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By Michelle Schoffro Cook, Care2

Have you been wondering “what’s all the fuss about green tea?” Now you can stop wondering and start drinking … green tea, that is. This flavorful beverage offers many health benefits to anyone who drinks it regularly. Green tea contains a potent plant nutrient known as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, for short. But don’t fret, you don’t have to keep track of its chemical name to reap the health benefits.

Here are nine reasons to start drinking green tea or continue drinking it if you’re already hooked.

1. Green tea is a superb fat fighter. Its active ingredient, EGCG, increases the rate at which fat is burned in your body.

2. It targets belly fat. Research at Tufts University indicates that EGCG in green tea, like other catechins, activate fat-burning genes in the abdomen to speed weight loss by 77 percent.

3. Green tea keeps energy stable by balancing blood sugar levels. EGCG improves insulin use in the body to prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes that can result in fatigue, irritability, and cravings for unhealthy foods.

4. Research shows it may be helpful against lung cancer. In an April 2010 study published in Cancer Prevention Research, EGCG was found to suppress lung cancer cell growth.

5. Green tea may halt colorectal cancer. In numerous other studies, EGCG appears to inhibit colorectal cancers.

6. In research, it appears to cause prostate cancer cells to commit suicide. A March 2010 study in Cancer Science indicated that EGCG aids the body by causing prostate cancer cells to commit suicide.

7. Green tea may prevent skin damage and wrinkling. EGCG appears to be 200 times more powerful than vitamin E at destroying skin-damaging free radicals. Free radicals react with healthy cells in the body, causing damage, so lessening their numbers may help reduce wrinkling and other signs of aging.

8. It contains a potent antioxidant that kills free radicals. Because it is a potent antioxidant green tea can positively impact a lot more than skin cells. Free radicals are increasingly linked to many serious chronic illnesses like arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.

9. Green tea tastes good. If you’re not wild about the flavor, try a few different kinds. Try it iced or hot. Add some of the natural herb stevia to sweeten it if you want a sweeter drink. I wasn’t crazy about green tea the first few times I tried it, but now I love it with a fresh squeeze of lemon and a few drops of stevia over ice — et voila! Green tea lemonade. Mmmmm.

Reap the rewards
Add one or two teaspoons of green tea leaves to a cup of boiling water, preferably in a tea strainer. Let steep for five minutes. Pour over ice if you prefer a cold beverage. Most experts recommend three cups daily. And, don’t worry, green tea contains a lot less caffeine than coffee or black tea.

Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook. Adapted with permission from The Life Force Diet. Michelle Schoffro Cook, RNCP, ROHP, DAc, DNM, is a best-selling and six-time book author and doctor of natural medicine.

http://shine.yahoo.com/event/green/nine-reasons-to-drink-green-tea-daily-1609132/

Medical Notes

Much ado about spirulina

By EDUARDO GONZALES, MD

May 10, 2010, 5:35am

Q: What is spirulina? There are claims that it can cure certain diseases? Is this true? Has there been any research conducted, local (FNRI) or otherwise on the health benefits of spirulina?
–DaveLJ @yahoo.com

A: Spirulina is a tiny blue-alga or plankton that naturally grows in warm water alkaline volcanic lakes. Like all plants containing chlorophyll, Spirulina is able to synthesize or manufacture nutrients such as proteins, vitamins and minerals from water and air in the presence of sunlight.

Spirulina is a traditional food of many indigenous people of Mexico (i.e., Aztecs) and some African countries.  However, modern man has largely ignored the value of the plant until about 40 years ago when it was rediscovered by the public and some members of the scientific community. At present, it is available commercially in tablet or capsule form in many countries including the U.S., Japan and the Philippines. Its principal use for which it has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is as a food supplement.

Nutrient analyses of Spirulina are very revealing. It contains 55 to 70 percent protein, four to seven percent fat including the essential fatty acids linolenic and linoleic acids, 15 to 25 percent carbohydrate, considerable amounts of vitamins especially provitamin A, Vitamin E and the B complex vitamins (it is reportedly the world’s richest natural source of vitamin B-12), and traces of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and manganese. Spirulina is easy to digest, thus, it is a remarkable source of nutrients for humans.

Recently, Spirulina has been gaining more attention because many anecdotal reports and some scientific studies—mostly on animals—have suggested that aside from its nutritional value, it has some therapeutic effects. Incidentally, these scientific studies were conducted abroad. I have not come across a study that has been done in the Philippines.  In any case, the studies are preliminary and by no means conclusive, but they indicate that Spirulina can help (with emphasis on the word help) shrink and prevent cancers, fight some viral infections, strengthen the body’s immune system and prevent anemia.

Spirulina may help regress and prevent cancer because some common forms of cancer are the result of damaged cell DNA and in vitro studies show that Spirulina enhances repair of damaged DNA. Furthermore, studies on animals with induced cancer report high levels of suppression of the malignancies after being fed whole Spirulina or treated with its water extracts.

Another in-vitro study using a purified water extract from Spirulina called Calcium-Spirulan indicates that the alga has some anti-viral activity because it inhibited the replication of HIV-1, herpes simples, human cytomegalovirus, influenza A virus, mumps virus and measles virus.

Spirulina evidently perks up the immune system. Several studies have shown that feeding animals with Spirulina increases the number and the activity of these animals’ protective cells against germs and parasites.

Chinese scientists have suggested that Spirulina can help prevent anemia because they have documented the presence of phycocyanin in Spirulina. This is a chemical that stimulates red blood cell formation much like the hormone erythropoetin (EPO) does.

All told, I am convinced that Spirulina is indeed a rich source of protein, vitamins and minerals and that it is can serve as a good nutritional supplement for optimum health and wellness. But I seriously doubt whether on its own, it can prevent, much less cure, any disease, encouraging preliminary scientific evidence notwithstanding. If at all, it can simply help prevent some chronic diseases in the same way that other plant-derived antioxidants do.

By the way, there is a group in our country—the Spirulina Foundation of the Philippines—that is dedicated to producing the alga in massive quantities by scientific cultivation.

(Email inquiries on health matters to: medical_notes@yahoo.com)

http://mb.com.ph/articles/256729/much-ado-about-spirulina

You are What You Eat

By JOAN SUMPIO, RND

May 10, 2010, 5:32am

Many of us must have experienced once in our life meticulously removing onion strips or rings from our dish. Some simply don’t want the taste while others wouldn’t want the bad odor it will leave in our mouth. The pungent smell it brings about is due to its sulfur-containing compounds; but onions can’t simply be neglected for its health-promoting effects.

Onions are known for its chromium content, a trace mineral that helps cells respond to insulin, and numerous flavonoids, most notably quercitin. However annoying its smell is, onions deserve a high degree of respect when it comes to considering good health that it can bring about.

By its smell, one would immediately think that onions can easily irritate the gastrointestinal tract and would not be good at all to consume, but on the contrary, onions can actually support gastrointestinal health.

Some scientists have looked into the positive association of onion consumption (twice or more per week) with reduced risk of developing colon cancer. The quercitin in onions was seen as able to halt the growth of tumors in animals and to protect colon cells from the damaging effects of cancer-causing substances.

For this reason, it has been recommended to cook meats with onion to help reduce the amount of carcinogens that may be produced when meat is cooked at high temperatures.

Anti-cancer properties

In human studies, quercitin helped reduce the size and number of pre-cancerous lesions in the human intestinal tract (research published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology).

Another interesting thing about onion is its ability to be of help in lowering blood sugar levels. Clinical evidence suggests that an active substance in onion (allyl propyl disulfide) helps increase the amount of free insulin available. The active substance actually competes with insulin to occupy sites in the liver where insulin is inactivated. This then results in an increase in the amount of insulin available to lead glucose into cells bringing about decrease in blood sugar levels.

Diabetic-friendly

As onion is a good source of the mineral chromium, this makes onion a good friend to diabetics. Different researches have shown that chromium can decrease fasting blood sugar, improve glucose intolerance and even help decrease blood levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides, while increasing “Good Cholesterol” levels.

Natural food preservative

These days, there is another interesting goodness that we should know about onions: onion extracts are now being studied as potential natural food preservative. The anti-microbial and antioxidant activity of compounds derived from onions may slow spoilage of foods by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, says a new study from Spain.

What makes onion a good candidate for use in food preservation is the anti-microbial properties of its flavonoid contents. Researchers are looking into onion’s ability to delay factors that cause spoilage of foods like margarines and mayonnaise. In the study, it is the yellow onion variety that has the highest flavonoid content and antioxidant property, and that it exhibited anti-microbial properties. Having such property, onion extract can enhance the stability and preservation of foods. Interesting isn’t it? When we have all thought that the best preservative for foods are salt and sugar, now comes a better alternative.

Having known all these beneficial things from onion (and its extract), the next time you see this humble vegetable in the supermarket, smile and get a handful of it. It will help preserve not only your foods but also your health.

(Email author at wellbeing@mb.com.ph.)

http://mb.com.ph/articles/256725/theres-something-about-onions

chilipepper

Chili peppers are extremely healthy for you, and should be included in your regular diet. Here’s why.

Chili Peppers Fight Migraine Headaches and Sinus Headaches

Studies show that chili peppers can provide pain relief for migraine and sinus headaches. Capsaicin, the chemical that makes chili peppers hot, is known to inhibit a key neuropeptide, Substance P, that is the key brain pain transmitter. Go capsaicin!

Chili Peppers Prevent Sinusitis and Relieve Congestion

Capsaicin once again! The pepper heat helps to stimulate secretions that aid in clearing mucus from your nose, combatting nasal congestion. It also contains antibacterial properties that help fight chronic sinus infections.

Chili Peppers Fight Cancer

Capsaicin not only causes the tongue to burn, it also drives prostate cancer cells to kill themselves, according to studies published in the March 15 issue of Cancer Research.

According to the research, capsaicin induced approximately 80 percent of prostate cancer cells growing in mice to follow the molecular pathways leading to apoptosis. Prostate cancer tumors treated with capsaicin were about one-fifth the size of tumors in non-treated mice.

“Capsaicin had a profound anti-proliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells in culture,” said Dr. Lehmann, M.D., Ph.D. “It also dramatically slowed the development of prostate tumors formed by those human cell lines grown in mouse models.”

Chili Peppers Help Lower High Blood Pressure

Eating chili peppers are naturally high in vitamins A and C, and also bioflavinoids. They help strengthen our blood vessels, which makes them more elastic and better able to adjust to blood pressure fluctuations. Chili peppers also can make us sweat, which causes fluid loss, temporarily reducing overall blood volume.

Chili Peppers Fight Inflammation

Capsaicin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. It inhibits Substance P, which is associated with inflammatory processes, much like it relieves headaches and migraines, listed earlier. Capsaicin may also one day be a treatment for arthritis, psoriasis and diabetic neuropathy.

Chili Peppers Help Soothe Intestinal Diseases

A Duke University study found that capsaicin may lead to a cure for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The substance can also help to kill bacteria such as H. pylori, which can help prevent stomach ulcers.

Chili Pepper Can Help You Burn Fat and Lose Weight

Did you know that capsaicin is a thermogenic? Thermogenics stimulate the body’s burning of fat byincrease the metabolism of the body’s adipose tissue, generating heat.

Chili Peppers Help Protect Your Heart

Capsaicin may help to protect the heart by reducing cholesterol, triglycerides and platelet aggregation. It may also help the body dissolve fibrin, which is necessary for blood clots to form. Further, cultures around the world that use hot peppers liberally in their meals have significantly lower rates of heart attack and stroke than cultures that do not.

Chili Peppers Have Loads of Vitamin C

A typical chili pepper packs more vitamin C than an orange, so if you need your extra C, grab a chili pepper!

Chili Peppers Can Warm Your Feet!

Do your feet get cold in the winter? Try this — sprinkle powdered cayenne in your shoes. It will keep you feet nice and warm during those cold winter nights!

http://www.chilipeppermadness.com/chili-pepper-health-benefits.html

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/14/chili.record/index.html

Below we look at effects eating chilies has on the body.

Skin

Other than for its flavor-enhancing qualities, chili is, oddly enough, used to fight the summer heat.

As the chili causes extreme sweating and blood rushing to the face, it cools the body down when the sweat evaporates, making it useful for combating heat.

These same heat inducing properties are said to have a cumulative effect and over time are believed to alleviate pain when used in treatments for anything from arthritis and psoriasis to shingles and severe burns.

Brain

The substances that give chili peppers their intensity when eaten or applied on the skin are called capsaicinoids.

When consumed, capsaicinoids connect with pain receptors in the mouth and throat that are normally responsible for sensing heat.

Once activated by the capsaicinoids, these receptors send a message to the brain that the person has consumed something hot.

The brain responds to the burning sensation by raising the heart rate, increasing perspiration and releasing endorphins, called the body’s “natural painkillers” and “happy hormones.”

Stomach

Chilies have long been associated with soothing the digestive system, by acting as stomach cleansers. According to the UK Food Guide, chili helps to settle stomach upset and encourages the production of good digestive acid.

Chili aficionados believe the fruits can also induce weight loss because the substance that makes them “hot” speed up the body’s metabolism.

However, one study by the American Institute of Cancer Research performed in Mexico showed in 2003 that a high consumption of chilies (approximately nine to 25 jalapeno peppers per day) is in fact associated with stomach cancer.

Immune system

Red chilies contain high amounts of carotene and vitamin C. It is said that chilies contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits. Chili peppers are also a good source of vitamin B6 and are very high in potassium, magnesium and iron, giving them a reputation for naturally boosting the body’s immune system.

Heart and other cardiovascular effects

A 2006 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that after adding chili to the diet, bad cholesterol, that can often lead to heart problems, took a longer time to develop into heart diseases.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=29

brocolli

By Peter Jaret

April 13, 2000
Web posted at: 2:25 PM EDT (1825 GMT)

(WebMD) — Who would have thought that of all the brightly colored exotic offerings in the produce aisle — from curvy, golden-yellow peppers to inky purple eggplants — homely broccoli would become the superstar?

It’s true: In the category of most healthful vegetable, this cruciferous contender wins all the top honors.

This past February, when the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a paper that listed foods most likely to prevent colon cancer, what stood out? Broccoli. Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston published an article in the same journal last October and noted that broccoli, along with spinach, helped to minimize risk for cataracts.

When another team of Harvard scientists looked at how diet might protect against stroke, broccoli’s benefits again came to the fore, in research published in the October 6, 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Nutritious — and then some

When it comes to basic nutrients, broccoli is a mother lode. Ounce for ounce, boiled broccoli has more vitamin C than an orange and as much calcium as a glass of milk, according to the USDA’s nutrient database. One medium spear has three times more fiber than a slice of wheat bran bread. Broccoli is also one of the richest sources of vitamin A in the produce section.

But the real surprise is this vegetable’s potent cancer-fighting components.

At the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, food chemist Dr. Paul Talalay has gone so far as to name his lab after “Brassica,” the genus that includes broccoli and cauliflower. Talalay and his team at the Brassica Chemoprotection Laboratory have discovered that broccoli is rich in substances called isothiocyanates — chemicals shown to stimulate the body’s production of its own cancer-fighting substances, called “phase two enzymes.” According to Talalay, these enzymes, in turn, neutralize potential cancer-causing substances before they have a chance to damage the DNA of healthy cells.

To test broccoli’s cancer-fighting power, Talalay fed rats hearty servings of the vegetable for a few days and then exposed them to a potent carcinogen known to trigger a form of breast cancer in the animals. Broccoli-munching rats were half as likely to develop tumors as animals on standard chow, according to results published in the April 1994 Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

“Even those rats that did develop cancer ended up with fewer and smaller tumors, which is an important advantage in itself,” says Talalay.

More recently, scientists at Tokyo’s Graduate School of Agriculture have shown that isothiocyanates can block the growth of melanoma skin cancer cells, according to findings published in 1999 in the journal “Nutrition and Cancer.”

Good news for broccoli haters

If you don’t like broccoli, take heart: In 1997, Talalay and his researchers at Hopkins discovered to their surprise that broccoli sprouts, the week-old seedlings of the mature plant, are exceptionally rich in a form of isothiocyanate called sulforaphane — 10 to 100 times as rich as broccoli itself, in fact. More and more markets now carry the tender shoots, which are delicious on sandwiches and salads.

And keep in mind that broccoli is just one of many members of the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes cauliflower, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy — all of which appear to help protect against cancer.

When scientists at the World Cancer Research Fund reviewed 206 human and 22 animal studies, they found convincing evidence that cruciferous vegetables in general lowered risk for many forms of the disease, including tumors of the stomach, esophagus, lung, oral cavity and pharynx (throat), endometrium (lining of the uterus), pancreas, and colon.

How to enrich your diet

Need ideas for adding more of these vegetables to your diet?

Cauliflower makes a delicious addition to pasta primavera. Use penne pasta and you can boil the cauliflower and the noodles together — both require the same amount of cooking time.

Chopped red cabbage is a great addition to salads or chili. And if you’re not familiar with kale, try it in the savory Portuguese soup called caldo verde: Peel and finely chop two pounds of potatoes and boil for two minutes. Then add one bunch of chopped kale (about 6 to 8 cups) and cook for two more minutes. Season with a little salt and a splash of olive oil and you’re ready to eat.

http://archives.cnn.com/2000/FOOD/news/04/13/broccoli.benefits.wmd/

ganoderma

The secret to true success is good health. As the saying goes “Health is Wealth”, Yes! indeed it is true. One cannot be successful if health is compromise. Daily exercise, a good diet, healthy lifestyle, natural supplement and peace of mind can keep you up in good condition and maintain the balance of your body.

Today modern medicine has succeeded on treating many disorders in our body but yet none of today’s medical science found a system that prevents deadly diseases.

A prevention system that is purely natural and adaptable for all conditions and all body systems. There are now extensive research in Herbs as the primary preventive source and healthy herbal and organic food products now take the lead in preventive systems. The king of Herbs known as Lingzhi in China and Reishi in Japan is now widely researched by many universities and research institutions.

Today, Lingzhi is still widely revered as a valuable health supplement and herbal medicine worldwide. Studies of Lingzhi are mostly conducted in China, Japan, Korea and United States into the medicinal and nutritional values of the said herb.

About Lingzhi

LINGZHI is the name form of the mushroom Ganoderma Lucidum, have worldwide distribution in both tropical and temperate geographical regions which includes North and South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It has been use in traditional herbal medicine as a herbal medicine for more than 4,000 years, making it one of the oldest mushrooms known to have been used in medicine.

In Chinese the word Lingzhi means “herb of spiritual potency” or some described it as “mushroom of immortality“. Because Lingzhi has no known treatening side-effects, it has a good reputation in the East as the ultimate herbal substance. Some mild side effects, including dryness of the nasal passages, mouth and throat, as well as stomach upset and nosebleed. However, these effects were avoided by discontinuing use of the mushroom for one month after taking it for four months, and taking it again for four months, and so on.

In history, the 2000 year old medicinal Chinese book, Shen Nong’s Herbal Classic categorized Lingzhi as Superior, herb effective for multiple diseases and responsible for maintaining and restoring the body balance.

Medicinal Qualities

Scientist discovered 252 active components benefecial and essential to the human body. It is an adaptogen which brings immense benefits to human body without any side effect. The two main components is Germanium which can promote blood circulation, can increase oxygen absorbing capability of the body and keep sufficient oxygen in the body. Polysaccharides, increases the number of antibody which improves immune system.

Because of the presence of many medicinal properties such as polysaccharides, germanium, ergosterol, coumarin, mannitol, lactones, alkaloids, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and triterpenes, Lingzhi may be use to treat or prevent diseases.

Benefits of Lingzhi

  1. Lowers cholesterol in the blood
  2. Improve body metabolism
  3. Strengthens the immune system
  4. Suppressed cancerous cells
  5. Prevent Bronchitis
  6. Used for Caridovascular treatment
  7. Strengthens Respiratory System
  8. Treatment for Hepatitis
  9. Allergies
  10. Chemotherapy support
  11. HIV support
  12. Fatigue
  13. Altitude sickness
  14. Kidney and Never tonic
  15. Protects the Liver
  16. Anti-Tumor
  17. Anti-inflammatory
  18. Antiviral
  19. Lowers blood sugar
  20. Anti-fungal
  21. Antidiabetic
  22. Anti-parasitic
  23. Anti-Hypotensive
  24. Nausea
  25. Vomiting
  26. Stomatitis
  27. Sore Throat
  28. Loss of appetite
  29. Insomnia
  30. Liver conditions
  31. Hepatitis
  32. AIDS
  33. HIV
  34. Stress

Japanese Research – Lingzhi and Cancer

The prestigious Japanese doctor, Dr. Fukumi Morishige, M.D., Ph.D., was involved in the research of Lingzhi’s role in cancer control at the Linus Pauling Institute in Japan.

The doctor has been a surgeon for 37 years and performed numerous operations including countless encounter on cancer cases. He stated that the key to cancer treatment is in its early detection. He also stated that there is no established method on preventing cancer, however he had attested Lingzhi to be the best method as of now. According to him Lingzhi is an effective in the treatment of cancer. The polysaccharides in Lingzhi are effective in suppressing cancerous cells.

Dr. Fukumi assigned random cancer patients to administer Lingzhi essense with a control group of patients with other illness, e.g. arthritic rheumatism, chronic bronchitis, hepatitis etc., that is, people with lowered body resistance to diseases.

Immunogloburin test determined the level of immunity. They have found that after using Lingzhi, the level of IgA, IgG, IgM increased. This indicates that Lingzhi can elevate the body’s resistance to other diseases.

“A 39 year old female came to me with lung cancer and complications of the chest wall membrane. She had been told that she could not be operated on by the number of hospitals. She left in a hopeless state. Upon returning home, her husband started to feed her Lingzhi. After examination, I was suprised by the findings after six months, she had edema in her chest cavity, secondary to the cancer, and the symptom had completely disappeared. For a person who had already made her funeral arrangements and was waiting for death to rediscover there is hope for life, was incredible. X-rays had presented an even better picture when going through her medical history. She insisted that her improvement was the result of her husband giving her Lingzhi.

No wonder the Lingzhi mushrooms are called the “Celestial Herb” by the Japanese for its health giving properties. Modern science and cultivation methods have made this difficult to grow herb available for the past decade or two for everyone to derive the benefits.

It remains debatable as to whether lingzhi is a food supplement for health maintenance or actually a therapeutic “drug” for medical proposes. Thus far there has been no report of human trials using lingzhi as a direct anticancer agent, despite some evidence showing the usage of lingzhi as a potential supplement to cancer patients.

AT PRESENT, lingzhi is a health food supplement to support cancer patients, yet the evidence supporting the potential of direct in vivo anticancer effects should not be underestimated. Lingzhi or its products can be classified as an anticancer agent when current and more direct scientific evidence becomes available.

http://hubpages.com/hub/lingzhi

See also:

http://www.naturalypure.com/GanodermaLucidum.htm

http://www.healthyganoderma.com/ganoderma-lucidum-health.htm

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/71433/the_health_benefits_of_ganoderma_lucidum.html?cat=5

http://www.magicmushrooms.org/shop/vital-medical-mushrooms-ganoderma-lucidum-reishi-c-63_111.html

sweetpotato

Parts utilized
Tops, leaves and edible roots.

Constituents and properties
• Source of polyphenolic antioxidants.
• Leaves have a high content of polyphenolics – anthocyanins and phenolic acids, with at least 15 biologically active anthocyanins with medicinal value.
• Polyphenols have physiologic funtions, radical scavenging activity, antimutagenic, anticancer, antidiabetes and antibacterial activity in vitro and vivo.
• Considered hemostatic, spleen invigorating.

Uses
Nutritional
Edible: Leaves and roots.
Has a higher nutritional value than the common potato.
Good source of vitamins A, B and C, iron, calcium and phosphorus.
High in complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber; deficient in protein.
Leafy tops eaten as vegetables.
A component of many traditional cuisines.
A staple food crop in some countries.
Industrial
Starch and industrial alcohol production.
Folkloric
Tops, especially purplish ones, used for diabetes.
Crushed leaves applied to boils and acne.
For diarrhea: Boiled or boiled roots.

Studies
Dengue – Like gatas-gatas (Euphorbia hirta), there have been anecdotal reports of the use of Ipomoea batatas in dengue, with improvement in platelet counts being attributed to decoctions of kamote tops.
Preparation: kamote tops are boiled in wate for 5 minutesr to extract the juice
Diabetes – Despite its “sweet” name, it may be beneficial for diabetes as some studies suggest it may stabilize blood sugars and lower insulin resistance.
• Purple Sweet Potato anthocyanins have antioxidative activity in vivo as well as in vitro.
• Hemostatic mistura of ipomoea balatas leaves, methods of preparation and use thereof — a Jinshuye styptic plant preparation, an invention made from the extracts of leaf and stems of Ipomoea batatas has qi and spleen invigorating effects, cooling the blood and stopping bleeding. Such a composition has the potential of use for ITP (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura), radiotherapy- and chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia.
• Local Root Crops as Antioxidant: A 2006 study of commonly consumed roots crops in the Philippines (Kamote, Ipomoea batata; ubi, purple yam, Dioscorea alata; cassava, Manihot esculenta; taro or gabi, Colocasia esculenta; carrot, Daucus carota; yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) showed them to be rich sources of phenolic compounds with antioxidant acitivity, highest in sweet potato, followed by taro, potato, purple yam and lowest in the carrot.
• BIOACTIVE COMPOUNDS IN IPOMOEA BATATAS LEAVES: Results suggest the total phenolic content was positively correlated with radical scavenging activities of the sweet potato leaves.
Antidiabetic activity of white skinned sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) in obese Zucker fatty rats: Results suggest the white skinned sweet potato has antidiabetic activity and and improves glucose and lipid metabolism by reducing insulin resistance.

• Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas [L.] Lam ‘Tainong 57’) storage root mucilage with antioxidant activities in vitro: Mucilage might contribute its antioxidant activities against both hydoxyl and peroxyl radicals.

• Flavonoids: Leaf extract study isolated five news compounds: tiliroside, astragalin, rhamnocitrin, rhamnetin and kaempferol.
• Chitinases: Study identified new chitinolytic enzymes in sweet potato leaves. Chitinases catalyze the hydrolysis of chitin, the main structural component of fungal walls and arthropod integuments. Studies suggest it has other functions and has been proposed to play a role in the defense against pathogens. Chitinases are also useful in the production of biomedical and biotech products; used in the production of chitooligosaccharides, glucosamines and GlcNAc. Other applications are found in mosquito control and pathogenic plant fungi control.
• Antioxidant / Antiproliferative: Study demonstrated that the phytochemicals in sweet potato may have significant antioxidant and anticancer activities. The antioxidant activity was directly related to the total amount of phenolics and flavonoids in the extracts. The additive roles of phytochemicals may contribute to its ability in inhibiting tumor cell proliferation in vitro.

Source: http://www.stuartxchange.org/Kamote.html

Health Benefits

Sweet potatoes are excellent sources of plant proteins with very low calories.  Unlike other starchy root vegetables, it is very low in sugar, and in fact is a good blood sugar regulator.

As an anti-oxidant: Sweet potatoes have been found to contain a high amount of anti-oxidant, making it suitable in combating inflammatory problems like asthma, arthritis, gout, etc.

Diabetes: This fibrous root is suitable for diabetics’ consumption as it is a very good blood sugar regulator, helps to stabilize and lower insulin resistance.

Digestive tract, healthy: The significant amount of dietary fiber, especially when eaten with the skin, helps to promote a healthy digestive tract, relieving constipation and also helps prevent colon cancer.

Emphysema: Smokers and people who inhale second-hand smoke should regularly consume foods high in vitamin A as smoke has been found to induce vitamin A deficiency, causing a host of other health problems to the lungs.

Fetal Development: The high folate content is important and necessary for healthy fetal cell and tissue development.

Immune System: Regular consumption of sweet potatoes strengthens the body’s immune system and develop resistance to infection.

Heart diseases: Consumption of this high potassium root helps to prevent heart attack and stroke. It helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body cells, as well as normal heart function and blood pressure.

Muscle Cramps: A deficiency in potassium can cause muscular cramps and greater susceptibility to injury. Make sweet potatoes a regular part of your diet if you exercise a lot, both for an energy boost and to prevent cramps and injuries.

Stress: When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, causing the body potassium levels to be reduced. By snacking on the potassium-packed sweet potato, it helps to rebalance the vital mineral, and helps normalize the heartbeat. This in turn sends oxygen to the brain and regulates the body’s water balance.

http://www.juicing-for-health.com/sweet-potato-health-benefits.html

Sweet Potato Ranks Number One In Nutrition

According to nutritionists at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the single most important dietary change for most people, including children, would be to replace fatty foods with foods rich in complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes.

CSPI ranked the sweet potato number one in nutrition of all vegetables. With a score of 184, the sweet potato outscored the next highest vegetable by more than 100 points. Points were given for content of dietary fiber, naturally occurring sugars and complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron and calcium. Points were deducted for fat content (especially saturated fat), sodium, cholesterol, added refined sugars and caffeine. The higher the score, the more nutritious the food.

http://www.foodreference.com/html/sweet-pot-nutrition.html

See also:

http://www.elements4health.com/sweet-potatoes.html
http://hubpages.com/hub/Health_Benefits_of_Sweet_Potato
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=64
http://food-facts.suite101.com/article.cfm/nutritional_benefits_of_sweet_potatoes
http://www.ehow.com/facts_4797224_health-benefits-sweet-potatoes.html

sweetbasil

Chemical constituents and properties
• The dried leaves contain 0.21–1% essential oil, the major compounds of which are linalool and methyclaviol.
• Some of the other compounds are: caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, p-cymene, limonene, 1,8-cineole, methyl cinnamate, myrcene, quercetin, rutin, tryptophan, safrole.
• Study yielded 14 different anthocyanins: 11 cyanidin-based pigments and 3 peonidin-based pigments.
• Carminative, stimulant, diaphoretic, expectorant, febrifuge, diuretic, demulcent, mucilaginous, cooling.

Parts utilized
Leaves, seeds.

Mature fresh leaves are harvested 2 to 3 months after planting. Leaves are picked leaving the branches on the plant to allow it to flower and produce seeds for the next season.

The leaves are air-dried until they crumble when crushed with the fingers. Store in amber colored bottles in a cool, dry place.

Uses
Culinary
The leafy and flowering tops are used as condiment; eaten sparingly in salads.
Folkloric
Cough: Expectorant properties – Take infusion or decoction of herb (9-15 gm of dried herb) or tops as tea.
Leaf juice helpful for expectoration of mucus.
Decoction of leaves also used for hiccups, vomiting and nausea.
Gas pains: Decoction of herb as tea helps to expel wind from bowels.
Snake bites: Crush fresh plant and poultice the bitten wound.
Gonorrhea, using a decoction of the roots and leaves of plants.
Decoction of leaves used as a wash for ulcers.
External contusions.
Used in baths for rheumatic pains.
Ringworm and insect bites: Apply juice of crushed leaves.
Skin ulcers: Decoction of herb as wash.
For delayed menstruation: take the juice of the leaves with water.
Seeds are used in treatment of several eye diseases.
Toothache: Wet small piece of cotton with juice of crushed leaves and insert into tooth cavity.
Postpartum: Decoction of seeds used to decrease postpartum pains; the seeds are mucilaginous.
Poultice of seeds used for buccal sores.
Decoction of seeds also used for constipation.
Acne: Infusion of 3 tsp of dried leaves in 1 cup of boiling water for 20-30 minutes. Apply externally or drink decoction of tea or infusion 3 times daily.
Others
• Oils repel insects (limonene, myrcene, camphor, thymol) and have larvicidal (eugenol and methylclaviol) activity against houseflies and mosquitoes.


Recent uses

Dizziness: crush enough fresh leaves with your fingers and sniff them.
Cough: As decoction boil eight tablespoons of fresh leaves in two glasses of water for 15 minutes or until the liquid is reduced to half. Divide the decoction into eight parts and take one part, three times a day.

Studies
• Aqueous extracts of Ocimum basilicum L. (sweet basil) decrease platelet aggregation induced by ADP and thrombin in vitro and rats arterio–venous shunt thrombosis in vivo: Results showed Ocimum basilicum to possess an inhibitory effect on platelet aggregation induced by ADP and thrombin resulting in an anti-thrombotic effect in vivo.
Cardiac stimulant activity of Ocimum basilicum Linn. extracts: The study evaluated the cardiac effects of extracts derived from the aerial parts of Ocimum basilicum. Results showed the alcoholic extracts exhibited a cardiotonic effect and the aqueous extract produced a B-adrenergic effect.
Antimicrobial Effects of Ocimum basilicum (Labiatae) Extract: Results suggest that O. basilicum extracts possess compounds with antimicrobial properties against C. albicans and some bacterial pathogens.
Anti-dyspepsia: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled study showed Ocimum basilicum seems to relieve functional dyspepsia in female and young patients with dysmotility.
Anthocyanins in Basil : Purple basils are an abundant source of acylated and glycosylated anthocyanins, a potential source of stable red pigments to the food industry.
Antioxidant: In a study of plants in the Lamiaceae family, the leaves and stems of Ocimum basilicum displayed the highest antioxidant activity.
Antiulcer: Study showed the seed extracts of OB to possess significant anti-ulcer activity against ethanol-induced ulceration in animal models.
Wound-Healing Activity: Wounds treated with honey in combination with OB alcoholic leaf extract and solcoseryl-jelly showed accelerated wound healing compared to honey alone.
• Antiproliferative / Anticancer: A study on the antiproliferative activity of essential oil from 17 thai medicinal plants on human mouth epidermal carcioma (KB) and murine leukemia (P388) cell lines. In the KB cell line, Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) oil showed the highest anti-proliferative activity in the P388 cell line. The results suggested the potential of Thai medicinal plants for cancer treatment.

Toxicity
Although known for its medicinal benefits, it contains some potentially dangerous compounds: safrole, rutin, caffeic acid, tryptophan and quercetin.(See: Medicinal Plants for Livestock / Cornell University)

http://www.stuartxchange.org/Balanoy.html

HolyBasilFlowers

English: Holy Basil
Latin: Ocimum sanctum (“sacred fragrant lipped basil”)
or Ocimum tenuiflorum (“basil with small flowers”)
or Ocumum gratissimum (“very grateful basil”)
Botanical Family: Lamiaceae (mint)
Hindi: Tulsi
Sanskrit: Tulasi

Holy Basil has a long tradition of use in Ayurvedic medicine and is a well-known sacred plant of the Indian subcontinent. Holy Basil has been called the “Incomparable One”, the “Queen of Herbs” and “The Elixir of Life.”

http://www.holy-basil.com/

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In Sanskrit, tulsi means literally “the incomparable one” and has been revered since ancient times. Tulsi, the holy basil, is said to have grown at the site of Christ’s crucifixion and is associated with St. Basil’s feast, a day celebrated in Greece on January 1.

In ancient Indian scriptures, Tulsi (Holy basil or Ocimum sanctum) holds a supreme place as a sacred plant. It is considered very dear to Lord Vishnu, and devotees adorn Him with a tulsi garland. Tulsi has been widely known for its health-promoting properties for over 5000 years. Tulsi is also extensively used to maintain ritual purity; people wear tulsi beads (made from the woody stalks of the plant) as necklaces. The ancient sages ensured the integration of the tulsi into daily life by incorporating it into religious rituals. In most of the Hindu temples, tulsi-soaked water is used to consecrate the deity and later distributed to devotees. This ensured that every one routinely consumed tulsi during worship at home and at the temples.

http://healthmad.com/nutrition/health-benefits-tulsi-or-holy-basil/

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Parts utilized
Rhizomes.

Properties and constituents
Used as a mosquito repellant in India and South Africa.
Leaves yield a volatile oils or methyl homo anisic acid, plus cineol and linalool.
Seed decoction used as demulcent.
Leaves are expectorant and stomachic.

Uses
Others
It is the most sacred plant in Hindu religion.
In Malaya, leaves are eaten sparingly as salad., but not used for flavoring foods.
Folkloric
Decoction of leaves used for aromatic baths.
Decoction of roots and leaves used for gonorrhea.
Used for rheumatic baths.
Dried plant used for croup, diarrhea, catarrh, bronchitis and diarrhea.
Decoction of roots used as diaphoretic for malarial fevers.
Leaf juice used for earache.
Infusion of leaves as stomachic and hepatic infections.
Fresh juice iinduces vomitiing and expels worms.
Mixed with honey, ginger and onion juice, used as expectorant for bronchitis and coughs.
In Java, used to increase milk secretion.
In India, leaf juice traditionally used for cough, stress situations, worm infestations, superficial fungal infections, and as diuretic.

Studies
Radioprotective: The radioprotective effects of two flavonoids, orientin and vicenin from the leaves of OS were studied by evaluating chromosome aberration in bone marrow cells of irradiated mice. Results suggest ocimum flavonoids may be promising for human radiationn protection.
Hypoglycemic:In a study, one of 24 of 30 medicinal plants, OS showed significant blood glucose lowering activity.
Anti-anxiety: Ethanolic extract study showed leaves possess anti-anxiety effects probably through a central nervous system pathway that may involve the GABA-ergic system. Another study on noise-induced changes in rats were normalized with pretreatment with OS extract indicating its stress-alleviating effect.
Anti-tussive: Antitussive effect probably by central action mediated through both opiod and GABA-ergic system.
• :Antibacterial: Study of ethanol extracts showed antibacterial activity, greater in Gram positive bacter than gram-negative, esp against B subtilis and S aureus; comparatively less than Origanum majorana. Another study on OS essential oil showed marked antibacterial efficiency against all bacteria tested, maximum against S aureus and marked antibacterial efficacy against P mirabilis, P aeruginosa, Klebsiella sp and E coli.
• :CNS-Protective: A study showed the ethanol leaf extract of O sanctum to have a protective effect against haloperidol-iinduced catalepsy and indicates that OS may be used to prevent drug-induced extrapyramidal effects.
Antioxidant: A study showed the leaves of OS to possess both superoxide and hydroxyl free radical scavenging effect and attributes the antioxidant property to be responsible for its hypoglycemic effect.
Myocardial Salvaging Effect: A study showed Ocimum sanctum has cardioprotecdtive effects against ISP-induced myocardial necrosis probably through improved ventricular function, augmentation of endogenous antioxidants and suppression of oxidative stress.
Anti-cancer activity: Administration of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Ocimum sanctum to mice with sarcomatous tumor resulted in a significant reduction in tumor volume and increase in lifespan.
Anti-Ulcer activity: Study showed the extract of OS reduced the ulcer index, free and total acidity in rats. Seven days of treatment increased mucous secretion.
Antidiabetic activity: A study indicated OS leaf extracts to have stimulatory effects on physiological pathways of insulin secretion to explain its antidiabetic action.
Hepatoprotective activity: A study showed the leaf extract of OS to have a hepatoprotective effect on hepatotoxicty induced by antitubercular drugs. The exact mechanism has not been defined, but OS antioxidant activity seems to be the most important mode of its hepatoprotective effect.

http://www.stuartxchange.org/Sulasi.html

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A Natural Remedy Rich in Phytochemicals and Anti-oxidants

The Holy Basil, known as the Tulsi in India, is sometimes termed “The Mother Medicine of Nature,” due to its many health benefits.

Parts Used

All parts of the plant are used, but particularly the fresh or dried leaves, which have a strong aroma and taste. The delicious tea made from Tulsi leaves, in particular, has many health benefits.

Chemical Composition of Tulsi

The chemistry of Tulsi is rather complex, as it contains many biologically active compounds and nutrients. The Phytochemicals are said to interact and combine in unique ways. The main compounds in tulsi are “ursolic acid,” an essential oil called “eugenol,” and antioxidants. It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.

The Health Benefits of Tulsi

Regular use of Tulsi leads to overall good health and vitality.

  • It boosts the immune system and metabolism of the body, and is effective in treating allergies.
  • Tulsi detoxifies the blood, and flushes out toxins from the body.
  • The juice is effective in treating bronchitis, coughs and colds, and other common ailments. Moreover, it enhances the use of oxygen in the body, and is thus useful in respiratory problems, like asthma.
  • Tulsi contains antioxidants, which neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals, and thus arrests aging.
  • It is also reputed to control degenerative conditions, like dementia, cancer, diabetes, heart problems and arthritis.
  • Tulsi reduces inflammation and fevers, and cures headaches.
  • Due to its antibacterial properties, it is used to treat infectious diseases.
  • Tulsi is supposed to be anti-carcinogenic. Traditional practitioners recommend taking a Tulsi leaf every day to prevent cancers.
  • Tulsi lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and thus prevents cardiac problems.
  • It helps in digestion and absorption of nutrients by the body, by encouraging the secretion of digestive enzymes. Therefore, it also acts as an appetizer. Moreover, its carminative properties prevent gastric ulcers.
  • It also controls E.coli and tuberculosis, and hastens the recovery of patients with viral hepatitis and encephalitis.
  • Tulsi has been proved good for periodontal health; a decoction can be used to cure toothache, and as a general mouth wash.
  • The Ursolic acid has an anti-fertility effect, without any negative effects.
  • Some research points to the Tulsi as a protection against the ill effects of radiation.
  • An interesting fact is that it does not contain any caffeine, yet acts as a vitalizer or quick “pick me up” to increase stamina and endurance.
  • Finally, Tulsi relaxes the muscles, and acts as a stress buster.

The small leaves of the Tulsi are packed with health enhancing properties, beneficial for the heart, lungs, immune and digestive systems. Tulsi is also effective in preventing and treating a number of common ailments, and contributing to a general feeling of well being. Therefore, it is rightly called the “Queen of Herbs” in India.

Caution: Though there are generally no side/after effects, one should check with a medical practitioner, before using any herbs for medicinal purposes.

http://herbal-properties.suite101.com/article.cfm/health_benefits_of_the_holy_basil

Holy Basil or Tulsi is a powerful adaptogen; hence it is invaluable as an anti-stress agent. In fact, it is sometimes said to be more effective at reducing stress than ginseng. Tulsi, the sacred basil, is one of the holiest plants of modern Indians, renowned for its health promoting and disease-preventing properties.

Benefits of Fresh Basil Leaves

Should you be feeling stressed or exhausted, and suffering any associated symptoms such as headaches, indigestion, muscle tension, nerve pain and so on, or feel that your memory needs a boost, taking basil is the perfect tonic. This herb is known to be both antiseptic and cleansing and assists the body overcome a variety of infections.

The relaxant properties that are found in hot basil tea, extend to both respiratory and digestive tracts and so relieves symptoms of colic, constipation, nausea, asthma and coughs. Other benefits of Tulsi Tea: it can reduce fevers and moves phlegm build up during times of suffering colds and flu.

  • Assists in Sharpening Memory and Concentration
  • Tonic for Nerves and Treats Irritability
  • Reduces Stress
  • Promotes Calmness and Clarity
  • Clears Phlegm from Chest and Nose
  • Eases Symptoms of Colds, Flu, Coughs and Sore Throats
  • Strengthens the Stomach
  • Treats Vomiting and Nausea
  • Improves Metabolism
  • Aids in Treating Constipation
  • Strengthens the Kidneys
  • Known as a Anti-Stress Agent or ‘Adaptogen’
  • May Reduce Blood Cholesterol
  • Assists in Treating Insomnia

http://www.alternatively-healthier.com/benefits-tulsi-tea.html

Leaves of the Holy Basil herb may be chewed to help relieve ulcers of infections of the mouth, and can also assist with various skin diseases, bites, stings, cuts and wounds if juiced and applied to the skin. This method may also be used to treat head lice.

The taking of Tulsi tea or holy basil leaves can refresh you when you feel tired, calm you when you feel tense or anxious as well as providing many other benefits. Holy Basil or Tulsi tea is rich in natural antioxidants, is a powerful adaptogen and a natural immuno-modulator.

Other Useful Sites:

http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-holy-basil-tulsi.html
http://hinduism.about.com/od/ayurveda/a/tulsibenefits.htm
http://healthmad.com/nutrition/health-benefits-tulsi-or-holy-basil/
http://www.pastene.com/health/basil.html
http://hubpages.com/hub/Health-Benefits-of-Basil
http://www.ayurvediccure.com/health/what-are-the-health-benefits-of-basil/
http://www.zhion.com/herb/Basil.html
http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/basil-herb.html
http://www.mehdi-healing.com/blog/?cat=222

cancer2

Rogue Cells

Cancer is a disease that begins as a renegade human cell over which the body has lost control. In order for the body and its organs to function properly, cell growth needs to be strictly regulated. Cancer cells, however, continue to divide and multiply at their own speed, forming abnormal lumps, or tumors. An estimated 6.7 million people currently die from cancer every year.

What Are the Symptoms of Cancer?

In its early stages, cancer usually has no symptoms, but eventually a malignant tumor will grow large enough to be detected. As it continues to grow, it may press on nerves and produce pain, penetrate blood vessels and cause bleeding, or interfere with the function of a body organ or system.

The Seven Warning Signs of Cancer

To remember the seven early warning signs of cancer (as designated by the American Cancer Society), think of the word CAUTION:

C hange in bowel or bladder habits.

A sore that does not heal.

U nusual bleeding or discharge.

T hickening or lump in the breast, testicles, or elsewhere.

I ndigestion or difficulty swallowing.

O bvious change in the size, color, shape, or thickness of a wart, mole, or mouth sore.

N agging cough or hoarseness.

The following symptoms may also signal the presence of some form of cancer:

  • Persistent headaches
  • Unexplained loss of weight or appetite
  • Chronic pain in bones
  • Persistent fatigue, nausea, or vomiting
  • Persistent low-grade fever, either constant or intermittent
  • Repeated instances of infection

Call Your Doctor About Cancer If:

You develop symptoms that may signal cancer, are not clearly linked to another cause, and persist for more than two weeks. You should schedule a medical examination. If the cause of your symptoms is cancer, early diagnosis and treatment will offer a better chance of cure.

Source: http://www.webmd.com/cancer/understanding-cancer-symptoms

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