The 7 Best Herbs For Women’s Health

The 7 Best Herbs For Women’s Health | herbs | Natural Medicine Special Interests

Herbs are widely used by many people all over the world, mostly by those seeking alternatives or adjuncts to traditional pharmaceuticals. While no one herb will solve every health issue, scientific data exists to show specific chemicals within certain herbs have the power to affect biological function. Herbs for women’s health have been researched extensively over the past few decades, with many showing promise for improving libido, supporting energy levels, and elevating mood.

The Top Herbs for Women’s Health

Many scientists believe that specific chemicals isolated from plant materials and then extracted provide the most benefit to human health. Still, the whole herb, when used in conjunction with other herbs that provide similar chemical constituents and/or health benefits, is equally as effective. Here are some of the top herbs, extracted or otherwise, that have shown benefit to female health.

1. Muira puama

Muira puama is also known as ‘potency wood,’ and for very good reason. One study evaluating over 200 women found that the bark and root of muira puama significantly stimulated libido. [1] Over 65% of women in the study had better sexual satisfaction and orgasm intensity. Muira puama may also be helpful for increasing motivation for sex, supporting energy for day-to-day activities, and stress reduction. [2]

2. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an ancient Indian herb that is said to support female reproduction and libido. The herb has been used for centuries to combat stress in women and men alike. Ashwagandha specifically targets the endocrine system and encourages hormonal balance. One study with over 50 menopausal women looked into the effects of supplementing with ashwagandha and found a significant decline in symptoms such as anxiety, hot flashes, and mood. [3] Ashwagandha has been used to support good mood for centuries, and research is beginning to find that the plant may play a powerful role in combating mental and emotional stress. [4] This makes ashwagandha a potent tool against mood swings.

3. Tribulus terrestris

Tribulus terrestris is also used for supporting hormonal balance, and research hints at its role for boosting female libido. Tribulus has plenty of research behind it for supporting libido in both men and women. An important study showed that tribulus improved desire for intercourse in 49 out of 50 female participants. [5] A recent study from 2014 found that female desire, arousal, and satisfaction is greatly improved following tribulus supplementation. [6]The herb may also combat mood swings commonly experienced during the menstrual period. Similar in action as kava kava, tribulus terrestris may positively improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety. [7]

4. Maca

Maca root is a popular herbal tool commonly used by men to support healthy hormone levels; however, women also report great benefits balancing hormonal levels with maca. While studying the root for its potential weight loss benefits, researchers observed that women enjoyed a significant reduction in common menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and depressed mood. [8] Another similar study found beneficial effects of maca supplementation on menopause symptoms. [9]Supporting healthy libido in women is also a benefit of using maca. One important study found that supplementation with maca was effective for combating sexual dysfunction in women, particulary after taking SSRI, a commonly-prescribed antidepressant. Throughout the study, women enjoyed improvement in sexual satisfaction with three grams of maca per day. [10]

5. Avena Sativa

Natural aphrodisiacs have been used successfully for thousands of years, with avena sativa being no exception. Also referred to as ‘oat straw,’ avena sativa is a powerful natural aphrodisiac, and recent research is validating its common use. [11] Oats may also support bone health, which is important because osteoporosis is more common in women than it is in men. Avena sativa is rich in calcium, a nutrient that plays an important role — along with vitamin D and vitamin K — in bone density. Oat straw increases levels of luteinizing hormone in rats, a hormone that is crucial for stimulating cell growth. This may help initiate bone cell production, possibly supporting bone health. [12]

6. Catuaba

The catuaba tree was first utilized by the Tupi Indians in Northern Brazil, who brewed the leaves to make an aphrodisiac tea. Traditional cultures have used catuaba bark for a wide range of benefits, but its potent aphrodisiac qualities is perhaps its most popular application. Catuaba bark contains the chemical yohimbine, the active compound that provides a stimulatory effect. [13]

7. Suma

Usually referred to as South American Ginseng, suma is often used to support stamina. Natives in the Amazon have looked toward Suma root for aiding libido in women, and research confirms this ancient belief. Some research also suggests that suma root may be helpful for supporting female fertility by balancing hormone levels. This is especially important today as the world becomes increasingly overwhelmed with hormone disruptors. [14] Research shows that suma root can be helpful for encouraging estradiol-17 beta, an estrogen hormone produced in women during reproduction years, further improving hormone balance. [15]

Further Actions You Can Take

Herbs are an excellent complementary approach to an overall healthy lifestyle, and as you can see above, research supports it as a powerful way to support female health. Many of the above herbs are found in Female Fuzion™, carefully paired with other similar organic herbs that support physical drive and function. Avoiding environmental endocrine disruptors, like plastics and pesticides, can also be a great way to protect your hormones. Getting enough sleep, staying physically active, and receiving an optimum level of sunlight exposure are also excellent methods you can use to keep hormones running smoothly.

Have you been experiencing hormonal issues lately? What have you been doing to get it back into balance? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

References:

  1. Waynberg J1, Brewer S. Effects of Herbal vX on libido and sexual activity in premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Adv Ther. 2000 Sep-Oct;17(5):255-62.
  2. Mendes FR1, Carlini EA. Brazilian plants as possible adaptogens: an ethnopharmacological survey of books edited in Brazil. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Feb 12;109(3):493-500.
  3. Modi MB1, Donga SB, Dei L. Clinical evaluation of Ashokarishta, Ashwagandha Churna and Praval Pishti in the management of menopausal syndrome. Ayu. 2012 Oct;33(4):511-6. doi: 10.4103/0974-8520.110529.
  4. Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya A, Sairam K, Ghosal S. Anxiolytic-antidepressant activity of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides: an experimental study. Phytomedicine. 2000 December;7(6):463-9.
  5. Mazaro-Costa R1, Andersen ML, Hachul H, Tufik S. Medicinal plants as alternative treatments for female sexual dysfunction: utopian vision or possible treatment in climacteric women? J Sex Med. 2010 Nov;7(11):3695-714. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01987.x.
  6. Akhtari E, Raisi F, Keshavarz M, Hosseini H, Sohrabvand F, Bioos S, Kamalinejad M, Ghobadi A. Tribulus terrestris for treatment of sexual dysfunction in women: randomized double-blind placebo – controlled study. Daru. 2014 Apr 28;22(1):40.
  7. Wang Z1, Zhang D, Hui S, Zhang Y, Hu S. Effect of tribulus terrestris saponins on behavior and neuroendocrine in chronic mild stress depression rats. J Tradit Chin Med. 2013 Apr;33(2):228-32.
  8. Meissner HO1, Reich-Bilinska H, Mscisz A, Kedzia B. Therapeutic Effects of Pre-Gelatinized Maca (Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon) used as a Non-Hormonal Alternative to HRT in Perimenopausal Women – Clinical Pilot Study. Int J Biomed Sci. 2006 Jun;2(2):143-59.
  9. Meissner HO1, Kapczynski W, Mscisz A, Lutomski J. Use of gelatinized maca (lepidium peruvianum) in early postmenopausal women. Int J Biomed Sci. 2005 Jun;1(1):33-45.
  10. Dording CM1, Fisher L, Papakostas G, Farabaugh A, Sonawalla S, Fava M, Mischoulon D. A double-blind, randomized, pilot dose-finding study of maca root (L. meyenii) for the management of SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2008 Fall;14(3):182-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2008.00052.x.
  11. Malviya N, Jain S, Gupta VB, Vyas S. Recent studies on aphrodisiac herbs for the management of male sexual dysfunction–a review. Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica. 2011 January-February;68(1):3-8.
  12. Fukushima M, Watanabe S, Kushima K. Extraction and purification of a substance with luteinizing hormone releasing activity from the leaves of Avena sativa. The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine. 1976 June;119(2):115-22.
  13. Oliveira CH1, Moraes ME, Moraes MO, Bezerra FA, Abib E, De Nucci G. Clinical toxicology study of an herbal medicinal extract of Paullinia cupana, Trichilia catigua, Ptychopetalum olacoides and Zingiber officinale (Catuama) in healthy volunteers. Phytother Res. 2005 Jan;19(1):54-7.
  14. Persistent environmental pollutants and couple fecundity: the LIFE study. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2013 February;121(2):231-6.
  15. Oshima M1, Gu Y. Pfaffia paniculata-induced changes in plasma estradiol-17beta, progesterone and testosterone levels in mice. J Reprod Dev. 2003 Apr;49(2):175-80.


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Can You Eliminate Stress With Aromatherapy?

Can You Eliminate Stress With Aromatherapy? | aromatherapy-spa-massage | Natural Medicine Special Interests

Aromatherapy is the use of essential plant oils to improve well being. Natural plant oils are often placed in diffusers and allowed to permeate the air and have been used for centuries to address mostly psychological issues. Aromatherapy as a practice is thousands of years old. Ancient Egyptians employed the use of essential oils and other plant substances for massages, bathing, and healing. One of the major uses of aromatherapy in the US is for stress management.

How Aromatherapy Works

Some of the methods of aromatherapy include aerial diffusion (typically with an oil burner), topical application, and inhalation. It’s even occasionally administered vaginally, rectally, and orally for things like infection and congestion. Many practitioners use only natural essential oils since synthetics don’t provide the same benefit as the natural compounds. Synthetic fragrance oils may also contain chemical additives that can irritate the skin if applied topically.

Aromatherapy is very popular today for stress relief. [1] It offers a natural, organic alternative to pharmaceutical substances and works to enhance lifestyle modifications that further reduce stress. These natural lifestyle modifications are of course exercise, diet, meditation, and proper sunlight exposure. One primary application method for essential oils is indirect and direct inhalation. Through inhaling the oils (from a safe distance, of course), the brain reacts by slowing down. This elicits a deep level of relaxation.

Massage is another stress-relieving technique that commonly employs essential oils, incorporating touch and the physical manipulation of joints and muscles to relieve tension and stress. Many essential oils used during massage are often diluted.

Aromatherapy has seen a great deal of scientific scrutiny, and research continues to report the amazing benefits of these natural concentrated plant oils. The scientific research being done so far reports positive results. In France, it’s already part of their mainstream medicine, which is appropriate considering that France is credited with being the birthplace of “aromatherapy.”

The Stress of Daily Life

Stress is an aspect of life; however, there are different types of stress that must be addressed. ‘Good’ stress, or eustress, can actually motivate you to accomplish goals and keep you safe from adverse situations. Negative stress, on the other hand, usually stems from some prolonged negative thought about the past or the future. The negative stress is what should be dealt with in order to support good health.

While you may not be able to always eliminate a negative situation, there are many things you can do to reduce stress which will hopefully eliminate health problems related to that stress. Aromatherapy is one effective way to combat the emotional upheaval that accompanies stressful events. Stress can hinder digestion, immune function, and increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. [2][3][4] Simply by reducing your negative emotions that surround a certain situation, you begin to change the way you think and act, thereby minimizing the situation.

The Dangers of Unmanaged Stress

It’s not worth ignoring stress or accepting it; you have power over the stress you experience. You can attenuate the effects of stress in your life by practicing meditation, deep breathing, exercising, socializing, or simply taking a hot shower. Of course, using essential oils in your daily routine will also support a positive mood no matter what the situation. If you choose to ignore stress, your body becomes worn down in multiple ways. Not only do you become tired and lose motivation, your immune system, cells, and brain weakens.

Consider the following:

  • Stress can affect your blood sugar levels, leading to hunger and, eventually, insulin insensitivity.[5]
  • Many people who do not properly manage their stress experience weight gain.
  • Premature aging is another possible danger of not properly managing your stress levels.
  • General pain throughout the body can be a side effect of unmanaged stress.

Some of the most popular essential oils with stress-relieving properties include geranium, peppermint, lavender, jasmine, chamomile, and lemongrass. Add aromatherapy to your arsenal as you fight against stress. The benefits can be quite effective, and the ease of use makes it a great choice.

How to Use Essential Oils

Be sure to read your labels to make certain that your oil contains organic, all-natural essential oils. Never apply essential oils to the skin without proper diluting it in a carrier agent. Proper carrier oils include jojoba, olive, and coconut oil. Because oils are concentrated, they can irritate the skin without a natural and benign carrier oil accompanying its application. One method of using aromatherapy is simply applying oils to your hands and breathing in the oil deeply. You can apply the oils to clothes, handkerchiefs, pillows, and just about anything. When you go for a massage, ask your masseuse if they can use essential oils geared toward soothing, relaxing, and de-stressing. You may be able to bring your own oil to the session.

How do you use essential oils? We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments!

References:

  1. Tang SK, Tse MY. Aromatherapy: does it help to relieve pain, depression, anxiety, and stress in community-dwelling older persons? Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:430195. doi: 10.1155/2014/430195.
  2. Bhatia V, Tandon RK. Stress and the gastrointestinal tract. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Mar;20(3):332-9.
  3. Suzanne C. Segerstrom and Gregory E. Miller. Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System: A Meta-Analytic Study of 30 Years of Inquiry. Psychol Bull. 2004 Jul; 130(4): 601-630. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.130.4.601.
  4. Steptoe A, Kivimaki M. Stress and cardiovascular disease. Nat Rev Cardiol. 2012 Apr 3;9(6):360-70. doi: 10.1038/nrcardio.2012.45.
  5. Shiloah E, Witz S, Abramovitch Y, et al. Effect of acute psychotic stress in nondiabetic subjects on beta-cell function and insulin sensitivity. Diabetes Care. 2003 May;26(5): 1462-7.

 

We recommend ‘Best Blends’ Set of 6 (Organic) 100% Pure, Best Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil – Which consists of various oil blends oncluding Lavender, Peppermint, Bergamot, Patchouli, Ylang-Ylang, Orange, Tea Tree, Lemon and Four Others.


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DIY: 10 Herbal Tea Blends You Can Grow In Your Garden

DIY: 10 Herbal Tea Blends You Can Grow In Your Garden | chamomile | Agriculture & Farming Natural Medicine Organic Market Classifieds Organics

From a sustainability standpoint, herbs are one of the easiest plants to produce. Many of the herbs we grow are perennials and will produce for many years. Drying herbs is a great way to save money and use for cooking or to enjoy for aromatherapy needs. That said, we haven’t completely put these perennials to their full potential.

Harvesting Your Tea

Growing your own herbal tea blends is almost effortless. Many herbs prefer to be on the “dry” side during the growing season, so you can skip a few waterings and they will be ok. In fact, many herbs can be grown in containers on a sunny window sill or patio. Most herbs will fit into a 1 gallon sized growing pot, but make sure your container has a nice-sized hole so that surplus water can drain away. Herbs do not prefer to have their roots sitting in water or saturated soil. A larger volume of potting mix dries out more slowly, so use the largest pot you can. It’s better to combine two or more plants in a large pot than to use several little pots.  Further, fertilize your herbs once a month to ensure your herbs have adequate nutrients.

Prune your herbs regularly to harvest the tender leaves. This will also keep plants bushy and discourage them from blooming; often, blooming will change the flavor of the leaves. Harvest the oldest stems individually with scissors rather than pruning the whole plant to keep a steady stream of leaves coming.

As well, if you are using fruit trees, when you are pruning them, save the leaves and cut leaves or blossoms to make teas with. Harvest the leaves, blossoms, or the root in some cases such as ginger, dandelion and echinacea, and thoroughly dry outdoors for 10 days, or use your food dehydrator at a setting of 95 degrees Farenheit until completely dry.

Some of the easiest herbs I have grown are:

  • Mint
  • Lemon Balm
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Dandelion
  • Calendula
  • Lavender
  • Stevia

And, the easy fruit bearing plants I grow are:

  • Rose hips
  • Lemons
  • Blackberry
  • Strawberry

Harvesting Tips:

  • Most herbs are at their peak just before they bloom.
  • Harvest all your herbs at the end of the season, once a frost is forecast. You can dry the herbs whole and store for winter teas or for use as seasonings.
  • Harvest early in the day, after the dew has dried, but while the herbs are still lush in the cool of the morning.
  • Be careful not to tear or crush the herbs until you are ready to use them. You don’t want to waste any of the essential oils.

Tea blends can make great gifts for friends and family! You can easily make homemade tea bags out of coffee filters. For an easy tutorial, follow these instructions. My family usually enjoys a cup of tea with raw honey and some fresh lemon, but that is not always the case. Here are some of my favorite tea blends.

10 Delicious Herbal Tea Blends

Tension Soother

  • 4 teaspoons lavender
  • 3 teaspoons chamomile
  • 2 teaspoons lemon balm
  • 2 teaspoons rose petals

Tummy Tamer

  • 1 teaspoon Calendula
  • 1 teaspoon chamomile blossoms
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed

Sleepy Blend

  • 1 teaspoon chamomile
  • 1 teaspoon lemon balm leaves
  • 1 teaspoon catnip
  • 1 teaspoon lavender flowers

Immune Booster

  • 4 tablespoons rose hips
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon chips
  • 1 teaspoon hibiscus flowers
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • ½ teaspoon lemon peel

Cold/Flu Tea

  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup dried echinacea leaves
  • ¼ cup dried peppermint leaves
  • ¼ cup dried lemon balm leaves
  • 3 tablespoons dried elderberries or ¼ cup dried elder flowers

Autumn Blend

  • 3 teaspoons nettle leaf
  • 2 teaspoons spearmint leaf
  • 2 teaspoons lemon balm
  • 1 teaspoon mullein leaf
  • two teaspoons dandelion leaf and root, combined
  • 1 teaspoon rose hips
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root (dried cut and sifted)
  • 4 cups of water

Winter Blend

  • Juice of two oranges (approx 1 cup)
  • 3 teaspoons dried pomegranate seeds
  • 1 4″ cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 4 black tea bags
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 cups water

Pregnancy Blend

*check with your healthcare provider to make sure this blend is right for you.

  • 3 teaspoons dried red raspberry leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried rose hips
  • 1 teaspoon dried nettle
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon chips
  • ½ teaspoon dried fennel seed
  • ¼ teaspoon dried spearmint leaves

PMS Tea Blend

  • 2 teaspoons chamomile
  • 2 teaspoons nettle
  • 2 teaspoons red raspberry leaf
  • 1 teaspoon lemon balm

Chai Spice Mix

  • 3 tablespoons cardamom
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger

Tea Preparation:

To make a nice tasting cup of tea, first warm your teapot with scalding-hot water. Then place your ingredients directly in the pot (or tea ball). For a mild tea, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 tsp. of dried leaves or blossoms. Cover the cup with a lid or plate (this helps keep the vital nutrients and beneficial properties of the herbs in the cup and not evaporating into the air). Let steep for at least 10 minutes. Serve the hot drink “as is”, or — if you wish — flavor it with grated fruit rind, lemon juice, or honey. For a greater medicinal effect, make a decoction by gently boiling 1/4 cup of the tea blend in 1 qt. of water until about half of the water has boiled off. Drink 2-3 small cups of the tea daily.

Storing Your Tea Blends

After mixing up your favorite blend of herb tea, add them to a glass jar and store in a dark place. I use large mason jars for storing my tea blends. As a general rule, figure on about one to two teaspoons of dried herb(s) per cup of tea. (Double the amount of ingredients if you’re using fresh herbs.) And remember that you can get more flavor out of the leaves, blossoms, and berries if they are crushed before using.

Consider adding these medicinal plants to your garden and enjoy them year after year. In addition to tea blends, many of these herbs can be used for other natural medicinal needs, such as salves, lotions, tinctures and decoctions.


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Benefits of Aloe Vera

Benefits of Aloe Vera | aloe-vera | Natural Medicine Special Interests

Sometimes dubbed as the “First Aid” plant because of the soothing gel inside the thick, succulent leaves, aloe vera has incredible, natural, skin care properties. Aloe vera is commonly used on sunburns, cuts, or even consumed. The 2011 2nd edition of Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects cites the extraordinarily long use of aloe vera for its therapeutic benefits, both internal and external. [1] Its use extends as far back as biblical times and was mentioned in the New Testament as an herb for embalming.

Aloe Vera’s Active Ingredients

Aloe vera could be considered a superfood, the leaf is filled with a gel containing at least 75 nutrients, 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, 18 amino acids, and 200 active enzymes. These compounds, particularly acemannan, have tremendous benefit and potential in external and internal applications.

Skin Care Benefits of Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has been anecdotally cited for quite some time for a topical burn or cut remedy. Multiple studies have examined aloe vera as an agent to speeds recovery of skin wounds and found it to be beneficial, supporting traditional folk use of aloe vera to stimulate cellular rejuvenation. [2][3][4]

Additionally, The Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Cosmetology at the University in Belgrade, Serbia, published research in 2011 noting that gel from aloe is believed to promote and assist the growth of new cells. [5]

Additional Benefits of Aloe Vera

  • Studies show aloe vera gel is effective at reducing the pain of canker sores and helps them to go away faster. [6]
  • With regard to interaction with ulcers, aloe vera has a cytoprotective action, meaning it helps to increase stomach mucosal production. It is this trait that lead to the Sinhgad College of Pharmacy including it in the development of a medication for ulcers. [7]
  • Has hypoglycemic activity and anti-obesity effects.[8]
  • Aloe vera gel has frequently been cited for its powerful antioxidant effect.[9]
  • As may be expected, the beneficial components, including antioxidants, amino acids, and enzymes, increase as plant size increases.[10]
  • Clinical studies at the Texas Children’s Hospital show that aloe vera offers a strategy to alleviate certain glucose related ailments associated with pre diabetes and metabolic syndrome.[11]
  • Oddly enough, aloe vera may provide relief to persons experiencing symptoms of burning mouth syndrome. [12]
  • May have expanded pharmaceutical applications as a drug absorption enhancing agents in certain drug delivery systems. [13]
  • Iran’s Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences discovered that because of aloe vera’s ability to help with wounds, provide mucous membrane protection, and its antioxidant characteristics, it was an effective agent for balancing oral candidiasis in patients undergoing head and neck radiotherapy. [14]

Choosing the Best Aloe Vera Products

Purchasing an aloe vera product should be done with the same scrutiny you’d use when purchasing any supplement. Quality and purity should be your top priorities. If you’re buying aloe vera juice, organic is an absolute must. Unpasteurized is also mandatory to ensure enzymatic integrity. Many people enjoy concentrated aloe vera juice products, but when it comes to the integrity of the supplement, capsules may be more potent. My personal recommendation is Aloe Fuzion™. The key thing is to remember to read and understand the labels to ensure you’re purchasing a quality product that’s both effective and pure.

One other idea is to grow your own aloe vera plant (or plants!). Aloe vera is a hearty succulent that is easy to grow as well as attractive. Nurturing your own plant is a great way to save money, have the freshest possible aloe vera gel on demand, and guarantee it’s additive free!

 

 

References (14)
  1. Foster M, Hunter D, Samman S. Evaluation of the Nutritional and Metabolic Effects of Aloe vera. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press; 2011. Chapter 3.
  2. Dat AD, Poon F, Pham KB, Doust J. Aloe vera for treating acute and chronic wounds. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Feb 15;2:CD008762. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008762.pub2. Review.
  3. akzare N, Hosseini MJ, Hasanzadeh G, Mortazavi H, Takzare A, Habibi P. Influence of Aloe Vera gel on dermal wound healing process in rat. Toxicol Mech Methods. 2009 Jan;19(1):73-7. doi: 10.1080/15376510802442444.
  4. Mendonça FA, Passarini Junior JR, Esquisatto MA, Mendonça JS, Franchini CC, Santos GM. Effects of the application of Aloe vera (L.) and microcurrent on the healing of wounds surgically induced in Wistar rats. Acta Cir Bras. 2009 Mar-Apr;24(2):150-5.
  5. orać RR, Khambholja KM. Potential of herbs in skin protection from ultraviolet radiation. Pharmacogn Rev. 2011 Jul;5(10):164-73. doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.91114.
  6. Babaee N, Zabihi E, Mohseni S, Moghadamnia AA. Evaluation of the therapeutic effects of Aloe vera gel on minor recurrent aphthous stomatitis. Dent Res J (Isfahan). 2012 Jul;9(4):381-5.
  7. anade AN, Wankhede SS, Ranpise NS, Mundada MS. Development of bilayer floating tablet of amoxicillin and Aloe vera gel powder for treatment of gastric ulcers. AAPS PharmSciTech. 2012 Dec;13(4):1518-23. doi: 10.1208/s12249-012-9882-4. Epub 2012 Nov 8.
  8. Saito M, Tanaka M, Misawa E, Yamada M, Yamauchi K, Iwatsuki K. Aloe vera gel extract attenuates ethanol-induced hepatic lipid accumulation by suppressing the expression of lipogenic genes in mice. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2012 Nov 23;76(11):2049-54. Epub 2012 Nov 7.
  9. Lauweryns JM, Tierens A, Decramer M. Influence of hypercapnia on rabbit intrapulmonary neuroepithelial bodies: microfluorimetric and morphometric study. Eur Respir J. 1990 Feb;3(2):182-6.
  10. Lee S, Do SG, Kim SY, Kim J, Jin Y, Lee CH. Mass spectrometry-based metabolite profiling and antioxidant activity of Aloe vera ( Aloe barbadensis Miller) in different growth stages. J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Nov 14;60(45):11222-8. doi: 10.1021/jf3026309. Epub 2012 Nov 1.
  11. Devaraj S, Yimam M, Brownell LA, Jialal I, Singh S, Jia Q. Effects of Aloe vera supplementation in subjects with prediabetes/metabolic syndrome. Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2013 Feb;11(1):35-40. doi: 10.1089/met.2012.0066. Epub 2012 Oct 4.
  12. López-Jornet P, Camacho-Alonso F, Molino-Pagan D. Prospective, randomized, double-blind, clinical evaluation of Aloe vera Barbadensis, applied in combination with a tongue protector to treat burning mouth syndrome. J Oral Pathol Med. 2013 Apr;42(4):295-301. doi: 10.1111/jop.12002. Epub 2012 Sep 7.
  13. Beneke C, Viljoen A, Hamman J. In Vitro Drug Absorption Enhancement Effects of Aloe vera and Aloe ferox. Sci Pharm. 2012 Jun;80(2):475-86. doi: 10.3797/scipharm.1202-10. Epub 2012 Apr 1.
  14. Ahmadi A. Potential prevention: Aloe vera mouthwash may reduce radiation-induced oral mucositis in head and neck cancer patients. Chin J Integr Med. 2012 Aug;18(8):635-40. doi: 10.1007/s11655-012-1183-y. Epub 2012 Aug 2. Review.

 

 


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The Health Benefits of Cilantro

The Health Benefits of Cilantro | cilantro | Natural Medicine Special Interests

Cilantro and coriander are the names used in the United States to describe two different parts of the same plant, Coriandrum sativum. It’s an annual herb, which means it blooms and must be replanted yearly. Cilantro is used to describe the green, citrus-flavored leaves. Coriander is the common name for the plant’s light brown seeds, which are dried and used as a cooking spice. Exactly what you call, or how you use, this amazing plant varies depending on where you live in the world, but its health benefits remain the same. Cilantro can help cleanse the body of toxic metals, it’s an incredible source of antioxidants, it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, and it has a long history of culinary and therapeutic use.

Cilantro Nutritional Facts

A great source of vitamins and minerals, cilantro should be considered a superfood, or at least a “superherb.” A small amount delivers the full daily value of vitamin A and K and is rich in vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. Cilantro is a great, low-calorie option for those who want to add more nutrients and flavor to their diet. Below is the full nutritional breakdown for 3.5 oz. of raw cilantro leaves.[1]

Vitamins and Minerals Amount Daily Value
Vitamin A equiv. 6748 IU 135%
Thiamine (B1) 0.067 mg 4.5%
Riboflavin (B2) 0.162 mg 9.5%
Niacin (B3) 1.114 mg 5.5%
Vitamin B6 0.149 mg 7.4%
Vitamin C 27 mg 45%
Vitamin E 2.5 mg 8%
Vitamin K 310 μg 387%
Calcium 67 mg 7%
Iron 1.77 mg 10%
Magnesium 26 mg 7%
Manganese 0.426 mg 21%
Phosphorus 48 mg 5%
Potassium 521 mg 15%
Sodium 46 mg 2%
Zinc 0.5 mg 1.6%

Cilantro and Toxic Metal Cleansing

Beyond its nutritional benefits, cilantro is a powerful, cleansing agent that specifically targets toxic metals. We are constantly exposed to toxic metals like aluminum, arsenic, and cadmium. Toxic metals tend to accumulate in the endocrine system, muscle tissue, and even deep within the bones. Once these metals reach dangerous levels, many serious health problems occur. Common side effects of toxic metal exposure include hormone imbalance, oxidative stress from free radicals, and, in extreme cases, impaired organ function. Don’t wait to experience harsh side effects before cleansing your body.

Mercury, for example, can have a devastating effect on your health. Many people who suffer from mercury exposure report feeling more clear headed after consuming large amounts of cilantro over an extended period.[2]

Exposure to lead is also far more common than many people realize and has many adverse effects on the body. In animal studies, cilantro has been observed to protect against lead-induced oxidative stress.[3]

Cilantro helps cleanse the body of toxic metals by supporting the body’s natural detoxification processes. Compounds in cilantro leaf bind to toxic metals and loosen them from affected tissue. This process allows metals to be released from the body naturally. You can access these benefits by consuming the raw leaves or ingesting concentrated extracts. Unfortunately, fresh cilantro goes bad very quickly. If you want to be sure to always have access to its detoxification power, supplements may be a good alternative.

Supplements are an excellent choice when fresh cilantro isn’t available or if you find its taste unpalatable. I recommend Global Healing Center’s own Zeotrex™. Zeotrex is a blend of powerful herbs, including cilantro, which help promote overall health by encouraging detoxification of harmful chemicals and toxic metals.

On that note, it’s a good time to mention that not everyone appreciates the distinctive flavor of cilantro. One explanation for the difference in flavor perception is the absence of a particular gene called OR6A2. The lack of this gene seems to be common in those who report a foul taste.

Additional Benefits of Cilantro

Antioxidant Support

Cilantro has strong antioxidant activity.[4]

Promotes Heart Health

Cilantro may help prevent cardiovascular damage.[5]

Provides a Mood Boost

Cilantro has been shown to promote calm feelings.[6]

Promotes Normal Blood Sugar Levels

Some studies report that cilantro encourages normal blood sugar levels.[7]

Supports Restful Sleep

Cilantro may help improve sleep quality.[8]

Supports Healthy Cells

Coriander seed oil possesses antioxidant properties that may reduce oxidative stress.[9]

Encourages Fungal Balance

Research conducted by The Dental School of Piracicaba in Brazil reported that cilantro oil has potential against an oral form of the candida fungus.[10]

Fights Harmful Organisms

Cilantro has demonstrated neutralizing activity against several types of harmful organisms.[11, 12]

Encourages Brain Health

Cilantro may help support neurological health by discouraging oxidative stress.[13]

Promotes Normal Fluid Balance

Coriander seed encourages normal fluid balance and urine flow.[14]

Supports Bone Health

Vitamin K supports healthy bones, and eating even a small amount of cilantro provides the recommended daily serving of vitamin K.

Nutritional Support for Eye Health

Cilantro contains nutrients, including vitamin A, which support eye health.

Natural Food Preservative

Cilantro leaves and coriander seed are used to produce essential oils that act as natural food preservatives.[15]

Digestive Support

James A. Duke, Ph.D., a former botanist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and author of “The CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs,” has praised cilantro for the way it supports the digestive system. He recommends drinking tea made from the leaves for any form of stomach discomfort. Additionally, cilantro may encourage normal bowel movements.[16]

Tips for Growing Cilantro

Cilantro is easy to grow, and it’s convenient to have fresh cilantro ready to use. Cilantro grows quickly and does not always transfer well, so plan on growing your cilantro from seed. Cilantro leaves stop growing and become bitter after the plant flowers. That is why it’s best to plant your cilantro in spring and fall, avoiding the longer, hotter summer days in-between.

Plant cilantro seeds in well-drained, well-fertilized soil. Choose a spot that gets full sun. Sow several seeds together one-quarter inch into the soil and six to eight inches apart. Water after planting and when the soil is dry to the touch.

Expect to wait three to four weeks before harvesting the cilantro leaves. Leaves can be harvested anytime during the growing process, but you should wait until the plant is at least six inches in height. If you want to harvest the leaves continually, sow new seeds every two to three weeks. Unlike other herbs, cilantro leaves lose most of their flavor when dried, so it’s better to use them fresh. If you need to preserve them, freezing is the best option.

The seeds of the cilantro plant—coriander—require a different approach. The seeds can be used for planting or can be dried and used in a culinary capacity. Wait to harvest the seeds until most have turned brown on the plant. Cut off the stalk a few inches below the seeds. Tie the stalks in bunches and hang them upside down in a brown paper bag. After about five days, the dried seeds should fall from the stalks into the bottom of the bag. You can store the seeds in an airtight, glass container for up to a year. To release the flavors, dry-roast or grind before use.

How to Use Your Cilantro

Cilantro has been used in a variety of ways throughout recorded history. Ancient Greeks used cilantro essential oil as a component of perfume. During medieval times, the Romans used cilantro to mask the smell of rotten meat. Cilantro was also one of the first herbs to come to North America from the British colonies back in 1670. Today, cilantro leaves and coriander seeds are used in many types of cuisine.

The popularity of cilantro is owed to its fantastic flavor and versatility. For those who love cilantro, the possibilities are endless. From salsa and soup to meat or vegan curry, cilantro is a delicious ingredient, garnish, and flavor enhancer. For healthy, vegan recipes with cilantro, check out our organic guacamole or Indian-inspired green lentil salad with spiced carrots.

How do you use cilantro? Do you have a favorite cilantro recipe? Share your experience and leave a comment below.

 

 

 

References (16)
  1. United States Department of Agriculture. “National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release” Web. 10 Jan. 2017.
  2. Omura Y, Beckman SL. Role of mercury (Hg) in resistant infections & effective treatment of Chlamydia trachomatis and Herpes family viral infections (and potential treatment for cancer) by removing localized Hg deposits with Chinese parsley and delivering effective antibiotics using various drug uptake enhancement methods. Acupunct Electrother Res. 1995 Aug-Dec;20(3-4):195-229.
  3. Sharma V, Kansal L, Sharma A. Prophylactic efficacy of Coriandrum sativum (Coriander) on testis of lead-exposed mice. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2010;136(3):337-54.
  4. Park G, Kim HG, Kim YO, Park SH, Kim SY, Oh MS. Coriandrum sativum L. protects human keratinocytes from oxidative stress by regulating oxidative defense systems. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2012;25(2):93-9. doi: 10.1159/000335257. Epub 2012 Feb 1.
  5. Patel DK, Desai SN, Gandhi HP, Devkar RV, Ramachandran AV. Cardio protective effect of Coriandrum sativum L. on isoproterenol induced myocardial necrosis in rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Sep;50(9):3120-5. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2012.06.033.
  6. Mahendra P, Bisht S. Anti-anxiety activity of Coriandrum sativum assessed using different experimental anxiety models. Indian J Pharmacol. 2011 Sep;43(5):574-7. doi: 10.4103/0253-7613.84975.
  7. Aissaoui A, Zizi S, Israili ZH, Lyoussi B. Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of Coriandrum sativum L. in Meriones shawi rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Sep 1;137(1):652-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.06.019. Epub 2011 Jun 28.
  8. Rakhshandeh H, Sadeghnia HR, Ghorbani A. Sleep-prolonging effect of Coriandrum sativum hydro-alcoholic extract in mice. Nat Prod Res. 2012;26(22):2095-8. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2011.613388. Epub 2011 Oct 12.
  9. Deepa B, Anuradha CV. Antioxidant potential of Coriandrum sativum L. seed extract. Indian J Exp Biol. 2011 Jan;49(1):30-8.
  10. Furletti VF, Teixeira IP, Obando-Pereda G, Mardegan RC, Sartoratto A, Figueira GM, Duarte RM, Rehder VL, Duarte MC, Höfling JF. Action of Coriandrum sativum L. Essential Oil upon Oral Candida albicans Biofilm Formation. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:985832. doi: 10.1155/2011/985832. Epub 2011 May 21.
  11. Lixandru BE, Drăcea NO, Dragomirescu CC, Drăgulescu EC, Coldea IL, Anton L, Dobre E, Rovinaru C, Codiţă I. Antimicrobial activity of plant essential oils against bacterial and fungal species involved in food poisoning and/or food decay. Roum Arch Microbiol Immunol. 2010 Oct-Dec;69(4):224-30.
  12. Soares BV, Morais SM, dos Santos Fontenelle RO, Queiroz VA, Vila-Nova NS, Pereira CM, Brito ES, Neto MA, Brito EH, Cavalcante CS, Castelo-Branco DS, Rocha MF. Antifungal activity, toxicity and chemical composition of the essential oil of Coriandrum sativum L. fruits. Molecules. 2012 Jul 11;17(7):8439-48. doi: 10.3390/molecules17078439.
  13. Velaga MK, Yallapragada PR, Williams D, Rajanna S, Bettaiya R. Hydroalcoholic seed extract of Coriandrum sativum (Coriander) alleviates lead-induced oxidative stress in different regions of rat brain. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2014;159(1-3):351-63.
  14. Jabeen Q, Bashir S, Lyoussi B, Gilani AH. Coriander fruit exhibits gut modulatory, blood pressure lowering and diuretic activities. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009;122(1):123-30.
  15. Rezaei M, Karimi F, Shariatifar N, Mohammadpourfard I, Malekabad ES. Antimicrobial Activity of the Essential Oil from the Leaves and Seeds of Coriandrum sativum toward Food-borne Pathogens. West Indian Med J. 2015.
  16. Rahman S, Parvez AK, Islam R, Khan MH. Antibacterial activity of natural spices on multiple drug resistant Escherichia coli isolated from drinking water, Bangladesh. Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob. 2011;10:10.

 

 

 


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10 Impressive Echinacea Benefits to Support Your Health

10 Impressive Echinacea Benefits to Support Your Health | Echinacea-flowers | Natural Medicine Sleuth Journal Special Interests

Echinacea is a powerful and beneficial herb used by people around the world to maintain good health. Every part of the plant, from the roots to the flower petals, is bursting with vital nutrients. With a reputation as a natural cold remedy, many people enjoy echinacea in one form or another, whether as a tea, a supplement, or even the raw plant. Here, we’ll look at ten impressive ways echinacea can support your health.

What Is Echinacea?

A flowering plant native to North America, echinacea has dotted the American landscape in one form or another for hundreds of years. Initially prized by the Native American Sioux Indians as a remedy for snakebites, colic, and infections, it went on to become a wellness staple until the advent of antibiotics. Today, echinacea remains one of America’s most beloved and widely used herbs. Natural cold remedies, cough drops, and organic supplements all cite echinacea as a key ingredient.[1]

Like other herbs, the health benefits of echinacea are owed to its diverse makeup of nutrients, which includes polysaccharides, alkylamides, flavonoids, polyphenols, vitamin C, selenium, and zinc.[2]

10 Health Benefits of Echinacea

Americans spend millions of dollars on echinacea supplements every year to support their health. With a long history of therapeutic use, there is a treasure trove of research to support its popularity.

1. Boosts the Immune System

Echinacea can have a powerful impact on the immune system; over 14 clinical trials have confirmed its ability to encourage good health all year long.[3, 4] Other studies show echinacea to be among the most effective supplements for seasonal wellness.[5]

2. Reduces Redness and Swelling

Systemic swelling, redness, and discomfort in the body can have multiple sources, including an unhealthy diet or strenuous exercise.[6] Consuming echinacea or applying skin care products that contain echinacea essential oil can help reduce and alleviate tissue irritation.[7, 8]

3. Promotes the Health of Cells

Consuming echinacea promotes the health of protective cells in your body. Many of the compounds in echinacea support immune cells and encourage healthy cell growth.[9, 10]

4. Facilitates Oxygen Transport

Echinacea may improve oxygen levels in the blood. Echinacea increases erythropoietin production in the bone marrow, this, in turn, promotes red blood cell production and increases the capacity of the blood to transport oxygen.[11]

5. Supports Oral Health

Echinacea has been evaluated in combination with other herbs like sage and lavender and found to reduce bad breath. It’s believed this effect is partly due to echinacea’s ability to neutralized the harmful organisms that cause bad breath.[12]

6. Alleviates Physical Discomfort

Native Americans used echinacea to reduce aches and pains. Today, research has shown its potential for promoting comfort following surgery.[13]

7. Encourages Normal Skin Health

Echinacea supports a normal complexion by helping to discourage blemishes and irritation.[14] Other studies found that it helps hydrate the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.[15]

8. Promotes Upper Respiratory Health

Echinacea is among the best herbs for supporting upper respiratory health, even in children.[16] One double-blind placebo-controlled study found that air travel passengers who took echinacea tablets before and during a flight experienced fewer respiratory issues.[17]

9. Provides Antioxidants

Echinacea is a source of antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, flavonoids, selenium, and zinc. One study found that a particular echinacea tincture had more antioxidant activity than Gingko biloba.[18]

10. Supports Normal Aging

Although human research is necessary for confirmation, the results of animal studies suggest that echinacea could offer anti-aging potential. In one study, supplemental echinacea was attributed to helping extend the lifespan of aging mice.[19]

Using Echinacea

Echinacea supplements are available in many forms. If you have access to the plant itself, you can make a pure, organic tea which doubles as an incredible home remedy for the flu.

Echinacea Tea

Below is an easy recipe for echinacea tea. Make sure only to use organic or wildcrafted echinacea that’s free of pesticides. For flavor, you can add natural sweeteners like honey, but I prefer it plain.

  1. Heat 8-16 ounces of distilled or filtered water over medium to high heat.
  2. Add a mixture of flowers, roots, and leaves.
  3. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4. Strain and enjoy hot or cold!

Side Effects and Precautions

Echinacea is generally considered safe, however, people who are sensitive to pollen should exercise caution. Echinacea comes from the same family of plants as daisies, marigolds, and ragweed. Some common side effects include dizziness, dry mouth, and mild nausea. While it is a favorite herb taken by many women, more research is needed to determine its safety for expectant or breastfeeding mothers. Before you try echinacea yourself, consult with your trusted health care provider.[20]

Echinacea and Your Health

Have you tried echinacea? What was your experience? Leave a comment below and share your insight with us.

 

 

References (20)
  1. Braun, Lesley, and Marc Cohen. “Herbs and natural supplements: an evidence-based guide.” Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2015. Print.
  2. Miller, Sandra C. “Echinacea: A Miracle Herb against Aging and Cancer? Evidence In Vivo in Mice.” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2.3 (2005): 309–314.
  3. Ross SM. “Echinacea purpurea: A Proprietary Extract of Echinacea purpurea Is Shown to be Safe and Effective in the Prevention of the Common Cold.” Holist Nurs Pract. (2016): :54-57.
  4. UConn News. “Echinacea Could Cut Chances of Catching Common Cold By More Than Half.” June 26, 2007.
  5. Rauš K, Pleschka S, Klein P, Schoop R, Fisher P. “Effect of an Echinacea-Based Hot Drink Versus Oseltamivir in Influenza Treatment: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Double-Dummy, Multicenter, Noninferiority Clinical Trial.” Curr Ther Res Clin Exp. (2015): 66-72.
  6. Zhang, Jun-Ming, and Jianxiong An. “Cytokines, Inflammation and Pain.” International anesthesiology clinics 45.2 (2007): 27–37.
  7. Sharma M, Schoop R, Hudson JB. “Echinacea as an antiinflammatory agent: the influence of physiologically relevant parameters.” Phytother Res. (2009): 863-867.
  8. Yu D, Yuan Y, Jiang L, et al. “Anti-inflammatory effects of essential oil in Echinacea purpurea.” L. Pak J Pharm Sci. (2013): 403-408.
  9. Li Y, Wang Y, Wu Y, et al. “Echinacea pupurea extracts promote murine dendritic cell maturation by activation of JNK, p38 MAPK and NF-κB pathways.” Dev Comp Immunol. (2017): 21-26.
  10. Zhai, Zili et al. “Echinacea Increases Arginase Activity and Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties in RAW 264.7 Macrophage Cells Indicative of Alternative Macrophage Activation.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 122.1 (2009): 76–85.
  11. Whitehead, Malcolm T. “The Use of Echinacea to Improve Oxygen Transport Capacity.” Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy 01.02 (2011).
  12. Sterer N, Nuas S, Mizrahi B, et al. “Oral malodor reduction by a palatal mucoadhesive tablet containing herbal formulation.” J Dent. (2008): 535-539.
  13. Rondanelli M, Riva A, Morazzoni P, et al. “The effect and safety of highly standardized Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia) extract supplementation on inflammation and chronic pain in NSAIDs poor responders. A pilot study in subjects with knee arthrosis.” Nat Prod Res. (2017):1309-1313.
  14. Sharma M, Schoop R, Suter A, Hudson JB. “The potential use of Echinacea in acne: control of Propionibacterium acnes growth and inflammation.” Phytother Res. (2011): 517-521.
  15. Yotsawimonwat S, Rattanadechsakul J, Rattanadechsakul P, Okonogi S. “Skin improvement and stability of Echinacea purpurea dermatological formulations.” Int J Cosmet Sci. (2010): 340-346.
  16. Weber W, Taylor JA, Stoep AV, Weiss NS, Standish LJ, Calabrese C. “Echinacea purpurea for prevention of upper respiratory tract infections in children.” J Altern Complement Med. (2005):1021-1026.
  17. Tiralongo E, Lea RA, Wee SS, Hanna MM, Griffiths LR. “Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of echinacea supplementation in air travelers.” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. (2012).
  18. Masteikova R, Muselik J, Bernatoniene J, Bernatoniene R. “Antioxidative activity of Ginkgo, Echinacea, and Ginseng tinctures.” Medicina (Kaunas). (2007): 306-309.
  19. Miller, Sandra C. “Echinacea: A Miracle Herb against Aging and Cancer? Evidence In Vivo in Mice.” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2.3 (2005): 309–314.
  20. Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallida, Echinacea purpurea).” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2017.

 

 


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Eating Sesame Seeds Superior To Tylenol For Knee Arthritis

Eating Sesame Seeds Superior To Tylenol For Knee Arthritis | sesame-seeds | Natural Medicine

A remarkable study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases confirms that food is not only medicine, but sometimes superior to it. Medical researchers working out of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran, sought to investigate the effects of sesame seed supplementation on clinical signs and symptoms in patients with knee osteoarthritis.[i]

Knee arthritis is a form of degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis localized in the knee, and causes a variety of symptoms including pain, swelling, abnormal bone growth (which can result in bone spurs), disfigured cartilage and loss of motion, and it affects as many as 12.1% of adults aged 60+, according to the CDC.[ii]  Standard therapy involves the use of NSAID drugs, many of which have been linked both to internal bleeding and significantly increased risk of cardiac mortality, which is why the researchers sought out to look for “a complementary treatment to reduce complications and costs.”

The study took fifty patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, and divided them into two 25-patient groups: a sesame group, receiving 40 grams/day of powdered sesame seeds, and a standard drug therapy group, receiving two 500 mg doses of Tylenol twice a day along with 500 mg of glucosamine once daily. After two months of treatment, 22 patients in the sesame intervention group and 23 patients in the control group completed the study.

Eating Sesame Seeds Superior To Tylenol For Knee Arthritis | sesame_benefits | Natural Medicine

Table 1

Considering that treatment was comprised of little over an ounce and one half of sesame seeds, the results were truly remarkable. As presented in Table 1 above, there was a significant difference in pain intensity between the two groups after treatment, with the sesame group seeing the largest drop from 9.5 before treatment to 3.5 after treatment, and the control group seeing a more modest drop from 9 before treatment to 7 after treatment. Additional measurements were taken using both the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) Questionnaire and the Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test. Both tests revealed a similar degree of positive change in both treatment and control groups, when compared to baseline. [See table 2 and table 3 below].

Eating Sesame Seeds Superior To Tylenol For Knee Arthritis | KOOS_score | Natural Medicine

Table 2 [KOOS]

Eating Sesame Seeds Superior To Tylenol For Knee Arthritis | TUG_score | Natural Medicine

Table 3 [TUG]

Taken together, sesame was the clear winner. Not only was this food therapy superior in reducing the intensity of pain, but it was at least equal in effectiveness to Tylenol and glucosamine in both the KOOS and TUG tests. This, of course, was accomplished without the notorious side effects associated with Tylenol; to the contrary, sesame seed has a wide range of side benefits, which we covered recently in our article on sesame’s health benefits.

So, how much is 40 grams of sesame seed? A tablespoon of sesame seeds is approximately 9 grams. So, approximately 4 tablespoons will get you to what the study found to be a ‘clinical dose.’ Also, the researchers powdered the sesame seeds in order to enhance digestion. Remember, it is best to do this fresh with a mortar and pestle (first choice) or coffee grinder, also making sure that your seeds are raw, certified organic, and vetted to have not undergone gamma irradiation.

To truly appreciate the significance of this study, take a look at the growing body of toxicological research indicating that the unintended, adverse health effects of Tylenol (acetaminophen) far outweigh its purported benefits. We recently featured articles on the fact that even only occasional use of Tylenol may raise a child’s asthma risk 540%, and that it may be time for the FDA to remove it from the market.

For additional research on natural and/or integrative interventions for knee osteoarthritis visit our research page on the topic: knee osteoarthritis.


[i] Bina Eftekhar Sadat, Mahdieh Khadem Haghighian, Beitollah Alipoor, Aida Malek Mahdavi, Mohammad Asghari Jafarabadi, Abdolvahab Moghaddam. Effects of sesame seed supplementation on clinical signs and symptoms in patients with knee osteoarthritis.

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Omega-3 Fats Help Overcome Multi-Drug Resistant Cancer

Omega-3 Fats Help Overcome Multi-Drug Resistant Cancer | omega_3_kills_drug_resistant_cancer | Natural Medicine

A new study published in the journal Molecular Cancer has revealed a remarkable new mechanism behind how omega-3 fatty acids may combat the most fearsome disease known to humankind: multi-drug resistant cancer.

Titled, “Omega 3 fatty acids chemosensitize multidrug resistant colon cancer cells by down-regulating cholesterol synthesis and altering detergent resistant membranes composition,”[i] researchers sought out to study the effect of the animal-derived omega 3 fatty acids DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) in both human colon cancer cells sensitive to and resistant to multiple conventional chemotherapeutic agents.

Cancer cells use two proteins known as P-glycoprotein (Pgp) and multidrug resistance related protein 1 (MRP1) to keep chemotherapy agents from entering through its surface membranes. The activity of these two protective proteins is increased by the synthesis of higher amounts of cholesterol.  The researchers theorized that since omega-3 fatty acids are effective in positively modulating cholesterol levels in what are known as ‘dyslipidemic’ syndromes, i.e. unhealthy cholesterol levels and ratios, they may also be of value in preventing or treating colon cancer. Given the growing prevalence of ‘multidrug resistant’ tumors, alternative and/or complementary solutions are gaining increased interest within the medical community.

When the researchers looked closer at the metabolic profile of multidrug resistant cancer cells they found that they exhibited ‘overexpression’ of both drug resistance associated proteins, Pgp and MRP1, as well as ‘dysregulated’ cholesterol metabolism, marked by higher cholesterol synthesis and higher cholesterol content within the cells.

When the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA were applied to the cell cultures, the metabolic profile of these multidrug resistant cells was restored to a state far closer to the non-multidrug resistant colon cancer cells. They observed that the omega 3 fatty acids were incorporated into the membranes of the cells, altering the lipid content of the cellular compartments, as well as reducing both the amount of drug resistance proteins Pgp and MRP1 and their activity. Finally, they found that the proper tumor-immune system recognition in response to chemotherapy was restored within these omega 3 fat treated multidrug resistant cells.

They concluded:

“Our work describes a new biochemical effect of omega 3 PUFAs, which can be useful to overcome chemoresistance in MDR colon cancer cells.”

This study adds to a great wealth of accumulated research on natural ‘chemosensitizing‘ compounds that come from common foods, spices and plant extract which help to overcome the increasingly ineffective chemotherapy standbys that have dominated cancer treatment for the past 40 years, since the war on cancer was officially declared by Richard Nixon in the early 70’s.

If basic food components required in the human diet —  such as essential fatty acids  — can accomplish what no drug in the FDA-approved arsenal of the trillion dollar cancer industry’s pharmacopeia can, then something is terribly wrong with this picture.

The old paradigm, which excludes natural therapies in favor of an exclusively surgery-, radiation- and chemotherapy-based approach to combating cancer is crumbling. Even the establishment’s fundamental definitions of what cancer is are being called into quesiton and dramatically revised, leaving millions questioning if they were misdiagnosed and mistreated in the first place?

Shouldn’t nutrition, in light of new research of this kind, be elevated back to its proper place, perhaps as a first-line treatment for cancers of all stages?  When you consider that hospitals have allowed fast food franchise like McDonald’s to set up shop in their cafeterias, we are still light years away from seeing this vision made reality within the conventional medical establishment. But that doesn’t stop us from taking our health and our nutrition into our own hands, especially considering that the science itself is increasingly pointing to food as medicine as the answer for diseases as recalcitrant as cancer.

For additional support for this approach, take a look at our research page on natural compounds which preliminary research shows can help to overcome multidrug resistant cancer, and which includes familiar food items such as turmeric and paprika. Also, you can delve deeper into the literature on omega-3 fatty acids and their chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic effects on our research page, which have over 250 documented health benefits.

To learn more about this topic take my course, Cancer, Nutrition & Natural Healing.


[i] Giada Gelsomino, Paola A Corsetto, Ivana Campia, Gigliola Montorfano, Joanna Kopecka, Barbara Castella, Elena Gazzano, Dario Ghigo, Angela M Rizzo, Chiara Riganti. Omega 3 fatty acids chemosensitize multidrug resistant colon cancer cells by down-regulating cholesterol synthesis and altering detergent resistant membranes composition.

 

©  May 5, 2017 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.


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Health Benefits of Pascalite Clay

Health Benefits of Pascalite Clay | wyoming-mountains | Natural Medicine Special Interests

Discovered in the early 1930’s in the remote Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, Pascalite Clay is a calcium bentonite white clay. Chemical analysis of Pascalite Clay confirm it contains: silicon, iron, calcium, magnesium, titanium, sodium, chromium, copper, manganese, barium, cobalt, boron, potassium, vanadium, nickel, cadmium, gallium, strontium, phosphorus, and zirconium. The stuff has a number of uses, internally and externally. If you ever get the chance to take a mud bath in pascalite clay, do it – you won’t regret it.

Ideas about Pascalite Clay

Some think of Pascalite Clay as a living rock dust that has a pulsating energy with the unique ability to block negative or noxious energies. Discussions and questions have been raised on whether Pascalite Clay can extract and purge poisons and toxins from a host. The crystalline structural lattice of Pascalite Clay has the ability to store and re-emit energy and according to Harvey C. Lisle, a chemical engineer specializing in biodynamics, placing Pascalite Clay near a television set or microwave will virtually counteract all harmful electromagnetic energy fields emitted from the devices.

Health Benefits of Pascalite Clay

  1. Pascalite Clay is a respected detoxifying agent.
  2. Pascalite Clay is small enough to work like a scrubbing agent in the intestinal mucous membranes, perhaps helping to increase the absorptive surface properties of the intestinal tract and improve digestion.
  3. Microbiological lab analysis indicates Pascalite Clay is sterile and does not encourage growth of Streptococcus, Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and other disease related pathogens.
  4. Pascalite Clay can help alleviate acne, blemishes, and bites and helps develop exceptionally, beautiful skin.
  5. When taken internally, Pascalite Clay acts as a mineral supplement for many naturally occurring minerals in the body. Using this natural clay promotes a synergistic effect to the body which is not fully understood.

Pascalite Clay is affordable and is available as pre-mixed clay masks, poultices, and balm ointments. Genuine pascalite clay from Montana is generally available from quality, local merchants who take great care in what they do. It sounds more appealing than a tube of goo from Face Cream Inc.

If you do or have tried pascalite clay, let us know your experiences in the comments below.


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Coconut Oil Improves Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms

 Coconut Oil Improves Alzheimer's Disease Symptoms | caprylic-acid-coconut-oil | Natural Medicine Special Interests

A new study in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients using dietary supplementation with a unique saturated fat has confirmed earlier research that a non-drug based approach can stabilize and even improve a degenerative disease whose symptoms are usually managed with drugs and not cured.

Published in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment and titled “Retrospective case studies of the efficacy of caprylic triglyceride in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease,” [i]this exploratory study sought to test whether caprylic acid triglycerides  (CT) – a type of fat found naturally in the milk of mammals and a constituent of coconut and palm kernel oil – would improve the condition of mild-to-moderately afflicted AD patients.

The researchers noted that, “The limitations of current pharmacotherapy have prompted interest in diet and dietary supplementation as part of the overall treatment regimen for patients with AD.”

The researchers reviewed the case records of eight patients with extensive monitoring of cognitive function using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and who had received on average 20 grams a day of CT for at least 6 months. The patients were at least 50 years of age, were undergoing conventional drug-based therapy for AD of mild-to-moderate severity (MMSE 14-24).

Caprylic acid is commonly isolated from coconut oil.  One cup (218 grams) contains approximately 16.3 grams, according to NutritionData.com’s coconut oil nutrition facts.  While the prospect of consuming over a cup of coconut oil in order to obtain the 20 gram ‘clinical dose’ used in this study may be unappealing, consider that preclinical research on whole coconut oil, which contains other beneficial medium chain triglycerides, is quite encouraging, and that generally speaking one needs to take less of the whole food complex in order to obtain the kind of therapeutic effect observed in one of its isolated components.

The results of the 8-person case study revealed that 2 patients experienced disease stabilization and 2 saw modest improvement, i.e. the CT actually reversed the disease trajectory, with a reduction in symptoms corresponding directly with the initiation of the dietary intervention.

The researchers concluded:

“Results from this case review study indicated that addition of CT to pharmacotherapy for AD was associated with stable disease or improvement for some patients. In particular, addition of CT seemed to have slowed the rate of decline, as measured by MMSE scores, compared with rates of decline reported in larger longitudinal studies. These findings warrant further investigation in a larger study.”

This study has profound implications for the estimated 5.4 million people in the U.S. diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and who are presently taking a class of drugs (cholinesterase inhibitors and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists) that have been linked to a wide range of side effects including seizures and may fail to outperform basic plant therapies such as turmeric, saffron and ginkgo biloba.

The basic premise behind the use of caprylic acid in Alzheimer’s disease is that it addresses region-specific decreases in cerebral glucose metabolism characteristic of the disease. Caprylic acid releases ketone bodies which can be used as an alternative fuel source by the brain during periods of low glucose availability.  Semi-miraculous recoveries have been reported anecdotally, and even within the peer-reviewed medical literature, a 2004 study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging found near immediate improvements in cognition and memory within 20 Alzheimer’s patients who received a single 40 ml (2.7 tablespoon) dose of medium chain triglycerides. Read our article “MCT Fats Found in Coconut Oil Boost Brain Function In Only One Dose” to learn more.

As we have touched upon recently in an article about ‘The Grain That Damages The Human Brain,’ there is increasing recognition among the medical community that dietary interventions and/or modifications are not of secondary importance in treating brain disorders, but constitute – as Hippocrates once taught – an essential element in treating and even reversing chronic, degenerative conditions that are for the most part refractory to conventional, drug-based treatment.  This new study adds to a now substantial body of data that Thomas Edison was absolutely correct:

“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”


[i] Steven Douglas Maynard, Jeff Gelblum. Retrospective case studies of the efficacy of caprylic triglyceride in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

© May 3, 2017 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.


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