Here's whats new in my neck of the cornfields.
I recently started an herb regimen after reading about some crucial herbs for overall well being. In the past, I've been on herb regimens and they truly do work. It takes longer than conventional medicine would but they really are so beneficial to our bodies.
Especially for those who practice regular exercise.
I wanted to share the herbs I am taking and their health benefits. It could get boring if you aren't interested. But, if you are like me, i love love love to research and learn new things.
Eleuthero is an “adaptogen” (an agent that helps the body adapt to stress). It is thought to help support adrenal gland function when the body is challenged by stress.
Eleuthero has been shown to enhance mental acuity and physical endurance without the letdown that comes with caffeinated products. Research has shown that eleuthero improves the use of oxygen by the exercising muscle. This means that a person is able to maintain aerobic exercise longer and recover from workouts more quickly. Preliminary research from Russia indicates it may be effective for this purpose. Other trials have been inconclusive or have shown no beneficial effect.
Eleuthero may also support the body by helping the liver detoxify harmful toxins. It has shown a protective action in animal studies against chemicals such as ethanol, sodium barbital, tetanus toxoid, and chemotherapeutic agents. According to a test tube study eleuthero also helps protect the body during radiation exposure. Preliminary research in Russia has suggested that eleuthero may help alleviate side effects and help the bone marrow recover more quickly in people undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer.
Eleuthero has been shown to be effective as a treatment for the common cold when combined with andrographis in a formula sometimes referred to as Kan Jang. Preliminary evidence also suggests that eleuthero may prove valuable in the long-term management of various diseases of the immune system, including HIV infection and chronic fatigue syndrome. Healthy people taking 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of tincture three times daily have been shown to have increased numbers of the immune cells (T4 lymphocytes) that have been found to decrease during HIV-infection and AIDS. Further human clinical trials are needed to confirm that eleuthero may be helpful for this disease.
How to Use It Dried, powdered root and rhizomes, 2 to 3 grams per day, are commonly used. Alternatively, 300 to 400 mg per day of concentrated solid extract standardized on eleutherosides B and E can be used, as can alcohol-based extracts, 8 to 10 ml in two to three divided dosages. Kan Jang is a formula combining an andrographis extract with an eleuthero extract providing 2 to 2.4 mg eleutherosides daily. Historically, eleuthero is taken continuously for six to eight weeks, followed by a one- to two-week break before resuming.
Tumeric has been used for over 2500 years in India, where it was most likely first used as a dye. The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer's disease.
Here are 20 reasons to add turmeric to your diet:
1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.
4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.
5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.
7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.
8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression. 14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.
16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.
17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.
18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
- ADAPTOGENIC - Schisandra's traditional use as a tonifier in TCM led to research for this effect, predominantly in the former Soviet Union, where it was defined as an "adaptogen." Adaptogens are substances believed to reinforce the non-specific resistance of the body against physical, chemical, or biological stressors. Primarily, they are considered to enhance the body's general physiological adaptive responses. Schisandra is promoted for its stimulating effects on the nervous system without being excitatory like amphetamine or caffeine. It is suggested that the higher the degree of exhaustion the greater is the stimulating effect. Research also indicates that Schisandra stimulates the central nervous system, possibly by increasing dopamine and its metabolites in the striatum and hypothalamus.
- ANTI-FATIGUE - Laboratory work suggests that Schisandra may improve work performance, build strength, and help to reduce fatigue. Preliminary studies suggest that schisandra or its extracts might increase stamina and speed and improve mental concentration. It stimulates the nervous system by increasing the speed of nervous responses, leading to quicker and stronger reflexes.
- MENTAL FUNCTION - Uncontrolled trials indicate that Schisandra might increase mental efficiency in humans. Schisandrin (5-10 mg) improved concentration, fine co-ordination, sensitivity and endurance in healthy young male adults as assessed by needle threading, telegraphic reception/transmission and marathon running. Schisandra was also said to improve vision and hearing, enlarge the visual field, improve adaptation to the dark and increase the discrimination of skin receptors (the latter due to a CNS effect rather than at the skin receptors).
- IMMUNE SUPPORTIVE - Research has reported that a lignan component of Schisandra fruit suppresses the arachidonic acid (AA) cascade in macrophages. The AA cascade pushes the production of leukotrienes, which may play a role in inflammatory diseases. By inhibiting this inflammatory response, Schisandra both protects the liver and stimulates the immune system - two key roles of an ideal adaptogen.
- LIVER PROTECTIVE - The major active compounds in schisandra are lignans (schizandrin, deoxyschizandrin, gomisins, and pregomisin) found in the seeds of the fruit. Modern Chinese research suggests these lignans have a protective effect on the liver and an immuno-modulating effect. At least two human studies in China, one controlled and the other open, have shown that schisandra can help people with hepatitis. In China, crude schisandra berries, their preparations, and individual constituents are widely used for progressive hepatic degeneration due to viral hepatitis or chemical challenge--indications for which schisandra is well documented. Part of how schisandra lignans appear to protect the liver is by activating the enzymes in liver cells that produce glutathione, an important antioxidant substance.
Ginger has been used as a natural remedy for many ailments for centuries. Now, science is catching up and researchers around the world are finding that ginger works wonders in the treatment of everything from cancer to migraines. Here are ten health benefits of this powerful herb. Ovarian Cancer Treatment
Ginger may be powerful weapon in the treatment of ovarian cancer. A study conducted at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that ginger powder induces cell death in all ovarian cancer cells to which it was applied.
Colon Cancer Prevention
A study at the University of Minnesota found that ginger may slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells.
A review of several studies has concluded that ginger is just as effective as vitamin B6 in the treatment of morning sickness.
Motion Sickness Remedy
Ginger has been shown to be an effective remedy for the nausea associated with motion sickness.
Reduces Pain and Inflammation
One study showed that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful natural painkiller.
Ginger has long been used as a natural heartburn remedy. It is most often taken in the form of tea for this purpose.
Cold and Flu Prevention and Treatment Ginger has long been used as a natural treatment for colds and the flu. Many people also find ginger to be helpful in the case of stomach flus or food poisoning, which is not surprising given the positive effects ginger has upon the digestive tract. Migraine Relief
Research has shown that ginger may provide migraine relief due to its ability to stop prostaglandins from causing pain and inflammation in blood vessels.
Menstrual Cramp Relief
In Chinese medicine, ginger tea with brown sugar is used in the treatment of menstrual cramps.
Cayenne is used as a natural fat burner and pain killer, to treat ulcers, increase metabolism, improve circulation, boost the immune system and aid digestion. It is used as a tonic for the heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, spleen and stomach and to treat herpes, shingles and rheumatism. It is also known to combat chills and has been used to treat bunions, psoriasis, pleuritis and pericarditis and has been indicated for preventing heart disease.
Studies have shown that it can raise metabolic rates by as much as 25 percent, aid in treating herpes, shingles and Raynauds disease, and help prevent heart disease and ulcers. Cayenne is also used as a natural pain killer with anti-inflammatory properties. Cayenne may be used internally or externally to treat arthritis, bunions, psoriasis, and muscle and joint pain. For external use just open a capsule and add some to a cream or lotion that you are already using if you want to use it for massage. Taken internally, cayenne is used to treat ulcers, improve circulation, and aid digestion. It is used as a tonic for the heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, spleen and stomach and to treat herpes, shingles and rheumatism.
A stimulating stomachic. A catalyst for all herbs. Improves circulation, aids digestion by stimulating gastric juices, stimulates the appetite, reduces inflammation, is a mild stimulant or tonic, improves metabolism, relieves gas, colds, chills, and stops bleeding from ulcers. Good for the kidneys, lungs, spleen, pancreas, heart, and stomach.
Taken for nausea, scrofula, swollen lymph glands, rheumatism, arthritis, and pleurisy. Use with lobelia for nerves.
Recently, cayenne has been used successfully to treat patients with cluster headaches, a particularly painful type of headache.
Used externally, cayenne liniment may soothe the stiffness and pain of rheumatism and arthritis.
Can be used as a general stimulant to build up resistance at the beginning of a cold, tonsilitis, laryngitis, hoarseness, shingles. It can be taken as an infusion for stomach and bowel pains or cramps. Small quantities of the fresh fruit or the powder may stimulate appetite and expel worms. For external use, cayenne can be made into plasters or liniment or the tincture may be applied to increase blood flow to areas afflicted with rheumatism, arthritis, pleuritis, or pericarditis. Also said to increase fertility and delay senility.
Cayenne contains: Alkaloids, apsaicine, capsacutin, capsaicin, capsanthine, capsico PABA, fatty acids, flavonoids, sugars, carotene, volatile oil, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and C.
Astragalus is a unique immunity boosting herb native to China and Mongolia. In Chinese medicine astragalus health benefits have been put to treat common colds and flu due to high content of active compounds like polysaccharides, saponins and flavonoids. To get a full spectrum of benefits, astragalus extract is manufactured using a whole plant including its roots.
Let’s take a look at top 10 astragalus health benefits and which health conditions it can help improve.
1. Digestive astragalus health benefits are demonstrated in lowering excessive acidity of the stomach, increasing body’s metabolic rates and promoting faster waste elimination pattern. This is incredibly beneficial for people suffering from stomach ulcers and acid indigestion.
2. Astragalus tea should be regularly consumed during common flu and cold seasons starting in early fall and through the winter. Astragalus health benefits help increase white blood cell count, stimulate growth of antibodies and elevate body’s resistance to bacteria and viruses.
3. Astragalus health benefits go beyond common ailments and can even enhance traditional chemotherapy treatments in cancer patients. Astragalus extract and tea taken throughout cancer treatment will help lessen the side effects from such treatments and boost patient’s immune system.
4. Astragalus root health benefits work to protect you from high blood pressure, arrhythmia and generally improve your cardiac function.
5. Astragalus extract helps you keep your cholesterol counts in check. Astragalus tea works by preventing fatty plaque deposits in arteries to allow blood to flow freely. In addition, astragalus prevents fats from being absorbed from the intestines and facilitates their accelerated evacuation from the body.
6. Astragalus was shown effective to treat various forms of anemia and improving hemopoietic (blood making) function.
7. Patients who have been diagnosed with HIV and AIDS could draw incredible benefits from using astragalus based medicine. Active compounds found in this herb could support patients’ immune systems and even be used in place of common HIV drugs. However, more research is still needed in this field.
8. Astragalus health benefits also encompass herpes simplex virus that is a culprit behind recurring oral herpes outbreaks. People affected by oral herpes notice fewer outbreaks while taking astragalus extract.
9. Astragalus is very often used in combination with other herbal supplements to treat chronic nephritis and various stages of renal failure. Patients treated with a combo of astragalus and rehmannia root showed improvement as to lower levels of protein and blood in urine.
10. Astragalus is a very important ingredient for managing diabetes in Chinese medicine. Not only this herb helps lowering blood sugar, it also prevents pathological changes in the retina, blood vessels, enhances liver and kidney function.
Evening Primrose Oil is extracted from the seeds of the Evening Primrose plant (sometimes also referred to as Fever Plant, Suncup, and Sundrop). It is a bright yellow, edible plant that blooms in the evening and closes up during the day. The roots, flowers, fruit, and seeds of Evening Primrose have been used for medicinal and therapeutic purposes for ages.
What are the Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil? Evening Primrose is considered to be a great anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent, and the bark of the plant has great astringent and sedative activity. Its key potent ingredient is GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), which is an essential fatty acid that is known to help prevent hardening of the arteries, treat heart disease, diabetes, eczema, psoriasis, nails and hair problems, rheumatoid arthritis, menopause, PMS, fibrocystic breasts, multiple sclerosis, and high blood pressure. It also has a positive effect on lowering cholesterol levels, and is important in treating cirrhosis of the liver. The oil also helps with chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, nervous system, imbalanced hormone levels, and metabolism.
Uses of Evening Primrose Oil Asthma and Whooping Cough A tea made from Evening Primrose is considered to be effective in healing asthma and whooping coughs.
- Add one teaspoon of dried Evening Primrose flowers into boiling water (use a teaball or bag if available).
- Steep the leaves in the tea for 5 minutes.
- Drain the leaves if required.
- Add a small amount of honey as a sweetener.
- Drink this tea twice daily.
- Make a poultice by coarsely crushing the flowers and leaves of Evening Primrose.
- Heat the poultice to a temperature that doesn't burn the skin.
- Put the poultice on the affected skin overnight and wrap it with a bandage.
- Apply it until boil comes to a head and is ready to be drained out.
PMS, Menstrual Cramps, and Menopausal Disorders Fluctuating hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body are often the cause of PMS (premenstrual syndrome), menstrual cramping, and menopausal disorders such as hot flashes and breast tenderness. Evening Primrose can help to regulate these hormone levels in the body. Therefore, as your period approaches or you are experience menopause, drinking a daily herbal tea made from dried Evening Primrose leaves can help treat many of these problems. See above for instructions on how to make the tea. Evening Primrose capsules are also effective as an alternative to the tea.
Skin Problems Evening primrose oil is used in many facial creams, moisturizers, and masks because of its emollient, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties that penetrate through the layers of skin to make it softer, smoother and acne free. It is known to treat blemishes, dark circles, age spots, and wrinkles, and it helps to hydrate dry, red, scaly skin. Therefore, a simple home remedy for these skin problems is to apply a few drops of Evening Primrose Oil to the affected skin twice daily, or take a 1000mg Evening Primrose capsule once per day.
Weight Loss The herbal properties of Evening Primrose help stimulate the metabolism, which causes our body to burn more calories. Therefore a regular intake of Evening Primrose tea or oil can help play a great role in losing weight.
- Take one capsule of Evening Primrose Oil once a day, or drink two cups of Evening Primrose Tea made with dried leaves, roots and flowers daily.
- Incorporate a 20-minute cardiovascular exercise program into your daily routine (such as running, cycling, or elliptical bike).
The health benefits of dandelion include the following:
- Bone Health: Dandelion is rich in calcium, which is essential for growth and strength of bones, and is rich is anti oxidants like vitamin-C and Luteolin, which protect bones from age related damages due to free radicals, such as weakening and loss in density.
- Liver Disorders: Dandelion can help liver in many ways. While its anti oxidants such as vitamin-C and Luteolin keeps it functioning in full gear and protect it from aging, other compounds in it help treating hemorrhage in liver, maintaining proper flow of bile etc. It also stimulates liver and promotes digestion.
- Diabetes: Dandelion juice can help diabetic patients by stimulating production of insulin from pancreas and thus help keeping low the blood sugar level. Since it diuretic in nature, it makes the diabetic patients urinate frequently which too helps remove the extra sugar from the body. Moreover, diabetics are prone to renal problems. The diuretic properties of dandelion can help removing the sugar deposition in the kidneys through urine. Moreover, dandelion juice is slightly bitter to taste, which also effectively lowers sugar level in the blood, as all bitter substances do.
- Urinary Disorders: Dandelion is highly diuretic in nature. Thereby it helps clean deposits of toxic substances in the kidneys and the urinary system. Moreover, its disinfectant properties inhibit microbial growth in the urinary system. In fact, the diuretic properties of dandlion are so strong that in French its is also called "pissenlit" which means “urinate in bed”.
- Skin Care: Dandelion sap, also known as dandelion milk, is useful in treating skin diseases which are caused due to microbial and fungal infection, as this sap is highly alkaline and have germicidal, insecticidal and fungicidal properties. Care should be taken while using this sap as to avoid its contact with eyes. This sap can be used on itches, ringworm, eczema etc. without risk.
- Acne: Dandelion juice is a good detoxifier, diuretic, stimulant and anti oxidant. These four properties make it a good treatment for acne. Before we know how it treats acne, we must know what causes it. Acne is caused mainly during teens, when the body undergoes many physiological and hormonal changes. The hormones, which bring about changes in the body, if do not maintain proper ratio among themselves or are not regulated properly, tend to deposit as toxic substances in the body which tend to come out with sweat through the sweat glands or sebaceous glands on the skin. Now, during these changes, these glands secret more oils which, mixed with dead skin, block the pores and the secretion is obstructed. Due to this, these toxic substances cannot escape and result in acne. This is further worsened by the microbial infections on the effected places. Dandelion juice, being a stimulant, diuretic and detoxifier in nature, can help regulate proper secretion of hormones, increases sweating and widens up the pores facilitating removal of toxics through sweat and also through urine, as it is diuretic too. Its sap, if externally applied on acne, can inhibit microbial infection.
- Weight Loss: Our urine contains up to 4% of fats. So, more we urinate, more water and fats are lost from the body. Dandelion, being diuretic in nature, promotes urinating and thereby helping lose weight without side effects.
- Cancer: Dandelion is high in anti oxidants such as vitamin-C and Luteolin which reduce the free radicals (very much responsible for causing cancer) in the body, thereby reducing the risk of cancer. It also detoxifies the body, which also helps protect from cancer.
- Jaundice: Jaundice is primarily a disorder of the liver in which it starts over producing bile, which ultimately gets into the blood stream damaging the whole metabolism. The excess of bile is also reflected through color of the skin, eyes etc. The treatment of jaundice includes three main steps. First, checking production of bile; second, removal of excess bile from the body and third, fighting the viral infection. Dandelion is very helpful in all of these. It promotes liver health and regulates bile production. Being diuretic in nature, it promotes urination through which the excess bile is removed. Finally, being anti oxidant and disinfectant in nature due to presence of vitamin-C and Luteolin, it fights viral infection too. It is more beneficial if taken with sugarcane juice, since it replaces the sugar in the body which is very much lowered due to action of bile, causing extreme fatigue and weakness.
- Gall Bladder Disorders: Dandelion is very beneficial for gall bladder and liver, as it improves their functioning, protects them from ill effects of oxidants and infections and regulates secretions from them.
- Anemia: Dandelion has pretty good iron, vitamin and protein content. While iron is the integral part of hemoglobin in the blood, vitamins (particularly vitamin-B) and protein are essential for formation of red blood cells and certain other components of the blood. This way dandelion can help anemic people.
- High Blood Pressure: Urinating is an effective way of lowering blood pressure. In fact, most of the modern drugs for lowering blood pressure are based on this phenomenon. Dandelion juice, being diuretic in nature, increases urinating, both in quantity and frequency and thus helps lower high blood pressure. The fiber in dandelion is also helpful in reducing cholesterol and thereby assists lowering of blood pressure, since cholesterol is one of the factors which make blood pressure high. Then there is potassium, which is in plenty in dandelion juice and is very effective in lowering blood pressure by replacing sodium.
- Other Benefits: Dandelion can also be used as a vegetable and is a good source of fiber. It promotes digestion. In old days it was also used to treat scurvy, due to presence of vitamin-C in it. It also has healing effects on dyspepsia, infections in the stomach, intestines and urinary system.