Acetic acid is the formal, chemical name for the component in vinegar that gives it the characteristically sour taste and health benefits. Acetic acid is a compound that gives a sour taste to vinegar as well as pickles and sourdough bread.
Promotes Shiny Hair
The use of apple cider vinegar as a hair tonic is extremely popular as it yields brilliant results for stronger, shinier, silkier, and, especially, hair that’s dyed or treated. This makes your hair stronger, shinier, and less prone to breakage.
Maintains Energy Levels
Apple cider vinegar helps you manage and balance your energy levels by controlling blood sugar levels, helping you maintain your energy in a controlled and even way. Apple cider vinegar is believed to help control blood sugar levels by a few mechanisms, one of which is that it improves the uptake of blood sugar from the blood and delivers it into the body’s cells.
Cancels out Carbs
For all of us looking to cut down on carbs and work towards weight loss, apple cider vinegar can help. It cancels out some of the carbs we eat and reduces the glycemic impact of these carbs on blood sugar levels. and reduce blood sugar after eating carbohydrate by 34%. Taking 2 tablespoons of vinegar before bedtime can reduce fasting blood sugar by 4%.
Helps You Lose Weight
As mentioned above, apple cider vinegar can help manage your insulin and blood sugar levels, give you more energy, and cancel out carbs eaten; it can also help you with weight lo
Apple cider vinegar is a natural antifungal that contains enzymes, which can regulate the levels of candida in your body. For all of its anti-candida benefits to be effective, it’s useful to take apple cider vinegar internally. It may either be dissolved in water as a drink, or incorporated into food by being used in the cooking process or even as a salad dressing. Fortunately, apple cider vinegar also makes a delicious addition to a meal.
Alkalizes Your Body
Our bodies function best when there is a slight alkaline pH balance in them; however, fast food, alcohol, and late nights can result in creating an acidic effect in the body. Apple cider vinegar helps to restore the body’s most beneficial acid-alkaline pH balance. It does so by producing a slight alkaline environment where the enzymes and chemical reactions that occur within the body can function properly.
Apple cider vinegar can work wonders on your face and body as a toner and correct imperfections. The surface of the skin is naturally acidic at a pH of 5.5, but harsh soaps, chemicals, and cosmetics can upset this balance causing breakouts, skin dullness, and inflammation. The natural anti-bacterial and anti-microbial effect of apple cider vinegar helps to remove bacteria, dirt, makeup, and dead skin cells from your skin. Meanwhile, the acidity of the apple cider vinegar helps to contribute to replenishing the natural pH of the skin.
Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a dangerous condition affecting thousands of people and can increase the risk of serious complications from heart diseases like heart attack. While medical help is necessary to properly manage high blood pressure, reducing weight, eating healthy food, and exercising also plays an important role. Apple cider vinegar can help reach these goals by decreasing the absorption of carbs, which can help prevent excess fat storage, and by providing the body with more energy for activity and exercise.
Promotes Stronger Bones
The alkalizing power of apple cider vinegar has widespread health benefits for your body, one of these being the help of maintaining calcium balance in the bones, which preserves their strength and integrity. When the body’s pH is imbalanced, calcium can leach out of the bones and into the bloodstream; this can lead to conditions such as osteoporosis and osteopenia (one weakening). In time, these conditions can lead to a hunched back and an increased risk of bone fracture.
Improves Heart Health
It is clear that apple cider can have widespread systemic beneficial effects throughout the body by alkalizing it and working against harmful yeasts, bacteria, and viruses that can cause disease and dysfunction in the body. As previously discussed, apple cider vinegar can assist in lowering and managing blood sugar levels, decreasing blood fats and triglycerides, reducing blood pressure, and managing weight. All these factors combined suggest that apple cider vinegar helps to promote a healthy heart and blood vessel systems and reduce risk of heart disease and heart attack.
Gives Your Muscles More Energy
Everyone would like to meet their daily physical demands with more energy and vigor; this is even more important for athletes or gym junkies who prioritize having their muscles in peak condition. Acetic acid, the active compound in apple cider vinegar, can help ease muscle aches and pains when applied topically to the skin. Apple cider vinegar mixed with water can also serve as an energy drink since it helps glucose (blood sugar), the body’s major source of fuel, to be absorbed into the muscles.
Apple cider vinegar is an extremely useful and powerful vinegar for health; it is safe, natural, and effective to be used both internally and externally on the body. Apple cider has beneficial effects on blood sugar, body weight, and heart health. Due to its anti-microbial and alkalizing properties, apple cider should be taken in a small amount of approximately 1 tablespoon dissolved in water everyday for optimum health and well-being.
Arjuna tree bark (Latin Name: Terminalia arjuna Wight & Arn.) is a cardioprotective botanical used in Ayurveda (East Indian traditional medicine) since 2500 B.C. It has remarkable cardioprotective, heart muscle strengthening properties.
1. Arjuna bark powder is rich in saponnins, natural anti-oxidants (flavonoids) gallic acid, ellagic acid, oligomeric proanthocyanidins, phytosterols, and minerals including calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper.
2. Regular use of arjuna improves the pumping activity of heart, which makes it very useful for heart weakness and congestive heart failure.
3. Arjuna improves cardiac muscle strength
4. It decrease in LDL cholesterol levels. Arjuna’s ability to suppress the blood’s absorption of lipids indicates that it has cholesterol-regulating properties. Its principle constituents are §-sitosterol, ellagic acid and arjunic acid.
5. Arjuna bark is rich in Co-enzyme Q-10 which prevents incident of heart attacks.
6. Arjuna also has a tonic and diuretic effects that benefit cirrhosis of the liver.
7. It induces a drug-dependent decrease in blood pressure and heart rate.
8. The bark of Arjuna is useful as an anti-ischemic and cardioprotective agent in hypertension and in ischemic heart disease, especially in disturbed cardiac rhythm, angina or myocardial infarction.
9. Arjuna helps maintain a healthy heart and reduces the effects of stress and nervousness.
10. Arjuna enhances prostaglandins and lowers risk of coronary heart trouble.
11. Arjuna can relieve symptomatic complaints of essential hypertension such as giddiness, insomnia, lassitude, headache and the inability to concentrate.
12. In a study on the efficacy of the bark powder in treating congestive cardiac failure (CCF), over 40% of the cases showed marked improvement. CCF due to congenital anomaly of heart and valve disease was also brought under control. 4 out of 9 cases of CCF due to chronic bronchitis were also relieved by the treatment.
Ashwagandha, also known as Withania Somnifera or Siberian Ginseng, is a powerful adaptogen traditionally used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. It’s been used for thousands of years as a “wonder herb” known to treat an extremely wide variety of ailments. The best Indian and Chinese doctors of thousands of years ago knew very well of the benefits of ashwagandha, but the herb and other adaptogens have only really been studied scientifically in the west since the 1940′s.
International scientists were very curious as to why people in Siberia lived such long and healthy lives with very little stress. Thousands of studies on over half a million people were conducted on Ashwagandha. It proved to boost energy when needed, calm nerves when a person was experiencing feelings of anxiety, improve mood, sexual vitality, and a lot more (See below).
Ashwagandha’s popularity in the west has been accelerating during the last few decades, and particularly during the past couple of years. Well-respected international scientists have been performing hundreds of double blind studies on ashwagandha in the past few years alone, finally proving the true benefits of ashwagandha in the scientific community.
A lot more research is currently underway and the results look extremely promising. The quality of the world’s best ashwagandha is also getting far better, as organic growing, and better cultivation and extraction processes have improved tremendously. See below for more info on choosing superior quality ashwagandha.
What is an adaptogen?
Ashwagandha is an extremely powerful and versatile adaptogen. In a nutshell, an adaptogen is a class of herbs which work holistically on the entire body to bring it back to homeostasis and help it function efficiently. An adaptogen must also possess several properties: It must be completely non-toxic, be non-specific in its action – meaning that it acts on the whole body rather than on a specific organ or location, and help restore homeostasis.
It can provide energy to a person feeling sluggish. It can have a calming effect on a person’s nerves when they are tense and anxious. It can help someone sleep at night if they are in need of a good sleep. It can help someone with a foggy mind focus more clearly and concentrate.
The body is designed to function very well, much better than most of us today experience, and Ashwagandha helps to restore the body and bring it back to its healthiest state.
Adaptogens have been important for thousands of years, but they are probably more important now than ever as humans are so out-of-whack in today’s stressful modern society. We don’t sleep enough, we’re too stressed, we eat too much sugar, we multi-task, we consume far too many toxins… Cancer rates are through the roof as are a myriad of degenerative genetic disorders. In many ways, we’re far worse off than our ancient ancestors in terms of our hormone levels and balance. Adaptogens, specifically ashwagandha, can help us attain the health and vitality we are capable of.
How does Ashwagandha work?
Ashwagandha’s mechanisms of action are difficult to explain in western scientific terms because the plant contains so many active ingredients and works on so many natural systems simultaneously. The generally sited active ingredients in ashwagandha are a class of compounds called “withanolides”. These include withaferins, alkaloids, saponins, and steroidal lactones among many more. These active ingredients are mainly concentrated in the “root”.
Ashwagandha helps to regulate neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. It is a wonderful herb to take both on its own and in combination with other herbs to get a “multiplier effect”. It is also incredibly non-toxic. Of course, it’s always wise to check with a health care practitioner when mixing with medications or combining herbs.
One major mechanism of action for ashwagandha is in its ability to decrease stress levels by substantially reducing levels of the body’s stress hormone, cortisol.
It’s also important to note that the type of ashwagandha you use matters greatly. Ashwagandha is the name of a plant, but the supplements on the market are not simply the same plant dried, ground up, and put in capsules. There are different species of ashwagandha – some much better than others. The climate of growth matters a lot, whether or not it is organically grown, the extraction procedure, and the concentration, type, and quality of the active ingredients.
It also is of great concern what type of capsules the herb is placed in, what non-medicinal ingredients are included, and how fresh the brand has attained the herb.
We’ve done exhaustive research on the best quality organic ashwagandha, and we’ve done the best possible job at sourcing, storing, and encapsulating it in its purest and most potent form.
Sorts of Ashwagandha
The quality of the ashwagandha you use is unbelievably important. Please don’t make the mistake of buying an ashwagandha supplement with only the knowledge that you need “ashwagandha”. This would be akin to trying to buy good red wine or vodka in a restaurant or bar and only knowing the words “red wine” and “vodka”, and then just assuming that the qualities are all the same. They are not, and the differences with ashwagandha are even greater.
We’ve researched everything on ashwagandha. Here is what needs to be considered in a quality supplement:
What are the benefits of Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha has some of the most impressive and the widest range of health benefits of any herb we’ve ever come across. Here we’ll list all of the scientifically studied health benefits of ashwagandha and include a few basic details.
One of the most important benefits of ashwagandha lies in its stress reducing properties. And the “stress” ashwagandha helps to reduce is all types of stress – physical, mental, emotional, from the environment, etc.
Ashwagandha significantly reduces the blood levels of cortisol, the body’s main stress hormone. Cortisol is released when a person encounters any type of stress – a punch in the face, a long workout, an argument with a spouse, an illness, an upcoming exam, a lack of sleep… Any type of stress. Cortisol does indeed have its function and purpose, but people’s stress responses are far too high in general and we need to lower them dramatically. We aren’t getting chased around by tigers all day now, but our hormones still act as if we are!
By blocking cortisol, ashwagandha allows us to handle stress much more easily, recover faster from it, and live healthier and with more vitality. These stress reducing/cortisol blocking effects also help with all of the conditions below.
Ashwagandha is quickly becoming well-known as one of the best natural supplements for reducing anxiety. There have been impressive double blind tests showing ashwagandha works at least as well as well-known anti-anxiety pharmaceutical medications, and without the side-effects.
This is a direct quote from Wikipedia –
Ashwagandha has been demonstrated to be as effective as some tranquilizers and antidepressant drugs. Specifically, oral administration of Ashwagandha for five days suggested anxiety-relieving effects similar to those achieved by the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam (Ativan®), and antidepressant effects similar to those of the prescription antidepressant drug imipramine (Tofranil®)
Aphrodisiac – Sexual Enhancer in both men and women – libido and performance
Ashwagandha has a several thousand year history as a powerful aphrodisiac in both Indian ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. The current scientific research on the topic shows clearly that ashwagandha is great for both men and women to take in order to boost sexual function in a variety of ways.
As an adaptogen, ashwagandha works equally well, but differently, in both men and women.
In men, ashwagandha has been scientifically proven to increase testosterone levels significantly. It also increases sexual arousal, libido, stamina, and both semen quantity and quality. It also helps by reducing anxiety, which indirectly helps libido and interest in sex. There is evidence that it helps with the problem of premature ejaculation.
In women, ashwagandha increases libido, lubrication, sexual satisfaction, and orgasm quality and quantity. The anti-anxiety effects of ashwagandha help put women “in the mood” more often as well. This has an extra indirect effect on all of the above benefits for ashwagandha and women.
Ashwagandha decreases inflammation. There are many scientific studies all backing this claim. The mechanisms for decreasing inflammation as far as ashwagandha supplementation is concerned are not totally understood yet, but the cortisol reducing properties may be largely responsible. Cortisol, when released in small and “normal” levels, is actually a good thing. It can help to reduce inflammation and prime the body to deal with the major stressors that life throws at us. But our cortisol levels are often way too high in the modern world. We need to reduce them and bring them to a balanced state for optimal health.
Inflammation is becoming ever-more known for causing all kinds of diseases from cancer to arthritis to migraines. Many experts believe that high inflammation is at the major root of all chronic health conditions. Lowering inflammation is key to a long and healthy life.
There is very promising research showing ashwagandha’s anti-cancer properties. The anti-cancer properties work via many different mechanisms and in different ways. With something like cancer, its very difficult to study “scientifically” since it’s practically impossible to have a control group and an experimental group. So we need to view this problem through lab and animal studies rather than double blind human studies. Regardless, the results are promising and interesting.
Several animal and laboratory studies have shown that certain active ingredients in ashwagandha slow the growth of many different cancer cells.
Withaferin A is one particular withanaloid in ashwagandha extract which has the strongest anti-cancer properties, but at least 10 different compounds in ashwagandha have been shown to be beneficial in various ways with regards to cancer.
The compounds in ashwagandha extract work on various mechanisms as a powerful anti-cancer agent.
It is a powerful anti-oxidant, which protects normal cells from becoming cancerous. It helps make chemotherapy drugs work more effectively. It specifically can target and kill certain cancer cells while leaving normal cells intact. It stops or significantly reduces angiogenesis, which is the creation of new blood vessels that help aide the growth and spread of cancer cells.
Ashwagandha can be beneficial for severe and acute opiate withdrawal. This includes people looking to stop dependence on heroin, morphine, oxycontin, codeine, vicodin, Percocet… Ashwagandha can aide with the protection and regeneration of neurons as well as prevent the loss of dopaminergic activity generally associated with opiate withdrawal.
Ashwagandha has also been shown to act as a strong anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) drug such as the benzodiazepines Valium and Xanax. It could potentially help patients gradually reduce their dosages and ultimately dependence on these benzos.
Check with your doctor before experimenting or starting your own drug withdrawal programs to ensure safety.
Ashwagandha has been shown to be a very powerful and effective natural sleep aid. People worldwide have used it successfully for this purpose for thousands of years. Being a powerful adaptogen, ashwagandha won’t put a well-rested person right to sleep when taken during the day, but it will help a person who needs a good night’s sleep to actually fall asleep and stay asleep. So it’s much different than a typical “sleeping pill” in this sense, and for the right people, it’s a lot better too.
Many people with various severities of insomnia love using ashwagandha to help with their sleep duration and quality.
Ashwagandha works to reduce anxiety as well as the stress hormone cortisol. These 2 functions help people in need of a good rest attain deep and restful sleep.
In addition to helping as a powerful sleep aid, ashwagandha can also be a great energy booster. It may sound counter-intuitive for the same herb to be both a sleep aid and an energy booster, but a true understand of how ashwagandha works as an adaptogen helps to clear this up.
Remember, ashwagandha works on the whole body via many mechanisms. It helps restore the body to its natural peak state of homeostasis. It’s totally “normal” for a person to be very energetic during the day and exhausted and ready for sleep at night. This is what we want and this is what is healthy. By restoring our hormones and neurotransmitters to their proper levels, ashwagandha can give us a huge lift in mood and energy when we need it, such as when we wake up sluggish and foggy headed.
Helps reduce risk of diabetes
Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes are both conditions which affect tens of millions of people in the developed world – the developing world is now unfortunately catching up as well.
Pre-diabetes, type 2, or adult onset diabetes all have to do with insulin sensitivity. Our modern diets are horrible in general. We eat way too much sugar, and our pancreas needs to produce more and more insulin to deal with the sugar. Over time, our body has a harder time producing insulin, and the insulin we do produce is much less effective because we “wear out” the insulin receptors.
Ashwagandha can help both decrease fasting blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity means that our body responds better to the same amount of insulin – we want this. We also want decreased fasting blood sugar levels as well so that we don’t need to dump so much insulin into the bloodstream.
And not only does ashwagandha seem to be a promising herb for preventing diabetes or reversing pre-diabetes, but it also looks as though it can help naturally reduce the symptoms of a patient who already has full blown diabetes – including decrease the heart problems and risks associated with the disease.
Like with cancer, heart disease is difficult to study scientifically with a traditional “double blind” type of study. But the current research on ashwagandha and heart health looks very promising.
Heart disease is very complex and there are a lot of factors at play. Ashwagandha significantly reduces blood levels of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. High levels of cortisol are positively correlated with heart disease and heart attacks, so lowering cortisol alone can help significantly reduce the risks of heart disease.
Ashwagandha also decreases anxiety and stress – lower levels of anxiety and stress are very good for the heart. In animal studies ashwagandha has been shown to reduce triglyceride levels as well as high cholesterol in general. It has also been shown to reduce blood pressure when compared to a placebo as well.
The anti-inflammatory and anti oxidant properties of ashwagandha may help a post heart attack patient to recover more quickly while suffering less long term damage.
Improving Immune System
Ashwagandha has been shown to be effective in improving the immune system. The immune system is very complex. Part of the reason ashwagandha helps with immune function has to do with the adaptogenic property of the herb. Ashwagandha helps us lower cortisol and maintain a well-rested homeostasis. When our hormones are balanced, our immune system is strong.
Ashwagandha may help us recover faster from a common cold or help to prevent one. Ashwagandha has also shown promising results for reducing the length of genital and oral herpes as well – the herpes virus attacks us the hardest when we have a weakened immune system.
Testosterone Booster in males
One of the most impressive effects of ashwagandha lies in its ability to increase testosterone naturally in males compared to a placebo. (Females don’t need to worry as it works differently on them, but is also very effective for different reasons. See below)
Ashwagandha has been scientifically shown to naturally increase testosterone levels in males by 17%. In the same study it also improved semen volume by 53%, and sperm concentration by 167%. These are seriously impressive results showing the powerful testosterone boosting levels. Also see below for more positive news regarding ashwagandha and strength and athletic performance.
Improving strength, stamina, and athletic performance
Ashwagandha is a fantastic natural sports enhancing supplement. It increases physical strength and it decreases recovery time after long and tough workouts. It has excellent hormone boosting properties such as increasing testosterone levels in men by an average of 17%.
Improving memory, learning, cognition
Ashwagandha has been shown to help with improving memory on the Wechsler Memory Scale. It has also been shown to scientifically help increase attention span.
Andrographis is a member of the Acanthaceae family, and is a native shrub from the Indian subcontinent, where its common name is Kalmegh. It has been used for centuries in Asia to treat GI tract and upper respiratory infections, fevers and chronic and infectious diseases. Andrographis is also commonly used in the practice of Ayurveda (the traditional medicine system of India dating back more than 4,000 years; translated, it means knowledge, or science ‘ayur’ of life ‘veda’), primarily for sluggish liver and to protect the liver against toxins. More recent studies suggest that it may also be of benefit in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
The major active components of Andrographis are a group of diterpenoid lactones called andrographolides. The major lactone is andrographolide which is very bitter (the common name for Andrographis in English is Chiretta, which means ‘the King of bitters’). While the andrographolides have no antibacterial activity, andrographolide has been shown to inhibit aggregation of blood platelets, which helps to explain its anti-inflammatory effect on colds and other inflammatory conditions.
The major application in Western herbal medicine stems from its effects on immune function, and a number of studies have shown it benefits upper-respiratory tract infections, particularly the common cold - it has been used in Sweden for the treatment of colds for almost two decades. The herb is also credited with stopping the spread of influenza in India during the 1919 epidemic, and was used to treat many epidemics throughout history. However, it is now thought that the action of Andrographis is due to its effect on the immune response (mediated via the adrenal glands) rather than specific antimicrobial activity. Studies have suggested that Andrographis may be useful in preventing heart disease and help protect the liver from toxic injury. It is also used to treat a wide range of parasites and microbial infections.
Aloe, native to Africa, is also known as ‘lily of the desert’, the ‘plant of immortality’, and the ‘medicine plant’. The name was derived from the Arabic ‘alloeh’ meaning ‘bitter’ because of the bitter liquid found in the leaves.
There are over 500 species of aloe growing in climates worldwide. The plant is about 96% water. The rest of it contains essential oil, enzymes and glycoproteins. The aloe leaf contains over 75 nutrients and 200 active compounds, including 20 minerals, 18 amino acids, and 12 vitamins. Aloe vera ‘extract’ is made by crushing the whole leaves of the plant. Aloe juice is made from the inner leaf.
In 1500 B.C. Egyptians recorded use of the herbal plant in treating burns, infections and parasites. Ancient Greeks, Arabs and Spaniards have used the plant throughout history, and African hunters still rub the gel on their bodies to reduce perspiration and their scent. Modern healers have used it since the 1930's. It features in many liquid health treatments, sometimes in combination with other plants and herbs.
The juice is soothing to digestive tract irritations, such as colitis and peptic ulcers. As a supplement, aloe is said to facilitate digestion, aid in blood and lymphatic circulation, as well as kidney, liver and gall bladder functions. Aloe contains at least three anti-inflammatory fatty acids that are helpful for the stomach, small intestine and colon. It naturally alkalises digestive juices to prevent over-acidity - a common cause of indigestion. It also helps cleanse the digestive tract because of its soothing, balancing effect.
Extensive research since the 1930's has shown that the clear gel has a dramatic ability to heal wounds, ulcers and burns because of the protective coating effect it has on these areas. This helps to reduce inflammation, decrease swelling and redness, and accelerate wound healing.
A newly discovered compound in aloe, acemannan, is currently being studied for its ability to strengthen the body’s natural resistance. Studies have shown acemannan to boost T-lymphocyte cells that aid the immune system.
Aloe can aid in keeping the skin supple, has a moisturising effect, and has been used in the control of acne and eczema. It can relieve itching due to insect bites and allergies, and is a common remedy for sunburn. Aloe's healing power comes from increasing the availability of oxygen to the skin, and by increasing the synthesis and strength of tissue.
Algae has been eaten in various forms for thousands of years. The technical term Aphanizomenon (genus) and Flos-Aquae (species) translate literally in Greek to: ‘invisible living flower of water’.
Blue Green Algae is from the family of algae called cyano-bacteria. Their cells have a gelatinous cell wall surrounding the chloroplast and a protoplast DNA container.
Blue Green Algae is one of the most nutrient-rich foods found on the planet, containing glyco-proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, lipids and biologically active enzymes. It is also packed with beta-carotene, chlorophyll, fatty acids, neuropeptide precursors, trace minerals, pigments and other essential growth factors. It contains all eight essential amino acids and both semi-essential amino acids, and is a concentrated source of arginine, known to build and tone muscle tissue. Most importantly, the essential amino acid profile of algae is virtually identical to that required by the human body. Due to the algae’s nutritious soft cell wall, these nutrients are readily available.
Algae capitalise on the direct energy of the sun, and are highly efficient photo synthesizers. It utilises light energy from the sun (greater than 10% conversion efficiency), carbon dioxide from the air, and hydrogen from the water to synthesise its bio-chemicals.
Bacopa monnieri (Coastal Waterhyssop, Brahmi, Thyme-leafed gratiola, Water hyssop) is a perennial, creeping herb whose habitat includes wetlands and muddy shores.
The leaves of this plant are succulent and relatively thick. The flowers are small and white, with four or five petals. It commonly grows in marshy areas throughout India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, and Vietnam, and is also found in Florida, Hawaii and other southern states of the USA where it can be grown in damp conditions.
This plant has a number of uses in Ayurveda. It is a traditional treatment for epilepsy and asthma. It has antioxidant properties, reducing oxidation of fats in the bloodstream. Bacopa monnieri is a well known nootropic plant reported for its tranquilising, sedative, cognitive enhancing, hepatoprotective and antioxidant action.
A 1998 study involving rats who were given a dose of bacopa extract showed that anxiolytic activity was enhanced as much as if the drug lorazepam were administered. Furthermore, the treatment exhibited none of the side effects of Lorazepam, such as amnesia.
Its many active compounds include: alkaloids (brahmine and herpestine), saponins (d-mannitol and hersaponin, acid A, and monnierin), flavonoids (luteolin and apigenin). Also in significant amounts: betulic acid, stigmastarol, beta-sitosterol, bacopasaponins (bacosides A, bacosides B, bacopaside II, bacopaside I, bacopaside X, bacopasaponin C, bacopaside N2 and the minor components were bacopasaponin F, bacopasaponin E, bacopaside N1, bacopaside III, bacopaside IV, and bacopaside V).
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is a surprisingly nutritious citrus fruit that has a fresh scent and a very useful essential oil which is taken from the peel. Bergamot supplements are taken for several reasons including lowering cholesterol levels, blood sugar, reducing middle obesity and arterial stiffness.
Studies showed that bergamot lowered the total cholesterol levels in participants as well as the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, which is a major factor for heart disease. It also raised the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) which is good and has protective benefits.
It is considered that bergamot works by blocking the production of cholesterol in the liver. Without cholesterol, the liver may be forced to find cholesterol that is stored in the bloodstream. Bergamot has compounds that are similar to commercial chemicals that are given to lower cholesterol.
Bergamot contains very large amounts of polyphenols. Brutelidin and Metilidin are two that directly inhibit the biosynthesis of cholesterol. Triglyceride levels were also lowered in the participants of these studies.
Bergamot is used in skin care products such as creams, soaps, perfumes, lotions and suntan oils. It is used for psoriasis as well as an against infections and to reduce inflammation. It is also used to treat Mycosis Fungoides, a rare type of skin cancer. It increases the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight, so it must not be used along with other medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight. It could cause severe sunburn and rashes and blisters. For anyone using bergamot, it is necessary to wear protective clothing and sunblock if there will be time spent in direct sunlight.
The essential oil used in aromatherapy is energizing and uplifting. It is used to reduce stress and calm as well as treat depression. For this purpose, it can be used as incense, or added to an essential oil diffuser. Its fragrance is very fresh and sweet and slightly fruity. It restores the appetite if the loss of appetite is due to depression. Inhaling the fragrance of the oil has been seen to reduce anxiety in people who are having radiation treatment for cancer.
Buchu is harvested from the dried leaves obtained from three species of Barosma. The species derive their common names from the shape of the aromatic leaf. Native to South Africa, the buchus grow as shrubs with leathery leaves that have oil-glandular dots on the underside. Odor and taste of the plants is described as spicy, resembling black currant, but also reminiscent of a mixture between rosemary and peppermint. Buchu oil sometimes is added as a component of black currant flavorings. Most commonly, B. betulina is used in commerce.
The Hottentots employed the leaves for the treatment of a great number of ailments. Early patent medicines sold in the United States hailed the virtues of the plant and its volatile oil for the management of diseases ranging from diabetes to nervousness. Buchu first was exported to Britain in 1790. In 1821, it was listed in the British Pharmacopoeia as a medicine for “cystitis, urethritis, nephritis and catarrh of the bladder.”
Its use since has been abandoned in favor of more effective diuretics and antibacterials. Buchu remains a popular ingredient in over-the-counter herbal diuretic preparations.
Historically, buchu has been used to treat inflammation, and kidney and urinary tract infections; as a diuretic and as a stomach tonic. Other uses include carminative action and treatment of cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis, and gout. It also has been used for leukorrhea and yeast infections.
Buchu remains a popular ingredient in over-the-counter herbal diuretic preparations. Buchu is still used today in western herbal medicine for urinary tract ailments, cystitis or urethritis prophylaxis, and prostatitis. Buchu also is listed in the German Commission E Monographs to treat inflammation, kidney and urinary tract infections, and also is used as a diuretic.
Your bones remodel throughout life according the stresses placed on them much like a muscle responds to exercise. During childhood and adolescence, your bones increase in size and mass. They continue to add more mass until around age 30, when peak bone mass is reached. Because bone loss, like bone growth, is a gradual process, the stronger your bones are at age 30, the more your bone loss will be delayed as you age.
It is also important to do regular weight-bearing exercise to maximize bone strength and bone density to help prevent osteoporosis later in life. Weight bearing exercise is the type of exercise that causes your bones and muscles to work against gravity while they bear your weight. Resistance exercises such as weight training are also helpful because they help to improve your muscle mass and bone strength. Examples of weight bearing exercise are walking, running, dancing, aerobics, tennis, skiing, skating and rollerblading.
When your calcium intake is low or calcium is poorly absorbed, bone breakdown occurs because the body must use the calcium stored in bones to maintain more urgent biological functions such as generating a heart beat, nerve and muscle function. Bone loss also occurs in post-menopausal women because of decreased estrogen. Researchers have identified many factors that increase the risk for developing osteoporosis. These factors include being female, thin, inactive, of advanced age, cigarette smoking, excessive intake of alcohol, taking immune suppressing drugs such as prednisone, and having a family history of osteoporosis.26
Although osteoporosis affects people of different races, genders and ethnicities, women are at highest risk because their skeletons are smaller to start with and because of the accelerated bone loss that accompanies menopause. Adequate calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K2, magnesium and trace mineral intakes, as well as weight bearing exercise are critical to the development and maintenance of healthy bone throughout the lifecycle.
Calcium and High Blood Pressure
Some studies indicate if you eat a vegetarian diet high in plant minerals including calcium, magnesium and potassium, and fiber, you tend to have reduced blood pressure.29-31
Other studies indicate that an increased calcium intake lowers blood pressure and the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) .32,33 However, the results of some studies produced small and inconsistent reductions in blood pressure. One reason for these mixed results is because these research studies tended to test the effect of single nutrients rather than foods with several minerals on blood pressure.
Calcium and Colorectal Cancer
The relationship between calcium and colon cancer has not been determined conclusively, there is, however, some evidence of a link between adequate calcium intake and this common disease. Some studies suggest that increased intakes of dietary and supplemental calcium are associated with a decreased risk of colon cancer.38-41 Calcium supplementation is reported to lead to reduced risk of adenomas (nonmalignant tumors) in the colon, a precursor to colon cancer, but it is not known if this will ultimately translate into reduced cancer risk.42 Another study reported on the association between diet and colon cancer history in 135,000 men and women participating in two large health surveys, the Nurses’ Health Study and the Physicians’ Health Study. The authors found that those who consumed 700 to 800 mg calcium per day had a 40 to 50% lower risk of developing left side colon cancer.43 In balance, you should note that a few other studies found inconclusive evidence regarding any association of calcium intake with colon cancer.44-46 Some encouraging research indicates a protective effect of calcium against colon cancer, but further studies are necessary to understand it better.
Calcium and Kidney Stones
Kidney Stones are crystallized deposits of calcium and other minerals in the urinary tract. Calcium oxalate stones are the most common form of kidney stones. High calcium intakes or high calcium absorption were previously thought to contribute to the development of kidney stones, but more recent studies show that high dietary calcium intakes actually decrease the risk for kidney stones.55-57 Other factors such as high oxalate intake from leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, and reduced fluid consumption appear to be a risk factor in the formation of kidney stones, but calcium is not.58
Calcium and Weight Management
Can you lose weight from taking calcium? Several studies have linked higher calcium intakes to lower body weights or less weight gain over time,59-62 while other studies have found little or no effect of calcium on fat loss. Two explanations have been proposed for how calcium may help to regulate body weight. First, high-calcium intakes may reduce calcium concentrations in fat cells by lowering the production of two hormones (parathyroid hormone and an active form of vitamin D), which in turn increases fat breakdown in these cells.61 In addition, calcium from food or supplements may bind to small amounts of dietary fat in the digestive tract and prevent its absorption, carrying the fat out in the feces.61,63 It seems calcium plays a contributing role, but more studies are needed to determine calcium’s exact activity in weight management.
The cranberry seed protein is especially beneficial when it comes to digestion. Unlike popular protein powders and health products that contain whey and soy protein, cranberry seed protein can help to increase the protein content with adding any of the allergenic dairy or genetically modified soy ingredients that cause digestive problems and many other undesirable side effects. The cranberry protein is high fiber, made up of as much as 20% soluble and and 40% insoluble dietary fiber. Most whey protein powders and supplements, contain very little fiber, 1 gram per serving in most cases.
One of the amazing benefits of the cranberry protein is that there is no need to take any branched chain amino acids supplements. It has a full amino acid profile, with a full serving of cranberry seed protein powder containing all 22, including the essential amino acids that our body cannot produce and must be “fed” from outside sources. While protein sources are important because they provide these amino acids, in the past only animal-based protein sources were considered complete because they provided all of the essential ones. The cranberry protein powder is one of the plant-based sources that can be considered complete as well. It is still important however, to include a wide array of protein sources to ensure intaking adequate mineral and nutrients that are provided among all different sources.
These are just a few of the advantages from using a supplement that includes the cranberry seed protein powder. It also a healthy source of the essential fatty acids (EFA) and antioxidants. EFA’s, omega-3 and omega-6, are needed for normal bodily functions such as those associated with metabolism, cardiovascular health, brain development, hormone formation, and the nervous system. Typical cranberry seed protein powders can contain as much as 1% of omega-3 and 1% omega-6. These healthy fats are some of the nutrients along with its antioxidants and flavonoids that are not stripped in the typical manufacturing processes of the cranberry protein powder that do not use high heat or extraction solvents. Such flavonoids and antioxidants have been linked to the prevention and treatment of many diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
As one can see, that while the amount of protein supplied by the cranberry seed is not as high as many other common sources, it is definitely not one to be ignored. It provides many benefits that neither animal nor plant-based sources provide alone. Using the protein in combination with other healthy sources that exist can help to create a supplement that is high in protein, easy to digest, contains healthy fats, as well as disease fighting and vegan friendly.
Coconut oil is one of the few foods that can be classified as a “superfood.” Its unique combination of fatty acids can have profound positive effects on health. This includes fat loss, better brain function and various other amazing benefits.
Coconut oil contains a lot of medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently and can have therapeutic effects on several brain disorders. Coconut is kind of an “exotic” food in the Western world, primarily consumed by health conscious people. However, in some parts of the world, coconut is a dietary staple that people have thrived on for many generations.
Obesity is currently one of the biggest health problems in the world. While some people think obesity is only a matter of calories, others believe that the sources of those calories are critical too.
It is a fact that different foods affect our bodies and hormones in different ways. In this regard, a calorie is NOT a calorie. The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can increase energy expenditure compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats. Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is the 12-carbon Lauric Acid.
When coconut oil is enzymatically digested, it also forms a monoglyceride called monolaurin. Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi. The fatty acids and breakdown products in coconut oil can kill harmful pathogens, potentially helping to prevent infections. The fatty acids in coconut oil can significantly reduce appetite, which may positively affect body weight over the long term. The MCTs in coconut oil can increase blood concentration of ketone bodies, which can help reduce seizures in epileptic children.
Studies in both humans and rats show that coconut oil improves important risk factors like Total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, which may translate to a reduced risk of heart disease. Coconut oil can be applied topically as well, studies showing it to be effective as a skin moisturizer and protecting against hair damage. It can also be used as a mild form of sunscreen and as mouthwash. Coconut oil can increase blood levels of ketone bodies, supplying energy for the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients and relieving
Given that coconut oil can reduce appetite and increase fat burning, it makes sense that it can also help you lose weight. Coconut oil appears to be especially effective in reducing abdominal fat, which lodges in the abdominal cavity and around organs.
The clary sage plant has a lengthy history as a medicinal herb. It’s a perennial in the genus Salvi, and its scientific name is salvia sclarea. Clary sage is considered to be one of the top essential oils for hormones, especially in women. Many claims have been made as to its benefits when dealing with cramps, heavy menstrual cycles, hot flashes and hormonal imbalances. It’s also known for its ability to increase circulation, support the digestive system, improve eye health and fight leukemia.
Clary sage is one of the most healthful essential oils, with anticonvulsive, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-infectious, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also a nerve tonic and sedative with soothing and warming components.
Clary sage gets its name from the Latin word “clarus,” which means “clear.” It’s a perennial herb that grows from May to September, and it’s native to the northern Mediterranean, along with some areas in North Africa and Central Asia. The plant reaches 4–5 feet in height, and it has thick square stems that are covered in hairs. The colorful flowers, ranging from lilac to mauve, bloom in bunches.
Clary sage affects the hormones of the body because it contains natural phytoestrogens, which are referred to as “dietary estrogens” that are derived from plants and not within the endocrine system. These phytoestrogens give clary sage the ability to cause estrogenic effects. It regulates estrogen levels and ensures the long-term health of the uterus — reducing the chances of uterine and ovarian cancer.
A lot of health issues today, even things like infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome and estrogen-based cancers, are caused from excess estrogen in the body — in part because of our consumption of high-estrogen foods. Because clary sage helps balance out those estrogen levels, it’s an incredibly effective essential oil.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research found that inhalation of clary sage oil had the ability to reduce cortisol levels by 36 percent and improved thyroid hormone levels. The study was done on 22 post-menopausal women in their 50s, some of whom were diagnosed with depression. At the end of the trial, the researchers stated that “clary sage oil had a statistically significant effect on lowering cortisol and had an anti-depressant effect improving mood.” In other words, clary sage oil also works as an effective natural remedy for depression.
People suffering from insomnia can find relief with clary sage oil. It is a natural sedative and will give you the calm and peaceful feeling that is necessary in order to fall asleep. When you can’t sleep, you usually awaken feeling unrefreshed, which takes a toll on your ability to function during the day. Insomnia affects not only your energy level and mood, but also your health, work performance and quality of life.
Two major causes of insomnia are stress and hormonal changes. An all-natural essential oil like clary sage can cure insomnia without drugs by alleviating feelings of stress and anxiety, and by balancing hormone levels.
Clary sage opens the blood vessels and allows for increased blood circulation; it also naturally lowers blood pressure by relaxing the brain and arteries. This boosts the performance of the metabolic system by increasing the amount of oxygen that gets into the muscles and supporting organ function.
A study done at the Department of Basic Nursing Science in the Republic of Korea measured clary sage oil’s ability to lower blood pressure in women with urinary incontinence or involuntary urination. Thirty-four women participated in the study, and they were given either clary sage oil, lavender oil or almond oil (for the control group); then they were measured after inhalation of these odors for 60 minutes.
The results indicated that the clary oil group experienced a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure compared with the control and lavender oil groups, a significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure compared with the lavender oil group, and a significant decrease in respiratory rate compared with the control group. The data suggest that clary oil inhalation may be useful in inducing relaxation in females with urinary incontinence, especially as they undergo assessments.
Cholesterol is a naturally occurring substance made by the liver and required by the body for the proper function of cells, nerves and hormones. Cholesterol travels in the lipids (fatty acids) of the bloodstream, which is also called plaque, and can build up in the walls of the arteries. This decreases the flow of blood to vital areas of the body, and if the plaque continues to build, it significantly increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of clary sage oil are cardio-protective and help lower cholesterol naturally. Clary sage oil also decreases emotional stress and improves circulation — two very important factors for reducing cholesterol and supporting your cardiovascular system.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid found in cold-water, fatty fish, such as salmon. It is also found in fish oil supplements, along with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Vegetarian sources of DHA come from seaweed. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart, and your body needs DHA for a healthy brain. Infants need DHA, especially during the first 6 months of their lives, so their brains, eyes, and nervous systems can develop as they should. Our bodies naturally make small amounts of DHA, but we must get the amounts we need from food or supplements.
Because children need omega-3 fatty acids for their brains to develop properly, researchers have examined whether fish oil might reduce ADHD symptoms. So far, results have been mixed..
Fish oil appears to help improve outcomes for people who already have heart disease. It may also lower the risk for developing heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil help lower triglycerides (fats in the blood), lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of blood clots, improve the health of arteries, and reduce the amount of arterial plaque, which narrows arteries and causes heart disease. People who already have heart disease may need fish oil supplements in addition to adding more fish to their diet.
DHA plays a crucial role in the growth and development of the central nervous system, as well as visual functioning in infants. Breastfed babies with healthy mothers should get enough DHA in breast milk.
Several small studies found that fish oil may help reduce symptoms and inflammation linked with rheumatoid arthritis. However, it does not stop joint damage from getting worse.
Fish oil seems to reduce the pain of menstrual cramps when taken on a regular basis (not just when menstruating).
Several studies show that high doses (12 g) of fish oil can reduce sensitivity to cold in the fingers and toes of people with Raynaud syndrome. Doses this high should be taken only under a doctor's supervision.
Preliminary studies suggest that fish oil may reduce the fatigue and joint pain associated with lupus.
Also known as Brahmi and Centella asiatica.
Gotu Kola is primarily used to treat varicose veins, poor circulation in the legs, and haemorrhoids, as substances within it, known as triterpene Saponins, are believed to strengthen the body’s connective tissue.
This herb has a mild tranquillising and relaxing effect and is said to be restorative for the nervous system. It is therefore used to treat many mental function and nervous conditions, and is reputed to rejuvenate the brain and sharpen thinking, so enabling the body to withstand stress. This in turn, eliminates many other problems - it is traditionally used as a treatment for skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema, which is now understood to be worsened by stress.
Griffonia seed extract is a natural supplement which is extracted from the Griffonia Simplicifolia plant. This plant is native to West and Central Africa, which yields green flowers and seed pods. It is the seeds that contains the compound 5-HTP.
5-HTP is important for the production of serotonin, Griffonia seed Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that control mood, appetite, and sleep. When serotonin is increased, feelings of anxiety and depression decrease.
Serotonin is made from tryptophan, which is found within our diet (or often supplemented). Although this is true in theory, individuals who suffer from mood disorders and anxiety tend to have low levels of serotonin.
Supplementing with tryptophan has been found to be effective. However, it is even more effective to supplement with 5-HTP. This is because 5-HTP is converted into serotonin at a faster rate. Since Griffonia is one of the few natural sources of 5-HTP, it has become increasingly popular.
Once Griffonia is taken, it’s broken down within the liver. 5-Hydroxytryptophan, is then released into the blood stream, making its way to the blood-brain barrier. Once it crosses this barrier, it’s able to target the brain, being converted into serotonin and binds to receptors.
The effects of Griffonia are experienced, due to an increase in serotonin. Although dopamine is often increased through nootropic supplements, Griffonia actually has the opposite effect. When dopamine levels drop, the benefits of increased serotonin are experienced further. Feelings of pleasure and contentment increase, creating various benefits for your mental state.
As mentioned, this supplement effects dopamine levels. Instead of increasing them like many nootropics, Griffonia controls dopamine levels that are over-abundant. Although medications like Adderall target dopamine levels, causing an increase, this does not work harmoniously with a calm mood. Since 5-HTP takes a more natural, softer approach, one’s cognition is soothed and calmed.
Benefits of Griffonia
When users take Griffonia on a dose-dependent basis, levels of anxiety are decreased. Due to its effects on serotonin, this supplement produces feelings of relaxation, confidence, and an increased well-being. It is also noted for releasing built-up tension, while improving symptoms of depression.
One of the key benefits is how natural it is. It is a mood enhancer that is in its natural state. Not only does it improve mood, but it can provide pain relief from headaches and muscle strains. This is more than likely due to its effects on tension and stress.
Griffonia is being researched for its potential benefits for ADHD treatment. It is believed to control impulsive behaviour. Once again, this benefit is linked to high levels of serotonin. Research is still being conducted, looking for further benefits regarding ADHD treatment.
This supplement has also made its way into the weight-loss community, as it is an active appetite suppressant. When you consume 5-HTP, you feel satiated, preventing feelings of hunger and the consumption of excessive amounts of food. This is becoming an option for individuals who want to stick to their strict diet plan.
It may come as a surprise, but cactus honey powder is not a bee product. This white powder sweetener comes from the agave plant, a cactus plant native to Mexico. The agave juice is extracted from the plant, filtered and finally heated to remove moisture, resulting in a powder. In its liquid form, it is more commonly known as agave syrup and can generally be found in health stores and major supermarkets. Although the nutritional value of cactus honey powder is low, certain benefits of the agave plant make it a natural sweetener worth considering.
Lower Glycemic Scale Rating
Although agave is 1.4 times sweeter than refined white sugar, it is ranked lower on the glycemic scale for sweeteners. Because of this, agave results in a decreased blood sugar distribution to the blood stream, as opposed to refined white sugar. The ranking for agave is around 27 while the ranking for refined white cane sugar is approximately double that number.
Agave contains saponins, which are phytochemicals. They are found in plants such as ginseng, alfalfa sprouts, potatoes, legumes, oats, tomatoes and yucca. While they may be toxic in large amounts, they may reduce elevated cholesterol levels in small amounts. Saponins may also decrease your risk of cancer due to their antioxidant activity your body, preventing cell damage by protecting lipids from free radical damage. These phytochemicals improve the immune system by stimulating antibody production.
Fructans are chemical structures of fructose. They are naturally produced by 15 percent of flowering plant species. Fructans are part of the carbohydrate family and are attributed with providing four calories of energy per gram. When processed, fructans may give a steady energy for up to 12 hours, depending on your metabolic rate. Agave contains 15 to 20 percent fructans. Inulin, a fructan, is known to strengthen the immune system, lower cholesterol and lower low-density lipoproteins, LDL, while raising high-density lipoproteins, HDL. Fructans do not require insulin for digestion, making them ideal if you have diabetes.
Good Transitional Sweetener
Agave consists mostly of fructose and imparts a glycemic index, or GI, value similar to many green vegetables. Therefore, it typically does not cause the blood sugar level to spike. Cane sugar, however, has a GI value approximately twice that of agave. Since agave is around 1.4 times sweeter than refined cane sugar, it is a good choice when transitioning from the higher GI value sweeteners, allowing you to still enjoy the sweetness while moving to a lower position on the GI scale. Cactus honey powder contains approximately 14 grams of carbohydrates, 3 milligrams of sodium, one percent calcium and one percent iron. Each tablespoon contains approximately 55 calories.
The health benefits of iron mainly include its job of providing life-giving oxygen to organ systems through its role in red blood cell production. About two-thirds of the body’s iron is found in hemoglobin. Other health benefits of iron are the reduction of iron deficiency anemia, anemia of chronic disease, cough, anemia in pregnancy, predialysis anemia and many other varieties.
The health benefits of iron relate to the proper growth of human body and maintenance of robust health. It is an essential protein component for metabolism, and the human body needs iron to produce red blood cells. The human body is capable of preserving up to 25% of iron for future use, especially in the cases of inadequate diet intake, which is a backup plan for reducing the impact of anemia, if iron intake suddenly declines.
In the body, about 70% of iron is found in hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin is the primary transporter of oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues, while myoglobin is in muscle cells, and makes acceptance, storage, transportation, and release of oxygen possible in those cells. About 5% of iron is found as components of various proteins and as necessary elements in certain enzymatic reactions. Finally, up to 25% of the body’s iron is stored in ferritin, which is in the cells and circulating in the bloodstream. Ferritin can store up to three years’ worth of iron supplementation for men, but only about one year’s worth for women, which is why anemia is more common in females. The role and importance of iron cannot be overestimated, primarily because the deficiency is so unpleasant and dangerous; let’s take a closer look at it below.
Iron Deficiency Symptoms
Iron deficiency may often cause severe fatigue, body weakness, and other related health ailments. People lacking iron cannot perform normal functions in an optimal way. Furthermore, women and children need more iron than their male counterparts, and anemia strikes them particularly hard. Severe iron deficiency may cause progressive skin ailments that cause brittleness of nails and extra smoothness in the tongue area. The enzymatic processes that require iron and the proteins that need it as a building block or co-factor will not be able to occur, and the body metabolism can slow or even shut down. Anemia is considered the most common global nutritional deficiency.
Important Sources of Iron
Iron is found in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods, which is classified as heme or non-heme iron, respectively. Legumes, lentils, soy beans, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, cereals, bread, spinach, turnip, sprouts, broccoli and dry fruits also have good iron content. You can also get iron tablets and supplements. Anemic patients are often advised by doctors to take supplementary iron tablets or tonics. Food items containing good levels of vitamin-C may also aid in the absorption of iron by the body. For example, eating a burger with tomato slices on it could boost the absorption of non-heme iron contents from the burger bread. Citrus fruits and juices like orange juice may also help in iron absorption.
Health Benefits of Iron
Iron, when consumed in a balanced amount in the human diet, is perfect for providing a number of benefits, which are explained in greater detail below.
Hemoglobin Formation: Formation of hemoglobin is the chief function of this mineral. Not only that, since iron is a part of hemoglobin, it gives the dark shade of red to the blood and also aids in transporting oxygen to the body cells. Additional hemoglobin is vitally important because human beings tend to lose blood in various ways, through injuries, both internal and external. Most notably, women lose considerable amounts of blood every month during their menstruation years, which is one of the major reasons why women are more likely to suffer from anemia than men.Muscle Function: Iron is a vital element for muscle health. It is present in the muscle tissues and helps to provide the supply of oxygen required for contraction of muscles. Without iron, muscles lose their tone and elasticity; muscle weakness is one of the most obvious signs of anemia.
Brain Function: Increased development of the brain is also one of the many benefits of iron. Since oxygen supply in the blood is aided by iron and the brain uses approximately 20% of the blood oxygen, iron is directly related to brain health and its functions. Proper flow of blood in the brain can stimulate cognitive activity and help to create new neural pathways to prevent cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, so proper iron intake and its subsequent brain oxygenation is essential.
Restless Leg Syndrome: Iron deficiency is one of the causes of the restless leg syndrome. Most research on this syndrome has concentrated on iron. Low levels of iron in the blood are a major cause of the condition, so proper intake of iron supplements in required levels as per doctor’s recommendations can cure this problem. This is connected to muscle spasms, which can be one of the symptoms of iron deficiency.
Regulation of Body Temperature: Iron is an important facilitator for regulating body temperature. An interesting fact is that it has the ability to regulate as per the absorption capacity of the body. Keeping the body temperature stable means that enzymatic and metabolic functions can happen in their most optimal and efficient environments and temperatures.
Oxygen Carrier: One of the most important health benefits of iron is that it acts as a carrier of oxygen and thus participates in transferring oxygen from one body cell to other. This is a vital function of iron, as oxygen is required by each and every organ system to perform routine functions.
Iron Deficiency Anemia: Iron is helpful in the treatment of a severe disorder called iron deficiency anemia, which results from a lack of iron in the human body. This is where most of these health benefits come from, as a result of preventing this terrible disease that affects millions of people around the world. It is the most common nutritional deficiency on the plan.
Chronic Diseases: Iron also helps in the treatment of chronic disorders like renal failure anemia, and other chronic diseases of the intestinal and excretory system. These are not related to blood necessarily, like most other iron functions, but remember, iron is still a key part of many necessary processes throughout the body’s systems, not just the circulatory system.
Anemia in Women: Iron may also exhibit its health benefits in curing anemia that occurs in women during pregnancy or menstruation. New red blood cells must replace those that have been lost, so consuming significant amounts of iron is necessary for those women at those points in their lives.
Neurotransmitter Synthesis: Iron actively takes part in the synthesis of a number of essential neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These chemicals play a major role in different activities involving neurons and the human brain.
Predialysis Anemia: It is suggested by health experts that iron is capable of treating another form of anemia called predialysis anemia. However, it is a good idea to consult a medical expert to get treatment for this problem, as it can be very complicated and dangerous.
Fatigue: Health benefits of iron also include the elimination of unexplained or chronic fatigue, which may occur in both men and women. Iron deficiency is a natural cause of fatigue since it is an important component of hemoglobin. So, the inclusion of iron in your diet keeps you fit, healthy, and energetic, both internally and in your external lif
Immune System: Iron also plays a key role in providing strength to the immune system of the human body. Thus, the body is made proficient enough to fight against a number of diseases and infections. Red blood cells are necessary for providing oxygen to damaged tissues, organs, and cells. Without iron, there would be no hemoglobin; without hemoglobin, there would be no oxygen. The healing process needs iron to happen!
Energy Metabolism: Iron is an important participant of energy metabolism in human body. This process is how energy is extracted from the consumed food and subsequently distributed to different body parts.
Enzyme Systems: Iron happens to be the most important constituent of various enzymatic systems and other important constituents like myoglobin, cytochromes and catalase. Without these functioning properly, a number of organ systems would slow down or shut down completely.
Insomnia: Iron is also useful in treating insomnia in the human body and also improves the sleeping habits and quality of people by regulating their circadian rhythms. Proper red blood cell count can also result in less fluctuation of blood pressure, which can often keep people awake at night.
Concentration: Iron, when consumed in sufficient amounts, can help focus concentration and energy, which will boost cognitive and mental performance. Increased flow of blood to the brain due to iron’s red blood cell activity is what results in this important benefit.
Lactobacillus acidophilus is a member of the Lactobacillus genus of bacteria. These bacteria can be found in the mouth, intestine, and vagina. L. acidophilus is thought to benefit health, since it produces vitamin K and lactase. However, L. acidophilus cannot make many other vitamins and amino acids. Because of this, L. acidophilus is mostly found in the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract where there are higher amounts of these nutrients.
L. acidophilus is commonly used in food, such as yogurt, other dairy products, and fermented soy products, such as miso and tempeh. L. acidophilus is one of the most commonly used probiotics, microorganisms that are used to promote health. Probiotics are different from prebiotics, which are complex sugars that may support the growth of "good" bacteria in the intestinal tract. The word "synbiotic" means that a product has both a probiotic and a prebiotic.
There is good evidence for the use of L. acidophilus in treating vaginal infections. However, there is unclear evidence for other medicinal uses of L. acidophilus, such as in irritable bowel syndrome, brain disorders, asthma, high cholesterol, lactose digestion, or diarrhea.
Although it is thought to be safe with few side effects, L. acidophilus by mouth should be avoided in people who have intestinal damage, immune problems, or an overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines.
These people may have a higher risk of having the bacteria leave the GI tract and possibly cause multiple organ failure.
The Health Benefits of Probiotics
The following health benefits are associated with the intake of daily servings of probiotics:
If you’re familiar with probiotics, you may also be familiar with the fact that there are many different strains of beneficial bacteria. One strain, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, may not be one you’re as familiar with, but it still holds some very impressive health benefits. This strain, among all the others, exist in what is called our “mircobiome,” which basically consists of the microbial genes that reside in your system. Good bacteria and bad bacteria live here, but it’s the helpful kind that keeps the harmful variety in check.
The Benefits of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus
Studies involving the Lactobacillus strain of bacteria suggest supplementation could lessen feelings of anxiety or ease symptoms of depression. Combining these probiotics with prebiotics also show significant benefits in mood health. One study suggests taking L. rhamnosus might counteract weight gain and diabetes, and there’s a lot of research examining the benefits as a treatment for gastrointestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome. Another study suggests a link between good bacteria and seasonal allergies, particularly with hay fever.
Now, one cool thing about L. rhamnosus is that it can stay happy in rough conditions. Anyone who has ever had acid reflux knows how stomach acid can cause discomfort. Well, this probiotic strain actually thrives in an acidic stomach. If you’re looking for something to strengthen your overall immune function, L. rhamnosus could help there. A promising study suggests this strain could be just as helpful as an antibiotic for treating urinary tract infections.
How to Take Lactobacillus Rhamnosus
Taking a probiotic containing L. rhamnosus can certainly be beneficial, but it’s important to take prebiotics to strengthen its effects. Prebiotics are sort of like the “food” that probiotics need to thrive and grow. If you’re looking for foods with probiotics or taking a top-quality probiotic supplement, make sure you’re looking for prebiotics as well. Many foods that contain prebiotics include garlic, chicory, and onions.
The health benefits of lavender essential oil include its ability to eliminate nervous tension, relieve pain, disinfect the scalp and skin, enhance blood circulation and treat respiratory problems. The Latin name of lavender is Lavare, which means “to wash”, due to its aroma which has a particularly clean aroma.
Lavender oil is extracted mostly from the flowers of the lavender plant, primarily through steam distillation. The flowers of lavender are fragrant in nature and have been used for making potpourri for centuries. Traditionally, lavender essential oil has also been used in making perfumes. The oil is very useful in aromatherapy and many aromatic preparations and combinations are made using lavender oil.
Lavender oil blends well with many other essential oils including cedarwood, pine, clary sage, geranium, and nutmeg. Today, lavender essential oil is frequently used in various forms including aromatherapy oil, gels, infusion, lotion, and soaps.
Health Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil
The various health benefits of lavender essential oil include the following:
Bug Repellent: The smell of lavender essential oil is potent for many types of bugs like mosquitoes, midges, and moths. Apply some of the lavender oil on the exposed skin when outside to prevent these irritating bites. Furthermore, if you do happen to be bitten by one of those bugs, the lavender essential oil has anti-inflammatory qualities that will reduce the irritation and the pain associated with bug bites.
Sleep: Lavender essential oil induces sleep which has made it a common recommendation for an alternative treatment of insomnia. Frequent studies on elderly patients have shown an increase in their sleep regularity when their normal sleep medication is replaced with some lavender essential oil being placed on their pillows. It has such a relaxing impact on people that it can often replace modern medicine for sleep issues.
Nervous system: Lavender essential oil has a calming scent which makes it an excellent tonic for the nerves and anxiety issues. Therefore, it can also be helpful in treating migraines, headaches, depression, nervous tension and emotional stress. The refreshing aroma removes nervous exhaustion and restlessness while also increasing mental activity. It has a well-researched impact on the autonomic nervous system, which is why it is frequently used as a treatment for insomnia and also as a way to regulate heart-rate variability. One study showed that people taking tests showed a significant decrease in mental stress and anxiety, as well as increased cognitive function when they inhaled lavender oil and rosemary oil before taking the exam!
Acne: According to dermatologists and aromatherapists, lavender essential oil is one of the most beneficial oils in the treatment of acne, which is a very uncomfortable and embarrassing condition that primarily affects young people as they move through puberty, but can also afflict adults. It is characterized by red, raised sores on the face and body that develop due to a bacterial infection near the sebum gland. When sebum cannot be properly secreted from the sebum glands on the face, it begins to build up, particularly because puberty stimulates extra sebum and bacteria feeds off of it, creating a vicious cycle of irritation, infection, and visible sores that can result in serious scarring.
Lavender essential oil inhibits the bacteria that cause the initial infection, helps to regulate some of the over-excretion of sebum by hormonal manipulation, and can reduce the signs of scarring after the acne has begun to heal. Adding a small amount of lavender essential oil to other skin creams or ointments can greatly increase the potential for relief and healing.
Pain relief: Lavender essential oil is known as an excellent remedy for various types of pains including those caused by sore and tense muscles, muscular aches, rheumatism, sprains, backache and lumbago. A regular massage with lavender oil can also provide relief from pain in the joints. A study done on postoperative pain relief showed that combining lavender essential oil vapor into the oxygen significantly reduced the amount of pain experienced, versus those patients only revived with oxygen after a major surgery.
Urine flow: Lavender essential oil is good for urinary disorders because of its stimulating effect on urine production. Furthermore, it helps in restoring hormonal balance and reducing cystitis or inflammation of the urinary bladder. It also reduces any associated cramps with these and other disorders.
Respiratory disorders: Lavender oil is widely used for various respiratory problems including throat infections, flu, cough, cold, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, whooping cough, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. The oil is either used in the form of vapor or is applied on the skin of the neck, chest and back. It is also added to many vaporizers and inhalers that are commonly used for colds and coughs. The stimulating nature of lavender essential oil can also loosen up the phlegm and relieve the congestion associated with respiratory conditions, speeding up the recovery process and helping the body naturally eliminate phlegm and other unwanted material. The vapor of lavender essential oil also has antibacterial qualities which can battle respiratory tract infections.
Hair care: Lavender essential oil is useful for hair care because it has been shown to be very effective on lice, lice eggs, and nits. Furthermore, lavender essential oil has also been shown to be very helpful in the treatment of hair loss, particularly for patients who suffer from alopecia, an autoimmune disease where the body rejects its own hair follicles. A Sottish study reported that more than 40% of alopecia patients in the study reported an increase in hair growth when they regularly rubbed lavender essential oil into their scalp. Therefore, lavender oil is sometimes recommended as a preventative measure for male pattern baldness!
Cancer: Although more research needs to be done on human subjects, there is significant research on the effects of lavender, in combination with other essential oils, as a way to prevent the occurrence of breast cancer in mice. However, this could be an indication of an increased chance of lavender battling other carcinogenic effects and the presence of cancer.
Blood circulation: Lavender essential oil is also good for improving the circulation of blood in the body. Research suggests that aromatherapy using lavender oil has beneficial effects on coronary circulation. It also lowers blood pressure and is often used for hypertension. This means that not only do the organs increase their levels of oxygenation, promoting muscle strength and health, but brain activity can have a noticeable boost, skin remains bright and flushed with blood, and the body is protected from the risks of heart attack and artherosclerosis that is often associated with poor circulation.
Digestion: Lavender oil is useful for digestion because it increases the mobility of food within the intestine. The oil also stimulates the production of gastric juices and bile, thus aiding in the treatment of indigestion, stomach pain, colic, flatulence, vomiting and diarrhea.
Immunity: Regular use of lavender essential oil provides resistance to a variety of diseases. It is well-known that lavender has antibacterial and antiviral qualities that make it perfect for defending the body against rare diseases like TB, typhoid, and diphtheria, according to early research in the 20th century.
General Skin care: The health benefits of lavender oil for the skin can be attributed to its antiseptic and antifungal properties. It is used to treat various skin disorders such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammatory conditions. It is commonly used to speed up the healing process of wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns because it improves the formation of scar tissues. Lavender oil is also added to chamomile to treat eczema.
Other: Other health benefits of lavender essential oil include its ability to treat leucorrhoea. The oil can also used to repel mosquitoes and moths, which is why you will find many mosquito repellents that contain lavender oil as one of the primary ingredients.
As with many other essential oils, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using lavender essential oil. It is also recommended that patients with diabetes stay away from lavender oil. It may also cause allergic reactions to people that have unusually sensitive skin. Some people may also witness nausea, vomiting and headaches due to either common or excessive use of lavender oil.
Perhaps most importantly, lavender oil should never be ingested, only topically applied or inhaled through means of aromatherapy or similar activities. Ingestion can cause serious health complications, characterized by blurred vision, difficult breathing, burning eyes, vomiting, and diarrhea. So, even if you think that lavender oil is a wonderful miracle cure, don’t get excited and start putting it on your food!
Some of the most important health benefits of lavender include its ability to relieve stress, improve mood, promote restful sleep, reduce inflammation, lower skin irritation, prevent infections, eliminate dandruff, and soothe stomach bloating.
Health Benefits of Lavender:
Anxiety and Stress: There are a number of methods to use lavender to soothe anxiety and stress. The natural organic compounds in the leaves and flowers of lavender can be ground between the fingers and then rubbed into the temples. This topical application can soothe the body and mind, relieving anxious thoughts and balancing out mood. Aside from this topical application of the flowers themselves, you can also brew lavender tea and achieve much the same effect. The antioxidant components of lavender can impact the endocrine system of the body to lower the levels of stress hormones in the body.
Sleep Issues: If you regularly struggle with insomnia, apnea, or restless sleep patterns, it can seriously impact your life. By brewing a few lavender flowers in hot water, you can steep a wonderful tea that has been used to induce sleep and relaxation for thousands of years. This is closely linked to the flower’s impact on the nervous system, and can also help to clear your mind of negative thoughts or clutter. Lavender is commonly combined with meditation techniques, either in essential oil or aromatherapy form.
Anti-Inflammatory Qualities: Everyone is looking for a reliable way to relax the body and mind, and lavender takes care of both. If you add flowers to your bathwater and take a nice long soak, the anti-inflammatory components of lavender can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body and easy hurting muscles. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of lavender are quite potent, and this is one of the most trusted applications of lavender flowers.
Skin Care: An easy, mobile way to always take care of your skin is to fill a spray bottle with lavender flowers. When your skin is feeling dry or irritated, simply spray some of the infused water on the area and enjoy the quick relief that it can provide. This can also work for chronic conditions, like psoriasis, eczema, and even acne.
Antiseptic Ability: Although many people turn to lavender to relaxation and aromatherapeutic applications, its effect on infection is impressive, to say the least. Many people apply crushed lavender leaves on wounds and injuries to promote not only quick healing of the wounds, but also to prevent the development of infections at those sites. This has been a popular use for lavender since antiquity.
Hair Health: If you suffer from hair loss or any other condition that affects the quality and health of your hair, seek out a lavender-based shampoo. However, some of those organic cosmetic products can be quite expensive, while others may claim to be derived from lavender and still contain harsh chemicals. One of the best options is to steep lavender flowers as though you are brewing tea and then apply that mixture to your hair. It will function as an effective shampoo and significantly boost the health of your follicle beds and hair.
Heart Issues: The relaxing qualities of lavender, which come from its organic compounds and antioxidants, also help the heart by reducing blood pressure and easing the tension of blood vessels. This can prevent atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular issues, thereby lowering your risk of strokes and heart attacks.
Bloating and Digestive Issues: The polyphenols found in lavender have a wide range of effects on the body, including anti-aging impacts, but it can also help prevent the development of harmful bacteria in the gut. Essentially, this will prevent the accumulation of gas in the gut from the emissions of those bacteria. This will ease stomach discomfort, reduce bloating, and eliminate cramping.
Also known as Chamaemelum nobile and Matricaria recutita.
Chamomile flowers are picked in full bloom on the day they open, when the active compounds they contain are most potent. They can be used either fresh or dried in various infusions or herbal preparations.
Chamomile is widely used to treat a variety of ailments including mild digestive problems (it rapidly reduces inflammation and relieves spasms), stress, insomnia, gingivitis, asthma, and other lung problems. Chamomile is also regarded as an effective treatment for many skin conditions, helping to calm and soothe.
Chamomile flowers contain complex substances including apigenin, which is believed to help relax muscles and is therefore generally responsible for the calming effects of the herb.
Also known as vaccinium macrocarpon. The cranberry is a member of the Ericaceae family that is composed of about 1350 species, including Scotch Heather, Rhododendrons and Blueberries.
The cranberry is a low-growing, woody, perennial plant with small, alternate, ovate leaves. The plant produces stems or vines up to 6 feet long, with short vertical branches, 2 - 8 inches in height that grow from buds, each containing as many as seven flowers. The majority of cranberries are harvested between September and October.
Cranberries have been used for many years - native people consumed cranberries as part of their diet, as well as used them in ceremonies, and for medicinal purposes.
Scientific research has shown cranberries to be of great benefit. They are packed with nutrients like antioxidants, which stabilise free radicals by donating an electron, thereby protecting the body from the harmful molecules exposed to in everyday life. These antioxidants are recognised as premier disease fighters, and may play a role in helping to prevent heart disease and certain cancers. According to one study, cranberries have been shown to contain more antioxidant phenols than 19 other commonly eaten fruits.
Indigenous people have used cranberry to treat urinary tract infections and other illnesses for centuries. Modern medical research has revealed that cranberries contain proanthocyanidins, which inhibit the fimbrial adhesion of bacteria - including Escherichia coli - to the urinary tract epithelium, therefore halting the subsequent reproduction that causes infection. It is now known proanthocyanidins are pivotal in the prevention of urinary tract infections, rather than the acidification of the urine, as was previously thought.
A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association reported that a unique high-molecular-weight, nondialysable material found in cranberries has the ability to inhibit certain oral bacteria that are responsible for dental plaque and periodontal disease, and may even reverse the negative effects. Most other fruits tested showed no inhibition activity.
One clinical trial using a mouthwash containing cranberry nondialysable material (NDM) showed a significant reduction in the Streptococcus mutans bacteria in those that used it regularly. A large percentage of dental caries (cavities) can be attributed to S. mutans, therefore cranberry seems to be of great benefit in preventing them.
Peptic ulcers are increasingly being attributed to infection by Helicobacter pylori bacteria, as opposed to stress or stomach acidity. An NDM constituent of cranberry juice has also been shown to inhibit the adhesion of this type of bacteria to human gastric mucus, which therefore prevents the formation of peptic ulcers caused in this way. H. pylori is not only capable of causing peptic ulcers (which are said to affect approximately 50% of the populations of Western countries above the age of 60) but has been linked to gastric adenocarcinomas (stomach cancer), non-ulcer dyspepsia (acid reflux disease), and gastritis (inflammation of the stomach). Therefore, cranberry may be beneficial to some extent in preventing all of these conditions.
Cranberries have also been shown to contain significant amounts of flavonoids, which have been shown to function as potent antioxidants, and may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. This is because these compounds have been demonstrated to inhibit low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or ‘bad cholesterol’) oxidation, which, when accumulated in arteries, causes atherosclerosis by restricting the blood flow. In the advance stages of the disease, blood flow may decrease severely, or cease completely, resulting in angina (chest pain), thrombosis (blood clots) and myocardial infarction (heart attack).
Scientists have been obtaining promising results during research with diets high in antioxidants and other phytonutrients - studies suggest that they may provide protection against chronic age-related afflictions like loss of coordination and memory, by protecting brain cells from free radical damage and subsequent motor and cognitive function losses.
Also known as Curcuma Longa, Turmeric, Indian Saffron, Indian Valerian, Jiang Huang, and Red Valerian.
Curcumin is the naturally occurring active constituent of Turmeric (a yellow pigment), and is a powerful free radical fighting antioxidant. It is part of the ginger plant family, and has been identified as an important substance because of its wide-ranging health benefits. It is used as a supplement for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), ulcers, bursitis, rheumatoid arthritis, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, and AIDS.
Recently, studies have been confirming curcumin to be a promising treatment in cancer patients. Researchers have found that this powerful extract slows the proliferation of cancer cells by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death). One such study found that curcumin, also inhibited prostate cancer cell proliferation by interfering with the cells’ protein signalling pathways that usually starts the growth process. Another study showed the same apoptosis action on gastrointestinal and colon cancers.
Curcumin has been shown to inhibit the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), an enzyme that plays a crucial role in the development of certain cancers and chronic inflammatory diseases. It has also been identified as an inhibitor in abnormal platelet aggregation, which could lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is one of several omega-3 fatty acids. It is found in cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon. It is also found in fish oil supplements, along with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Omega-3 fatty acids are part of a healthy diet that helps lower risk of heart disease. Getting more EPA in your diet has positive effects on coronary heart disease, high triglycerides (fats in the blood), high blood pressure, and inflammation. Most people in the Western world do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diet.
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Because children need omega-3 fatty acids for their brains to develop properly, researchers have looked at whether fish oil might reduce ADHD symptoms. So far, results have been mixed. One study showed fish oil might help, but many people dropped out of the study before it was done.
Some studies show that fish oil reduces symptoms of depression. Other studies suggest it may be a kind of EPA known as ethyl-EPA (and not DHA) that reduces symptoms.
Fish oil seems to help people who already have heart disease. It also may lower the risk for developing heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil help lower triglycerides and blood pressure, reduce the risk of blood clots, improve the health of arteries and reduce the amount of arterial plaque, which narrows arteries, and causes heart disease.
Several small studies indicate that fish oil may help reduce symptoms and inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis. However, it does not stop joint damage from getting worse.
One study found that EPA reduced the number of hot flashes by 1.58 per day in menopausal women. It did not decrease the severity of the hot flashes, however.
Fish oil appears to reduce the pain of menstrual cramps when taken on a regular basis (not just when menstruating).
Several studies show that high doses (12 g) of fish oil can make fingers and toes less sensitive to cold when people have Raynaud syndrome. Doses this high should be taken only under a doctor's supervision.
Two small studies suggested that fish oil reduced fatigue and joint pain from lupus.
Omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA, may also have positive effects on lung and kidney diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity, ulcerative colitis, Crohn disease, anorexia nervosa, burns, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and early stages of colorectal cancer.
Inositol is a water-soluble member of the B complex and is a lipotropic. It combines with choline to form lecithin and also metabolizes fats and cholesterol. Like choline, it has been found important in nourishing brain cells.
Inositol has been reported to help lower cholesterol levels, promote healthy hair and aid in the prevention of baldness. It can be effective in preventing eczema and can aid in the redistribution of body fat. Some people claim it has a calming effect.
A good way to maximise the effectiveness of vitamin E is to take enough inositol and choline.
Also known as Glycyrrhiza glabra.
Liquorice root is a shrub that grows in subtropical climates. It has been used medicinally for more than 3000 years for its medicinal properties, and is often called 'The Grandfather of Herbs'.
It was used throughout history to treat a variety of complaints including congestion, coughs, colds, rashes, constipation and arthritis, and also for more serious problems such as cancer and hepatitis. The Chinese call it "the detoxifier", as it is thought to rid the body of poisons. Native Americans made a tea from liquorice, drank it as a laxative, and used it to treat earaches and coughs.
The major active ingredient is glycyrrhizin, which is responsible for its sweet taste - 50 times sweeter than sugar, and it also contains a chemical called glycyrrhetinic that has cough suppressant properties. It is anti-inflammatory and antiallergic, and therefore commonly used for the treatment of asthma. Liquorice also has demulcent (soothing and coating) properties, and is an anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial. It helps to soothe irritation and inflammation.
It is also used in modern medicine to;
Topically, liquorice can be used for the treatment of eczema, contact and allergic dermatitis, and psoriasis.
It is not recommended that liquorice be taken in large doses over a long period of time, as this may result in hypokalaemia, hypertension and oedema.
This flowering perennial can be found growing wild in the wastelands of the United States, Canada, and Europe. Nettles grow to a height of 30-50cm, and are covered in stinging hairs that cause skin irritation. The leaves are dark green, covered in hairs and sharply toothed. Nettle flowers (which appear in summer) are tiny, green and hang in dense clusters (female) or flower spikes (male).
The herb and leaf have several known therapeutic qualities: They fight inflammation, act as an antihistamine, and have a diuretic effect. Topical formulations of nettle herb juice have also been used to treat joint pain, as well as acne and other skin problems, and the herb has been explored as a treatment for premenstrual bloating (fluid retention).
Specifically, nettle root may also help to;
Know the poweful properties of olive fruit extracts with HYDROXYTYROSOL.
Antioxidants are compounds that inhibit or delay the oxidation of certain molecules, inhibiting the initiation or propagation of oxidative chain reactions caused by free radicals. Many of the most common human diseases are the result of the action of free radicals against cells, DNA, proteins, etc. Hydroxytyrosol is the main antioxidant of virgin olive oil and it is shown to be a potent free radical scavenger, which protects cells against oxidative stress.
Hydroxytyrosol is a highly bioavailable phytochemical with a high antioxidant capacity that is actively involved in the prevention of various diseases, as it has been shown in numerous studies. This is due to their high ability to neutralize free radicals, since these are the precursors of many health problems. Free radicals are very reactive chemical species that are harmful in the body when they are in a situation of imbalance, that is, when their number increases beyond what our body is able to eliminate with its endogenous antioxidants. In this situation, the contribution of antioxidants such as hydroxytyrosol to the organism is fundamental.
We have said that the excess of radicals generates a favorable balance of oxidants against antioxidants, causing the appearance of oxidative stress and cellular damage, a situation which is aggravated under certain circumstances such as intense physical exercise, stress, pollution, smoking, alcoholism, poor nutrition and exposure to solar radiation.
Experimental evidence from human and animal studies (both in vivo and in vitro) demonstrates that hydroxytyrosol and other phenolic compounds in olive oil have biological activities that are important from the point of view of risk reduction and severity of certain chronic diseases. However, Hydroxytyrosol is the most important and most responsible component of most of these health benefits.
You’ve probably heard the terms “fatty acid” and “omega 3” before, but do you know what a fatty acid is or why your body needs it? What about the different types of fatty acids, what foods you can naturally find them in and how much your body needs to live a long, healthy life?
Fatty acids are important for all systems of the body to function normally, including your skin, respiratory system, circulatory system, brain and organs. There are two fatty acids, termed essential fatty acids (EFA) that your body does not produce on its own. EFAs have to be ingested.
The two essential fatty acids that the human body cannot produce are the omega-3 fatty acid and omega-6 fatty acid, which are important for brain development, immune system function and blood pressure regulation.
What is Omega-3 Fatty Acid?
Omega-3 fatty acid (Alpha-linolenic acid) is an essential fatty acid that plays an important role in brain function and may help you fight against cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends a diet in which fatty fish, like salmon, herring, sardines and tuna are consumed at least twice a week.
Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Research on the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acid have shown that it may be useful for supporting the following:
High Blood Pressure
Omega-3 fatty acids are found naturally in:
Chia Seed Oil
Wheat Germ Oil
Canola Oil (Rapeseed)
Green Leafy Vegetables
Raw Walnuts & Walnut Oil
Flaxseeds or Flaxseed Oil
What is Omega-6 Fatty Acid?
Omega-6 fatty acid (Linoleic Acid) combined with omega-3 fatty acid produces many of the health benefits described above, but the trickiest part about playing the fatty acid game is that it is best to eat them in the right amounts.
You should be eating about twice as much omega-6 as omega-3, so that your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is 2:1, but in today’s world of fast food, frozen entrees, and high calorie snacks, it is not uncommon for most people to actually be getting about 15 times more omega-6 than omega-3. Washington DC’s center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health suggest that eating omega-6 and omega-3 in the wrong proportions may actually negate the health benefits.
The best sources of omega-6 are seeds, nuts and grains and green leafy vegetables, like lettuce, broccoli, purslane and kale, and in certain raw vegetable oils. Care should be taken to use raw cold pressed vegetable oils because cooking destroys the benefits of the fatty acids.
Omega-6 fatty acids are also found naturally in:
Chia Seed Oil
Raw Nuts & Seeds
What is Omega-9 Fatty Acid?
Omega-9, or monounsaturated oleic and stearic acid, is a non essential fatty acid produced naturally by the body whenever there is enough of either Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids.
However, if you do not have enough omega 3 and omega 6, then you must get omega 9 from your diet.
This fatty acid plays a role in promoting heart health by supporting healthy, balanced cholesterol levels and improving immune function.
Omega-9 fatty acids are also found naturally in:
Chia Seed Oil
Olives & Olive Oil
Also known as Cucurbita maxima.
Pumpkin seeds, of the genus Cucurbita, are widely cultivated and derived from such species as autumn squash, crookneck squash, and the Canada pumpkin. The seeds are broad and oval, about 2cm long.
They are rich in zinc and fatty acids, and are therefore recommended for men with prostrate problems since these nutrients are lacking in this condition. Pumpkin seeds are also an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid and phytosterols, which play a key role in women's health.
They are thought to have a therapeutic effect in general, and preparations are effective in increasing bladder muscle tone and decongesting the prostrate. Researchers have also isolated an amino acid called Cucurbitin that is found only in pumpkin seeds and is thought to be responsible for worm-expelling effects.
There are no known side effects or reports of toxicity regarding pumpkin seeds.
Saw Palmetto is a small, palm-like plant native to North America. Native Americans and early American settlers used the berries to treat problems associated with the genitals, urinary tract and reproductive system. This herb is called the 'plant catheter' due to its therapeutic effect on the neck of the bladder and the prostate in men. Saw Palmetto is widely used in Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom and now the U.S. for nutritionally benefiting the prostate and urinary tract. It has been marketed as an aphrodisiac for both men and women.
The active constituents are volatile oil, steroidal saponin, tannins, and polysaccharides. Saw Palmetto is a tonic, and is one of the few herbal remedies that are considered to be anabolic - it strengthens and builds body tissues.
For men it treats an enlarged and weakened prostate gland. It has shown significant action in treatment of conditions associated with benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). Saw palmetto extract works to prevent testosterone from converting into dihydrotestosterone, the hormone thought to cause prostrate cells to multiply, leading to an enlarged prostate. It is chiefly used as a diuretic and to tone the bladder by improving urinary flow, and relieving strain. Regular use of saw palmetto may decrease urinary frequency, especially during the night, by allowing complete bladder expulsion and reducing inflammation of the bladder and enlarged prostrate.
Saw palmetto inhibits androgen and estrogen receptor activity and may be beneficial for both sexes in balancing the hormones. Because of it hormonal effects it can aid the thyroid in regulating sexual development and normalizing activity of those glands and organs.
Women have used the herb to stimulate breast enlargement and lactation as well as treating ovarian and uterine irritability. It has been prescribed for reduced or absent sex drive, impotence and frigidity. Because of its potential hormonal effects, pregnant women should not use it.
The berries have been recommended in treatment of diseases that deprive the body of strength and growth. Preliminary evidence exists to also suggest saw palmetto may also aid those suffering from thyroid deficiency. Saw palmetto is a good expectorant for use in clearing chest congestion and can be used to treat coughs, asthma, and bronchitis.
It has also been used to stimulate appetite, improve digestion, nourish the nervous system and increase the assimilation of nutrients to the body.
Parts Used: Fresh berries and dried berries as capsules or in preparation as a tincture.
Common Use: The berries have long held a reputation as sexual stimulants and aphrodisiacs. The largest use today is as a supplement for reducing enlarged prostate glands, treating urinary tract problems and for improving body strength.
Magnesium (Mg) is a trace mineral that is required for several hundred different biochemical reactions in the body, and is needed by every cell. Half of the magnesium stores are found inside cells of body tissues and organs, and half are combined with calcium and phosphorus in the bone - a tiny amount is found in the blood, which the body works very hard to keep at a constant level.
The magnesium content of refined foods is usually low. Water can provide magnesium, but the amount varies according to the water supply (‘hard’ water contains more magnesium than ‘soft’ water). Green vegetables such as spinach and cabbage provide magnesium because the centre of the chlorophyll molecule contains it. Nuts, seeds, and some whole grains are also good sources, but although magnesium is present in many foods, it usually occurs in small amounts, and daily needs can only be met by eating a wide variety of foods. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences has established an upper intake level (UL) for supplementary magnesium for adolescents and adults at 350 mg daily.
A lack of this important nutrient may be a major factor in many common health problems in industrialised countries. Common conditions such as migraines, attention deficit disorder, fibromyalgia, asthma and allergies have all been linked to a magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium supplementation is usually necessary for specific health problems or conditions that cause an excessive loss of magnesium. Extra magnesium may be required by individuals with conditions that cause urinary loss of magnesium, such as chronic malabsorption, severe diarrhoea and chronic or severe vomiting. Poorly controlled diabetes increases loss of magnesium in urine and may constitute magnesium supplementation. People who abuse alcohol are also at high risk for magnesium deficiency because alcohol increases urinary excretion of magnesium. Low blood levels of magnesium occur in 30 - 60% of alcoholics, and in nearly 90% of patients experiencing alcohol withdrawal.
Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps bones strong, the heart rhythm steady, and assists in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. Evidence suggests that it plays an important role in regulating blood pressure, and that a diet high in magnesium, potassium, and calcium, and low in sodium and fat can significantly lower blood pressure, and the risk of hypertension.
Magnesium deficiency can cause metabolic changes that may contribute to heart attacks and strokes. There is evidence that low body stores of magnesium increase the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, which can in turn increase the risk of complications associated with the heart. Several surveys have shown higher blood levels of magnesium correspond with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
Research suggests that magnesium deficiency may be a risk factor for postmenopausal osteoporosis due to the fact that it alters calcium metabolism and the hormone that regulates calcium. Studies have suggested that magnesium supplementation may improve bone mineral density, but researchers believe that further investigation on the role of magnesium in bone metabolism and osteoporosis is needed.
The health benefits of Neroli Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an antidepressant, aphrodisiac, antiseptic, bactericidal, cordial, carminative, cicatrisant, cytophylactic, disinfectant, antispasmodic, deodorant, digestive, emollient, sedative and tonic substance.
Neroli oil is yet another essential oil from a citrus fruit. Because of that fact, most of its medicinal properties match those of other citrus essential oils. This oil is extracted by steam distillation of flowers of Neroli which has the botanical name Citrus Aurantium. There is another name, Citrus Vulgaris, which is often assigned to it as well. The chief components of this essential oil are Alpha Pinene, Alpha Terpinene, Beta Pinene, Camphene, Farnesol, Geraniol, Indole Nerol, Linalool, Linalyl Acetate, Methyl Anthranilate, Nerolidol and Neryl Acetate.
Health Benefits of Neroli Essential Oil
Antidepressant: If you cannot escape from depression, even when you are out at parties or discotheques, you can try this essential oil to relieve your chronic depression. Neroli Essential Oil drives away sadness, invokes a feeling of joy and happiness while uplifting your overall mood. That is why this oil is extensively used in Aromatherapy techniques.
Aphrodisiac: Those who want to relive those pink and blue moments of their youth, even in their fifties, sixties or nineties should give this essential oil a try. It not only promotes arousal and increases the libido, but it also helps to cure loss of interest in sex, frigidity, impotence and erectile dysfunctions. It has also been known to create romantic and sexual feelings, which is very important for having a happy and successful sex life. As they say, “Sex is in the brains!”
Antiseptic: When you get a cut or wound and the doctor is too far to reach for an anti-tetanus injection, you should apply this oil on your wounds. This will effectively protect your wounds from infections and tetanus. You can then take your time to visit the doctor, but you should still definitely see a physician, just in case.
Bactericidal: This powerful essential oil kills bacteria and keeps your body free from a number of microbial infections and toxins. In diseases like cholera, typhoid, and food poisoning as well as certain skin conditions caused by bacteria, this oil may prove useful in giving considerable relief.
Cordial: Do you want some protection from colds during the winter? Neroli essential oil would be a very good choice. It will keep you warm and won’t let coughs and colds infect you. It will also curb the production of excess mucus and make it easy for you to breathe and sleep in winter.
Carminative: This will make an “Exit” sign for the gases that build up inside your stomach and intestines. You know how it feels when you are relieved of your gases. You feel light, your appetite comes back, no more indigestion, inflammation is gone, as are stomachaches. On top of that, you get a lower blood pressure as a bonus.
Cicatrisant: This property of Neroli Essential Oil works better than any anti-mark cream or lotion. In fact, some herbal anti-mark applications use this essential oil. This causes scars, spots and after-marks left by acne, boils, and pox to fade away.
Cytophylactic: Neroli essential oil promotes the generation of new cells and stimulates the health of those already present. This makes you grow bigger, stronger and healthier.
Disinfectant: It disinfects the body as well as your surroundings, while curing infections of the colon, prostrate, kidneys and urinary tracts when taken internally. In other uses, it helps cure skin infections and protects against new infections as well.
Antispasmodic: This essential oil efficiently handles spasms and gives relief from spasmodic coughs, cramps, spasmodic aches and spasmodic cholera. It also relaxes the muscles throughout the body.
Sedative: It sedates all of the organ systems and metabolic functions of the body, including those in your head. It gives relief from anxiety, distress, anger, depression, inflammations and irritations. In other words, it relaxes both the body and soul.
Tonic: Neroli essential oil safeguards all the aspects for good health, such as maintaining the correct rate of metabolism, proper circulation and a boosted immune system.
Digestive: Neroli essential oil promotes digestion and increases appetite.
Emollient: This is one of the most popular properties of neroli essential oil, which is its ability to care for the skin. It makes the skin smooth, free from infections and adds a glamorous glow. It also helps to maintain the right moisture and oil balance in the skin.
Other Benefits: It can be used to cure neuralgia, colitis, diarrhea and fat-cracks. It is also effective in reducing weight
Grape seed extract is an industrial derivative of grape seeds, extremely rich in antioxidants and oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs).
The extract has been linked to a wide range of possible therapeutic properties including healing wounds and treating conditions such as high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, macular degeneration, poor circulation, nerve damage, as well as preventing cancer.
Although many of these health claims are still not completely backed up by "high quality" studies, strong evidence is beginning to emerge on grape seed extract's extensive health benefits.
Grape seed extract is available as a dietary supplement in either a liquid form, tablets or capsules. Supplements generally contain between 50 to 100 mg of the extract.
The health benefits of potassium include relief from stroke, blood pressure, heart and kidney disorders, anxiety and stress, as well as enhanced muscle strength, metabolism, water balance, electrolytic functions, and nervous system.
Potassium, the third most abundant mineral in human body, is a powerful element in improving health. It contains the components for maintaining a high level of well-being and an improved lifestyle. You should not underestimate the importance of potassium in your dietary plan.
Apart from acting as an electrolyte, this mineral is required for keeping the heart, brain, kidney, muscle tissue and other important organ systems of the human body in good condition. Potassium chloride is the main variety of this mineral, and it works in association with sodium to perform a number of critical body tasks.
Deficiency Symptoms of Potassium
Deficiency of any nutrient in the body is undesirable and potassium is not an exception. A diet deficient in potassium may lead to symptoms like fatigue and muscle weakness. Other indications for a deficiency of potassium include inactive reflexes, abnormal heartbeat, heart palpitations, anemia and severe headaches. Potassium-deficient people may also experience high blood pressure, pain in their intestines, swelling in their glands and diabetes as serious side effects of this deficiency.
A balanced diet must contain a fair quantity of potassium, as per the recommendations of health experts. The most important dietary sources of potassium are citrus fruits, vegetables and grains. Also, you can get an ample amount of potassium from salmon, chicken, whole milk, fresh fruit juices and almonds. Apart from those, nuts, lime beans, potatoes and poultry are other products to be included in the potassium boosting list. However, the most important sources of potassium are avocados, bananas and coconut water.
Health Benefits of Potassium
Potassium is often considered an essential health nutrient, due to its numerous health benefits.
Stroke: Potassium plays an important role in keeping brain function at a normal level. High levels of potassium allow more oxygen to reach the brain, thereby stimulating neural activity and increasing cognitive function. There is a good reason why people call bananas brain food; they contain impressively high levels of potassium!
It is of great importance in preventing the occurrence of stroke in the human brain. It is not secret that people at high risk for this tragic condition are often found to be deficient in this essential nutrient.Since potassium acts as a vasodilator, the blood vessels relax throughout the body when proper amounts of potassium are consumed. This means that blood flows more freely, and is less likely to clot and break off to cause strokes.
Low blood sugar: A decrease in the potassium level causes a drop in blood sugar. Decreases in blood sugar can cause sweating, headache, weakness, trembling and nervousness. An intake of potassium chloride and sodium provides immediate relief from such situations. This is also why diabetic patients are encouraged to keep their potassium levels normal, to reduce the chances of unpredictable spikes and plunges in their glucose and insulin levels by stabilizing the blood sugar levels throughout the body.
Muscle disorders: Potassium plays an important role in regular muscle contraction. A sufficient concentration of potassium is required for the regular contraction and relaxation of muscles. Most of the potassium ions in the human body are located in the muscle cells. It maintains optimal muscle and nerve function, and helps to keep our reflexes fast because it stimulates the neural connectivity of muscles and the brain!
Cramps: Muscle cramps are a common result of low levels of potassium in the blood, a condition called hypokalemia. If you consume a banana every day, you can easily prevent muscle cramps because bananas have a rich potassium content, not to mention all of the other benefits of bananas!
Bone Health: The benefits of potassium even extend to improving the health of your bones. There are certain qualities of potassium which neutralize various acids throughout the body which retain and preserve calcium, making it inaccessible to use for bone strength and durability. Furthermore, a study at the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center claims that eating fruits and vegetables that have high levels of potassium results in higher mineral density in bones.
Brain function: Potassium channels play a key role in maintaining the electrical conductivity of the brain and dramatically affect brain function. It is also involved in higher brain function like memory and learning. In addition to this, serious ailments like epilepsy are related to the dysfunction of potassium channels that can occur through potassium deficiency. There are actually potassium currents that play a major role in mammalian neurones. These channels are interconnected with a vast array of neural function and can help moderate and regulate electrical currents throughout the body!
Blood Pressure: Potassium is helpful in reversing the role of sodium in unbalancing normal blood pressure. Thus, it acts as a vital component that maintains the normality of blood pressure in the human body. This further reduces the risk of heart diseases and hypertension. Regulation of blood pressure is one of the most important functions of this powerful mineral. As mentioned earlier, potassium has vasodilating properties that work to relieve the tension of blood vessels, which is one of the main causes of high blood pressure.
Muscular Strength: One of the most useful benefits of potassium is its role in ensuring the proper growth of muscle tissues and the proper utilization of energy released during metabolism, which adds significantly to muscular strength. The muscles, including those all-important cardiac muscles, are prone to paralysis due to a deficiency of potassium in a person’s diet.
Stimulating cell growth and providing the metabolic energy to do so is a vital function of potassium, and muscular health would be compromised without it. Also, without the contractions and relaxations that potassium allows muscles to perform, exercise and additional muscle training would be impossible!
Metabolism: Potassium assists in the metabolic processing of various nutrients like fats and carbohydrates. Thus, potassium is of great value in extracting the energy from nutrients that are consumed. Studies have shown that potassium is also integral in the synthesis of proteins, which have an impact of tissue regeneration, cell growth, and an overall balanced metabolism.
Anxiety and Stress: Potassium is of great importance for people suffering from undesirable mental states like anxiety and stress. It is considered as a powerful stress buster and therefore ensures the efficient mental performance of the human body. Anxiety and stress are so detrimental to other parts of health that any bonus from things like potassium are considered a very good idea if you suffer from chronic stress. Potassium can help regulate various hormones in your body, including stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, excess amounts of which can be quite detrimental to a wide array of the body’s systems.
Heart and Kidney Disorders: The health benefits of potassium ensure good health for the heart as well as the kidneys. It plays an irreplaceable role in regulating the functions of the metabolism and keeping the heart and kidneys running smoothly. Additionally, this mineral assists kidneys in removing waste through the process of excretion. However, it is strongly advised to consult your doctor to get recommendations about potassium dosage, because potassium can help stimulate the body to absorb more calcium than necessary, which can actually calcify and cause kidney problems, rather than solve them.
Water Balance: Another significant role that potassium plays is in the maintenance of an optimal fluid balance in the human body. Different types of cells require a proper water balance for efficient functioning and potassium aids these cells in regulating the balance. Fluid balance keeps all of our organ systems functioning in one way or the other, which is why many people recommend eating bananas after athletic events, or after a heavy night of drinking, in order to rehydrate and optimize fluid balance.
Electrolytes: Potassium is also a great electrolyte in the human body. It helps in regulating the level of fluids in the body and thus aids in a number of critical body functions. Furthermore, electrolytes help to transmit electrical charges throughout the body from the brain and nervous system, so extra electrolytes keep everything functioning faster and more efficiently in the body!
Nervous System: In connection to the previous point about electrolytes, potassium helps to boost the efficiency of nerve reflexes that transmit message from one body part to another. This in turn helps in muscle contraction to perform various activities every day without tiring quickly, which are further benefited by potassium, which is required to induce muscle contraction and function.
French tarragon herb, also known as dragon wort, is a very popular culinary herb used as flavoring agent, especially in the Mediterranean cuisines. This aromatic perennial growing herb is rich in phytonutrients as well antioxidants that help promote health and prevent diseases.
Botanically, tarragon belongs within the family of Asteraceae, in the genus: Artemisia, and known scientifically as Artemisia dracunculus sativa. The herb is thought to have originated in the Central Asia region, probably in Siberia.
This herb is small shrub featuring slim woody branching stems that reach up to a meter in height. It grows well in rich sandy soil with adequate sunlight. Its leaves feature smooth, dark green surface with pointed ends.
Russian tarragon (A. dracunculoides) is a more robust, closely related species of French tarragon. It, however, is quite inferior in flavor to its Mediterranean counterpart and hence, less preferred in cooking.
Health benefits of Tarragon herb
Laboratory studies on tarragon extract shows certain compounds in them inhibit platelet activation, preventing platelet aggregation and adhesion to the blood vessel wall. It, thus, helps prevent clot formation inside tiny blood vessels of heart and brain protecting from heart attack, and stroke.
The herb is very rich source of vitamins such as vitamin-C, vitamin-A as well as B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, pyridoxine, niacin, riboflavin, etc., that function as antioxidant as well as co-factors for enzymes in the metabolism.
Tarragon is a notably excellent source of minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and zinc. Manganese is utilized by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is essential for cellular respiration (co-factors for cytochrome-oxidase enzyme) and blood cell production.
Medicinal uses of tarragon
Tarragon herb has been used in various traditional medicines for stimulating the appetite and as a remedy for anorexia, dyspepsia, flatulence, and hiccups.
The essential oil, eugenol in the herb has been in therapeutic use in dentistry as a local-anesthetic and antiseptic for toothache complaints.
Tarragon tea may help cure insomnia
Vitamin K2 is an essential vitamin that many people never hear of until they have their first child and the nurse administers a Vitamin K injection.
Sadly, this essential nutrient is often overlooked, and it is important at all life stages, not just for newborn babies or pregnant moms. Other vitamins and minerals like Vitamin D, Magnesium and Calcium get the attention they deserve, but K2 is often ignored with dire consequences.
What is Vitamin K2?
Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin that is important for blood clotting and that contributes to a healthy heart, bones and immune system.
There are several different forms, mainly K1 and K2, though they act differently in the body:
Vitamin K1– (or phylloquinone) is natural form found in greens and nettle that is used by the liver for proper blood clotting.
Vitamin K2– (or menaquinone) is a more absorbable form of Vitamin K found in certain fermented foods and supplements is used by soft tissues and is helpful for bones, heart tissue and more
Vitamin K3– (or menadione) is a synthetic form of Vitamin K. This is typically the one injected into infants at birth and some studies have shown potential toxicity from this form
Why is Vitamin K so important:
For Healthy Bones
Research has shown that Vitamin K2 is one of the most important nutrients for long-term bone health and that it is even more important than calcium.
K2 is needed to help calcium and other minerals bind into the bone matrix to strengthen bones (and not to stay in soft tissue where it can cause calcification in the wrong places).
In fact, studies have shown that Vitamin K is effective at not just stopping bone loss in people with osteoporosis but potentially reversing it as well. This same research found up to an 80% reduction in fractures in osteoporosis patients with K2 supplements.
For Heart Health
For Oral Health
is vital for overall health and Vitamin K is important for oral health. In fact, Vitamin K was one of the vitamins that Dr. Weston A. Price found was vital for tooth remineralization and prevention of cavities.- .
To Reduce Cancer Risks
For Brain Health
Some fascinating new research showed that the same process that makes Vitamin K helpful for preventing calcification of the arteries and muscle tissue might also make it beneficial for protecting the brain against Alzheimers and other diseases.
In short, the theory is that Vitamin K helps prevent excess calcium in the body (including the brain), and this excess disregulated calcium in the brain accounts for some of the damage from Alzheimers.
Another study looked at the dietary intake of Vitamin K in patients with early Alzheimers and found that those diagnosed with Alzheimers had considerably less Vitamin K than those in the control group.
We now know that Vitamin K affects 16 Gla-proteins in the body. This is one of the reasons that studies have consistently shown an inverse relationship between Vitamin K levels and mortality from all causes. In other words, the better your Vitamin K levels, the less likely you are to die from all causes.
Skin Health & Anti-Aging
K2 is also promising for skin health and anti-aging. Just as it prevents the calcification of arteries, veins and soft tissue, it helps stop excess calcium in the elastin in the skin.
For this reason, K2 may help keep skin elastic and prevent wrinkles.
Also known as Pyridoxine or Pyridoxal.
In studies Vitamin B6 has been shown to have the following properties;
Also known as Cobalamin
In studies Vitamin B12 has been shown to help with;
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods. It is also produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis.
Vitamin D is essential for promoting calcium absorption in the gut and maintaining adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralisation of bone and bone growth. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis.
Vitamin D has other roles in human health, including modulation of neuromuscular and immune function and reduction of inflammation. Many genes encoding proteins that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis are modulated in part by vitamin D.
In various studies, Vitamin D has been shown to have the following properties;
he richest sources of Vitamin E are seed oils, olive oil, and nuts.
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant, preventing the fatty cell membranes from becoming oxidised, and therefore helping to prevent blood clots and thrombosis. It also has anti-inflammatory actions, improving wound healing, and is commonly used as a supplement to improve dry skin and treat the symptoms of PMS.
Research suggests that this vitamin is useful for heart health and general immune function.
Signs of deficiency include easy bruising, slow wound healing, varicose veins, loss of muscle tone and infertility.
Zinc is an essential mineral that is found in almost every cell. It stimulates the activity of approximately 100 enzymes, which are substances that promote biochemical reactions in your body. Zinc supports a healthy immune system, is needed for wound healing, helps maintain the senses of taste and smell, and is needed for DNA synthesis. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence.
Zinc is found in a wide variety of foods. Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food, but red meat and poultry provide a large amount. Other good food sources include beans, nuts, some types of seafood, whole grains and dairy products.
Zinc deficiency most often occurs when zinc intake is inadequate or poorly absorbed, or when the body’s requirement for zinc increases. Signs of zinc deficiency include growth retardation, hair loss, diarrhoea, impotence, eye and skin problems, and loss of appetite. There is also evidence that weight loss, delayed healing of wounds, taste abnormalities, and mental lethargy can occur. Vegetarians may need as much as 50% more zinc than non-vegetarians because of the lower absorption of zinc from plant foods, so it is very important for vegetarians to include good sources of zinc in their diet.
Zinc helps regulate the production of cells in the body's immune system, which protect against infection and some cancers. It acts as a critical ingredient to immune cell function, assisting in cell division and growth. As a component in thymic hormone, zinc serves to control the maturation of Iymphocytes, a kind of white blood cell that helps fight infection.
In many elderly individuals, immunity decreases, making them more susceptible to disease. Providing adequate zinc, as well as a balanced diet, has been shown to help decrease the likelihood of getting an infectious disease. There is also evidence that zinc deficiency is implicated in deteriorating vision that comes with aging.
Zinc, found in vesicles of the mossy fibre system of the brain's hippocampus, interacts with other chemicals to send messages to the sensory brain centre, enhancing memory and thinking skills. Researchers found that women and men deficient in zinc had a harder time on standard memory tests and lower cognition.
Zinc is also imperative for proper learning, and behavioural performance in children. Research has shown that zinc deprivation causes poor growth and maturation of the cerebellum, and impairs the development of brain cells, which may contribute to learning disorders or emotional and behaviour problems.
Zinc may help in the treatment of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) - although recent studies are not conclusive, there is growing evidence that a deficiency of progesterone underlies PMS, and trace amounts of zinc regulate the secretion of hormones, including progesterone. The reduction in zinc in the luteal phase of menstruation, the 13 days preceding menstruation, could lead to a decrease in secretions of progesterone and endorphines - the natural painkillers our bodies produce.
Because zinc is absolutely vital for growth and development, and is used to generate cells, it is essential that pregnant woman obtain the required amounts of zinc, which can be as much as 19 milligrams per day. Scientific evidence shows that maternal zinc deficiency during pregnancy has varied adverse effects on foetal development, including a two-fold increase in risk of low birth weight, and more than a trebled risk of pre-term delivery. Zinc has shown favourable results with regards to reducing prematurity, prenatal death and other complications.
Zinc is essential for healthy skin. As a drying agent and astringent, zinc oxide has been used for generations to soothe diaper rash and relieve itching. And zinc is a natural sunscreen, helping to protect lips and skin from becoming chapped by the sun's harmful rays.
Zinc sulphate is effective in treating some cases of acne, and in a water-based solution, it helps remedy cold sores, and improves the healing of wounds, like surgical incisions, burns and other skin irritations.
Used as an anti-inflammatory, zinc soothes skin and skin tissue. Rashes, blisters, burns and eczema are all improved when treated with zinc, and as it stimulates the transport of Vitamin A from the liver to the skin, it helps to protect body tissue from damage. Zinc activates areas of the brain that receive and process information from taste and smell sensors. Levels of zinc in plasma, and zinc's effect on other nutrients, like copper and manganese, were found to influence appetite and taste preference.
Insufficient zinc has been linked to anorexia, which responds well to zinc replacement treatment. Zinc abnormalities also often exist in mood disorder patients. Zinc sulphate, taken as a supplement, appears effective in reducing fatigue, mood swings and changes in appetite. As new studies reveal the dramatic role minerals play in maintaining health and fighting disease, medical science is recognizing zinc as a natural treatment that can be safe, inexpensive and beneficial for the whole body.
The health benefits of Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an antidepressant, antiseborrhoeic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, hypotensive, nervine and sedative substance.
This essential oil was not widely known about until very recently, but with the thousands of cosmetics products and their advertisements flooding the television and global media, it soon became a household name and a favorite for aromatherapists.
The essential oil of ylang-ylang is extracted by steam distillation of fresh flowers of the ylang-ylang tree, which bears the scientific name Cananga Odorata and is commonly found in the rain forests of certain Asian and South Pacific Islands like Indonesia, Philippines, Java, Sumatra, Comoro and Polynesia.
The chief components of the essential oil of ylang-ylang are benzyl acetate, benzyl benzoate linalool, caryophyllene, geranyl acetate, methyl benzoate, p-cresyl methyl ether and other components known as Sesquiterpenes, which all contribute to its aroma and medicinal properties.
Health Benefits of Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil
Antidepressant: This is one of the oldest known medicinal properties of Ylang-Ylang and it is a part of the essential oil as well. It fights depression and relaxes both the body and soul, thereby driving away anxiety, sadness, and chronic stress. It also has an uplifting effect on mood and induces feelings of joy and hope. It may be an effective treatment for those undergoing nervous breakdowns and acute depression after a shock or an accident
Antiseborrhoeic: Seborrhoea or Seborrhoeic Eczema is a horrible disease that is caused due to malfunctioning sebaceous glands. This disorder results in irregular sebum production and the consequent infection of the epidermal cells. It looks very unattractive and painful, since the white or pale yellow skin, whether it’s dry or greasy, starts peeling off. This normally happens on the scalp, cheeks, eyebrows and wherever else hair follicles are found. Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil can be beneficial in curing this inflammatory situation and reducing the skin irritation and redness by regularizing sebum production and treating the infection itself.
Antiseptic: Any wounds like cuts, abrasions or burns comes with the chance of the wound becoming septic from various bacterial infections. The risk of complications is even greater when the wound was made by an iron object, as there remains a chance of it becoming infected by tetanus germs. Essential Oil of Ylang-Ylang can help to avoid both sepsis and tetanus by inhibiting microbial growth and disinfecting the wounds. This property of Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil protects your wounds from infections from bacteria, virus and fungus. It also helps to speed up the healing process of the wound.
Aphrodisiac: The Essential Oil derived from Ylang-Ylang can really activate the romance within couples and can improve your sexual life. This can be very beneficial for those people who have lost interest in sex due to tremendous work load, professional stress, depression, or the effects of pollution. The loss of libido or frigidity is a growing problem in modern life, but relying on natural essential oils like Ylang-ylang can really help you find your sex drive
Hypotensive: This oil is a very effective agent for lowering blood pressure. In recent times, since high blood pressure is a major health epidemic among both the young and the old, and the drugs for lowering it having serious adverse side effects on the health, Ylang-Ylang oil can be an easy and natural solution. It has no adverse side effects on health, if taken in prescribed quantities.
Sedative: Health benefits of ylang-ylang essential oil includes providing releif from stress and anxiety. This oil sedates or calms nervous afflictions, stress, anger and anxiety, while inducing a relaxed feeling.
Nervine: Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil is a health booster for the nervous system. It strengthens the nervous system and repairs any damage it may have suffered. Furthermore, it also reduces stress on the nerves and protects them from developing a number of nervous disorders.
Ylang-ylang essential oil can be used to cure infections in internal organs such as the stomach, intestines, colon, and urinary tract. It is also good for people suffering from insomnia, fatigue, frigidity and other stress related conditions. It is extremely effective in maintaining moisture and oil balance of the skin and keeps the skin looking hydrated, smooth, and young.