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Timpla’t Tikim
By SOL VANZI
August 8, 2012, 2:31pm

MANILA, Philippines — There have recently been reports about scientific findings confirming the efficacy of traditional herbal cures for simple, everyday aches and pains. In these days when we’re forced by bad weather to stay at home, the kitchen can save us a trip or two to the drugstore; we only need to know how, and keep in mind what Lord Riekin wrote in a book in 1999.

ALLSPICE — With its active ingredient eugenol, allspice provides relief from topical pain and makes an excellent mouthwash when steeped into a tea.

ANISE SEED — Seven tsp. of seed to one quart water, boiled down by half, and sweetened with honey creates a syrup that calms a cough. Anise tea improves memory, aids digestion, and makes an excellent wash for oily skin.

ASPARAGUS — Boil asparagus in water the broth for kidney problems. Dissolves uric acid deposits and promotes urination.

BASIL — Fresh leaves and seeds make tea for migraines and bed time restlessness. The tea is also used as douche for yeast infections, as well as gargle and mouthwash.

BAY/LAUREL LEAVES— Heat leaves in a little olive oil to make a bay oil salve for arthritis and aches.

CAYENNE PEPPER— Capsicum speeds metabolism. Capsicum cream and oils relieve arthritis and aches, not just by warming and stimulating blood flow, but also by blocking pain transmission by nerves. Prevents blood clots, heals ulcers. Cayenne dramatically drops blood sugar levels and should by avoided by hypoglycemics. Cayenne promotes excretion of cholesterol through the intestines.

CELERY — Has sedative effects through active ingredient thalide. Seed and stalk reduce hypertension. Celery seed tea helps the kidneys as a cleanser.

CILANTRO (WANSUY) — Leafy part of coriander plant. Food poisoning preventative.

CINNAMON— Mouthwash, good for upset stomach. Simmer sticks with cloves for 3 min, add 2 tsp lemon juice, 2 tsp honey, 2 tbsp whiskey – as cold medication. Boil 8-10 sticks in 4 cups water, simmer 5 min, steep 45 min, then douche or apply to athlete’s foot.

CLOVES (CLAVOS)— Use oil for pain relief for sore gums and toothache. Add clove oil to neutral oils for topical pain relief of arthritis. Small amounts of clove in a tea for nausea. 3 cloves in two cups of boiled water, steeped for 20 minutes, as an antiseptic and mouthwash.

CORIANDER— The tea can be held in the mouth to relieve the pain of a toothache. Can also be drank to relieve flatulence and indigestion.

DILL SEEDS— Bring one pint of white wine almost to a boil, remove from heat and add 4 tsp of dill seeds, let steep 30 minutes and strain. Drink 1 ½ cups a half hour before retiring to sleep well.

FENNEL — Chewing fennel seeds relieves bad breath. Fennel seed tea sweetens breastmilk. Fennel tea relieves colic in infants.

GARLIC — Ultimate antibiotic. Useful even for sexually transmitted diseases. Strongly recommended for hypoglycemia and diabetes. Destroys intestinal parasites. Reduces cholesterol. Repels insects, and reduces sting effects of insects and red ants.

GINGER— Anti-nausea tea and blood thinner. Boil 2/3 cup of freshly chopped root in 1 gallon water, wrapped in cheesecloth (or old nylon stocking) until the water is yellow. Then soak towel and lay on bruises and sprains while still hot, to ease them. Stimulates a delayed period. Warm ginger tea is good to break up congestion and fever.

LEMONGRASS – Simmer ½ cup of dried leaves in 2 pints of water for 10 minutes, and sip to bring down fevers.

MINT— Peppermint tea for migraines, nervousness, stomach disorders, heartburn, and abdominal cramps. Herpes sufferers can take 2 cups of tea a day to ease the symptoms when the virus is active.

ONION— Onion is an excellent dressing for burns. Crush sliced onions with a little bit of salt and apply to burns. Apply sliced onion to bee and wasp stings.

PARSLEY— Chew for halitosis. A few sprigs provide 2/3 the vitamin C of an orange, lots of vitamin A, and the important amino acid histidine, which is a tumor inhibitor. Parsley tea is good for kidney problems, painful urination, and kidney stones. One cup of parsley to 1 quart of water makes a strong tea.

BLACK PEPPER— Pain relief from toothache, brings down a fever.

TURMERIC— Anti-oxidant. Take ½ tsp in juice in the morning and evening to aid in removing fat around the liver.

VINEGAR— Naturally brewed apple cider vinegar: Take 1 tbsp per day of equal parts vinegar and honey in water to taste to cleanse the blood and reduce inflammation from arthritis.

For comments and suggestions, email to solvanzi2000@yahoo.com.

Source: http://mb.com.ph/articles/368918/natural-cures-from-the-kitchen

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By David Zinczenko
Aug 16, 2010

Sandra Bullock, Rihanna, and Lindsay Lohan: What do these women have in common? They’ve all been embroiled in tabloid-worthy scandals. But what else? They all look good, even when the press isn’t. That’s because they have what so many of us strive for: Perfect skin.

So, what’s the secret? How do some of us achieve the golden hue of Halle Berry while the rest of us get stuck with a scaly patchwork of blotches, pimples, and dry spots? Some of it’s genetic, sure, but that’s not the whole story. If you listen to the conventional wisdom coming from the pharmaceutical companies, you might think the problem is that you just haven’t discovered the right cream, ointment, or alcohol-soaked cleansing pad to clear up your face. But those are solutions of last resort. What you need is a preventive strategy, one that involves nurturing the complex balance of nutrients that feed your skin and nurture your inner glow. In other words, if you want the kind of skin that looks good even through a Hollywood scandal, you’ve got to eat right. Here are six foods that will have you looking your best.

And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for more quick-hit health tips that draw on everything I’ve learned in more than a decade as editor for Men’s Health and Women’s Health.

1. SALMON

Salmon is an ideal food for many reasons, but as far as your skin’s concerned, there’s only one that matters: It’s among the world’s greatest sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Those are the essential fats that, along with bolstering the cognitive powers of your brain, concentrate in the walls of your epidermal cells to help lock in moisture. Plus, in one study, researchers supplemented two groups of mice with either omega-3 or omega-6 fats. After two weeks, the skin of the omega-3-fed group exhibited a 20 percent faster recovery rate from exposure to ultraviolet light. That gives salmon two crucial skin boons: keeping your skin from looking dry and helping it battle the dangers of excessive sunlight. 

Other omega-3 foods: sardines, walnuts, flaxseed 

Bonus Tip: Sushi is one of my favorite ways to eat salmon. Use our Ultimate Sushi Selector to make sure your sushi roll doesn’t turn into a belly roll.

2. CARROTS

Carrots are teeming with tiny orange pigments called beta-carotene, and when you ingest those pigments, you’re inviting them to nestle into your skin, fill in blotches, and give you a healthy glow. And what’s more, research shows that this can actually help prevent premature aging from sun damage. But is the accumulation of orange in your skin going to make you look like an extra from Jersey Shore? Well, hopefully not. But eating excessive loads of carotene-rich foods can lead to a condition called carotenosis, wherein your skin stops looking healthy and starts looking, well, orange. But the conditions is rare, so unless you notice yourself turning into a prison jumpsuit, feel free to chow down.

Other beta-carotene foods:
sweet potatoes, red bell peppers, red grapefruit

3. AVOCADO

One study published by The Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that people with higher intakes of olive oil had fewer wrinkles than people with higher intakes of butter. The reason: Butter is loaded with saturated fat, while olive oil is rich in monounsaturates, the same essential fats that make up more than 50% of the calories in an avocado. So why eat avocado over olive oil? Both are good, but avocados have the added bonus of B vitamins, which also help to keep your skin looking vibrant and smooth.

Other monounsaturated-fat foods: olive oil, almonds, peanut butter 

 Bonus Tip: These foods are only the tip of the super-food iceberg. Click here for 15 more Foods that Cure.

4. BEANS

 Legumes, to be more precise. This is the class of plants that includes black beans, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, and peanuts. And how do these puny pods protect your face? By smoothing out wrinkles. Australian researchers analyzed the diets of more than 400 elderly men and women and found that high intakes of legumes—alongside vegetables and healthy fats—resulted in 20% fewer wrinkles over time. The effect is likely a result of isoflavones—potent antioxidants—concentrated in the beans.

Other isoflavone-rich foods: alfalfa, tempeh, tofu

5. GRAPES

Besides providing protection from heart attack and stroke, antioxidants called polyphenols found in grapes can also help keep middle-aged skin from sagging. That’s because polyphenols improve skin’s elasticity by strengthening collagen, the primary protein in skin’s innermost layer.
 
Other polyphenol-rich foods: grape juice, blueberries

Bonus Tip: Here’s another easy way to tighten your skin and improve your looks: Lose 5 pounds. Start here: 10 simple weight-loss strategies that work.

6. WATER

 Okay, it’s not as fun to drink as wine, but water is the strongest weapon you have against lifeless skin. That’s why they call it “moisturizing”—because you’re trying to lock moisture, aka water, into your skin. To put it broadly, all the body’s processes rely on hydration, so if you’re not sipping throughout the day, you’re likely to have a slower metabolism, groggier head, and, yes, drier skin. One study suggested that it takes a mere half-liter of water to create a measurable increase in the capillary blood flow to your body’s outer layer. That’s just over 16 ounces. Try doing that a few times a day and you’ll have a face like a baby’s bottom in no time.

http://health.yahoo.net/experts/eatthis/6-best-foods-healthy-skin

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

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/

Kundol

Chemical constituents and characteristics
Amino acids, mucins, mineral salts, starch (32%), vitamins B and C, fixed oil (44%), cucurbitine, acid resin, myosin, vitellin, sugar (4%)
Phytochemical studies indicate two triterpenes, alunsenol and mutiflorenol, with mast cell stabiling effects in rats.
Pulp is a source of vitamins B and C.

Properties
• Considered astringent, anthelmintic, aphodisiac, demulcent, diuretic, febrifuge, styptic, tonic.
• Seed is anthelmintic, antiinflammatory.
• Fruit is nutritive, tonic, diuretic, alterative, and styptic.

Parts utilized
Whole fruit with seeds and skin.

Uses
NUTRITIONAL
Used as vegetable (boiled); sweetened or candied. The fried seeds eaten as a delicacy.
Extracts of Benincasa hispida prevent development of experimental ulcers
• Seeds applied to simple skin eruptions.
• Seeds sans the outer covering used as vermifuge.
• Fruit rind is diuretic; ashes applied to painful wounds.
• Decoction of seed used for vaginal discharges and coughs.
• Fresh juice used as antidote for vegetable poisons.
• In China, popular for its dermatologic and cosmetic applications – for facial blemishes; moisturizing and skin softening use; anti-wrinkle and anti-aging skin properties; preventing sun damage.
• In Japan, kondol is a component of most traditional dermatologic formulations because of its skin regenerative.
• Forms: Tincture or liniments; percolation with propylene glycol or hydro-alcoholic solution.
• In Korea, used for diabetes and kidney problems
• In Ayurveda, used for coughs, epilepsy, asthma, peptic ulcers.
• In India, used for treatment of peptic ulcer: Juice is squeezed out of grated gourd, equal amounts of water is added, taken daily on an empty stomach, with no food intake for 2 to 3 hours. (Source)
• Fruit juice used for insanity, epilepsy.

STUDIES
• Extracts of Benincasa hispida prevent development of experimental ulcers: Used in Ayurveda for peptic ulcers, the study showed extracts of BH may be a natural drug with anti-ulcer activity.
Anti-angiogenic effect of the seed extract of Benincasa hispida Cogniaux: Seed extract of BH supports its anti-angiogenic property through inhibition of endothelial cell proliferation.
Gastroprotective effect of Benincasa hispida fruit extract: Study results were comparable with the omeprazole treated group. Study suggest BH possess significant antiulcer and well as antioxidant property.
EFFECT OF METHANOLIC EXTRACT OF BENINCASA HISPIDA AGAINST HISTAMINE AND ACETYLCHOLINE INDUCED BRONCHOSPASM IN GUINEA PIGS: The ME of BH showed excellent protection against histamine-induced bronchospasm probably through an antihistamin activty (H1 receptor-antagonism).

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

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#

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

HolyBasilFlowers

English: Holy Basil
Latin: Ocimum sanctum (“sacred fragrant lipped basil”)
or Ocimum tenuiflorum (“basil with small flowers”)
or Ocumum gratissimum (“very grateful basil”)
Botanical Family: Lamiaceae (mint)
Hindi: Tulsi
Sanskrit: Tulasi

Holy Basil has a long tradition of use in Ayurvedic medicine and is a well-known sacred plant of the Indian subcontinent. Holy Basil has been called the “Incomparable One”, the “Queen of Herbs” and “The Elixir of Life.”

http://www.holy-basil.com/

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In Sanskrit, tulsi means literally “the incomparable one” and has been revered since ancient times. Tulsi, the holy basil, is said to have grown at the site of Christ’s crucifixion and is associated with St. Basil’s feast, a day celebrated in Greece on January 1.

In ancient Indian scriptures, Tulsi (Holy basil or Ocimum sanctum) holds a supreme place as a sacred plant. It is considered very dear to Lord Vishnu, and devotees adorn Him with a tulsi garland. Tulsi has been widely known for its health-promoting properties for over 5000 years. Tulsi is also extensively used to maintain ritual purity; people wear tulsi beads (made from the woody stalks of the plant) as necklaces. The ancient sages ensured the integration of the tulsi into daily life by incorporating it into religious rituals. In most of the Hindu temples, tulsi-soaked water is used to consecrate the deity and later distributed to devotees. This ensured that every one routinely consumed tulsi during worship at home and at the temples.

http://healthmad.com/nutrition/health-benefits-tulsi-or-holy-basil/

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Parts utilized
Rhizomes.

Properties and constituents
Used as a mosquito repellant in India and South Africa.
Leaves yield a volatile oils or methyl homo anisic acid, plus cineol and linalool.
Seed decoction used as demulcent.
Leaves are expectorant and stomachic.

Uses
Others
It is the most sacred plant in Hindu religion.
In Malaya, leaves are eaten sparingly as salad., but not used for flavoring foods.
Folkloric
Decoction of leaves used for aromatic baths.
Decoction of roots and leaves used for gonorrhea.
Used for rheumatic baths.
Dried plant used for croup, diarrhea, catarrh, bronchitis and diarrhea.
Decoction of roots used as diaphoretic for malarial fevers.
Leaf juice used for earache.
Infusion of leaves as stomachic and hepatic infections.
Fresh juice iinduces vomitiing and expels worms.
Mixed with honey, ginger and onion juice, used as expectorant for bronchitis and coughs.
In Java, used to increase milk secretion.
In India, leaf juice traditionally used for cough, stress situations, worm infestations, superficial fungal infections, and as diuretic.

Studies
Radioprotective: The radioprotective effects of two flavonoids, orientin and vicenin from the leaves of OS were studied by evaluating chromosome aberration in bone marrow cells of irradiated mice. Results suggest ocimum flavonoids may be promising for human radiationn protection.
Hypoglycemic:In a study, one of 24 of 30 medicinal plants, OS showed significant blood glucose lowering activity.
Anti-anxiety: Ethanolic extract study showed leaves possess anti-anxiety effects probably through a central nervous system pathway that may involve the GABA-ergic system. Another study on noise-induced changes in rats were normalized with pretreatment with OS extract indicating its stress-alleviating effect.
Anti-tussive: Antitussive effect probably by central action mediated through both opiod and GABA-ergic system.
• :Antibacterial: Study of ethanol extracts showed antibacterial activity, greater in Gram positive bacter than gram-negative, esp against B subtilis and S aureus; comparatively less than Origanum majorana. Another study on OS essential oil showed marked antibacterial efficiency against all bacteria tested, maximum against S aureus and marked antibacterial efficacy against P mirabilis, P aeruginosa, Klebsiella sp and E coli.
• :CNS-Protective: A study showed the ethanol leaf extract of O sanctum to have a protective effect against haloperidol-iinduced catalepsy and indicates that OS may be used to prevent drug-induced extrapyramidal effects.
Antioxidant: A study showed the leaves of OS to possess both superoxide and hydroxyl free radical scavenging effect and attributes the antioxidant property to be responsible for its hypoglycemic effect.
Myocardial Salvaging Effect: A study showed Ocimum sanctum has cardioprotecdtive effects against ISP-induced myocardial necrosis probably through improved ventricular function, augmentation of endogenous antioxidants and suppression of oxidative stress.
Anti-cancer activity: Administration of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Ocimum sanctum to mice with sarcomatous tumor resulted in a significant reduction in tumor volume and increase in lifespan.
Anti-Ulcer activity: Study showed the extract of OS reduced the ulcer index, free and total acidity in rats. Seven days of treatment increased mucous secretion.
Antidiabetic activity: A study indicated OS leaf extracts to have stimulatory effects on physiological pathways of insulin secretion to explain its antidiabetic action.
Hepatoprotective activity: A study showed the leaf extract of OS to have a hepatoprotective effect on hepatotoxicty induced by antitubercular drugs. The exact mechanism has not been defined, but OS antioxidant activity seems to be the most important mode of its hepatoprotective effect.

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

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A Natural Remedy Rich in Phytochemicals and Anti-oxidants

The Holy Basil, known as the Tulsi in India, is sometimes termed “The Mother Medicine of Nature,” due to its many health benefits.

Parts Used

All parts of the plant are used, but particularly the fresh or dried leaves, which have a strong aroma and taste. The delicious tea made from Tulsi leaves, in particular, has many health benefits.

Chemical Composition of Tulsi

The chemistry of Tulsi is rather complex, as it contains many biologically active compounds and nutrients. The Phytochemicals are said to interact and combine in unique ways. The main compounds in tulsi are “ursolic acid,” an essential oil called “eugenol,” and antioxidants. It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.

The Health Benefits of Tulsi

Regular use of Tulsi leads to overall good health and vitality.

  • It boosts the immune system and metabolism of the body, and is effective in treating allergies.
  • Tulsi detoxifies the blood, and flushes out toxins from the body.
  • The juice is effective in treating bronchitis, coughs and colds, and other common ailments. Moreover, it enhances the use of oxygen in the body, and is thus useful in respiratory problems, like asthma.
  • Tulsi contains antioxidants, which neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals, and thus arrests aging.
  • It is also reputed to control degenerative conditions, like dementia, cancer, diabetes, heart problems and arthritis.
  • Tulsi reduces inflammation and fevers, and cures headaches.
  • Due to its antibacterial properties, it is used to treat infectious diseases.
  • Tulsi is supposed to be anti-carcinogenic. Traditional practitioners recommend taking a Tulsi leaf every day to prevent cancers.
  • Tulsi lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and thus prevents cardiac problems.
  • It helps in digestion and absorption of nutrients by the body, by encouraging the secretion of digestive enzymes. Therefore, it also acts as an appetizer. Moreover, its carminative properties prevent gastric ulcers.
  • It also controls E.coli and tuberculosis, and hastens the recovery of patients with viral hepatitis and encephalitis.
  • Tulsi has been proved good for periodontal health; a decoction can be used to cure toothache, and as a general mouth wash.
  • The Ursolic acid has an anti-fertility effect, without any negative effects.
  • Some research points to the Tulsi as a protection against the ill effects of radiation.
  • An interesting fact is that it does not contain any caffeine, yet acts as a vitalizer or quick “pick me up” to increase stamina and endurance.
  • Finally, Tulsi relaxes the muscles, and acts as a stress buster.

The small leaves of the Tulsi are packed with health enhancing properties, beneficial for the heart, lungs, immune and digestive systems. Tulsi is also effective in preventing and treating a number of common ailments, and contributing to a general feeling of well being. Therefore, it is rightly called the “Queen of Herbs” in India.

Caution: Though there are generally no side/after effects, one should check with a medical practitioner, before using any herbs for medicinal purposes.

http://herbal-properties.suite101.com/article.cfm/health_benefits_of_the_holy_basil

Holy Basil or Tulsi is a powerful adaptogen; hence it is invaluable as an anti-stress agent. In fact, it is sometimes said to be more effective at reducing stress than ginseng. Tulsi, the sacred basil, is one of the holiest plants of modern Indians, renowned for its health promoting and disease-preventing properties.

Benefits of Fresh Basil Leaves

Should you be feeling stressed or exhausted, and suffering any associated symptoms such as headaches, indigestion, muscle tension, nerve pain and so on, or feel that your memory needs a boost, taking basil is the perfect tonic. This herb is known to be both antiseptic and cleansing and assists the body overcome a variety of infections.

The relaxant properties that are found in hot basil tea, extend to both respiratory and digestive tracts and so relieves symptoms of colic, constipation, nausea, asthma and coughs. Other benefits of Tulsi Tea: it can reduce fevers and moves phlegm build up during times of suffering colds and flu.

  • Assists in Sharpening Memory and Concentration
  • Tonic for Nerves and Treats Irritability
  • Reduces Stress
  • Promotes Calmness and Clarity
  • Clears Phlegm from Chest and Nose
  • Eases Symptoms of Colds, Flu, Coughs and Sore Throats
  • Strengthens the Stomach
  • Treats Vomiting and Nausea
  • Improves Metabolism
  • Aids in Treating Constipation
  • Strengthens the Kidneys
  • Known as a Anti-Stress Agent or ‘Adaptogen’
  • May Reduce Blood Cholesterol
  • Assists in Treating Insomnia

http://www.alternatively-healthier.com/benefits-tulsi-tea.html

Leaves of the Holy Basil herb may be chewed to help relieve ulcers of infections of the mouth, and can also assist with various skin diseases, bites, stings, cuts and wounds if juiced and applied to the skin. This method may also be used to treat head lice.

The taking of Tulsi tea or holy basil leaves can refresh you when you feel tired, calm you when you feel tense or anxious as well as providing many other benefits. Holy Basil or Tulsi tea is rich in natural antioxidants, is a powerful adaptogen and a natural immuno-modulator.

Other Useful Sites:

http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-holy-basil-tulsi.html
http://hinduism.about.com/od/ayurveda/a/tulsibenefits.htm
http://healthmad.com/nutrition/health-benefits-tulsi-or-holy-basil/
http://www.pastene.com/health/basil.html
http://hubpages.com/hub/Health-Benefits-of-Basil
http://www.ayurvediccure.com/health/what-are-the-health-benefits-of-basil/
http://www.zhion.com/herb/Basil.html
http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/basil-herb.html
http://www.mehdi-healing.com/blog/?cat=222

pigeonpea

Chemical constituents and properties
Roots are considered antihelminthic, expectorant, febrifuge, sedative, vulnerary.
Seeds are rich in carbohydrates (58%) and proteins (19%).
Fair source of calcium and iron; good source of vitamin B.
Chemical studies reveal: 2′-2’methylcajanone, 2′-hydroxygenistein, isoflavones, cajanin, cahanones, among many others.

Parts used and preparation
Leaves, roots.

Uses
Folkloric
Decoction or infusionn of leaves for coughs, diarrhea, abdominal pains.
Tender leaves are chewed for aphthous stomatitis and spongy gums.
Pulped or poulticed leaves used for sores.
In Peru, leaves are used as an infusion for anemial, hepatitis, diabetes, urinary infections and yellow fever.
In Argentina, leaves used for genital and skin problems; flowers used for bronchitis, cough and pneumonia.
In China, as vermifuge, vulnerary; for tumors.
In Panama, used for treatment of diabetes (See study below).
In Indian folk medicine, used for a variety of liver disorders.
Nutrition
Used mainly for its edible young pods and seeds.
Others
Vegetable food crop ( seeds and pods) in South-East Asia.
As forage or hay.
Branches and stems for basket and fuel. (Source)

Studies
• Clinical studies have reported seed extracts to inhibit red blood cell sickling and potential benefit for people with sickle cell anemia.
Antiplasmodial constituents of Cajanus cajan: Study shows compounds from roots and leaves of CC showed moderately high in vitro activity against Plasmodium falcifarum strain.
Hypocholesterolemic Effect: Study on the stilbenes containing extract-fraction of CC showed a hypocholesterolemic effect possibly through enhancement of hepatic LDL-receptor and cholesterol 7-alpha-hydroxylase expression levels and bile acid synthesis.
Evaluation of traditional medicine: effects of Cajanus cajan L. and of Cassia fistula L. on carbohydrate metabolism in mice: Contradicting its traditional use for diabetes, CC did not have a hypo effect on sugar, aand at higher doses produced a hyperglycemic effect.
• Antimicrobial: Antimicrobial effect of leaf extracts of pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) millsp.) on some human pathogens : Study shows the plants extract to be inhibitory to some bacterial pathogens.
• Antimicrobial / Antifungal: Nigerian study on the antimicrobial effects of the ethanol and aqueous extracts of locally available plants, including C cajan, showerd inhibition against S aureus, P aeruginosa, E coli and C albicans. The extracts of C cajam produced wider zones of inhibition against C albicans.
• Hyperglycemic Effect: Study of the aqueous extract of C cajan leaves showed a hyperglycemic effect, suggesting a usefulness incontrolling hypoglycemia that may be due to excess of insulin or other hypoglycemic drugs.
• Hepatoprotective: Study of the methanol-aqueous fraction of C cajan leaf extract showed it could prevent the chronically treated alcohol induced rat liver damage and presents a promise as a non-toxic herb for therapeutic use in alcohol-induced liver dysfunction.

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

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Nutritional Value of Pigeon Pea (Red Gram, Toor, Congo Pea, Gunga Pea)
Pigeon Pea commonly known as Red Gram, Toor, Congo pea or Gunga Pea is yellow colored legume. It is cooked and used as food in day to day life.

Nutrition Facts and Information about Pigeon Pea: Pigeon Pea is rich is potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. It has good amount of iron and selenium and small amount of zinc, copper and manganese.

Vitamin Content of Pigeon Pea: Pigeon Pea has good amount of Vitamin A, Niacin and small amount of thiamin, riboflavin, Vitamin B6, folate and pantothenic acid.

Calorie Content of Pigeon Pea: 100g of Pigeon Pea has 343 calories. Calories from fat are 12.

Health Benefits of Pigeon Pea: Pigeon Pea cures cough, poisoning effect, gas troubles, acidity, stomach pain and piles. It makes a balanced human food, quells swelling of internal organs and with water it cures intoxicating effects.

http://www.organicfacts.net/nutrition-facts/pulses/nutritional-value-of-cowpea-and-pigeon-pea.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

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