. In India it is considered a sacred tree. The fruit is very nourishing, but it tastes sour. Both dried and fresh fruits can be consumed for their health benefits.
It provides remedies for many diseases, so it is widely used in Ayurvedic treatment. Gooseberry is very rich in Vitamin C, and contains many minerals and vitamins like Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Carotene and Vitamin B Complex. Amla is also a powerful antioxidant agent.
Many health problems are caused by oxidative damage (when body cells use oxygen, they produce by-products called free radicals that can cause damage). Antioxidant agents prevent and repair these damages. Vitamin-C is a good antioxidant agent, which makes gooseberries a powerful tool against a variety of conditions, including various types of cancer.
Health Benefits of Amla
The health benefits of amla include the following:
Hair care: Amla is used in many hair tonics because it enriches hair growth and hair pigmentation. It strengthens the roots of hair, maintains color, and improves luster. Eating fresh gooseberry or applying its paste on hair roots improves hair growth and color. Amla oil is very popular in India because it has been shown to reduce the chances of hair loss and baldness. This quality is due to the carotene content of Amla, as well as its iron content and general antioxidant capacity, which reduces hair loss by not allowing free radicals to damage hair follicles or impact the hormones that can cause premature hair loss.
Eye Care: Drinking Gooseberry juice with honey is good for improving eyesight, and studies have shown it to improve nearsightedness and cataracts, while reducing intra-ocular tension. This is mainly due to its impressive content of carotene, which have long been known for their powerful effect on vision-related conditions, including those that stem from free radical activity. Vitamin A and carotenes reduce macular degeneration, night blindness, and strengthen your vision before the age-related degeneration from free radicals can occur!
Calcium Absorption:One of the less discussed benefits of Amla is how it helps the body absorb calcium in a positive way. Calcium is an essential component of our bones, teeth, and nails, and also ensures that we have beautiful lustrous hair. So, eating a vitamin C-rich fruit like Indian gooseberries is a great way to keep your body looking and feeling great!
Metabolic Activity: Eating foods that are high in protein is one of the most important ways to stay healthy, since proteins are an essential part of our body’s metabolic activities. Our enzymes can breakdown plant proteins into amino acids and reassemble them into usable proteins for our body. Protein is necessary for cellular growth, muscle development, organ health, and a wide range of other metabolic activities that we need to remain healthy and happy!
Menstrual Cramps: Some of the minerals and vitamins in Alma combine to make it very useful in thetreatment of menstrual cramps. Since it takes a while for the necessary elements to accrue in the body, it is better to consume Alma on a regular basis so it is always in the system and menstrual cramps can be prevented every month for women.
Diabetes: Gooseberry contains chromium, which has a therapeutic value for diabetic patients. Indian Gooseberry stimulates the isolated group of cells that secrete the hormone insulin, thereby reducing blood sugar in diabetic patients and keeping their body balanced and healthy. When blood sugar is reduced, it means that glucose is also being used by the cells as functional energy, so the metabolism is stronger and you have more energy, without the plunges and spikes in blood sugar that are so dangerous for diabetic patients. Chromium also enhances the effect of betablockers, which are used for heart health, by reducing the LDL cholesterol content of the body.
Diuretic Activity: Besides being a fruit that is very high in water, Amla is also slightly diuretic in nature. This means that it increases the frequency and volume of urination. Urination helps our body eliminate unwanted toxins and excess levels of water, salts, and uric acid. Furthermore, it can help you lose weight, since up to 4% of urine is actually composed of fat. Therefore, a diuretic substance is always necessary for keeping our kidneys healthy, and also preventing urinary infections and uterine infections. Alma is a great way to do this!
Digestion: Alma is very high in fiber, like most fruits. Fiber adds bulk to the stool and helps food move through the bowels and keeps your bowel movements regular. This reduces the chances of constipation, and fiber can also bulk up loose stools and reduce diarrhea. Fiber also stimulates the secretion of gastric and digestive juices, so food is digested efficiently, nutrients are absorbed in an optimal way, and you feel lighter and healthier.
Reducing constipation can also help protect your from various gastrointestinal disorders, even colorectal cancer!
Heart Disease: As mentioned above, gooseberry strengthens the heart muscles, so the heart pumps blood smoothly throughout the body. By reducing excess cholesterol buildup, the chromium can reduce the chances of atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup in the vessels and arteries. This can reduce the chances of strokes and heart attacks. The iron content promotes the creation of new red blood cells, increasing circulation and the oxygenation of organs and cells to maximize growth and regeneration of tissue, while keeping the blood vessels and arteries clean.
Infection: Due to itsantibacterial and astringent attributes, Indian Gooseberries protect the body against infection and improves the body’s immune response. They are also a very good source of vitamin C, which is famous for its impressive antioxidant abilities and its stimulation of the immune system. It increases the white blood cell count in the body, which is the main line of defense for the immune system, since white blood cells attack and eliminate foreign toxins and substances in the bloodstream and throughout the body.
Diarrhea and Dysentery: Due to its strong cooling and laxative properties, Gooseberry is a useful component in remedies for diarrhea and dysentery. It provides great relief for gastric syndrome and hyperchlorhydria (burning sensation in the abdomen). As a laxative, it helps flush out any toxins or harmful substances you may have eaten that are causing your discomfort or illness, thereby eliminating it from your system so the healing process can begin, and cooling the burning and discomfort often felt when diarrhea occurs.
Improving Appetite: Consuming Gooseberry powder with butter and honey before a meal improves appetite. It also helps to balance nitrogen levels, thereby increasing weight in a healthy way.
Anti-Aging: Amla prevents health-related hyperlipidaemia by reducing the amount of free radicals in the body through its antioxidant qualities. Free radicals are associated with signs of aging like wrinkles and age spots.
The fresh fruit of gooseberries contains more than 80% water, protein, minerals, carbohydrates and fiber. It is also used as a remedy for fever, liver disorder, indigestion, anemia, urinary problems, respiratory problems, cerebral, gastric and cardiovascular illness. Gooseberry lowers cholesterol levels, increases red blood cell production, and strengthens teeth and nails. organicfacts.net
Coriander – The health benefits of coriander include its use in the treatment of skin inflammation , high cholesterol levels, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, anemia, indigestion, menstrual disorders, smallpox, conjunctivitis, skin disorders, and blood sugar disorders, while also benefiting eye care.
Coriander, commonly known as Dhania in the Indian Subcontinent and Cilantro in the Americas and some parts of Europe, is an herb that is extensively used around the world as a condiment, garnish, or decoration on culinary dishes. Its scientific name is Coriandrum Sativum L. Its leaves and fruits have a recognizable and pleasant aroma and are commonly used raw or dried for culinary applications.
Nutritional Value of Coriander
Its uses in global food preparation is only the tip of the iceberg. Unbeknownst to many people, coriander is packed with potential health benefits that most people completely miss when they toss this garnish into the garbage after eating their meal. It has eleven components of essential oils, six types of acids (including ascorbic acid, better known as vitamin-C), minerals and vitamins, each having a number of beneficial properties. A more complete list is given below.
Skin inflammation:Cineole, one of the 11 components of the essential oils, and linoleic acid, are both present in coriander, and they possess antirheumatic and antiarthritic properties. They help to reduce the swelling that is caused by these two conditions. For other swelling conditions, such as swelling due to kidney malfunction or anemia, it is also seen to be effective to some extent, because some of the components in coriander help the induce urination and the release of excess water from the body. The reduction in skin inflammation can lead to increased functioning, a reduction in discomfort, and an improvement in skin appearance.
Skin disorders: The disinfectant, detoxifying, antiseptic, antifungal and antioxidant properties of coriander are ideal for clearing up skin disorders such as eczema, dryness and fungal infections.
Low cholesterol levels: Some of the acids present in coriander, like linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin-C) are very effective in reducing the cholesterol levels in the blood. They also reduce the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) deposition along the inner walls of the arteries and veins, which can lead to serious cardiovascular issues like artherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. More importantly, coriander helps to raise the levels of healthy cholesterol (HDL), which works as a preventative line of defense against a number of dangerous conditions.
Diarrhea: Some of the components of essential oils found in coriander such as Borneol and Linalool, aid in digestion, proper functioning of the liver and bonding of bowels, while also helping to reduce diarrhea. It is also helpful in curing diarrhea caused by microbial and fungal action, since components like Cineole, Borneol, Limonene, Alpha-pinene & beta-phelandrene have antibacterial effects.
Coriander is also increasingly popular as a means of preventing nausea, vomiting, and other stomach disorders. Its wealth of bioactive compounds means that new health benefits are always being discovered in this power-packed plant.
In addition to these health aspects of the stomach, fresh coriander leaves are excellent appetizers to get your bowels prepared for a large meal.
Blood pressure: Consuming coriander has been shown to positively reduce blood pressure in many patients suffering from hypertension. The interaction of Calcium ions and cholinergic, a neurotransmitter in the peripheral and central nervous system, more commonly know as acetylcholine. The interaction of these two elements relaxes blood vessel tension, thereby reducing the chances of a number of cardiovascular conditions, including heart attacks and strokes.
Mouth ulcers: Citronelol, a component of essential oils in coriander, is an excellent antiseptic. Additionally, other components have antimicrobial and healing effects which keep wounds and ulcers in the mouth from worsening. They help speed up the healing process of ulcers and also freshen breath. Although not in common use in mainstream products, coriander is often used as an antiseptic component of all-natural toothpastes. In fact, before the invention of toothpaste, people would chew on coriander seeds to reduce bad breath!
Anemia: Coriander is high in iron content, which directly helps people who suffer from anemia. Low iron content in the blood can result in shortness of breath, heart palpitations, extreme fatigue, and a decrease in cognitive functions. Iron also benefits proper functions of other organ systems, increases energy and strength, and promotes the health of bones.
Anti-allergic properties: Multiple studies have shown coriander to have strong anti-histamine properties that can reduce the uncomfortable affects of seasonal allergies and hay fever (rhinitis). Coriander oil can also be used to reduce allergic reactions to contact with plants, insects, food, and other substances that may cause allergic reactions on the skin or when consumed. Internally, it can ward off anaphylaxis, hives, and dangerous swelling of the throat and glands. It’s never a bad idea to protect yourself against allergic reactions, especially since it is difficult to know what you might be allergic to, until you come in contact with it for the first time!
Salmonella protection: Salmonella is one of the most dangerous causes of food borne illnesses in the world, so any natural way to protect against it is very important. Coriander has unusually high levels of dodecenal, a natural compound that is actually twice as powerful of an antibiotic than the leading treatment for salmonella-based illness. By adding coriander into your normal diet, you protect your body from horribly uncomfortable, and even fatal, illnesses relating to this deadly bacteria. Coriander is commonly found in salsa to add flavor, so dip a chip and protect yourself from food poisoning, the most common way of describing the effects of salmonella.
Bone health: As a rich source of calcium, coriander is of great value for people who want to protect the integrity of their bones. Calcium and other essential minerals found in coriander are integral components of bone regrowth and durability, as well as in the prevention of bone degradation so commonly associated with debilitating diseases like osteoporosis. Adding even a small amount of coriander to your diet can help to keep your bones healthy and strong for years to come. Calcium is particularly present in the center leaves of coriander, so aim for that part of the plant if bone health is your focus!
Digestion: Coriander, due to the rich aroma from its essential oils, helps in the proper secretion of enzymes and digestive juices in the stomach, thereby stimulating digestion and peristaltic motion. It is also helpful in treating eating disorders like anorexia. Besides the pleasant aroma of coriander, it has certain stimulatory qualities, derived from the minerals and neurotransmitters that are stimulated when coriander is ingested. Studies have shown thatdyspepsia (indigestion)is reduced if coriander is regularly added to the diet. For small children, who have a higher chance of developing abdominal colic than adults, small amounts of coriander in their diet can clear the issue up quickly!
Smallpox: The essential oils in coriander are rich in antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-infectious and detoxifying components and acids. The presence of vitamin-C and iron strengthens the immune system as well. These properties help prevent and cure smallpox, and they can also reduce the pain and have a soothing effect on smallpox patients. In the places left in the world where smallpox outbreaks occur, studies have shown massive amounts of vitamin-C have a definite curative effect on smallpox in hundreds of different cases.
Menstrual disorders: Coriander is a natural stimulant, and it regulates proper secretion from the endocrine glands, and that hormonal impact means that it helps regulate proper menstrual cycles and reduces the associated pain during a woman’s period.
Eye care: Coriander is loaded with antioxidants, vitamin-A, vitamin-C and minerals like phosphorous in its essential oils, which prevents vision disorders, macular degeneration and it reduces strain and stress on the eyes. There is also beta-carotene in the leaves, which prevent a number of other diseases that affect the eye, and can even reverse the effects of vision degradation in aging patients.
Conjunctivitis: As discussed earlier, coriander is a very good disinfectant and has antimicrobial properties that protect the eyes from contagious diseases like conjunctivitis. Coriander oil is one of the fundamental components of a number of eye care products.
Blood sugar and diabetes: Due the stimulating effect of coriander on the endocrine glands, the secretion of insulin is increased from pancreas which subsequently increases the insulin level in the blood. This regulates the proper assimilation and absorption of sugar and the resulting drops in the sugar level in the blood. This property is extremely beneficial for patients who suffer from diabetes and other related conditions, in order to lower their chances of dangerous spikes and drops in their blood sugar levels, and to ensure other normal metabolic functions as well.
Other benefits: Coriander helps cure ulcers, inflammation, spasms, while acting as an expectorant and protecting the liver. It is anticarcinogenic, anticonvulsant, antihistaminic and hypnotic. Coriander is believed to be a natural aphrodisiac and traditionally, it was widely used in certain combinations with other herbs to enhance a person’s libido. organicfacts.net
White Pine Bark a close relative to Maritime Pine Bark but less expensive –
Maritime Pine Bark Extract, also known as Pycnogenol, is a natural herbal supplement made from the bark of the French Maritime Pine Tree (Pinus pinaster) grown in southern France.
The main active ingredients in Pycnogenol are Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs). The OPC’s are the ingrediets that give Pycnogenol all of its healing and immune building properties. OPC’s are reported to help Vitamin C work better in the brain to synthesize the neurotransmitters seratonin, dopamine, and norepinepherine and protect the brain against free-radical damage. OPC’s also have been shown to block inflammation, boost the immune system, act as natural anti-histamines, and inhibit the breakdown of of norepinepherine and dopamine.
Pycnogenol (OPC’s) can also be found in grape seeds, lemon tree bark, peanuts, cranberries and citrus peels. Pycnogenol is also made from Grape Seed Extract. Studies have not yet concluded as to whether Pycnogenol from grape seeds is as potent as Pycnogenol from Maritime Pine Bark. Many feel that Pycnogenol from Maritime Pine Bark is more potent. This extract is reportedly almost 25 times more powerful than Vitamin C as an antioxidant. Pycnogenol has also been shown to have anticancer, antimicrobial, antitumor, anti-viral and cardiovascular-protective actions.
Maritime Pine Bark Health Benefits: The Benefits of Pycnogenol
Many scientific human and animal studies have been performed on Pycnogenol. It has been proven safe and effective for both humans and animals.
Pycnogenol has been found useful in the treatment of:
- ADD and ADHD: The dose used in clinical trials was 1mg/kg of body weight per day.* A one month trial in children with ADHD showed significant reduction in hyperactivity and improved attention.**
- Age Related Cognitive Decline: A double-blind study using 150 mg of Pycnogenol per day on healthy senior people showed that the Pycnogenol improved memory after three months as compared to the placebo group.
- Allergies: Studies show that at a dose of 100 mg per day, Pycnogenol helps normalize the immune response by inhibiting Nuclear Factor-Kappa B and lowering the sensitivity level for triggering an immune response. Pycnogenol also inhibits the release of histamine from mast cells. When an allergen is present, mast cells release histamine which triggers the onset of allergic symptoms such as coughing, itching, sneezing, wheezing, etc. Clinical studies show that Pycnogenol blocks histamine release and decreases these allergic response symptoms.
- Asthma & Bronchitis: The dose used in clinical trials was 1 mg/lb of body weight per day.* Testing in children 6-18 years old over a three month period showed significant reduction of inflammatory markers, improvement in pulmonary function, and decrease in need of rescue inhalers.** Because asthma and chronic bronchitis are both caused by chronic inflammation of lung tissue, Pycnogenol will help because it decreases the amount of inflammatory substances circulating in the blood stream It has been shown to improve asthma symptoms and the lung function. Pycnogenol also inhibits the enzymes responsible for the destruction of lung tissue in chronic bronchitis.
- Arthritis: The dose used in clinical trials was 100-150 mg/day.* A double blind trial using Pycnogenol at a dosage of 100 mg per day showed Pycnogenol to reduce pain and other osteoarthritis symptoms. The study group also experienced improved walking performance and reduced their use of pain medication. Another double blind trial using Pycnogenol at a dosage of 150 mg per day showed an improvement in symptoms and reduction in use of pain medication.
- Cholesterol/dyslipidemia: The dose used in clinical trials was 120-150 mg/day.* In 2003 a study by Devaraj, et al, showed that supplementation of healthy volunteers with Pycnogenol lowered LDL-cholesterol and increased HDL-cholesterol.
- Cancer Prevention: Because of it’s strong antioxidant properties, it is has been proposed as a measure to prevent cancer. In veterinary practice, Charles Loop DVM successfully uses pycnogenol in his clinic at a dosage of 1-2 mg per pound of body weight as a part of any cancer treatment protocol. Herbalist Robert McDowell uses it as the mainstay of all of his successful cancer herbal treatments. Both of these practitioners utilize Pycnogenol for its superior antioxidant properties and clearing of free radicals. In a study on ovarian cancer, Pycnogenol was proven to induce apoptosis in cancer cells while not affecting normal cells at all, showing that Pycnogenol may be useful as a chemopreventative agent against cancer. Pycnogenol was also studied and proven effective against Leukemia cancer cells by increasing differentiation and inducing apoptosis in the cancerous cells.
- Chronic Venous Insufficiency: The dose used in clinical trials was 150-360 mg/day.* Pycnogenol has been proven very effective in decreasing the symptoms of venous ulcerations, edema, and leg pain in people with chronic venous insufficiency.**
- Diabetes: The dose used in clinical trials was 50-200 mg/day.* Studies show that Pycnogenol is more effective than green tea extract and commonly prescribed diabetes medications at slowing the rate at wich carbohydrates are absorbed into the bloodstream. Because of this, Pycnogenol can also lower glucose and aid in weight loss.**
- Dysmenorrhea: The dose used in clinical trials was 30-60 mg/day.* A double-blind study showed reduction in abdominal and back pain during menses.
- Endometriosis: The dose used in clinical trials was 60 mg/day.* Studies showed that Pycnogenol reduces the symptoms of endometriosis by 33%.
- Erectile Dysfunction: The dose used in clinical trials was 120 mg/day.* Combined with 1000 mg of of L-arginine twice per day, Pycnogenol was found to allow 92.5% of men to experience normal erection within 3 months.**
- Heart Health: In animal studies, Pycnogenol has been shown to protect from cardiotoxicity caused by antitumor drugs. Because of it’s strong antioxidant properties, Pycnogenol has been proposed as a measure to prevent heart disease. Animal studies show that this extract can slow or reverse atherosclerosis. Pycnogenol has been shown to reduce capillary permeability, increase capillary resistance, and strengthen capillary walls. This extract has also been proven to reduce blood-platelet aggregation, creating better circulation and reducing plaque formation.
- Hypertension: The dose used in clinical trials was 100-200 mg/day.* At doses of 200mg per day, Pycnogenol lowererd systolic blood pressures of patients with mild hypertension an average of 10-15 points.**
- Inflammation: Pycnogenol inhibits the eicosanoid generating enzymes with is consistent with reported clinical anti-inflammatory and platelet inhibitory effects according to in vivo studies.
- Jet Lag: At a dosage of 150 mg of Pycnogenol per day for 7 days, controlled studies showed jeg lag symptoms to be more mild and last for a shorter period of time as compared to untreated control groups. In the study, Pycnogenol was taken for two days before and five days after the air travel.
- Leg Cramps: Studies show that at a dosage of Pycnogenol at 200 mg per day significantly reduces leg cramps from athletic exertion, circulatory disorders, and unknown causes.
- Lupus: In a study using Pycnogenol at a dosage of 120 mg per day for 30 days followed by 60 mg per day for an additional 30 days in addition to medication, a small controlled study showed that the disease activity, blood measurements, signs and symptoms declined at a greater rate in the group taking the Pycnogenol.
- Menopause: Studies have shown that 200mg per day leads causes dramatic improvement in all menopause symptoms without any side effects.**
- Melasma: The dose used in clinical trials was 75 mg/day.* Studies showed that a dosage of Pycnogenol at 75 mg per day lightens and shrinks the pigmented areas of skin in 80% of women.
- Muscle Cramps: The dose used in clinical trials was 200 mg/day.* Studies show an improvement in overall symptoms as compared to placebo group. A five-week study using Pycnogenol and a regimen of drinking 1.5 liters of water per day showed a significant decrease inf the number of cramps episode and a much lower score concerning muscular pain as compared to the control groups.
- Osteoarthritis: The dose used in clinical trials was 100-150 mg/day.* A double blind trial using Pycnogenol at a dosage of 100 mg per day showed Pycnogenol to reduce pain and other osteoarthritis symptoms. The study group also experienced improved walking performance and reduced their use of pain medication. Another double blind trial using Pycnogenol at a dosage of 150 mg per day showed an improvement in symptoms and reduction in use of pain medication.
- Perimenopause: The dose used in clinical trials was 200 mg/day.* Studies showed an inmprovement in overall symptoms.
- Platelet Function: The dose used in clinical trials was 25-200 mg/day.* Studies show Pycnogenol to be as effective as aspirin in experiments for controlling platelet activity.
- Retinopathy: The dose used in clinical trials was 20-160 mg/day.* In preliminary and double blind studies, Pycnogenol has been shown to slow the progression of retinopathy and improve vision.
- Skin Health: Studies show that Pycnogenol prevents the effects of sun exposure and reduces wrinkling. Topically used, Pycnogenol has been shown to accellerate wound healing, reduce wrinkles, and help prevent scarring. Some studies suggest that Pycnogenol protects and strengthens collagen.
- Skin Ulcers: A controlled study showed that an oral dosage of 150 mg Pycnogenol daily combined with topical application of 100 mg daily showed the fastest and most complete healing for the group using both oral and topical Pycnogenol. The group using oral Pycnogenol showed faster and more complete healing than the placebo group, but the group using both oral and topical Pycnogenol showed the fastest and most complete healing of the three.
- Sunburn: At a dose of 1.1 to 1.66 mg/kg (2.2 lbs) of body weight per day Pycnogenol has been shown to significantly increase the amount of ultravoilet rays necessary to cause sunburn.
- Venous Thrombosis: The study was done for plane travel with a Pycnogenol dosage of 200 mg two to three hours before a flight, 200 mg six hours later, and 100 mg on the following day. Compared to the placebo group, the group on the Pycnogenol regimen showed a reduction in the number of venous thrombosis episodes.
*This dosage was obtained from the Scientific and Clinical Monograph for Pycnogenol by the American Botanical Council. The most common duration of use during the clinical trials was 2-3 months, but long term use may be justified and there is no evidence from actual product use over several decades by millions of people that might warrant a limitation on length of use. These statistics were obtained from Pycnogenol by Gary E. Foresman, MD.
Maritime Pine Bark Health Benefits: Side Effects and Drug Interactions of Pycnogenol
Pycnogenol should not be taken during the first three months of pregnancy because there is no published data on pregnant women using Pycnogenol in the first trimester.
Saftey studies have shown Pycnogenol safe with no mutagenic or teratogenic effects, no perinatal toxicity, and no negative fertility effects.
Pycnogenol has been approved as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) for use in conventional foods, and its safety data is obtained from 70 clinical studies including both healthy subjects and subjects with a particular dysfunction and/or disease.
The side effects reported from the above mentioned studies were all mild. The most common side effect was gastrointestinal discomfort, which did not occur when Pycnogenol was taken with or after meals. Other side effects reported were dizziness, headache, and nausea, also reported as mild.
According to the American Botanical Council, “there have been no reports of serious adverse effects in any clinical study or from commercial use of Pycnogenol since it was initially introduced into the market in Europe around 1970.”
Because of Pycnogenol’s potent antioxidant effects, it may interfere with the action of certain chemotherapeutic drugs and radiation therapy.
Pycnogenol may react with prescription medications such as anticoagulants, antiplatelet medications, blood pressure medications and diabetes medications. If you are on any prescription medications, you should check with your healthcare provider prior to supplementing with Pycnogenol.
Maritime Pine Bark Health Benefits: Scientific Studies
- A Randomized, Double-Blind, PlaceboControlled Exploratory Study to evaluate the potential of Pycnogenol® for Improving Allergic Rhinitis Symptoms
- A review of the French maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol), a herbal medication with a diverse clinical pharmacology.
- CAM: Pycnogenol (Cancer Study)
- Cramps and muscular pain: prevention with pycnogenol in normal subjects, venous patients, athletes, claudicants and in diabetic microangiopathy.
- Palo Alto Medical Foundation Review of Studies Done on Pycnogenol
- Protection from inflammation, immunosuppression and carcinogenesis induced by UV radiation in mice by topical Pycnogenol.
- Pycnogenol and Cardiovascular Health
- Pycnogenol® Decreases Allergy Symptoms
- Pycnogenol for Healthy Platelet Function
- Pycnogenol, French maritime pine bark extract, improves endothelial function of hypertensive patients.
- Pycnogenol® (French Maritime Pine Bark Extract) Shown To Improve Endothelial Function And Reduce Oxidative Stress In New Clinical Trial
- Pycnogenol induces differentiation and apoptosis in human promyeloid leukemia HL-60 cells
- Charles Loop DVM Holistic Veterinarian
- Engineered for Health: Pycnogenol
- Herbs for Dogs: From Robert McDowell’s Herbal Treatments
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
- NYU Langone Medical Center
- Pine Bark Extract Proanthocyanidins and Pine Bark Uses
- Pycnogenol Is Protective Against Heart Disease, Diabetes and Inflammation: An Interview with Ronald Ross Watson, Ph.D.
- Pycnogenol: A Long History of Use
- Pycnogenol: Safe and Effective
- Pycnogenol supplement benefits and side effects, review of research trials by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
- Scientific and Clinical Monograph for Pycnogenol by American Botanical Council
- Total Health Special Report: French Maritime Pine Bark
luminearth.com Becki Baumgartner
Horny Goat Weed – One of the principal active ingredients in Horny Goats weed is “icariin”. The concentration may determine much of the potency of each particular species of Epimedium. The icariin works by relaxing smooth muscle tissue, which is different from skeletal muscle tissue. The significance of this is that involuntary tension in the internal tissues can be relaxed, which many believe cause the central nervous system to shift from the so-called fight/flight mode into the rest/restore mode. When this change occurs, many elements of a disease tend to reverse because the body is no longer in a stressed condition. Although this many not cure many problems, especially the ones that are in advanced stages, many people use herbs to manage their condition and obtain some relief.
Horny goats Weed is found growing all over the southern areas of China, but can also be found in the Asian countries that immediately border China, as well as some neighboring European countries. The Chinese name is Yin Yang Huo, or Xian Ling Pi, and it is used extensively in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It has become popular in the field of Western alternative medicine for use in treating multiple conditions.
One should realize that although the plant may bear the same name, there are close to 60 species of Epimedium plants and over 15 in China that bears the name “Yin Yang Huo.” It might be difficult for the layperson to determine the strength and properties of the plant based on the name alone.
Horny Goat Weed is often used to treat osteoporosis and various sexual dysfunctions. However, other uses of the plant include the treatment of hypertension, bronchitis, coronary heart disease, polio and more. This makes sense because the active ingredient works on smooth muscle tissue. This is the tissues that surround the heart. When the heart muscles are under strain, it is easy to visualize how this can cause other problems in the surrounding affected systems.
Secondary benefits can also occur when the smooth muscle tissues relax. The health benefits could extend to relieving fatigue in both the mind and the body, as this herb is employed for this purpose in TCM. It has been used to treat joint pain, numbness, memory problems, painful or cold low back and/or knees, as well as irregular menstrual cycles, spermatorrhea, and impotence. It has been cited as producing an anti-aging effect and can improve the immune system as well as the endocrine system.
Potency and Doses
Although there are many natural concentrations of icariin found in this plant in nature, during the process of cultivation, it is possible to regulate the dose for individual consumption. The individual dose will be partly determined by height, weight and other medical conditions. As always, it is highly recommended for anyone with a medical condition to speak with their appropriate health care professionals about the use of this herb in treating their condition. Overdoses should be avoided, and the potency of the herb is difficult to determine unless provided by a trained professional. herbwisdom.com
Milk Thistle – is an herb that’s been used for thousands of years to support liver, kidney, and gall bladder health.1 It contains the flavonoid silymarin, which is thought to be responsible for many of its beneficial effects, including liver protection and antioxidant, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Native to the Mediterranean but now found throughout the world, milk thistle is regarded as a weed in some areas, despite its therapeutic potential. When the leaves are crushed they release a milky sap, giving this herb its characteristic name.2
Silymarin, its active component, is actually a group of compounds (silibinin, silidianin, and silicristin), which work together to provide multiple health benefits. How does silymarin protect your liver?
For starters, it’s an anti-fibrotic, which means it prevents tissue scarring, and it’s thought to act as a “toxin blockade agent” by inhibiting the binding of toxins to liver cell membrane receptors.3
Not only is silymarin used to treat alcoholic liver disease, acute and chronic viral hepatitis, and toxin-induced liver diseases, but this powerful compound has been shown in animal studies to reduce liver injury caused by a number of drugs and environmental toxins.
Milk Thistle Suppresses Cellular Inflammation Using a Two-Phase Process
Milk thistle’s anti-inflammatory effects are among its greatest achievements, and recent research suggest this is accomplished, in part using a two-phase process similar to those used by other beneficial natural compounds like curcumin (found in turmeric) and EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate, a component of green tea).5
The study revealed the first-phase cellular response to silymarin in cells is a rapid increase in expression of genes associated with cellular stress, specifically endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. In severe cases such stress may lead to cell death, which can actually be beneficial in some cases (such as cancer).
The second phase involves a longer suppression of gene expression associated with inflammation. Along with inhibiting inflammatory signaling pathways, silymarin also:6
“AMPK induces a cascade of events within cells that are all involved in maintaining energy homeostasis… AMPK regulates an array of biological activities that normalize lipid, glucose, and energy imbalances.
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) occurs when these AMPK-regulated pathways are turned off, triggering a syndrome that includes hyperglycemia, diabetes, lipid abnormalities, and energy imbalances.
… AMPK helps coordinate the response to these stressors, shifting energy toward cellular repair, maintenance, or a return to homeostasis and improved likelihood of survival.
The hormones leptin and adiponectin activate AMPK. In other words, activating AMPK can produce the same benefits as exercise, dieting, and weight loss — the lifestyle modifications considered beneficial for a range of maladies.”
- Inhibited mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR): This is likely beneficial, as when the mTOR pathway is activated it may increase your risk of cancer. This pathway is ancient but relatively recently appreciated and has only been known for less than 20 years.
Odds are very high your doctor was never taught this in medical school and isn’t even aware of it. Many new cancer drugs are actually being targeted to use this pathway. Drugs using this pathway have also been given to animals to radically extend their lifespan.
Beyond Your Liver: What Else Is Milk Thistle Good for?
Milk thistle contains silymarin and silybin, antioxidants that are known to help protect the liver from toxins, including the effects of alcohol. Not only has silymarin been found to increase glutathione (a powerful antioxidant that is crucial for liver detoxification), but it also may help to regenerate liver cells.9
However, to regard milk thistle as solely an herb for liver health would be doing it a disservice, as it has many additional benefits. Among them are potential anti-cancer effects.10 As reported by the American Botanical Council (ABC):11
“A number of studies, both in vitro and in vivo, suggest that milk thistle is potentially beneficial in treating or preventing various cancers: inhibiting prostate cancer cells and increasing apoptosis (programmed cell death) in them; inhibiting growth and stimulating regression of skin tumors with topical application;
… [I]nhibiting induction of tongue squamous-cell cancer; decreasing incidences of bladder neoplasms; inhibiting growth and DNA synthesis in breast and cervical cancer cells; reducing frequency of drug-induced colon adenocarcinomas, and inhibiting proliferation in leukemia cells.
Silybin may be useful in hormone-refractory human prostate cancer and may enhance the efficacy of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha-based chemotherapy. Indeed, its liver protectant effects in chemo- and radiation therapies may be as valuable to cancer patients as milk thistle’s antineoplastic effects, especially in drug-resistant cancers.
… Patients with metastasizing brain tumors who received milk thistle and omega-3 fatty acids before radiation had improved survival times and fewer side effects.
The authors suggest, based on a number of pharmacological studies, that topical silymarin would be a beneficial addition to sunscreens in protecting against ultraviolet-B-induced skin cancers.
They recommend that practitioners include standardized milk thistle products in cancer treatment regimens, especially where there is damage or potential damage to liver or kidneys from allopathic treatment.”
4 More Potential Health Benefits of Milk Thistle
Aside from liver health and cancer protection, milk thistle also shows promise for: 12
- Kidney health: Milk thistle’s effects on your kidneys has been said to “closely mirror the herb’s effects on the liver.” It shows promise for stimulating cell regeneration in the kidneys and may prove useful even in patients on dialysis.
- Heart health: Milk thistle appears to raise levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol and decrease the risk of atherosclerosis. Silymarin may also help reduce blood pressure.
- Diabetes: Among people with diabetes, those who took silymarin for four months experienced improvements in their glycemic profile, including a significant decrease in glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c – a measure of blood sugar average over the last three months), fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides compared to those taking a placebo.13 Milk thistle may also improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes.14
- Brain health: Milk thistle appears to have neuroprotective properties and there is early research suggesting it may be beneficial for multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Animal studies also suggest that silymarin may suppress the formation of amyloid beta-protein (a toxic protein linked to Alzheimer’s), thereby helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.15
Adding to its allure, milk thistle appears to be safe and well tolerated in most people with few side effects. ABC reported:16
“In general, milk thistle has been recognized as a safe and well-tolerated herb with a limited adverse event profile similar to placebo. Although no short-term trials of high silymarin intake have been done in healthy populations, it seems clear that under the restricted conditions of available trials, milk thistle appears to be quite safe… an oral form standardized to contain 70% to 80% silymarin given at a dosage of 420 mg daily, was safe for up to 41 months of use, and significant drug reactions were not reported.
The majority of reported adverse events are unrelated to the product, or difficult to separate from the concomitant disease. Adverse effects associated with oral ingestion of milk thistle are rare and include gastrointestinal problems… At doses greater than 1.5 g per day, a laxative effect is possible due to increased bile secretion and flow. Mild non-serious allergic reactions have also been noted.”
If you have concerns about your liver or kidney health, or are interested in any of the potential anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, and heart-boosting properties of silymarin, a high-quality milk thistle supplement may be worth considering. On a dietary level, you can also find silymarin in artichokes, turmeric, and coriander (cilantro), although milk thistle is the richest known source. mercola.com
Tribulus Terestris – The active ingredients in Tribulus Terrestris include saponins, lignin amides, flavonoids, alkaloids and glycosides.
As a dietary supplement, Tribulus Terrestris has been shown in some animal studies to increase levels of testosterone and to increase sex drive and performance. See also our article on Testosterone. Historically, it has been used to treat a wide variety of conditions, but today it is mainly used by athletes to increase strength and muscle mass, as well as for sexual enhancement in both men and women. A study in Bulgaria in the seventies alleged that it encouraged androgen production and reception. Some attribute the Olympic success of the Bulgarian weight-lifting team to the use of this herb. It continues to be used by those who believe that the active ingredients increase testosterone levels, as well as sexual and athletic performance. It is believed to increase sperm production in men and egg production in women. It also is used to treat erectile dysfunction.
It is believed to be helpful in treating some cardiovascular conditions including angina, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anemia and poor circulation. Digestive disorders that may benefit from the use of puncture vine include constipation and flatulence. It is used in Chinese medicine as a liver tonic, and for food poisoning and overeating. It has many uses in the Ayurvedic tradition, including pacifying vata, as a diuretic and to treat disorders of the genitourinary system. In other medical traditions, this herb is also used as a diuretic to treat hypertension and for angina pectoris. It is believed by some to help prevent both oxalate and struvite kidney stones. It is believed to have antiseptic and diuretic properties that can reduce the incidence of urinary tract infections. It is also used as a treatment internally and externally for immune disorders, such as allergic skin conditions, eczema and psoriasis. herbwisdom.com
Bitter Melon – Bitter gourd (balsam pear/ bitter melon) is a young, tender, edible fruit-pod in the Momordica genus of climbing vines. Although its bitter taste might turn some people away from it, in-fact, it really can sweeten your health through virtue of its disease preventing and health promoting phyto chemical compounds.
Botanically, it belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, in the genus; Momordica, and is a member of the same family assquash, watermelon, cantaloupes, cucumber, etc, belongs to. Scientific name: Momordica charantia. Some of the related varieties are balsam pear, cundeamor, la-kwa, etc.
Bitter melon is one of popular edible pod vegetable in many Asian countries. It is grown widely as a field crop as well as backyard vegetable and, in fact, is among the most bitter tasting of all culinary vegetables.
Bitter gourds hanging down in a vine. This variety commonly found in Indian subcontinent. Note for pointed ends.
Bitter melon is a temperate/tropical vegetable probably originated in South-East Asia. Like in other members of the Cucurbitaceae family, it too is a fast-growing, trailing or climbing vine with thin stems and tendrils which require trellis to support their climbing vines.
Bitter gourd pods are characterized with soft lengthwise ridges and uneven pebbly surface. Depending up on the cultivar type, its immature pods can be light to dark green and have oblong or oval shapes with a pointed tip at the blossom end. Internally, the flesh is white with rough edged seeds, somewhat similar to ridge gourd seeds in appearence. As the fruits begin to mature, they gradually become hard, turn yellow or brown in color.
Health benefits of Bitter gourd
- Bitter melon is very low in calories, carrying just 17 calories per 100 g. Nevertheless, its pods are rich sources of phytonutrients like dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.
- Bitter melon notably contains phyto-nutrient, polypeptide-P, a plant insulin known to lower blood sugar levels. In addition, it composes hypoglycemic agent called charantin. Charantin increases glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis inside the cells of liver, muscle and adipose tissue. Together, these compounds may have been thought to be responsible for blood sugar levels reduction in the treatment of type-2 diabetes.
- Fresh pods are an excellent source of folates, carrying about 72 µg/100g (18% of RDA). Vitamin folate when taken by mothers during their early pregnancy time, would help reduce the incidence of neural tube defects in the newborn babies.
- Fresh bitter melon is an excellent source of vitamin-C (100 g of raw pod provides 84 mg or about 140% of RDI). Vitamin-C is one of the powerful natural antioxidants which helps scavenge deleterious free radicals from the human body.
- Further, it is an excellent source of health benefiting flavonoids such as ß-carotene, a-carotene, lutein, and zea-xanthin. It also contains a good amount of vitamin-A. Together, these compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging, cancers and various disease processes.
- Bitter melon stimulates easy digestion and peristalsis of food through the bowel until it is excreted from the body. Thus, it helps in relieving indigestion and constipation problems.
- In addition, it is a moderate source of B-complex vitamins such as niacin (vitamin B-3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, manganese and magnesium.
- Early laboratory tests suggest that certain phyto-chemical compounds in bitter melon might be effective in the treatment of HIV infection. nutrition-and-you.com
Chaste Berry – is often used by herbalists to regulate hormone imbalances in women and lower the testosterone levels in men. It is known for its effectiveness in the treatment of menstrual disorders, PMS, menopausal symptoms such as breast tenderness, hot flashes and mood swings, infertility and decreased milk production in lactating women. Due to its anti-androgen activity, Chasteberry has been used as a natural supplement to lower testosterone levels in transgenders (in male to female), and to suppress the onset of prostate cancer which is also associated with high testosterone levels. Its anti-androgen activity may also help clear up acne, reduce Hirsutism (excessive hair growth) in women.
Uses of Chasteberry
A German company has used Chasteberry extract in the manufacturing of a medication for Mastalgia – sore breasts or breast tenderness associated with PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome) and menopause. It is believed that Chasteberry extract may help stop the release of a hormone prolactin from the pituitary gland. High levels of Prolactin hormone may stimulate milk production in pregnant and lactating women causing breast tenderness and may also cause irregular menstrual cycles and missed periods. Therefore, taking one 300mg Chasteberry extract capsule daily can be beneficial to reduce breast tenderness.
MISCARRIAGE AND INFERTILITY
Studies have found that the Progesterone hormone plays a crucial role in conception and sustaining pregnancy. Researchers have concluded that low progesterone levels may be associated with the thinning of the uterine lining during pregnancy, corpus luteum insufficiency, and luteal phase defects (which are the main causes of infertility and miscarriages). A luteal phase is a period between ovulation and menstruation during a woman’s menstrual cycle which is typically 10-17 days long. However, when this period is too short, too long or irregular, it is described as Luteal Phase Defect (LPD) which leads to infertility and or unsustainable pregnancy. Corpus Luteum Insufficiency is a condition where pregnant women have an abnormally low progesterone levels around 3 weeks after the first day of menstruation. There are a number of other causes of Luteal Phase Defect, Corpus Luteum Insufficiency, infertility and miscarriage but many studies show that low progesterone levels may be a major cause of these conditions. Therefore, taking a Chasteberry capsule once daily may help with infertility and minimize the risks of miscarriage by naturally increasing the progesterone levels in the body. However, there are conflicting opinions about the use of Chasteberry during pregnancy, therefore, during pregnancy the consumption of Chasteberry in any form should be avoided unless advised by your health care provider otherwise.
PMS, MENSTRUAL CRAMPS, AND MENOPAUSE
It is believed that Chasteberry is a natural source of the progesterone hormone. Research shows that insufficient progesterone levels may cause all sorts of menstrual problems such as short, early, heavy, too frequent or no periods (amenorrhea), luteal phase defects, and raised levels of the prolactin-pituitary hormone (which is responsible for breast tenderness in PMS and early menopause). A few studies show that the use of Chasteberry extract may help with perimenopause (the early stages of menopause), PMS, menstrual cramps and bloating and other menstrual disorders. Simply taking one capsule of Chasteberry daily during the day for 2 months may be helpful.
Chasteberry has been used as a natural herbal remedy to help balance the body’s hormones. Men have been using chasteberry for years as a natural anti-androgen to lower testosterone hormone levels to suppress the onset of prostate cancer.
What are the Side Effects of Chasteberry?
There are not any known adverse side effects of Chasteberry when taken in moderation. Chasteberry should not be taken more than 6-8 months on a regular basis. However, overdose of Chasteberry may cause headache, dizziness, nausea, upset stomach, rash, and itchiness. Since Chasteberry is considered a hormone regulator, it should be avoided when you are being treated for any kind of hormone related condition, are pregnant or lactating or are taking oral contraceptives or medications with dopamine and bromocriptine. Also anti-androgen activity of Chasteberry might affect the fertility in men. Therefore it should be taken into consideration when trying to conceive.homeremediesweb.com
African Pygeum – Pygeum is an evergreen tree native to African forest regions. It can grow to approximately 45 m in height. The thick leaves are oblong in shape; the flowers are small and white. Pygeum fruit is a red berry, resembling a cherry when ripe. The bark (red, brown, or gray) is the part of the plant used for medicinal purposes.
Pygeum has been used to improve symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy and to improve sexual function. In France,Pygeum africanum extract (PAE) has become the primary course of treatment for enlarged prostate. In contrast, surgery is the main option in other Western countries. Drugs used to alleviate symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) include anticholinergics, muscle relaxants, calcium antagonists, prostaglandin inhibitors, beta-agonists, tricyclic antidepressants, and alpha blockers.
Pygeum also is therapeutic as an anti-inflammatory, to increase prostatic secretions and to decrease certain hormones in the glandular area, which reduces the hypertrophy (swelling). Other actions of pygeum include increase in bladder elasticity and cell modifications. PAE’s “phyto-estrogenic” action markedly reduces prostatic hypertrophy. Most trial results report improvement of BPH symptoms. When compared with saw palmetto in a clinical trial, it was demonstrated that saw palmetto produced greater reduction of symptoms and was better tolerated. However, PAE may have greater effects on prostate secretion. By improving an underlying problem, PAE may improve sexual function. drugs.com
The African cherry tree, pygeum africanum, is an evergreen found at higher elevations across Africa. Its medicinal use dates to the 1700s, when tribes in southern Africa taught early explorers how to use the tree’s bark to treat bladder discomfort.1 Pygeum extract has been used in Europe to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia since the 1960s, and is currently the most commonly used therapeutic for this condition in France.2
Benign prostatic hyperplasia affects approximately 50% of men aged 51-60, and up to 90% of men over the age of 80. This condition causes the prostate gland to enlarge, constricting the urethra and making it difficult for the bladder to empty. Symptoms include reduced urine stream, frequent urination (especially at night), urinary urgency, leaking, and urinary retention. Severe benign prostatic hyperplasia can have serious long-term health effects, such as urinary tract infection, bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones, pain during sexual intercourse, and incontinence. Therapies to treat this condition include pharmaceutical drugs such as Proscar®, Hytrin®, and Flomax®, as well as non-surgical and surgical options. However, all of these remedies have associated side effects. Clinical studies suggest that pygeum bark extract is effective in reducing symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, with few side effects.3,4
Benign prostatic hyperplasia’s cause is not fully known or understood. One theory is that the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone via the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase contributes to prostate enlargement.5 In addition, as men age, they often experience an increase in levels of estrogen relative to testosterone, indicating that estrogen may be involved in the development of this condition. In one study, extracts of pygeum and nettle root partially blocked the action of two enzymes, aromatase and 5-alpha-reductase, that are involved in the production of estrogen and dihydrotestosterone, respectively. Pygeum showed much higher efficacy at lower doses than did nettle root, but the combination of both herbs was significantly more effective than either alone in blocking the aromatase enzyme.6
How Does Pygeum Work?
Pygeum bark contains numerous beneficial constituents, including phytosterols such as beta-sitosterols, which exhibit anti-inflammatory action by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins in the prostate. Other pygeum components in-clude ferulic esters, which reduce levels of prolactin (a hormone that promotes testosterone uptake in the prostate gland), and pentacyclic triterpenes, which inhibit an enzyme involved in inflammation and help reduce edema. Scientists believe that these phytochemicals work together to help counteract the structural and biochemical changes associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia.1,7
Pygeum may help to prevent the overgrowth of prostate cells that can contribute to benign prostatic hyperplasia. Research suggests that pygeum may do this by inhibiting basic fibroblast growth factor, a signaling biochemical involved in the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia.8 In a laboratory study, pygeum extract demonstrated an anti-proliferative effect on prostate cells derived from rats, which was in part mediated by inhibition of basic fibroblast growth factor.9
Section through the human prostate gland. The prostate consists of glandular tissue embedded in a matrix of fibromuscular cells (orange and black).
Enlargement of the prostate gland can obstruct bladder emptying, which can lead to cellular and functional changes in the bladder tissue. Studies of rabbits suggest that pre-treatment with pygeum helps to protect the bladder from developing contractile and biochemical dysfunctions induced by partial bladder outlet obstruction, possibly by protecting the bladder from ischemic injury.10,11 The investigators suggest that pygeum may work in both rabbits and humans to protect the bladder’s smooth muscle against cellular damage induced by obstructed flow.10
Reducing BPH Symptoms
Clinical trials suggest that pygeum can safely and effectively help to reduce the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. In a multicenter trial in Europe, 85 men with mild to moderate benign prostatic hyperplasia were given 50 mg of pygeum twice daily for two months. The study participants demonstrated a 40% decrease in the International Prostate Symptom Score, a subjective assessment of the severity of symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Furthermore, the pygeum-supplemented men reported a 32% decrease in frequency of nocturnal urination (nocturia) and a 31% improvement in quality of life. After the supplementation with pygeum ended, the patients were followed for one additional month. The benefits derived from the pygeum therapy continued even during this period without treatment, indicating a lasting therapeutic effect.12
In a larger placebo-controlled, double-blind study, 263 men received either 100 mg of pygeum or placebo daily for 60 days. The pygeum group demonstrated a 17.2% improvement in urinary flow, a 24.5% decrease in residual bladder volume, a 31% decrease in nocturia, and a 19.4% decrease in daytime urinary frequency. Overall, 66% of the pygeum group reported improvement, compared to only 31% of the placebo group.13
According to two separate
literature reviews, pygeum extract demonstrates statistically significant benefits for benign prostatic hyperplasia. The more recent review, conducted in 2000, analyzed studies dating from 1966 to 2000. In 18 randomized trials involving 1,562 men, pygeum provided significant improvement in combined outcome of urological symptoms and flow measures. Furthermore, men taking pygeum reported twice as much improvement in overall symptoms.3 An earlier literature review published in 1995 examined 12 clinical, placebo-controlled, double-blind studies, in which 358 patients received pygeum and 359 received placebo. Again, those consuming pygeum demonstrated statistically significant benefits compared to those receiving placebo.4
Light micrograph of a section through a normal human prostate gland, which surrounds the top of the urethra.
Additional Benefits of Pygeum
Pygeum has also been used to treat inflammation of the prostate, or prostatitis. Prostatitis can occur due to infectious or non-infectious causes, and may cause symptoms such as urinary frequency, urgency, or pain. In a clinical trial, 47 patients with chronic prostatitis received 100 mg of pygeum daily for five to seven weeks. Eighty-nine percent reported a complete remission of symptoms.4
In another study, men with sexual dysfunction due to either benign prostatic hyperplasia or chronic prostatitis received pygeum extract (200 mg daily for 60 days) either alone or with anti-biotics. The men receiving pygeum bark extract experienced improved sexual function, even though there were no significant differences between hormone levels or nocturnal penile rigidity before and after therapy. Based on their findings, the researchers believe that pygeum may be beneficial to patients with sexual or reproductive dysfunction. lifeextension.com
1. Cinnamon is High in a Substance With Powerful Medicinal Properties
Cinnamon is a spice that is made from the inner bark of trees called Cinnamomum.
It has been used as an ingredient throughout history, dating back as far as Ancient Egypt. It used to be rare and valuable, and was regarded as a gift fit for kings.
These days, cinnamon is cheap, available in every supermarket and found in all sorts of foods and recipes.
There are two main types of cinnamon (1):
- Ceylon cinnamon: Also known as “true” cinnamon.
- Cassia cinnamon: This is the more common variety today, what people generally refer to as “cinnamon.”
Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of the cinnamomum tree. The inner bark is then extracted and the woody parts removed from it.
When it dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls, called cinnamon sticks. The sticks can be ground to form cinnamon powder.
This is what cinnamon looks like:
It is this compound that is responsible for most of cinnamon’s powerful effects on health and metabolism.
Bottom Line: Cinnamon is a popular spice. It is high in a substance called cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for most of the health benefits.
2. Cinnamon is Loaded With Antioxidants
Antioxidants protect the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
In fact, it is so powerful that cinnamon can be used as a natural food preservative (7).
Bottom Line: Cinnamon contains large amounts of highly potent polyphenol antioxidants.
3. Cinnamon Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Inflammation in the body is incredibly important.
It helps the body fight infections and repair tissue damage.
However, inflammation can become a problem when it is chronic (long-term) and directed against the body’s own tissues.
Cinnamon may be useful in this regard, because some studies show that the antioxidants in it have potent anti-inflammatory activity.
4. Cinnamon May Cut the Risk of Heart Disease
Cinnamon has been linked with reduced risk of heart disease, the world’s most common cause of premature death.
In people with type 2 diabetes, 1 gram of cinnamon per day has beneficial effects on blood markers.
It reduces levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while HDL cholesterol remains stable (8).
More recently, a big review study concluded that a cinnamon dose of just 120 milligrams per day can have these effects. In this study, cinnamon also increased HDL (the “good”) cholesterol (9).
In animal studies, cinnamon has been shown to reduce blood pressure (3).
When combined, all these factors may drastically cut the risk of heart disease.
Bottom Line: Cinnamon can improve some key risk factors for heart disease, including cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.
5. Cinnamon Can Improve Sensitivity to The Hormone Insulin
Insulin is one of the key hormones that regulate metabolism and energy use.
It is also essential for the transport of blood sugar from the bloodstream and into cells.
The problem is that many people are resistant to the effects of insulin.
This condition, known as insulin resistance, is a hallmark of serious conditions like metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
By helping insulin do its job, cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels, which brings us to the next point…
Bottom Line: Cinnamon has been shown to significantly increase sensitivity to the hormone insulin.
6. Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Has a Powerful Anti-Diabetic Effect
Cinnamon is well known for its blood sugar lowering effects.
Apart from the beneficial effects on insulin resistance, cinnamon can lower blood sugar by several other mechanisms.
First, cinnamon has been shown to decrease the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a meal.
This greatly improves glucose uptake by cells, although it acts much slower than insulin itself.
The effective dose is typically 1-6 grams of cinnamon per day (around 0.5-2 teaspoons).
Bottom Line: Cinnamon has been shown to both reduce fasting blood sugar levels, having a potent anti-diabetic effect at 1 to 6 grams per day.
7. Cinnamon May Have Beneficial Effects on Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by progressive loss of the structure or function of brain cells.
In a study looking at mice with Parkinson’s disease, cinnamon helped to protect neurons, normalize neurotransmitter levels and improve motor function (22).
These effects need to be studied further in humans.
Bottom Line: Cinnamon has been shown to lead to various improvements for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease in animal studies.
8. Cinnamon May Be Protective Against Cancer
Cancer is a serious disease, characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells.
Cinnamon has been widely studied for its potential use in cancer prevention and treatment.
It acts by reducing the growth of cancer cells and the formation of blood vessels in tumors, and appears to be toxic to cancer cells, causing cell death.
A study in mice with colon cancer revealed cinnamon to be a potent activator of detoxifying enzymes in the colon, protecting against further cancer growth (28).
These findings were supported by test tube experiments, which showed that cinnamon activates protective antioxidant responses in human colon cells (29).
Whether cinnamon has any effect in living, breathing humans needs to be confirmed in controlled trials.
Bottom Line: Animal studies and test tube experiments indicate that cinnamon may have protective effects against cancer.
9. Cinnamon Helps Fight Bacterial and Fungal Infections
Cinnamaldehyde, the main active component of cinnamon, may help fight various kinds of infection.
Cinnamon oil has been shown to effectively treat respiratory tract infections caused by fungi.
Bottom Line: Cinnamaldehyde has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which may reduce infections and help fight tooth decay and bad breath.
10. Cinnamon May Help Fight The HIV Virus
HIV is a virus that slowly breaks down the immune system, which can eventually lead to AIDS if untreated.
This is the most common strain of the HIV virus in humans.
A laboratory study looking at HIV infected cells found that cinnamon was the most effective treatment of all 69 medicinal plants studied.
Gymnema sylvestre – extract derives from the leaves of a climbing plant native to the forests of central and south India. An effective natural treatment for diabetes, gymnema leaves have been used in traditional medicine since the 6th century B.C.
What Conditions Is Gymnema Sylvestre Extract Good For?
How Does Gymnema Sylvestre Extract Work?
The leaves of the Gymnema sylvestre plant contain gymnemic acids, which have been shown to slow the transport of glucose from the intestines to the bloodstream. This, in turn, helps to:
Some research also suggests that gymnema sylvestre extract can help repair and regenerate the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
What Does the Research Say About Gymnema Sylvestre Extract?
Research has shown that Gymnema sylvestre extract is an effective therapy for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
In one clinical trial, 22 people with type 2 diabetes who were taking oral diabetes drugs also took 400 mg of Gymnema sylvestre extract (as GS4) daily. Participants experienced significant reductions in blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c and glycosolated plasma protein levels.
More remarkably, at the end of the 18-month study, the participants were able to reduce their drug dosages, and five of the study subjects were able to effectively maintain normal blood sugar levels with the GS4 alone. The researchers concluded, “the beta cells may be regenerated in type 2 diabetic patients on GS4 (Gymnema sylvestre) supplementation.”
In another study, researchers gave 27 people with type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes 400 mg of Gymnema sylvestre extract (GS4) daily. After 10 to 12 months, Gymnema sylvestre extract conferred a number of benefits, including reductions in fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c and glycosylated plasma protein levels. Insulin requirements were also reduced. drwhitaker.com
Hemp – One of the under-appreciated benefits of hemp, at least in the US, is as a food source. Hemp seeds, which are technically a nut and are also known as “hemp hearts,” are rich in healthy fats, protein, and minerals.
Hemp seeds are usually consumed after the hard outer shell is removed, leaving just the soft, creamy “heart” behind. The seeds have a slight nutty flavor, making them incredibly versatile for use in cooking, baking, or for adding to smoothies and salads. Some of their primary health benefits include:8
- Excellent Source of Nutrition
Hemp seeds are composed of more than 30 percent healthy fats, including the essential fatty acids linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid (plant-based omega-3). According to research published in Nutrition & Metabolism:9
“Dietary hempseed is… particularly rich in the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid (LA) and also contains elevated concentrations of the omega-3 fatty acid α-linolenic acid (ALA). The LA:ALA ratio normally exists in hempseed at between 2:1 and 3:1 levels. This proportion has been proposed to be ideal for a healthy diet.”
Hemp seeds also contain gamma-linolenic acid, which supports the normal function and growth of cells, nerves, muscles, and organs throughout your body.
Hemps seeds are about 25 percent protein and also provide nutrients including vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, and zinc.
- Heart Health
Hemp seeds contain numerous heart-healthy compounds, including the amino acid arginine. L-arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide in your body. It has been shown to enhance blood flow and help you maintain optimal blood pressure. Nitric oxide signals the smooth muscle cells in your blood vessels to relax, so that your vessels dilate and your blood flows more freely.
This helps your arteries stay free of plaque. When you have inadequate nitric oxide, your risk for coronary artery disease increases. The gamma-linolenic acid found in hemp seeds is anti-inflammatory, another bonus for heart health. Past research has also shown hemp seeds may help reduce blood pressure, decrease the risk of blood clots, and boost recovery after a heart attack.
- Skin Health
Fatty-acid deficiency can manifest in a variety of ways, but skin problems such as eczema, thick patches of skin, and cracked heels are common. Hemp seeds are a rich source of fatty acids in the optimal omega-6 toomega-3 ratio. Research suggests hempseed oil may improve symptoms of atopic dermatitis10 and potentially provide relief from eczema.
- Plant-Based Protein
Although I believe protein from high-quality animal sources is beneficial for most people, if you are following a plant-based diet, hemp makes a healthy source of protein. With all of the essential amino acids and an amount of protein similar to beef (by weight), hemp seeds are an excellent form of plant-based protein.
Two to three tablespoons of hemp seeds provides about 11 grams of protein, complete with the amino acids lysine, methionine, and cysteine. Two main proteins in hemp seed protein, albumin and edestin, are rich in essential amino acids, with profiles comparable to soy and egg white. Hemp’s edestin content is among the highest of all plants. Hemp protein is also easy to digest because of its lack of oligosaccharides and trypsin inhibitors, which can affect protein absorption.
- PMS and Menopause Symptoms
The gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in hemp seeds produces prostaglandin E1, which reduces the effects of the hormone prolactin. Prolactin is thought to play a role in the physical and emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). GLA in hemp seeds may also help reduce the symptoms of menopause.11
Whole hemp seeds contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which may support digestive health and more. Soluble fiber dissolves into a gel-like texture, helping to slow down your digestion. This helps you to feel full longer and is one reason why fiber may help with weight control. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve at all and helps add bulk to your stool. This helps food to move through your digestive tract more quickly for healthy elimination.
Fiber plays an essential role in your digestive, heart, and skin health, and may improve blood sugar control, weight management, and more. Please note that only whole hemp seeds contain high amounts of fiber; the de-shelled hemp seeds or “hearts” contain very little fiber.
Pau De Arco – Pau d’arco is native to South America, where it has been used to treat a wide range of conditions. There are reports of medicinal uses of pau d’arco tea dating back to 1873. Pau d’arco, also called tabebuia avellanedae, is a tree from the Bignoniaceae family with extremely hard wood; its name is the Portuguese word for “bow stick,” which is an appropriate term because the tree was actually used by native South American Indians for making hunting bows.
The bark and wood of the tree are used externally and internally to treat arthritis, pain, inflammation of the prostate gland, fever, dysentery, boils and ulcers, and various cancers. One of the easiest ways to use pau d’arco is by consuming a tea made from the inner bark of pau d’arco or applying the tea water to the skin.
Pau d’arco is an evergreen tree that has rose-colored flowers. There are nearly 100 species of pau d’arco, but only a few yield high-quality material; plus, it takes extremely skilled gatherers to know what species are the most effective. The medicinal part of the tree is the bark, specifically the inner lining of the bark, called the phloem (pronounced floam). Unfortunately, many companies use the whole bark, containing the dead wood too, and this naturally dilutes the activity of the material.
Scientists have identified two active chemicals in pau d’arco called naphthoquinones; they are lapachol and beta-lapachone. These chemicals have the power to kill bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. They have also shown anti-inflammatory properties, which are important in treating health conditions such as osteoarthritis.
Pau D’arco Tea Nutrition Facts
Pau d’arco tea contains several compounds, including quinoids, benzenoids and flavonoids. These compounds have shown biological activity against harmful organisms. Pau d’arco also has a significant amount of lapachol, which comes from the stem of the tree. According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, lapachol is known be toxic and resistant to nearly all types of harmful organisms.
A 2005 study published in Oncology Reports found that lapachol has great potential as an application in fighting metastasis, which is the spread of a cancer or other disease from one organ of the body to another. Metastasis is the major process responsible for the death in cancer patients, and the recent research involving lapachol is promising.
Lapachol is also used for its antioxidant and antimicrobial effects, but some research suggests that high doses of this compound can lead to dangerous side effects, like reproductive toxicity. Pau d’arco also contains another chemical called beta-lapachone, which has also demonstrated toxicity to harmful organisms, similar to lapachol.
Another powerful element of pau d’arco is selenium, an antioxidant that removes free radicals that damage cells and trigger disease. Selenium is an extremely vital mineral for the human body; some selenium benefits include its ability to increase immunity, take part in antioxidant activity that defends the body against free radical damageand inflammation, and play a key role in booting your metabolism.
According to a study conducted by the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey, consuming plenty of naturally occurring selenium has positive antiviral effects, is essential for successful male and female fertility and reproduction, plus reduces the risk of cancer, autoimmune and thyroid diseases. Low selenium status is associated with increased risk of mortality, poor immune function and cognitive decline.
7 Pau D’arco Tea Benefits
1. Reduces Pain
Research shows that pau d’arco tea has the power to naturally reduce pain in patients suffering from cancer and other serious health conditions. It has the ability to lessen the pain associated with several kinds of cancer, especially cancer of the prostate, liver or breast. Arthritic pain is also been relieved after consuming pau d’arco tea.
A 2001 study published in BMC Pharmacology examined the antinociceptive (pain-reducing) and antiedematogenic (to reduce swelling) effects of pau d’arco inner bark that were measured by experimental models in mice that underwent pain stimulated by nerve cells. The inner bark aqueous extract, administered orally in three different concentrations, reduced the sensory process that provides the signals that lead to pain.
2. Fights Candida
Pau d’arco helps the body fight candida the natural way. Candida, also known as candidiasis, is a common yeast infection that can lead to many health problems, from a sore throat to serious stomach problems. The body normally produces yeast in the mouth, vagina, rectum and digestive tracts, and in normal amounts it remains harmless; however, if the body’s natural pH balance is upset, candida symptoms can quickly grow out of control.
If you are suffering from headaches, an inability to concentrate, hyperactivity, chronic fatigue syndrome, sugar addiction and stomach problems, you may be suffering from an overproduction of yeast and candida. A common symptom is thrush, which is an overgrowth of yeast in the mouth or vagina. If left untreated, candida weakens the immune system — allowing more serious diseases to take hold.
3. Reduces Inflammation
An overactive immune system results in the body being flooded with defense cells and hormones that damage tissues. Dietary and environmental toxins build up in the body, and this turns the immune system on — keeping it highly reactive; this is what lead toinflammation, which is at the root of most diseases. By reducing inflammation in the body, you avoid serious health conditions like asthma, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and Parkinson’s disease.
A 2014 study published in TheJournal of Toxicological Sciences found that pau d’arcoincreased the expression of Nrf2-target genes in the intestine. Nrf2 is a protein that regulates the expression of antioxidant proteins that protect against oxidative damage triggered by injury and inflammation. The results of this study shows that the activation of Nrf2 could mediate the beneficial effects of pau d’arco, particularly in the intestine, which can be severely affected by inflammation.
4. Heals Ulcers
Ulcers are burns that form in the lining of the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract. When they occur in the stomach, they’re called gastric ulcers. If they form in the first part of your small intestine, the duodenum, they’re referred to as duodenal ulcers.
Peptic ulcer disease begins when a weakness in your stomach or intestinal lining allows acid to create an erosion or sore in the lining. It’s the most common type of stomach disease, according to the American Gastroenterology Association. Ulcers are caused by an increase in stomach acid caused by stress, medications, diet, smoking, alcohol or H. pylori, a type of bad bacteria. The most common ulcer symptom is a burning pain aggravated by stomach acid that comes in contact with the ulcerated area.
A 2013 study published in Phytotherapy Research found that pau d’arco extract significantly accelerated the healing of acetic acid induced gastric ulcers in rats by increasing mucus content and cell proliferation. This suggests that pau d’arco could be a treatment for peptic ulcer diseases in humans. Peptic ulcers refer to painful sores or ulcers that are in the lining of the stomach or first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum. This is typically a result of an imbalance of digestive fluids in the stomach and intestine. An infection occurs, and too much bad bacteria leads to symptoms, including burning pain, nausea, internal bleeding, heartburn and bloating.
5. Fights Cancer
One of the most well-known benefits of pau d’arco tea is its ability to fight cancer and relieve pain associated with cancer. A study conducted by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston found that beta-Lapachone, a major compound in pau d’arco tea, is apotential compound to be added to cancer chemotherapy, particularly for prostate cancer.
Another 2002 study concluded that beta-lapachone is one of a few novel anticancer drugs currently under active investigation, and it shows promise for chemotherapy alone and especially in combinations. This powerful compound caused cancer cell death in mice, and the mice did not appear to be adversely affected by the treatment.
6. Provides Antiviral & Antifungal Properties
For thousands of years, pau d’arco has been used as an antiviral herb. The range of viruses stunted by pau d’arco tea extends from those that cause the common cold to those that are responsible for the life-threatening AIDS virus. It has been shown to actively inhibit, kill or stunt the growth of several dangerous viruses, including herpes, polio, vesicular stomatitis, avian myeloblastosis, leukemia and rous sarcoma virus.
The beta-lapochone present in pau d’arco actually inhibits the enzymes in virus cells, which directly affects the synthesis of DNA and RNA. The virus is then no longer able to take control over the reproductive processes of the cell, so it can neither replicate itself nor infect other cells.
Pau d’arco tea has the power to aid in the healing of skin wounds and infections. It’s commonly used to reduce redness and swelling due to skin infections and irritations. This is because of its antifungal and antibacterial properties.
7. Detoxifies the Body
Pau d’arco tea detoxifies the body by removing harmful toxic substances; these toxins include heavy metals, pesticides, preservatives and even residue from chemotherapy.
Pau d’arco works as a detoxifier by having a laxative effect. It’s known to loosen bowels, which aids digestion and regularity. By stimulating the digestive system, pau d’arco tea helps the body rid itself of excess fats and toxins. It’s important to keep foods moving through your body, especially the colon. The colon is the body’s sewage system, but like all healthy and properly functioning sewage systems, it needs to be cleaned, emptied and maintained to function properly.
When we eat highly processed, refined or “fake” foods, our colons become laden with the unhealthy debris from these foods. For this reason, it’s vital to consume detoxifying foods and drinks, like pau d’arco tea, in order to maintain a clean and healthy body. Pau d’arco tea consumption is one of the best ways to detox; blood vessels, the lymph system, cells, tissue and organs are all detoxified, which allows the body’s systems to function properly and efficiently. http://draxe.com/
Dosage Concerns… Start with 1 capsule three times daily and pay attention to urine and feces as well as any dizziness etc… after 3-7 days move to 2 capsules and repeat the procedure after which you may move to 3 capsules…. If any discomfort is experience consider discontinuing usage immediately…
KemiLuminescence should be take with Salad & Fruit or Salad & 100% Juice or a Fresh Smoothie or a Raw Juice the reason is simple you want plenty of FRESH LIVING ENZYMES TO ENHANCE THE FUNCTION OF EACH OF THE 20+ PLANTS IN THIS MEGA COMPOUND…. If you eat meat its OK however do not take herbs with meat/fish at the same time….