Acne is an inflammatory disorder of the sebaceous (oil) glands, located under the skin. When for some reason glandular activity increases, for example puberty acne may appear, the glands secrete a lot more sebum then normal, if on its way to the surface, the sebum becomes trapped under the skin, the gland breaks, spilling sebum, this irritates the under layers of the skin and some pimple forms. This is how acne begins to affect several body parts, like the face, back, neck or chest.
Oil gets to the surface by traveling up the hair shaft.When the pores become clogged with excess oil and dead cells, the opening narrows; this shuts off oxygen to the pores and encourages bacterial growth, infection and inflammation.
Blackheads arise when trapped oil darkens as it oxidizes (although many people mistakenly believe that this darkening of the pore is cause by dirt). When pores are repeatedly clogged, they enlarge and change the skin's texture.
Acne, although common among teenagers, can occur at any time in life, and can be cause by allergies, high sugar, or diets high in fat. In women Acne can be developed from the use of contraceptives which cause hormone changes.
Some drugs such as, cortisone, or anti epileptics can cause acne as well. In severe cases, it scars and pits the skin.
TIP: Some doctors prescribe a contraceptive pill, for girls suffering of acne, this pill contains a hormone called estrogen, the drug suppresses the
hormonal actions, and produces some dangerous side effects, nausea; vomiting; headaches; weight gain; liver malfunctions.
Acne has become the most treated skin condition in the past few years, due to the mental anguish and the impact to the person's self esteem. People suffering of acne often seek help from a dermatologist who almost immediately prescribes antibiotics, which can cause terrible side effects, for example,Clindamycin can cause colitis which in turn causes among others, bloody stools and in some cases can be fatal.
The only drug proven to work in 90% of cases is isotretinoin however it can cause severe side effects, such as, noses bleed, dry skin, headaches,
joint and muscle pains, the most dangerous are birth defects.
The skin is the largest organ in the body, in charge of several jobs. One of them is to get rid of some toxins and waste through sweating. If the liver and kidneys can't handle the amount of toxins, then the skin takes over and begins discharging the extra waste, this can have an effect on the skin's health, which can cause acne and other disorders.
Take orally and apply directly on the affected area Colloidal silver, it's used as a natural antibiotic.
Take garlic capsules, they boost the immune system and kill the bacteria found in acne.
To help the liver eliminate toxins from the blood, take Burdock root and dandelion which contains inulin. This helps to kill bacteria thus improving the skin.
Take the homeopathic remedies Kali bromatum, Sulphur, Antimonium tartaricum, Herpa sulphuris. These help to prevent the formation of pimples or quickly bring them to a head.
Use Lavender oil to apply directly on the acne area.
Put Tea tree oil on the acne affected skin. This is a natural antibiotic. It will destroy a broad range of invading microorganisms, as effectively as benzol peroxide, but without side effects. It reduces redness, itchiness and stinging.
One thing I recommend the most is to check Chris Gibson web site, this guy has discovered a revolutionary way to cure acne, his track record is very impressive and his before and after pictures are unbelievable click on the link below to visit his website:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a breathing disorder that severely hinders the flow of air to the lungs. Usually seen in smokers (former and current), patients can except to be afflicted by emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Of course, the best method of preventing such a fate is to never smoke to begin with. However, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine has recently published a simple and possible solution for those already suffering from COPD: broccoli.
The John Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore conducted a study that looked at the decrease of NRF2, a protein that protects the lungs against inflammation that occurs in severe cases of COPD. When compared to the tissues of healthy lungs, lungs affected by COPD showed a significant decline in this vital protein in both its concentrations and its activity. This suggests future treatment should stem from this information.
"Future studies should target NRF2 as a novel strategy to increase antioxidant protection in the lungs and test its ability to decrease exacerbations and improve lung function in patients with COPD," said Dr. Shyman Biswal, who led the study.
Until these studies are underway, there is a promising option for those suffering from COPD. Broccoli contains a compound that keeps the NRF2 level stable inside the lungs. With such a simple and accessible treatment, how could anyone with COPD think twice about going for that second helping of broccoli at dinner?
There is even proof that increasing NRF2, as broccoli does, can help to offset other harmful effects of tobacco smoke inhalation. This is due to isothiocyanate compounds, such as sulforaphane, that has been achieved in animals. It is also a natural occurrence in broccoli.
Dr. John Heffner, past president of the American Thoracic Society sees the importance of Biswal and the teamís findings. "This study adds greater precision to our understanding of the specific antioxidants that may protect the lung against (COPD) to allow clinical trials based on valid pathophysiologic principles."
Garlic Is Mother Nature's Pungent Cure-All - The Odoriferous Herb
I don't know about you, but one of my very favorite aromas is garlic wafting through a kitchen, especially when it's in a great tomato sauce or stir fried with some vegetables. Whether it's in a pan with olive oil or roasting in the oven, the smell of garlic sets my appetite on overdrive!
While not everyone shares my predilection for this odoriferous herb, there can be no denying that its appeal extends far beyond its smell or taste.
Time and again, garlic has come through as one of the most versatile healing herbs known to humans.
The value of garlic (Allium sativum) has been recognized since ancient Egypt, when slaves went on strike to increase their garlic rations. In the 1950s, the great Albert Schweitzer, M.D., used garlic in his African clinic to treat dysentery, typhus and cholera.
During the Second World War, garlic was used as a disinfectant for wounds and as protection against gangrene in injured soldiers.
Now, research is showing that it protects against two of the most dreaded diseases of our time: heart disease and cancer.
Some have even argued that since our ancestors ate a diet rich in a variety of plants and herbs now missing in modern diets, we should consider phytonutrient-rich plants such as garlic to be essential nutrients!
I think this is a great idea, and you can easily incorporate into your own personal diet plan just by taking aged garlic supplements.
Garlic is a member of the lily family. Its genus (Allium) also includes onions. When a clove of garlic is crushed or chewed, an odorless sulfur-containing compound, alliin, is transformed to allicin, which gives garlic its characteristic odor. Allicin is the element of garlic that has been most intensively studied and which appears to have the most medicinal value. Allicin naturally breaks down to other compounds, including daily sulfide and ajoene, which are thought to have unique healing effects on the body.
Garlic Keeps Your Blood Vessels Clear
While early studies on the heart-protective effects of garlic showed that garlic supplementation tended to decrease "bad" LDL cholesterol and raise "good" HDL, more recent research has conflicted with those results.
Whether garlic affects blood cholesterol levels or not, it still dramatically reduces the buildup of plaque (the fatty deposits that clog blood vessels) in the arteries.
In one study from the journal Atherosclerosis, 152 subjects had the amount of plaque in two major arteries measured, and then took garlic powder for 48 months. The results showed that the growth of the plaques was slowed by five to 18 percent, and that in some subjects the plaques actually became smaller.
Several studies on non-human subjects show the same trend. It appears that garlic protects the heart by way of its potent antioxidant effects. Oxidized LDL, not just LDL, is what causes plaques to grow. In study after study garlic has shown itself to be a superior preventative against LDL oxidation. Garlic also protects against clogged blood vessels by decreasing the tendency of blood to clump or clot.
Garlic Protects Against Infections Of All Kinds
Whether you want to stave off bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic infections, garlic is good protection. Garlic has been shown in test-tube studies and animal studies to be deadly to Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that causes ulcers, and to the dreaded food-borne bacteria Salmonella, E. coli, Staphylococcus and Listeria.
Bacteria do not develop resistance to garlic - a good reason to favor garlic over antibiotics!
Phytochemicals in garlic are also effective at stopping cold, flu and herpes viruses in their tracks. The growth of Candida albicans, the fungal yeast that causes vaginal yeast infections and intestinal candidiasis, is slowed by garlic. Garlic kills parasites such as Giardia and Entamoeba, both common causes of chronic diarrhea.
Cancer Prevention With Garlic
Studies on gastrointestinal, colon, and breast cancer show that in populations that consume more garlic, cancer risk is significantly lower. It appears that phytochemicals in garlic interfere with the growth of several kinds of cancer cells.
Garlic is also rich in selenium, the cancer-fighting mineral, and in sulfur, which supports the detoxification process. Several studies have shown that carcinogenic chemicals are detoxified more efficiently throughout the body when garlic is added to the mix. It also helps control the production of free radicals, which have been strongly implicated as a cause of cancer.
Can Garlic Prevent "Senior Moments"?
One interesting study in the journal Experimental Gerontology described the effects of garlic extract on learning and memory impairment in aging mice. Mice specially bred to age more rapidly than their normal counterparts were used.
About half of the mice were fed a 2 percent garlic diet for eight to nine months. It was found that the garlic-supplemented mice better retained their ability to learn and remember than their counterparts who didn't consume garlic.
Everyone can benefit from adding fresh garlic to their diets. Cook with it whenever you can. There are also supplemental garlic available. The aged garlic extracts, containing at least 0.6 percent allium, have been the most thoroughly studied.
Abramovitz D, et al, "Allicin-induced decrease in formation of fatty streaks (atherosclerosis) in mice fed a cholesterol-rich diet," Coronary Artery Diseases, 1999 Oct;10(7):515-9.
Ankri S, Mirelman D, "Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic," Microbes and Infection, 1999 Feb;1(2):125-129.
Challier B, Perarnau JM, Viel JF, "Garlic, onion, and cereal fibre as protective factors for breast cancer: a French case-control study," European Journal of Epidemiology, 1998 Dec;14(8):737-47.
Ide N, Lau BH,"Aged garlic extract attenuates intracellular oxidative stress," Phytomedicine, 1999 May;6(2):125-31.
Koscielny J, et al, "The antiatherosclerotic effect of Allium sativum," Atherosclerosis, 1999 May;144(1):237-49.
Kumar M, Berwal JS, "Sensitivity of food pathogens to garlic (Allium sativum)," Journal of Applied Microbiology, 1998 Feb;84(2):213-5.
Munday R, Munday CM, "Low doses of diallyl disulfide, a compound derived from garlic, increase tissue activities of quinone reductase and glutathione transferase in the gastrointestinal tract of the rat," Nutrition and Cancer, 1999;34(1):42-8.
Mishiyama N, Moriguchi T, Saito H, "Beneficial effects of aged garlic extract on learning and memory impairment in the senescence-accelerated mouse," Experimental Gerontology, 1997;32:149-60.
Polasa K, Krishnaswamy K, "Reduction of urinary mutagen excretion in rats fed garlic," Cancer Letters, 1997;114:185-6.
Siegers CP, et al, "The effects of garlic preparations against human tumor cell proliferation," Phytomedicine, 1999 Mar;6(1):7-11.
Singh A, Shukla Y, "Antitumor activity of diallyl sulfide in two-stage mouse skin model of carcinogenesis," Biomedical and Environmental Science, 1998 Sep; 11(3):258-63.
Sivam GP, et al, "Helicobacter pylori--in vitro susceptibility to garlic (Allium sativum) extract," Nutrition and Cancer, 1997;27:118-21.
Steinmetz KA, et al, "Vegetables, fruit, and colon cancer in the Iowa women's health study," American Journal of Epidemiology, 1994;139:1-5.
Takezaki T, et al, "Comparative study of lifestyles of residents in high and low risk areas for gastric cancer risk in Jiangsu Province, China; with special reference to allium vegetables," Journal of Epidemiology, 1999 Nov;9(5):297-305.
Venugopal P, Venogopal T, "Antidermatophytic activity of garlic (Allium sativum) in vitro," International Journal of Dermatology, 1995;34(4):278-9.
Weber ND, et al, "In vitro virucidal effects of Allium sativum (garlic) extract and compounds," Planta Med, 1992 Oct;58(5):417-23.
Yoshida S, et al, "Antifungal activity of ajoene derived from garlic," Applied Environmental Microbiology, 1987 Mar;53(3):615-21.
Echinacea is used by people worldwide for its antibiotic properties.
When taken as a preventive measure a week before traveling, especially on airplanes due to the recirculation of air, Echinacea helps the body to fight off airborne contaminates which cause people to become ill with such conditions as colds, sinusitis and upper respiratory infections.
Echinacea is used as a general nonspecific stimulant to the immune system, supporting and stabilizing cellular immunity and cleansing the blood, for the prevention and treatment of infections.
Herbalists consider Echinacea one of the best blood purifiers and an effective antibiotic. It activates the body's immune system increasing the chances of fighting off any disease. This popular herb has been used to help ward off the common cold and to relieve the symptoms of hay fever.
The Plains Indians used various species of Echinacea to treat poisonous insect and snake bites, toothaches, sore throat, wounds, as well as mumps, smallpox, and measles. The settlers quickly adopted the therapeutic use of the plant, and since that time it has become one of the top selling herbs in the United States. Since the early 1900's hundreds of scientific articles have been written about Echinacea. Most of the research during the past 10 years has focused on the immunostimulant properties of the plant.
It has been shown in animal and human studies to improve the migration of white blood cells to attack foreign microorganisms and toxins in the bloodstream. Research suggests that Echinacea's activity in the blood may have value in the defense of tumor cells.
Echinacea properties may offer benefit for nearly all infectious conditions. Studies show Echinacea prevents the formation of an enzyme which destroys a natural barrier between healthy tissue and damaging organisms. Echinacea is considered an effective therapeutic agent in many infectious conditions including upper respiratory infections, the common cold and sinusitis. The herb is a mild antibiotic that is effective against staph and strep infections.
Echinacea aids in the production of interferon has increases antiviral activity against, influenza (flu), herpes, an inflammation of the skin and mouth. It may reduce the severity of symptoms such as runny nose and sore throat and reduce the duration of illness.
Echinacea's antibacterial properties can stimulate wound healing and are of benefit to skin conditions such as burns, insect bites, ulcers, psoriasis, acne and eczema. Its anti-inflammatory properties may relieve arthritis and lymphatic swelling.
It has also been used in homeopathy treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome, indigestion, gastroenteritis, and weight loss.
Resembling a black-eyed Susan, Echinacea or purple coneflower is a North American perennial that is indigenous to the central plains where it grows on road banks, prairies, fields and in dry, open woods. It is also called snake root because it grows from a thick black root that Indians used to treat snake bites.
The pomegranate is a round fruit about the size of a large orange. It has a smooth, reddish-pink rind that holds hundreds of seeds in a juicy, red pulp. Pomegranate juice is extracted from the seeds of the fruit.
The pomegranate flowers are used to make red dye. The juice is used for the production of grenadine. Because of its high tannin content the rind can be used to tan leather.
Pomegranate juice is high in vitamin C and potassium, and a good source of fiber that is low in calories. It is mainly used as a health drink.
According to the American Dietetic Association, 3.5 oz of 100% Pomegranate juice equals one fruit serving for diabetics.
Most of the phytochemicals are found in the rind of the fruit. The roots and bark are also used.
Pomegranate juice is high in three different types of polyphenols, a potent form of antioxidant. The three types - tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid - are present in many fruits, but Pomegranate juice contains particularly high amounts of all three. As antioxidants, they are credited with helping in the prevention of cancer and heart disease.
Carefully read juice labels and look for products containing 100 percent Pomegranate juice, and not a combination of juices. Contents are listed in order of the largest amounts by weight on the ingredient panel.
Drinking Pomegranate juice is generally safe, the juice can affect how certain medications, including ACE inhibitors and other blood pressure medications, work in your body. It may affect how your body metabolizes a variety of other drugs.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if Pomegranate juice will interact with any medications you're taking. Also because the juice contains high levels of potassium, people who must avoid potassium should not drink Pomegranate juice.
The pomegranate has been traditionally used as medicine in many countries.
Several research publications show that pomegranate is active and helps to maintain good health. There are scientific publications showing that pomegranate and pomegranate components are significant for:
According to a new study, antioxidants contained in Pomegranate juice may help reduce the formation of fatty deposits on artery walls. Antioxidants are compounds that limit cell damage.
In several human clinical trials, the juice of the pomegranate has been found effective in reducing several heart risk factors, including LDL oxidation, macrophage oxidative status, and foam cell formation, all of which are steps in atherosclerosis and heart disease. Pomegranate has been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure.
Pomegranate juice is a mild astringent, used to treat diarrhea, and reduces some fevers.
The root bark is used to treat intestinal parasites, mainly tapeworm. The alkaloids narcotise the tapeworms so they lose their grip to the intestinal wall and are expelled. These alkaloids are also very toxic and should not be used for self-medication.
Pomegranate contains many phytochemicals with antioxidant action, Pomegranate bark contains Punicotannic Acid, Gallic Acid , Mannite, Pelletierine and N-Methylisopelletierine. Pomegrante juice contains Ellagitannins, Pelargonidin, Punicalin, Punicalagin, Anthocyanins, Cyanidin, Ellagic Acid. Ellagic acid has anticarcinogenic, antiatherogenic and antifibrosis activity.
Studies have shown that ellagic acid can suppress UV-induced skin pigmentation when applied topically or when administered orally. Mineka Yoshimura and colleagues have shown in their study "Inhibitory Effect of an Ellagic Acid-Rich Pomegranate Extract on Tyrosinase Activity and UV-induced Pigmentation" (Bioscience, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, 2005) that pomegranate extract has skin-whitening property. This effect was probably caused by the inhibition of proliferation of melanocytes and melanin synthesis.
Inhibition of inflammation
Pomegranate inhibits nuclear transcription factor kappa B (Nf-kappaB) - a key player in induction of inflammatory responses.
Prevention of chemically-induced cancer development (breast, prostate) in various experimental models
Pomegranates inhibit proliferation of breast and prostate cancer cells in vitro.
Pomegranates inhibit metastasis of cancer cells in vitro.
Pomegranates were found helpful during chemotherapy of prostate cancer in humans.
Pomegranate shows anti-angiogenic activity in vitro. These observations indicate rather broad mechanisms of action on cancer cells. From one angle, pomegranate inhibits multiplication of cancer cells in vitro, from another one, cancer cells can not grow in 3D and this result strongly suggests an anti-metastasis effect. In addition, pomegranate inhibits development of microvessels induced by cancer cells and this feature is a key one in the process of tumor mass growth.
The study, sponsored by a pomegranate juice company and presented at a urology meeting, involved 48 men. By drinking 8 ounces of pomegranate juice a day, their PSA doubling time increased to 37 months, compared with 15 months before they began drinking the juice.
"The quicker the doubling time, the faster the spread of the cancer," said co-author Allan Pantuck, an assistant professor of urology at UCLA.
Reducing anti-oxidative stress
Pomegranate inhibits oxidation of LDL, reduces hypertension and reduces common carotid intimamedia thickness in humans. It makes pomegranate well-suited for the prevention and reduction of cardiovascular disease conditions. Other studies report similar results which conclude that pomegranate is potent in the prevention of LDL oxidation and reducing hypertension.
Reducing bacterial, fungal and viral infections
Pomegranate significantly reduces the clinical sign of periodontitis. Other studies show that the growth of Staphylococcus aureus is inhibited by pomegranate.
Pomegranate inhibits candidosis associated with denture stomatitis (a common oral mucosal lesion in the United States and Western Europe).
Pomegranate inhibits entry of the HIV virus into human cells. Substances that are found in the pomegranate binds the virus entity which prevents the virus from invading human cells. This makes pomegranate a powerful ingredient for the development of gel-like products for the prevention of sexually transmitted HIV infection.
Showing neuroprotective activity
Pomegranate prevents and reduces symptoms of hypoxic-ischemic brain damage.
It could be concluded, based on present scientific knowledge, that a variety of the health benefits of pomegranate are due to its combined anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative potency.
Most of the health conditions mentioned above depend on proper oxidative balance within the body and reduced inflammation status as well.
Several oxidized molecules in the body may trigger inflammatory response, for example oxidized LDL. The role of inflammation and antioxidants is well defined in the process of cancer development and progression.
Reduction of bacterial and HIV infections is unlikely related to the anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory potency of pomegranate. It is rather related to another class of compounds capable of binding bacteria or HIV virus, preventing from further spread and propagation within the host body.
Effect of Pomegranate on Cancers
1. Support ellagic acid therapy in patients with hormone refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) on standard chemotherapy using vinorelbine and estramustine phosphate. Falsaperla M, Morgia G, Tartarone A, Ardito R, Romano G. Eur Urol 2005 Apr; 47(4):449-55.
2. Anthocyanin - and hydrolyzable tannin-rich pomegranate fruit extract modulates MAPK and NF-kappaB pathways and inhibits skin tumorigenesis in CD-1 mice. F Afaq, M Saleem, CG Krueger, JD Reed, and H Mukhtar. Int J Cancer 2005; 113(3): 423-33.
3. Breast cancer chemo preventive properties of pomegranate (Punica granatum) fruit extracts in a mouse mammary organ culture. Mehta R, Lansky EP. Eur J Cancer Prev 2004 Aug;13(4):345-8.
4. Possible synergistic prostate cancer suppression by anatomically discrete pomegranate fractions. Lansky EP, Jiang W, Mo H, Bravo L, Froom P, Yu W, Harris NM, Neeman I, Campbell MJ. Invest New Drugs 2005 Jan; 23(1):11-20.
5. Pomegranate extracts potently suppress proliferation, xenograft growth, and invasion of human prostate cancer cells. Albrecht M, Jiang W, Kumi-Diaka J, Lansky EP, Gommersall LM, Patel A, Mansel RE, Neeman I, Geldof AA, Campbell MJ. J Med Food 2004 Fall; 7(3):274-83.
6. Chemo preventive and adjuvant therapeutic potential of pomegranate (Punica granatum) for human breast cancer. Kim ND, Mehta R, Yu W, Neeman I, Livney T, Amichay A, Poirier D, Nicholls P, Kirby A, Jiang W, Mansel R, Ramachandran C, Rabi T, Kaplan B, Lansky E. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2002 Feb; 71(3):203-17.
7. Pomegranate seed oil rich in conjugated linolenic acid suppresses chemically induced colon carcinogenesis in rats. H Kohno, R Suzuki, Y Yasui, M Hosokawa, K Miyashita, and T Tanaka. Cancer Sci 2004; 95(6): 481-6.
Effect of Pomegranate on Inflammation
1. A novel mechanism for the inhibition of NF-kappaB activation in vascular endothelial cells by natural antioxidants. Schubert SY, Neeman I, Resnick N. FASEB J 2002 Dec; 16(14):19313.
2. Anthocyanin and hydrolyzable tannin-rich pomegranate fruit extract modulates MAPK and NF-kappaB pathways and inhibits skin tumorigenesis in CD-1 mice. F Afaq, M Saleem, CG Krueger, JD Reed, and H Mukhtar. Int J Cancer 2005; 113(3): 423-33.
Effect of Pomegranate on Neuroprotection
1. Maternal dietary supplementation with pomegranate juice is neuroprotective in an animal model of neonatal hypoxicischemic brain injury. Loren DJ, Seeram NP, Schulman RN, Holtzman DM. Pediatr Res 2005 Mar 17.
Effect of Pomegranate on LDL Oxidation, Hypertension and Cardiosclerosis
1. Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, Nitecki S, Hoffman A, Dornfeld L, Volkova N, Presser D, Attias J, Liker H, Hayek T. Clin Nutr 2004 Jun; 23(3):423-33.
2. Pomegranate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin converting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure. Aviram M, Dornfeld L. Atherosclerosis 2001 Sep; 158(1):195-8.
3. Pomegranate juice supplementation to atherosclerotic mice reduces macrophage lipid peroxidation, cellular cholesterol accumulation and development of atherosclerosis. Kaplan M, Hayek T, Raz A, Coleman R, Dornfeld L, Vaya J, Aviram M. J Nutr 2001 Aug; 131(8):2082-9.
4. Pomegranate juice consumption reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to LDL, and platelet aggregation: studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Aviram M, Dornfeld L, Rosenblat M, Volkova N, Kaplan M, Coleman R, Hayek T, Presser D, Fuhrman B. Am J Clin Nutr 2000 May; 71(5):1062-76.
5. Pomegranate juice flavonoids inhibit low-density lipoprotein oxidation and cardiovascular diseases: studies in atherosclerotic mice and in humans. Aviram M, Dornfeld L, Kaplan M, Coleman R, Gaitini D, Nitecki S, Hofman A, Rosenblat M, Volkova N, Presser D, Attias J, Hayek T, Fuhrman B. Drugs Exp Clin Res 2002; 28 (2-3):49-62.
6. Antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice and its relationship with phenolic composition and processing. Gil MI, Tomas Barberan FA, Hess-Pierce B, Holcroft DM, Kader AA. J Agric Food Chem 2000 Oct; 48(10):4581-9.
7. Antioxidant activity of selected foodstuffs. Kelawala NS, Ananthanarayan L. Int J Food Sci Nutr 2004 Sep; 55(6):511-6.
Effect of Pomegranate on Microbial Growth
1. Pomegranate extract inhibits Staphylococcus aureus growth and subsequent enterotoxin production. Braga LC, Shupp JW, Cummings C, Jett M, Takahashi JA, Carmo LS, Chartone-Souza E, Nascimento AM. J Ethnopharmacol 2005 Jan 4; 96(1-2):335-9.
2. Punica granatum (Pomegranate) juice provides an HIV-1 entry inhibitor and candidate topical microbicide. Neurath AR, Strick N, Li YY, Debnath AK. BMC Infect Dis 2004 Oct 14; 4(1):41.
3. Antiviral activities of medicinal herbs traditionally used in southern mainland China. Li Y, Ooi LS, Wang H, But PP, Ooi VE. Phytother Res 2004 Sep; 18(9):718-22.
4. Use of Punica granatum as an antifungal agent against candidosis associated with denture stomatitis. Vasconcelos LC, Sampaio MC, Sampaio FC, Higino JS. Mycoses 2003 Jun; 46 (5-6):192-6.
5. Adjunctive periodontal treatment with Centella asiatica and Punica granatum extracts. A preliminary study. Sastravaha G, Yotnuengnit P, Booncong P, Sangtherapitikul P. J Int Acad Periodontol 2003 Oct; 5(4):106-15.
Ginkgo Biloba is one of the oldest and most important herbs, Ginkgo Biloba. After reading the history and benefits of this plant you'll appreciate the true potential of Ginkgo Biloba.
So let's get started !!!
Ginkgo is the oldest living tree, it has seen the rise and fall of dinosaurs, some scientists call it "the living fossil". During the Triassic period it was common in many parts of the world, but it almost vanished completely during the Ice Age, surviving only in Asia. Chinese have use Ginkgo for thousands of years, (as early as 2800 B.C.E.), and it was so important that emperors cultivated the plant as a secret tree within the wall of their temples.
Sadly, in America, medicine and health are a big business so the properties of this tree are not publicized. Europeans have come to rely on Ginkgo extract to treat many illnesses. In Germany and France it's been registered as a drug, and it's one of the most commonly prescribed remedies. In Germany Ginkgo has been authorized for the treatment of a wide array of cerebral problems, ranging from ringing in the ears, to memory loss, anxiety, headaches, dizziness and nervousness. It has been approved to treat circulatory disorders as well. Latest researches done in Germany and France have shown extremely good results using Ginkgo Biloba extract to treat Alzheimer's, even reversing the disease when caught early.
The main property of Ginkgo is its ability to improve circulation to all parts of the body, including the brain, this is believed to be a key benefit to Alzheimer's and stroke patients. By improving blood flow Ginkgo helps the body deliver essential nutrients and oxygen to damaged areas of the body. Ginkgo nourishes blood vessels which decreases the chances of heart attacks and circulatory problems.
Another property of Ginkgo is the ability of fight free radicals. Due to its antioxidant characteristics Ginkgo searches for free radicals attacking them and leaving harmless molecules in their place.
We Need a Change
In the United States millions of people have discovered the powerful benefits of Ginkgo biloba and are turning to it for the relief of many conditions related to aging. Thanks to these advocates, Ginkgo has become the third best selling herb in this country. This has raised the attention of big laboratories; Realizing the importance of capturing part of this growing market, they are starting to investigate and research this tree. Although they have been reluctant to do so, because it is almost impossible to patent something that can be grown on anybody's backyard. However in the future we might see, mass-produced herbal remedies, manufactured by these big labs, and with the complete authorization and support of the FDA. The good news is that herbs like Ginkgo Biloba, will then receive the credit and appreciation they deserve, the bad news is that you should expect a much higher price.
Ginkgo Biloba can be taken in capsules, 120-240 mg daily is the recommended amount, if taking a standardized dose 40 mg 3 times a day should be the proper amount. A tincture can be used and the proper dosage is 10-15 drops 1-3 times a day.
Like many herbs, Ginkgo has no dangerous side effects, it is safe during pregnancy or lactation. However, some anticoagulant drugs are not compatible with Ginkgo and it should be avoided if using drugs like warfarin.
Scientifically termed as momordica charantia and generally known as karela, cerasee, balsam pear and bitter gourd, bitter melon is a vine that can reach up to 6 feet in height. Bitter melon is native to southern Asia and is produced in warm-weather regions worldwide. The primary part of the plant that is used medicinally is the fruit but the vines, seeds and leaves have all been used in herbal medicine as well.
For infections caused by retroviruses, bitter melon serves as a useful agent. Additionally, studies on bitter melon are being performed to determine if the chemicals with it can be used in the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Throughout the world, bitter melon remains a choice among many herbalists to treat diabetes. In folk medicine, the herb also served as treatment for fever, flu and colds and traditionally, it has been used to treat skin diseases, worms, digestive disorders and parasites.
Biter melon improves glucose tolerance and also improves the body's ability to use blood sugar. One animal study suggested that the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas can be renewed and recovered with bitter melon fruit juice.
Bitter melon is used throughout the world as an alternative treatment for diabetes. In clinical laboratory tests, the herb has been shown to reduce rises in blood sugar levels after meals as well as lower fasting blood-sugar levels. Polypeptide-p is a chemical constituent found in bitter melon, which can lower blood-sugar levels in people with type 1 diabetes. While the herb does not serve as a complete replacement for insulin, it can replace some of the insulin injected daily by diabetics because it doesn't stimulate the movement of fat into fat cells like insulin does. In treating type 1 diabetes, polypeptide-p is only effective when injected.
Charantin is another chemical component found in bitter melon that can be effective in type 2 diabetes treatment. It works by stimulating the production of insulin by the pancreas and when compared to a common prescription drug called tolbutamide (Orinase), it is dose for dose more effective. Certain tests also indicate that bitter melon may also reduce oxidative stress caused by diabetes, which can result in LDL cholesterol being converted to atherosclerotic plaques.
Bitter melon extracts are more effective at killing strains of herpes viruses that are not resistant to acyclovir than the well-known prescription drug by two to three fold. In cases of strains that are resistant to acyclovir, bitter melon is 100 to 1,000 times more effective. Bitter melon may also be useful in treating chronic fatigue syndrome as well because the condition is connected to herpes infections.
Bitter melon can easily be found in an Asian food market. It can be taken in whole fruit form or as a momordica extract, juice or tincture. The tincture form should not be used to treat diabetes as that form will not lower blood-sugar levels. For best results in treating diabetes, try supplementing bitter melon with the herb gurmar (gymnema sylvestre).
* Important notes: Those with cirrhosis, hypoglycemia, a history of hepatitis or with HIV/AIDS and a history of liver infection should avoid bitter melon. Pregnant women should not use the herb either. Excessive amounts can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea.
More Health Conditions and Topics
Frank Mangano is a natural health expert and best selling author who teaches you how to dramatically improve your health naturally, without expensive and potentially dangerous prescription drugs.
Do you feel you're being held hostage by the drug companies?
Drug safety is a major concern, reports of serious side effects including death is reason enough to consider making some changes in lifestyle and prescribed or over-the-counter drugs.
Maybe it's time to change over to natural alternatives.
Your health is your responsibility, do a little research on the side effect and possible alternatives for the drugs you're taking.
Don't be afraid to talk to your doctor. Before you get that next prescription filled, talk with your doctor to decide if the risks of the drug outweigh the benefits and about the natural alternative you found that could replace it.
To get started, here are 10 drugs and their clinically proven natural alternatives:
1. Statins vs Red Yeast Rice
Statin drugs like Lipitor, Crestor and Lovastatin are called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, because they reduce cholesterol by inhibiting an enzyme needed for cholesterol production. Side effects include liver and muscle damage.
Red Yeast Rice contains a natural form of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, called monacolins, along with other compounds that help reduce cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health. Studies show that red yeast rice can significantly lower total and LDL cholesterol levels, and triglycerides when used consistently for 8-12 weeks.
Choose a quality product standardized for its active ingredient, not all red yeast rice products are effective.
2. Ibuprofen (NSAID) vs Glucosamine
NSAIDs like Celebrex, aspirin and ibuprofen reduce the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis, but they can irritate and cause damage to your stomach and over time could make osteoarthritis worse by blocking the repair process. They have been found to actually retard the growth of cartilage.
Glucosamine is an amino sugar that is a constituent of cartilage, is comparable to ibuprofen for symptom relief, although it may take 4-8 weeks to work. It also seems to stimulate cartilage-building cells called chondrocytes. People taking glucosamine for up to three years had less knee joint degeneration, less joint space narrowing, and significant symptom improvement when compared with a placebo. Studies suggest that glucosamine may even reduce the risk of osteoarthritis.
3. Ambien vs Melatonin
Ambien can be a great help for people who need it. But like other pills in its class, it creates a dependency; you may end up unable to sleep without it. Also side effects include amnesia, daytime drowsiness, headache and dizziness.
Melatonin is the most studied natural remedy for insomnia. It is a hormone, synthesized in the brain's pineal gland, which regulates the body's sleep patterns. Melatonin production is influenced by day/night cycles. Light inhibits melatonin secretion and darkness stimulates secretion.
Melatonin is useful for older people with insomnia, blind people, jet lag and those in withdrawal from prescription sleep medication. Unlike most prescription sleep aids, melatonin is not habit-forming.
4. Restasis vs Fish Oil
Restasis is the immune-suppressing and inflammation-suppressing drug, cyclosporine, in an eye drop form. It's used for chronic dry eyes, and works by suppressing the inflammation that disrupts tear secretion. Side effects include burning, redness and discharge.
Fish Oil, getting more omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can help dry eyes. Tears contain oil, but if you don't have enough oil in your tears, they don't lubricate well, and they evaporate too fast. Consuming more essential omega-3s makes your tears oilier. Fish oil also reduces inflammation that can interfere with tear production. Plus, fish oil reduces your risk of developing macular degeneration, a common cause of blindness in older people.
5. Neurontin vs Alpha Lipoic Acid
Neurontin (gabapentin) is an anti-seizure drug that's now become popular for all sorts of pain related to nerve damage, including diabetic neuropathy. Side effects include drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, and trouble walking.
Alpha Lipoic Acid is a water and fat-soluble coenzyme, naturally produced in the body, involved in energy metabolism. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant. It's used to improve insulin sensitivity and to treat peripheral neuropathy in people with diabetes. It increases blood flow to nerves, raises levels of antioxidants, and makes nerves conduct signals faster.
In one study, when people were switched from 600 mg a day of alpha lipoic acid to Neurontin, they experienced many more side effects and less pain relief. In a group left untreated, 73% developed neuropathic symptoms two weeks after stopping alpha lipoic acid treatment. The authors of this study concluded that alpha lipoic acid is "an effective, safe, and cost-effective treatment option for the majority of patients with diabetic polyneuropathy."
6. Fosamax vs Calcium and Vitamin D
Fosamax (alendronate) is an osteoporosis drug called a bisphosphonate. It works by inhibiting the work of osteoclasts, bone cells that break down and remove old bone. It has a long list of possible side effects, including stomach ulcers and osteoneocrosis, or death of the jaw bone, resulting in tooth loss, pain and infection.
Calcium and Vitamin D can help prevent your bones from reaching the point where you need Fosamax. Long-term calcium supplementation decreases primary fracture rates by 30% to 35% for vertebral bone and 25% for hip bone. It is estimated that 30 years of continuous calcium supplementation after menopause might result in a 10% improvement in bone mineral density, and a 50% overall reduction in fracture rates, compared with women who do not take calcium supplements.
Vitamin D is just as vital. Its major functions are to maintain serum calcium within a normal range, enhance intestinal absorption of calcium and stimulate stem cells to become new bone-building osteoblasts.
7. Prozac vs. Fish Oil
Prozac is a popular antidepressant, a SSRI (serotonin reuptake inhibitor), which means it helps to keep the "happy" neurotransmitter, serotonin, floating around in your brain longer.
Fish Oil is a win-win for anyone with depression, because it can work by itself for some people, and it can safely help antidepressants work better. It gets incorporated into cell membranes, making them more fluid and responsive to the neurotransmitters that latch on to the cells' receptor sites. Population studies show that people who eat more fish have a lower risk of depression and suicide.
8. Donnatal vs Peppermint Oil
Donnatal is used for treating irritable bowel syndrome and intestinal inflammation in combination with other medicines. It may also be used along with other medicines to treat intestinal ulcers.
It is an anti-spasmodic, so it relieves pain and cramping. Side effects include constipation, decreased sweating dizziness, drowsiness and dry mouth.
Peppermint Oil has long been used to soothe irritable stomachs. It decreases gastrointestinal smooth muscle spasms, reduces abdominal pain, flatulence, and decreases diarrhea in 70% to 80% of patients. People with irritable bowel syndrome also find relief by increasing their intake of soluble fiber, and using probiotics for bloating and abdominal pain.
9. Benadryl vs Quercetin
Benadryl is a brand name for diphenhydramine, an antihistamine used to treat hay fever and other nasal allergies. It works by blocking receptor sites for histamine, the biochemical that causes the runny nose and scratchy eyes. These receptor sites are found on the cells in your nose, eyes and lungs. The drug's main side effect is sleepiness. In fact, it is also used in over-the-counter sleep aids.
Quercetin is a compound found in many plants. It is considered a natural antihistamine, because it can inhibit release of histamine from certain immune cells. Evidence suggests that quercetin inhibits antigen-stimulated histamine release from mast cells of patients with hay fever. It's also a powerful anti-inflammatory.
10. Glucophage vs Cinnamon
Glucophage (metformin) is a diabetes drug that increases insulin sensitivity. It improves the sensitivity of insulin receptor sites on cells, making it easier for them to "pick up" insulin. This lowers blood glucose levels. Most common side effects include indigestion, headache and diarrhea.
Research suggests that Cinnamon also improves insulin sensitivity, by making receptor sites on cells "pick up" insulin better. One type of cinnamon in particular, Cassia Cinnamon, can lower fasting blood glucose by 18% to 30%. Researchers have also found that taking cinnamon extract can lead to significant increases in lean body mass and a reduction in overall body fat. Cinnamon also has antioxidant properties that can fight aging and help your heart.
Thyme has many herbal medicinal qualities long overlooked. Read on to find out what and why.
Thyme has been used in kitchens throughout the world for centuries and more to flavor stews and mix with roast potatoes. It is a widely used and popular herb found in nearly every kitchen cabinet. It is easy to obtain and relatively inexpensive to purchase fresh or dried. This wonderfully fragrant herb has many uses in the kitchen, but the ones that I wish to discuss here are the ones that most people overlook or never knew of in the first place.
Thyme is derrived from a Greek word meaning courage. The roman soldiers of long ago would bathe in it to invigorate themselves for battle, and the ladies of yore would sew sprigs of the herb into the vests of their errant knights as a token of good luck. The Egyptians used it in their infamous ceremonies as an ingredient in their embalming fluids; it is known to be both a preservative and an antifungal agent.
One of the most useful factors of this herb is its antiseptic qualities. Used as a tea bag and warmed it can cure styes, and greatly aid pink eye or conjunctivitus. The combination of the soothing warmth of the tea bags and the drawing qualities of the herb add up to pure relief when used in this manner.
If you grow it as a fresh herb in your garden it can be crushed and used to clean cuts and scrapes, giving you an immediate garden antiseptic remedy. These qualities have ben proven by laboratory tests and these tests have shown that it does in FACT destroy many forms of fungus and disease causing bacteria. If drank as a tea or eaten raw it can help gastroenteritis greatly, too. Because of its antispasmodic qualities it is also of great relief to women suffering from cramps during their monthly periods.
Used as a tea it can relive both hangovers and also most herbalists recommend it as a digestive aid or tonic. Finally, it is a great cough remedy. Many herbalists recommend its usage for whooping cough, cold, and for sore throats. It is a plant that attracts bees easily and the honey produced by these thyme bees can be readily found in most good supermarkets. This honey plus the teas, that was mentioned before, are the best remedies available for these ailments.
There are many reasons as to why chia seeds are said to be healthy and nutritious. The seeds are very low in cholesterol and sodium. So they are considered good for health.
They are easy to digest (easier to digest than flax seeds which require grinding) and they contain more nutrients than flax seeds or salmon.
Chia seeds are a good source of calcium and phosphorus, and a very good source of dietary fiber and manganese. The seeds are packed with protein, complex carbohydrates (good carbs), essential fats, various vitamins like B vitamins and minerals like calcium, copper, zinc, etc.
They are high in antioxidants which strengthen the immune system and keep you disease-free.
The seeds provide energy to both mind and body.
Chia Seeds Benefits
Chia seeds are extremely high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium which make them highly nutritious for daily consumption. Apart from this, chia seeds also contain proteins along with different vitamins and minerals.
All these nutrients present in the chia seeds make it worth consuming by people of all age groups, especially, those who suffer from nutritional deficiencies.
Apart from being nutritious, chia seeds are associated with many other health benefits.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Being rich in essential fatty acids, chia seeds reduces high blood pressure and is best for cardiovascular health.
Chia seeds health benefits for diabetics have an ability to stabilize blood sugar levels.
The anti-inflammatory properties of chia seeds are beneficial for arthritic patients. It has been found to be effective in reducing the pain and inflammation, associated with the condition.
Chia seeds boost metabolism and also promotes lean muscle mass. It is one of those foods, which is rich nutrients and is filling, but is low in calories. So, chia seeds are used for weight loss and weight maintenance programs.
One of the most important chia seeds health benefits is that they help in improving the function of the brain. The essential fatty acids promote efficient nerve transmission.Chia seeds are known to increase the energy production in the body. The energy produced by these seeds lasts longer allowing one to perform day-to-day tasks without getting tired and stressed.
They also provide one with stamina and endurance with regular consumption. So people with physically active lifestyle can be benefited from these seeds.
The omega-3 fatty acids in the chia seeds also help you maintain the health of your heart as omega-3 fatty acids are good for body as well as the heart. It is also one of the highest vegetable source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for better absorption of fat soluble vitamins, such as, vitamin A, vitamin d, vitamin E, and vitamin K, etc.
The protein and calcium content in chia seeds also help you build muscles and strengthen the bones and hence gifting you with a great physique if combined with regular exercise regimen.
The antioxidants along with minerals and vitamins keep you youthful and improve the condition of your hair and skin making you look younger.
Once soaked in water, these seeds can also be beneficial for those trying to lose weight as the soluble fiber in the chia seeds makes one feel full faster thus controlling the excessive food intake and cravings for fatty foods.
Eating water soaked chia seeds is also known to cleanse the digestive system by eliminating junk build up from the intestines. It also helps you get rid of toxins in the digestive tract.
Another advantage of consuming chia seeds is that they are easily digestible due to fiber content and helps you maintain a smooth digestive system.
Chia seeds absorb a lot of water and hence after consumption they help a person keep well hydrated for longer by retaining the electrolytes present in the body fluids.
Chia seeds do not have a very strong taste unlike other seeds, such as flax seeds, which is why they can be easily used in various recipes without damaging the original taste.
These seeds are so versatile that you can use them in different recipes. You can sprinkle them on salads as seasonings, spread them on your bread mixed with butter, add to your ice creams, milk shakes, sherbets, muffins, pastas, noodles, pizza, and cakes, etc.
Chia seeds are much healthier than flax seeds and do not go rancid. Also, gram per gram, there is more fiber, protein omega 3's and antioxidants than flax. The best chia seeds are called Mila.
In short, chia seeds are highly concentrated on various nutrition which makes it top the list of wholesome foods packed with multi-nutrients.
Eating two spoonful chia seeds every day in any form can help you stay healthy and fit. But it is advisable to consult your doctor before you include chia seed in your diet as few people have encountered various side effects of chia seeds, such as, gastrointestinal problems, allergies, and blood pressure disorders.
Pregnant and lactating mother, people under medication, and unwell patients, etc., should strictly consult their doctor before making it a part of the daily diet.
But if chia seeds suit your system then you can add them to your recipes, be it fruit juice, sandwich, or green salad, and it is sure to provide you with great health and vitality improving your immune system.
Chia Seeds Side Effects
Organic chia seeds are usually magnificent storehouses of antioxidants, proteins, fibers, and various flavonoids. They have been given the recognition of being a food item by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of USA and has also definitively been given the stamp that it has no poisonous tendencies at all. Even the American Heart Association (AHA) has proclaimed that coronary heart patients should ingest chia seeds daily, in public interest, seconded by a University of Toronto study.
But in spite of all this, fact remains that not enough studies have been conducted on these tiny, oval, mottled seeds and, therefore, both the benefits and side effects of these seeds are yet to be fully known.
Previous observation and limited study has enabled some experts to note some chia seeds side effects.
A few people have complained about gastrointestinal disruptions, such as formation of gas and bloated feeling after ingesting chia seeds. The American Dietetic Association attributes this to chia's high fiber content (25%).
Chia seeds and its constituents do act as allergens in case of certain individuals, as also pointed out by the European Food Safety Authority. Some people break into reactions when coming into contact with chia protein. Such people are advised to keep away from the seeds. Also it is better if you check for mustard and mustard seed allergies and keep away from chia seeds even in that case.
Homer Hartage, Chief of Nuchia Foods Corporation says that, "Because chia seeds contains omega-3s, which can thin the blood, if you are taking blood thinners, planning surgery or on an aspirin regimen, it is recommended that you consult a doctor prior to use." This effectively means that even haemophiliacs should keep away from chia seeds.
Chia contains a lot of alpha-linolenic acid. Some research suggests that large amounts of alpha-linolenic acid in the diet might increase the chance of getting prostatecancer. If you have prostate cancer or have a high risk of getting it, avoid eating large amounts of chia.
A research done by the St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada has indicated that chia seeds are potentially capable of lowering diastolic blood pressure to alarming levels. So, low blood pressure patients should steer clear of it.
Chia should be consumed in short phases followed by break periods as some cases have shown people getting addicted to it.
Pregnant and lactating mothers should keep away from chia seeds as not enough researches have been conducted to check for its effects on them.
A super storehouse of vitamin B17, consumption of chia seeds and B17 supplements during the same time period may lead to a phytonutrient overdose.
These are some possible chia seeds side effects that one may have to worry about. However, if you stick to the dosage recommended for chia seeds, you may be able to avert them.
Stick to the following dosages after verifying with your doctor.
Adult - 15 grams (2 tbsp.) of chia seeds daily.
For cardiovascular shielding - 33 to 41 grams of blended chia seeds for 3 months daily.
Minors (5 to 18 years) - 1.4 to 4.3 grams of chia seeds daily. Ideally 1 tablespoon for children below 10.
Chia seeds health benefits are truly many in number and can be reaped optimally if taken with care and a little discretion is practiced.
Never consume any natural product without the guidance of a doctor. The advice doesn't change for chia seeds as well. If you happen to be taking medicinal drugs for cancer, blood thinning, blood pressure or may be on other supplements, take special care and DO NOT take chia seeds without proper medical advice.
Some people may also be allergic to chia seeds, owing to its high protein content. Allergic reactions usually include watery eyes, diarrhea, and/or skin eruptions. Consult a doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms after consuming chia seeds. These seeds will only help your health conditions if you do not play with dosages and make an effort to keep chia seeds side effects at bay.