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chilipepper

Chili peppers are extremely healthy for you, and should be included in your regular diet. Here’s why.

Chili Peppers Fight Migraine Headaches and Sinus Headaches

Studies show that chili peppers can provide pain relief for migraine and sinus headaches. Capsaicin, the chemical that makes chili peppers hot, is known to inhibit a key neuropeptide, Substance P, that is the key brain pain transmitter. Go capsaicin!

Chili Peppers Prevent Sinusitis and Relieve Congestion

Capsaicin once again! The pepper heat helps to stimulate secretions that aid in clearing mucus from your nose, combatting nasal congestion. It also contains antibacterial properties that help fight chronic sinus infections.

Chili Peppers Fight Cancer

Capsaicin not only causes the tongue to burn, it also drives prostate cancer cells to kill themselves, according to studies published in the March 15 issue of Cancer Research.

According to the research, capsaicin induced approximately 80 percent of prostate cancer cells growing in mice to follow the molecular pathways leading to apoptosis. Prostate cancer tumors treated with capsaicin were about one-fifth the size of tumors in non-treated mice.

“Capsaicin had a profound anti-proliferative effect on human prostate cancer cells in culture,” said Dr. Lehmann, M.D., Ph.D. “It also dramatically slowed the development of prostate tumors formed by those human cell lines grown in mouse models.”

Chili Peppers Help Lower High Blood Pressure

Eating chili peppers are naturally high in vitamins A and C, and also bioflavinoids. They help strengthen our blood vessels, which makes them more elastic and better able to adjust to blood pressure fluctuations. Chili peppers also can make us sweat, which causes fluid loss, temporarily reducing overall blood volume.

Chili Peppers Fight Inflammation

Capsaicin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. It inhibits Substance P, which is associated with inflammatory processes, much like it relieves headaches and migraines, listed earlier. Capsaicin may also one day be a treatment for arthritis, psoriasis and diabetic neuropathy.

Chili Peppers Help Soothe Intestinal Diseases

A Duke University study found that capsaicin may lead to a cure for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The substance can also help to kill bacteria such as H. pylori, which can help prevent stomach ulcers.

Chili Pepper Can Help You Burn Fat and Lose Weight

Did you know that capsaicin is a thermogenic? Thermogenics stimulate the body’s burning of fat byincrease the metabolism of the body’s adipose tissue, generating heat.

Chili Peppers Help Protect Your Heart

Capsaicin may help to protect the heart by reducing cholesterol, triglycerides and platelet aggregation. It may also help the body dissolve fibrin, which is necessary for blood clots to form. Further, cultures around the world that use hot peppers liberally in their meals have significantly lower rates of heart attack and stroke than cultures that do not.

Chili Peppers Have Loads of Vitamin C

A typical chili pepper packs more vitamin C than an orange, so if you need your extra C, grab a chili pepper!

Chili Peppers Can Warm Your Feet!

Do your feet get cold in the winter? Try this — sprinkle powdered cayenne in your shoes. It will keep you feet nice and warm during those cold winter nights!

http://www.chilipeppermadness.com/chili-pepper-health-benefits.html

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/14/chili.record/index.html

Below we look at effects eating chilies has on the body.

Skin

Other than for its flavor-enhancing qualities, chili is, oddly enough, used to fight the summer heat.

As the chili causes extreme sweating and blood rushing to the face, it cools the body down when the sweat evaporates, making it useful for combating heat.

These same heat inducing properties are said to have a cumulative effect and over time are believed to alleviate pain when used in treatments for anything from arthritis and psoriasis to shingles and severe burns.

Brain

The substances that give chili peppers their intensity when eaten or applied on the skin are called capsaicinoids.

When consumed, capsaicinoids connect with pain receptors in the mouth and throat that are normally responsible for sensing heat.

Once activated by the capsaicinoids, these receptors send a message to the brain that the person has consumed something hot.

The brain responds to the burning sensation by raising the heart rate, increasing perspiration and releasing endorphins, called the body’s “natural painkillers” and “happy hormones.”

Stomach

Chilies have long been associated with soothing the digestive system, by acting as stomach cleansers. According to the UK Food Guide, chili helps to settle stomach upset and encourages the production of good digestive acid.

Chili aficionados believe the fruits can also induce weight loss because the substance that makes them “hot” speed up the body’s metabolism.

However, one study by the American Institute of Cancer Research performed in Mexico showed in 2003 that a high consumption of chilies (approximately nine to 25 jalapeno peppers per day) is in fact associated with stomach cancer.

Immune system

Red chilies contain high amounts of carotene and vitamin C. It is said that chilies contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits. Chili peppers are also a good source of vitamin B6 and are very high in potassium, magnesium and iron, giving them a reputation for naturally boosting the body’s immune system.

Heart and other cardiovascular effects

A 2006 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that after adding chili to the diet, bad cholesterol, that can often lead to heart problems, took a longer time to develop into heart diseases.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=29

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patchouli

Botany
Aromatic, erect, branched and hairy herb, growing to a height of 0.5 to 1 meter. Leaves are oblong-ovate to ovate, 5 to 11 cm long, with coarse and doubly-toothed margins, a blunt or pointed tip. Flowers are pinkish-purple, crowded and borne in hairy, terminal, axillary spikes, 2 to 8 cm long, 1 cm in diameter, with a corolla 9mm long with obtuse lobes.

Chemical constituents and properties
Leaves yield a volatile oil, 6-10% – Patchouli alcohol, cadinene, coerulein, benzaldehyde and eugenol.
Diuretic, carminative, stimulant, emmenagogue.
The oil may have antibactericidal activity and pogostone may have antibacterial and antifungal activities.
Components eugenol, cinnamaldehyde and benzaldehyde have insecticidal activity.
Important components of the essential oil are patchoulol and norpatchoulenol.
Study on the chemical constituents of an essential oil of PC yielded 22 compounds, 18 sesquiterpenes and three oxygenated sesquiterpenes; among these, patchouli alcohol was the major component, followed by germacrene.

Parts used and preparation
Leaves, flowering spikes, roots.

Uses
Folkloric
Arthritis and rheumatism: Crush leaves and apply on affected part.
Infusion of fresh leaves for painful menses.
Infusion of leaves, dried tops or roots used for scanty urination.
In Malaysia and Japan, has been used as antidote for venomous snake and insect bites.
In traditional Chinese medicine, used for colds, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Patchouly oil
Essential oil of patchouli used in perfumes and cosmetics.
Also called: Huo xiang, Putcha-Pat.
Oil also used as ingredient in foods and beverages.
An ingredient of East Asian incense.
Had a surge in the commerce of oil and incense during the free love and hippie decades of the 60s and 70s.
Others
Leaves and tops used as insecticide repellant for cockroaches, moths, ants, etc.
Leaves used with gogo for washing hair.
In some countries, used as ingredient in tobacco smoking.
Juice of leaves used to repel leeches in climbing mountains.
Used as hair conditioner for dreadlocks.

Studies
ROS-scavenger: Pogostemon cablin as ROS Scavenger in Oxidant-induced Cell Death of Human Neuroglioma Cells: Study suggests the beneficial effects of PC on ROS-induced neuroglial cell injury possibly as a ROS-scavenger.
Antimutagenic: Antimutagenic Activity of Flavonoids from Pogostemon cablin: Study of methanol extraxct of P cablin showed suppressive effects against furylfuramide, Trp-P-1, and activated Trp-P-1. Test isolated suppressive compounds (7,4′-di-O-methyleriodictyol among others) plus three flavonoids, mobuine, pachypodol and kumatekenin.
Mosquito Repellent Activity: Study of the mosquito repellent activity of 38 essential oils from plants against Aedes aegypti on human subjects showed the undiluted oil of patchouli, together with citronella, clove and makaen, to be effected in providing 2 hr of complete repellency.
H Influenza Adhesion Inhibition: Study has shown inhibition of H Influenza on oropharyngeal cells to be inhibited by aqueous extracts of P cablin and A rugosa; a mixture also effective in preventing otitis media and sore throat.
Anti-Platelet Aggregation: Study isolated a-bulnesene, a sesquiterpened from the water extract of P cablin. It showed a potent and concentration-dependent effect on platelet-activating factor (PAF) and arachidonic acid (AA) induced rabbit platelet aggregation; a first study demonstrating a-blnesene as a PAF-receptor antagonist and anti-platelet aggregation agent.

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

Health Benefits of Patchouli Essential Oil

The health benefits of Patchouli Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties like anti depressant, anti phlogistic, anti septic, aphrodisiac, astringent, cicatrisant, cytophylactic, deodorant, diuretic, febrifuge, fungicide, insecticide, sedative and tonic.

Essential Oil of Patchouli is extracted by steam distillation of leaves of Patchouli, whose botanical name is Pogostemon Cablin or Pogostemon Patchouli. The basic components of Patchouli Essential Oil are Alpha Patchoulene, Beta Patchoulene, Alpha Guaiene, Alpha Bulnesene, Caryophyllene, Norpatchoulenol, Patchouli Alcohol, Seychellene and Pogostol. The insecticidal and insect repellant properties of this oil were known from a long time ago and were particularly used in protecting clothes from insects. Then later on, its other benefits were discovered.

Its medicinal properties include;

  • Anti Depressant: This oil works great on people suffering from depression. It helps them to get over from the feeling and fills them with new hopes. That is why it is very much in use in aromatherapy. It uplifts mood, drives away disappointment and relaxes tension.
  • Anti Phlogistic: It soothes inflammation, particularly those resulting from fever and gives relief.
  • Anti Septic: Protects the wounds and ulcers from infections and from being septic.
  • Aphrodisiac: Patchouli Oil is also good for treating sexual problems such as impotency, loss of libido and interest in sex, erectile problems, frigidity etc. and acts as an aphrodisiac.
  • Astringent: It induces contractions in muscles, nerves and skin. This helps strengthening hold of gums on teeth, preventing shagging of skin, hair fall and loosening of muscles. This astringency of Patchouli Oil also helps stop haemorrhage by contracting the blood vessels.
  • Cicatrisant: It helps heal cuts and wounds and also speed up the fading of their scars. This is equally effective in vanishing marks left by boils, acne, pox, measles etc.
  • Cytophylactic: This property of the Essential Oil of Patchouli promotes growth by helping generation of new body cells. This helps in production of red blood cells too. It was seen mainly helpful in regeneration of new skin cells, thus keeping the skin healthy, young and vibrant.
  • Deodorant: The strong sweet, spicy and musky aroma of this essential oil keeps away body odor. But it should be used in dilution as sometimes the aroma of Patchouli Oil might feel too strong to bear.
  • Diuretic: It increases the tendency of urinating as well as the frequency of urination and quantity of urine. This helps loose weight, lower blood pressure, increase appetite, lower cholesterol and removal of toxins from the body.
  • Febrifuge: Reduces body temperature in case of fever by fighting the infections causing the fever. Being an Anti Phlogistic, it gives relief from the inflammations caused by fever and this way too helps bringing down the fever, since fever can be reduced to some extent if the pain and inflammation associated with fever are taken care of.
  • Fungicide: Patchouli Essential Oil has been found quite effective in inhibiting fungal growths and infections, thereby providing protection from some of the notorious infections like athlete’s foot.
  • Insecticide: As said earlier, the insecticidal property of Patchouli Oil was recognized long ago. Despite smelling sweet, it is very effective in keeping insects away. It may be used in sprays, body lotions, fumigants, vaporizers, incense sticks or can be mixed with water to wash clothes and bed linen to drive away mosquitoes, ants, beg bugs, lice, fleas, flies and moths.
  • Sedative: It calms down inflammations and sedates convulsions, coughs and epileptic attacks resulting from hype sensitivity or hyper reactivity of nerves. It can also stop eruption of allergies by sedating the hyper sensitivity of body towards certain elements.
  • Tonic: This property of Patchouli Oil tones up the whole body. It makes right the metabolic functions like decomposition of food and absorption of nutrients by toning up the liver, stomach and intestines, helping you grow stronger and healthier; takes care of proper excretion; regulates the endocrinal secretions of hormones and enzymes and also tones up the nervous system, thus making you more alert and active, and finally, boosts the immune system, protecting you from infections.
  • Other Benefits: Helps treat eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and sores. Gives relief from constipation. Can be used as an antidote against insect bites temporarily.

Few Words of Caution: The long lasting aroma of Patchouli Essential Oil, though sweet, may not be welcome for a few.

Blending: Patchouli Essential Oil blends well with essential oils of Bergamot, Clary Sage, Geranium, Lavender and Myrrh.

This article was contributed by Aparup Mukherjee

http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-patchouli-essential-oil.html

See also:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/784699/the_health_benefits_of_patchouli.html?cat=5
http://www.ehow.com/facts_4868081_uses-patchouli-oil.html
http://www.articlesbase.com/alternative-medicine-articles/patchouli-essential-oil-a-great-way-to-relax-1086472.html
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/patchouli-rediscover-the-peace-oil.html
http://wapedia.mobi/en/Patchouli
http://www.gardenology.org/wiki/Patchouli

banana-peel1

Banana peel can be used to remove warts, reduce swelling or inflammation after a bug bite, and improve the overall texture and tone of the skin. Here’s how to maximize the benefits of a banana peel.

The ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks have documented the health and beauty benefits of fruit and honey, and banana peel is especially helpful for reducing inflammation and getting rid of infection on the top of the skin.

Banana peel can be used to remove warts, reduce swelling or inflammation after a bug bite, and improve the overall texture and tone of the skin.  It has been ailed as a natural solution for treating psoriasis, a skin condition that cause rough and scaly patches of skin and skin inflammation.

Skin and Health Benefits of Banana Peel

In many countries, banana fruit and the peel are considered to be the ‘golden fruit’ of nature because the fruit helps promote natural beauty and keep the body healthy.  Eating bananas regularly can keep the digestive system running at an optimal level, restore energy and also provide the body with essential nutrients that help with cell regeneration.

Banana peel contains a number of antioxidants and minerals that can help the skin restore itself naturally.  Banana peels have been used as a home remedy for a number of skin conditions including allergies, bruises and skin irritation.   The key compounds in the peel include potassium and other antioxidants that help to keep the skin looking soft, supple and healthy.  These compounds and  have a positive effect on conditions such as psoriasis and warts, and also help to relieve irritation from allergies and other skin conditions.

Banana Peels for Managing Psoriasis

Dry and itchy skin that eventually turns scaly is a condition known as psoriasis; it is a genetic disease that affects both the skin and the joints, and the severity of the condition varies from person to person.  People who suffer from psoriasis of the skin experience inflamed lesions that cannot be treated with standard moisturizers, oils, or other topical treatments.

The skin condition can be treated with prescription-strength creams and moisturizers, but each person reacts to the products in a different way.  The inside of the banana peel has been used to treat psoriasis for many years, and most people will see results within a few days and weeks.  The skin is replenished with natural moisture, nutrients and compounds that reduce itchiness and help make scales disappear.  Rubbing the inside of the peel on the affected area or areas once or twice per day may help relieve or eliminate the symptoms of psoriasis and restore the skin back to a healthy state.

In addition to psoriasis, banana peel can help to alleviate several skin conditions including:

Irritation from mosquito bites – banana peel helps soothe the skin after a bug or mosquito bite

Treating poison ivy rashes – banana peel soothes and cools the skin after an allergic response and can help reduce the outbreak of rashes.

Reducing bruises – banana peel can speed up the natural healing and recovery process so that the skin cells can regenerate and restore themselves.

Getting rid of warts – banana peels can be used to cover up a wart and provide relief from skin irritation.  The peel helps to heal the wart and surrounding skin so that the skin cells can regenerate naturally.  The banana peel can be cut down to size and taped over the wart to secure it in place.  It can take approximately 5 – 7 days for the wart to heal completely, but the compounds in the peel can help speed up the healing and skin regeneration process.

Getting rid of plantar warts – in addition to getting rid of regular warts that form on top of the skin, banana peels may help reduce the pain and irritation of plantar warts located on the soles of the feet.  The peel can be placed directly on the wart to help reduce inflammation and pain and restore the skin.

Treating acne – since acne is involves skin inflammation and irritation, the inside of the banana peel can be used to soothe the skin and reduce acne outbreaks.

Banana Peels for Managing Wrinkles

Banana peels contain many nutrients and minerals that can help restore the skin.  When applied across the forehead, they may also be a valuable headache treatment.  Regularly pressing the inside of the peel on large areas of the skin such as the forehead or sides of the cheeks may help tighten up the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.  Results will not be instant, but the skin will look fresher, more toned and healthier.

Additional Skin Benefits of Bananas

The flesh of the banana  can be used as an anti-wrinkle topical skin treatment and mashed banana is commonly used as a facial mask to brighten up the skin and clear up acne.  ¼ cup of mashed banana combined with honey and other antioxidant-rich fruits can help detoxify the skin and deliver essential nutrients to the surface of the skin for brightening and toning.  The soothing properties of the banana fruit can also help alleviate the symptoms of acne and other types of skin imbalances that cause inflammation.

http://knol.google.com/k/ehowknol/how-to-use-banana-peel-for-skin-care/3a9e8hggiw4cz/95#

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

skin

Many people want to treat skin conditions naturally, without having to resort to prescription medications. Read on to get the tips to banish blemishes and put your best face forward—naturally.

All-Natural Tips to Get Rid of Acne
Commonly called pimples and zits, and universally disdained by teenagers and adults alike, acne occurs when skin follicles get blocked by oil or sebum that normally drains to the surface of the skin. The sebum blockage allows bacteria and yeast to grow, causing the skin to become inflamed and the acne to eventually rupture.

Here are my favorite home remedies for acne:
• A cucumber-aloe mask can quickly cool the heat of inflammation. Put one fresh cucumber in a blender, mix with 2 tablespoon of aloe gel, and apply to your skin. Leave on for twenty minutes and then wash off with cool water.

• Drink an all-greens juice. Make tea by boiling one bunch each of fresh dandelion greens, carrot tops, and beet leaves in 7 cups of water for 20 minutes. Strain into a jar and drink 3 cups every day.

• Just a spoonful of honey! Each morning, drink 12 ounces of lukewarm water with 1 tablespoon of honey on an empty stomach. This lubricates the intestines. When you don’t empty the intestines regularly, toxins end up in either the liver or show up on the skin.

• Try tea tree oil, which when applied to acne, may help eliminate bacteria and reduce inflammation. Tea tree oil contains a compound called terpinen-4-ol that is responsible for its antimicrobial activity. Make a tea tree oil solution by mixing 1 part tea tree oil to 19 parts water; use this as a skin cleanser. Oregano oil, which is antimicrobial, can also be used in this manner.

Avoid picking and touching your face, stress, and using chemical cosmetic, skin, and hair care products. Also, medications such as birth control pills, steroids, and psychotropic drugs can trigger or worsen acne.

Natural Treatments for Psoriasis
Upwards of 6 million Americans are affected by this common skin condition. It is a symptom of a faulty skin cell regeneration mechanism. While normal skin cells take up to a month to mature, in patients with psoriasis this process is shortened to 5-7 days, producing excessive skin cells that cause the skin to thicken in raised red areas with silvery scales. Painful oozing lesions may appear and flaking and itching are common. Western medicine relies on steroidal creams, tar cream with UV light treatment, antibiotics, or immunosuppressants for relief.

Natural treatments for psoriasis:
• Soak in sulfur baths or hot spring regularly to help with skin healing. No nearby sulfur baths? Try taking a warm Epsom salt bath.

• Water chestnut paste. Peel and slice 15 water chestnuts and slowly simmer in a non-metal pot with 1 cup of rice vinegar. Allow 20 minutes for the chestnuts to absorb the vinegar. Remove from heat and let cool, drain excess vinegar, and mash the chestnuts into paste. Store in a sealed glass jar. Once a day, apply this paste with a loofa sponge and lightly scrub to thin out the thick patches of skin.

• Milk thistle stops the breakdown of substances that contribute to psoriasis and it protects the liver. Other herbs helpful for psoriasis include yellowdock, sarsaparilla, and calendula. Take as tea or supplement.

• Relieve itching with tonic oil. Mix 10 drops of tonic oil (wintergreen, eucalyptus, and menthol) with fresh aloe gel and apply liberally and frequently.

Avoid exposure to extreme temperature changes and too much sunlight with strong UVA rays. Keep your skin moist and avoid dehydration and constipation. Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine are irritants and can worsen psoriasis. Stress, anxiety and emotional upsets are notorious for initiating flare-ups of psoriasis.

Remedies for Redness
Rosacea is a chronic skin problem that reddens the forehead, nose, cheek, and sometimes the chin. Scientists believe there may be a genetic predisposition to the condition, and some recent research suggests that mites that naturally occur on human skin are more abundant in people with rosacea. Western medicine offerings include antibiotics, creams, and light therapy involving broad spectrum pulsed-light. In my treatment of rosacea, I focus on soothing the spirit, clearing heat, and using natural remedies to remove skin blockages.

Natural remedies for rosacea:
• Create a cucumber mask. Peel the skin off of a fresh cucumber and puree the insides in a blender with one egg white. Coat your face with this mixture, leave on for 30 minutes, and then wash off with cool water. Use this mask daily and you should see improvement within a month.

• Make chamomile tea and soak into clean soft gauze; then place gauze on red area. Change the application every 15 minutes, twice per day.

• A flax fix. Take one tablespoon flax seed oil or fish oil daily. Another option? Top your salads with it as dressing. • Herbal Therapy. Burdock, yellow dock, red clover and cleavers are often used to relieve symptoms of rosacea. I often recommend to my patients with skin conditions our Exquisite Skin Chinese herbal formula to help support healthy skin functions and reduce itching.

Avoid exposure to extreme temperature changes, excessive use of cosmetics, creams, and abrasive skin cleansers. Exposure to sunlight UVA rays can trigger an outbreak. Alcohol, smoking and caffeine are irritants and generate heat that contributes to flare ups. Stress, anxiety and emotional upsets are also notorious triggers.

Skincare Extra Credit

It cannot be overstated that what you put on your face can directly contribute to these kinds of skin conditions. Why not put only the best on your face? Opt for all-natural makeup, moisturizers, and cleansers. I highly recommend the Lamas skincare line and our age-defying rejuvenation cream.

What you eat eventually ends up in your skin. Many of our foods today have chemical and artificial ingredients that can cause allergic reactions and irritate your immune system. Keep a diary of your meals, and be more aware of your physical and emotional reactions to the food you eat. It won’t take long to discover if you have food allergies that worsen your skin conditions.

I hope these natural recipes will remedy and beautify your skin! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.

–Dr. Mao

Source: http://health.yahoo.com/experts/drmao/19455/natural-remedies-for-skin-break-outs/;_ylt=AncE6wwLA48nq6hKxWmRTz91kIV4

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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