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sweetpotato

Parts utilized
Tops, leaves and edible roots.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Health Benefits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sweet Potato Ranks Number One In Nutrition

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

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

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

See also:

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

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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.

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