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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/

cucumber

Cucumber is a fruit that came from the same family as pumpkin, zucchini and other squashes. It has a dark green rind and white succulent flesh. There are 2 types of cucumbers the pickling varieties and the slicing varieties. The pickling variety is relatively small (2 – 4 inches long).

Nutritive Values : Per 100 gm.

  • Vitamin A 180 I.U.
  • Niacin Trace
  • Vitamin C 9 mg.
  • Calcium 32 mg.
  • Iron 1.8 mg.
  • Phosphorus 27 mg.
  • Potassium 80 mg.
  • Carbohydrates 17 gm.
  • Calories 70

Reported Health Benefits :

  • Cucumber is best natural diuretic known, secreting and promoting the flow of urine.
  • Helps in kidney and urinary bladder disease.
  • Liver disease
  • Pancreatic disease
  • The potassium content of cucumber makes it highly useful for conditions of high and low blood pressure.
  • Cucumber contains erepsin, the enzyme that helps to digest protein.
  • The high silicon and sulphur content of the cucumber is said to promote the growth of hair, especially when the juice of the cucumber is added to the juice of carrot, lettuce and spinach.
  • A mixture of cucumber juice with carrot juice is said to be beneficial for rheumatic conditions resulting from excessive uric acid in the body.
  • Cucumber juice is also valuable for helping diseases of the teeth, gums, especially in cases of pyorrhea.
  • The high mineral content of this vegetable also helps to prevent splitting of nails of the fingers and toes.
  • Cucumber, radish and bitter gourd are beneficial in diabetes.

http://hubpages.com/hub/Health_Benefits_of_Cucumber

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Reported Health Benefits :

  • Cucumber is best natural diuretic known, secreting and promoting the flow of urine.
  • Helps in kidney and urinary bladder disease.
  • Liver disease
  • Pancreatic disease
  • The potassium content of cucumber makes it highly useful for conditions of high and low blood pressure.
  • Cucumber contains erepsin, the enzyme that helps to digest protein.
  • The high silicon and sulphur content of the cucumber is said to promote the growth of hair, especially when the juice of the cucumber is added to the juice of carrot, lettuce and spinach.
  • A mixture of cucumber juice with carrot juice is said to be beneficial for rheumatic conditions resulting from excessive uric acid in the body.
  • Cucumber juice is also valuable for helping diseases of the teeth, gums, especially in cases of pyorrhea.
  • The high mineral content of this vegetable also helps to prevent splitting of nails of the fingers and toes.
  • Cucumber, radish and bitter gourd are beneficial in diabetes.
  • Many people are ignorant of the immense health benefits of cucumber and would avoid eating cucumber where possible.  Fresh cucumber may taste “bland” to some but its thirst-quenching and cooling properties are refreshing. It acts as an anti-oxidant when taken together with fried and barbequed foods.
  • I like to mix cucumber juice with carrot or orange juices.  Here’s a list of health benefits of cool cucumber:
  • Acidity: The alkalinity of the minerals in cucumber juice effectively helps in regulating the body’s blood pH, neutralizing acidity.  The juice is also soothing for the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers.
  • Blood pressure: Like celery, this colorless drink can help regulate blood pressure because of its minerals and traces of sodium.
  • Connective tissues, building: The excellent source of silica contributes to the proper construction of connective tissues in our body as in the bones, muscles, cartilage, ligaments and tendons.
  • Cooling: During dry and hot weather, drink a glass of cucumber + celery juice. It wonderfully helps to normalize body temperature.
  • Diuretic: Cucumber juice is diuretic, encouraging waste removal through urination.  This also helps in the dissolution of kidney stones.
  • Fever: The temperature regulating properties in cucumber juice makes it a suitable drink when you have a fever.
  • Inflammation: The Chinese think that cucumbers are too “cooling” and not suitable for people with rheumatism.  But we know now that cucumber can help counter uric acids that are causing inflammation in joints.  When cucumber is taken it does its cleaning work at the joints, thus stirring up pain as it eliminates the uric acid.  This means it also help other inflamed conditions like arthritis, asthma, and gout.
  • Hair growth: The silicon and sulfur content in cucumber juice makes it especially helpful in promoting hair growth.  Drink it mixed with carrot, lettuce or spinach juice.
  • Puffy eyes: Some people wake up in the morning with puffy eyes, probably due to too much water retention in the body (or having cried to sleep).  To reduce the puffiness, lie down and put two slices of cucumber on the eyes for a good ten minutes.
  • Skin conditions: The high amount of vitamin C
    and anti-oxidants in cucumber makes it an important ingredient in many beauty creams for treating eczema, psoriasis, acne, etc.
  • Sunburn: When there is a sunburn, make cucumber juice and rub it on the affected area for a cooling and healing effect.
  • Water retention: It supplies the necessary electrolytes and restores hydration of the body cells, thus reducing water retention.

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

See also:

http://www.naturalnews.com/009753.html

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=42

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/davao/tacio-health-benefits-cucumber

http://herbs.ygoy.com/health-benefits-of-cucumber/

http://healthmad.com/health/the-cucumber-and-its-health-benefits/

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

http://www.ehow.com/how_5125565_understand-health-benefits-cucumbers.html

http://www.health-fitness.com.au/cucumber/

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

parsley

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum), the world’s most popular culinary herb is also known as “rock celery” and belongs to the Umbelliferae family of plants. Parsley is one of the world’s seven most potent disease-fighting spices which also include Ginger, Oregano, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Sage, and Red chili peppers. Parsley grows in most climates and is readily available throughout the year. It is a biennial plant which means that it produces seeds during its second year of production and will reseed itself if you let it.

While parsley is a wonderfully nutritious and healing food, it is often under-appreciated. Most people do not realize that this vegetable has more uses than just being a decorative garnish that accompanies restaurant meals.

Parsley is native to the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe and has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years. It was originally used as a medicinal plant (see below) prior to being consumed as a food. Ancient Greeks held parsley to be sacred, using it to not only adorn victors of athletic contests, but also for decorating the tombs of the deceased. While it is uncertain when and where parsley began to be consumed as a seasoning, historians think it may be sometime during the Middle Ages in Europe. Some historians credit Charlemagne with its popularization as he had it grown on his estates.

Parsley’s Many Therapeutic Health Benefits Include Its Use For:

· Anemia: Builds up the blood because it is high in iron.  The high vitamin C content assists the absorption of iron.

  • Antioxidant: Increases the anti-oxidant capacity of the blood.
  • Bactericidal (kills bacteria)
  • Bad breath
  • Baldness: Believe it or not, men even scrubbed parsley onto their scalps to cure baldness—which doesn’t work.
  • Blood purifier
  • Blood vessel rejuvenation: Maintains elasticity of blood vessels, and helps to repair bruises.
  • Diarrhea is greatly helped by drinking parsley tea.
  • Digestion: Parsley is an excellent digestion restorative remedy. It improves the digestion of proteins and fats therefore promoting intestinal absorption, liver assimilation and storage. Because of its high enzyme content, parsley benefits digestive activity and elimination.
  • Dissolves cholesterol within the veins
  • Diuretic
  • Ear health: Treats deafness and ear infections.
  • Edema: Acts as a diuretic and blood vessel strengthener.
  • Fatigue: Parsley is high in iron so helps repair and provides components for better blood cells.
  • Gallstones: Helps dissolve them.
  • Glandular support of the liver, spleen, kidneys and adrenal glands.
  • Gout
  • Hormonal support: In women, parsley improves estrogen and nourishes and restores the blood of the uterus. Conditions like delayed menstruation, PMS, and the menopause (dry skin, irritability, depression and hair loss) can often improve.
  • Hormone balancing is achieved through the volatile fatty acids contained in parsley.
  • Immune booster: The high vitamin C, beta carotene, B12, chlorophyll and essential fatty acid content render parsley an extraordinary immunity enhancing food. Parsley is an immune-enhancing multi-vitamin and mineral complex in green plant form and one of the most important herbs for providing vitamins to the body.
  • Inhibits tumor formation, particularly in the lungs.
  • Insect bites: Rub on to relieve the swelling and itch.
  • Jaundice
  • Kidneys: Parsley is effective for nearly all kidney and urinary complaints except severe kidney inflammation. It improves kidney activity and can help eliminate wastes from the blood and tissues of the kidneys. It prevents salt from being reabsorbed into the body tissues; thus parsley literally forces debris out of the kidneys, liver and bladder. It helps improve edema and general water retention, fatigue and scanty or painful urination.
  • Liver congestion: It enriches the liver and nourishes the blood. Parsley helps reduce liver congestion, clearing toxins and aiding rejuvenation.
  • Menstrual irregularity: Parsley helps to make the cycles regular by the presence of apiol which is a constituent of the female sex hormone estrogen.
  • Menstrual pain
  • Night blindness: Bad eyesight is a sign of Vitamin A deficiency.
  • Rheumatism
  • Spleen strengthening: The parsley root in particular strengthens the spleen, and can, therefore, treat malabsorption.
  • Stamina loss and low resistance to infection, point to a sluggish liver. This can manifest itself in blood deficiencies, fatigue, a pale complexion and poor nails, dizzy spells, anemia and mineral depletion.
  • Stomach problems
  • Strengthens loose teeth: In the Middle Ages parsley was used for many conditions including ‘fastening teeth’ (Scurvy, which is caused by a Vitamin C deficiency, makes the gums spongy and the teeth loose.)
  • Uterine tonic
  • Weight loss benefits from being a diuretic

Nutritional Benefits of Parsley:

Parsley is a nutrient powerhouse containing high levels of beta carotene, vitamin B12, folate, chlorophyll, calcium, more vitamin C than citrus fruits, and just about all other known nutrients. Parsley is a moistening, nourishing, restoring, ‘warming’ food, pungent with a slightly bitter, salty flavor. It enhances and stimulates the energy of organs, improving their ability to assimilate and utilize nutrients.

Beta carotene is used for protein assimilation. This nutrient benefits the liver and protects the lungs and colon. Beta-carotene is converted by the body to vitamin A, a nutrient so important to a strong immune system that its nickname is the “anti-infective vitamin.”

Chlorophyll Parsley is abundant in chlorophyll, thus purifying and inhibiting the spread of bacteria, fungi and other organisms. Chlorophyll from parsley is slightly anti-bacterial and anti-fungal which acts to enhance immune response and to relieve mucus congestion, sinusitis and other ‘damp’ conditions. Chlorophyll, high in oxygen, also suppresses viruses and helps the lungs to discharge residues from environmental pollution.

Essential Fatty Acids Parsley is a source of alpha-linolenic acid, an important essential fatty acid that is too frequently deficient in today’s diets.

Fluorine is an important nutritional component abundantly found in parsley. Fluorine has an entirely different molecular structure from chemically-produced fluoride. Tooth decay results from a shortage of fluorine, not fluoride. It is the combination of calcium and fluorine which creates a very hard protective surface on teeth and bones. Fluorine also protects the body from infectious invasion, germs and viruses.

Folic Acid, one of the most important B vitamins, but one of its most critical roles in relation to cardiovascular health is to convert homocysteine into benign molecules. Homocysteine is a potentially dangerous molecule that, at high levels, can directly damage blood vessels and increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. Folic acid is also a critical nutrient for proper cell division and is therefore vitally important for cancer-prevention in two areas of the body that contain rapidly dividing cells–the colon, and in women, the cervix.

Iron: The iron content of parsley is exceptional with 5.5mg per100g (4oz). A half-cup of fresh parsley or one tablespoon dried has about 10 percent of your iron daily requirements.  Plus, parsley has the vitamin C your body needs to absorb that iron.

Protein: Parsley is made up of 20% protein. (About the same as mushrooms.)

Vitamin B12 Parsley contains traces of B12 producing compounds. Such compounds are needed for the formation of red blood cells and normal cell growth, important for fertility, pregnancy, immunity and the prevention of degenerative illness. The action of vitamin B12, however, is inhibited by birth control pills, antibiotics, intoxicants, stress, sluggish liver, and excess bacteria or parasites in the colon or digestive tracts. Parsley helps to counteract these inhibitors.

Vitamin K: Getting at least 100 micrograms of Vitamin K a day can drastically cut your risk of hip fracture. Vitamin K is necessary for bones to get the minerals they need to form properly. Parsley is loaded with vitamin K (180 mcg per 1/2 cup). Cooking parsley nearly doubles its Vitamin K.

Vitamin C: Parsley contains more vitamin C than any other standard culinary vegetable, with 166mg per 100g (4oz). This is three times as much as oranges. Flavonoids, which make up the Vitamin C molecule, maintain blood cell membranes, and act as an antioxidant helper.

Volatile oil components – including myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. Parsley’s volatile oils, particularly myristicin, have been shown to inhibit tumor formation in animal studies, and particularly, tumor formation in the lungs. It acts as an antioxidant that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke, charcoal grill smoke, and the smoke produced by trash incinerators).

Parsley also contains calcium (245mg per 100g), phosphorus, potassium (1000mg per 4 oz), manganese (2.7mg per 100g), inositol, and sulphur.

Many of my client’s test they would benefit greatly from eating parsley for all kinds of health problems.

How to Use Parsley:

Top off your sandwiches with it, include it in your salad greens, put it in Tabbouli or better yet, toss it into simmering soups, stews and sauces. We eat it raw in salads and those days when I can’t eat it raw, I often add a couple of parsley capsules to my nutritional supplements.

Parsley juice, as an herbal drink, is quite powerful and is usually taken in quantities of about 2 fl oz (50ml) three times a day and is best mixed with other juices. I noticed that it’s most effective to juice parsley in between other vegetables as the juice is heavy and thick and doesn’t move through some juicers very readily.

Types of Parsley:

The two most popular types of parsley are curly parsley and Italian flat leaf parsley.  They are both related to celery. The Italian variety has a more fragrant and less bitter taste than the curly variety. There is also another type of parsley known as turnip-rooted (or Hamburg) that is cultivated for its roots, which resemble salsify and burdock. Chinese parsley, is actually cilantro.

How to Pick and Care for Parsley:

Whenever possible, choose fresh, dark green, organically grown parsley that looks fresh and crisp over the dried form of the herb since it is superior in flavor. Avoid bunches that have wilted or yellowed leaves indicating over-mature or damaged produce.

Parsley can be stored loosely wrapped in a damp cloth or plastic bag and refrigerated for up to a week. Wash just before using. If the parsley wilts, either sprinkle it lightly with some water or wash it without completely drying it before putting it back in the refrigerator.

The best way to clean it is just like you would spinach. Place it in a bowl of cold water and plunge it up and down like you would a toilet plunger. This will allow any sand or dirt to dislodge. Remove the leaves from the water, empty the bowl, refill it with clean water and repeat this process until no dirt remains in the water.

If you have excess flat-leaved parsley, you can easily dry it by laying it out in a single layer on a clean kitchen cloth. I pre-chop mine (both varieties) and place it on a cookie sheet on top of the refrigerator where it is warm. Stir it occasionally to allow consistent drying. Once dried, it should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place.

Some feel the curly leaved variety is best preserved by freezing, as opposed to drying. Although it will retain most of its flavor, it has a tendency to lose its crispness, so it is best used in recipes without first thawing.

Bon Appétit!

http://www.naturalhealthtechniques.com/diet_nutrition/ParsleyBenefits.htm

Some believe that parsley leaves can help control bedwetting (enuresis).

Oxalic acid is found in parsley. Oxalic acid prevents calcium absorption and may also contribute to gallstones and kidney stones. For the average person that eats a balanced diet, the small amounts of oxalic acid will not be a health factor. However, those with low calcium health concerns will not want to eat excessive amounts of parsley.

http://www.indepthinfo.com/parsley/health.shtml

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Useful Sites

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=100

http://ezinearticles.com/?Health-Benefits-Of-Parsley&id=111028

http://www.ehow.com/how_5395753_benefit-parsley-herb-home-remedies.html

http://hubpages.com/hub/Health-Benefits-Of-Parsley

http://www.crazyfortea.com/parsleytea.html

pigeonpea

Chemical constituents and properties
Roots are considered antihelminthic, expectorant, febrifuge, sedative, vulnerary.
Seeds are rich in carbohydrates (58%) and proteins (19%).
Fair source of calcium and iron; good source of vitamin B.
Chemical studies reveal: 2′-2’methylcajanone, 2′-hydroxygenistein, isoflavones, cajanin, cahanones, among many others.

Parts used and preparation
Leaves, roots.

Uses
Folkloric
Decoction or infusionn of leaves for coughs, diarrhea, abdominal pains.
Tender leaves are chewed for aphthous stomatitis and spongy gums.
Pulped or poulticed leaves used for sores.
In Peru, leaves are used as an infusion for anemial, hepatitis, diabetes, urinary infections and yellow fever.
In Argentina, leaves used for genital and skin problems; flowers used for bronchitis, cough and pneumonia.
In China, as vermifuge, vulnerary; for tumors.
In Panama, used for treatment of diabetes (See study below).
In Indian folk medicine, used for a variety of liver disorders.
Nutrition
Used mainly for its edible young pods and seeds.
Others
Vegetable food crop ( seeds and pods) in South-East Asia.
As forage or hay.
Branches and stems for basket and fuel. (Source)

Studies
• Clinical studies have reported seed extracts to inhibit red blood cell sickling and potential benefit for people with sickle cell anemia.
Antiplasmodial constituents of Cajanus cajan: Study shows compounds from roots and leaves of CC showed moderately high in vitro activity against Plasmodium falcifarum strain.
Hypocholesterolemic Effect: Study on the stilbenes containing extract-fraction of CC showed a hypocholesterolemic effect possibly through enhancement of hepatic LDL-receptor and cholesterol 7-alpha-hydroxylase expression levels and bile acid synthesis.
Evaluation of traditional medicine: effects of Cajanus cajan L. and of Cassia fistula L. on carbohydrate metabolism in mice: Contradicting its traditional use for diabetes, CC did not have a hypo effect on sugar, aand at higher doses produced a hyperglycemic effect.
• Antimicrobial: Antimicrobial effect of leaf extracts of pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) millsp.) on some human pathogens : Study shows the plants extract to be inhibitory to some bacterial pathogens.
• Antimicrobial / Antifungal: Nigerian study on the antimicrobial effects of the ethanol and aqueous extracts of locally available plants, including C cajan, showerd inhibition against S aureus, P aeruginosa, E coli and C albicans. The extracts of C cajam produced wider zones of inhibition against C albicans.
• Hyperglycemic Effect: Study of the aqueous extract of C cajan leaves showed a hyperglycemic effect, suggesting a usefulness incontrolling hypoglycemia that may be due to excess of insulin or other hypoglycemic drugs.
• Hepatoprotective: Study of the methanol-aqueous fraction of C cajan leaf extract showed it could prevent the chronically treated alcohol induced rat liver damage and presents a promise as a non-toxic herb for therapeutic use in alcohol-induced liver dysfunction.

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

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Nutritional Value of Pigeon Pea (Red Gram, Toor, Congo Pea, Gunga Pea)
Pigeon Pea commonly known as Red Gram, Toor, Congo pea or Gunga Pea is yellow colored legume. It is cooked and used as food in day to day life.

Nutrition Facts and Information about Pigeon Pea: Pigeon Pea is rich is potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. It has good amount of iron and selenium and small amount of zinc, copper and manganese.

Vitamin Content of Pigeon Pea: Pigeon Pea has good amount of Vitamin A, Niacin and small amount of thiamin, riboflavin, Vitamin B6, folate and pantothenic acid.

Calorie Content of Pigeon Pea: 100g of Pigeon Pea has 343 calories. Calories from fat are 12.

Health Benefits of Pigeon Pea: Pigeon Pea cures cough, poisoning effect, gas troubles, acidity, stomach pain and piles. It makes a balanced human food, quells swelling of internal organs and with water it cures intoxicating effects.

http://www.organicfacts.net/nutrition-facts/pulses/nutritional-value-of-cowpea-and-pigeon-pea.html

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

Drinking herbal tea is on one of the easiest and safest way to keep our body healthy. Most people would rather drink medicine or supplement to make them feel better, but herbal tea is a lot better than those processed medicine that can cause damaging side effects to the body.

People who live in Southeast Asian countries are lucky because many beneficial herbs are readily available to them, a lot of those beneficial herbs / leaves just grow in their backyard or around their neighborhood. Dried form of this medicinal leaves are now marketed worldwide so everybody can take advantage of its curative effect.

3 Herbal Tea that contain a lot of health benefits:

guava

1. Guava leaves tea – guava in itself is a rich source of vitamin C, guava’s vitamin C content is 5x more than that of an orange, carotenoids, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and iron.

Health benefits from drinking guava leaves tea:

  • Helps in cases of Gastroenteritis, dysentery, diarrhea and vomiting in cholera patient
  • Helps fight free radicals.
  • Helps to clean the kidney
  • If you have chicken pox, drinking 4 cups of guava tea will make the chicken pox heal faster and the skin will have less scarring.
  • Contain strong antibiotic effect
  • It is good in controlling diabetes
  • Good for constipation
  • Gargling with lukewarm tea can help remedy swollen gums and oral ulcers.
  • Help relieves colds and bronchitis
  • Helps skin disorders because it is rich in vitamin C.

banaba

2. Banaba leaves tea – is one of the most common types of herbal tea. A mature green banaba leaves are used, the ratio is 3 leaves to 6 cups of water, boiled this for 15minutes in low heat. You can drink 3-4 cups of this tea per day, to add some flavor squeeze lemon or add honey.

Banaba leaves contain triterpenoid compound corosolic acid, and this ingredient has shown promise in animal trials in the fight against obesity. Corosolic acid helps to promote the use of glucose as fuel, and promotes weight loss.

Health benefits from drinking banaba leaves tea:

  • Banaba tea can help detoxify the body and protect the liver.
  • It helps in the treatment of urinary tract infections
  • It helps to lower or normalize blood sugar, even if you are prone to have diabetes you can lower the risk by drinking banaba tea everyday. It is effective for this purpose because of its ability to regulate blood sugar and act in a way that is similar to insulin
  • Banaba tea produces a positive effect of lowering trigyceride and LDL cholesterol, which aid in weight loss!
  • Banaba tea can help in weight reduction even without dietary restrictions.

malunggay2

3. Malunggay or Moringa leaves tea – malunggay is known in Asia as a “miracle plant” that can help fight malnutrition. Malunggay tree is abundant in most countries in Southeast Asia especially in the Philippines where it is seen in most backyards.

Malunggay or Moringa contain 7x the vitamin C found in oranges, 4x the vitamin A of carrots, 3x the iron of spinach, 4x as much calcium as milk, 2x the protein in milk and 3x the potassium of bananas.

Health benefits from drinking malunggay or moringa leaves tea:

  • Malunggay tea can help increase breast milk.
  • Malunggay tea can aid weight loss.
  • It can help restrict the growth of tumors.
  • It can help reduce phlegm.
  • It can help strengthen the eye muscle due to its high vitamin A content.
  • It can relieve fatigue and stress.
  • It can help you get a good night sleep.
  • It can prevent intestinal worm because of its strong detoxifying properties.
  • It can help increase semen count.
  • It can strengthen the immune system.
  • It can help reduce arthritis pains
  • It can prevent osteoporosis
  • It can help make the skin healthy
  • It can control blood pressure
  • It can help relieves headaches and migraines.

Source: http://hubpages.com/hub/Power-Herbal-Tea-Guava–Banaba-and-Malunggay

malunggay

“Malunggay” in the Philippines, “Sajina” in the Indian Subcontinent, and “Moringa” in English, it is a popular tree. Many Asians use the leaves of Malunggay (Sajina) like spinach and also the fruit it produces as a vegetable, like asparagus. It only used to be known as a vegetable for lactating mothers. But new scientific studies say that malunggay’s medicinal and market possibilities.

Touted by scientists as a “miracle vegetable,” malunggay has been promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the past 20 years as a low-cost health enhancer in poor countries around the globe.

Malunggay trees are generally grown in the backyards. The small, oval, dark-green leaves are famous vegetable ingredient in soup, fish and chicken dishes. Scientifically, called ‘Moringa oelifera.’ this vegetable, despite its legendary potentials, is still relatively unknown.

“The sale of all forms of vitamins, minerals, and health supplements is a big business,” points out Moringa Zinga, an American company that promotes and sells malunggay products in capsules. “If you are a company selling hundreds of nutritional products, why would you sell a product that will wipe out all your other products? This is true for the pharmaceutical industries as well. These industries would rather that the general public remains ignorant about the moringa leaves.”

According to the Biotechnology Program Office of the Department of Agriculture, the malunggay has been found by biochemists and molecular anthropologists to be rich in vitamins C and A, iron, and high density lipoprotein or good cholesterol.

Due to its high calcium content (four times the calcium in milk), lactating mothers in the Philippines are often advised to consume malunggay leaves to produce more milk for their babies. The young malunggay leaves are being boiled and drink as tea.

Malunggay leaves are loaded with nutrients. Gram for gram, malunggay leaves also contain two times the protein in milk. Likewise, it contains three times the potassium in bananas and four times the vitamin A in carrots.

Health nutritionists claim that an ounce of malunggay has the same Vitamin C content as seven oranges. An important function of vitamin C not known to many is its being an antioxidant. In fact, it has been recognized and accepted by the US Food and Drug Administration as one of the four dietary antioxidants, the others being vitamin E, beta-carotene and selenium. (A dietary oxidant is a substance in food that significantly decreases the adverse effects of harmful chemicals).

There are more health benefits. Vivencio Mamaril, of the Bureau of Plant Industry, told a national daily that in India, malunggay is used in treating various ailments. A 2001 study in India has found that the fresh root of the young tree can be used to treat fever. Asthmatics are advised to drink the infusion from the roots of the plant.

Tender malunggay leaves also reduce phlegm and are administered internally for scurvy and catarrhal conditions, while the flowers are used to heal inflammation of the tendons and abscesses. Unripe pods of malunggay are also reported to prevent intestinal worms, while the fruit also prevents eye disorders.

Other studies have shown that eating malunggay fruits can lead to higher semen count. This is good news for men who are having problems in siring children. They can now count on the malunggay to cork its magic on them.

Because of its nutritional content, malunggay strengthens the immune system, restores skin condition, controls blood pressure, re.ieves headaches and migraines, manages the sugar level thereby preventing diabetes, reduces inflammations and arthritis pains, restricts the growth of tumors, and heals ulcers. This information comes from Dr. Kumar Pati, an Indian doctor who is an expert in natural medicine.

The “next big thing” in Philippine agriculture. That is how the agriculture department considers malunggay. Malunggay can save lives, increase incomes, generate millions of jobs, utilize vast tracts of idle agricultural lands, make the Philippines globally competitive, impact local and international market, and help attain socioeconomic equity,” explained Alice Ilaga, director of the DA’s Biotechnology Program.

Besides being sold in the public market as a vegetable, is there really a market for malunggay products? “The Philippines is currently in the midst of developing the local market for malunggay and its products,” said a statement released by Biotechnology Program, which aggressively aims to develop the agribusiness potentials of various crops as part of the government’s poverty-alleviation program. “Despite being behind other countries such as India and Nicaragua, the Philippines’ malunggay industry is on its way to becoming a global competitor.”

In a press statement, Ilaga reported that the Nutrition Center of the Philippines is setting its sights on fortifying different types of food. “Given its nutritional value, it can be utilized in fortifying sauces, juices, milk, bread, and most importantly, instant noodles,” Ilaga says.

According to Ilaga, a multinational food company reportedly has expressed keen interest in putting up a processing plant in the Philippines for this purpose. “A noodle company is also eyeing malunggay for bio-fortification of noodles as part of its commitment to support the program to fight malnutrition, which is prevalent in the countryside,” she added.

The seeds of malunggay contain 40% oil, which is considered excellent massage oil. As part of its program to promote biotechnology, the agriculture department has strategically positioned itself for the commercial planting of seeds for malunggay oil production.

“The Philippines can penetrate the international market in producing malunggay oil from its seeds using advance technology to extract oil from enzymes,” Ilaga disclosed.

One local company that is leading in malunggay production is SECURA International. After entering into malunggay production for more than a year, it expects a bright future for the malunggay industry.

In an interview with a news dispatch, SECURA president Danny Manayaga admits that for the country to really take advantage of the market, it should first ensure that there is enough supply to support it. “‘The market is developing, but up to now, we still don’t know the extent of this market because we have not yet defined our capacity to produce malunggay,” he disclosed.

“We are involved with contract growers from different towns all over the country such as Valencia in Negros Oriental, Masinloc and Botolan in Zambales, Alaminos and Infanta in Pangasinan, and Bamban in Tarlac, which accounts for 150 hectares of our malunggay supply for our current market but it is not enough to sustain the demands for other products such as moringa oil,” Manayaga said.

SECURA needs at least 20,000 hectares to be able to support the available market for malunggay products. Currently, it is involved in processing dehydrated malunggay leaves to produce tea and as an additive to other medicinal plants to produce herbal tea. “This is the only active market that is running for malunggay now,” Manayaga said.

Unknown to many Filipinos, malunggay has the ability to purify water. “The crushed moringa seeds can clear very turbid water,” said Dr. John Sutherland, of Leicester University’s Department of Environmental Technology. He added that powdered malunggay seeds are appropriate for water purification in rural areas of tropical countries.

Planting malunggay trees can also help stabilize soil and contribute to fight against deforestation. The malunggay tree is highly resistant to drought and needs little care. It is fast-growing and lives for average of 50 years. Each tree can produce approximately 10,000 seeds a year. It also makes an excellent fuel and fertilizer.

A tropical species, malunggay can tolerate temperatures up to 48 degrees Centigrade, but 15 degrees to 35 degrees Centigrade is considered best. It grows in areas with annual rainfall of 760 to 2250 millimeters.

Is planting malunggay profitable? According to Ilaga, for a hectare of malunggay, the estimated net income per year is P150,000.

Source: http://www.agribusinessweek.com/malunggay-the-miracle-vegetable/

Malunggay Leaves

IF UNITED States has apple to keep the doctors away, here in the Philippines, it’s the common malunggay.

Touted by scientists as “miracle vegetable,” malunggay has been promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the past 20 years as a low-cost health enhancer in poor countries around the globe. In fact, during the Marcos administration, there was already a craze about malunggay, being a solution to the malnutrition problem in the countryside.

Perhaps not too many people know that the late President Ferdinand Marcos himself was a malunggay addict, consuming soup littered with green leaves in every meal in addition to the legendary ’saluyot’ and ‘labong’ (bamboo shoots) as his main fare.

Malunggay trees are generally grown in the backyards. The small, oval, dark-green leaves are famous vegetable ingredient in soup, fish and chicken dishes. Scientifically, it is called ‘Moringa oelifera.’ Despite its legendary potentials, malunggay is still relatively unknown.

“The sale of all forms of vitamins, minerals, and health supplements is a big business,” points out Moringa Zinga, an American company that promotes and sells malunggay products in capsules. “If you are a company selling hundreds of nutritional products, why would you sell a product that will wipe out all your other products? This is true for the pharmaceutical industries as well. These industries would rather that the general public remains ignorant about the moringa leaves.”

According to the Biotechnology Program Office of the Department of Agriculture, the malunggay has been found by biochemists and molecular anthropologists to be rich in vitamins C and A, iron, and high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol.

Due to its high calcium content (four times the calcium in milk), lactating mothers in the Philippines are often advised to consume malunggay leaves to produce more milk for their babies. The young malunggay leaves are being boiled and drink as tea.

Malunggay leaves are loaded with nutrients. Gram for gram, malunggay leaves also contain two times the protein in milk. Likewise, it contains three times the potassium in bananas and four times the vitamin A in carrots.

Health nutritionists claim that an ounce of malunggay has the same Vitamin C content as seven oranges. An important function of vitamin C not known to many is its being an antioxidant. In fact, it has been recognized and accepted by the US Food and Drug Administration as one of the four dietary antioxidants, the others being vitamin E, beta-carotene and selenium. (A dietary oxidant is a substance in food that significantly decreases the adverse effects of harmful chemicals.)

There are more health benefits. Vivencio Mamaril, of Bureau of Plant Industry, told a national daily that in India, malunggay is used in treating various ailments. A 2001 study in India has found that the fresh root of the young tree can be used to treat a fever. Asthmatics are advised to drink the infusion from the roots of the plant.

Tender malunggay leaves also reduce phlegm and are administered internally for scurvy and catarrhal conditions, while the flowers are used to heal inflammation of the tendons and abscesses. Unripe pods of malunggay can prevent intestinal worms, while the fruit also prevents eye disorders.

Other studies have shown that eating malunggay fruits can lead to higher semen count. This is good news for men who may not be able to sire children. They can now count on the malunggay to work its magic on them.

Because of its nutritional content, malunggay strengthens the immune system, restores skin condition, controls blood pressure, relieves headaches and migraines, manages the sugar level thereby preventing diabetes, reduces inflammations and arthritis pains, restricts the growth of tumors, and heals ulcers. This information comes from Dr. Kumar Pati, an Indian doctor who is an expert in natural medicine.

The “next big thing” in Philippine agriculture. That is how the agriculture department considers malunggay. “Malunggay can save lives, increase incomes, generate millions of jobs, utilize vast tracts of idle agricultural lands, make the Philippines globally competitive, impact local and international market, and help attain socio-economic equity,” explained Alice Ilaga, director of the DA’s Biotechnology Program.

http://allbestofphilippines.blogspot.com/2007/10/malunggay-leaves.html

Malunggay is a Miracle Vegetable

By Dr. Lydia M. Marero
Food and Nutrition Research Institute

Malunggay, known scientifically as Moringa oleifera Lamk, is one of the world’s most useful plants.  It is used as food, effective flocculant or water treatment, antibiotic, source of oil, and coagulant for turbid waters.

It is also called mother’s best friend, and miracle vegetable by many who know malunggay’s beneficial uses.  It is cultivated in all countries of the tropics.  It is easy to plant and is available year-round.

Malunggay’s image was even used as the official logo of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, an agency of the Department of Science and Technology.

One hundred grams or 1 cup of cooked malunggay leaves contain 3.1 g. protein, 0.6 g. fiber, 96 mg calcium, 29 mg phosphorus, 1.7 mg iron, 2,820 mg ß-carotene, 0.07 mg thiamin, 0.14 mg riboflavin, 1.1 mg niacin, and 53 mg ascorbic acid or vitamin C.  The antioxidant activity of malunggay is about 71%, with µ-tocopherol (vitamin E) equivalent of 45.

Malunggay leaves are an excellent source of vitamin A and B, and minerals such as calcium and iron.  It is even an excellent source of protein, being higher than the amino acid pattern of Food and Agriculture Organization-reference protein, yet contains very low fat and carbohydrates.  The leaves are incomparable as a source of the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine, often the natural minerals humans lack.

Due to its high vitamins A, C, and E, which are very potent antioxidants, malunggay is a very good quencher of unstable free radicals that can react with and damage molecules that cause aging.  Antioxidants reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.  They also prevent the onset of various chronic diseases like arthritis, cancer, and heart and kidney diseases.

Malunggay contains the phytochemical niaziminin, which is found to have molecular components that can prevent the development of cancer cells (Faizi et al., 1992) and correlated with inhibitory ability against superoxide generation.  The first naturally-occuring thiocarbamates, novel hypotensive agents niazinin A, niazinin B, niazimicin and niaziminin A and B were isolated from malunggay.

Malunggay is called miracle vegetable because it is not just a food, it is also a medicine.  It may therefore be a functional food.  Malunggay promotes good eyesight, digestion, facilitates bowel movement, and is a cure for stomach ache.

It is also used to cleanse wounds and ulcers.  It helps alleviate scurvy, asthma, earache, and headaches.  For its high calcium content, lactating mothers are advised to eat malunggay leaves to produce more milk.

Malunggay is usually cooked with chicken as tinola, or with fish and other vegetables, mongo soup dishes, and blanched as salads.

[For more information on food and nutrition, you may write or call The Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology, Gen. Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig, Metro Manila, Tel/Fax: 8372934, 8373164; E-mail: cvcb@fnri.dost.gov.ph; FNRI-DOST website: http//www.fnri@dost.gov.ph]

Therapeutics of Malunggay

Sometimes, people think that solutions to their problems are expensive and hard to find. But more often than not, real solutions to basic problems are abundant, cheap and even free. Health problems are especially solvable with natural inexpensive gifts from nature.

Moringa, for example, is a wonderful blessing for us all. Locally, it is called malunggay and is easily available everywhere. Unfortunately, it is little appreciated by many Filipinos. Today, I would like to share with the good news about Moringa, as written by Mark Fritz of the Los Angeles Times.

“Scientifically speaking, Moringa sounds like magic. It can rebuild weak bones, enrich anemic blood and enable a malnourished mother to nurse her starving baby. Ounce for ounce, it has the calcium of four glasses of milk, the vitamin C of seven oranges and the potassium of three bananas.

“A dash of Moringa can make dirty water drinkable. Doctors use it to treat diabetes in West Africa and high blood pressure in India. Not only can it staunch a skin infection, but Moringa also makes an excellent fuel and fertilizer.

“Memo to Popeye: Moringa has triple the iron of spinach and more impressive attributes than olive oil. Both Moringa and the common carrot are diamonds in the roughage department, but Moringa has quadruple the beta carotene, which is good for the eyes and effective against cancer.”

Fritz also reports on the positive results of using Moringa as a substitute for expensive whole milk powder in nutrition projects.

Source: http://www.malunggay.com/therapeutics.htm

Nutritional
• Flowers, leaves and pods eaten as a vegetable.
• Source of calcium, iron, phosphorus and vitamins A, B and C.
• High in HDL (high density lipoproteins); a source of amino acids, omega oils, antioxidants.
• Comparative content: Gram for gram, 7 times the vitamin C in oranges, 4 times the calcium and twice the protein in milk, 4 times the vitamin A in carrots, 3 times the potassium in bananas.
• 100 gms or 1 cup of cooked malunggay leaves contain 3.1 g protein, 0.6 g fiber, 96 mg calcium, 29 mg phosphorus, 1.7 mg iron, 2,820 mg beta-carotene, 0.07 mg thiamin, 0.14a mg riboflavin, 1.1 mg niacin, and 53 mg of vitamin C. (Dr. Lydia Marero of the Food and Drug Research Institute -FNRI)

Breastfeeding women
• Malunggay leaves and pods are helpful in increasing breast milk in the breastfeeding months. One tablespoon of leaf powder provide 14% of the protein, 40% of the calcium, 23% of the iron and most of the vitamin A needs of a child aged one to three. Six tablespoons of leaf powder will provide nearly all of the woman’s daily iron and calcium needs during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Folkloric
Decoction of leaves used for hiccups, asthma, gout, back pain, rheumatism, wounds and sores.
Young leaves increases the flow of milk.
Pods for intestinal parasitism.
Constipation: Leaves and fruit
Decoction of boiled roots used to wash sores and ulcers.
Decoction of the bark used for excitement, restlessness.
Pounded roots used as poultice for inflammatory swelling.
Juice of roots is used for otalgia.
Decoction of roots is use as gargle for hoarseness and sore throat.
Boiled leaves used to help increase lactation.
Seeds for hypertension, gout, asthma, hiccups, and as a diuretic.
Rheumatic complaints: Decoction of seeds; or, powdered roasted seeds applied to affected area.
Juice of the root with milk used for asthma, hiccups, gout, lumbago.
Poultice of leaves applied for glandular swelling.
Pounded fresh leaves mixed with coconut oil applied to wounds and cuts.
The flowers boiled with soy milk thought to have aphrodisiac quality.
In West Bengal, India, roots taken by women, esp prostitutes, for permanent contraception (Studies have shown total inactivation or suppression of the reproductive system).

Studies
• Moringa preparations have been cited often in scientific literature as antibiotic, antiinflammatory, hypocholesterolemic and hypoglycemic. However, many of the reports are not placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials.
• Antiinflammatory / Anti-tumor: Anti-inflammtory and Antitumor Activities of Seeds Extracts of Malunggay—A study showed the crude ethanol extract of dried seeds inhibited the carrageenan-induced inflammation in the hind paw of mice by 85% at a dosage of 3 mg/g body weight;  the mature green seeds by 77%. The crude ethanol extract also inhibited the formation of Epstein-Barr virus-early antigen (EBV-EA) induced by 12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA). At a dosage of 100 ?g/ml, the extract inhibited EBV-EA formation by 100% suggesting its antitumor-promoting activity. <Abstract:http://www.stii.dost.gov.ph/pjsweb/data/antitumor_of_malunggay.htm&gt;
• Cancer: Possible Role of Moringa oleifera Lam. Root in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: Study suggests a role for M Oleifera, shown to interfere with cytokine pathways.
• Asthma: Antiasthmatic activity of Moringa oleifera Lam: A clinical study: Study showed improvement in forced vital capacity, FEV1, and peak expiratory flow rate. It suggests a usefulness for MO seed kernel in patients with asthma.
• Antibiotic: 50 years ago, a study yielded Pterygospermin, a compound that readily dissociates into two molecules of benzyl isothiocyanate which has been shown to have antimicrobial properties. Unfortunately, many of the reports of antibiotic efficacy in humans were not from placebo controlled, randomized clinical trials. Recent studies have demonstrated possible efficacy against H. pylori.
• Hormonal properties / Abortifacient: Biochemical observations and histologic findings have been correlated with the anti-implantation action of aequous extracts, one possible explanation for its use as an abortifacient. source
• Antiurolithiatic: Study showed lowering of stone forming constituents in the kidneys of calculogenic rats with the use of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of MO suggesting antiurolithiatic activity.
• Antimicrobial / Water Purifyiing: Study of MO seeds paste for water purification yielded a steroidal glycoside, strophantidin, a bioactive agent in the seed. The seed paste was found effective in clarification and sedimentation of inorganic and organic matter in raw water, reducing total microbial and coliform counts by 55% and 65% respectively, in 24 hours, compared to alum with 65% and 83% reduction.
• Antipyretic / Wound Healing: Study of the ethanolic and ethyl acetate extracts of MO showed significant antipyretic activity in rats; the ethyl acetate extract of dried leaves showed significant wound healing on rat wound models.
• Analgeic: Previous studies have shown analgesic activity from the leaves of MO. This study on the alcoholic extract of MO seeds showed potent analgesic activity comparable to that of aspirin dose of 25 mg/kg BW.
• Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant: Study concluded that the alcoholic extracts of MO produced significant hepatoprotective and antioxidant activity, the aqueous extracts of the fruit less than the alcoholic extract.

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

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