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ginger-rootThe medicinal uses of ginger is almost endless.  If you can stomach the spiciness, it does wonders in treating many disorders.

Anticoagulant: Add ginger in most of your cooking or add a teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice in your beverages to enjoy the anticoagulant properties of ginger.  It helps make blood platelets less sticky which in turn reduces your risk of atherosclerosis.

Aphrodisiac effect: A natural aphrodisiac, this might be the better substitute to viagra!  Drink hot ginger tea (by mixing ginger juice, hot water and honey) after a not-too-heavy meal and see it work!

Cold: Cut up a small piece of ginger and boil it with a small cup of pure drinking water.  Add some green tea leaves if you wish.  Strain and drink when hot.  Effective if you also have fever resulting from the cold. You may also drink this concoction if you feel a cold coming.

Cough: Drink ginger juice with honey three to four times a day for a bad throat.  It is soothing and helps clear up phlegm.

Digestive disorder: Mix a teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice with one teaspoonful each of fresh lime juice and fresh mint juice with some honey to taste in a glass of water.  Drink to relieve heartburn, indigestion, nausea and vomiting.  Especially helpful after a big meaty meal.

Fatigue: Slice a piece of ginger into disks and boil it with a big glass of water.  Add a piece of cinnamon bark, bring to boil and then cover it for about half an hour till it turns to golden color.  Drink it to relieve fatigue when recovering from fever.  It also relieves muscle pain and soreness.

Flatulence/wind: Pound a piece of fresh ginger and boil with a cup of water and add a little honey to taste.  Drink it twice a day to let off the wind trapped in the intestinal tract.

Impotency: Believe it or not!  Mix a teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice to a half-boiled egg and a teaspoonful of honey. Take this concoction on an empty stomach, every night for a month.  It is supposed to cure impotency, premature ejaculation and increase sperm count.  (Not proven but worth trying!)

Inflammations: The anti-inflammatory (gingerols) and anti-oxidant properties in ginger help relieve various inflammatory disorders like gout, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.  It provides substantial relief in pain caused by inflammation and help decrease swelling and morning stiffness.

Menstruation disorders: Pound a piece of fresh ginger and boil with a cup of water and add a little honey to taste.  Drink it hot two or three times a day for a month.  The pain-relieving and anti-cramping compounds in ginger effectively help relieve painful menstruation cramps (dysmenorrhoea).  In the absence of menstruation in women in the reproductive age (amenorrhoea), this concoction can also help induce menstruation.

Morning sickness: A teaspoonful of fresh ginger juice with some honey will also help alleviate morning sickness, sea or motion sickness, dizziness and even nausea caused by chemotherapy or anesthesia.

Pain killer: Ginger juice makes an excellent pain killer, even when applied externally.  In headache, apply ginger juice to the forehead.  With toothache, apply it to the external area either on the cheek or jaw area.

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

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Gastrointestinal Relief

A clue to ginger’s success in eliminating gastrointestinal distress is offered by recent double-blind studies, which have demonstrated that ginger is very effective in preventing the symptoms of motion sickness, especially seasickness. In fact, in one study, ginger was shown to be far superior to Dramamine, a commonly used over-the-counter and prescription drug for motion sickness. Ginger reduces all symptoms associated with motion sickness including dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and cold sweating.

Safe and Effective Relief of Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy

Ginger’s anti-vomiting action has been shown to be very useful in reducing the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, even the most severe form, hyperemesis gravidum, a condition which usually requires hospitalization. In a double-blind trial, ginger root brought about a significant reduction in both the severity of nausea and number of attacks of vomiting in 19 of 27 women in early pregnancy (less than 20 weeks). Unlike antivomiting drugs, which can cause severe birth defects, ginger is extremely safe, and only a small dose is required.

A review of six double-blind, randomized controlled trials with a total of 675 participants, published in the April 2005 issue of the journal, Obstetrics and Gynecology,has confirmed that ginger is effective in relieving the severity of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. The review also confirmed the absence of significant side effects or adverse effects on pregnancy outcomes.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These substances are believed to explain why so many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly. In two clinical studies involving patients who responded to conventional drugs and those who didn’t, physicians found that 75% of arthritis patients and 100% of patients with muscular discomfort experienced relief of pain and/or swelling.

Arthritis-related problems with your aging knees? Regularly spicing up your meals with fresh ginger may help, suggests a study published in a recent issue of Osteoarthritis Cartilage. In this twelve month study, 29 patients with painful arthritis in the knee (6 men and 23 women ranging in age from 42-85 years) participated in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study. Patients switched from placebo to ginger or visa versa after 3 months. After six months, the double-blind code was broken and twenty of the patients who wished to continue were followed for an additional six months.

By the end of the first six month period, those given ginger were experiencing significantly less pain on movement and handicap than those given placebo. Pain on movement decreased from a score of 76.14 at baseline to 41.00, while handicap decreased from 73.47 to 46.08. In contrast, those who were switched from ginger to placebo experienced an increase in pain of movement (up to 82.10) and handicap (up to 80.80) from baseline. In the final phase of the study when all patients were getting ginger, pain remained low in those already taking ginger in phase 2, and decreased again in the group that had been on placebo.

Not only did participants’ subjective experiences of pain lessen, but swelling in their knees, an objective measurement of lessened inflammation, dropped significantly in those treated with ginger. The mean target knee circumference in those taking ginger dropped from 43.25cm when the study began to 39.36cm by the 12th week. When this group was switched to placebo in the second phase of the study, their knee circumferences increased, while those who had been on placebo but were now switched to ginger experienced a decrease in knee circumference. In the final phase, when both groups were given ginger, mean knee circumference continued to drop, reaching lows of 38.78 and 36.38 in the two groups.

How does ginger work its anti-inflammatory magic? Two other recent studies provide possible reasons.

A study published in the November 2003 issue of Life Sciences suggests that at least one reason for ginger’s beneficial effects is the free radical protection afforded by one of its active phenolic constituents, 6-gingerol. In this in vitro (test tube) study, 6-gingerol was shown to significantly inhibit the production of nitric oxide, a highly reactive nitrogen molecule that quickly forms a very damaging free radical called peroxynitrite. Another study appearing in the November 2003 issue of Radiation Research found that in mice, five days treatment with ginger (10 mg per kilogram of body weight) prior to exposure to radiation not only prevented an increase in free radical damage to lipids (fats found in numerous bodily components from cell membranes to cholesterol), but also greatly lessened depletion of the animals’ stores of glutathione, one of the body’s most important internally produced antioxidants.

A study published in the February 2005 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine sheds further light on the mechanisms of action that underlie ginger’s anti-inflammatory effectiveness. In this research, ginger was shown to suppress the pro-inflammatory compounds (cytokines and chemokines) produced by synoviocytes (cells comprising the synovial lining of the joints), chrondrocytes (cells comprising joint cartilage) and leukocytes (immune cells).

Protection against Colorectal Cancer

Gingerols, the main active components in ginger and the ones responsible for its distinctive flavor, may also inhibit the growth of human colorectal cancer cells, suggests research presented at the Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, a major meeting of cancer experts that took place in Phoenix, AZ, October 26-30, 2003.

In this study, researchers from the University of Minnesota’s Hormel Institute fed mice specially bred to lack an immune system a half milligram of -gingerol three times a week before and after injecting human colorectal cancer cells into their flanks. Control mice received no -gingerol.

Tumors first appeared 15 days after the mice were injected, but only 4 tumors were found in the group of -gingerol-treated mice compared to 13 in the control mice, plus the tumors in the -gingerol group were smaller on average. Even by day 38, one mouse in the -gingerol group still had no measurable tumors. By day 49, all the control mice had been euthanized since their tumors had grown to one cubic centimeter (0.06 cubic inch), while tumors in 12 of the -gingerol treated mice still averaged 0.5 cubic centimeter-half the maximum tumor size allowed before euthanization.

Research associate professor Ann Bode noted, “These results strongly suggest that ginger compounds may be effective chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agents for colorectal carcinomas.”

In this first round of experiments, mice were fed ginger before and after tumor cells were injected. In the next round, researchers will feed the mice ginger only after their tumors have grown to a certain size. This will enable them to look at the question of whether a patient could eat ginger to slow the metastasis of a nonoperable tumor. Are they optimistic? The actions of the University of Minnesota strongly suggest they are. The University has already applied for a patent on the use of -gingerol as an anti-cancer agent and has licensed the technology to Pediatric Pharmaceuticals (Iselin, N.J.).

Ginger Induces Cell Death in Ovarian Cancer Cells

Lab experiments presented at the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer, by Dr Rebecca Lui and her colleagues from the University of Michigan, showed that gingerols, the active phytonutrients in ginger, kill ovarian cancer cells by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) and autophagocytosis (self-digestion).

Ginger extracts have been shown to have both antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects on cells. To investigate the latter, Dr Liu examined the effect of a whole ginger extract containing 5% gingerol on a number of different ovarian cancer cell lines.

Exposure to the ginger extract caused cell death in all the ovarian cancer lines studied.

A pro-inflammatory state is thought to be an important contributing factor in the development of ovarian cancer. In the presence of ginger, a number of key indicators of inflammation (vascular endothelial growth factor, interleukin-8 and prostaglandin E2) were also decreased in the ovarian cancer cells.

Conventional chemotherapeutic agents also suppress these inflammatory markers, but may cause cancer cells to become resistant to the action of the drugs. Liu and her colleagues believe that ginger may be of special benefit for ovarian cancer patients because cancer cells exposed to ginger do not become resistant to its cancer-destroying effects. In the case of ovarian cancer, an ounce of prevention-in the delicious form of liberal use of ginger-is an especially good idea. Ovarian cancer is often deadly since symptoms typically do not appear until late in the disease process, so by the time ovarian cancer is diagnosed, it has spread beyond the ovaries. More than 50% of women who develop ovarian cancer are diagnosed in the advanced stages of the disease.

Immune Boosting Action

Ginger can not only be warming on a cold day, but can help promote healthy sweating, which is often helpful during colds and flus. A good sweat may do a lot more than simply assist detoxification. German researchers have recently found that sweat contains a potent germ-fighting agent that may help fight off infections. Investigators have isolated the gene responsible for the compound and the protein it produces, which they have named dermicidin. Dermicidin is manufactured in the body’s sweat glands, secreted into the sweat, and transported to the skin’s surface where it provides protection against invading microorganisms, including bacteria such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus (a common cause of skin infections), and fungi, including Candida albicans.

Ginger is so concentrated with active substances, you don’t have to use very much to receive its beneficial effects. For nausea, ginger tea made by steeping one or two 1/2-inch slices (one 1/2-inch slice equals 2/3 of an ounce) of fresh ginger in a cup of hot water will likely be all you need to settle your stomach. For arthritis, some people have found relief consuming as little as a 1/4-inch slice of fresh ginger cooked in food, although in the studies noted above, patients who consumed more ginger reported quicker and better relief.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=72

See also:

http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/ginger.shtml
http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-ginger.html
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=72

gumamela

Parts utilized
· Flowers, roots, and leaves.
· Harvest the roots and leaves anytime of the year.
· Wash, cut into slices, and sun-dry. The flowers should be collected from May to August, sun-dry.

Characteristics and Pharmacological Effects
· Considered emollient, emmenagogue, anodyne, expectorant, refrigerant.
· Anti-infectious, anthelmintic, antiinflammatory, diuretic, antipyretic.
• Hypotensive, antispasmodic.
· Prepared drug has sweet taste, neutral natured.
· The Hibiscus with five petals noted for its medicinal properties, the flowers are considerede astringent. The roots contain a mucilage that is soothing on the mucous membranes of the digestive and respiratory tracts.

Constituents
Hibiscotin.
Flowers: Flavonoids and proanthocyanidins which are antioxidant, antipyretic, analgesic, spasmolytic.
Polysaccharides which promote wound healing and are immune-modulating.

Uses


Folkloric
· Mumps, infection of the urinary tract: use dried drug materials 15 to 30 gms, boil to decoction and drink.
· For abscesses, carbuncles and boils: crush fresh leaves and poultice the infected area. Also, pound flower buds into a paste and apply to external swellings; also used for boils, cancerous swellings and mumps.
· Decoction of roots, barks, leaves and flowers used as an emollient.
· Decoction from roots of red and white-flowered plants used as an antidote for poison.
· Bark is an emmenagogue; also used to normalize menstruation.
· Seeds used as a stimulant and for cramps.
· Decoction of leaves for fevers.
· For headaches, an infusion of leaves or poultice of leaves.
· Leaves are mildly laxative.
· Mucilage during labor.
· Red flowers are purgative; when taken with papaya seeds, may be abortive.
· Infusion of leaves as an expectorant in bronchitis.
· Hair stimulant: oil made by mixing the juice of fresh petals and olive oil for stimulating hair growth.
• In Costa Rica, used as a purgative.
• In Venezuela, used to treat tumors.
• In the Carribean, used as analgesic, anti-inflammatory.
• In the Dominican Republic, used to treat hematomas.
Culinary
A tasty tea is brewed from its petals.

Studies
• Studies have demonstrated anti-bacterial, hypotensive, antispasmodic, and chemopreventive activities. It has shown glucose lowering in diabetic rats. Leaf extract has shown to promote hair growth.
Post-Coital Antifertility Activity of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Linn. roots: The study explored the antifertility and estrogenic activity of root extracts of H. rosa-sinensis. A strong anti-implantation and uterotropic activity was observed.
Effects of Hibiscus rosa sinensis L (Malvaceae) on Wound Healing Activity: A Preclinical Study in a Sprague Dawley Rat: Study results on flower extracts suggest H. rosa-sinensis aids wound healing in the rat model.
Cardioprotective effect of the Hibiscus rosa sinensis flowers in an oxidative stress model of myocardial ischemic reperfusion injury in rat: The study concludes that the flower of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis augments endogenous antioxidant activity and prevented isoproterenol induced myocardial injury.
• Presence of cholinergic and calcium channel blocking activities explains the traditional use of Hibiscus rosasinensis in constipation and diarrhoea: Study indicates the crude extract had spasmogenic and spasmolytic constituents to explain its traditional use in constipation and diarrhea.
• Phytochemical and pharmacological investigation of flowers of hibiscus rosasinensis linn: Flowers extract studies isolated new compounds which showed hypotensive activity in combination use. Further pharmacological investigation is suggested.

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

Gumamela is a shrub that grows from one meter up to 4 meters high. Gumamela is also known as: Hibiscus, China Rose and Shoeflower. In the Philippines, gumamela is cultivated as an ornamental plant. The gumamela flower comes in many colors: red, yellow, orange, white, purple, pink and other color combinations.

Gumamela leaves, usually blended with Rose Hip has long been used in the Middle East and Okinawa as herbal tea. Today, the use of gumamela tea is gaining worldwide popularity – including Asia. Gumamela (Hibiscus) is associated with longevity.

Gumamela as Herbal Medicine

As herbal medicine, gumamela flower, leaves and roots are used. Gumamela has the following medicinal characteristics: expectorant, diuretic, emollient, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, anodyne and refrigerant.

Preparation & Use of Gumamela:

There are two ways to utilize gumamela as herbal medicine. One is dried and the other is fresh. For Dried gumamela, collect the flower, leaves and/or roots. Wash, then cut into small pieces and sun dry. To use as decoction, boil the dried gumamela parts (1/4 cup dried gumamela in 1 glass of water)

To make a decoction from fresh gumamela, Wash gumamela flower and/or leaves, cut into small pieces and boil (1/3 cup in 1 glass of water), let cool and drink.

Use Gumamela as Poultice:

Poultice is the use or fresh or dried herbs that is mashed, crushed or pounded – often heated (boiled in water to soften and heat the herb) and applied directly to the skin. A clean cloth or gauze can be used to help the poultice stay in place.

Gumamela is used for the treatment of:

• Bronchitis – as an expectorant
• Coughs, sore throat
• Fever – as refrigerant drink
• Treats dysentery
• Urinary tract infection, bladder infections
• High blood pressure
• Prevention of constipation
• Headaches
• Boils, swelling & abscesses, mumps

Application & Use of Gumamela:

• Decoction is used to treat: Bronchitis, coughs, fever, dysentery, urinary and bladder infections, high blood pressure and constipation.
• Poultice is applied externally on the afflicted area. This is used to treat: headaches (on the forehead), boils, swelling, abscesses and mumps.
• Intake of gumamela (alone or mixed with papaya or papaya seeds) specially in large quantities can be an abortifacient.

http://www.philippineherbalmedicine.org/gumamela.htm

oregano

Parts utilized
Leaves

Uses

Folkloric
· The juice of the leaves for dyspepsia, asthma, chronic coughs, bronchits, colic, flatulence, rheumatism. The dose is one tablespoonful of the fresh juice every hour for adults and one teaspoonful every two hours, four times daily, for children. As an infusion, 50 to 60 grams to a pint of boiling water, and drink the tea, 4 to 5 glasses a day. For chilldren, 1/2 cup 4 times daily.
· For otalgia (ear aches), pour the fresh, pure juice into the ear for 10 minutes.
· For carbuncles, boils, sprains, felons, painful swellings: Apply the poultice of leaves to the affected area, four times daily.
· For sore throats, a decoction of two tablespoonfuls of dried leaves to a pint of boiling water, taken one hour before or after meals.
· Decoction of leaves is given after childbirth.
• In India, leaves are used traditionally for bronchitis, asthma, diarrhea, epilepsy, nephro-cystolithiasi, fever, indigestion and cough.

Recent uses and preparations
Respiratory ailments like cough, asthma and bronchitis: Squeeze juice of the leaves. Take one teaspoon every hour for adults. For children above 2 years old, 3 to 4 teaspoons a day.

Studies
• Antioxidant, anticlastogenic and radioprotective effect of Coleus aromaticus on Chinese hamster fibroblast cells (V79) exposed to gamma radiation: Study results establsihed antioxidant, anticlastogenic and radioprotective activities and suggests a potential for chemoprevention.
Mast cell stabilization property of Coleus aromaticus leaf extract in rat peritoneal mast cells: Study showed stabilization of mast cells in rat mesenteric tissue and suggests further studies into mast cells with its role in Type 1 hypersensitivity-mediated diseases like asthma and rhinitis.
Antimicrobial Activity Of Coleus aromaticus (Benth) Against Microbes Of Reproductive Tract Infections Among Women : Results suggests the herb could be an ideal choice for treating reproductive tract infections.

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

Oregano (Scientific name: Origanum vulgare) is also known as Wild Marjoram, Mountain Mint, Origanum, Wintersweet and Winter Marjoram. This erectly spreading plant has strong aromatic characteristics, with leaves and stems that are fleshy. The leaves of oregano are heart-shaped, with toothed edges, and which, grow for up to 9 meters in length. In other countries, the plant is primarily used as a culinary ingredient. However, in countries like the Philippines, Oregano is a known herbal medicine for its strong anti-oxidant properties. Oregano contains a rosmarinic acid compound, thymol, and carvacrol that are responsible for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Oregano also contains flavinoids, triterpenoids, sterols, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Its anti-bacterial properties have been proven by recent studies to treat infections of the reproductive tracts, and which make it ideal to be given to women who have just given birth.

The volatile oils in oregano and its properties are believed to be responsible for slowing the process of spoilage of food and thus minimizing the risk of ingesting harmful bacteria, parasites and fungi.

The anti-oxidant properties of oregano helps fight free radicals in the body that cause cellular damage and accelerate ageing. Free radicals are believed to be involved with many degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis, atherosclerosis and heart diseases, to name a few.

The most useful parts of this plant are its leaves. The extracts and juices of such are used for asthma, dyspepsia, chronic coughs, bronchitis, and rheumatism. Ear aches have also been proven to be cured by the infusion prepared from its leaves. The leaves relieve painful swellings, boils, and sprains, when their poultices are applied directly to the affected area.

Health Benefits of Oregano:

• Good for cough and cold relief
• Helps prevent degenerative arthritis
• Has Anti-aging properties
• Helps relieve rheumatism and osteoarthritis
• Bronchitis herbal remedy
• Ease asthma attacks
• Relieves upset stomach
• Treatment of urinary tract problems
• Relief for dyspepsia or indigestion
• Healing wounds, insect bites & stings
• Cure for sore throat
• Avoid infections caused by childbirth by taking decoctions of the leaves by the recent mother.
• For general good health

Preparation of Oregano Leaves:

• Boil one cup of fresh leaves in 3 cups of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink half a cup 3 times a day for common colds.
• For a concentrate, juice the oregano leaves and take 1 tablespoon every hour to relieve chronic coughs, rheumatism, bronchitis, asthma, and dyspepsia.
• For Insect bites, wounds and stings, apply the leaves as a poultice directly on the afflicted area.
• For sore throat, boil 2 tablespoonfuls of dried oregano leaves in a pint of water, take 2 hours before or after meals.
• To prevent degenerative arthritis & for general good health drink oregano decoction daily.

http://www.philippineherbalmedicine.org/oregano.htm

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