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brocolli

By Peter Jaret

April 13, 2000
Web posted at: 2:25 PM EDT (1825 GMT)

(WebMD) — Who would have thought that of all the brightly colored exotic offerings in the produce aisle — from curvy, golden-yellow peppers to inky purple eggplants — homely broccoli would become the superstar?

It’s true: In the category of most healthful vegetable, this cruciferous contender wins all the top honors.

This past February, when the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a paper that listed foods most likely to prevent colon cancer, what stood out? Broccoli. Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston published an article in the same journal last October and noted that broccoli, along with spinach, helped to minimize risk for cataracts.

When another team of Harvard scientists looked at how diet might protect against stroke, broccoli’s benefits again came to the fore, in research published in the October 6, 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Nutritious — and then some

When it comes to basic nutrients, broccoli is a mother lode. Ounce for ounce, boiled broccoli has more vitamin C than an orange and as much calcium as a glass of milk, according to the USDA’s nutrient database. One medium spear has three times more fiber than a slice of wheat bran bread. Broccoli is also one of the richest sources of vitamin A in the produce section.

But the real surprise is this vegetable’s potent cancer-fighting components.

At the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, food chemist Dr. Paul Talalay has gone so far as to name his lab after “Brassica,” the genus that includes broccoli and cauliflower. Talalay and his team at the Brassica Chemoprotection Laboratory have discovered that broccoli is rich in substances called isothiocyanates — chemicals shown to stimulate the body’s production of its own cancer-fighting substances, called “phase two enzymes.” According to Talalay, these enzymes, in turn, neutralize potential cancer-causing substances before they have a chance to damage the DNA of healthy cells.

To test broccoli’s cancer-fighting power, Talalay fed rats hearty servings of the vegetable for a few days and then exposed them to a potent carcinogen known to trigger a form of breast cancer in the animals. Broccoli-munching rats were half as likely to develop tumors as animals on standard chow, according to results published in the April 1994 Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

“Even those rats that did develop cancer ended up with fewer and smaller tumors, which is an important advantage in itself,” says Talalay.

More recently, scientists at Tokyo’s Graduate School of Agriculture have shown that isothiocyanates can block the growth of melanoma skin cancer cells, according to findings published in 1999 in the journal “Nutrition and Cancer.”

Good news for broccoli haters

If you don’t like broccoli, take heart: In 1997, Talalay and his researchers at Hopkins discovered to their surprise that broccoli sprouts, the week-old seedlings of the mature plant, are exceptionally rich in a form of isothiocyanate called sulforaphane — 10 to 100 times as rich as broccoli itself, in fact. More and more markets now carry the tender shoots, which are delicious on sandwiches and salads.

And keep in mind that broccoli is just one of many members of the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes cauliflower, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy — all of which appear to help protect against cancer.

When scientists at the World Cancer Research Fund reviewed 206 human and 22 animal studies, they found convincing evidence that cruciferous vegetables in general lowered risk for many forms of the disease, including tumors of the stomach, esophagus, lung, oral cavity and pharynx (throat), endometrium (lining of the uterus), pancreas, and colon.

How to enrich your diet

Need ideas for adding more of these vegetables to your diet?

Cauliflower makes a delicious addition to pasta primavera. Use penne pasta and you can boil the cauliflower and the noodles together — both require the same amount of cooking time.

Chopped red cabbage is a great addition to salads or chili. And if you’re not familiar with kale, try it in the savory Portuguese soup called caldo verde: Peel and finely chop two pounds of potatoes and boil for two minutes. Then add one bunch of chopped kale (about 6 to 8 cups) and cook for two more minutes. Season with a little salt and a splash of olive oil and you’re ready to eat.

http://archives.cnn.com/2000/FOOD/news/04/13/broccoli.benefits.wmd/

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turmeric

Turmeric is one of nature’s most powerful healers. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Tumeric has been used for over 2500 years in India, where it was most likely first used as a dye.

The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.

Here are 20 reasons to add turmeric to your diet:

1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.

2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.

4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.

5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.

7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.

8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.

9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.

10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.

12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.

13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.

14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.

16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.

17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.

18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.

20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.

Turmeric can be taken in powder or pill form. It is available in pill form in most health food stores, usually in 250-500mg capsules.

Once you start using turmeric on a regular basis, it’s fun to find new ways to use it in recipes. My favorite way to use it is to add a pinch of it to egg salad. It adds a nice flavor and gives the egg salad a rich yellow hue.

Contraindications: Turmeric should not be used by people with gallstones or bile obstruction. Though turmeric is often used by pregnant women, it is important to consult with a doctor before doing so as turmeric can be a uterine stimulant.

Eat This!

http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/20-health-benefits-of-turmeric.html

Chemical constituents, characteristics and Pharmacological Effects

Volatile oil, 3-5% – tumerol (alcohol), d-alpha phellandrene, carvone, camphor, curcumone; fat, 3%; starch, 30%; resin; curcumin (pigment).
Pungent and bitter tasting, warming, carminative.
Improves Ch’i circulation.
Anti -contusion.
Yellow orange color comes from yellow pigment in the rhizomes called curcumin.
Believed to have antioxidant, antiinflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, and anticarcinogenic activity.
Antiinflammatory activity has been compared to topical hydrocortisone.
Antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal.

Uses


Folkloric
· Fevers, dysentery, abdominal pain, flatulence, abdominal spasm, arthritis: Decoction of rhizome as tea.
· Menstrual irregularities
· Contusions and associated painful swelling.
· Antiseptic for wounds: Crush rhizome and apply to wounds.
· Externally, rhizomes are applied to insect bites, ringworm, bleeding.
· Dosage: Decoction of 2 to 6 gms dried material.
• In India, used as antiseptic for cuts. Used for leprosy, liver problems, swelling, insect bites, wounds, whooping cough, pimples. Sweetened milk boiled with tumeric is popular as a remedy for colds and cough.
• In Ayurveda, use as stomach and liver tonic and blood purifier.

Culinary
· Condiment and coloring for food.
• In dried or powdered form, used like ginger.

New Age
· Improves Qi (chi) circulation. Chi is the basis of traditional Eastern medicine. In chinese parlance, chi means ‘spirit.’ In new-age speak, good health is synonymous with free-flowing energy through meridian pathways. A blocked Qi flow is associated with disease or ill-health.

Others
Approved by German health authorities for the treatment of dyspeptic complaints.
Recent uses and preparation
Wounds and swelling
Ointment: Wash the unpeeled ginger. Chop the rhizomes to fill half a glass of water. Sauté with one glass of coconut oil on low heat for five minutes. Place in a clean bottle and label.
Antiseptic for wounds: Extract juice of the fresh rhizome and apply directly on the wound or swelling.
Gas pain in adults: Decoction from thumb-sized rhizome in a glass of water reduced to half.

Studies

• Curcumin Suppresses Metastasis in a Human Breast Cancer Xenograft Model: The dietary administration to mice of curcumin and curcumin plus Taxol significantly decreased the incidence of breast cancer metastasis to the lung. The results indicate that curcumin has a potential for breast cancer therapy.
• Hepatoprotective: The study suggests the ethanolic extract of C. longa has potent hepatoprotective effect against paracetamol-induced liver damage in rats and validates its use as a hepatoprotectant agent.
• Antifungal: The study on the ethanolic extracts of Curcuma longa and Alpinia galanga exhibited excellent phytotoxic activity against Lemna minor and good antifungal activities against Trichophyton longifusus.
• Antibacterial: Study showed the essential oil fraction from tumeric possesses significant antibacterial activity against pathogenic Staph aureus bacteria and suggests a potential for use of the essential oil as antiseptic in prevention and treatment of bacterial infections.
• Hypoglycemic / Hypolipidemic / Antioxidant: Study of Curcuma longa and Abroma augusta found them to be efficient antioxidants and showed significant reduction in glood glucose. Study showed the combination of herbal extracts showed better efficacy compared to individual plant extracts.

Caution

• Anticoagulation Concerns: Ginger may decrease thromboxane production and cause prolong bleeding time and platelet inhibition. Therefore, should be used with caution by patients receiving anticoagulant therapy.

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

Therapeutic Uses: Turmeric is beneficial in the treatment of Gallbladder problems, hepatitis, indigestion, infections, lack of appetite, scabies, alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, asthma, athlete’s foot, boils, bursitis, breast cancer, colon cancer, cataracts, colic, dermatitis, diarrhea, eczema, fibrosis, gallstones, gas, hardening of the arteries, heart disease, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, inflammation, intestinal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, jaundice, lack of menstruation, lymph gland problems, menstrual pain, morning sickness, pain, psoriasis, sprains, ulcers, wounds, yeast infections.

It is also being use for the treatment of bruises, for childbirth, eye inflammation, epilepsy, fever, hemorrhage, hemorrhoids, itching, ringworm.

Therapeutic Properties: Turmeric contains curcumin and curcuminoids it is a first rate natural remedy for arthritis, it has an anti-inflammatory ingredient that can help alleviate pain. It can also help protect the gallbladder and liver and provide a defense against cancer. Curcumin can also help inhibit the formation of cancer in breast tissue. Experiment on animal shows that curcumin slashed the risk of colon cancer by almost 60%, this phytochemical seems to neutralize cancer-causing compounds, stop cancerous changes in the cells and directly fight substances that enable carcinogens to spread and wreak havoc. Turmeric also triggers better bile flow, which helps digest fats and reduces the risk of gallstones. It also helps generates the secretion of several enzymes that assist the liver in breaking down and metabolizing certain toxic substances. Some of these same phytochemicals inhibit the oxidative damage that allows cholesterol to coagulate and cling to the inside of arteries.

Turmeric /curcumin is about half as effective as corticosteroids, but it doesn’t have bad side effect as corticosteroids, this drug is use for the treatment of arthritis, but they can cause fluid retention and bloating, elevate blood pressure, encourage intestinal bleeding, ulcer formation and increase the risk of osteoporosis.

Direction for use / Dosage: 400 milligrams of a curcumin extract three times a day, 445 milligrams of a standardized supplement 2 to 3 times a day, 1tsp of the dried herb in a cup of warm milk daily, 1tsp to 1 tbsp of a liquid extract divided into several dosages over the course of a day, or 1/8 to ¼ tsp of turmeric tincture 3x a day. Your body will absorbed more curcumin if you take it with lots of black pepper. The pipeline in pepper improves the body’s ability to use turmeric perhaps as much as twentyfold, according to studies. Ginger is also a good companion for turmeric.

Caution: Don’t take turmeric if you have bile duct obstruction, people with gallstones should consult a herb physician before taking this. Excessive dosage of curcuminoids could cause ulcers or cancer and reduce the number of red and white blood cells in the body. Too much intake can also cause hair fall. When buying turmeric, always buy from reputable seller since some species are toxic.

http://hubpages.com/hub/Medicinal-Uses-of-Turmeric-Herb

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