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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/

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

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

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

Sulfur and Magnesium

Cacao is remarkably rich in sulfur and magnesium.

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

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

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

Stimulant or Superfood?

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

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

MAO Inhibitors

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

Phenylethylamine (PEA)

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

Anandamide (The Bliss Chemical)

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

Antioxidants

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

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

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

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

Other facts on Raw Cacao beans

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

Raw chocolate is known to have the following properties:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

hair

When it comes to healthy hair, it’s not just what you put on your tresses that count — it’s what you put in your body, too.

By Hilary Parker
WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

“Lather, rinse, repeat” may be standard advice, but shampoo and conditioner alone won’t give you the healthy hair you crave. For the most luxurious locks possible, you’ll need to step out of the shower, and into the kitchen.

“Your hair grows about 1/4 to 1/2 inch every month, and the foundation of all of our new hair, skin, and nail growth is the nutrients we eat,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, a Chicago-based dietitian. “If you eat a healthy diet, you will grow stronger and healthier cells throughout your entire body — inside and out.”

If you were born with fine, thin hair, you’ll never have rope-thick tresses — no matter what you eat — but a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of growth-promoting protein and iron can make a difference, say nutrition and hair experts.

And beware of dietary supplements often marketed to thicken hair or make it grow faster. They may backfire.

“Even though you can find beauty supplements on the shelves of most stores, try to get the nutrients you need from foods whenever possible,” Paradi Mirmirani, MD, a dermatologist in Vallejo, Calif., tells WebMD. “In rare instances, excess supplementation of certain nutrients, such as vitamin A, has been linked to hair loss.”

Read on for the 10 top foods that should be the foundation of your healthy hair diet.

(What are some of the things you do to keep YOUR hair healthy and shiny? Talk with others on the Skin Care: Share Your Tips message board.)

Healthy Hair Food No. 1: Salmon

When it comes to foods that pack a beauty punch, it’s hard to beat salmon. Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, this high-quality protein source is also filled with vitamin B-12 and iron.

“Essential omega-3 fatty acids are needed to support scalp health,” says Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD, a dietitian in Los Angeles and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. “A deficiency can result in a dry scalp and thus hair, giving it a dull look.”

Vegetarian? Include one or two tablespoons of ground flaxseed in your daily diet for some plant-based omega-3 fats.

Healthy Hair Food No. 2: Dark Green Vegetables

Popeye the Sailor Man didn’t eat all that spinach for healthy hair, but he could have. Spinach, like broccoli and Swiss chard, is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum. The oily substance, secreted by your hair follicles, is the body’s natural hair conditioner.

Dark green vegetables also provide iron and calcium.

Healthy Hair Food No. 3: Beans

Beans, beans, they’re good for your … hair?

Yes, it’s true. Legumes like kidney beans and lentils should be an important part of your hair-care diet. Not only do they provide plentiful protein to promote hair growth, but ample iron, zinc, and biotin. While rare, biotin deficiencies can result in brittle hair.

Blatner, who is also a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, recommends three or more cups of lentils or beans each week.

Healthy Hair Food No. 4: Nuts

Do you go nuts for thick, shiny hair? You should.

Brazil nuts are one of nature’s best sources of selenium, an important mineral for the health of your scalp.

Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help condition your hair. They are also a terrific source of zinc, as are cashews, pecans, and almonds. A zinc deficiency can lead to hair shedding, so make sure nuts are a regular on your healthy hair menu.

Healthy Hair Food No. 5: Poultry

Chickens and turkeys may have feathers, but the high-quality protein they provide will help give you the healthy hair you crave.

“Without adequate protein or with low-quality protein, one can experience weak brittle hair, while a profound protein deficiency can result in loss of hair color,” Giancoli tells WebMD.

Poultry also provides iron with a high degree of bioavailability, meaning your body can easily reap its benefits.

Healthy Hair Food No. 6: Eggs

When it comes to healthy hair, it doesn’t matter whether you like your eggs scrambled, fried, or over easy. However they’re served up, eggs are one of the best protein sources you can find.

They also contain biotin and vitamin B-12, which are important beauty nutrients.

Healthy Hair Food No. 7: Whole Grains

Sink your teeth into hearty whole grains, including whole-wheat bread and fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals, for a hair-healthy dose of zinc, iron, and B vitamins.

A whole-grain snack can also be a great go-to food when your energy is zapped halfway through the afternoon, and you’ve still got hours to go before dinner.

Healthy Hair Food No. 8: Oysters

Oysters may be better known for their reputation as an aphrodisiac, but they can also lead to healthy hair — and who doesn’t love that?

The key to their love and hair-boosting abilities is zinc — a powerful antioxidant.

If oysters don’t make a regular appearance on your dinner plate, don’t despair. In addition to getting it from whole grains and nuts, you can also get zinc from beef and lamb.

Healthy Hair Food No. 9: Low-Fat Dairy Products

Low-fat dairy products like skim milk and yogurt are great sources of calcium, an important mineral for hair growth. They also contain whey and casein, two high-quality protein sources.

For some healthy hair foods “to-go,” try throwing a yogurt or cottage cheese cup in your bag when you head out in the morning to snack on later in the day. You can even boost their hair benefits by stirring in a couple of tablespoons of ground flaxseeds or walnuts for omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.

Healthy Hair Food No. 10: Carrots

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, which promotes a healthy scalp along with good vision.

Since a healthy scalp is essential for a shiny, well-conditioned head of hair, you’d be wise to include carrots in your diet as snacks or toppings on your salad.

When it comes to healthy hair, it’s not just what you put on your tresses that count — it’s what you put in your body, too.

(continued)

The Big Picture: A Balanced Diet for Healthy Hair

When it comes to foods for healthy hair and beauty, variety is the best way to go.

“An overall balanced diet of lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fatty fish like salmon and low-fat dairy will help keep hair healthy,” Giancoli says.

If you’re tempted to drop pounds fast with the latest fad diet, it could leave you with less-than-healthy hair — along with a growling stomach. Low-calorie diets are often low in some of the most important nutrients for healthy hair, including omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamin A. In addition to stunting hair growth and leading to dullness, super-low calorie plans may even cause hair loss.

“Crash diets can affect the hair cycle,” Mirmirani tells WebMD. “Losing a significant amount of weight in a short amount of time can affect that normal hair rhythm. Two to three months later, you might notice a significant increase in shedding. This is a temporary problem that you recover from with a well-rounded diet.”

Source: http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/features/top-10-foods-for-healthy-hair

aloevera

With all the talk out there in the aloe industry, what aloe vera is and what makes this healing plant so popular, is still far from the reach of so many that are trying to understand what exactly is in the plant …that gives it it’s healing power.

From the ancient Egyptians, Greek, and the Roman physicians, up to and through the discoveries made in the early twentieth century …the question remains, what and how does this healing plant work its magic!

As can be seen, the “remarkable aloe vera plant” ingredients are in everything. It’s in our soaps, its in our shampoo, its in our hair conditioner, its in our shaving lathers, its in our bath products, our face creams, our body lotions, our toothpastes, our liniments, our body powders, our cologne …not only is it used in everything we put on our body …but its also found its way to internal uses with dramatic medical breakthrough from A to Z.

Listed below are just a few:

  • A. Arthritis, allergies, abrasions, asthma, acne, acid indigestion, anemia.
  • B. Bad breath, burns, boils, bursitis, blisters, burses, bronchitis, bowel regularity, body cleanser, bladder infections, blood pressure.
  • C. Candida, cancer, cankers sores, cold sores, cuts, colic, cradle cap, chapped/chaffed skin and lips.
  • D. Dermatitis, dandruff, dry skin, denture sores, diaper rash, dishpan hands, dysentery, diabetes, depression, decubitous ulcers.
  • E. Edema, epidermises, Epstein-Barr virus, exanthema, eczema.
  • F. Fever blisters, fungus, feline leukemia, fungus infection.
  • G. Genital herpes, gingivitis, glaucoma gangrene, gout.
  • H. Heat rash, hemorrhoids, heartburn, herpes zoster.
  • I. Impetigo, inflamed joints, insomnia, ingrown toenails, indigestion, insect bites.
  • J. Jaundice, joints.
  • K. Kidney infection, keratosis follicularis.
  • L. Leprosy, laryngitis, lupus, liver ailments, leukemia, lupus.
  • Sounds like good news, doesn’t it? That could be a yes and a no.
  • M. Multiple sclerosis, moles, mouth ulcers, muscle cramps/strains.
  • N. Nausea of all kinds.
  • O. Onycolysis, odor control of chronic ulcers, oral disorders.
  • P. Pin worms, psoriasis, prostrates, poison ivy/oak, pancreas.
  • Q. Quality of life (enhance the immune system).
  • R. Razor burns, radiation burns, rashes.
  • S. Strains to joints and ligaments, stings, styes, seborrhea, stretch marks, sore throat, shingles, staph infections, sunburn, sciatic nerve, sickle cell disease.
  • T. Torn and bruised muscles, turf burns, tonsillitis, tendonitis, tuberculosis, tumors.
  • U. Ulcerations of all kinds, urticaria, ulcers (peptic and duodenal).
  • V. Vaginitis, venereal sores, venous stasis, varicose veins.
  • W. Wind burns, wounds of all kinds, warts.
  • X. X-ray burns.
  • Y. Yeast infections in humans and animals.
  • Z. Zoster (shingles)

First, if all these statements are true (and they are) there is the small matter of the efficacy and quality of the aloe vera that is used. Then we have to look at the matter of how much is really real aloe, how much is water and whether or not the Aloe used has been properly stabilized.

There’s that word again, stabilization!! And rightly so, it’s the key word when dealing with the healing power of the plant. We will cover stabilization in an article of its own in the near future …but in the meantime, when using an aloe product, just make sure that its been properly stabilized. Know your supplier.

Back to the plant now and clarify just what makes the aloe vera plant so effective, and why some feel there are some “secrets” about it that is still known to only a select few.

Essentially, the aloe vera plant contains two juices …in the tubular found next to the yellow viscous sap in the cells just beneath the think green rind of the leaf and the gel fillet, which serves as the water storage organ.

The tubules hold the yellow sap that contains what is known as the anthraquinones, mostly aloin, which is best known as a potent laxative, (seldom used in modern times).

The gel fillet of the aloe leaf actually contains about 99.5% water, and makes the liquid usable as a beverage and the primary substance of so many kinds of treatment compounds.

So, understandably, the most effective Aloe Vera compounds available today are formulated to emphasize the positive aspects of the leaf gel fillet, while minimizing the presence of aloin and other “purging” anthraquinines.

Properties

The most oftenly used substance from this herb is the aloe gel, a thick viscid liquid found in the interior of the leaves. The leaves are used in the treatment of burns and the aloine – a bitter milky yellowish liquid is used as a laxative. The herb contains: 20 minerals (Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Chromium , Selenium), 12 vitamins (A, B, C, E, folic acid), 20 aminoacids from the 22 which are necessary to the human body, over 200 active components including enzymes and polysaccharides. All the active substances enumerated before contribute to the therapeutical value of the herb. We shall move on to presenting the main effects that the herb has over the human body: it toughens up the immune system owing to the 23 peptides contained by the aloe vera, it accelerates and regulates the methabolism, purifies the human body from toxins, bringing about a feeling of calm. Moreover, aloe vera has an antiseptic effect (by distroying the bacterias, viruses and fungi), disinfectant capabilities and can also stimulate the cell-renewing process. Aloe vera nourishes and supports the digesting of aliments. Cutting across the human organism, aloe vera manages to bring the human body to a general balanced state.

Additional data from other source.

Aloe Vera contains over 75 known active ingredients (and probably many more). Also included are 19 of the 20 amino acids required by the human body and 7 of the 8 essential amino acids (that the body cannot make), as well as vitamins and minerals. There are 20 “critical” Amino Acids in human metabolism, but the body can only make 12, the other 8 have to be obtained from food. These are Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Valine, and Tryptophan.

Aloe Vera contains also contain useful enzymes like Amylase, Bradykinase, Catalase, Cellulase, Lipase, Oxidase, Alkaline Phosphatase, Proteolytiase, Creatine Phosphokinase, Carboxypeptidase. Most of these are beneficial to human metabolism.

Lignin gives Aloe Vera its penetrating powers, but is not considered to have any other benefit.

Aloe Vera contains important minerals like Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Phosphorous, Sodium, and Zinc.

As most of us know that the mono-saccharides are the familiar glucose and fructose. It is believed that the more complex long-chain sugars are the poly-saccharides give Aloe Vera its unique healing and immuno-stimulating properties.

Aloe Vera contains useful vitamins. These include A (beta-carotene and retinol), B1 (thiamine), B2 ( riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cyanocobalamin), C (ascorbic acid), E (tocopherol) and Folic Acid.

Salicylic Acid, a substance similar to aspirin that can help reduce fever and inflammation is also found in Aloe vera. It also contains Saponins and Sterols. Saponins are natural soapy substances that have both cleansing and antiseptic properties while Sterols are naturally occurring plant steroids with analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties.

Treatments

Aloe vera has proved its efficiency from the simplest allergies to the treatment of wounds and skin infections and even to its usage in alleviating more serious afflictions. With the help of this herb a wide variety of internal and external afflictions are controlled, like: asthma, virosis, arthritis, arthrosis, gingivitis, bronchitis, pharyngitis, intestinal inflamations, constipations, obesity, sprains, muscle strains, cutaneous inflamations. The efficiency of the herb was also proven in the cases of anemia, deficiency illnesses, insomnia and depressions and the B-sisterole from the Aloe vera brings about the lowering of the cholesterol level. Also, this herb is used for controlling the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, diabetes, hepatitis and pancreatitis and multiple sclerosis.

The juice of Aloe Vera can be extracted by cutting the leaf, collecting the juice and then evaporating it. The juice has many benefits when drunk. This is partially due to the fact that it contains twelve vitamins (including A, B1, B6, B12, C and E), nineteen amino acids and over 20 minerals, which most of these are essential to the body.

In Ayurveda, the Indian health practice, Aloe Vera is known as Kumari (‘the princess’) because of its positive effect on the menstrual cycle and female reproductive system.

It is also known for its ability to clean the liver and protect the digestive system by reducing intestinal inflammation.
Overall, Aloe Vera can be used for cosmetics and healing the skin, or when consumed, as a potent cleansing and rejuvenating tonic that is very nutrient rich and beneficial to the body.

Additional data from other source.

Salicylic Acid, a substance similar to aspirin that can help reduce fever and inflammation is also found in Aloe vera. It also contains Saponins and Sterols. Saponins are natural soapy substances that have both cleansing and antiseptic properties while Sterols are naturally occurring plant steroids with analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties.

– Studies have shown that aloe vera speeds the healing process, particularly in burns, including those from radiation. It is also used by dermatologists to speed healing after facial dermabrasion, which helps remove scars from the top most layers of the skin. The other health benefits from the use of aloe vera include helping to soothe skin injuries affected by burning, skin irritations, cuts and insect bites, and its bactricidal properties relieve itching and skin swellings.

– Aloe Vera possesses incredible moisturizing properties. Studies show that Aloe Vera improves the skin’s ability to hydrate itself, aids in the removal of dead skin cells and has an effective penetrating ability that helps transport healthy substances through the skin.

– Aloe vera is also known to help slow down the appearance of wrinkles as it can actively repair the damaged skin cells that cause the visible signs of aging. Components of Aloe Vera have been found to reverse degenerative skin changes by stimulating collagen and elastin synthesis.

– Dermatologist James Fulton, M.D., of Newport Beach, California, uses topical aloe in his practice to speed wound healing. “Any wound we treat, whether it’s suturing a cut or removing a skin cancer, heals better with aloe vera on it,” he states.

– Top nutritionalists, around the world, recommend the use of Aloe Health Drinks to aid digestion, and many patients experience relief in the symptoms of problems such as Irritable Bowel Sydrome and Crohn’s disease.

– Aloe Vera is believed to reduce severe joint and muscle pain associated with arthritis, as well as pain related to tendinitis and injuries. When applied directly to the area of pain, Aloe Vera penetrates the skin to soothe the pain.

Aloe Vera is considered as a miraculous plant by some for even hair loss treatment. It is assumed that no other plant more closely matches the human body’s biochemistry, hence, an excellent treatment for hair loss. It has anti-inflammatory properties of and therfore helps in fighting against Androgenetic Alopecia.

Lemon-fruit

Lemon is an oval shape citrus fruit. Lemon is used as a beverage and an ingredient to some dishes to enchance its flavor. Lemon contains flavonoid a compound that contains antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.

Nutritive Values of Lemon : Per 100 gm.

  • Vitamin B : Thiamine .04 mg.;
  • Riboflavin : Trace;
  • Vitamin C : 50 mg.
  • Calcium : 40 mg.
  • Phosphorus : 22 mg.
  • Carbohydrates : 8.7 gm.
  • Protein : .9 gm.
  • Calories : 32

Health Benefits of Lemon

  • As a natural antiseptic, the juice of the lemon will destroy harmful bacteria found in the cuts and other areas of infection.
  • For toothache, apply fresh lemon juice on the painful area.
  • For skin problems, the juice of the lemon should be applied directly to the skin and allowed to dry especially for acne and eczema, then remove with water with olive oil added. The juice is also good for the removal of blackheads, freckles and wrinkles.
  • Lemon juice when applied to hair after rinsing it , will give shine and volume to your hair.
  • Lemon juice helps to prevent and cure osteoarthritis.
  • Helps to prevent diabetes.
  • Lemon juice helps in preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis.
  • Lemon juice is a great liver tonic.

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

gingerThere is a wide range of benefits of ginger such as nausea, digestive problems, circulation and arthritis. Nausea caused during pregnancy or by travelling is one of the benefits of ginger root. Ginger is also known to have the ability to calm an upset stomach and to promote the flow of bile. Stomach cramps can be eased and circulation can also be improved. Ginger supports a healthy cardiovascular system by making platelets less sticky which in turn reduces circulatory problems.

Ginger oil used for massage can help relieve painful arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is often included in many herbal decongestants and can help to minimise the symptoms of respiratory conditions, colds and allergies.

With all the benefits of ginger and continuing research, the ginger root is fast becoming a very popular medicinal herb.

Other useful and detailed source on ginger:

  • Stomach: Ginger root and ginger oil is often used for stomach upsets. It is one of the best remedies for indigestion, stomach ache, dyspepsia, colic, spasms, diarrhea, flatulence and other stomach and bowel related problems. Ginger or ginger oil is often added in numerous food preparations, especially in India, as it helps in improving digestion. Ginger tea is also used for relieving stomach problems. Further, it increases the appetite of a person.
  • Food poisoning: Ginger is antiseptic and carminative. As a result, it can be used for treating food poisoning. It is also used for treating intestinal infections and bacterial dysentery.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Research has proved that ginger root and its oil is also effective against nausea, motion sickness and vomiting. Usage of ginger may result in reduction in pregnancy related vomiting as well in women.
  • Heart: It is strongly believed in China that ginger boosts and strengthens your heart. Many people use ginger oil as a measure to prevent as well as cure heart diseases. Preliminary research has indicated that ginger may be helpful in reduction of cholesterol levels and prevention of blood clotting. With reduced cholesterol levels and blood clotting the chances of blockage of blood vessels decrease thereby reducing incidences of heart strokes.
  • Respiratory: Since ginger root and ginger oil is a good expectorant, it is effective in various respiratory problems such as cold, cough, flu, asthma, bronchitis and breathlessness. Ginger is very effective in removing mucus from the throats and lungs and hence it is often added with tea in India. The health benefit of honey and ginger in treating respiratory problems is well known.
  • Inflammation and Pain: Extract of ginger is often used in traditional medicine to reduce inflammation. Research has now proved that its anti-inflammatory properties can be attributed to the presence of the substance named Zingibain. It is analgesic in nature and reduces pain caused by muscle aches, arthritis, rheumatisms, headache, migraine, etc. Ginger oil or paste of ginger is often massaged on aching muscles to remove muscle strain. It is further believed that regular use of ginger leads to reduction of prostaglandins which are the compounds associated with pain. Hence ginger helps in pain relief. Recently a few Chinese researchers have reported that ginger is effective for treating inflammation of the testicles.
  • Menstrual Problems: Irregular and painful menstrual discharges can be treated with ginger.
  • Malaria: Ginger root and ginger oil is also effective against yellow fever and malaria.
  • Stress: Ginger oil, being an essential oil is stimulating and therefore relives depression, mental stress, exhaustion, dizziness, restlessness and anxiety.
  • Impotency: Ginger is helpful for men’s health as well. Since ginger root and its oil are aphrodisiac in nature, it is effective in removing impotency and treating premature ejaculation.
  • Kidney: It is also believed that ginger root juice is able to dissolve kidney stones.
  • Hair: Ginger is useful for hair care as well. Usage of the juice of ginger is useful in controlling dandruff.
  • Cancer: According to the American Cancer Society, preliminary research on animals has shown that ginger may be useful in treating cancer through chemotherapy.

It should be noted that ginger oil is very strong and therefore it should be used carefully.

onion

Onion is being used for centuries not just to add flavor to foods but also for its therapeutic properties. Onion have an antibacterial and antifungal properties. Some people mixed vinegar with onion juice and apply it in their freckles and warts, it is believed that it can remove/reduce this skin problems.

Nutritive Values of Onions : Per 100 gm.

  • Vitamin A : 50 I.U.
  • Vitamin B :
  • Vitamin C : 9 mg.
  • Calcium : 32 mg.
  • Phosphorus : 44 mg.
  • Potassium : 300 mg.
  • Carbohydrates : 10.3 gm.
  • Protein : 1.4 mg.
  • Calories : 45

Onion is Benenificial in the following conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Influenza
  • Colds
  • Tuberculosis
  • Insomnia
  • Pneumonia
  • Antiallergy
  • Obesity
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Slightly laxative
  • High Blood Pressure

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Prolong longevity
  • Helps destroy worms and other parasites.
  • Bronchitis (inflammation of the bronchial tube)
  • Neuritis (inflammation of the nerves)
  • Vertigo (inflammation of nerves)
  • Diuretic (increases the secretion of urine)
  • Diabetes mellitus – lowers blood sugar.
  • Valuable for the hair, nails of the fingers and toes, and for the eyes.
  • Sinus conditions – helps to drain mucus from the cavities and loosen phlegm.
  • Whether fresh or cooked onions have antiplatelet, adhesiveness, thus preventing thrombosis.

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