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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

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Cacao is the seed of a fruit of an Amazonian tree that was brought to Central America during or before the time of the Olmecs. Cacao beans were so revered by the Mayans and Aztecs that they used them as money. Montezuma, the famous Aztec emperor, had his vaults filled not with gold but with about 960,000,000 raw cacao beans.

In 1753 Carl von Linnaeus, the 18th-century Swedish scientist, thought that cacao was so important that he named the genus and species of this tree Theobroma cacao, which literally means “cacao, the food of the gods.”

Cacao beans contain no sugar and between 12% and 50% fat depending on variety and growth conditions. There is no evidence to implicate cacao bean consumption with obesity.

Sulfur and Magnesium

Cacao is remarkably rich in sulfur and magnesium.

It seems to be the #1 source of magnesium of any food. This is likely the primary reason women crave chocolate during the menstrual period.

Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and is associated with more happiness. Magnesium is the most deficient major mineral on the Standard American Diet (SAD); over 80% of Americans are chronically deficient in Magnesium.

Cacao is high in the beauty mineral sulfur. Sulfur builds strong nails, hair, beautiful, shiny skin, detoxifies the liver, and supports healthy pancreas functioning. Anecdotal reports indicate that cacao detoxifies mercury because it is so high sulfur.

Stimulant or Superfood?

Cacao contains subtle amounts of caffeine and theobromine. However, experiments have shown that these stimulants are far different when consumed raw than cooked.

Consider the following: Experimental provings of chocolate by Homeopaths indicate its stimulating effect when cooked. One experiment conducted with a decoction of roasted ground cacao beans in boiling water produced an excitement of the nervous system similar to that caused by black coffee, an excited state of circulation, and an accelerated pulse. Interestingly, when the same decoction was made with raw, unroasted beans neither effect was noticeable, leading the provers to conclude that the physiological changes were caused by aromatic substances released during roasting.

MAO Inhibitors

Cacao seems to diminish appetite, probably due to its monoamine oxidase enzyme inhibitors (MAO inhibitors) – these are different from digestiveenzyme inhibitors found in most nuts and seeds. These rare MAO inhibitors actually produce favorable results when consumed by allowing more serotonin and other neurotransmitters to circulate in the brain. MAO inhibitors facilitate youthening and rejuvenation.

Phenylethylamine (PEA)

Phenylethylamine (PEA) is found in chocolate. PEA is an adrenal-relatedchemical that is also created within the brain and released when we are in love. This is one of the reasons why love and chocolate have a deep correlation. PEA also plays a role in increasing focus and alertness.

Anandamide (The Bliss Chemical)

A neurotransmitter called anandamide, has been isolated in cacao. Anandamide is also produced naturally in the brain. Anandamide is known as “The Bliss Chemical” because it is released while we are feeling great. Cacao contains enzyme inhibitors that decrease our bodies’ ability to breakdown anandamide. This means that natural anandamide and/or cacaoanandamide may stick around longer, making us feel good longer, when we eat cacao.

Antioxidants

According to research cited in The New York Times, fresh cacao beans are super-rich in antioxidant flavonols. Cacao beans contain 10,000 milligrams (10 grams) per 100 grams of flavonol antioxidants. This is a whopping 10% antioxidant concentration level! This makes cacao one of the richest sources of antioxidants of any food. Compare the cacao bean to processed cocoa powder (defatted, roasted cacao treated with potassium carbonate) and chocolates which range in flavonol content from the more common concentration of 500 milligrams per 100 grams in normal chocolate bars to 5,000 milligrams in Mars Corporation’s special Cocoapro cocoa powder. Research has demonstrated that the antioxidants in cacao are highly stable and easily available to human metabolism. Cornell University food scientists found that cocoa powder has nearly twice the antioxidants of red wine and up to three times what is found in green tea. Their findings were published in an article entitled “Cocoa has more Phenolic Phytochemicals and a higher Antioxidant Capacity than Teas and Red Wine,” found in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, a peer-reviewed publication. Scientists have known that cocoa contains significant antioxidants, but no one knew just how rich they were compared with those in red wine and green tea. The Cornell researchers, led by Chang Y. Lee, chairman of the Department of Food Science and Technology at Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y., say the reason that cocoa leads the other drinks is its high content of antioxidant compounds called phenolic phytochemicals, or flavonoids. They discovered 611 milligrams of the phenolic compound gallic acid equivalents (GAE) and 564 milligrams of the flavonoid epicatechin equivalents (ECE) in a single serving of cocoa. Examining a glass of red wine, the researchers found 340 milligrams of GAE and 163 milligrams of ECE. In a cup of green tea, they found 165 milligrams of GAE and 47 milligrams of ECE. Antioxidant ORAC levels per 100 grams:

broccoli – 890
alfalfa sprouts – 930
plums – 949
brussel sprouts – 980
raspberries – 1220
spinach – 1260
strawberries – 1540
kale – 1,770
blackberries – 2036
blueberries – 2,400
raisins – 2,830
prunes – 5,770
dark chocolate – 13,120

The ORAC test examines the antioxidant levels of various foods. The higher the ORAC score, the higher the level of antioxidants present in the food. Source: US Department of Agriculture / Journal of the American Chemical Society

Cacao and dark chocolate boost antioxidants; however, the addition of dairy products/milk cancels out the effects of antioxidants. Studies indicate that dairy products specifically block the absorption of all the great antioxidants in chocolate.

Other facts on Raw Cacao beans

  • Raw Cacao is the latest Raw Super Food available on the market today.
  • It is a true super food unlike anything that has come before.
  • As already previously discussed, it is the highest known source of anti-oxidants by a factor of almost 5.
  • It has nearly 20 times the antioxidant levels of red wine and up to 30 times what is found in green tea.
  • In nature, the primary source of Magnesium is cacao (raw chocolate beans).

Raw chocolate is known to have the following properties:

  • Diminishes appetite and aids in weight loss.
  • · Increases sensuality and beauty.
  • · Helps to heal and open the heart.
  • · Nourishes the intellect and attracts prosperity.

The flavor of Raw Cacao is similar to dark, bitter chocolate one would normally buy at a store. It is great just eaten plain, with honey, or in your favorite smoothi. (or blend Cacao Beans with Coconut Oil, Almond Butter and Honey – totally divine).

One of the main differences between raw cacao and the chocolate typically available on the open market (cocoa—a processed substance) is that raw cacao has all the original healthy cacao butter, containing all the original essential fatty acids and amazing taste originally found in the bean. Raw cacao or chocolate should not be confused with other substances such as coco (coconut), kola (a nut whose flavor is used in soft drinks), or coca (the leaf of the plant from which cocaine is derived). Cocoa and cocoa butter are cooked, processed substances derived from raw cacao nibs (orbeans/nuts). All chocolate starts out as raw cacao beans (or nuts —they are actually the seed of the cacao fruit which grows on a tropical tree). Processing, cooking and roasting corrupt the delicate, complex flavor of the cacao nib (bean without the skin). Raw cacao is one of the most, if not the most, nutrient rich and complex foods known to man.

http://www.uncleharrys.com/infobase/product/cacao_beans.php

Picture: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e0/Cocoa_Pods.JPG/240px-Cocoa_Pods.JPG

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

gotukola

Gotu Kola comprises a rich amount of vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). The principal bio-active chemical constituent of gotu kola is saponin. It is believed that this herb improves brain function and the mental ability as well as improves memory and learning performance. The herb heals chronic wounds, varicose vein, stomach ulcers, skin disorders i.e. eczema, psoriasis or leprosy, dreaded viral infections i.e. hepatitis and syphilis.

Asiatic pennywort, Gotu Kola,  (English), Bacopa monniera,  Chi-hsueh Ts’ao, man t’ien hsing, Brahmi, Brahma-manduki, Bemgsag, (Hindi), Mandooka Parni (Sanskrit), Vallarai keerai (Tamil), Centella asiatica (botanical name) family, Umbelliferae is commonly found near river banks, water streams or water ponds or reservoirs. This herbaceous plant grows well in moist soil conditions. The perennial herb is abundantly found in swampy, tropical regions. You can easily identify this slender, long stemmed creeping plant and its small, kidney shaped (reniform) lobed, green leaves as well as its pinkish red or white flowers. The plant has no taste or smell.

Nutritional Values

The herb comprises rich amount of vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin) vitamin B3 (niacin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). This will help you to convert carbohydrates into glucose as well as to improve the functioning of your nervous system. It has also good amount of vitamin K. It has an excellent source of minerals i.e. calcium, magnesium, sodium, manganese and zinc.

Bio-active Chemical constituents (Phytochemicals)

The principal bio-active chemical constituent of gotu kola is saponin. The two saponins present in this plant are brahmoside and brahminoside. The saponins restrict from excessive formation of scars. The triterpenoids comprises asiaticoside, madecassoside and madasiatic acid. It also has two triterpene acids i.e. brahmic acid and isobrahmic acid; betulic acid and stigmasterol. The tripene acids show excellent wound healing properties. The plant also comprises important amino acids i.e. asparate, glutamate, serine, threonine, alanine, lysine and histidine. The other bio-active chemical constituents are sugar, glycosides, sterols, alkaloids (hydrocotyline), tannin, and few other inorganic salts

Medicinal Values

In India the roots, stems and leaves has been traditionally used as an herb for treating acute and chronic diseases for thousands of years. The indigenous Siddha system of medicine recognizes gotu kola as ‘Kaya Kalpa’ or ‘elixirs of life’. Many of the ‘Ayurvedic Rasayana’ preparations use gotu kola as an important ingredient. The traditional physicians of ancient Indian have recognized the plant’s ability in healing chronic wounds, varicose vein, stomach ulcers, skin disorders i.e. eczema, psoriasis or leprosy, dreaded viral infections i.e. hepatitis and syphilis. The herb has ability to balance your excessive BP to near normal level. It is highly recommended as a de-worming agent. The herb is also prescribed as an expectorant since it clears phlegm from your respiratory system.

It is a tonic and has ability to tone up your muscular tissues. . It improves hemoglobin percentage, RBC, serum cholesterol and blood sugar in your blood. It activates fast growth of your hair, skin and even nails. It is identified as an excellent brain and nerve stimulant. It is believed that this herb improves brain function and the mental ability as well as improves memory and learning performance. You are able to overcome easily all your negative effects related with fatigue and stress. The herb has potentials to improve I.Q. among children. It is also recommended for mentally retarded children. People often compare this herb with Chinese ginseng.

http://healthmad.com/nutrition/health-benefits-of-gotu-kola-brahmi-or-vallarai/

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Uses

Nutrition
Rich in Vitamin B, it can be eaten as a salad or vegetable dish.
Folkloric
· Infectious hepatitis, measles, respiratory tract infections – colds, tonsillitis, laryngopharyngitis, bronchitis.
· Fresh material: 60 to 260 gms, dried material: 30 to 60 gms: Take in form of decoction.
· Counterirritant: Pound fresh leaves, mix with vaseline or oil and apply over affected area as poultice.
• Wounds and sore: The sap of the leaves is used on wounds and skin sores.
• In many folkloric systems, used for tuberculosis, syphilis, dysentery, hypertension, venous extremity probolems and common cold.
· In India and Fiji, roots used forskin inflammation, to improve blood circulation, to treat bloating, congestion and depression.
· Also considered to be a brain and memory stimulant, used for Alzheimer’s disease and senility.
• In Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, used for depression and anxiety.
• In Sri Lanka and Madagascar, used for a variety of mental and neurological problems.

Studies

Anxiolytic: Rat studies have shown decrease in locomotor activity, enhanced maze performance and attenuated started response. This placebo- controlled studysuggest Gotu Kola has anxiolytic activity in humans as shown by the ASR (acoustic startle response).
Bactericidal: In vitro study on the effect of CA on enteric pathogens. The alchol extract was bactericidal against V cholera, Shigella spp, and Staph aureus and suggests further studies in its potential as an antidiarrheal drug.
Wound Healing: Study on albino rats showed the leaf extract of CA significantly promoted wound healing and was able to overcome the wound-healing suppression of dexamethasone.
Antioxidant: Study showed CA extract and power may ameliorate H202-induced oxidative stress by decreasing lipid peroxidation.
Immunomodulatory: Study revealed immunomodulatory activity of C asiatica and R nasutus extracts in both non-specific cellular and humoral immune responses. Results suggest a chemoproventive or anticancer potential.
Nerve Regeneration: Study indicates components in CA ethanolic extract may be beneficial for accelerating repair of damaged neurons.
Scleroderma: Single study found gotu kola decreased joint pain and skin hardening and improved finger movement. source
Periodontal Healing : Study results indicate that the combined use of extracts of CA and P granatum pericarp significantly reduced the clinical signs of chronic periodontitis.
Larvicidal: Crude extract of leaves of CA showed larvicidal and adult emergence inhibition against mosquite Cules quinquefasciatus, possibly through various biogically active compounds–phenolics, terpenoids and alkaloids.

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

Gotu kola is a perennial creeper found in swampy areas of the tropics and subtropical areas worldwide. Gotu kola is also known as Centella asiatica, Indian pennywort, marsh penny, white rot, thick-leaved pennywort, hydrocotyle, Indian water navelwort, and talepetrako.

Gotu kola is a tasteless, odorless plant that thrives in and around water. It has clusters of red flowers and bears fruit. The leaves and stems of the gotu kola plant are used for medicinal purposes.

Gotu kola contains triterpenoid saponins (asiaticocide, brahmoside, thankuniside, madecasosside), volatile oils, bitter principles (vellarin), alkaloids (hydrocotyline), flavonoids, an alkaloid hydrocotyline, amino acids, resins, tannins, sugars, manganese, sodium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and vitamin A.

The triterpenoid saponins have antioxidant benefits and an ability to stimulate collagen synthesis for tissue regeneration. These saponins may increase collagen formation and also to have anti-inflammatory effects.

They prevent excessive scar formation by inhibiting the production of collagen at the wound site. Triterpenes also help to keep blood vessels strong and assist in producing essential neurotransmitters.

Medicinal uses and health benefits of gotu kola

When applied externally, gotu kola expediates the healing of burns, wounds, and various skin irritations by stimulating the production of keratin in the skin.

Taken internally, gotu kola is widely used to minimize varicose veins, boost memory, sharpen the mind in general, and stall memory loss related to Alzheimer’s disease. Gotu kola is most useful in building healthy connective tissue, thereby reducing formation of scar tissue.

The triterpenoids in gotu kola aid in wound healing, support faster healing of skin sores, wounds, and cuts. Because of these properties, gotu kola has been used externally for burns, psoriasis, prevention of scar formation, and treatment of external fistulas.

Gotu kola may help improve blood flow in leg veins and may help with blood vessel damage and nerve damage caused by diabetes.

Gotu kola improves the strength and tone of blood vessels and may help to improve vein problems, particularly varicose veins, haemorrhoids, spider veins and skin ulcers. Gotu kola has also been used reduce edema in patients with diabetes and in at-risk patients during long flights.

Gotu kola is an excellent mental stimulant. Gotu kola dilates the peripheral blood vessels, so mental performance is improved through increased blood flow to the brain. It relieves mental fatigue and senility, and aids the body in defending itself against toxins.

http://www.dailynutritionals.com/gotu-kola.html

The health benefits of gotu kola are quite extensive. Gotu Kola in its various forms has been used extensively over several thousand years in treating a lot of physical conditions like syphilis, hepatitis, stomach ulcers, mental fatigue, epilepsy, and diarrhea. Herbalists and natural medicine practitioners strongly believe that Gotu Kola has several curative qualities. There are a huge number of them who uphold that the Gotu Kola herb has properties that help reduce fever and relieve congestion caused by colds and upper respiratory tract infections.

Women have been using Gotu Kola for the purposes of birth control, and some herb specialists have established that Gotu Kola is an antidote for poison mushrooms and arsenic poisoning. They also claim that Gotu Kola preparations can be used to treat snakebites, herpes, fractures, and sprains.

Traditionally Gotu Kola benefits include the herb being used to treat some extremely serious conditions like syphilis, rheumatism, leprosy and mental illness. It is also used to stimulate urination and to relieve physical and mental exhaustion, eye diseases, inflammation, asthma, high blood pressure, liver disease, dysentery, urinary tract infections, eczema, and psoriasis.

During the recent past, Gotu Kola has gained popularity as a natural remedy for disorders that cause connective tissue swelling such as scleroderma, psoriatic arthritis (arthritis occurring in conjunction with psoriasis), anklylosing spondylitis (arthritis of the spine), and rheumatoid arthritis. However, its use in connection with these conditions is not supported by clinical trials.

More recent studies confirm many of Gotu Kola’s traditional uses and also suggest possible new applications for Gotu Kola, such as lowering high blood pressure, treating venous insufficiency (pooling of blood in the veins, usually in the legs), boosting memory and intelligence, easing anxiety, and speeding the healing of wounds and burns.

While treating stress-related disorders like panic attacks and problems related to anxiety Gotu Kola has shown some extremely remarkable results. Scientists have established that compounds in Gotu Kola known as triter-pene acids bind to receptors in your central nervous system and reduce your startle response.

One of the many benefits of Gotu Kola include its effectiveness in treating various skin conditions and it is also felt to be very helpful in the treatment of cellulite and keloids. The hardening of connective tissue cells below the skin’s surface causes cellulite and Gotu Kola seems to be very effective in slowing down this process. Having said the above, it should be noted that it isn’t possible for cellulite to go away just by taking a few Gotu Kola capsules. The Gotu Kola herb is highly beneficial mainly because it contains certain substances and properties that work on the general strengthening and toning effect on the connective tissue. By itself it might not work wonders but can certainly contribute towards cellulite reduction when combined with diet, exercise, and massages.

http://www.all4naturalhealth.com/benefits-of-gotu-kola.html

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Benefits of Gotu Kola

The benefits of Gotu Kola come from a slender creeping plant. The herb grows in the swampy areas of India, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar. Its Latin name is Centella Asiatica.
Gotu Kola is also grown in Australia, South America, and even the south eastern United States.

Uses For Gotu Kola

Some uses for Gotu Kola include the reduction of fatigue, the strengthening of memory, and in treating venous insufficiency. Varicose veins, circulation, and wound healing are also aided by Gotu Kola.
The benefits of gotu kola help increase longevity, prevents memory loss, and it is also used as an aphrodisiac. Substances called Triterpenoid Saponis in Gotu Kola aid in wound healing; this is done by decreasing venous pressure in venous insufficiency.

Benefits of Gotu Kola

Asiatocide and madecassoside have anti-inflammatory properties and may promote wound healing by stimulating collagen and glycosaminoglycan synthesis. The herb has preventative and therapeutic effects on gastrointestinal ulcers.

Gotu Kola be anti-ulcer, as a result of the strengthening action on gastric mucosal lining, and the suppressing of free radical damage. The herb has been used as a sedative, an anticonvulsant, and analgesic (pain reliever). Gotu Kola may also have antibacterial activity against various bacteria, such as pseudo moans, pyocyaneus, trichidermia, and mentogrophytes.

Other areas that might benefit from the use of Gotu Kola include aging, arteriosclerosis, depression, and headaches. High blood pressure, hypoglycemia, chronic venous insufficiency, varicose veins and wound healing can all be helped with the use of Gotu kola.

Further benefits of Gotu Kola

The herb Gotu kola is known widely for promoting healthy skin, and helping in the aid of skin irritations, such as burns, scar tissue, psoriasis, and similar conditions.

Studies have shown recently that Gotu Kolait can have further benefits benefits than the ones mentioned, such as improving mental acuity, combating and aiding in memory deterioration, and improving ones blood flow by strengthening numerous blood vessels.

Many other herbs don’t have much information on them, however, the benefits of gotu kola benefits are shown in various clinical studies.

A book we recently came across from Reader’s Digest called “The Healing Power of Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs” says that: “In one study, 30 developmentally disabled children were found to have significantly better concentration and attention after taking gotu kola for 12 weeks…” and “In more than a dozen studies observing gotu kola’s effects on veins…about 80% of patients with varicose veins and similar problems showed substantial improvement.”

As you can see from above, studies are shown that that the herb has some excellent
benefits for ones health.

Known Side Effects From The Herb

The herb is not an essential nutrient, and because of this, there is no RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) set for this particular herb. We have found some side effects related to this herb, however, they are very rare. Some side effects we did come across are: extra sensitivity to sunlight and more susceptible to headaches. When the herb is applied on the skin, gotu kola can cause rashes on certain individuals.

If you are looking to supplement with Gotu, stay with a reasonable dosage of around 75 mgs to 100 mgs.

Women who are Pregnant or nursing should avoid taking gotu kola extract, unless advised otherwise from their physician. Medical experts advise against using gotu kola if you have a history of squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell skin cancer, or melanoma. People with liver disease should also avoid gotu kola.

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Nutritional-Benefits-of-Gotu-Kola&id=390993

brain

By Dr. Maoshing Ni – Posted on Mon, Aug 11, 2008, 1:42 pm PDT

Senility, Alzheimer’s, and age-related memory loss: these conditions of mental decline that come with aging can be delayed or even prevented. Besides engaging in daily activities that work out your brain, a regular and balanced diet rich with essential amino acids, omega oils, minerals and vitamins will ensure a vibrant and sharp memory. Eat these foods to give your brain the nutrition it needs.

1. Fish
Protein, an important component in the making of neurotransmitters, is essential to improve mental performance. Aside from being an excellent source of high quality protein, fish are packed with essential oils, such as Omega-3, which protect the brain and supports its development and functioning. Deep sea fish have the highest amounts of fatty acids, and they include salmon, sea bass, halibut, mackerel, and sardines.

2. Blueberries
These delicious berries are full of powerful antioxidants, which eliminate free-radical damage that causes aging, and they also possess neuroprotective properties that can delay the onset of age-related memory loss by guarding brain cells from damage caused by chemicals, plaque, or trauma. And they combat inflammation, the other factor in aging.

3. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are wonder foods for your brain. Packed with protein and essential fatty acids, nuts and seeds are also chock full of the amino arginine, which stimulates the pituitary gland at the base of the brain to release growth hormone, a substance that declines quickly after age 35; this is a real anti-aging boon to your brain!

Whip up a batch of my “Anti-aging brain mix” to bring with you anywhere and eat a small handful in between meals as a daily snack. It will nourish and support your brain. Pack in sealed container or zip-lock bag to preserve freshness.

  • 1 cup walnut
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup of dried goji berries (also known as lycium berry, and easily found in health food stores)
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots

4. Cruciferous Vegetables
Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are all rich in choline, an essential nutrient for memory and brain health. Choline is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which contributes to healthy and efficient brain processes. As we age, our body’s natural choline output declines, and its neurochemical action weakens. You can eat choline-rich foods to increase your production of acetylcholine, which will improve your brain power.

Other sources of choline include: eggs, soybeans, peanuts, cabbage, black beans, and kidney beans.

5. Oil: Monounsaturated Fats
Monounsaturated fats contain essential fatty acids and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which are crucial for brain development and function, among many other excellent benefits for your health. Olive oil, sesame oil, canola oil, almond oil, flaxseed oil, and fish oil are rich in monounsaturated fats and are good choices for brain health. Population studies show that people with a diet that is high in unsaturated, unhydrogenated fats may have a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, whereas those with a diet that is higher in saturated fats and trans fats have an increased risk.

6. L-carnitine Foods
Age-related memory problems are many times caused by plaque buildup and diminished blood supply to the brain, compromising the delivery of nutrients and oxygen. L-carnitine, an amino acid manufactured in your liver, increases circulation in the brain — among a myriad of powerful benefits for your health. Also, because it prevents fat oxidation in the brain, L-carnitine shows some promise in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Good sources of L-carnitine include: meats, fish, poultry, wheat, avocado, milk, and fermented soybeans.

7. Microalgae
Microalgaes from the ocean and uncontaminated lakes, including blue-green algae, spirulina, chlorella, seaweed, and kelp are easy-to-digest, high protein and high-energy supplements-and contain over a hundred trace minerals! Available in your health food store, microalgae are simple to incorporate into your diet to ensure a good, strong brain function. Look for powders you dissolve in juice or flakes you can sprinkle on your food.

8. Green Tea
Green tea prevents an enzyme found in Alzheimer’s disease and is also rich in polyphenols, antioxidants that help prevent premature brain aging. Drink two cups a day to get the brain benefits. To decaf tea, steep for 45 seconds and pour out the water, add fresh hot water to the leaves or tea bag — 95% of caffeine will be eliminated.

Herbal Boost
There are many Chinese herbs that support healthy brain functions, including ginkgo biloba and gotu kola. For support of healthy brain function I recommend our family formula called Enduring Youth, which contains Chinese herbs such as Chinese yam, goji berry, schisandra berry, Asian cornelian, China root, Cistanches, sweet flag, Chinese senega, dipsacus, anise, and Chinese foxglove. For more information, click here.

I hope you get the brain benefits of these foods. I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.

-Dr. Mao

http://health.yahoo.com/experts/drmao/15524/8-foods-to-keep-your-brain-young-and-healthy/

durian

Durian is an exotic, expensive, and seasonal fruit that has rich content of phytonutrients, antioxidant, protein, vitamins and minerals. Durian can give more spirit and energy to your days because it has high calories and carbohydrate (both are good source of energy). Main ingredients that contribute a lot to the benefits are Organosulfur Compounds and Tryptophan, but there other healthy components like dietary fiber and protein. Yet, durian does not have cholesterol. Many folk medications use durian’s leaves and roots to treat fever.

The Organosulfur has benefits as followed.

  1. To inhibit the formation of blood clots, thus prevent from heart attack and stroke.
  2. To control the inflammatory enzymes, thus also prevent from cardiovascular disease.
  3. To act as antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial.
  4. To help you get good complexion, healthy hair, glowing skin, better brain function.
  5. To treat muscles soreness, enhance balance blood sugar, reduce stiffness and pain, and improve joint flexibility.

The tryptophan or L-Tryptophan has benefits as followed.

  1. To treat anxiety, bulimia, depression, insomnia, migraine, nightmares, compulsive disorder, and stress.
  2. To help you get better sleep, especially if you take some calcium with it.
  3. To help the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, obsessive compulsive disorder, premenstrual syndrome, suicidal related depression, and pain release.

Some people can not stand the smell of durian, while the rest love it so much. It tastes like heaven for those who love, even just by smelling the odor will make people curious. Countries in Asia are main producers of durians. They are Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Philippine, and some others. There are hundreds variants of durians, but only some are heavily planted and sold. If you buy durians, you would want to choose ones that are big, fresh, fully ripen, and have solid stems. It is usually fully ripen in 2 to 4 days after falling from the tree, the best time to enjoy the flesh.

Health Benefits

  • Raises serotonin levels…Creates an over-all sense of well being and aids in depression.
  • It has a high amount of protein and amino acids (22 out of 24)…Good for muscle building and organ function.
  • High in antioxidants…For anti-aging benefits including enhancing the appearance of your skin.
  • It has the most complete nutritional profile of any fruit…Certain groups of people in Asia live on it, and nothing else, for up to 2 months at a time.
  • It is power packed with nutrients, including essential fatty acids and organo-sulfur compounds…For increased energy, endurance, mental clarity, and cellular health.
  • It enhances libido…It helps revitalize the desire for sexual intimacy
  • Rich history of traditional uses…Anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, Thermogenic, calms fever, aids healing of swelling and skin diseases.

Drinking Durian For Beauty

According to David Wolf’s “Eating for Beauty”

Durian contains high levels of tryptophan. This is an amino acid and a tryptamine (similar to serotonin, melatonin, and DMT). Researchers have discovered that tryptophan helps both anxious, depressed, repressed people, as well as insomniacs. Tryptophan works by raising serotonin levels in the brain. When serotonin levels increase, a euphoric feeling is felt as a free passage is cleared for nerve impulses to travel.

Durian is such a strong blood cleaner that eating a few durian a day can change the odor of urine (urine is filtered out of blood).

What gives durian its strongest beautifying characteristics is its high concentration of raw oleic fats (and vitamin E), sulphur compounds, and soft proteins. Durian actually contains one of the highest concentrations of protein of any fruit, making it an excellent muscle builder.” Organic sulfur

compounds among other properties in durian are very cleansing for the body.

Durian provides “more concentrated healthful energy in food form than any other product the world affords” – to keep the body vigorous and tireless; the mind alert with faculties undimmed; the spirit youthful.

Nutritive Value per 100 g

  • Vitamin A: 20-30 I.U.
  • Ascorbic Acid: 23.9-25.0 mg
  • Vitamin E: “high”
  • Calcium: 7.6-9.0 mg
  • Phosphorus: 37.8-44.0 mg
  • Potassium: 436 mg
  • Thiamine: 0.24-0.352 mg
  • Riboflavin: 0.20 mg
  • Niacin0.6: 83-0.70 mg
  • Iron: 0.73-1.0 mg
  • Sugars(approx.) 12.0 g
  • Protein: 2.5-2.8 g
  • Fat: 5.33g
  • Fiber: 3.8 g
  • Total Carbohydrates: 30.4-34.1 g
  • Calories: 144

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